10 Best Lightweight Linux Distros for Older Computers (2022)

In comparison with Home windows, most Linux distros are usually lighter on system sources, making them higher fitted to computer systems with older-gen {hardware}. Nonetheless, the most recent variations of widespread distros, like Ubuntu and Mint, characteristic highly-customizable desktop environments that work greatest with fashionable GPUs and high-end {hardware}. And that is the place the … The post 10 Best Lightweight Linux Distros for Older Computers (2022) appeared first on Ferdja.

May 7, 2023 - 08:00
10 Best Lightweight Linux Distros for Older Computers (2022)

In comparison with Home windows, most Linux distros are usually lighter on system sources, making them higher fitted to computer systems with older-gen {hardware}. Nonetheless, the most recent variations of widespread distros, like Ubuntu and Mint, characteristic highly-customizable desktop environments that work greatest with fashionable GPUs and high-end {hardware}. And that is the place the most effective light-weight Linux distros step in and breathe a brand new life into your ageing computer systems. They’re designed to primarily run on older computer systems or low-power units, such because the Raspberry Pi and different related single-board programs.

Greatest Light-weight Linux Distros for Older Computer systems

One of the best light-weight Linux distros nonetheless present customers with a contemporary computing expertise, even on older computer systems and units with low-end {hardware}. They maintain many options that make Linux such a flexible working system whereas slicing out the bloat that may in any other case make these distros unsuitable for low-end machines. So with none additional delay, listed below are the most effective light-weight Linux distros you should utilize to breathe life again into your outdated computer systems.

1. Pet Linux: Greatest Light-weight Linux Distro Total

One of many all-time favourite light-weight Linux distros, Pet Linux, is a Unix-like working system primarily meant for netbooks, older programs, and Stay CD. The OS can run from RAM, with the most recent model taking over barely about 300MB of house on 32-bit programs (and 600MB on 64-bit PCs). Official system necessities for Pet Linux embrace a 600MHz processor and 256MB of RAM, which suggests even PCs from the late Nineties ought to be capable of run this with none points.

Puppy Linux: Best Lightweight Linux Distro Overall

Pet Linux isn’t primarily based on one other full-fledged distro however will be constructed from packages of distributions equivalent to Slackware and Ubuntu. The selection of your binaries determines the provision of further packages. It’s user-friendly and will be live-booted utilizing a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive. And to take care of its light-weight nature, Pet Linux doesn’t include many pre-installed purposes. That stated, AbiWord, Gnumeric, and MPlayer are a part of the default set up, together with a alternative of light-weight net browsers and a utility for downloading different packages.

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2. Linux Lite: Greatest Light-weight Linux Distro for Home windows Customers

Linux Lite is not only among the best light-weight distros but in addition one of the user-friendly working programs for brand new customers, particularly these migrating from Home windows. It’s primarily based on Ubuntu LTS releases and comes with a complete host of widespread and useful purposes. Minimal system necessities embrace a 1GHz processor, 768MB of RAM, 8GB of free cupboard space, and a VGA decision (1024×768) display screen. That makes it a comparatively demanding possibility than among the different distros on this listing.

Linux Lite: Best Lightweight Linux Distro for Windows Users

Linux Lite 5.0 comes with a complete host of latest options to make it work out-of-the-box, together with pre-installed LibreOffice, GIMP, Dropbox, VLC media participant, and Firefox. It additionally gives customers a greater Linux desktop expertise. Linux Lite additionally helps default UEFI boot mode, making it appropriate for newer programs. Nonetheless, it comes with one compromise. The latest variations of Linux Lite aren’t suitable with older, 32-bit programs. Nonetheless, given its versatility and ease-of-use, it’s simply among the best light-weight Linux distros for outdated computer systems.

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3. Lubuntu / LXLE: Greatest Ubuntu-based Light-weight Linux Distro

One more Ubuntu-based light-weight Linux distro, Lubuntu, is for people who wish to expertise Ubuntu on a barebones system. It’s an official Ubuntu-based distro developed by Canonical and options the identical software program and repositories as its flagship stable-mate. Lubuntu supplies you a easy however fashionable GUI and comes with all kinds of purposes, together with Firefox, LibreOffice, VLC, Featherpad, Trojita, and extra.

LUbuntu: Best Ubuntu-based Lightweight Linux Distro

Lubuntu discontinued 32-bit assist from model 18.10 however continues to supply a quick, light-weight desktop expertise, even on weaker {hardware}. Minimal system necessities embrace Pentium 4 / Pentium M / AMD K8 or greater processor and 1GB of RAM. Notice that Lubuntu 18.10 additionally moved from LXDE desktop to LXQt, however each are nonetheless extra light-weight than XFCE. The most recent model (Lubuntu 20.10), codenamed Groovy Gorilla, is the nineteenth launch of LUbuntu and the fifth launch with LXQt because the default desktop setting.

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4. Bodhi Linux

Bodhi Linux is an Ubuntu LTS-based light-weight launch that includes Moksha Desktop, a continuation of Enlightenment 17 with further options. It comes with a complete bunch of obtainable software program, due to the Ubuntu repo. Additional, Bodhi Linux is available in 4 completely different editions, together with Normal, Legacy, AppPack, and HWE. Whereas most customers will go for the Normal or Legacy Version (for 32-bit {hardware}), these in search of a 64-bit working system with up to date kernels and new {hardware} assist ought to go for the HWE version.

Bodhi Linux: one of the Best Lightweight Linux Distros for Older Computers

Minimal {hardware} necessities for Bodhi Linux embrace a 500MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, and 5GB of cupboard space, making it perfect for decades-old programs. Nonetheless, the less-than-1GB ISO file implies that it misses out on many important pre-installed purposes. That stated, if you would like a light-weight Linux distro with a sexy and fashionable desktop UI, Bodhi Linux is among the at the beginning distros you need to contemplate.

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5. Tiny Core Linux

Because the title tells, Tiny Core shouldn’t be a turnkey desktop distribution, not like many of the different distros on this listing. As an alternative, it’s simply the core system on which customers can add what they wish to customise their OS expertise. The builders supply three completely different x86 cores, together with Core, TinyCore, and CorePlus. Whereas Core is the bottom system with solely a command-line interface for servers and home equipment, TinyCore is the really useful possibility for desktops with a community connection. It consists of the bottom Core system and X/GUI extensions for a dynamic FLTK/FLWM graphical desktop setting.

Tiny Core Linux

That is presumably essentially the most light-weight Linux distro on our listing, being able to run even on an i486DX paired with a meager 28MB of RAM for Core and 46MB for Tiny Core. That stated, Tiny Core shouldn’t be for newbies desirous to check out Linux for the primary time. It gives solely the Linux kernel and the basis filesystem to go together with it. Meaning customers should know their manner across the Linux ecosystem to have the ability to construct all of the instruments on it. It’s a nice possibility for educated DIY people whose prime precedence is minimal system necessities. For the remaining, it’s greatest that you choose one thing a bit of extra mainstream.

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6. Q4OS

Q4OS is a Debian-based light-weight Linux distro that makes use of the trimmed-down Trinity desktop setting. It comes with a set of devoted utilities and particular optimizations, mixed with a give attention to making a productive system. It’s equally appropriate for newcomers, in addition to Linux veterans. Though the default Q4OS set up doesn’t supply a full suite of purposes, you get highly effective instruments to put in apps and proprietary codecs primarily based in your utilization necessities. On comparatively fashionable {hardware}, it additionally helps desktop results.


Not like most mainstream Linux distros, Q4OS gives Trinity as a devoted obtain possibility, proper after the default Plasma desktop. The distro additionally comes with a Home windows installer, which suggests you possibly can set up Q4OS in your Home windows PC similar to every other Home windows utility. This installer is suitable with Home windows 10, 8, or 7 variations and might deal with Safe Boot. Q4OS additionally gives native utilities, equivalent to Desktop Profiler and Software program Heart, and installers for third-party purposes with assist for x86/32-bit, ARM structure, and extra.

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7. antiX

Primarily based on Debian, antiX is a quick, light-weight, and easy-to-install stay CD distribution for x86-compatible programs. It ships with out systemd and can be utilized as a fast-booting rescue CD on a USB flash drive. The OS is available in 4 flavors, together with a full distro (1.1GB), a base distro (700MB), a core distro (350MB), and a web distro (150MB). Whereas skilled customers who need complete management over their system will fancy the latter two variations, the primary two are for first-time Linux customers.


Minimal system necessities for antiX embrace a PIII processor paired with 256MB of RAM and 4GB of arduous disk house. The newest antiX launch is model 19.3 Manolis Glezos, which rolled out late final 12 months. To take advantage of the antiX stay system, the builders suggest utilizing the antiX/MX stay USB maker to create the CD. Home windows customers ought to ideally use Rufus, however you possibly can take a look at our listing of Rufus alternate options in case you are so inclined.

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8. Ubuntu MATE

Ubuntu MATE is an official Canonical distro that includes the core Ubuntu OS and provides the MATE desktop on prime. That makes for a secure, easy-to-use working system with a configurable desktop setting. It’s usually seen as an Ubuntu various for computer systems not highly effective sufficient to run a composited desktop. It’s, nonetheless, not almost as light-weight a Linux distro as among the different choices on this listing. Meaning you will have a comparatively extra succesful system to run this OS. The minimal {hardware} necessities embrace a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of free disk house, and a show with not less than 1024×768 decision.

Ubuntu MATE

The most recent launch of Ubuntu MATE is predicated on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa. It brings alongside tons of latest options, together with a number of shade theme variations, a one-click set up, experimental ZFS, and a GameMode from Feral Interactive. The OS is for customers who wish to expertise the wonder and customization of Linux with straightforward set up and a hassle-free expertise. To that impact, it is among the greatest light-weight Linux distros that’s accessible for a variety of units, together with the Raspberry Pi.

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9. Manjaro XFCE

Manjaro is a Linux-based open-source working system that comes with the Arch-based quick and light-weight Xfce expertise. Based on the builders, it supplies customers “all the advantages of cutting-edge software program mixed with a give attention to getting began rapidly, [as well as] automated instruments to require much less handbook intervention.” The OS permits customers to run many widespread Home windows purposes utilizing Wine, PlayOnLinux, or Proton by way of Steam.

Manjaro XFCE

Manjaro is solely accessible for 64-bit programs, with the builders formally supporting XFCE, KDE, and Gnome editions. Different flavors, together with editions for 32-bit programs, are maintained by the neighborhood. Minimal {hardware} necessities for Manjaro XFCE embrace a 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, making it among the best light-weight Linux distros available on the market.

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10. Absolute Linux

Though Absolute Linux is undoubtedly among the best light-weight distros for desktops, it doesn’t all the time get the eye it deserves. Primarily based on Slackware, this 64-bit OS comes pre-installed with Firefox, LibreOffice, Inkscape, GIMP, Google Earth, Calibre, and extra. It’s version-compatible with Slackware, which suggests you should utilize nearly any package deal from the identical model of Slack on Absolute. Improvement libraries (headers) for all the pieces include the default set up, making it doable to code/ construct nearly something from the supply.

Absolute Linux

Absolute Linux is one of many least resource-intensive distros on this listing, thanks partly to the light-weight IceWM window supervisor. It additionally consists of many handy customized scripts and utilities for simple set up, configuration, and upkeep. Do be aware that there’s no Stay mode, however skilled customers can add and take away packages from the set up media to create a custom-made distro of their very own.

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Use the Greatest Light-weight Linux Distros on Your Growing old PC

Among the hottest light-weight Linus distros, like Peppermint OS and DSL, aren’t on this listing as a result of they’re not below energetic improvement. Whereas they nonetheless work alright, we’ve avoided together with them on this listing due to the dearth of bug fixes and safety updates for years. Both manner, if in case you have an outdated pc mendacity round at residence, give it a brand new lease on life with any of the aforementioned light-weight Linux distros. Do tell us which one you selected and why within the feedback beneath.

In the meantime, take a look at the most effective video games you possibly can play in your Linux PC. In case you’re additionally utilizing a Home windows PC or dual-booting Home windows, take a look at how one can run GUI-based Linux applications on Home windows 10. For Android customers, study how one can run Linux distros on Android with out root. Lastly, take a look at how one can check Linux distros proper out of your browser on any pc.

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