What if there was a Linux Distributable that has an FTP client, Firefox and two more web browsers, a word processor, a multi-platform IM client, a DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE and even a web server and a GUI interface and was about 50 MB in size? Surprised? Amazed? You should be, for this is Damn Small Linux which to my greatest pride was the first ever Linux distro I had ever used. Why? Because it was the first distro I knew that was so tiny that I could download it in minutes, and could also run live.
Damn Small Linux promised me, a Linux newbie at that time, what other distros with their monstrously obscure names such as Ubuntuand Fedoraand Red Hatcould not complete reversibility and NO formatting. Thus, I dove right in and burnt the distro to the CD. Once it launched I was pleasantly surprised to find one of the most usable and simple operating systems that is also very, very fast. Earlier today I stumbled upon DSL’s website and downloaded their latest version, bringing back with it the same usability, simplicity and good old memories of me smuggling in a mini-CD and installing it on one of the school’s computers, much to the chagrin of the teacher.
The main applications of DSL are aimed at being very light on RAM but very high in work efficiency. The window manager that is mostly used (FluxBox) is excellently usable and it makes no difference whether I am on an ancient computer (like my old laptop, for example) or a gaming rig (my desktop PC, for example) it is super-fast. The rest of the applications speak for themselves, and the inclusion of good ol’ Firefox is welcome (since I found working on Dillo to be slightly awkward).
Although I am not going into the details of this distro, because I urge you to try it out. With a 50 MB installation and minimum requirements being an Intel i486 (50 MHz) and 16 MB RAM, you really cannot go wrong with this one.