At times I am still amazed by Linux distros or even full-blown independent operating systems that scale down so completely and cleanly as to fit on a single floppy disk. KolibriOS was one, and I make a point of keeping that around as a note of what is possible with so little, and on nearly any hardware.
I got an e-mail a day ago that reminded me about DexOS, which is another one-disk wonder. You’re probably still wondering what the point is, when floppies are so far out of date as to be completely irrelevant. Well …
What you see there isn’t even DexOS’s main goal, which is to serve as a kind of media platform if I understand it correctly. An entirely different GUI is what you get on startup, which you can get a look at in the screenshot gallery (I had some screenshot issues, hence Qemu … sorry ). In the space of a floppy — scratch that; in less than the space of a floppy, because the running system reports only a hair over a megabyte used, there are a couple of arcade games, a media frontend, networking and USB frameworks, a Web server, a basic Windows-esque GUI, screensaver, gif/jpeg/bmp support and more.
Looking at home page, there is more available with the goal of allowing you to build a few things on your own. The forums show a rather active community too, with posts and replies within the past few weeks, along with screenshots of a promised version. So this isn’t a stalled project, by the look of it.
It’s definitely something that will require a little elbow grease though. KolibriOS was for the most part an entire desktop compressed into a floppy, where DexOS obviously has a different goal in mind. Don’t expect to fire this up on your Pentium II and watch YouTube videos over your wireless connection. A tool for every job.
Check out the wiki if you think this is appealing, or if it might work as a platform for your own personal attempts to conquer the world. I can at least promise that it won’t monopolize your system resources, like some operating systems can.