alphaOS (formerly ArchPup) is an open source, lightweight and minimalistic Linux distribution based on the Arch Linux operating system. It was build using the Linux Live Kit project created by Tomas Matejicek, the developer of the popular Slax Linux distribution. It is a minimalistic distro that gives you full access to the Arch Linux’s default software repositories, and supports over 20 additional SFS modules, which are used in distributions like Puppy Linux.
Distributed as a 64-bit Live CD
Having under 150MB in size, the Live CD of the alphaOS operating system will start in only 30 seconds, on a “modest” computer. It features the lightweight Openbox window manager. alphaOS has a modular design, which makes it easy to add desired functionality. On top of that, it is simple, extremely fast, as it uses only 40MB of RAM on boot, and supports only the 64-bit architecture.
Openbox is the default desktop environment
The desktop is composed of four widgets powered by Conky, and a semi-transparent taskbar that contains four shortcuts, for the file manager, terminal, Control Center, and web browser. A clock with integrated calendar, and a volume manager are also present on the taskbar. Just like in any other Openbox implementation, the main menu is accessed via the right mouse click.
This time it uses bigger fonts, icons, and custom actions, which allow users to quickly take a screenshot, configure Openbox and Conky, as well as to logout, reboot and shutdown the computer. The taskbar is called Tint2 and can be easily configured from the main menu. An interesting feature is the ability to restart the entire session on the fly, without the need to logout and log back in.
QupZilla is the default web browser, SpaceFM is used for file management and navigation, Taeni is the main terminal emulator, Voyager is there for viewing photos, and Emendo is a good tool for quickly editing some text files. Additionally, alphaOS includes the Audacious music player, Evince document viewer, GMP video player, PlayTV for watching online TV channels, Simple Radio for listening to online radio stations, and a task manager.
Some handy documentation about how to install alphaOS on your local disk drive, configure various aspects of your system, modify or add kernel parameters, as well as a comprehensive manual for the Pacman package manager utility, are provided on the main menu. Overall, alphaOS is yet another tiny Linux operating system, but packed with modern technologies, a small collection of useful applications, and some needed eye-candy for your low-end computer.