I will introduce a light weight Linux distribution called “DeLi Linux” which come from Germany according to my knowledge in this diary. Include its goal, history and feature, etc..
DeLi Linux was founded and maintained mainly by Henry Jensen (nicky name: haary) who come from Germany. There is some basic introduction in DeLi’s homepage: http://www.delilinux.org/. I will repeat something plus my understanding about DeLi.
The goal of DeLi Linux: DeLi Linux is a Linux distribution designed for 486 to PIII old computer. Because it isn’t everyone can buy a new machine, or, someone is unwilling to discard their old computer. The commercial OS such as Windows, they will not support the old OS for such an old computer any more. What is their attitude? Just discard your computer, upgrade you Windows to the newest “Vista”. The result is software industry and hardware industry chases each other, forms a vicious circle. The power consumed more and more, and the electric garbage become more and more. DeLi Linux needs resolve its no.1 bug: #1: current-software: Doesn’t run on old Hardware. DeLi Linux is designed to fix this bug. The inspiration of this “no.1 bug” comes from the no.1 bug of Ubuntu: Microsoft has a majority market share. Ubuntu is designed to fix this bug.
The history of DeLi Linux: We can know its history from wiki page:DeLi Linux Release. There are 11 releases from V0.1 released at november 2, 2002 to V0.8 released at May 28, 2008. DeLi Linux has been founded 7 years! It was based on Slackware from V0.1 to V0.6; Haary has rewrited entire system from scratch in V0.7 which released at september 15, 2006, it wasn’t based on slackware anymore at this release, and, switched glibc to uClibc; In the V0.8 which released at May 28, 2008, the X windows system has switched GTK1 to GTK2 and using UTF-8 encode, this changing made DeLi become to a real international light weight linux distribution. The advanced pacman packages management system come from Arch Linux was adopted in DeLi 0.8, this made software installation and upgrade more conveniently. But, I think, the DeLi Linux was maintained mainly by haary one person for so many years, we can see haary is so inflexible and respectable. We can see the diary was written at June 14, 2007 in Henry’s Blog, we will know haary want open the developing and maintaining of DeLi. But, this opening need more progress currently. I guess the reason of slow developing is DeLi was only developed and maintained by haary on person in the spare time basically. So, DeLi is still a beta version Linux today. I think, open way and more people joining the developing and maintaining will be helpful DeLi’s goal. Haary has orientate the DeLi Linux towards more open, I think, maybe, the developing will more faster than before.
The feature of DeLi Linux: I talk about this with DeLi Linux 0.8. I can say its feature in a line is: an international light weight Linux distribution. What is “international distribution”? it is you can set it speak any language you want. DeLi Linux has adopted uClibc and GTK2, so it can support UTF-8 encoding very well. There are 169 languages selecting when we setup its language with tool “delisetup”; There are 109 langauges directories in directory “/usr/share/locale”; So, every GTK2 software which support UTF-8 can run on DeLi normally. The chinese language support is well when set encoding to “zh_CN.UTF-8″. From the aspect of light distribution, I think DeLi Linux has reached a limit of light distribution based the precondiction of an international distribution. Because it adopted uClibc designed for embbed system, this make the size and memory consuming less more; And, it has the good costumization ability which originated from Slackware, there is no any default service start when boot almost, everything is controlled by youself; it uses some light weight softwares, such as: a light windows manager Icewm, Sylpheed email client, Abiword word processor, Netsurf web browser and Vlc video player, etc.. A full installation needs about 750M space, the packages list is: http://www.delilinux.org/packages.txt . I think, the full installation metioned ahead should include all these packages, but I haven’t check it carefully. Of couse, DeLi Linux reduces some usability when use uClibc for faster speed and smaller size. Some close-source software which compiled with glibc can’t run on DeLi 0.8, e.g., Opera web browser, the flash plugin for Firefox, etc..
But, DeLi Linux is still a beta version distribution although it has been founded almost 7 years, it is still unstable. In spite of its developing speed and way, DeLi Linux has its own goal, I wish DeLi Linux will have a bright future under the guiding of its great goal: make a Linux OS for old computer.