Damn Small Linux (also known as DSL ) is a Debian/Linux distribution for the x86 architecture, originally in a bootable business card LiveCD format, it is now also capable of being installed to and run from the hard-disk, a Usb-key, a CompactFlash card, inside a Microsoft Windows or Linux host environment via Qemu or just about any other bootable media that can contain the required 50 MB.
Although the DSL project has maintained its 50 mb size limit, it still includes many essential desktop applications. Damn Small Linux was originally conceived and maintained by John Andrews, but has grown into a large community project with many contributors, most notably Robert Shingledecker for the creation of the MyDSL system, DSL Control Panel, and tons of other stuff.
Although based DSL originally on Model_K, a 22mb hack-down of Knoppix, DSL is now based on Knoppix proper, allowing much easier remastering and improvements.
What can fit in 50 megabytes?
Now in its 2.0 iteration (2.0.0), Damn Small Linux has a complete desktop, including:
- DSL Media Player, which is a Flua wrapper for mpg123, ogg ogg123, Enjoympeg and XMMS
- FTP client and server (AxYFTP)
Mozilla Firefox web browser, Dillo web browser, Links-hacked web browser
- Sylpheed email, spellcheck (US English)
- Monkey web server
- SSH/SCP server and client
- DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE (ADSL)
- Siag Office (Pathetic Writer word processor and the Siag spreadsheet)
- Some editors ("Minimum Profit", Vim, Nano and Beaver)
- Graphics editing and viewing (Xpaint, and xZGV)
- emelFM (File manager)
- Naim (AIM, ICQ, IRC)
Generic and GhostScript printer support
- System monitoring apps, a host of command line tools, USB support, and PCMCIA support
DSL has built-in scripts for the download and installation of Debian's apt, Synaptic
Additionally, Damn Small Linux provides on-demand download for large programs such as OpenOffice.org and the gcc as well as smaller apps like XMMS by means of the MyDSL system, which allows users the convenience of 1 click download and installation of apps (although most DSL users refer to all things MyDSL as extensions). As of December 7, 2004, the MyDSL servers are hosting over 200 apps, plugins, and other extensions available for installation.
DSL also includes :
- DSL Panel::The DSL Panel is an important tool for Damn Small Linux in that many of the common tasks that you may want to use are incorporated into the DSL Panel. This panel features a series of buttons that act as scripts to complete a task or work as wizards to walk you through the tasks that you would like to complete. Version 2 has added several new ones.
- Floppy Tool GUI::The Damn Small Linux floppy tool GUI provides a way to format and apply an image to floppy disks. This is an important feature as many people are using Damn Small Linux on older systems that need to boot off a floppy.
- DSL Slit::The DSL slit provides visual information on network, CPU, and memory usage, mounted drives, desktops and sound. This feature provides a lot of information in a glance.
It uses Fluxbox window manager.
The MyDSL System, or Stuffing the Penguin
The MyDSL extensions and servers are handled and maintained by the enigmatic Ke4nt and hosted by many kind organizations, such as Ibiblio and Belgium's Belnet. There are 2 areas of the MyDSL servers - regular and testing. The "regular" area contains extensions that have been proven stable enough for everyday use and is broken down into different areas such as "Apps", "Net", "system", and "uci" (Universal Compressed ISO - extensions in .uci format mount as a separate filesystem to save RAM space). The Testing Area is for newly-submitted extensions that theoretically work "as advertised", but may have any number of bugs.
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org - Damn Small Linux website
See also: LiveCD