Linux + X on one floppy

I recall back in 2003, there were a couple of Linux distributions that were compiled from source and ran on one or two floppies -- and they had X windows and a desktop.

This afternoon I tried to find them. Took a lot of searching, but I found one, known as '1diskXwin' or '2diskXwin':

Thinking hard about this, I seem to recall there was one that had gtk 1.2 and Netscape/Mozilla and it still fitted on 2 floppies ...or, maybe my memory is faulty.
Or, it may have been 1diskXwin, as that has build scripts to download and compile GTK 1.2 and Mozilla.

Xwoaf is another one. Puppy Forum member goingnuts is our specialist in small Linuxes, and has resurrected Xwoaf here (the original site is dead):
Here is a Xwoaf download site. Ah, xwoaf is based upon 1diskXwin and needs it's sources:
...but that is only 0.1.0, and I think the latest is 0.2.0.

As far as I can determine, there is no source, only binaries.

This is created by goingnuts. Does not fit on 2 floppies but still tiny:

Does anybody have Vmware installed? If so, I was wondering if you could do something for me. Get hold of this (27MB):
which is described here:

...and extract the files from the Vmware image, make it into a tarball.

The reason is, the other 1diskXwin source tarballs do not have the sources for some extra apps, such as 'mdesk' -- I would like to examine those sources and compile them.

Posted on 4 Jun 2012, 22:25


Posted on 4 Jun 2012, 24:08 by steev
Vmware image
Here are the files Barry

Qemu comes with a useful tool for creating/converting different disk image formats:

qemu-img convert -O raw hda.img hda.raw

Converts the vmware image into a raw dd image.

Then you can just mount it

mount -o loop,offset=$((63*512)) hda.raw /mnt/tmp

Posted on 4 Jun 2012, 24:23 by Sage
Reduced fat Linux
Remember Menuet? Then a Russian guy wrote Kolibri for a single floppy based upon Menuet. All assembler - like the proverbial lightning. Only problem was mistranslation/mis-meaning of 'browser' as File Manager/File Searcher. A web browser was promised. Lost touch with that project but still have copy original FD. Always said it needed a developer of outstanding calibre to build upon these. Perhaps they're still going?

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 3:04 by vtpup
Coyote Linux
Don't know if it's of interest but I used to use Coyote Linux -- a one floppy Linux with my old DX486-66 desktop. It converts the computer into a router. No HD needed.

Reboots automatically from the floppy after a power outtage. Has a web interface accessible from another computer, or command line from the router itself.

I'm sure I still have a copy of it around somewhere, if you want one.

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 5:22 by goingnuts
mdesk source
Although stated that source for mdesk is present I doubt it. Seem to me that only the binary is shipped - as far as I remember the make/build only installs symlinks for the different apps it holds.

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 5:44 by mavrothal
Although the last official release of the 1.6MB Kolibri is from 2009 (, it is actively developed ( and with a busy forum (
Though if your Russian is not good you are in trouble...

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 8:41 by BarryK
Re mdesk source
Thanks for that. I looked inside the tarball, and goingnuts, you are right, there is no source for mdesk.

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 8:47 by Zeke-baby
My fav single-floppy linux was muLinux -

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 8:49 by Zeke-baby
My fav single-floppy linux was muLinux -

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 10:31 by aarf
img conversion
noobys excuse for his ntfs addiction is that he needs windows to image his android phone, so I am wondering if it is possible to use the qemu above to convert the android image to something that can be done by dd in puppy?

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 11:27 by James Thompson
Floppy Linux Distributions
A list of floppy based Linux Distributions:

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 11:38 by steev
re: mdesk source
Sorry, didn't check if the source was there or not.
Just tarred up the files and uploaded it.

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 15:14 by Sage
"if your Russian is not good"
Thanks for that update, mavie. Had a suspicion I read about its progress but couldn't remember reason for not following it up!
Isn't there a guy on John's Forum that looks after Eng-Russ translation? Perhaps another project for him?
Come in St Cyril...

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 16:43 by L18L
re Kolibri
I am not St. Cyril but in the English section of their forum there is a thread about translations:
Last unanswered post there is dated Mon Sep 12, 2011

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 18:53 by goingnuts
xwoaf sources
Made a tarball of all the original xwoaf archives and files - a 17Mb download - that I have:

The archive contains:

14.619 Hacklin.htm
584.793 hacksrc02.tgz
9.904 HOWTO.xwoaf
3.061.988 lhafh-02.tgz
3.099.366 lhafh-03.tgz
910.549 lmw-0.24.tgz
16.385 README.htm
3.651 README.lhafh-02
4.052 README.lhafh-03
26.182 README.txt
11.681 README.xwoafk
3.648.347 woaf-0.2.0g-custom.tgz
2.105.179 woaf-0.2.0g-fb-elmo.tgz
2.086.818 woaf-0.2.0g-vesa-elmo.tgz
1.945.991 woaf-0.2.0g.kit.tgz

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 20:36 by Sage
Kolibri update
Just checked that URL. Timeliness? Coincidence? Visitor tracking dated?
Looks as if a version was uploaded today, about one hour ago?
Download is almost instantaneous.

Posted on 5 Jun 2012, 20:48 by BarryK
Re Xwoaf source
Thanks, I have downloaded it.

Posted on 6 Jun 2012, 2:13 by Sage
Mindful of the aims of the RPi, shouldn't an OS written in assembler be the perfect match? Comments and observations from the cognoscenti, please.
Notwithstanding, no chance of attaching a FDD. Probably an LS120 could be used with the VIA device?

Posted on 9 Jun 2012, 9:01 by ockhams barber
1 Disk OS
Hi Barry,

May be of interest.


Posted on 12 Jun 2012, 19:50 by scsijon
mdesk source
mdesk was origonally a user IBM os/2 project back when os/2 was v2.1. Thry one of their forum sites, i'm pretty sure someone will have the source, but you may have some recoding to update it for todays linux unless one of the origonal coders has it.