A 170MB Linux download that’s targeted for smaller computers

For some time, Linux has been viewed as a distant alternative to the Windows family. Within a few years of its introduction in 2001, Apple’s OS X had moved into an admittedly distant second place for many mainstream users behind Windows–thus pushing Linux even farther back as a choice.

Linux has actually been ported (adapted for installation) on more computers around the world than any other OS, Windows included.

While OS X only runs on Apple’s computers, Linux was originally designed for x86 machines–in other words, PCs. So if you have a Windows machine, you likely could be running Linux on it. In fact, here’s an article that talks about why you might want to be using the latest version of Linux–Ubuntu 12.10–instead of Windows 8.)

Without going into a explanation of what exactly Linux is (you can read about that here) and why it’s so different from the other two, let’s just say that it’s basically free to use, and open source. Which means–to put it very simply–if you knew how to write programming code, you could alter the OS to include your own ideas.

Now, if you have a smaller PC or computing device with an Rk3066 processor, you probably can install the newest Linux distribution–PicUntu–on it. The download is only 170MB, which is incredibly small for an OS. An article from PCWorld.com tells more:

Anyone who’s watched the PC industry at all over the past year or so has surely noticed the flood of tiny, Linux-powered PCs that have been flooding the market.

The Raspberry Pi is certainly the best-known example of this growing new class, but it’s by no means the only one, accompanied as it has been by the likes of the MK802, the Cotton Candy, the UG802, the Mele A1000, and virtually countless others.

While there certainly are exceptions—perhaps most notably, the $160 CuBox Pro—most of these devices include just 1GB RAM. Typically, they also run Linux-based Android and/or Ubuntu Linux.

Now, however, there’s PicUntu, a Linux distribution tailored specifically to the deliberately minimal specs of these diminutive devices.

‘No more than 170 MB’

“We are happy to announce the world’s first complete Linux distribution for the RK3066,” wrote the PicUntu team in a recent blog post, referring to the chip that powers the Android mini-PC by the same name as well as numerous other tiny devices.

“Starting with a minimal download of no more than 170 MB, you can use menus and simple selections to configure your system to be a full fledged system,” the project team added.

Potential applications for the resulting device include a company Web server, corporate mail server, central database server, content manager, “developer’s paradise,” or power GUI desktop, it says, with optional extras available such as Flash, graphics programs, and Office suite clones.

Just like anything else, some choices aren’t for everyone, and Linux might not be a good fit for them.

But–if you’ve got an independent spirit and the right computer hardware, It could be just the right fit for you.

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