Ultra minimal Raspbian Image for Pi Zero and Zero W

I wanted to make a ultra lite image that I can quickly drop Go programs onto. This image had a few requirements, be under 300MB, have less than 20MB ram usage idle, startup in under 5 seconds. I will post below everything I did to strip this down so that it can be replicated in the future. Currently with the steps below I have achieved 427MB/16MB, close to my goal for disk and memory usage is below the goal. As for bootup time, I am limited by network connection time 5+ seconds.

Install a fresh Raspbian Stretch Lite image into the SD card (source).

Configure headless SSH and Wi-Fi (if necessary) before starting the SD card (source).

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Raspberry Pi Booting From USB on older models

Booting from USB is easy on a Pi1, Pi2, or Pi3. This can be useful in mamy cases to speed up the performance of your pi when using a slow sd card. It can also provide a reliable location where you operating system data resides. Sd cards are prone to data corruption from writes a operating system ussually does.   Write the latest Raspbian image to an SD card and boot it. [Read More]

Switching to Linux

I have just about had it with Windows updates being forced on me. Graphics drivers breaking. My settings getting reset every time I get on and many other reasons I won't begin to rant about. I chose to go with a decently common operating system for better compatibility.

I have gone through the install process and have installed Ubuntu 18.04LTS. For less advanced Linux users you can go with a simpler Linux like Solus which is a little more GUI friendly system.

You can modify ubuntu to your likings using a tool called “gnome tweaks” and you can disable animations to speed things up by using a tool called “dconf-editor”.

In dconf-editor, browse to org.gnome.desktop.interface and set enable-animations=false.

You can also run this command to disable animations:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface enable-animations false

You do not need to log out and back in, it should take effect immediately.

After getting all settled and having all my software carried over. I had a few pieces of software that was not compatible and I still needed. Most of my software was available in Ubuntu application store. Everything left is listed below:

Ubuntu Get right click new documents back. Here is a link to a couple of templates we made.

To get the Windows-only software running I installed Virtualbox and installed Windows 10 and started to hack away at all its imperfections to slim it down. This virtual machine won't be used that often so its a compromise I'm willing to make. I can also set quick one click restore points just in case windows breaks. I have compiled a list for all to use:

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