When it comes to mini distros Slitaz has been my favourite all the time. However, there has been a long pause in development since version 4.0 and the process is still quite slow. Hunting for another Swiss Army Knife type distro, I came across RLSD. I am delighted to say the least.
RLSD (Retro Linux-libre Software Distribution) is a Linux based distro, developed independently. The distro is unique in its completely statically linked binaries and monolithic architecture. It is console-based and comes with many cmdline utilities. RLSD is security hardened with an in-built firewall and boots to the prompt in around 3 seconds (yes!).
- Minimal: 3 flavours: tiny, big, huge (both x86 and x86_64). Size of huge x86_64 is 69MB, minimal 14MB. A tiny chroot environment (rootfs) is also available.
- Boots live from ISO on VirtualBox. dd support to create live USB.
- Randomly-generated console colour scheme
- Bock cursor, mouse copy-paste
- Interesting packages: sdaemons (simple system tools), packlim (scriptable package manager), musl (libc), loksh (default shell)
- Only root user, named boss
- Hackable with developer mode login
- Minimal processes on boot
- Firewall enabled on boot
- Connected to network on boot on VirtualBox (for manual configuration, use ifconfig, iw, wpa_passphrase, wpa_supplicant and dhcpcd)
- luufs prevents malware from replacing critical files
- logfence prevents malware from modifying logs
- elfence prevents execution of untrusted applications
- A security module blocks malware-like activity (e.g mprotect() with PROT_EXEC)
- The user is trapped in a container, to protect critical system daemons
- The operating system core is a digitally-signed image
- Security features can be disabled by passing “secure=0” at boot time
- Firewall, enabled by default
You can download the ISOs here.