I'm looking for a Linux Distro that has been stripped down completely with just the ability to install apps on it (particularly, a JDK). Any suggestions?

Definition of tiny in this case: The minimum required to not get any errors while installing and running any version of the JDK.

  • Why not take puppy Linux, or Damn Small Linux, etc and just manually install the JDK?
    – Mawg
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 7:16
  • 1
    I can't manage everything that's on a standard distro and I'm concerned about security. All I really want is what is required to install the JDK. I have tried TinyCore and Alpine so far. Alpine was cool but I had problems getting the JDK on there. TinyCore is cool too but has a really annoying mouse issue.
    – Hooli
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 8:53
  • And small is important? You can't just take a very secure distro and add JDK if necessary? Do you have a definition for "small"?
    – Mawg
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 8:54
  • @Hooli most distributions are tiny compared the size of even a cheap PC. Where it makes a difference is in mobile and embedded devices. Which sort of device do you have in mind? Commented May 20, 2015 at 13:36
  • @PeterLawrey: Well, I want it specifically for the JVM which would imply any device. It would be great if it were on GitHub as well, none of the others seem to be. I tried the others and ran into multiple issues getting them going, they are all pretty much dead-ends. TinyCore x64 and x86 have bugs installing. Alpine does not like JVM. Pupply and DSL don't seem to have console-only versions which might imply they aren't that small. It's probably worth considering HP's The Machine as well in terms of memory management.
    – Hooli
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure of any specific ones with just the JVM on, however probably the smallest and easiest one to use is Tiny Core Linux. If you use the Core 9 version there's no graphical desktop and it's only around 9mb. You can find that here: http://tinycorelinux.net/

If you are more familiar with compiling packages and the Linux system in general, then you might want to try ttylinux - it's around 8mb! http://ttylinux.net/

  • He might as well use Gentoo & roll his own.
    – Mawg
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 8:55
  • Or indeed Arch.. In fact Arch might be quite good in this case, if security is also a concern here.. Commented May 20, 2015 at 16:05

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