So having an existing distro would then only need a little work to add what we need. And a little of our help to improve the distro. Instead of having to do everything. This to be able to keep our minds at the Maslow itself.
@Bee already mentioned PuppyLinux That also makes a nice candidate for the bare essentials (Arduino and GroundControl)
Then there is LinuxCNC but thatone is focussed on Realtime processing and direct machine control so in that regard it seems to have a slightly different focus
Many years back I made a Virtual Machine of Ubuntu with all of the software for the Makerbot CNC 3D Printer as a distribution testbed on local windows systems. It allowed testing before committing to it.
You could do a base install of Arch. Then record / script the things you add on. Arch is a kernel and command line and the bare minimum to operate such as tools to get online. From there you build what you need. This would be the purest solution. This is taking on a big hair ball of a project to maintain. I did it once before.
That’s a bit of a tricky one. A real bootable USB would allow to circumvent any other OS and enable us to see if the entire connection path is ‘OK’. By being sure that there is no WinMac driver woopy interference.
If there is a distro specific to CNC (other than the LinuxCNC image), it’s such
a small niche distro that I wouldn’t want to have to depend on it.
There’s just nothing that’s specific to a CNC/3D printing workload (unless you
are needing real-time response so you can drive the motors directly, which is
why LinuxCNC is there and includes the real-time hacks)
I am running Blender, QCad, LibreCAD, FreeCAD, DraftSight, Inkscape, Camotics, bCNC(Grbl) and the famous Maslow GroundControl with Ubuntu Mate. Plus my decade old fear of Arch linux was cured with Manjaro. Runs on an ancient desktop with PS2 sockets for keyboard and mouse (that’s not play station).
Kivy requires Ubuntu / Kubuntu / Xubuntu / Lubuntu (Saucy and above), the last time I checked LinuxCNC (runing my China 6040), they were still lower, so no fun for GC. Kubuntu LTS requires a upgrade of pyserial, but then also runs what I need. Lubuntu also tested and found running well.