LilDeb is a computer software system, based on Debian GNU/Linux and Debian Live, that can be run on x86 PCs from USB flash drives as small as 256MB. LilDeb is designed to provide a reliable system for occasional convenient or emergency use, and to be easy to update. LilDeb is intended primarily for technical users, and secondarily for casual users who merely want to run, say, a Web browser or a messaging program.
For reliability, changes made to the LilDeb filesystem while it is running are not saved to the USB drive, except for changes made to a persistent "Saved" folder on the desktop. The "Saved" folder is also accessible as a normal FAT filesystem when the drive is plugged into computers without booting from the drive.
LilDeb was started in 2010, when the developer received a keychain Swiss Army pocketknife with a 256MB USB drive.
NOTE: LilDeb is currently an alpha release, for testing purposes only.
LilDeb includes the following software, some of it in nonstandard configurations:
Iceweasel (Mozilla Firefox variant) Web browser
Icedove (Mozilla Thunderbird variant) email client
XChat IRC client
Pidgin IM client
vim programmer's text editors
SSH, VNC, and RDP remote shell and desktop clients
Network diagnostics tools
Data recovery tools
LXDE graphical desktop and Xorg window system
Wicd network connection manager (from Debian Backports)
CUPS printing system
Firmware for various WiFi devices (from Debian
Xmms2 and Gxmms2 for playing Ogg Vorbis and MP3 music
Git, Subversion, CVS, and RCS
Various other GNU software tools
Simon Tatham's Puzzle Collection
And Linux 2.6.x kernel and the Syslinux bootloader, of course.
For the most part, no changes made to the LilDeb's filesystem are stored to the USB drive, to provide a consistent configuration and to avoid wearing out the flash media. One exception to this is that some installations of LilDeb have a "Saved" folder on the desktop that is stored on the USB drive. This "Saved" folder may be created by update-lildeb when doing a clean installation of LilDeb to the USB drive.
LilDeb is currently an ALPHA RELEASE. If you are a Linux techie and you are willing to help test LilDeb, here's how:
Go to a GNU/Linux system. (The updater is being developed on
lenny; we don't yet know how well it runs on other
Download the updater/installer and the distribution disk image:
Plug in a USB flash drive that does not have any data you want to keep.
Unmount any filesystems from the USB drive that your computer just mounted.
Run the updater/installer something like this:
sudo /home/myself/update-lildeb \ --new-install-so-delete-all-my-data-please \ --image /home/myself/lildeb-20100530.img \ --device /dev/disk/by-id/usb-Pocketknife-256MB-1234-0\:0
(Note: You must specify the device through
/dev/disk/by-id/usb-*, to help avoid accidents of writing to
the wrong device.)
(Note: You could instead simply
dd the image to the raw USB
drive, but that doesn't give you a
_Saved_ partition, nor
does it set up the partitioning for easy future updates.)
Try booting from the USB drive.
Please send any feedback to
neil AT neilvandyke DOT org.
Latest Debian Stable updates are now included.
whois package is now included.
build-lildeb now installs packages it needs.
20100530 - First alpha release, for testing.
The contributors to Debian GNU/Linux and Debian Live, and to the individual software packages used by LilDeb, must number in the thousands. Although LilDeb makes some new contributions of its own, it is very much a product of standing upon the shoulders of giants. Also, when LilDeb was first being developed, ASJ, DG, DJ, GB, HPA, JHM, JT, MG, PP, and PZ (names obscured to protect the guilty) had helpful comments. LilDeb itself is developed by Neil Van Dyke.
The software created specifically for LilDeb is copyright 2010 Neil Van
Dyke. This is Free Software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software
Foundation; either version 2 of the License (GPL 2), or (at your option) any
later version. This software is distributed in the hope that it will be
useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of
merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. See
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/ for details.
Other software included in LilDeb, which makes up the vast bulk of LilDeb,
is copyright its respective owners, and is under various licenses.
Documentation of the various copyrights and licenses can be found on the
debian.org Web site.
lildeb.org Copyright © 2010 Neil Van Dyke