Popular Lightweight Linux Distributions

Do you have an old desktop that you are looking to discard? How about running a lightweight Linux Operating System on it lag free. Below is a list of different lightweight Linux distributions that you can install on an old computer for free.

 

Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux is a very fast distro and very small coming in at 300 MB in size enabling you to boot this Linux OS from a USB drive. It is fast and versatile and customizable within minutes and the good news is you can run it on an oldish computer such as a Pentium 4 still.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 128MB
CPU: 233MHz
Disk Space: 512MB

 

Peppermint OS

PeppermintOS is a lightning fast cloud-centric OS based on the Ubuntu Linux distribution that uses an LXDE desktop environment. It does not come with a lot of pre-installed software which makes it easy for you to choose just the software you want. Peppermint OS has a great community and welcomes everyone to participate in the form of source code contributions, translations of documentation.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 512MB
CPU: Intel x86
Disk Space: 4GB

 

Lubuntu

Lubuntu is a lightweight Linux distribution based on Ubuntu with a selection of lightweight applications. It uses the LXQt desktop environment instead of the Ubuntu GNOME GUI.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 800MB
CPU: x86
Disk Space: 2GB

 

Linux Lite

Linux Lite is a Debian based distribution that offers a lightweight desktop experience. It consists of a customized Xfce desktop environment with a set of lite applications ideal for the novice Linux user.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 512MB
CPU: 700MHz
Disk Space: 5GB

 

LXLE

LXLE is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu and Lubuntu making use of the LXDE desktop environment. It is a lightweight distribution focused on visual aesthetics and works well on new and old computer hardware.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 512MB
CPU: x86
Disk Space: 8GB

Sparky Linux

Sparky Linux is a lightweight distribution based on the Debian Linux operating system. It offers different versions for different users and different tasks. It comes with 20 different desktop environments giving you freedom of choice. Sparky Linux has editions such as GameOver for gamers, multimedia for audio, video and web page creation and much more.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 256MB
CPU: x86
Disk Space: 5GB

 

Tiny Core

Tiny Core Linux is a simple minimal 16MB desktop Linux distribution. Tiny Core offers a simplified way to get started with plenty of community package extensions. Not all hardware is completely supported and is only a core distribution to boot into a minimal desktop.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 46MB
CPU: x86

 

Absolute Linux

Absolute Linux is a lightweight distribution designed for everyday use based on Slackware Linux. This OS focusses on desktop use ready for multimedia, document, internet and general usage for home or novice users. It includes the latest software such as GIMP, LibreOffice, Kodi, Google Earth, Google Chrome and much more.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 64MB
CPU: x86

 

CrunchBang++

Crunchbang is a minimal Linux distribution based on Debian Linux designed to use few system resources. Instead of a desktop environment, it makes use of a customized Openbox window manager. It comes preinstalled with applications that make use of the GTK+ widget toolkit.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 512MB
CPU: x86

 

Damn Small Linux

Damn Small Linux is free open source Linux distribution for the x86 family of personal computers. This OS offers you the option to boot from a CD or USB pen drive as well as booting within a host operating system. Give this 50MB mini desktop Linux a try on any of your host operating systems.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 8MB
CPU: x86

 

Porteus

Porteus Linux is a distribution based on Slackware. It requires no installation and can be mounted from a removable media such as a USB drive or even a CD. It supports several different languages and comes out in 32 and 64-bit editions.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 36MB
CPU: x86

 

VectorLinux

Vector Linux is another lightweight distribution based on Slackware Linux for x86 platforms. Speed, stability, and performance are the attributes that set Vector Linux apart from the crowd. Users today state that Vector Linux is perhaps the best minimal distribution available around the globe.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 64MB
CPU: x86

 

BunsenLabs Linux

BunsenLabs Linux is a lightweight distribution that is an easily customizable Openbox desktop. The current version Helium is based on Debian version 9. It consists of resource and configuration packages installed on top of Debian. There is no limit to the customization of BunsenLabs Linux as you have the option to page through the desktop configurations in the forums.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Ram: 256MB
CPU: x86

If you know of any more lightweight Linux Operating Systems feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.

Chad Crouch

Chad is an experienced Systems Administrator with exposure to various technologies and enterprise ICT environments. He has a huge passion for Technologies, specifically Linux, Open Source Software, Cloud Computing, DevOps, Software & Web Development, electronics, and IoT technologies. If you enjoy our articles please support us and make a small contribution: Buy Us A Coffee