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I'm looking for a slim version of GNU/Linux which has:

  1. Network stack
  2. popular GNU apps
  3. TWM Window Manager properly configured
  4. Similar structure of Red Hat Linux (optional)

It's for a low end PC that's used for monitoring & minor scripting,

I understand that there are minimal operating systems that I could start with and adding all the needed applications, But if there's any distro that's specific for this purpose, it would save me some time.

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What do you mean by "properly configured"? How do Linux distros normally mess up twm config? E.g., except for "similar structure of RedHat", how does a Debian install (not picking the "desktop environment" option in the installer) with aptitude install twm fail? –  derobert Oct 4 '12 at 22:47
    
How low-end is "low end"? –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 4 '12 at 22:49
    
TWM properly configured - Meaning the menus, shortcuts and basic links are available. Most source or packaged installations lack this. –  Araejay Oct 5 '12 at 16:58
    
Low End - Pentium 2/3 machines, It could run Cent Os 3/4 with Gnome well. we are talking about 40 machines to power some monitoring data & statistics. –  Araejay Oct 5 '12 at 17:00
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3 Answers 3

Gentoo Linux

It only has what you want as you have to install all of the programs that you want which gives you the most flexibility.

It is a source based distribution which means when you install something it compiles it.

As for TWM you can install it using portage which means it should work out of the box.

Here is the install Guide

This option gives you the most combustibility but takes a while to setup. Though you get a nice speed increase after everything is installed and portage takes care of all most all of the hassle associated with compiling and dependency issues. You could even set it up to compile everything without making it specific to you computer and you could then "drop" the installation into just about any other computer with the same arch. Rebuild/configure the kernel and it would be ready.

The hardiest part it the setup/installation after that the benefits are incredible.

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You think using Gentoo would save him time..? –  ire_and_curses Oct 5 '12 at 3:48
    
In the long run if he has more than one to install it on but a spin off of gentoo like saybyon would. check that distro out, TWM would be a short emerge away and everything else would be there. –  Joe Oct 5 '12 at 22:13
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You might use Damn Small Linux or TinyCore, but both aren't configured to use TWM out of the box.

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I have personally used Slitaz for exactly as you describe. It's not TWM, but it can be installed on a hard drive as little as 48MB and can even run solely in RAM and only need 192MB of RAM to do that - it runs fine on the slowest of PC's for me.

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