Welcome to the Tiny Core Linux Wiki at tinycorelinux.net!

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This page will explain how to make a Live CD to get started using TC (Tiny Core Linux) and typical applications. These brief instructions are intended for users who are new to Linux.

#Download a Live CD

The easiest way to start using TC is to download the Tiny Core .iso file and burn it onto a CD-RW or CD-R.

This CD is called a LiveCD because you can run the system off the cd on any computer without needing to install it onto the hard drive.

First, download the current .iso file: Get the current Tiny Core ISO

If you have trouble, cut and paste the full link into your browser's URL bar:


#Burn the ISO to CD-RW or CD-R

Burn the .iso onto a blank disc. You will need

  • a blank CD-RW or CD-R
  • the Tiny Core ISO, from above
  • software that burns CDs

When you burn the CD:

  • Start with a CD-RW instead of a CD-R. However, some computers won't boot from a CD-RW. Try one, but YMMV. The reason to start with CD-RW is because they can be re-used.
  • Your CD burning software probably has a special function (menu item) to burn ISO files. It may also have an option for bootable ISO files. Try the latter if available.
  • If you burn the ISO file like a regular file, or like an audio track … it's likely not going to work out. A test: burn the CD, then open it in a file browser. If your CD now has “tinycore-current.iso” … then it won't boot. Instead, you should see a folder called “boot”.

If you have trouble, google up some notes on your particular software. Generic notes on common platforms:

Success? Great! Stick the CD into the CD drive in any PC and boot (or reboot).

#The TC Desktop

The TC desktop will appear after about 30 seconds. It will look something like:


(And here are some more Tiny Core screenshots.)

Four icons float at the bottom of the screen in an area we call wbar.


  • The circle icon allows shutdown, reboot or exit to a login prompt.
  • The monitor icon will start a Linux terminal ( aterm). You can type *nix-style commands in this text-only window. Sometimes, the Terminal window is the fastest way to get things done.
  • The screwdriver icon will bring up the Control Panel. The Control Panel gives buttons to access basic Tiny Core utilities.
  • The gears icon with will show the Appbrowser window. The Appbrowser enables you to get new apps to run on your TC installation.

The Desktop Menu appears when you mouse click the desktop.

Base/stock Tiny Core intentionally includes no applications. Typical applications (like a web browser, word-processor, music player, etc.) must be selected by you, downloaded and installed. Fortunately, this is fairly easy thanks to … Appbrowser!

#The Internet

(but I thought I was going to learn about Appbrowser!?)

First you need to connect your computer to the Internet. Tiny Core includes only a few modules (drivers), so your wireless connection may not work. Tiny Core does auto-magically connect just about every wired Ethernet cable connections, though.

If you only have a wireless connection (or if that is the only one that works), you will have to do some other configuration first. Read Setting up Wifi.

If you're one of the few that Tiny Core didn't set up right away, you can troubleshoot your network connection:

  • Reboot, ideally without cycling the power. Some network cards act funny on a cold boot, but will work fine after a reboot.
  • The first stop for help is usually the Tiny Core forums. Search for your problem there.
  • If you know about command-line arguments to the kernel … try waitusb=5 (about 5 seconds). Some network cards don't boot up as fast as Tiny Core does. This will give them time to do that.
  • If you know how to use the command-line tool ifconfig, use it.

#Using Appbrowser to get applications

Tiny Core uses the Appbrowser to install “application extensions.” Briefly called “extensions”, these are the applications you want to use.

Appbrowser requires an internet connection (or at least having the extensions available locally). When you're set, check out the Appbrowser tutorial.

The Appbrowser gives users access to a lot of apps. Hundreds of apps, going on thousands. Each one is contributed by users just like you. The Appbrowser repository is generously hosted offsite (by ibiblio.org as of 2009/2010 - thanks, UNCCH!).

Is the repository missing something you want or need? Here are the current guidelines - submit it for a Tiny share of fame, glory, and honor.

#Where to now?

If your LiveCD worked (and especially if not), the next stop is the Tiny Core forum. You can learn about the people on the project, and become a contributor yourself.

You can also contribute by:

  • Reporting on your Tiny Core installation and hardware
  • Adding to (correcting/updating) this wiki
  • Creating new items for the Appbrowser repository
  • Using Tiny Core and reporting on your findings - not just bugs, but preferences, suggestions, etc.

Thanks from the Tiny Core Team - thanks for checking out Tiny Core, and for joining the project.

If your LiveCD did not work, it might with a different boot code? See http://wiki.tinycorelinux.com/Boot+codes+explained

Feel free to peruse other wiki pages http://wiki.tinycorelinux.com/tiki-index.php