Friday, December 24, 2010

µReview: antiX linux

Over the past few weeks I've heard folks talking about a somewhat-lighter distro called antiX. Took it for a spin in virtualbox. Came up quickly with no drama.

RAM usage in the screenshot above is 96MB with the browser open to (accidentally typed the mobile version by habit).

I'm impressed with the snappiness and memory use of the livecd version. I didn't try to install it yet.

ISO, minimum ram, minimum HD, WM/DE
antix: 484MB, 128MB, 1.2GB, IceWM/Fluxbox
lubuntu: 546MB, 160MB, unknown, lxde
xubuntu: 726MB (!), 256MB, 2.0GB, xfce

I think this middleweight field is worth watching. I suspect the current economic environment will encourage people to get all the mileage they can out of previous-generation boxes. With middleweights like antiX you can "add lightness" without having to deal with the weirdness of puppy, dsl, tinycore, etc.


  1. I just released Swift Linux 0.0.3, which is based on antiX Linux M8.5. Swift Linux is the first antiX-based distro and features the unique combination of lightweight operation (compettive with Puppy Linux and Windows 98), full compatibility with the Debian repository (over 20,000 packages), AND user-friendliness.

    There are two main editions, Diet Swift Linux and Swift Linux. Diet Swift Linux has neither OpenOffice nor extra forensic/rescue/recovery programs. The forensic/rescue/recovery programs of Forensic Swift Linux have now been added to regular Swift Linux.

    There are now four special editions of Swift Linux: Taylor Swift Linux, iCarly Swift Linux, Magnum P.I. Swift Linux, and NASCAR Swift Linux. All special editions are regular Swift Linux with special wallpaper and a special audio clip that plays when you boot up. There is NO official status whatsoever. Thus, these special editions are just marketing gimmicks to promote Linux.

  2. I loaded up Swift in a VM for testing.

    The Good: Running as LiveCD image from .iso it loaded quickly and pulled a DHCP lease automagically. About 105MB RAM used with full desktop and browser open at

    The Bad: nothing, really. Minimalist desktop reminds me of puppy a bit, though Puppy is 1/6th the size and can also use Debian (or many other) depositories. Puppy is probably the biggest competitor.

    The Weird: the "Nazis with machinegun" framebuffer image was a bit unexpected.

    Other thoughts: 600+ MB, though this includes OO and some forensic tools (the latter is a nice touch). A .torrent download option would have been welcome and might help defray your bandwidth costs.

    Swift can be found here: