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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tiny Core Linux, Micro Core Linux, 12MB Linux GUI Desktop, Live, Frugal, Extendable

I have tired out Tiny Core Linux on Live CD, USB and in Virtual Box. It is a Base Linux Distro that you can use to build your own Linux system. The nice thing about Tiny Core, is... that it is very Tiny!;) You can use Tiny Core to make those old Door Stop - Boat Anchor PC's into Something Useful again. If you have ever tried out DSL Linux. Sadly DSL Linux is no longer being updated, from what I can tell on their Web Site. But, this is basically what the Tiny Core system looks like (DSL). Tiny Core is an Active Distro. So, you will be getting the all important Updates... I'm going to install Tiny Core on an old P1, 166MHz, System with 64mb of Ram. I use to run DSL on it. But, I did the Frugal Install. Which, basically amounts to the same thing as running from a Live CD or USB Stick. And I kept running into a Brick wall, when trying to add Apps, running out of Space. It has a set size and I never figured out how to change that. I tried the Regular HD install in DSL. But, grub didn't install right and the system wouldn't Boot. I tried Super Grub Disk, but it couldn't fix it. So, that got me to thinking about Tiny Core. I have known about it for several years. But, just didn't want to spend the time on an Old System, installing all of the Apps that I would want on it (till now). I notice that the default Installation Instructions for Tiny Core, is a Frugal Install too. So, I'm going to see if I can do a regular install and be able to use all of my 1.8GB HD this time. Or else I'm going back to DSL...


Intro to The Core Project - Tiny Core Linux

The Core Project is a highly modular based system with community build extensions.

It starts with a recent Linux kernel, vmlinuz 3.03, and a 5MB core.gz. MicroCore 8MB is simply the kernel + core.gz - this is the foundation for user created desktops, servers, and or appliances. TinyCore is simply the kernel + core.gz + Xvesa.tcz|Xorg.tcz + Xprogs +fltk-1.10.tcz + (user's choice of Window Manager) + wbar.tcz

TinyCore becomes simply an example of what the Core Project can produce, an 12MB FLTK/FLWM desktop.

CorePlus ofers a simple way to get started using the Core philosophy with its included community packaged extensions enabling easy embedded frugal or pendrive installation of the user's choice of supported desktop, while maintaining the Core principal of mounted extensions with full package management.

It is not a complete desktop nor is all hardware completely supported. It represents only the core needed to boot into a very minimal X desktop typically with wired internet access.

The user has complete control over which applications and/or additional hardware to have supported, be it for a desktop, a netbook, an appliance, or server, selectable by the user by installing additional applications from online repositories, or easily compiling most anything you desire using tools provided.

The latest version: 4.5.4



Quick & Easy Overview

1. Requirements

2. Introduction

3. Cloud Mode

4. USB Stick Mode

5. USB Stick Boot Mode

6. Installing Applications

7. I'm Having Problems

8. I Need More Help

1. Minimum System Requirements

CD Drive
Wired Internet Connection
TinyCore CD


USB Port
USB Memory Stick, also known as a USB Pen Drive with a known filename on it; this will help you to identify your stick.

2. Introduction

TinyCore is an open system that starts you off with a basic desktop and lets you choose which applications you want to install.

In fact, you can even install applications to a USB stick, that way you can take the CD and USB stick with you, use it in another computer, and still have the same working enviroment.

Applications you may be interested in include web browsers, spreadsheets, video players, and audio editors amongst many others available.

Here are the simplest ways that TinyCore can be run depending on your needs. You should read the following brief paragraphs to determine which one is right for you.

These are just the basics to get you up and running. There are more advanced techniques available in the forums and on the TinyCore Wiki pages.

3. Cloud Mode

Cloud mode is the easiest way to start. Insert the CD and turn on your computer. When you see the TinyCore banner, simply hit the enter key.

After displaying a few messages the desktop will appear. At this point you are free to remove the CD if you wish. Applications installed in this mode will always be put in memory, never on your disk.

This is a good mode to use if you just want to try out applications to see if you like them or to simply surf the web. You will have to reload your applications each time you reset the computer.

4. USB Stick Mode

This is for people who wish to save their applications and prefer NOT to install them on their hard drive, or wish to make them portable.

Plug in a USB memory stick, insert the CD, and turn on the computer. When you see the banner type, "tinycore waitusb=10" without the quotes and hit the enter key.

When the desktop appears you will see the window bar on the bottom of the screen. Single click on the icon that looks like a file cabinet; that will open the file manager program.

In the left pane you will see the directory tree. Look for the directory called "mnt/" and if it is not already expanded, click on the + sign just left of it. This will show you the drives connected to your computer.

Your memory stick should be listed as "sda1". Click on sda1 and make sure the the known filename appears in the panel to the right. If it doesn't, then try the other drives listed under "/mnt" (but not fd0) until your filename appears.

In the left panel right click on the drive that your stick is listed as and select "Create directory" from the pop up menu; a box will pop up prompting you for a directory name. Type in "tce/" and hit the enter key. You have just created the directory where TinyCore will save any applications, desktop settings, and files you create. The next time you start your computer TinyCore will automatically find this directory and all your applications will be available to run.

When you want to shut down, click on the icon at the left end in the window bar at the bottom of the screen, and a little window will pop up. Under "Backup Options" it should say "Backup" and under that it should list your memory stick as "sda1/tce". Click on "OK" and any new files will be saved. Never just hit the power switch.

5. USB Stick Boot Mode

If your computer is capable of booting off of a USB memory stick you can transfer TinyCore to the stick, allowing you to run without the CD.


Plug in a USB memory stick, insert the CD, and turn on the computer. When you see the banner, type, "tinycore waitusb=10" without the quotes and hit the enter key.

When the desktop appears, you will see the window bar on the bottom of the screen. Single click on the icon that has a screwdriver displayed in it. When the Control Panel pops up, click the HD/USB Install button. When the install window pops up, follow the directions in that window.


6. Installing Applications

Click on the desktop. When the menu pops up go to 'System Tools" and click on "AppBrowser".

When the AppBrowser pops up, look to the left of the "Go" button and make sure the dropdown box is set to "OnDemand". Look to the right of the "Go" button and where it says "TCE" make sure it points to your USB memory stick, usually "/mnt/sda1/tce/optional".

If your memory stick is not "sda1" then edit it with the correct location and click the Set button. Now click on the "Connect" button, select an application, click "Go", and your application will be installed.

Be sure to read the text under the "Info" tab; it may contain additional instructions to complete the install.

7. I'm Having Problems

My Applications Are No Longer Available When I Restart The Computer.

You may have a slow USB device. Reboot and try "tinycore waitusb=20".

You installed them OnDemand instead of OnBoot.

Click on the desktop and from the popup menu go to OnDemand and click on your application, if it still does not start, click on the desktop again and select Applications from the popup menu and click on your application.

How Do I Change An Application Between OnDemand And OnBoot?

Click on the desktop and from the popup menu go to SystemTools and select ControlPanel. When the control panel pops up, select AppsAudit.

To change an application from OnDemand to OnBoot, click OnDemand and then Maintenance. From the right panel click the applications you wish to change. Click OnDemand and Exit OnDemand. Now click OnBoot and then Maintenance. From the left panel click the applications you want OnBoot.

When you are done click OnBoot and then Exit OnBoot. Your changes will take effect the next time you reboot.

8. I Need More Help

Check out the FAQ page; there is plenty of useful information listed there. Also check out the Wiki Getting Started page. If you need more help you should first try searching the forums. There is a good chance that somebody else has had the same problem and a solution was found.

You can also sign up for the forum. Just pick a user name, a password, supply your E-mail address, and you're in! Except for a "Wellcome to TC" message, you will not receive any E-mails you did not request. Be sure to state the nature of the problem and how you arrived at that point. Please also include a brief discription of your hardware.

Rich, 9 February 2011.

Go there...

Frugal Install Tiny Core Linux

0. Introduction
1. Start the installation
2. Browse to the install files
3. Formatting
4. Bootcodes
5. CorePlus installation options
6. Tiny Core installation options
7. Install
8. Testing


Frequently Asked Questions

Where's the Start Button?
Where is the taskbar?
Where is the pager?
How do I use system menu?
How to Cut and Paste?
How do I add/load/install extensions?
Extensions disappear after booting. How do I keep my extensions?
How do I update my extensions?
How do I delete an extension?
How do I increase the number of loop devices to support more .tcz extensions?
How to use startup scripts?
What are the minimum requirements?
What Bootcodes does Tiny Core Support?
Can TC be contained in a single directory?
How to use pendrives and other removable devices with Tiny Core?
What is the boot architecture?
How to setup and use framebuffer?
How do I make aterm default to transparency mode?
How do I mount windows shares?
How to set timezone?
How to Clean Up Wbar?
Help X does not start.
My keyboard is not US. How to add a keymap?
Not all keys work in browser or openoffice?
How to resolve 'Failed to load firmware' error?
How to setup a proxy with Tiny Core?
How do I start X apps on boot?
How to get flash working?
How to use/share Virtual Disks (Qemu) ?
Administrator / Superuser / Root
GNU/Linux Compatibility


Tiny Core Linux
DonsDeals: Tiny Core Linux 3.4 arrives - The H Open Source: News and Features
Tiny Core Linux Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Downloads Tiny Core Linux
Screen Shots - Tiny Core Linux
Tiny Core Linux Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Tiny Core Linux, Micro Core Linux, 12MB Linux GUI Desktop, Live, Frugal, Extendable
Tiny Core Linux Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Tiny Core Linux Installation
7. I'm Having Problems
tinycore linux - Google Search
Tiny Core Linux Installation
Downloads Tiny Core Linux
Quick & Easy Overview - Tiny Core Linux

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