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Lightweight Linux For VM
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Waragainstsleep
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Apr 20, 2012, 11:57 AM
 
Afternoon all.

I need a fairly lightweight Linux for use in a VM.

It will run Apache and a web browser and very little else.
The browser must be pretty much state of the art with flash and java and everything else so it can deal with pretty much any website.
It must be able to automatically check a remote server and download a file/set of files periodically if changes have been made to those files.
Remote access via VNC wouldn't hurt but not essential.
Must be robust, I want it to run as long as possible without crashing.

Any suggestions for distributions I should try?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
King Bob On The Cob
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Apr 20, 2012, 02:10 PM
 
Unfortunately, you want things that are diametrically opposed. I must ask: Why only one VM?

A modern web browser will be heavy and will be exploitable, so hosting data on the same server may be unwise.
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Apr 20, 2012, 02:22 PM
 
Its essentially a test bed for now so I'm more worried about reliability and a good web experience than security.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
besson3c
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Apr 20, 2012, 09:47 PM
 
I think you'll find that most Linux flavors that provide a minimal install option are fairly equal when it comes to lightweightness, where the weight comes in is choosing a window manager. For you, I would opt to not run a window manager at all so that there isn't a GUI constantly running, and access the browser on the Linux machine via X11 forwarding. You could run either Firefox or Chrome, they should both provide the same sort of experience you'll find on the Mac (although the Linux version of Flash is not very good). For your needs you won't need VNC if you have SSH, which all distros should ship with.

Your "automatically check a remote server" criteria is pretty vague, unless what you had in mind could be covered by wget/curl/fetch, in which case all Linux distros will suffice.
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Apr 21, 2012, 06:51 AM
 
Well the server check might be part of the next question. This machine will need to connect to a remote server, check a certain location for updated files, and if they have been updated it needs to download the latest version to itself. How I accomplish this doesn't matter as long as its very very reliable.

I like the idea of no GUI actually. That might suit my purposes very well.

I know very little about the various different flavours of Linux, any particular GUI-free recommendations? Failing that a list of options to look at would do.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
besson3c
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Apr 21, 2012, 12:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Well the server check might be part of the next question. This machine will need to connect to a remote server, check a certain location for updated files, and if they have been updated it needs to download the latest version to itself. How I accomplish this doesn't matter as long as its very very reliable.
Sounds like a job for rsync.

I like the idea of no GUI actually. That might suit my purposes very well.

I know very little about the various different flavours of Linux, any particular GUI-free recommendations? Failing that a list of options to look at would do.
I like Debian myself. Debian is a more conservative server-oriented version of Ubuntu, so Ubuntu tutorials and packages will work, it is a very stable and no nonsense sort of OS. Another option might be CentOS, which is the free version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
     
   
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