Apple has made famous the phrase “There is an app for that“. In the open source Linux world, you can apply the same saying too: “There is an distro for that“. Indeed, for whatever functions you want your OS to perform, there is a distro for that. Need a media center? Mythbuntu. Need a multimedia creation tool? UbuntuStudio. Need a distro for kids? DouDouLinux. Need a lightweight OS that runs in old computer? Lubuntu. Need a super lightweight distro that can fit into your USB drive? DamnSmallLinux. Need a distro for browsing the web? BrowserLinux.
Yes, you heard me right. There is a Linux distro solely for browsing the web and its name is called BrowserLinux.
At 98MB, it is not exactly the smallest distro around (DamnSmallLinux is only 50MB), but it serves a purpose. It allows you to boot up quickly on any computer and be able to browse the web. Need to surf in the cybercafe while on a holiday but afraid that there are viruses/malware/tracking tools installed in the computer? BrowserLinux could fill that niche.
After you have downloaded BrowserLinux, you can either burn it into a CD and use it as a Live CD or create a bootable USB drive. If you need persistent data (storing your session or save files), it is best to create a bootable USB drive.
When you boot into BrowserLinux, it will first ask you to setup your video card.
The default method is to select the “Probe” option. If the monitor detection is not successful, simply choose from a list of generic monitor setting.
This is what you will see on the main screen. As can be seen, there is only a Firefox browser icon on the desktop.
Hovering your mouse at the bottom will show a menu dock where you can access the file manager, text editor and the terminal.
Clicking the “More Apps” option also reveal several other pre-installed apps like gFTP, music player, pdf viewer, image viewer etc.
Since it is a lightweight distro, it loads pretty fast and doesn’t take up too much of the resource. Minimal setup are required and it works right out of the box after you boot it up, so that is really great for bringing it on a USB drive. If you really need a distro solely for browsing, then BrowserLinux is one distro that you can consider. For everything else, you might consider installing PuppyLinux or Ubuntu on your thumb drive.