I want to test out Unix/Linux and I'm not sure which distribution I should use.
I need Unix for my university to compile C/C++ Code. If possible it should be small/running from an USB stick.
I already tried Ubuntu, but there were too many things I didn't need.

As said, the distribution will be used for compiling C/C++ Code mixed with OpenGL.

closed as primarily opinion-based by larsks, thrig, Faheem Mitha, Jeff Schaller, mattdm Apr 4 '16 at 17:56

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  • 1
    Did you try Ubuntu server? Minimum install + compilers is quite compact. – doneal24 Apr 4 '16 at 17:38
  • Lots of distributions can do a minimal install, I imagine. Debian certainly can. Just unselect everything you don't need at install time,and unless you have a really small amount of space, like in an embedded device, installed programs you are not using are not going to hurt you. – Faheem Mitha Apr 4 '16 at 17:47

As for Linux there lots of minimal distributions theses include but are not limited to:

  • Fedora
  • Lubuntu
  • Arch Linux
  • Gentoo
  • Knoppix

Knoppix is probably going to be your best bet as it is aimed at being used as a live cd/usb. You can choose different run time levels for knoppix to reduce over head, so at start up you could say:

Knoppix 2

To boot into run-level two where you can compile code relativity quickly

As for other Unix flavours, which are not Linux (we call distributions of Unix, flavours)

  • FreeBSD
  • NetBSD
  • OpenBSD
  • MINIX 3
  • Unix Plan 9
  • Sun Solaris 11 (now free)

Unless your USB stick has an extremely low capacity, just about any Linux distribution should fit on it. For example, you can install Ubuntu 15.10 to an 8 GB USB stick just fine. If you're just looking for a minimal install, there are plenty: Arch Linux, Puppy Linux, Absolute Linux, Trisquel Mini, Lubuntu... If you want really small, then there's always Damn Small Linux (though the last release was 8 years ago) or CorePlus/TinyCore.

Similar to my first point, you can install gcc on just about any Linux distribution, and the same should be true for OpenGL development libraries if needed.

Though this may not be a popular choice, you can compile C/C++ and OpenGL on Windows, so I'm not sure what the "need" for a Linux USB stick is here.

Lastly, this question really seems like it might be subjective.

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