Tiny Core Linux

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Tiny Core Linux
Logo of TCL
Tiny Core Linux Desktop.png
Tiny Core Linux 5.x
Working state Current
Source model Open source
Initial release January 5, 2009; 8 years ago (2009-01-05)
Latest release 7.2 / July 4, 2016; 7 months ago (2016-07-04)[1]
Available in English
Package manager appbrowser (GUI) / tce (CLI)
Platforms x86, x86-64, armv7, Raspberry Pi
Kernel type Monolithic
Userland BusyBox
Default user interface FLWM
License GNU GPLv2[2]
Official website tinycorelinux.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.[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 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.[4]

"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.[4]

"dCore" (12 MB) is a core made from Debian Wheezy compatible files that uses import and the SCE package format,[5] the new generation 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".[4] It is composed of Tiny Core with additional functionality, most notably wireless support and non-US keyboard support.[4]

"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.[6]

Recommended configuration: A Pentium 2 CPU and 128 MB of RAM are recommended for Tiny Core.[6]

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."[7] 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.[8]

Release history[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tiny Core v7.2". Tiny Core Linux Forum. 2016-07-04. Retrieved 2016-07-04. 
  2. ^ Robert Shingledecker. "Frequently Asked Questions: License". Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Robert Shingledecker's Projects". Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Robert Shingledecker (2012). "Downloads - Tiny Core Linux". Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ Juanito. "dCore-5.0.alpha1 released". Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Robert Shingledecker. "Frequently Asked Questions: What are the minimum requirements?". Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  7. ^ Robert Shingledecker (December 1, 2008). "Welcome to The Core Project - Tiny Core Linux". Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ Robert Shingledecker. "Tiny Core: Core Concepts". Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Final Releases – Release Announcements and Change log from Tiny Core Linux Forum

External links[edit]