How can I compile a basic linux kernel on Rpi, or is it possible in a any way?

I want a very basic linux with nothing on it but just Linux.

Let me know if there are any alternatives or suggestions.

  • Can I ask why you want a basic version of Linux on your RPi?
    – Vincent P
    Feb 14, 2013 at 6:36
  • 1
    If this is really something you're interested in learning then take a look at LFS. I built my own distro for the Raspberry Pi (called Pastry). It was very rewarding.
    – Jivings
    Feb 14, 2013 at 8:54

2 Answers 2


It's not impossible, but it will take you much less time and frustration to learn how to strip an existing distribution of the things you don't want.

Which if what you don't want is pretty much everything, pretty much everything can be disabled and removed. Most of what you would need to know to do that, you would need to know to build it up to that point anyway -- it is mostly just understanding what "a very basic" but still functional linux would look like.

You might find "linux from scratch" interesting. Although that is going to be painfully slow on the pi, reading it over and trying some of it on a normal computer would be a good place to start thinking about the what and how of what you want.


Maybe what your looking for is ArchLinux, here is the Raspberry Pi Download. Arch Linux is a very simple "uncluttered" distro for Linux. Might be a starting point for what you want. You can also maybe start with Arch Linux and strip it down further.

Other than that as the other answer says, it will take less time to just strip down a current distro.

I know this is not Linux, but if your really feeling like a big project you can always code your own OS for your Raspberry Pi.

  • +1 Using arch is a probably a good way of learning to understand the layers of the system better.
    – goldilocks
    Feb 14, 2013 at 6:55

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