DietPi OS stats & comparison

See resource usage and performance stats of DietPi images, compared to Debian-based lite/minimal/server images of other projects.

Note: This does not say that DietPi is better than other distributions, it does say that DietPi base images are lighter, being one of our major goals.

Furthermore, the OS images provided by other projects do not say much about the project itself. Others focus more on own build systems, kernel development, and/or hardware. We maintain own kernel sources only for a small number of SBCs, and otherwise rely on and benefit from kernel development done by other projects. Instead, we focus on userland development, our large catalogue of ready-to-use software options, automated setups and lightweight base images.

We do believe in the benefits of shipping minimal base images, allowing a better overview of installed packages and available features, less disk I/O on APT upgrades, installing additional packages only on demand. However, this may not be important for everyone, and some may prefer to have more packages/features pre-installed, hence less need to install things afterwards. This is hence not a question of better/worse, but one of personal priorities and preferences, for the own Linux system use case.

Further details about the compared values, though with outdated results, can be found in our blog post.

Commands to derive data

You may also run our comparison script to test and print the values right on your system.

Disk usagefindmnt -no USED / # + /boot + /boot/efi + /boot/firmware
RAM usagefree -th | mawk '/^Total:/{print $3}'
Pre-installed packagesdpkg --get-selections | wc -l
Running processesecho $(( $(pstree -Ta | wc -l) - 3 ))
Boot durationsystemd-analyze | mawk '{print $(NF-1)" "$NF;exit}'
Temporary filesfindmnt -nM /tmp
Log filesfindmnt -nM /var/log
SSH pre-installedss -tlpn | grep ':22'

DietPi vs Raspberry Pi OS Lite (32-bit)

Bookworm on Raspberry Pi Zero W at 2024-05-23
StatDietPiDietPi/Raspberry Pi OS [%]Raspberry Pi OS
RAM usage32 MiB36%90 MiB
Running processes943%21
Disk usage667 MiB30%2206 MiB
Pre-installed packages22336%612
Boot duration22.405s49%45.650s
Temporary filesRAM disk (tmpfs)rootfs
Log filesRAM disk (tmpfs)rootfs
SSH pre-installedYesedit required
Download size209 MiB44%474 MiB
Image size896 MiB37%2424 MiB
Build date2024-05-132024-03-15

DietPi vs Raspberry Pi OS Lite (64-bit)

Bookworm on Raspberry Pi 5 at 2024-05-25
StatDietPiDietPi/Raspberry Pi OS [%]Raspberry Pi OS
RAM usage118 MiB67%177 MiB
Running processes941%22
Disk usage882 MiB40%2197 MiB
Pre-installed packages25543%596
Boot duration6.220s46%13.497s
Temporary filesRAM disk (tmpfs)rootfs
Log filesRAM disk (tmpfs)rootfs
SSH pre-installedYesedit required
Download size178 MiB43%414 MiB
Image size1024 MiB39%2640 MiB
Build date2024-05-132024-03-15

DietPi vs Armbian (minimal)

Bookworm on Odroid XU4 at 2024-05-25
StatDietPiDietPi/Armbian [%]Armbian
RAM usage120 MiB80%150 MiB
Running processes947%19
Disk usage655 MiB64%1021 MiB
Pre-installed packages21065%324
Boot duration11.785s63%18.854s
Temporary filesRAM disk (tmpfs)RAM disk (tmpfs)
Logs filesRAM disk (tmpfs)compressed RAM disk (zram)
SSH pre-installedYesYes
Download size190 MiB67%285 MiB
Image size769 MiB67%1140 MiB
Build date2024-05-132024-05-24

DietPi vs Armbian (minimal)

Bookworm on NanoPi R4S at 2024-05-25
StatDietPiDietPi/Armbian [%]Armbian
RAM usage169 MiB81%208 MiB
Running processes842%19
Disk usage816 MiB65%1259 MiB
Pre-installed packages21165%324
Boot duration10.028s84%12.005s
Temporary filesRAM disk (tmpfs)RAM disk (tmpfs)
Logs filesRAM disk (tmpfs)compressed RAM disk (zram)
SSH pre-installedYesYes
Download size196 MiB63%311 MiB
Image size1025 MiB71%1444 MiB
Build date2024-05-132024-05-25

DietPi vs Debian (netinst CD)

Bookworm on x86_64 UEFI PC at 2024-05-31

These images are hard to compare. Debian does not offer a server live image. Closest to compare is the Debian network installer CD ISO image, with the DietPi UEFI installer image. The Debian installer debootstraps a fresh Debian onto the target drive, which requires a lot of pre-configuration, manual formatting, and makes use of network access for additional and/or updated packages. The DietPi installer comes with a complete embedded DietPi live image, which does not need any pre-configuration. However, opposed to Debian, DietPi does updates and initial configuration on first boot and login.

In the Debian installer, everything was de-selected, but the SSH server and common system utilities, which is closest to what DietPi images ship with.

StatDietPiDietPi/Debian [%]Debian
RAM usage296 MiB83%357 MiB
Running processes953%17
Disk usage1055 MiB59%1787 MiB
Pre-installed packages23766%357
Boot duration7.425s107%6.967s
Temporary filesRAM disk (tmpfs)rootfs
Log filesRAM disk (tmpfs)rootfs
SSH pre-installedYesselection required
Download size650 MiB103%629 MiB
ISO size677 MiB108%629 MiB
Build date2024-05-132024-02-10

DietPi vs Debian (QEMU qcow2)

Bookworm on x86_64 VM at 2024-05-30

Tests were performed on a VirtualBox DietPi VM host with nested AMD-V, using qemu-system-x86_64.

The Debian local QEMU virtual machine image in qcow2 format was compared to the DietPi Proxmox image, which is in qcow2 format as well. We could have taken our generic VM image and compare it with the xz-compressed raw image of Debian, which is however not prominently listed on their download page. The content of all those images is identical, hence relevant is only that the disk format is the same.

StatDietPiDietPi/Debian [%]Debian
RAM usage165 MiB87%190 MiB
Running processes857%14
Disk usage734 MiB63%1156 MiB
Pre-installed packages20974%283
Boot duration7.286s72%10.072s
Temporary filesRAM disk (tmpfs)rootfs
Log filesRAM disk (tmpfs)rootfs
SSH pre-installedYesNo
Download size227 MiB58%394 MiB
Image size242 MiB61%394 MiB
Build date2024-05-132024-05-07