8 Lightweight Linux Distros for Low Specifications
8 Lightweight Linux Distros for Low Specifications
Do you have an old PC with low specifications, but you want to use Linux OS? This is the right choice for you to immediately try 8 Lightweight Linux Distros for Low Specifications. The following is a review of the 8 Lightest Linux Distros.
ArchBang is based on Arch Linux and inspired by CrunchBang, which is another small Linux distro. ArchBang is basically Arch Linux made easier and reduced in size. It includes the power and flexibility of Arch Linux without complicated setup and installation.
ArchBang runs on i686 or X86_64 compatible machines, uses 700MB of disk space, and requires only 256MB of memory. You can use ArchBang as a full-featured desktop operating system or as a portable live OS. Fast, stable and always up to date.
2. Tiny Core Linux
Tiny Core Linux is a very small Linux distro developed by Robert Shingledecker, the main developer for the earlier distro, Damn Small Linux. (The Damn Small Linux site is now defunct, but you can find active ISOs online.)
A Tiny Core Linux “TinyCore” installation is a minute 16MB, includes the basic distro and a decent GUI. The basic installation requires at least 46MB of RAM to run, but you'll need a bit more if you want to run additional apps and other software. Note you must use an Ethernet cable to get online with TinyCore as there is no wireless support out of the box.
The best choice for most people is the “CorePlus” installation, which comes in at 106MB. CorePlus has wireless support, support for non-US keyboards, plus installation tools for alternative window managers, and other handy setup tools.
Elive is a lightweight Linux distro with a custom desktop environment. Based on Debian, Elive comes pre-installed with lots of handy apps, plus a few games too. The Elive desktop environment is a highly customized version of Enlightenment, offering a light and beautiful experience. This distro works fine, even on very old hardware. The minimum requirements for Elive are 500MHz CPU speed and 198MB of RAM, plus 700MB of hard drive space.
You can't directly download Elive. The developer understandably asks for a small donation to keep the project alive for instant downloads. Otherwise, you'll need to head to the site, enter your email address, and wait four hours. Windows users should use Elive's USBWriter to create a bootable USB flash drive. Elive's developers claim that another program made unintentional changes to the ISO during the burn process. macOS and Linux users can continue to use Etcher.
Porteus is a lightweight yet complete Linux distro optimized to run from a USB flash drive. This distro is small and very fast. Porteus runs on any Intel, AMD, or VIA x86/64 processor, taking up only 512MB of disk space and 256MB of memory. No hard disk is required, as it can run from removable storage media. If you use Porteus on a removable storage device, you can take advantage of its "Persistent" mode, which stores data directly on the storage device.
This distro is available in 32-bit (perfect for older PCs) and 64-bit. A kiosk edition is also available, which is a minimal system bracketed for use by the public on a web terminal. You can choose to download Cinnamon, KDE, MATE, or Xfce versions of Porteus.
5. Puppy Linux
Puppy Linux is a very lightweight Linux distro that you should install and run directly from a USB flash drive, SD card, CD, DVD or other bootable storage media. You can install Puppy Linux on your hardware if you want. But it's actually not necessary if you carry a bootable USB flash drive with you.
It should also be noted that Puppy Linux is not a single distribution, nor is it a Linux distribution with many “versions” (for example, versions of Ubuntu include Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and so on). In contrast, Puppy Linux is a collection of Linux distributions built using the same shared principles, using the same tools, using a specific set of "puppy" applications.
SliTaz or Simple Incredible Light Temporary Autonomous Zone, is a lightweight and full-featured graphical Linux distro. Simply put, SliTaz is small, fast, stable, and easy to use. SliTaz minimum requirements include an Intel i486 or x86 compatible processor, at least 80MB of disk space, and 192MB of RAM (however, this can drop to 16MB of RAM depending on the version of SliTaz you're using).
One of the cool features of SliTaz is that it works mostly in your system memory. Once you've booted up SliTaz, you can remove your bootable USB flash drive for other tasks. SliTaz also has a “persistent” feature that allows you to save your personal data and settings to removable media, ready for use on the next boot. (You must store media on the machine for this feature to work).
wattOS is a fantastic little Linux distro based on Ubuntu. You can run wattOS from a USB flash drive, CD, DVD, or other bootable media. Additionally, wattOS has a kiosk mode, or you can install it directly to your hard drive.
Minimum hardware requirements include an Intel or AMD processor, 700MB of disk space, and 192MB for the “Microwatt” edition of wattOS. The wattOS LXDE version uses slightly more RAM, but has more customization options and is suitable as an everyday desktop environment. The Microwatt Edition is very lightweight. It is based on the i3 tiled window manager, offering low resource requirements and a simple design.
8. Bodhi Linux
Bodhi Linux is a fully featured Linux distro based on LTS Ubuntu that uses Moksha Desktop. Furthermore, Bodhi Linux comes in three flavors: Standard edition, AppPack edition, Legacy edition.
The Standard Edition comes with a limited set of options and apps while the AppPack edition offers more features, apps and options out of the box. Of the three, the Legacy edition is the smallest, designed to work with older, less powerful hardware. Bodhi Linux minimum specs require a 500MHz processor, at least 128MB of RAM, and 4GB of disk space.
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