I have just read a presentation by guys from Intel and RedFlag called "Designing for Linux-Based Mobile Internet Devices" to be given next week.
They present the work they did over the last 2 years to create a new Linux distribution for Ultra Mobile PC. Part of their constraints where: less than 512MB on disk, works well with less than 256MB RAM, cold boot < 20s, resume from standby < 5 sec, screen between 800x480 and 1024x600.
They will use a Linux kernel 2.6.20 and will be mostly GNOME based as you can see on this slide:
They did a lot of optimization (like the GRUB hack to jump to the recovery point without booting the kernel in order to speedup resume from 5.7s to 3.2s) and plan to do some more.
The version 1.0 of the distribution will be available in May. Now I'm waiting for the devices. I'm sure Intel would not create a specific Linux distribution if they did not plan to sell some hardware using it :)
I had been looking for that for some time, even started coding it, and today I found it. mfstool does not show up on Google when searching with keywords like minix, user-space... , is not listed in Freshmeat, but is exactly what I needed !
It allows building minix (v1 and v2) images without being root (the usual way is to mount -o loop). and is really simple to use in a build script :
[pterjan@plop mfstool-0.5]$ ./mfstool dir test.img . .. [pterjan@plop mfstool-0.5]$ ./mfstool mkdir test.img a [pterjan@plop mfstool-0.5]$ ./mfstool dir test.img . .. a [pterjan@plop mfstool-0.5]$ ./mfstool mkdir test.img a/b [pterjan@plop mfstool-0.5]$ ./mfstool add test.img inode.c a/test.c [pterjan@plop mfstool-0.5]$ ./mfstool dir test.img a . .. b test.c