12 of the most interesting, unusual and useful Linux distros

From digital forensics to open source engineering: We take a look at some strange, cool and niche Linux distributions

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frenchy/ (Creative Commons)

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frenchy/ (Creative Commons)

Eminently embeddable: Zeroshell

Interesting Linux distros

Image: zeroshell.net

Zeroshell Linux gets its name from being designed to be solely administered through a Web interface. It's intended to be used on servers and embedded devices. Its features include load balancing, support for 3G mobile broadband connections and RADIUS support.

Ditch Windows Media Centre: Mythbuntu

Interesting Linux distros

Image: Mythbuntu.org

Mythbuntu is not really a niche distribution, but it is designed for a specific task rather than being a general desktop distro. Mythbuntu is used to run PVRs and media centre PCs. As its name indicates, it's derived from Ubuntu Linux. However, it's ditched the Gnome and by default utilises the relatively barebones Xfce desktop environment.

Damn Small Linux is damn cool

Interesting Linux distros

Image: Damnsmalllinux.org

Damn Small Linux (DSL) is actually quite a well known distribution. It's not nearly as small as the amazing MenuetOS (which is a non-Linux OS written entirely in assembly language), but at 50MB it's still incredibly petite considering how many features it packs in. In fits in productivity software, Web browsers, graphics tools, a Web server, and more!

And then there's really small: Tiny Core Linux

Interesting Linux distros

Image: Tinycorelinux.com

It's hard to make DSL look like bloatware, but Tiny Core Linux comes close to doing so. It's just 10MB but if that's too much, just grab the 6MB version that comes sans GUI.

Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook: Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags open sourceLinuxoperating systems

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Rohan Pearce

Rohan Pearce

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?