piCore 5.2 Is the Smallest Linux Distro for Raspberry Pi

A new version of this small and versatile operating system for Raspberry Pi is out

By on February 27th, 2014 14:20 GMT

Team Tiny Core has announced that piCore 5.2, the Raspberry Pi port of Tiny Core Linux, has been released and is available for download, featuring a large number of changes and improvements.

If you are not familiar with the Tiny Core family of Linux distributions, you need to know that this is a modular-based system with community-built extensions. It usually implements the latest Linux kernel vmlinuz 3.0 and a 5MB core.gz.

The development team produces a few distributions: Core (only features a command line interface), CorePlus (this is just an installation distro, not a live one), and TinyCore (includes the base Core system and X/GUI extensions for a FLTK/FLWM graphical desktop environment).

As the name implies, this distribution is known for its small size and versatility, and now a new version has been made available for Raspberry Pi, the second one so far.

“Tiny Core Linux is not a traditional distribution but a toolkit to create your own customized system. It offers not only flexibility, small footprint but a very recent kernel and set of applications making it ideal for custom systems, appliances as well as to learn Linux, matching Raspberry Pi perfectly. It is running entirely in RAM.”

“There is no installation in conventional terms; extensions mounted read only, after reboot the same clean system is available. Base raw SD card image with CLI version is only 21.5 Mbyte including RPi boot loader, firmware and support files,” reads the official announcement from Team Tiny Core.

Tiny Core updates don't usually feature a lot of changes from one point release to another, at least nothing too big. piCore 5.2, on the other hand, comes with a new Linux kernel 3.13.3 (which is one of the latest released) and updated RPi firmware.

Also, useBusybox in tc-functions has been changed in order to eliminate interference with certain installed GNU apps, fstab entries are no longer replaced for a device that does not have “Added by TC” on the line, the default inode count has been increased, and extensions are no longer listed subdirs in onboot maintenance.

Other smaller changes include better security for Busybox, quotes for binaries with spaces in their names, no more getpasswd stars in order to allow backspace to work, and the ntpd BusyBox applet.

A complete list of updates and changes can be found in the official announcement. Download piCore 5.2 right now from Softpedia.

Raspberry Pi relies on an ARM processor with a clock speed of 700 MHz, 512 MB of RAM, an SD card slot, and a 5V Micro USB connector that supplies the power. It also features RCA and HDMI ports.

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