AUSTRUMI Still Alive, Who Knew?

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 26, 2012

AUSTRUMI is a small Linux distribution aimed at lower-resource computers. It always reminded me of Puppy Linux, not so much in appearance (or even operation), but in philosophy and feel. It's blinding fast on modern machines, it offers a customized light-weight window manager and popular applications, and it's still a two-minute download. Like Puppy, it might have a few other things you might not expect.

I first reviewed AUSTRUMI back in 2005, and followed its development for a couple of years before it dropped off my radar. The team hasn't put out a press release or release announcement since 2007. In trying to fill in some of the blanks, I found it seems AUSTRUMI hadn't disbanded or stopped production, they just forgot to tell folks. In fact, a user known to most only as Prashanth reviewed version 2.2.9 extensively last March.

As it turns out version 2.5.3 was recently released, again, shhh, very quietly. I only saw it mentioned in the left-hand column on, where those that make a release available, but don't announcement it formally, are relegated. It appears AUSTRUMI is still based on Slackware and has very low system requirements. These are:

* CPU - Intel-compatible (pentium2 or later);
* RAM - at least 512 MB;
* HD - not needed;
* CD-ROM - bootable CD-ROM drive.

In testing, this strange little distro from a quiet corner of the globe is still one of the fastest performers in the business. It ships with GIMP, SeaMonkey, Skype, LibreOffice, and a lot of other applications you like to use. It's based on Linux 3.4.4 and GCC 4.5.2 and includes proprietary graphic drivers and multimedia support. (To change languages, press F1 at boot or use the little language app included in the menu.)

Just like I discovered years ago, AUSTRUMI is a cool little ole distro and I'm glad it still lives.