MINIBIAN: MINImal raspBIAN image for Raspberry Pi

In the past few months, I’ve spent many time on Raspberry Pi. I was one of the first to own it when the distributions were still in its infancy.
Since that time, the world of embedded Linux has changed and the global demand for such solutions has grown exponentially.
The founders of the project Raspberry Pi did not expect all this success: in fact, the project was born primarily to provide a low cost computer in education and in the countries in the developing world.
They could not imagine at first, that such a product would become a must for many makers around the world, which they saw in the RPi a chance until now quite inaccessible: that of creating embedded systems which are powerful, flexible and low cost.
The project was born for another though, so the official images available on the site do not always fit these needs. So I started looking around to see if there was some other image or distribution fitting my needs.
Unfortunately the result of this research was a bit disappointing because what I was looking for was basically a system based on Raspbian (excellent widely known distribution), lighter than the official one, but 100% compatible.
Hence was born the idea of ​​making such image by myself.
So I started from the simple Raspbian installer and I only installed the core system,  basic utilities, and the sshd daemon.
In this way, we have an embedded system that can boot in 22 seconds, use 45MB RAM and 522MB of disk space.
I finally found my favorite distribution, and i thought it was nice to share it with the world!

26 thoughts on “MINIBIAN: MINImal raspBIAN image for Raspberry Pi

  1. Even better, it only uses 19MB of RAM. The rest was buffers and cache.

  2. can I use the raspi-config?

  3. Freebasic doesn’t work, asks for ncurses and supc++. And who knows what next.

  4. I like this distro more and more all the time !
    Next I want to have better board. ARM7 (or some 4core) with 2xRS232, 4xI2C, 10-20 GPIO lines with A/D and D/A and some 16 bit timers, 4xUSB3, LAN, and of course two sockets for mSata

    A Forum works better, if you want to collect comments and docs.

    I have found some nice tricks to handle the installation process of Minibian and I’m going to continuw finding them, because my project must be ready in the beginning of may and I do not want to spend time.

    I have a Linux laptop as a SSH terminal for Minibian server.
    I build new SD-packets very fast and have six 4GB card in the ring.
    The cards have tags and I use a classic lab book to document the cards.
    Normally I have a script in the server, which helps build a log book, but because there is but this SD card, I have to keep the log book in the laptop.

    In laptop I built a directory for miniRaspi and built two scripts to configurate the cards. The first moves the image to the card. Then you have to remove and reinstall the card before you can continue. The next script copies al teh scripts, config files and test material to the card.

    For example. I use hard IP address. So I copy a ready interfaces file to /etc/network/ and modify in /etc/resolv.conf the original DNS nameserver to the one we use in our lab.

    I have had bad luck with resizing the partition to fill the card. And learnt that all SD cards have not bornt equal. Some cards were not reliable.

  5. I’m trying to install your image in my SD card.
    Your tar.gz arhiceve is different than the others. It contains a “.img” file but also another “.fat” file.
    How can I create a bootable SD card with that 2 files? Only using the .img file doesn’t seem to be working.

  6. สวัสดี มี ฉันพบ ผมค้นพบ บล็อก ของคุณ เว็บไซต์ โดยวิธีการ ในขณะที่ มองหา ที่เกี่ยวข้อง เรื่อง , เว็บไซต์ ได้ที่นี่ ขึ้นก็ ดูเหมือน ดูเหมือน ดี ฉันได้
    ฉัน บุ๊คมาร์ค ไว้ใน ที่คั่นหน้าเว็บ ของ
    Google ของฉัน
    สวัสดี มี เพียง เปลี่ยนเป็น ทราบ บล็อก ผ่าน
    , และตั้งอยู่ ที่ เป็น จริงๆ ข้อมูล ผม ไป ระมัดระวัง บรัสเซลส์ ฉันจะ ชื่นชม
    ถ้าคุณเกิดขึ้น ที่จะ
    ดำเนินการต่อไป ดำเนินการต่อไป นี้ ใน อนาคต จำนวนมาก คน
    อาจจะ จาก คุณ การเขียน ไชโย!

  7. Hi! Congratulations for you minibian. I want to install blackbox on there, and I type ‘apt-get install blackbox’ and all happens good.

    But when I type ‘blackbox’ to open the BlackBox Window Manager, a message appears: “Display: failed to open display ‘ ‘”.

    Can you help me with this problem?

  8. Hi Luca,

    You have done good work… and thank you for what you have given us!
    I’ve tried to install on Model B+ but no luck… I’ve only been successful on model B.
    It would be great if you could point us in the right direction for MINIBIAN on RaspberryPi B+

    Thank you again…

    Cape Town,
    South Africa.

    • I had problems with booting on a B+ too. Just copy the files bootcode.bin, cmdline.txt, config.txt and *.elf from an actual raspbian-wheezy-image to the sdcard.

  9. Nice Image, but I tried to upgrade with apt-get upgrade (after apt-get update) without success: sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1), not enough memory space
    Do someone have an idea? I need this to update usb-driver etc.

  10. Hello, i used your image MINIBIAN in my Raspberry Pi 2. I Have small problem. When i installed some package (resize2fs), operation finished with “E: Unable to locate package ” – but the package is installed and functioned. Can anybody help me.

  11. Have anybody experience with install ZABBIX server on MINIBIAN?

  12. Awsome distribution. This is exactly what I was looking for.

    Still I miss a couple of features for a fully automatic reconfiguration with Ansible right from the start:

    1) Python (minimal) pre-installed

    2) avahi-daemon preinstalled. It is so convenient to refer to your host as raspberrypi.local rather that trying to figure out what IP address has been assigned.

  13. First of all thank you for providing this distribution, I am building a home automation system and needed a small fast distribution without GUI, Minibian fits the bill perfectly.

    However I have a small problem, after successful installation and boot I issued the following commands.

    apt-get update
    apt-get upgrade

    At the end of the upgrade I get the following error:

    Errors were encountered while processing:
    E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

    Mount shows all partitions as RW, I have tried to reinstall bootloader and also reformat / recreate SD card but I always get the same error… Any Ideas?

  14. Thanks for your awesome distro! Everything works well, except when I try to install the Mysql and phpMadmin, both programs ask for passwords, and there is no means to feed them, because the keyboard becomes unresponsive. Any ideas? By the way my site is running with a Raspberry pi.

  15. Hi, I am trying to run “Mopidy” as a service on startup of device. It has extensions which uses “RPi.GPIO” (python gpio lib) and “max7219.led” (python spi display lib). On startup I get error: “[Errno 13] Permission denied”.
    This is driving me crazy. How on earth could I give “Mopidy” full control over device?

  16. Hello, I am trying to find where to get support on this. It is working beautiful, I am able to boot directly in to an x11 session running a java application in 12 seconds, the only issue is I can not seem to tell what is missing to allow my application to communicate. It uses USB to serial. My application has the rxtx drivers installed already, but I also installed “sudo apt-get install librxtx-java”, and it still is saying things along the lines of “Could not initialize class jssc.SerialPortList”, and “Port not valid: No Controller Interface”

    Are there other things that are missing or disable that I would need to enable in Minibian that were on in Raspbian?

  17. This is a great little distro. I run mine on an Rpi model 1B with just Emacs -nox and python3. It’s a perfect learning platform for me and proving to be very powerful. Thank you for this gift to the community Luca.

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