TinyMe, The Little PCLinuxOS That Could

TinyMe, The Little PCLinuxOS That Could: TinyME is a fresh and minute version of PCLinuxOS that is aimed at low-end computers and to those who want it fast. It is still under development but is already gaining popularity at a rapid pace. Currently, it is among the top 100 distributions in Distrowatch (ranked #55 as of the time being).

PCLinuxOS may be on top of the distro ranking right now, but I haven’t heard loads of distributions that are derived from PCLOS. Meanwhile, its archrival Ubuntu has plenty of flavors that are too numerous to mention. That is why I got curious to try out TinyMe, one of the very few derivatives of PCLOS.

I got the 199MB TinyMe LiveCD “test 6” from here. I installed and tested it under VMware but I had to pre-format the VM disk to IDE so that it can be properly installed. So, here goes my little adventure with TinyMe.

Test Machine Specs:
Board: Intel D101GGCL
Processor: 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 with HT Technology
Hard Drive: Samsung 80GB with 8GB allocated to VM disk
Memory: 1GB 400 MHz DDR RAM with 512MB allocated to VM memory
Graphics Card: On-board

The installation process was pretty much like that of PCLOS. Once the LiveCD was loaded, a blue boot menu appeared with several options to choose from. I booted normally by not changing anything or entering any boot parameters. Then, several uncomplicated configuration settings followed.

Once logged in as root, clicking the install TinyMe icon on the desktop begun the formal installation process. An installation wizard appeared and it certainly and superbly made the installation a lot easier. The installation was completed in a blink of an eye with everything working just fine from USB, DVD drive, audio, video, and Ethernet.

Look and Feel:
It was surprising to see a well-polished desktop for a lightweight distro like TinyMe. The menus and icons are well-arranged, its cool default wallpaper is pleasing to the eye, and its default theme called “Glossy P” is shiny indeed. The simple desktop can be navigated with ease that I think even a newbie user will find it friendly enough. It was my first time using Openbox (See Fast and Lightweight Window Managers), TinyME’s default desktop, and I was really impressed not only by its appearance but by its overall responsiveness.

Package Management:
Several important and valuable software applications included and pre-installed in TinyMe are Abiword word processor, Audacious audio player, Opera web browser, TightVNC network tool, Python and Perl PL, and some games for recreation. Flash is not installed by default but there’s always the very versatile and dependable Synaptic Package Manager if you want to download and install it. Plus, plenty of additional software packages are also available from the PCLOS repositories. Synaptic will take care of downloading, installing, updating, and removing software applications.

I have encountered some minor glitches while testing several applications, but it is understandable as TinyMe is currently in development stage. But, its steadiness can already be seen and observed based only from the short period of using it. TinyMe, like most Linux distros, is destined to be stable and secure.

TinyME runs really fast and very responsive while maintaining its sleek look even in VM environment. I can’t wait for the Distribution Release already because I’m thinking of using TinyMe on my old laptop and find out if it can perform better than Xubuntu. All things considered, I can say that TinyMe is an amazing mini distribution oozing with PCLinuxOS appeal.


  1. Very good review. I will certainly love to try TinyMe when the stable version is released. Thanks for this one.

  2. I'm in the process of installing TinyMe on an old Dell Latitude CP laptop (P1 MMX 233Hhz, 128Ram) and although it isn't as snappy as Damn Small Linux (DSL) it seems more feature-rich without being too bloated.

    Also, the forums are friendly, open and pleasant.

  3. I was also impressed by the look of tinyme. However, compared to the speed of zenwalk with xfce, tinyme (on the same machine, amd athlon 1600+) isn't that responsive.

  4. on an ibm thinkpad 390E 300Mhz, 128 Ram, 4GB I couldn't use xUbuntu (I install it, but was to slow), but TinyMe work great for me. I use it for Internet surfing (Opera) and document editing (OpenOffice) I'm a complete newbie to Linux World.

  5. In reviewing lightweight Linux distros I find it really irritating when the reviewer tests it on a relatively current machine. As one reading the review what I want to know is how well does it work on an old machine?

    Is it that hard to find an old box? Just a few weeks ago I found a 933 MHz. PIII by the curb on trash pickup night. How hard is it to find a Pentium II or a first generation Pentium box?

    I found the reader comments much more useful in this regard then the review.

  6. Great review. The idea for a review like this is to let people come up and also share their experiences with this particular distro using their own particular hardware.

  7. I liked reading your review. If you are interested in distributions that are derived from PCLOS try SAM Linux 2007 (at It is the (german) XFCE derivate of PCLOS.
    In it ranks at #36.

    Keep up the good work,

  8. Thanks Gregor. I will be taking a look at SAM soon. Cheers!