Jenny’s Daily Drivers: Damn Small Linux 2024

There was a time when the gulf between a new computer and one a decade or more old was so large as to be insurmountable; when a Pentium was the chip to have an older computer had a 16-bit 8086 or 286. Here in the 2020s, though, that divide is less stark. While a machine from the mid-2000s may no longer be considered quick, it can still run modern and useful software.

The problem facing the owner of such older hardware though is that as operating systems advance their requirements and eclipse their machine’s capabilities. A perfectly good machine becomes less useful, not because the tasks it needs to be used for are beyond it, but because the latest OS is built with higher-spec hardware in mind. The subject of today’s test is an operating system designed to make the best of older hardware, and it’s one with a pedigree. Damn Small Linux, or DSL, first appeared in 2005 as a tiny distro for the old machines of the day, and after a long hiatus it’s back with a 2024 edition.

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