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I need a distro of Linux which occupies 250-300 MB of hard drive space. It should be able to run C programs (NOT COMPILE!! just execute)... and must be compatible with grub2 (NEED TO USE 'GRUB-REBOOT').

NOTE: I have tried DSL (Damn Small Linux), but its not compitable with grub2.

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migrated from askubuntu.com Jul 21 '11 at 13:23

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There is no such thing as executing C programs, they need to be compiled (so they become "binary programs"). Unless you consider the #!/usr/local/bin/tcc -run trick executing C programs. –  Philomath Jul 21 '11 at 13:44

3 Answers 3

Install Debian and during the install when it asks what to install, unselect everything including "Base System" and you should get a very minimal system.

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This can also be done on many distros. ie. ubuntu-minimal. archlinux. –  user606723 Jul 21 '11 at 17:13
Well the "Base System" on Debian is things you would expect to find on a linux system but aren't required for the system to operate. So without it you get a much smaller system but it wont have what you might expect. –  Arrowmaster Jul 21 '11 at 20:45
@Arrowmaster And what is the size of "a very minimal" Debian "Base System"? –  Pro Backup Jul 31 at 10:27

Most distros should come in at under this size if you don't un-install anything superfluous. Their default package sets may not be what you want, but look into "net-install" routines. Several distros have them. For Arch it's the default, debian also has such a thing.

My distro of choice (PLD-Linux) comes in at about 80 megs for a default working install that does everything you request and isn't stripped down (i.e. the man pages and such are there), then I add on packages from there. If can easily take that down to ~30M by not including things like larger shells, man page, all language locales, etc. On a desktop system where I add a whole bunch of stuff it starts working up to a couple gigs. I have installed and run the same distro on 16M compact flash cards and multi-terabyte RAID arrays.

My point is that just because some distros install a lot of stuff doesn't mean you have to have that stuff. Any good package manager will let you install a minimal set of packages to run a system. You should consider what distro you are comfortable with administering, not which ones comes with the smallest package set by default.

I would lean towards recommending ArchLinux or Debian, but don't rule out others until you know what is involved in getting a minimal package set running on them.

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