Operating systems you probably never heard about



In this thread i’d like to bring out some of the more impopular operating systems and methods of running programs. Mostly because the mass public has never heard about them or have no idea that there actually is something else than Windows, Mac or Ubuntu.

Most of them are , of course, Linux based, because Linux is totally free and pretty easy to modify. But there are lots of other gems in this world.

Maybe these gems can give your (old) hardware a 2nd life you have never dreamed of. There are litereally endless possibilities.

For instance:


Once there was BeOS. An operating system based on getting as much performance on multimedia as possible. BeOS died, but its code lives on in The Haiku Project.

Ready for you in 30 seconds

Everybody knows Ubuntu and most like it. But there are also Linux distributions that are known for their awesome speed and small size. Take for instance Slitaz. It’s 30 MB and boots amazingly fast. There’s also Damn Small Linux. It’s 50 MB big but is action packed with applications!

30 MB is way too big!

Well, then try the floppy image. It boots Slitaz completely via the internet using PXE. I hope 1.4 MB is small enough for your (remotely activated) OS. :slight_smile:

I want to record everything

Ever wondered if you could make your own Digital Video Recorder out of a pc? Wonder no more. Try Myth TV. It’s extremely picky about hardware and very complex, but it is totally free. Luckily there’s also MythBuntu, which is a little easier.

Content Management

Sharing and secure files and contacts is a pain? Scared of Microsoft Sharepoint? Worry no more, boot your Bitnami Stack Server within a minute! Go native, go virtual, go manual, you choose. Bitnami delivers totally free awesome servers suitable for most businesses.


Remember IBM’s OS/2? It’s dead, isn’t it? Actually… no… it still lives on under the name of eComStation. You still can run your OS/2 applications.


MS DOS is dead. Sure… FreeDOS is not though.


Ahh. a nice NAS… Hosting files for you, torrenting your stuff, hosting your webserver. Must cost a fortune. Actually no… if you got the hardware, then here is FreeNAS totally for free. Installation takes about 5 minutes. Configuration about a day.

Or woud you rather try out Openfiler?

Best of both worlds?

Like Ubuntu but would love it to be easier? Try FreeSpire. Installation takes about 10 minutes. It’s based on Lindows/linspire… remember that one?

OS on a stick

You got an USB stick. We got lots of operating systems.

Coudl i have a webserver operating system?

Sure! Small and quick? Try the 160MB Lamppix mini. You can even modify the bootable cd iso to come up with your own webserver upon booting!

Do you know some more gems?

Windows Home Server

It’s not that popular, but Microsoft actually made a nice server. Costs money though. What’s amazing though is that you can build an extremely small server if you would want to.


Very nice Mr.B.
A good list for those of us that like to experiment.


If you have more unknown useful OSes, feel free to add them in this thread.

If there are any questions, feel free to ask them. I don’t give any installation or configuration support though; For that see the provided weblinks.


Commodore Amiga aka AmigaOS


Not for pc’s but used every day around the world – zOS.


Found another nice gem thanks to slashdot:

Tiny Core Linux. It’s 10MB.



Well, if you’re feeling adventurous you could try [B]Plan 9 [/B]from Bell Labs which is a UNIX-based OS aimed at distributed computing and research labs. It’s even more unix than UNIX.

Or if you’ve got old hardware lying around that is long past its useful life - Acorn Archimedes? 68k Macintosh? Atari ST? - you can put [B]NetBSD [/B]on it, because NetBSD will pretty much run on anything - 53 architectures and counting. The BSD versions are the basis of Darwin, which is the basis of Mac OS X. You could even try turning your PC into a “hackintosh” by installing Mac OS X with the aid of various tools available on the net. You’d need a legit purchased copy of Mac OS, obviously.

[B]Slackware [/B]might not be the oldest linux-based distribution, but its certainly the oldest one still maintained. Beware, it doesn’t do rpm or deb package management like other distributions. Slack to the max!

Sun used to offer an x86 port of its [B]Solaris [/B]operating system for PCs, but since Oracle bought them (and aggressively erased every trace of Sun naming and branding), they’ve changed the licence to a trial. You can still download previous versions for free, however. Or you could try OpenSolaris.

Unbelievably there’s a pile of free operating systems here, most of which I’ve never heard of. And they’re not Linux-based either.

happy hacking!


MenuetOS looks nice. A graphical 1280x1024x16m OS less than 2 MB. :slight_smile: I just downloaded its zip file and that was 690kb! :slight_smile:


Puppy Linux - light, fast, small and very useful Linux distribution.
FreeDOS - it’s a free DOS-compatible operating system for IBM-PC compatible systems. Very useful for retro games playing PC.


[QUOTE = pepst; 2544084] <A href=“http://puppylinux.org/main/index.php?file=Overview%20and%20Getting%20Started.htm” target=_blank>Puppy Linux < / a> -, snel, klein en zeer nuttig Linux-distributie. licht FreeDOS - het is een gratis DOS-compatibel besturingssysteem voor IBM-PC compatible systemen. Erg handig voor retro games spelen PC. [/ QUOTE]
Bedankt voor al deze nuttige info!


[B]RiscOS[/B] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RISC_OS

[B]MorphOS[/B] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MorphOS

[B]AROS [/B] http://aros.sourceforge.net/

[B]zOS[/B] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z/OS

[B]MiNT OS[/B] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MiNT

[B]CP/M aka CP/A[/B] THE base for the moneybringer from MS: MS-DOS

BTW, CP/M were stolen by ROBOTRON (GDR) and hacked to make it look like their own product. :-X Robotron named it [B]SCP[/B].
That was all prior the fall of the wall, right in the cold war times up to 1990.
It ran on GDR computers like

Robotron A 5120

Robotron KC 85/1 and KC 87

Robotron PC 1715 …

Robotron BC 5xxx (don’t rem the correct type)

I worked with those listed, even ESER mainframe. :slight_smile:


I wish I could find something other than Windows (or MAC) which would run Rhino3d. When you have almost a couple of grand invested in software, you really don’t want to waste time trying to make it work on something that it really does not work on. No one has been able to make it run on Linux et without major crashes, and actually, I have heard on no one really making it work at all on Linux, Ubuntu, Kunta Kinte or anything else 'cept Windooze. It doesn’t run on MAC either, which does not mater because almost everything I need to do does not run on Mac’s.


[QUOTE=Zathros;2555774]I wish I could find something other than Windows (or MAC) which would run Rhino3d.[/QUOTE] It seems somebody partially succeeded. You could also try a VM inside linux of course.


Not really a new operating system, but a very easy way to get a very cheap Apple Mac-like system can be found right here.


There is also ReactOS, a free, open-source Windows NT clone. However, its still in its Alpha stages. Chech it out!


Small OS’es / Big OS’es

I did a quick experiment with a spare 2 Gigabyte SD card i have around here:

  1. Put 2GB SD card inside USB reader.
  2. Format the 2GB SD card using FAT32.
  3. Use Pendrivelinux.com’s MultiBoot tool to put lots of Linux distro’s on it.

The complete list of supported Operating Systems is below here. I “just on 16” different small Operating Systems.

•Sugar on a Stick
•Debian Live
•Trinity Rescue Kit
•System Rescue CD
•Puppy Linux
•TinyCore 3
•EasyPeasy 1.6
•SLAX 6.1.2
•Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10
•Peppemint Linux OS
•EEEBuntu 3.0.1
•Linux Mint 10
•Ubuntu 10.10
•Xubuntu 10.10
•Kubuntu 10.10
•Lubuntu 10.10
•Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Remix
•Damn Small Linux
•SliTaz Linux 3.0
•Ophcrack XP
•YlmF OS
•xPUD (Simple Netbook Distro)
•Ubuntu Rescue Remix
•Partition Wizard 5
•Memtest86+ (Memory Diagnostics)
•DBAN 2.2.6
•RIP Linux (Recovery Is Possible)
•Redo Backup and Recovery 0.9.5
•Parted Magic
•UBCD Ultimate Boot CD
•Offline NT Password + Reg Editor
•Clonezilla Maverick
•BKO boot.kernel.org
•AVG Rescue CD (Antivirus Scanner)
•BitDefender Rescue CD (Antivirus Scanner)
•Jolicloud | Download
•EASUS Disk Copy
•BackTrack 4 Final
•Mandriva Free 2010 Spring
•Windows Vista/7 Install Disk | Create the ISO from your DVD

  1. Try and boot from it.

  2. Success! I got a 16-in-1 Linux Bootable write protected SD CARD!

16 Operating Systems on a device not bigger than your toenail!

After that i did another quick experiment with a 1GB MicroSD card.

  1. Put 1GB MicroSD card in reader
  2. Format the 1GB MicroSD card using FAT32
  3. Use Pendrivelinux.com’s Universal USB Installer to put Ubuntu 10.10 on it.
  4. Try and boot from it.
  5. Success! I got Ubuntu 10.10 on a MICRO SD CARD!

1 huge Operating System on a device not bigger than your fingernail!


Small update. Two “new” NAS Operating Systems, i haven’t tested myself:

Nas4Free: Based on FreeNAS version 7, since the official FreeNAS version 8 kinda sucks.

OpenMediaVault: Like FreeNAS, but based on Debian instead of the BSD Operating System. Looks kinda colorful.