Minimal Linux Live
is a set of Linux shell scripts which automatically build minimalistic Live
Linux OS with basic network support via DHCP. The generated operating system is based on
GNU C library
. All necessary source codes are automatically
downloaded and all build operations are fully encapsulated in the scripts.
If you want to build your own Minimal Linux Live ISO image file, all you need to do is the following:
Get the latest scripts from the download section.
Extract the scripts to some folder. Note that even though the scripts are small in size, you need ~2GB free disk space for the
actual build process.
Just for convenience, make sure that all scripts are executable (
chmod +x *.sh). If you decide to skip this step you
can still run the scripts like this (example):
Depending on which Linux OS you are using, there might be one or more (or none, or even more) build dependencies that you
need to resolve before you start the build process. If you work with Ubuntu,
the following commands should resolve all necessary build dependencies:
sudo apt-get install wget
sudo apt-get install make
sudo apt-get install gawk
sudo apt-get install gcc
sudo apt-get install bc
sudo apt-get install syslinux
sudo apt-get install genisoimage
Execute the script
build_minimal_linux_live.sh and wait. If you have resolved all build dependencies, the whole
process should take less than 30 minutes on a modern computer. If the build fails for some reason, most probably there
are unresolved build dependencies. Several users reported that the
build-essential package resolves all unexpected
build dependencies for Ubuntu. If you are using Linux Mint try to
install the package
g++ and if you still have troubles then try the
build-essential package. On
Fedora you might need the static 'glibc' package
On Arch Linux and Debian
you might need to locate
isolinux.bin and copy it to
Please have in mind that the build dependencies can vary a lot depending on the Linux OS which you use and the software
which you have already installed.
If you still have troubles then examine the failure message and google it. If you are unable to find solution, then you
can ask someone more experienced Linux guru (if you know any) or as alternative you can contact me. Please, make sure that
you have researched your problem in advance before you send me your question.
When the scripts finish their job you will find newly generated
minimal_linux_live.iso in the same folder where you
executed the scripts. You can burn the ISO image file on CD/DVD, install it on USB flash drive via
Universal USB Installer,
or run it directly via PC emulator like VirtualBox. Minimal Linux Live
requires at least 64MB RAM, otherwise the boot process most probably will hang.
The generated ISO image file contains Linux kernel compiled with default options, GNU C library compiled with default options,
BusyBox compiled with default options and quite simple initramfs. This means that you don't get Windows support out of the box,
nor you get any fancy desktop environment. All you get is a simple shell console which supports all BusyBox applets and... well,
that's all. This is why it's called "minimal".
The good news is that the build scripts are very small in size and simple to understand. You can easily learn from the scripts
and later modify them to include more stuff (I encourage you to do so). After you learn the basics you will have all the necessary
tools and skills to create your own fully functional Linux based operating system. Entirely from scratch!
provides more details about the inner structure
of the scripts and the overall build process. I encourage you to go through this document when you have the time. The same tutorial
document is automatically included in the generated ISO image, so you can always refer to it.
Below you can find several screenshots which show what the environment looks like when you boot your newly generated
Minimal Linux Live OS.