[Gllug] Picking a linux distro

Richard Jones rich at annexia.org
Sun Jun 20 11:13:48 UTC 2010

On Sat, Jun 19, 2010 at 08:35:35PM +0100, Adrian McMenamin wrote:
> I have an old laptop with 256 MB memory and a pentium III that I am
> tinking of using for some kernel development (testing some ideas on
> handling low memory) - I'd like a disto that makes it easy to use a
> custom 2.6 kernel and will not fall over wit that level of memory unless
> I want it to.
> Any recommendations?

Not really Fedora, unfortunately.  This is a battle I've been having,
to get rid of as much of the bloat / Python crap so that Fedora can be
used in these low memory situations.

Why does it matter when every machine ships with GBs of RAM as
standard?  For virtualization.  It's really useful to be able to fire
up a lot of small VMs, and every extra MB required by a VM is
multiplied by the number of VMs.

For small memory situations, I'd recommend Debian (not Ubuntu).  Use
debootstrap to install a very minimal Debian root filesystem on the
target hard disk (ie. bootstrapping from another machine).  I recently
installed Debian this way on a CF card for my Alix[1] (bootstrapped
from a Fedora host ironically) and it's very minimal.


[1] http://rwmj.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/alix-2d3-part-2/

Richard Jones
Red Hat
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