Can anyone suggest a CLI only light linux distro? I got a very old machine has 256Ram and 120Gb of HDD. I would like to turn this into a file server only so I can watch movies using my phone.

I don't need a GUI/Desktop Manager. I'll be installing only nginx, php-fpm

PS: I tried DSL, Pupply, TinyCore but I don't like them as they use 80% of my ram after install. I tried install centos 6 minimal but it fails to install because my RAM is too small.

Can you recommend something smaller than them that runs only on CLI. Ubuntu server needs big memory so I remove it on my list.

Note: The current OS of the machine is the MicroXP (used 30% of mem) which runs well but I like to switch for linux for better firewall security.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Michael Homer, G-Man, Jeff Schaller, jasonwryan, Timothy Martin Jan 11 '18 at 22:04

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 was looking at raspbian stretch but it seems like it's not design for PC. Any recommendation? – Edang Jeorlie Jan 11 '18 at 5:45

Try installing arch or linux from scratch. You can choose not to install any desktop environment or window manager and they have good learning curve as well.

  • I visited before the linux from scratch and I'm thinking of building one but I don't have a time now for that yet... – Edang Jeorlie Jan 11 '18 at 22:14
  • The go for arch, it will take less time. – MIB Jan 12 '18 at 5:13

Debian 8 will do it, haven't updated my play vms (which are all 256mb ram) to 9 yet or done a fresh install - been on a BSD kick.

To be honest, I'd also consider getting a Raspberry Pi for this task - will use LOTS less power, be quieter, have more resources, etc.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.