Tiny Core Linux

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Tiny Core Linux
Logo of TCL
Tiny Core Linux Desktop.png
Tiny Core Linux 5.x
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial releaseJanuary 5, 2009; 10 years ago (2009-01-05)
Latest release10.1 / January 20, 2019; 5 months ago (2019-01-20)
Available inEnglish
Package managerappbrowser (GUI) / tce (CLI)
Raspberry Pi
Kernel typeMonolithic
Default user interfaceFLWM
LicenseGNU GPLv2[1]
Official websitetinycorelinux.net

Tiny Core Linux (TCL) is a minimal Linux operating system focusing on providing a base system using BusyBox and FLTK, developed by Robert Shingledecker.[2] 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 and is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2.

Types of "Cores"[edit]

"Tiny Core" (16 MB) is the recommended option for new users who have a wired network connection. It includes the base Core system and a dynamic FLTK/FLWM graphical user interface.[3]

"Core" (11 MB) (also known as "Micro Core Linux") is a smaller variant of Tiny Core without a graphical desktop, though additional extensions can be added to create a system with a graphical desktop environment.[3]

"dCore" (12 MB) is a core made from Debian or Ubuntu compatible files that uses import and the SCE package format,[4] a self-contained package format for the Tiny Core distribution since 5.x series.

"CorePure64" is a notable port of "Core" to the x86_64 architecture.

"Core Plus" (106 MB) is "an installation image and not the distribution".[3] It is composed of Tiny Core with additional functionality, most notably wireless support and non-US keyboard support.[3]

"piCore" is the Raspberry Pi port of "Core."

System requirements[edit]

Minimal configuration: Tiny Core needs at least 46 MB of RAM in order to run, and Core requires at least 28 MB of RAM. The minimum CPU is an i486DX.[5]

Recommended configuration: A Pentium 2 CPU and 64 MB of RAM are recommended for Tiny Core.[5]

Design philosophy[edit]

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."[6] As of version 2.8.1, the core is designed to run primarily in RAM but with three distinct modes of operation:

  • "Cloud" or Internet mode — A "testdrive" mode using a built-in appbrowser GUI to explore extensions from an online application extension repository loaded into RAM only for the current session.
  • TCE/Install — A mode for Tiny Core Extensions downloaded and run from a storage partition but kept as symbolic links in RAM.
  • TCE/CopyFS — A mode which installs applications onto a Linux partition like a more typical Linux installation.[7]

Release history[edit]

Version Stability Release date
1.0[8][9] Stable version January 5, 2009
2.0[8][10] Stable version June 7, 2009
3.0[8] Stable version July 19, 2010
4.0[8][11] Stable version September 25, 2011
4.7.7[8] Stable version May 10, 2013
5.0[8][12] Stable version September 14, 2013
5.0.1[8] Stable version October 1, 2013
5.0.2[8] Stable version October 18, 2013
5.1[8] Stable version November 28, 2013
5.2[8] Stable version January 14, 2014
5.3[8] Stable version April 19, 2014
5.4[8] Stable version September 10, 2014
6.0[8] Stable version January 5, 2015
6.1[8] Stable version March 7, 2015
6.2[8] Stable version May 3, 2015
6.3[8] Stable version May 30, 2015
6.4[8] Stable version September 8, 2015
6.4.1[8] Stable version November 4, 2015
7.0[8][13] Stable version February 23, 2016
7.1[8] Stable version May 22, 2016
7.2[8] Stable version July 4, 2016
8.0[8] Stable version April 10, 2017
8.1[8] Stable version September 3, 2017
8.2[8] Stable version September 22, 2017
9.0[8] Stable version February 26, 2018
10.0[8] Stable Version January 20, 2019

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robert Shingledecker. "Frequently Asked Questions: License". Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  2. ^ "Robert Shingledecker's Projects". Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2012.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  3. ^ a b c d Robert Shingledecker (2012). "Downloads - Tiny Core Linux". Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  4. ^ Juanito. "dCore-5.0.alpha1 released". Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Robert Shingledecker. "Frequently Asked Questions: What are the minimum requirements?". Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  6. ^ Robert Shingledecker (December 1, 2008). "Welcome to The Core Project - Tiny Core Linux". Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  7. ^ Robert Shingledecker. "Tiny Core: Core Concepts". Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Final Releases – Release Announcements and Change log from Tiny Core Linux Forum
  9. ^ DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 296, 30 March 2009
  10. ^ Tiny Core: The Little Distro That Could | Linux Magazine
  11. ^ DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 440, 23 January 2012
  12. ^ DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 527, 30 September 2013
  13. ^ Tiny Core Linux 7.0 [LWN.nett]

External links[edit]