Absolute Linux 14.2.2

A lightweight and open source modification of the Slackware Linux operating system

Absolute Linux is an open-source and completely free operating system derived from the well-known Slackware Linux distribution, designed from the ground up to be low on resources, easy to install and full featured, as it includes a great selection of software and out-of-the-box support for multimedia playback.

The OS can only be installed

It is distributed as a single, installable-only ISO image of approximately 700MB in size, which will support both 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (x86_64) hardware platforms. The user must write the ISO image to either a CD disc or a USB thumb drive in order to boot it from the BIOS of a computer.

You can easily add extra kernel parameters to the boot prompt

The boot prompt is text-based and very minimal. It mostly includes instructions on how to add extra kernel parameters, but basically the user should just press the Enter key on his or her keyboard in order to start the installation.

It’s easy to install, despite the fact that it uses a text-mode installer

Anyone who attempted to install Slackware Linux knows that it features a text-mode installer that it not so newbie-friendly. Pretty much the same installer is used on Absolute Linux, but things were made a little bit more user-friendly.

The installer script features an AUTOSETUP option that, once selected, will automatically partition the disk and install the operating system with few options. However, you must select a target drive, a keyboard layout, the installation source, and configure various basic settings.

Traditional graphical desktop environment powered by Xfce

Xfce is used as the default and only graphical desktop environment inside Absolute Linux. It features a single-panel layout and a great selection of open source applications designed from the ground up to keep things lightweight.

We recommend this Linux distribution to people who want to transform a low-end machine or a computer with old and semi-old hardware components into a rock-solid and stable workstation.


Alpine Linux 3.4.6

An Open Source, modular, small, simple, secure, and embedded Linux distribution.

Alpine Linux is an open source Linux-based operating system that provides users with a server-oriented secure computing environment. It is lightweight, small and simple Linux distribution built on top of the Busybox and musl software packages.

Distributed in multiple editions

The project is distributed in multiple editions, each one with its own purpose and abilities. The main edition is called Alpine Linux Standard, it includes some of the most commonly used packages and it is geared towards servers and routers that run directly from RAM (system memory). The second edition is called Alpine Linux Mini and it’s actually a minimal version of Alpine Linux Standard. It comes with only some basic packages and can be to install the operating system from network.

The third edition is called Alpine Linux VServer and includes only Vserver host packages. Network professionals can use this Alpine flavor to deploy VServer hosts that run directly from RAM. It can also be installed to a local disk drive. Lastly, the Alpine Linux Xen edition provides users with a Xen Dom0 Live CD and Xen packages. It is supported only on 64-bit hardware platforms.

Supports 32-bit and 64-bit architectures

As mentioned, the project provides users with multiple editions distributed as Live CD ISO images and supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. Alpine Linux’s network configuration is similar to Debian’s, but those of you who used a BusyBox-based operating system before should have no problem working with this distro.

The Alpine Linux developers have contributed a number of enhancements to BusyBox, in order to make the operating system run like any other. Keep in mind, though, that it doesn’t have a graphical environment.

Bottom line

Whether you use it to deploy your own server or router, VServer hosts and Xen-powered domain zero environments, Alpine is always here to help you. It can also be used to deploy a feature-rich ownCloud server.


IPFire 2.19 Core 107 – 3.0 Alpha 1

A Linux-based operating system designed from the ground up to act as a dedicated firewall

IPFire is an open source operating system that has been designed from the ground up to act as a dedicated, secure and flexible firewall system based on some of the best Linux technologies, such as iptables, OpenSSL and OpenSSH.

Distributed as a 32-bit ISO image

This tiny OS can be downloaded via Softpedia or from its official website (see link above) as a single, installable only CD ISO image of approximately 150MB in size, tagged only for the 32-bit (i586) instruction set architecture. While the distro will boot and install on 64-bit hardware platforms, it will only accept 32-bit applications.

Boot options

The beautifully designed and well organized boot menu will allow you to directly and permanently install the distribution on a local drive. In addition, you’ll be able to install the OS in text mode, perform an unattended installation, run a memory diagnostic test with the Memtest86+ utility, as well as to view detailed hardware information with the Hardware Detection Tool (HDT).

Very easy-to-use text-mode installation program

The entire installation process is text-based and will require the user to only select a language (supported languages include English, Turkish, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Spanish, French and German), accept the license, and partition the disk (supported filesystems include EXT2, EXT3, EXT4 and ReiserFS).

After installation, it is a must to select a keyboard layout and timezone, enter the machine’s hostname and domain name, enter a password for the root (system administrator) and admin accounts, as well as to configure the network (includes DNS, Gateway, IP Address, Drivers and Network Card settings).

Bottom line

Summing up, IPFire is one of the world’s best open source firewall distributions of Linux, engineered to deliver state-of-the-art firewall, VPN gateway and proxy server components. Its design is modular and flexible, which means that its functionality can be extended through plugins.


Rockstor 3.8-15

A free, Open Source, powerful and smart NAS (Network-attached storage) solution.

Rockstor is an open source distribution of Linux based off of Fedora and designed from the ground up to provide users with a powerful, smart, stable, free and reliable Network-attached storage (NAS) solution. It features an easy-to-use and intuitive web-based interface, easy setup and management, enterprise features for cloud builders and SMBs (Small and medium businesses), as well as commercial support.

Features at a glance

Key features include support for LDAP, NIS and ActiveDirectory services, server-side NFS (Network File System) analytics, online snapshot and share management, online disk management, online pool management, a user-friendly web interface, as well as a user-friendly command-line interface (CLI).

Distributed as an installable-only ISO image

The Rockstor software appliance is actually distributed as a Linux kernel-based operating system, using an installable-only ISO image that fits perfectly on a CD disc or a USB thumb drive of 1GB or higher capacity. It is fully bootable on computers supporting either of the 64-bit and 32-bit instruction set architectures.

Boot menu à la Fedora Linux

Being derived from Fedora, the Rockstor Linux distribution features a Live CD boot menu that is very similar with the one of the upstream operating system, except for the fact that it allows the user to start the installation directly with or without testing the bootable medium for defects (only if using a CD disc). In the Troubleshooting section you will find options for rescuing a broken system, perform a system memory diagnostic test, as well as to boot from the local drive.

Recommended hardware requirements

The Rockstor developers recommend you to install their GNU/Linux operating system on a computer that comes with a 64-bit Intel or AMD processor, at least 2GB of RAM, at least 8GB free disk space, one or more additional disk drives, 1Gbps Ethernet interface with Internet access, as well as a CD/DVD-ROM drive or USB port for the installation.

Installing Rockstor Linux

The installation process is very similar with the one of the Fedora Linux distribution, as Rockstor uses the same graphical installer script, which requires them to only set the timezone, choose a target drive, enter a password for the root (system administrator) account, as well as to set up users and passwords.


GoboLinux 015 – 016 Beta

A free Linux operating that is quite different from other similar operating systems

GoboLinux is an open source, freely distributed and modular Linux-based operating system that works a little bit different than other similar products, as it organizes its packages in a new, logical way. It’s an independent project designed from the ground up to provide users with a Linux-based operating system targeted at people who prefer a non-UNIX-like file system layout for their machines.

Logically groups programs and files in directories

The system logically groups programs and files in directories (e.g. /System/Links/Executable) that contain only symbolic links to the actual executable files. For example, instead of having packages installed on different parts of the system, they will receive their own directory tree. This way, the user will always be able to see what exactly has been installed on the operating system, not to mention that the programs will be kept separated inside the distribution, so you can see at all times which files belong to which application.

Distributed as a hybrid Live DVD

It is distributed as a hybrid Live DVD ISO image that can be written to a blank DVD disc using any CD/DVD burning software, or deployed to a USB flash drive using the UNetbootin application. There’s only a single option on the boot menu of the DVD image, to run or install the operating system without testing it. First of all, you will be asked to choose a language (English, Brazilian Portuguese, Hungarian, Spanish and German), as well as to select a keyboard layout.

Powered by KDE

After that, you will be dropped to a shell prompt, where you need to type the startx command in order to enter the graphical environment powered by KDE and comprised of a single taskbar located at the bottom edge of the screen. Default applications include the Konqueror web browser, GIMP image editor, Gwenview image viewer, VLC Media Player, Okular document viewer, KMix sound mixer, GParted disk partitioning utility, Htop process viewer, Dolphin file manager, Konsole terminal emulator, Kate text editor, and Ark archive manager.


Linux Kernel 4.8.7 – 4.9 RC4

What you are about to download is the core of all the Linux operating systems in the world

Linux kernel is the essential part of any Linux operating system. It is responsible for resource allocation, low-level hardware interfaces, security, simple communications, basic file system management, and more. Written from scratch by Linus Torvalds (with help from various developers), Linux is a clone of the UNIX operating system. It is geared towards POSIX and Single UNIX Specification compliances.

Includes powerful features

Linux provides users with powerful features, such as true multitasking, multistack networking, shared copy-on-write executables, shared libraries, demand loading, virtual memory, and proper memory management.

Initially designed only for 386/486-based computers, now Linux supports a wide range of architectures, including 64-bit (IA64, AMD64), ARM, ARM64, DEC Alpha, MIPS, SUN Sparc, PowerPC, as well as Amiga and Atari machines.

The most essential component of a Linux-based OS

The most essential component of a Linux-based operating system is the Linux kernel. Without it, the entire system (libraries, applications, etc.) is useless. When creating a Linux distribution, it is also very important to know how to correctly optimize the Linux kernel package, in order to make it support certain hardware components or recognize a specific device.

Distributed in multiple stable branches

Once should not be confused by the many stable branches of the Linux kernel, as they are available for different purposes. For example, there are several LTS (Long Term Support) branches that can be used to deploy very stable Linux operating systems.

These days, major Linux distribution developers provide users with optimized kernel packages for different purposes. However, advanced users can configure, compile and install their own kernels directly from the source packages at any point (all you need is a supported GCC compiler).

The heart of a Linux distribution

The Linux kernel is the heart of a Linux distribution. If you are a long time Linux user, you may have stumbled across upgrades to the default Linux kernel packages, which lead to better support for certain hardware components or peripherals.


SparkyLinux 4.4 – 4.5-dev20161107

A free and Open Source Linux operating system based on the Debian GNU/Linux distro

SparkyLinux Base is an open source distribution of Linux that provides users with a minimalistic computing environment built around the Openbox window manager and based on the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.

Distributed as a 64-bit Live CD

It is based on the latest stable branch of Debian and offers a fast and simple Linux distribution that can be used on low-end computers. It is distributed as a single Live CD ISO image that supports only the 64-bit hardware platforms.

Boot options

The distro supports most wireless and mobile network cards, can be easily installed to a disk drive, and provides built-in support for the English and Polish languages. The boot medium can be used to run a memory test, start the currently installed OS, or run SparkyLinux in failsafe or text modes (useful only if the first option doesn’t work for you).

Uses the Openbox window manager

The live session loads pretty fast and comprises a desktop widget that monitors your CPU, RAM, disk usage and network traffic, and a taskbar located at the bottom edge of the screen, from where users can interact with active applications or the functions from the system tray area.

While the main menu can be accessed only with a right mouse click on the desktop, it is the only way for you to access the installed apps. In addition, you can use it to quickly launch the default web browser, file manager, music player, IRC client and terminal emulator, as well as to run a specific command.

Default applications

Default applications include the Netsurf web browser, LeafPad text editor, PCManFM and Midnight Commander file managers, Mutt email client, XChat IRC client, LXMusic music player, LXTerminal terminal emulator, and Synaptic Package Manager.

Bottom line

All in all, SparkyLinux Base is the most minimalistic edition of the SparkyLinux operating system, exclusively crafted to be deployed on old and low-end computers.


Bodhi 4.0.0

A Linux Distribution that focuses on magnificence and minimalism, powered by Ubuntu Linux

Bodhi is an open supply Linux distribution constructed across the Enlightenment desktop setting and based mostly on the world’s hottest free working system, Ubuntu Linux. It is a customizable and minimalistic distribution that mixes the fantastic thing about the Enlightenment desktop with an important assortment of purposes and bundle administration utilities.

Distributed as 32-bit and 64-bit Live CDs

The system is distributed as Live CD ISO photos that can be utilized to deploy the computing setting on any 64-bit and 32-bit machine. The boot medium is designed to mechanically begin the dwell setting in ten seconds. However, customers can use it to straight set up the distribution, boot the dwell setting in secure graphics mode, boot the working system that’s at present put in on the primary disk, and take a look at the system reminiscence for errors.

Enlightenment is the default desktop setting

Bodhi is well-known for offering customers with the most recent builds of the light-weight and stylish Enlightenment desktop setting. The desktop is comprised solely of a dock, which is positioned on the higher a part of the display. The dock can be utilized to shortly swap between digital workspaces, change the system locale, entry the community connections, modify the amount, replace the system, or entry the purposes and settings.

The foremost menu will be accessed utilizing the left mouse click on on the desktop. It can be utilized to open pre-installed purposes, navigate the file system, run a sure command, set the digital desktops, handle shelfs, change desktop widgets, wallpapers and themes.

Default purposes

Default purposes embrace solely the Midori net browser, Leafpad textual content editor, Synaptic Package Manager, and EConnMan connection supervisor. There are additionally numerous Enlightenment purposes, such because the highly effective and complicated Terminology terminal emulator, Enlightenment file supervisor, eDeb bundle installer, eCcess system instrument, eSudo and a screenshot utility.

Bottom line

We suggest this working system to all Ubuntu followers who’re searching for a secure computing setting powered by Enlightenment. It runs nicely on low-end machines and outdated .


ALT Linux GNOME 20161026

A free edition of ATL Linux that uses the accessible and modern GNOME desktop environment

ALT Linux GNOME is a freely distributed and open source Linux-based operating system that uses the GNOME desktop environment and it’s based on Mandriva Linux.

ALT Linux is an independent Russian Linux distribution that provides support for multiple languages, it is very fast, clean of unneeded apps, and distributed into multiple editions with various open source desktop environments like Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, Razor-qt, IceWM and WindowMaker.

Available for download as 32-bit/64-bit Live CDs

This edition comes with two Live CD ISO images, one for each of the supported hardware platforms (32-bit and 64-bit), designed to run directly from a USB flash drive or CD disc.

Boot options, includes persistent mode

If you choose to deploy ALT Linux GNOME on a USB stick, it will provide you with a persistent mode, which can be used your live session (save system configuration and downloaded files) directly on the USB thumb drive and reuse it whenever you want.

The boot menu is exactly the same as the ones used on other ALT Linux flavors, enabling users to boot an existing operating system or run a memory test.

GNOME Shell and GNOME Classic sessions are offered

The GNOME desktop environment defaults to the Fallback (Classic) session and provides users with two panels. While the bottom one can be used to manage running apps and switch virtual workspaces, the top panel is used for accessing the main menu and launch applications.

Default applications

Default applications include the Epiphany and Mozilla Firefox web browsers, Empathy instant messenger, Eye of GNOME image viewer, Evince document viewer, Rhythmbox music player, Totem video player, and Evolution email/groupware client.

The Brasero CD/DVD burning software, Midnight Commander file manager, Cheese webcam viewer, and Synaptic Package Manager are also installed, along with all the default GNOME games.

Bottom line

Overall, we recommend this edition of the ALT Linux operating system for low-end machine and for nostalgics who still want to use a traditional desktop environment in the 21st century.


Bodhi 3.2.1 – 4.0.0 Beta 3

A Linux Distribution that focuses on beauty and minimalism, powered by Ubuntu Linux

Bodhi is an open source Linux distribution built around the Enlightenment desktop environment and based on the world’s most popular free operating system, Ubuntu Linux. It is a customizable and minimalistic distribution that combines the beauty of the Enlightenment desktop with a great collection of applications and package management utilities.

Distributed as 32-bit and 64-bit Live CDs

The system is distributed as Live CD ISO images that can be used to deploy the computing environment on any 64-bit and 32-bit machine. The boot medium is designed to automatically start the live environment in ten seconds. However, users can use it to directly install the distribution, boot the live environment in safe graphics mode, boot the operating system that is currently installed on the first disk, and test the system memory for errors.

Enlightenment is the default desktop environment

Bodhi is well known for providing users with the latest builds of the lightweight and elegant Enlightenment desktop environment. The desktop is comprised only of a dock, which is placed on the upper part of the screen. The dock can be used to quickly switch between virtual workspaces, change the system locale, access the network connections, modify the volume, update the system, or access the applications and settings.

The main menu can be accessed using the left mouse click on the desktop. It can be used to open pre-installed applications, navigate the file system, run a certain command, set the virtual desktops, manage shelfs, change desktop widgets, wallpapers and themes.

Default applications

Default applications include only the Midori web browser, Leafpad text editor, Synaptic Package Manager, and EConnMan connection manager. There are also various Enlightenment applications, such as the powerful and complex Terminology terminal emulator, Enlightenment file manager, eDeb package installer, eCcess system tool, eSudo and a screenshot utility.

Bottom line

We recommend this operating system to all Ubuntu fans who are looking for a stable computing environment powered by Enlightenment. It runs well on low-end machines and old hardware.