brent on 18 Mar 2008 19:31:07 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Linux distribution for virtuous machines

my recommendation would really have to be gentoo. a STAGGERING amount of software available, and while i'm sure i'll get flamed (or criticized at the least, which is fine) but gentoo really is a lot better than what its reputation would have you believe. as long as you use pre-compiled binaries (or cross-compile them on a faster machine), then you can reeeally trim a very featureful and rich install down to a very small size.

(pardon the lack of a GPG signature; using web GUI at the moment)

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 9:17 PM, JP Vossen <> wrote:
> Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 19:17:03 -0400
> From: "K.S. Bhaskar" <>
> Subject: [PLUG] Linux distribution for virtuous machines
> What is a good Linux distribution to use for building virtual
> machines?  I previously used DSL (, but I need a
> 2.6 kernel and a more contemporary selection of packages.  VM size is
> important - both Debian Stable and Ubuntu server VMs are bigger than
> DSL, but I don't need a graphical desktop - just character mode.  Any
> recommendations on distros I can use to get me a small character mode
> VM with a 2.6 kernel?

Have you tried doing a *minimal* Debian install?  Unlike Red Hat, Debian
understand what "minimal" means.  The way I do it is when you get to the
tool that selects packages (I forget which incarnation of which tool is
used in the installer), just exit it.  Very little is installed, not
even SSH!  From there I simply aptitude install whatever I need.  That
gives you all of the stability, and l33tness of Debian, along with it's,
errr, timeliness <ducks>.  IIRC a minimal Etch was < 300M.

But depending on what else you turn around and add, it might not fly.
I've been very happy building my servers that way though, both in VMs
and physical.  Failing that, Puppy Linux comes to mind though I must say
I know nothing about it other than the name and a vague idea that it's
kind of DSL-ish.

My $0.02,
JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|        jp{at}jpsdomain{dot}org
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Brent Saner

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