The Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer. Tiny Core Linux is a tiny operating system designed to offer the bare minimum you need to get started while taking up as little disk space as possible. Seem like a match made in heaven? The folks behind Tiny Core thought so too… this year they launched a version of their operating system called PiCore which is designed to run on the Raspberry Pi.
This week PiCore 5.3 was released, featuring an updated kernel, recent Raspberry Pi firmware, and other improvements. The disk image is only 24.7MB.
If you’re wondering what you can do with a modern operating system that weighs in at under 25MB, the answer is not all that much… until you start customizing it.
While there’s a graphical user interface and a desktop environment included in the disk image, you don’t get a web browser or even a file manager. You’ll need to install your own.
The idea is to provide you with the bare essentials needed to create your own experience. There’s a terminal emulator and a package manager which you can use to start making your PiCore system your own.
Tiny Core is designed to run entirely in RAM, which means that you don’t install it so much as load the disk image onto an SD card. When you’re running the operating system, everything is loaded into the computer’s memory.
PiCore isn’t the most powerful operating system available for the Raspberry Pi. But it’s certainly one of the smallest modern operating systems to feature a graphical user interface.