Minimal linux distro for underpowered machine

Jan Newmarch Jan.Newmarch at
Tue May 21 11:51:05 EST 2002


I just installed Redhat 7.2 on a 32M Pentium machine with 400M
disk.  Choose "custom build" and don't select many things. In
addition to the minimum, I added C development, emacs and Perl
and the lot came in at 350M. There was still a lot of bumph in 
this, device drivers, libraries, etc that I didn't need, but it 
wasn't worth cleaning them out.

I believe you can get the disk requirements down to 8M with some
embedded distributions.


On Tue, 21 May 2002 Ben.Westgarth at wrote:

> Hi all,
> I truly don't want to start a war here, but here goes...
> I am looking for a small linux distro which will run on an old dusty 486 dx4/100
> with 24MB ram and a 540MB hard drive (please don't laugh). I also need it to run
> X. Does anyone have any recommendations on distros which could pull this off? I
> had a quick look at Peanut Linux and it claims to be able to do so, but before I
> tie up the phone line for a couple of days I thought I'd quickly canvas the list
> for any other suggestions.
> Cheers,
> Ben Westgarth

A/Prof Jan Newmarch
School of Network Computing
Monash University, Frankston, Vic 3199 Australia
tel: +61 3 9904 42 49, fax: +61 3 9904 4124
jan.newmarch at

No-one calls a spade a spade if there's a chance of
calling it instead an HDK ("hole development kit")

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