Raspbian minimal: What's your choice? (Part I)

raspberrypi

Sometime as developer or admin with expertise, we need a distro with a few installed packages and a bunch of free RAM. In this case, we can use a Raspbian minimal. I cover on this article two of them.


minibian

The main focus is to have a small, updated and stable distribution that is fully compatible with official Raspbian "wheezy" image, without GUI and unneeded tools.

MINImal raspBIAN image for Raspberry Pi (Minibian)

Download: sourceforge.net

Last file uploaded: 2013-10-13-wheezy-minibian.tar.gz (188.5 MB)

Login: root | Password: raspberry

Some useful commands to take a look. Click to full size

Info:

  • Kernel 3.10.25+ #622 ARM HF (Hard Float)

  • 22 secs boot

  • 583 Mb disk space used

  • Fit on 1GB SD Card

  • Optimized ext4 file system with swap disabled

  • Targeted for embedded or server applications (NAS, Web server, electronic applications)

  • 100% full compatible with official release

  • DHCP client enabled

  • SSHD enabled

  • 45 Mb RAM used after boot

Notes: No desktop environment installed, as usual on this kind of distro. build-essential is not installed (60.5 MB of additional disk space). config.txt only with the option to set GPU, but you can fill with others as you can see on elinux.org. raspi-config is missing. camera-utils is installed by default.

Raspbian Wheezy armhf Raspberry Pi minimal image

Direct Download: linuxsystems.it

Last file uploaded: raspbianwheezy20130923.img.7z (123.4 MB)

Login: root | Password: raspberry

Click to full size

Info:

  • 3.6.11+ hardfp kernel with latest raspberry pi patches

  • Disabled incremental updates, means apt-get update is much faster

  • Workaround for a kernel bug which hangs the Raspberry Pi under heavy network/disk loads

  • Latest version of the firmwares

  • Fits 1GB SD cards

  • A very tiny 118MB image: even with a 2GB SD there is a lot of free space

  • The clock is automatically updated using ntp

  • IPv6 support

  • ssh starts by default

  • Just 14MB of ram usage after the boot

Notes: The author cover two versions: soft or hard float support. config.txt have several default options. Boot process is faster than the first Minibian commented before. We have a swap RAM partition, but you can disable it to reclaim RAM.You need to use gparted or another similar app to resize the partition, because there is a swap partition at the end who doesn't allow to resize the first. You can delete it with the next commands anyway:


parted /dev/mmcblk0
print <- show partitions
rm 3 <- delete partition number 3
quit <- exit from parted

On both distribution raspi-config is missing, but you can install it with the next commands:


echo "deb http://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian/ wheezy main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
wget http://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian/raspberrypi.gpg.key
apt-key add raspberrypi.gpg.key
apt-get update && apt-get install raspi-config -y
raspi-config

Jump to the second part here.


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