Linux with no software

YeahRight

Member
Hello... I'm curious if there are any Linux OS or distro that doesn't have any software already installed, just a plain linux OS something like windows were by after the installation one needs to download programs? Thanks
 


dos2unix

Active Member
When you say "no software", how much no software?
Just a terminal console? No xWindows, no other binaries besides the kernel?
(that would make Linux pretty hard to use). You almost have to have things like
cp, mv, ls, and basic commands like that. If you want networking you'll need more software,
if you want a GUI you'll need more software.

What software do you specifically want to remove? In most cases you can remove any media software, development software, office/productivity software, games, graphics software, and even xWindows from almost any modern Linux distro if you want to.

You can build your own...
.. and add only what you want, but even a "bare bones" Linux needs quite a bit of stuff to run.

Lubuntu, AntiX, and LinuxLite are all pretty "minimal" installs.
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
When it comes to "bare bones"... a couple of the best are Arch Linux and Debian. Both of these will install a full operating system, but it is command line ONLY. From there you typically will use ethernet to connect to your router (wireless may not work yet) so you can access the repositories of each system to build what you want. First up would usually be the GUI of your choice to make life easier afterwards. But this is NOT an easy way for a new Linux user to go.

More likely what you want will already have a GUI, just less added software. Having "no software" is not practical. @dos2unix's suggestions are all good ones, and I'll also throw in the Slax distro. Slax contains very little extra software, but it is based on Debian and you are able to install many thousands of apps from the Debian repositories. But Slax is quite different from most other distros... it does not install to a hard drive the same way, and you would have to figure that out, or else just run Slax from a USB which is what it is mostly designed to do. Like Slax, Puppy Linux is not really designed to install to a hard drive, but it runs great on a USB. Puppy has more software built-in than Slax. Puppy and Slax are very different from one another, besides being different from mainstream distros.

Cheers
 

YeahRight

Member
Barebone system that loads Linux with a desktop not having to use command lines. Basically I'm curious if there any Linux with the desktop environment that one can use just for surfing the internet ( Browser ) watching videos ( video player ) and listening to music ( Music player ) everything else I don't need but it has to be on a hard drive so I can store videos and music
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
I think Slax may be exactly what you want. It is extremely minimal, but includes a web browser and VLC media player (it actually has to install itself when you first run it).

You would run Slax on USB, but store your video/music media on your hard drive. Slax has a file manager too, so you just browse to your hard drive to find your entertainment. The hard drive would have no operating system at all, just for storage. This is very basic and simple.
 

YeahRight

Member
Slax is perfect for what it has, its everything I need but only 2 problems. The first isn't so bad its Slax can't be installed on a hard drive, yes or no? That I don't get why not. The second part is a must. Slax doesn't recognize my wifi card and its the only way I can use my system or otherwise it serves no purpose ( Bedroom )
 

poorguy

Well-Known Member

YeahRight

Member
Thanks for Ubuntu look promising. So far from what I have learned using Linux? Linux sure doesn't make things easy lol but I wouldn't give up I will fight her as long as I have you great people helping me along which I really appreciated, thx... I just finish cloning Cinnamon so I'm happy I got that done. Next is trying Slax / Ubuntu and after that is getting the Raspberry Pi 4b unit working with my TV
 

alkion

Member
Debian Minimal KDE:
You take Debian DVD_1 During installation in the tasksel window regarding the selection of installed tasks I do not choose anything but "basic system tools".
. Reboot:
Code:
apt edit-sources
And we put the following entries there:
Code:
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian buster main contrib non-free
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian-security/ buster/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian buster-updates main contrib non-free
Code:
apt update && apt full-upgrade
Code:
apt install xorg kde-plasma-desktop kwin-x11 kde-wallpapers sddm plasma-pa
apt install kde-config-gtk-style gtk3-engines-breeze ksystemlog plasma-widgets-addons
apt install dmz-cursor-theme ttf-mscorefonts-installer
Code:
apt install firefox-esr
apt install clementine vlc k3b
 

YeahRight

Member
@alkion That is a very nice looking OS but no offense have you been reading my thread because I have mentioned I'm a newbie and terminal is one thing that I don't care for or know how to use. Since last week, I didn't even know what Linux is and do you really think I would know what a terminal is or how it's used, maybe in some years from now after I get a grip as to the concept of Linux. I guess if there where better Youtube videos showing " How To Guides" or instructions as to how to do things yeah I could learn but reading this stuff is very difficult for now for me. It's like a foreign language lol ... Do you remember what it was like when you first saw Linux or heard about it, well that pretty much me? I'm a foreigner to Linux especially coming from Windows. Again, I did like what I saw, but for me to get that install would take a while and a lot of help lol
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
The first isn't so bad its Slax can't be installed on a hard drive, yes or no? That I don't get why not. The second part is a must. Slax doesn't recognize my wifi card and its the only way I can use my system or otherwise it serves no purpose
@arochester linked to the page that describes installing Slax to hard drive or USB. It can be done, but it's different than other distros. He also pointed out the Slax's developer continues to make improvements and provide new drivers for hardware, but obviously he hasn't caught up to your wireless yet. A later version may work out of the box, but you may need to put in some effort to make it work on your own. It can be done, but it may be a lot of trouble for you.


So far from what I have learned using Linux? Linux sure doesn't make things easy lol
Well, Mint Cinnamon was easy, I think. :D You double-click on an install icon on the live desktop, answer a few questions, and in less than a half-hour you have a system comparable to Windows 10, with all of your hardware working, including wireless, and complete with a wide array of useful software to help you achieve the common goals of most computer users, including a very well developed Office Suite... all for free. It actually doesn't get much easier, or cheaper, than that. :D

The mini-Ubuntu that @poorguy suggested might also be a good choice for you, as it will let you make some software choices before installation. And Ubuntu, like Mint, is very likely to make your wireless work without special effort. The "mainstream" distros like these are usually "easier" for most people.

I've played with Slax a bit today, in case you needed any more guidance with it, and one thing became apparent to me.... it needs Secure Boot disabled and a switch from UEFI mode to Legacy mode in your BIOS settings. If you have an older computer, these settings are not available, so it depends on what you're using.

Cheers
 

YeahRight

Member
@ atanere Yeah, I did give that a look ( Wireless configuration and installing onto Hard drive ) again It would take some more understanding for me to grasp it, nothing is impossible, yes? lol ... So far I like Cinnamon, Slax but to get it installed is another thing lol ( Hard drive ) And I like what I saw from a Youtube video for Debian Minimal KDE now putting that on will take some work lol And Ubuntu one I haven't looked at it yet. there so much and yet I can't get what I need or at least not yet, right? lol

BTW all my posts are coming from a windows system which is what I'm using, I have an older Dell Opti Plex 990Pc which I'm trying Linux on

Oh yeah, And these Dell Computers Bios isn't the greatest, it at times is like pulling teeth lol Isn't Legacy mode in all computer the default?
 
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atanere

Well-Known Member
Isn't Legacy mode in all computer the default?
Actually, no, UEFI mode is the default. This is a long story (going back about 10 years or so) and a bit much to cover here. Microsoft (who else?) required UEFI compliant motherboards from the big manufacturers just before Win 8 came out. And it's been a long road for Linux to be able to catch up to that technology. In fact, there are still some distros that cannot use UEFI today. Luckily, most motherboards do allow you to disable it in BIOS... but not all. And the means to disable it vary between manufacturers... it is sometimes very weird. Those are minority cases though. Most times you simply change a setting, save changes, and exit the BIOS setup.

One of the great things about Linux is the choices you have. But at this stage, for you, it can be pretty overwhelming too. Take your time. You'll find your way, and we'll all help if we can. You may take a minimal system and build it up to your liking, or take a mainstream system and strip it down... it doesn't matter. In both scenarios, you are learning more about Linux as you go. And it does take some time. When you think back, you did not learn Windows in a day, or a week, either. So, enjoy the journey. :D

Cheers
 

YeahRight

Member
Thanks, Atanere... One thing is for sure no matter how difficult it may seem to me I'm not going to give up and I agreed 100% with taking my time and finding the right one, which at some point I'll. right now I have some time off from work so I'm spending time with learning Mint Cinnamon and the others and also Raspberry Pi4b computer Raspbian buster OS ... Oh yeah, I don't know but when I click default under the bios the Legacy option is selected not UEFI
 
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wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter

poorguy

Well-Known Member
I know it's one or the other and its a pain let me tell you ... But, when I select the default option it goes to legacy option, not UEFI
You're better off with legacy bios mode than UEFI bios mode imo.

Your Dell Optiplex 990 is an excellent desktop for Linux.

Here's your computer specs.



I'm use a 2010 Dell Optiplex 380 desktop with a 2.9 GHz core 2 duo e7500 processor and 4.0GB DDR3 memory and a mechanical hard drive and have zero problems with Linux Distros.

Here's my computer specs.
 

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