[CentOS] Re: Minimal CentOS

Scott Silva ssilva at sgvwater.com
Tue Oct 21 15:11:34 UTC 2008

on 10-21-2008 2:56 AM Puneet Goel spake the following:
> Hi! and a warm hello to the CentOS team.
> I have a work for which I need some solution from you. Actually we
> have some thin clients where we want to put a light weight Linux
> distro for users. As of now I have tested with Fedora and Ubuntu
> distros but the issue I am finding is they are not able to fit in my
> requirement of flash based hard disk consumption (~500 MB). although a
> distro named TinyME which is a custom version of PCLinuxOS seems to be
> very near and with a little customization by putting XFCE it was
> around 600MB. but it is not well known and supported.
> I have also tried CentOS 5 and 4 (with bare minimum installation) but
> it is coming little heavy, however later on I came across a link
> (http://www.owlriver.com/tips/tiny-centos/) providing a kickstart file
> for a bare minimum CentOS 4. It gave me CentOS 4 which ate around 400
> MB. However it was little near to my specs but without a usable
> Desktop (KDE and Gnome seems to be out of question because of heavy
> size). Now I need some suggestions from you to make it work on my
> system. I need a light version of CentOS (I am very much particular
> about OS identity and the final product will retain the parent OS
> identity and quality).  Can you provide me some kickstart file or
> something else which can help me in making a final thing.  I do not
> need eye candies/OpenOffice/Adobe flash/Games/Media Player etc. Just a
> usable desktop, a lightweight file browser and desktop with icons (may
> be XFE). Redundant locale, man, doc, /lib/modules etc. will be removed
> as well.
> Karan told me that he heard someone installing CentOS 5 in 500MB. Can
> anyone point me in right direction. any kickstart file or iso will be
> of great help.
> At my personal end I would prefer to put CentOS (As it is based on
> RHEL and has an excellent community around).  Looking forward to hear
> from you.
> Thanks and Regards,
> Puneet
I think it will be difficult to put a current CentOS on a 500MB flash. You
would have to customize it heavily, use busybox for many of the binaries, add
enough memory so you could minimize swap, and I doubt you could even get XFCE
on it. If you do get it to work, it will have to be done by hand, and then the
resulting image copied by dd. I think trying to kickstart it would be
extremely difficult. You might have to put as much of the system as you can
into a compressed filesystem like cramfs, leaving just enough writable to save
states and local settings.

You might need to settle for something designed for this space
If you could live with CentOS 4, you *might* just get it to fit.

There are some distros that have done most of the work for you like DSL
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/ or puppy http://www.puppylinux.com/ but they
are not CentOS. You have to decide how much work you are willing to do.

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