Tiny Core Linux

Last updated
Tiny Core Linux
Tcl logo.png
Tiny Core Linux 7.1 screenshot.png
Tiny Core Linux 7.1
OS family Linux (Unix-like)
Working stateCurrent
Source model Open source
Initial releaseJanuary 5, 2009;14 years ago (2009-01-05)
Latest release 14.0 / April 12, 2023;1 day ago (2023-04-12) [1]
Available in English
Package manager appbrowser (GUI) / tce (CLI)
Platforms x86
Raspberry Pi
Kernel type Monolithic
Userland BusyBox
user interface
License GNU GPLv2
Official website tinycorelinux.net

Tiny Core Linux (TCL) is a minimal Linux kernel based operating system focusing on providing a base system using BusyBox and FLTK. It was developed by Robert Shingledecker, who was previously the lead developer of Damn Small Linux. [2] [3] The distribution is notable for its small size (11 to 16 MB) and minimalism; additional functions are provided by extensions. Tiny Core Linux is free and open-source software licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2. [4]



System requirements

Minimal configuration: Tiny Core needs at least 46 MB of RAM in order to run, and (micro) Core requires at least 28 MB of RAM. The minimum CPU is an i486DX. [7]

Recommended configuration: A Pentium II CPU and 128 MB of RAM are recommended for Tiny Core. [7]

Design philosophy

The developers describe TCL as "a nomadic ultra small graphical desktop operating system capable of booting from cdrom, pendrive, or frugally from a hard drive." [8] As of version 2.8.1, the core is designed to run primarily in RAM but with three distinct modes of operation:

Release history

VersionStabilityRelease date
1.0 [10] [2] Stable versionJanuary 5, 2009
2.0 [10] [11] June 7, 2009
3.0 [10] July 19, 2010
4.0 [10] [12] September 25, 2011
4.7.7 [10] May 10, 2013
5.0 [10] [13] September 14, 2013
5.0.1 [10] October 1, 2013
5.0.2 [10] October 18, 2013
5.1 [10] November 28, 2013
5.2 [10] January 14, 2014
5.3 [10] April 19, 2014
5.4 [10] September 10, 2014
6.0 [10] January 5, 2015
6.1 [10] March 7, 2015
6.2 [10] May 3, 2015
6.3 [10] May 30, 2015
6.4 [10] September 8, 2015
6.4.1 [10] November 4, 2015
7.0 [10] [14] February 23, 2016
7.1 [10] May 22, 2016
7.2 [10] July 4, 2016
8.0 [10] April 10, 2017
8.1 [10] September 3, 2017
8.2 [10] September 22, 2017
9.0 [10] February 26, 2018
10.0 [10] January 20, 2019
10.1 [10] June 11, 2019
11.0 [10] February 9, 2020
11.1 [10] April 1, 2020
12.0 [10] February 17, 2021
13.0 [10] January 31, 2022
13.1 [10] [1] Latest versionMay 8, 2022

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Damn Small Linux</span> Linux-based operating system

Damn Small Linux (DSL) is a discontinued computer operating system for the x86 family of personal computers. It is free and open-source software under the terms of the GNU GPL and other free and open source licenses. It was designed to run graphical user interface applications on older PC hardware, for example, machines with 486 and early Pentium microprocessors and very little random-access memory (RAM). DSL is a Live CD with a size of 50 megabytes (MB). What originally began as an experiment to see how much software could fit in 50 MB eventually became a full Linux distribution. It can be installed on storage media with small capacities, like bootable business cards, USB flash drives, various memory cards, and Zip drives.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Light-weight Linux distribution</span> Operating system with low resource requirements

A light-weight Linux distribution is one that uses lower memory and/or has less processor-speed requirements than a more "feature-rich" Linux distribution. The lower demands on hardware ideally result in a more responsive machine, and/or allow devices with fewer system resources to be used productively. The lower memory and/or processor-speed requirements are achieved by avoiding software bloat, i.e. by leaving out features that are perceived to have little or no practical use or advantage, or for which there is no or low demand.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">FLTK</span>

Fast Light Toolkit is a cross-platform widget library for graphical user interfaces (GUIs), developed by Bill Spitzak and others. Made to accommodate 3D graphics programming, it has an interface to OpenGL, but it is also suitable for general GUI programming.

Puppy Linux is an operating system and family of light-weight Linux distributions that focus on ease of use and minimal memory footprint. The entire system can be run from random-access memory (RAM) with current versions generally taking up about 600 MB (64-bit), 300 MB (32-bit), allowing the boot medium to be removed after the operating system has started. Applications such as AbiWord, Gnumeric and MPlayer are included, along with a choice of lightweight web browsers and a utility for downloading other packages. The distribution was originally developed by Barry Kauler and other members of the community, until Kauler retired in 2013. The tool Woof can build a Puppy Linux distribution from the binary packages of other Linux distributions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">VectorLinux</span> Linux distribution

VectorLinux, abbreviated VL, is a Linux distribution for the x86 platform based on the Slackware Linux distribution, originally developed by Canadian developers Robert S. Lange and Darell Stavem. Since version 7 the Standard Edition is also available for the x86-64 platform, known as VLocity64 7.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">TrueOS</span> Unix-like, desktop-oriented operating system

TrueOS is a discontinued Unix-like, server-oriented operating system built upon the most recent releases of FreeBSD-CURRENT.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Xubuntu</span> Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, utilizing the Xfce desktop environment

Xubuntu is a Canonical Ltd.–recognized, community-maintained derivative of the Ubuntu operating system. The name Xubuntu is a portmanteau of Xfce and Ubuntu, as it uses the Xfce desktop environment, instead of Ubuntu's customized GNOME desktop.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">SliTaz</span> Linux distribution

SliTaz GNU/Linux is a lightweight Linux distribution, community-based, suitable for use on older hardware and as a Live CD or Live USB. SliTaz stands for "Simple, Light, Incredible, Temporary Autonomous Zone" according to the boot screen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Feather Linux</span>

Feather Linux, created by Robert Sullivan, was a Knoppix-based operating system which fits in under 128 MB. It boots from either a CD or a USB flash drive, into a Fluxbox desktop environment. It has a wide range of desktop and rescue software, and can load entirely into RAM or be installed to a hard drive. Feather Linux contains GTK+ applications, such as AbiWord and Pidgin. Feather Linux has tried to include software that people would frequently be using on their desktop.

antiX Lightweight systemd free Linux distribution

antiX is a Linux distribution, originally based on MEPIS, which itself is based on the Debian stable distribution. antiX initially replaced the MEPIS KDE desktop environment with the Fluxbox and IceWM window managers, making it suitable for older, less powerful x86-based systems. Unlike Debian, antiX does not use the systemd init system. Instead, SysVinit is set as the default.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lubuntu</span> Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, utilizing the LXQt desktop environment

Lubuntu is a lightweight Linux distribution based on Ubuntu and uses the LXQt desktop environment in place of Ubuntu's GNOME desktop. Lubuntu was originally touted as being "lighter, less resource hungry and more energy-efficient", but now aims to be "a functional yet modular distribution focused on getting out of the way and letting users use their computer".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Salix OS</span> Linux distribution

Salix OS is a multi-purpose Linux distribution based on Slackware.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bodhi Linux</span> Linux distribution

Bodhi Linux is a light-weight Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that uses an Enlightenment DR17-based fork called Moksha. The philosophy for the distribution is to provide a minimal base system so that users can install the software they want. In turn, the distribution only includes software that is essential to most users, such as a file manager (PCManFM), a terminal emulator (Terminology), and a web browser. To install additional software, Bodhi Linux developers maintain a browser based app store that uses apturl to install programs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chakra (operating system)</span> Linux distribution

Chakra was a Linux distribution originally based on Arch Linux and focused on KDE software, intending to provide a KDE/Qt minimizing use of other widget toolkits where possible. It was well received by critics during its existence.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ArchBang</span> Linux distribution

ArchBang Linux is a simple lightweight rolling release Linux distribution based on a minimal Arch Linux operating system with the i3 window manager, but was previously using the Openbox windows manager. ArchBang is especially suitable for high performance on old or low-end hardware with limited resources. ArchBang's aim is to provide a simple out-of-the-box Arch-based Linux distribution with a pre-configured i3 desktop suite, adhering to Arch principles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antergos</span> Discontinued Linux distribution based on Arch Linux

Antergos is a discontinued Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. It includes the GNOME desktop environment by default but it could also employ the Cinnamon, MATE, KDE Plasma 5, Deepin, and Xfce desktops. It was first released in July 2012 as Cinnarch and by June 2013 it was ranked among the top 40 most popular distributions viewed at DistroWatch. The Galician word Antergos was chosen "to link the past with the present".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nanolinux</span> Lightweight Linux distribution

NanoLinux is an open source, free and very lightweight Linux distribution that requires only 14 MB of disk space including tiny versions of the most common desktop applications and several games. It is based on the Core version of the Tiny Core Linux distribution and uses Busybox, Nano-X instead of X.Org, FLTK 1.3.x as the default GUI toolkit, and SLWM. The included applications are mainly based on FLTK.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Artix Linux</span> Linux distribution

Artix Linux is a rolling-release distribution based on Arch Linux that uses inits such as OpenRC, runit, s6, or Dinit, as opposed to Arch Linux's init systemd.


  1. 1 2 "Tiny Core v13.1". 2022-05-08. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  2. 1 2 "Interview with Robert Shingledecker, creator of Tiny Core Linux". DistroWatch Weekly. March 23, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  3. Shingledecker, Christopher (July 4, 2020). "Prof. Dr. Christopher N. Shingledecker, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Benedictine College". shingledecker.org. Benedictine College. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  4. Shingledecker, Christopher. "Frequently Asked Questions". Tiny Core Linux.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Robert Shingledecker (2012). "Downloads - Tiny Core Linux" . Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  6. Juanito. "dCore-5.0.alpha1 released" . Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  7. 1 2 Robert Shingledecker. "Frequently Asked Questions: What are the minimum requirements?" . Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  8. Robert Shingledecker (December 1, 2008). "Welcome to The Core Project - Tiny Core Linux" . Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  9. Robert Shingledecker. "Tiny Core: Core Concepts" . Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Final Releases – Release Announcements and Change log from Tiny Core Linux Forum
  11. Smart, Christopher (2009-08-06). "Tiny Core: The Little Distro That Could | Linux Magazine". Linux Magazine. Archived from the original on 2019-02-02. Retrieved 2020-09-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  12. DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 440, 23 January 2012
  13. DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 527, 30 September 2013
  14. Tiny Core Linux 7.0 [LWN.net]