I'm building a small host at home that will host one tiny interactive website to about 10 people. I am looking for the most efficient GNU/Linux OS to do this on.

The OS has to be small, both in terms of getting it downloaded and in terms of the space it takes up on the hard-drive (or more likely the flash-drive). It doesn't need to have a GUI and it only needs programs essential to hosting and file-management: I need to be able to install, move, rename and delete files in the directory; I need to be able to test connections and manage the networks this machine is connected to, not much else.

I will be installing Apache Webserver and Oracle MySQL to manage and host the site. I will edit and build the site on a different machine.

My default choice so far is openSUSE Leap Gnome, but it feels like it still has features I don't need and won't use. I've been looking around but I can't find anything like this - has anyone come across something like it?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Stephen Harris, GAD3R, Serge, roaima, lgeorget Sep 15 '16 at 10:17

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I use Ubuntu 14 server that runs Apache ,mysql, and php5 on a 1.3Ghz single core pc. I have 20 users and have not had any problems of it not keeping up. – jc__ Sep 14 '16 at 17:39
  • Pretty much any bare bones distro with mysql/apache will consume under 4GB, which is more than enough to fit on a flash drive. You didn't specify what you consider small in terms of HDD space / RAM – cutrightjm Sep 14 '16 at 18:59
  • I didn't want to set a limit - I wanted to see what sizes came up. – einScotchFitch Sep 15 '16 at 17:19

I would consider Debian from its "netinst" network minimal installation. No GUI out of the box; in fact very little out of the box - you add the packages you want.

  • Installed and happily plodding forward :) Thank you – einScotchFitch Nov 4 '16 at 8:09

I would highly suggest creating a Linux from Scratch image with the software you require. It will likely take more time than you would like to build initially. But once it is built, you can back it up and have your own, readymade linux distro available. This will give you a very lightweight solution.

On the other hand, I believe there is a openSUSE minimal image you could use. You will just need to know how to install mysql and Apache on it.

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