Richard Bucker

Minimal Operating Systems

Posted at — Jun 12, 2021

I really liked RancherOS not because of the docker integration but the footbrint and boot-times. In recent days I’ve had to explain my interest in chroot as partly because somewhat more secure than running in root but mostly because I have to be completely aware of the dependencies. Building and installing an app on a robust OS like Ubuntu or Red Hat has a huge demand on the devand operations staff.

Consider that most web apps are just a farm of micro services… think IoT

I have been googling in order to find “micro” operating systems and while there are many distributions they have limits not the least of which is trust.

None of the BSDs seem poised to take that challenge.

There are many Linux variants but that just scares me. Country of origin not withstanding I’m very afraid of anthing from a current or former communist country. But that extens to packages too.

Alpine Linux - seems like a good choice. The Docker peple like it but that too will attract the sharks. Also it’s slow to boot and the packaging is still pretty big.

MicroCore - is a fork of TinyCore, however, the MC peple are deep in solarwinds. That cannot be a good mix.

TinyCore - needs some investigation, although, it does boot in about a second from USB and SSD. There are some interesting things here like making the OS immutable.

Snappy - formerly JEOS would have been a very good choice except they want me to sign in so there is no room for my secrets.

Red Hat - is still a moving target. They acquired CoreOS a few years ago but that project while merged into the tree is all but dead to me.

chroot and jails are still the way to go. TinyCore a distant second. (THINK SCRATCH)