News :: How the GNU community ranks distros

Third Tier Distros: Petty Officers

Like petty officers on a ship, the distributions in this category represent a parallel hierarchy. In other words, while there is a continuity in the rankings of the first and second tier, those in the third tier have settled down to become prominent in their own niches. Unlike those in the first and second tier, these distributions make no attempt to offer something for everyone; instead, they are designed for very specific purposes. For this reason, distros in this category are judged less by popularity or influence than by how useful they are for particular purposes.
Damn Small Linux (DSL): One of the first and best-known distributions for small or minimal systems, DSL has developed a community that is unusually loyal for free software. Among its peculiarities is a continued use of the 2.4 kernel and a resolution to limit the size to 50 megabytes.

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