Tiny11: a few words about the unofficial compact version of Windows 11

Well-known independent developer and researcher NTDEV has published Tiny11 23H2, new compact version of Windows 11 that installs on systems equipped with just 2 GB of RAM and takes up just 8 GB of disk space compared to over 20 GB of the original version as installed from the official Microsoft ISO. Tiny11 also allows you to install Windows 11 on a non-compatible PC or in a virtual machine to which a modest hardware endowment had been assigned.

In the Tiny11 presentation the author NTDEV shows how Windows 11 functions in a substantially identical manner to the original, with excellent performance even on machines equipped with a hardware configuration which, according to Microsoft specifications and requirements, on paper would absolutely not be up to par.

What is Tiny11 and how does it work

L’ISO image by Tiny11 is currently published on Archive.org and it is ready to be used, for example, to install Windows 11 from a bootable USB media configured with Rufus or, for example, inside a Virtualbox, Hyper-V or VMware virtual machine.

However, there is also the flip side of the coin: Tiny11 it is not an official version Microsoft Windows 11 and is not hosted on the Redmond company’s servers. Although the author of the project, NTDEV, assures that the ISO is Tiny1 does not contain components from third parties and therefore users do not have to fear the presence of malware and spyware. Generally speaking, it is always best to avoid using Windows images not downloaded from Microsoft servers.

Then there is the problem of the terms of use of Microsoft software: the Redmond company does not allow the publication of elements protected by rights on its intellectual property on third-party servers without permission. It has happened several times in the past that Microsoft, after a certain grace period, has sent documents cease and desist requesting the removal of software protected by law a copyright protection.

A version of Windows 11 that is not recommended for production systems

As NTDEV specifies, however, Tiny11 – i.e. the Windows 11 Lightweight ISO – it does not allow you to use Windows 11 indefinitely and requires a regular license.

The developer who created Tiny11 clarifies furthermore that although security updates are receivable and installable through Windows Updatethey cannot be installed feature update and add new features.

This is mainly due to the removal of the WinSxS folder (Windows Component Store) and all the system components that govern its operation. The choice looks at reducing the “weight” of the Windows 11 installation: the Tiny11 user, however, cannot install new features or, for example, system languages.

Tiny11 was developed to breathe new life into your old PCs: I don’t recommend using it on systems that already support Windows 11“, NTDEV stated again.

NTDEV says he “packaged” Tiny11 with the help of OSDBuilder, an open source tool that aims to automate the creation of custom images of Windows operating systems. OSDBuilder allows system administrators and IT engineers to build custom system images of Windows. These images can include updates, patches, drivers, applications, and other customizations specific to your organization’s needs.

Some confusion with the naming: Tiny11 23H2 is still based on Windows 11 22H2

It is worth noting that although NTDEV has named its new Tiny11 23H2, the files on which it is based are still those of Windows 11 22H2. The feature update o feature update Windows 23H2, in fact, is not yet available.

The 23H2 nickname in the Tiny11 name only serves to point out that this is the version released by the developer NTDEV in the second half of 2023.

Better scripts to customize your Windows 11 installation

In February 2023, NTDEV also released the tiny11builder project, one customizable script which allows you to adapt the Windows 11 ISO to your needs rather than presenting a pre-packaged image. This is a good approach because it puts users in a position to “tame” aWindows 11 installation downloaded from Microsoft servers.

For a removing Windows components heavier, the NTLite project has existed for some time: users can act directly on Windows ISO images (including Windows 11) downloaded from Microsoft servers and obtain a customized version of the operating system. Be careful, however, as even in this case the results are not guaranteed: the elimination of some Windows components it could make the system more unstable, non-upgradable and more vulnerable.

To adapt Windows to your needs and disable the most annoying behaviors, we recommend instead speeding up and optimizing Windows 11 with a simple file batch.

Its nature allows the user to always choose, by intervening on the structure of the batch file, what to deactivate and which Windows 11 functions to leave enabled. It is a great tool, for example, to avoid installing potentially useless applications, remove Bing integration with the Start menu, recover the Windows 10 context menu, reactivate System Restore and much more.


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