Tiny11 Makes Windows 11 Small

If you often spin up a virtual machine just to run Windows, you might be sad that you have to allocate so much space for it. The Tiny11 project provides a Windows 11 installer that strips and compresses a bare minimum system do under 8GB of space. We aren’t sure what the licensing aspects of it all mean, but there are a few things you need to know. You can see a video about the project below.

The installer requires you to activate Windows, so that’s probably a good thing from a legal standpoint. Besides being compressed, the installer, based on Window 11 Pro 22H2, removes sponsored applications and Teams. It does, however, have the component installer and the Microsoft store, so you can add back things you want that aren’t in the default install.

The total install is under 7GB compared to over 20GB for a full retail install. It also removes some compatibility checks, so it will run on machines with less memory — 2GB, for example — another plus for a virtual machine. The operating system uses a local account by default, but you can log in with your Microsoft account if you wish. Be sure to set up 2 CPUs in the virtual machine or the installer won’t like it. We also couldn’t get the “b2” version installer to realize that the VirtualBox machine was able to handle Tiny11. The “b1” version installed fine with the exact same configuration.

Of course, you might be suspicious that something like this could be harvesting account data, and we can’t say if it is or isn’t. However, we doubt it is a problem, and for a throwaway VM, it might be just the thing. Downloading from archive.org is slow, though, so maybe try the torrent.

If you don’t want to run Windows 11 on a Linux virtual machine, you can go the other way around. There is more than one way to do that.

81 thoughts on “Tiny11 Makes Windows 11 Small

    1. There’s always been smaller and less capable systems. A 3.5″ floppy would be able to hold half a cubic meters worth of rope core memory.

      7 GB is a good reduction down from 20, I’d say.

      1. An OS, should load applications into memory, started execution and consumed minimal resources. And provide a consistent API to access resources. I’m starting to see Windows as more of a spyware platform than anything else these days. Heck even the MS compilers default to uploading extra telemetry back to Microsoft.

          1. “We” had capable workstations in the 1980s, with GUI and everything. Some ran Unix, some real OSes.. And they all weren’t as bloated, allowed individual installation/de-installation of components. Just have a look at the early SGI graphical workstations, the Apple Lisa, Xerox Alto. History wasn’t as depressing as it seems. Hardware requirements didn’t always raise, sometimes they even sunk. OS/2 Warp 3 was less demanding than its predecessors, for example.

        1. they have gone too far this time. all tech companies do this now, so why should ms or even apple miss out on the fun. i wish they would work on technology rather than trying to subjugate their userbase.

        2. I suspect you may want to add a few things there, as not everyone wants to implement multi-thread dispatching, memory management, and a network stack in their application.

          The reality is modern PCs are nowhere near as simple as what we had up until 98 or so. Windows for all (yes) it’s bloat is also damned good at keeping itself working and applications running on a massively large number of hardware sets. I would much rather sacrifice a few GB and a few cycles I don’t even notice and get in the trade-off the ability to skip writing anything in my code beyond the actual business logic.

          1. i think the biggest atrocity is the vandalization of the front end. the core of windows is pretty solid when its not trying to sell your personal information to the highest bidder. but ive seen the ui go from a crude menu system of 3.1 to a really good system circa win7, and then the abominations of win8, win8.1, win10 and win11. where they broke it, fixed a couple of the many things they broke, let it stay broke and broke it worse, respectively. win7 was the last version i used where i didn’t need 3rd party software to fix the ui.

          2. “I suspect you may want to add a few things there, as not everyone wants to implement multi-thread dispatching, memory management, and a network stack in their application.”
            All of that is easily available since 20 years in Windows.

    2. I also balked at that. I mean it’s better than 20GB.. Good lord, I remember when that was a Star Trek amount of memory. Twenty gigaquads. Absurdly futuristic. Now it can’t hold Bill Gates’s OS. And it still sucks.

      1. Basic computer supply and demand…and it has been going on for decades. First needed kb’s then mb’s now gb’s then tb’s………..and all that development still means it takes ages to load a “simple” word file.
        It’s just depressing the waste, lack of imagination and product quality that passes spec now.

          1. Lazy programming ?! Even bad code doesn’t take much space. what takes space is usually resources (higher reso etc.)

            You could say that bad architecture is at fault in some cases (why use 2 pictures if you can use 1 and change it… ofc if it is smart thing to do. you always have tradeoffs)

      1. Now we have internet modem/routers that take 5 minutes to boot despite all of it being in solid state storage.

        Why don’t we have them able to be instantly ready to use when the power switch is pressed? 1980’s microcomputers ran their operating systems from ROM chips. Your router stores it in flash memory then has to sloooowly copy it to RAM before it can do anything, despite it being a static system where nothing changes (especially with all logging off).

        I want one where the OS runs from where it’s stored. With a small amount of RAM to cache what little may change, periodically copied to some NVRAM.

        Flip the switch and the OS immediately starts to execute from its non-writeable storage. (Which can of course be written to when doing an OS update/upgrade.)

        We have fast enough hardware to do them this way, but nobody makes them this way.

        1. > I want one where the OS runs from where it’s stored. With a small amount of RAM to cache what little may change, periodically copied to some NVRAM.

          That is possible, but you’d need NOR flash chips, and those are NOT cheap. At least for generic hardware. For most routers – they have compressed rootfs, so it would not work as-is anyway.

      2. Ready to let you code anything you might desire within those 64kb of memory. Ready to do anything useful, not so much. If those old and less capable systems were such a bliss, then why are you using a modern pc to go on hackaday? :p

      1. Games and OSes are completely different beasts.
        Assets are mostly what takes the most space (textures and videos the worst offenders)
        I doubt an OS should have so many assets, besides the one used for the GUI, fonts and sound.

        1. well, microsoft definitely started the trend but they are far from being the worst offender these days… last game I installed was 90Gb in size…

          blame the industry and society as a whole, blaming just microsoft makes you look weird…

          1. Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop – Normal Installation. Software Selection: Normal Installation (other option is Minimal) Packages Installed: 1592 Disk Size: 6.80 GB

            The majority of disk use in Windows is the system component store, which holds multiple copies of multiple versions of DLLs and other components, so software which expects different versions can each have their own, and changing one thing doesn’t break another thing, like in Linux.

          2. Dude says (February 22, 2023 at 6:52 am): “… break another thing, like in Linux.”
            Linux package/app managers check compatibilities & alert the user of problems before installation. Dependencies can then be updated together to make sure apps don’t break. This stops working if app developers stop updating their apps & mirrors but it’s much better than Windows bloatware. Linux allows you to swap components & tools.

          3. Look… yes, 90GB is usually an indication of bad optimization by a game company, but it completely makes sense for games to be far bigger than operating systems. Games pack assets like videos, textures, animation bases, soundtracks, and sound effects – with people demanding 4K (or even 8K) gameplay, those files are becoming exponentially larger with each AAA game. I personally don’t see any value in gaming above 1440p, but the people begging for 4K+ are the reason why games are so massive these days.
            An operating system, on the other hand, only needs a few UI elements and a couple of tiny sound effects in terms of assets. The rest of the size is going to come from drivers and libraries., and shouldn’t really need 20GB…

        2. It’s not the 90’s anymore my guy. Yes it’s aggrivating, but it is what it is.

          I have memories of seeing minueteOS on a single floppy and having a mind=blown moment on seeing something that looked and behaved much like windows on a single 1.44 floppy. Yet you could argue that was silly in terms of ‘things to be impressed by’ because a decade prior Amiga did it with KickstartOS.

          It can always be a race to ‘raaah Back in my day you had to type in commands to load things’ and even then that can be torn down. ‘You had a computer! We had TERMINALS that were hard wired into a mainframe!’

          The whole argument reeks of ‘it was better back then.’

          Maybe it was! Maybe it wasn’t. However that day is not today. Today is the day we’re in.

          1. “It’s not the 90’s anymore my guy. Yes it’s aggrivating, but it is what it is. ”

            It is as long as we want it to be! 😝

            “It can always be a race to ‘raaah Back in my day you had to type in commands to load things’ and even then that can be torn down. ‘You had a computer! We had TERMINALS that were hard wired into a mainframe!’”

            False wisdom. Terminals were used for much longer. They ran in public libraries, in cities. Mainframes.. Ts. Stereotypes. 🙄🤣

            Kid, dig up an entry for PC-MOS/386.
            DOS programs ran on serial terminals, too. No, not in the 1960s.. Ts. End users.. 🙄😂

      1. Memory is cheap to waste on 3D animated backgrounds and idiotic window effects, useless apps, forced programs you don’t use and spying?

        No thanks.

        And you are the one that needs to deal with it in the end, because you are going to have to use and waste money on that garbage longer. You know, take a look at the big picture whizzing over your head.

        1. Oh come on, Memory is actually cheap, you can buy a 1TB SSD for $50. 3D backgrounds and window effects are actually extremely efficient, and definitely not what’s taking up the 7GB. Furthermore, I hate people who call basic utilities useless apps. Last I checked I *want* a fully fledged calculator, a calendar, an email app, a camera app (unless on desktop), a clock/timer/stopwatch, a Maps app, an App Store, a Weather app, a Media player, a Web browser, etc. Especially for an OS that will be used by the typical non techy person. The other preinstalled garbage that’s basically ads I understand the hate for it, especially on the Home version. Finally, for the so called “spyware”, MS is the least offender of the big companies. The telemetry collected is actually reasonable relative speaking when compared to for ex: Google or Facebook, who track your every move even if you don’t have an account.

          Windows is not without faults, but I’d MUCH rather deal with its various minor inconveniences than curse at whatever distro of Linux of the week I’m using for unexpectedly breaking while doing the simplest tasks.

          1. OK I’ll bite. My Linux Mint comes with everything you describe AND a full office suite. Installs straight from a USB drive even on some of the slightly odd hardware configs I’m using. No account or passwords during setup and it “just works.” I do all my business and personal computing on Linux and haven’t had any of the “unexpected breaking” you describe…. Except when I fire up windows on an old machine and it always seems to find an excuse to turn itself off. My Linux machines, on the other hand, just put a gentle reminder in the update screen so I can restart at my leisure.

            Now, we might argue that the restarting behaviour can be fixed in Windows’ settings. Maybe it can, but since you specified “non techy person” I think sensible defaults are a better place to start, and in 2023 those are found in popular Linux distros.

            It’s your computer, you run whatever makes your work easiest. But please don’t pretend that Linux is harder to use for non techy people in 2023.

      2. If OSes would instantly start/resume, be secure, offer a minimum install without apps I dont need or ads on them, and have no (additional)lag/hiccups whatsoever, then I would not bother.
        The software industry have a real problem of mediocre developers that create unnecessarly bloated software. And I am not talking about costly optimizations, just having more design sensibility.

  1. JayzTwoCents, who is a quite respactable youtuber, just made a new video about the Bos Taurus excrement that microsoft pukes over their paying customers. youtube.com/watch?v=EOUcvgqOV-0

    I once saw a windoze screen with weird blue tiles instead of a start menu. That was the last drip for me, I inserted an USB stick and installed Linux, and never used a windoze computer after that.
    Running windoze in a VM does have some interest for me, but I really don’t like to jump though such silly hoops, which would probably mean to have a version where someone else already disabled that smelly stuff . But I have not much need for it. I’ve been thinking of buying some industrial servo motors which need a PC to setup their parameters, but I find myself unwilling to buy such a motor (at approx EUR300 each) if you need that os to set them up. There are some that can be programmed via buttons and a few 7 segment displays, but if anyone knows versions with Linux support that would be a big plus for me. But asking this on the LinuxCNC forum is probably a much better place.

    1. Do the servos have an open communication protocol? I once used some small stepper servos, which had RS232/485 communication and the ASCII protocol was in the manual. Another option is to try to search the www if someone else has already made a program or protocol analysis on them, although a better option is to buy from a company, that either directly supports more than MS or atleast has an open protocol.

  2. I find it really strange that every major news site advertises a questionable tampered operating system as it is is a completely normal thing to use tampered software just because it is smaller.

    1. It’s put together by NTDEV who is @NTDEV_ on twitter and @ntdev@mastodon.social also. I started following them a few years ago when the source for Windows XP and Server 2003 leaked and they made a video about trying to compile the server one. Sadly that video was DMCA’d out of existence.

      They’re working on a video on how to make your own lightweight Tiny11 style image from the publicly available official isos. I don’t think it’s out yet though.

  3. Reading the comments on this post gives me a big sense of nostalgia. I feel like it’s 2000 again and I’m reading comments on a Slashdot article about something Microsoft related. I’m just waiting for someone to make some comments about Natalie Portman being petrified and/or say Pist Frost. The people putting the dollar signs in Microsoft and calling Windows: Windoze are covered.. that’s for sure.

    1. It’s been 20 years since Microsoft was the most anti-consumer, anti-FOSS company.

      If you want to buy a smartphone in 2023 your options are a completely locked down walled garden ecosystem with fully vertically integrated hardware, or a somewhat less locked down OS financed by legitimized spyware. But they both run FOSS UNIX-like kernels and plenty of GNU software, so mission accomplished nerds.

    1. i install “some dev tools” on every linux box i set up, and i can’t come up with your numbers. i think when you said “Linux install with some dev tools”, maybe specifically you meant eclipse? that is, linux is tiny, the dev tools are tiny, and eclipse will use 20GB just for a base install. i mean, i’ve somehow got 50GB of android dev kit.

      said that way, i agree. “windows is so bloated it’s like eclipse” is something i can co-sign.

      it really is amazing how there are so many mirror worlds where people spend enormous amounts of storage (disk and ram) to accomplish the same tasks i do, but more slowly and with less flexibility. to each their own i guess

      1. Just the usual gcc+libraries and kicad ;) . No eclipse, i prefer straight up C in text editors an terminals, I can dump my package list if you want..
        Lets just say that 20GB is what i usually end up with on linux installs when i grab all the tools.

        Its great to see the elitism of linux users is alive and well :D

  4. Actually used this recently(well, tiny10) to install unreal engine because the modkit I’m using doesn’t work on linux and normal windows + ue4 + modkit was just too big for my 128gb ssd

  5. Contractor paid $40 to try to install 11 Tiny on $130 Office Depot hp stream 13 2/32 GB Celeron N3050 1.6/2.16 GHz laptop running Windows 20 20H2.


    My evaluation revealed 1 buggy windows explorer 2 Task Manager primitive … no performance tab 3 ran DosBox portable which ran figForth86.

    No advantages seen over windows 10.

    Windows 10 1909 installed.

    20H2 crashes ~2-5 days, then recovers without asking for passwords.

    1909 much more stable.

  6. Bloat? Blame some of that on the ‘user’! For just one example, I hear complaints about Linux sometimes that doesn’t look modern. Ok… But does it allow you to run your apps to be productive? Yes. Well, isn’t that all that matters??? Maybe, but I still ‘want’ …. So users drive a lot of the bloat as almost every user has different things they want to see and do. So in one respect Windows (and Linux) are a product of the user who is never ever satisfied.

    I am one of those guys, for development, that as long as I have say a command terminal, a text editor, gcc, g++, asm, make, and gdb… I am good. But others want to use a ‘modern’ ide for development (think Visual studio) and integrated debugging, integrated source control, supports multiple languages, etc…. All adds to the ‘bloat’. Now some bloat is good as long as it increases productivity and reliability and the hardware supports it. So there just has to be a balance there. That said, today’s memory and disk storage is plentiful and cheap. A 1TB SSD is under $100. 64GB of DDR4 memory is less than $200. No excuse for not having enough to do the job you are trying to accomplish. Shoot, pictures used to fit on a floppy. Now you would need several floppies for ‘one’ picture. times change :) so we need to roll with it. I do like remembering the good ‘o days though when 256K was considered ‘swimming in memory’. But time marches on….

    1. > That said, today’s memory and disk storage is plentiful and cheap. A 1TB SSD is under $100. 64GB of DDR4 memory is less than $200. No excuse for not having enough to do the job you are trying to accomplish.
      And then you multiply that by *12 for a computer lab. (Oh, and most of cheap SSDs are shit those days, so multiply that number by at least two.

  7. I have a laptop that’s less than 8 years old with 12G Ram, 1TB SSD, a 4K screen, and a dual core i7 that MS says will not run Win 11. So a tiny Win 11 install doesn’t interest me. Need something to run on my awesome laptop. It would be nice if it ran AutoDesk Inventor too but I don’t see that happening.

    My first microprocessor build had 256 bytes for RAM. And my dad couldn’t believe it was on a small 8″x8″ pcb. He still remembered magnetic core memory.

      1. This is actually my question. I have a desktop that has W11 pre-installed. It’s the Home edition. It ran so slowly that I put on ChromeOS Flex. Now I want to try Tiny11 and it’s based on W11 Pro. What would happen? Normally, after Windows re-installation, the PC will acquire its license by talking to MS and MS will validate some internal ID (of the motherboard or CPU etc.). Now with Tiny11 (and its W11 Pro base), do I need to upgrade the license to Pro? Or will it “downgrade” itself to Home?

    1. it really, really does. like don’t get me wrong i am obsessed with old operating systems and hardware. i literally repair them and get them running as a hobby but… man. i’m willing to admit 20GB is absolutely bloat but when you start reading comments about 486es and such it’s like maybe relax a little guys.

  8. The only reason and excuse for a person for using W11 is if that person wants to play newer windows games.
    That means that an underpowered system with W11 is basically pointless and ridiculous.

  9. Windows 11 Lite from SasNet its much better…Unfortunately, today’s world is just a bunch of monkeys who take each other for views on YouTube or clicks on websites. Advertise this very bad operating system, just for views. A truly windows lite is Sasnet’s!

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