ByzantineOS is a small LinuxDistribution focussing on Internet Appliances. While in beta stage, it is clean, fast, and fits on a 48MB ISO by virtue of choices like using BusyBox and running X11 in a FrameBuffer?. It concentrates on the web software selection an Internet Appliance typically offers, ie a WebBrowser.


Pop the CD in, reboot, make sure you are booting off the CDROM drive, and sit back. The boot process is streamlined and progresses automatically. It autodetected and configured my graphics card and network card, and proceeded to load up the XServer.

Using it

X is loaded without a WindowManager. A very customised Mozilla 1.6 (in the build as of September 2004) is launched by default. The developers have chosen to use it as an application platform, so it is used to run applications, browse the web, and even configure your network card. Applications include an SNES emulator, Gaim, XMMS, some card games, a calculator, and a few others.


It's a cool idea. On a small machine with a nice display it could be a nifty WebBrowser OS. It has come a long way since alpha, and feels very polished. The addition of other applications since then makes it quite a neat little distribution. The layout of the Mozilla interface is, IMO, less than optimal, but that's partly because it's totally different to the "normal" layout.

All that limits its usefulness for the living room is the awful display quality of TVs -- at least until HDTV...