Translation(s): none

(!) ?Discussion

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:

Additionally, Damn Small Linux provides on-demand download for large programs such as 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 :

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.

See also: LiveCD