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6 Excellent Lightweight Linux Distros for x86 and ARM

Presenting a nice assortment of lightweight yet fully-functional Linux distros for all occasions. All of these are full distros that do not depend on cloud services; four for x86 and two, count 'em, two for ARM hardware.

Elementary OS

Elementary OS is a beautiful, fast, lightweight Linux for 32- and 64-bit x86. It is built on an Ubuntu core, and Elementary's desktop environment, Pantheon, started out with some stripped-down GNOME 2 elements. But it is more than an Ubuntu respin or GNOME fork-- a lot of custom development goes into Elementary OS, including apps and its development toolkit.

 fig1-elementary os distro

A significant aspect of Elementary OS is the inclusion of accessibility features for hearing, sight, and motor-impaired users. The state of accessibility technologies in Linux is far behind where they should be, so it's encouraging to see a distro building them into its core system. Elementary OS has a bit of a Mac-like feel with a sleek, elegant appearance, subtle highlighting cues, minimal clicks to get from one place to another, and lots of useful super key shortcuts. I expect that even inexperienced Linux users could start using Elementary OS and be productive with just a little bit of poking around.

There is currently $5,755 of cash bounties available for bug-fixing some applications and base libraries. If you can't code, putting a few bucks in the bounty kitty is a great way to support Elementary OS.


LXLE takes Lubuntu LTS (long-term support), customizes the LXDE desktop, adds proprietary codecs and drivers and a thoughtful selection of default applications, and advertises it as a drop-in replacement for Windows. Me, I think anything is a good replacement for Windows, including an Etch-a-Sketch. But LXLE (Lubuntu eXtra Life Extension) really is an excellent choice for users who want to swap Linux for Windows.


LXLE is not amazing new revolutionary technology, but rather an excellently-crafted and refined enhancement of Lubuntu 12.04 and 14.04. The last 5 percent is the hardest, and LXLE goes all the way and finishes that last 5 percent. Installation is fast and simple, and it boots up very quickly. LXLE has five desktop looks to choose from: Unity, Windows XP, GNOME 2, Mac OS X and Netbook. Its most fun feature for me is the 100+ included beautiful wallpapers, and the Random Wallpaper button to cycle them automatically. Windows refugees, or any casual user, will find their way around easily. It also includes the full capabilities of Linux for power users. That is why I love Linux: we can have it all. (32- and 64-bit x86)

Arch Linux ARM

arch linux logoArch Linux is the choice of fine nerds everywhere who want a simple yet versatile, up-to-date, lightweight rolling distribution. Arch calls itself simple because it comes with a minimum of bells and whistles, and is for users who want maximum control of their systems with no backtalk from "helpful" utilities.

Arch supports x86, and also has an excellent ARM port. ARM devices are everywhere thanks to single-board computers like Raspberry Pi, Beagleboard, and Arduino, smartphones, tablets, and netbooks like the Samsung Chromebook. Arch is extremely customizable, so you can pare it down to fit even the smallest SBC and make it into a router, a special-purpose server, or even a tiny but useful portable desktop computer. Just like x86 Arch, ARM Arch is well-documented and has active community support.

Point Linux

Point Linux is a baby, barely a year old. It is based on Debian 7 and the MATE desktop, which was originally forked from GNOME 2. So it has a traditional system menu and panels-- nice and clean, and everything easy to find with no dancing icons, no hidden things that appear only when you luck out and hover your cursor over the exactly correct spot, and virtual desktops that stay put. It runs well on old feeble hardware, and comes with a good basic selection of applications. Point Linux is based in Russia, and has good comprehensive localization. If you miss the Ubuntu of old, when it had the best GNOME 2 implementation of any distro, then you might like Point Linux. (32- and 64-bit x86)

pointlinux distro


Porteus was originally named Slax Remix. Porteus is a combination of "portability" and "Proteus", the god of the sea who could change his form. This is a reference to Porteus' flexibility; it weighs in at less than 300MB, and is optimized to run from a USB stick, CD, Compact Flash, or hard disk. It's a great way to get a prefab version of Slackware all ready to go to work.

fig5 porteus

You get a choice of five, count 'em, five desktop environments: KDE4, Razor, LXDE, MATE, or Xfce. Porteus includes a package manager, so you can install and remove packages to your heart's content. In my un-humble opinion it is the best portable Linux.

Fedora ARM

Fedora's ARM port has finally been promoted to primary architecture status, as of the Fedora 20 release in December 2013. This is a significant step because it now gets equal priority with the x86 releases, and no packages are pushed into repositories if they fail to build. In typical Fedora fashion, ARM support is broad and pushes into the bleeding edge with support for 64-bit ARM, all the popular ARM SBCs, and a nice selection of unofficial remixes for unsupported devices including the Samsung Chromebook. Which I keep mentioning because it looks like a perfect travel notebook once you clear the Google gunk off and install a good proper Linux on it. Visit the Fedora ARM wiki page to learn everything.

fig6 fedora unity desktop




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  • jymm Said:

    That is only your opinion. I disagree. I have been using Point for over a year and I would call it the best OS I have every used. Great replacement for XP. I have it on a 12 year old PC that originally had XP on it and it runs great, better than XP ever did.

  • Dave Said:

    No thats my opinion also. The selection sucks....Arch is the only distro in the list that is a badass distro, but you only mention the ARM version, not sure why that is, but any version of Arch can be smoking fast. The other OS that is "OK" in this list would be Elementary OS, but the problem here is, it isn't all that fast, it isn't a complete OS....yet, it is prone to errors, and it isn't a complete OS. Elementary is still in heavy development and it changes from version to version because the Devs are still trying to figure out what exactly they are trying to build, is it a lightweight OS, is it a feature full OS, is it even an OS yet, probably not, because once again, it isn't complete. The rest of the list is horrible. Fedora ARM, nope. Porteus, real Slackware would be a lot better and more lightweight if you want it to be, Point Linux is horrible and probably will not last past the 5 year mark, if even that long. LXLE is not very stable and personally, I'd rather use an Etch-A-Sketch than use that poor excuse of a Linux distro. Thanks for turning me on to a bunch of useless distros, I think I'll start a running bet at the office to see which distro disappears from the face of the Earth first.

  • Not an asshole Said:

    If you are such a fucking expert, then why are you reading articles such as this anyway.

  • Josh Said:

    To give knowledge. If the author of this article is "such a fucking expert", why did they make the article? The same reason that Dave made his comment of course. To provide an education for the progress of humanity. If you had nothing of value to comment, why did you post your retort? To be a prick. I personally will always use Arch when I want performance, I'll likely always use Ubuntu when I'm giving the distro to someone I don't want to spoon feed, and I will always use Windows for everything else. You use the best tool for the job, and Dave is not wrong in stating there are a whole lot of plastic forks on this list of shovels.

  • Mara Said:

    First of all, its not your article, why don't you make your own so that other people will respect your opinion. Secondly, You love archlinux just because you only love the looks and its logo. But every flavor of linux distro has pros and cons. actually no matter how it is buggy or have a lot of errors if your an expert you can have a work around. It would not matter to you if you know how to handle errors and bugs. so please respect the author. :P

  • Adam Said:

    While I agree that the hostility is unnecessary, I can't agree with the "if you don't like it, why don't you go write your own article/make your own game/become a pro football quarterback/start your own restaurant" argument. It's lazy and silly. I may not be a five-star chef, but I can tell - and would have the right to complain - if a chef overcooked my steak or forgot to season my side. I shouldn't have to get a business loan, go to culinary school, and then make a better restaurant before I have that right. Also, respect is earned, not a default setting. Kindness should be a default setting (which is why I disagree with the hostility of the above commenters), but an opinion based off of ignorance or lack of research/experience does not deserve respect.

  • Phuqyourego Said:

    Debate and argue IN ORDER TO LEARN, not in order to win.

  • thehoiman Said:

    Your analogy is flawed as you would expect to pay money for that steak, whereas this article costs nothing.

  • quantumbells Said:

    Incorrect. I read the article and liked it, but then I also read the comments and they were instructive too. This isn't a dick measuring contest. The author wrote the article to educate from their point of view and followup discussions in the comments are where a lot of good stuff happens. I'm a scientists and most of the really awesome science happens after the presentation ends, with scientists discussing it and their own ideas with each other.

  • jay Said:

    1 Cor 13:4 Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; 6 rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; 7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away.

  • alexsystemf Said:

    i agree to " your selection sucks"

  • Kris Said:

    @jay... this is science, not fairy tale time.

  • messyone Said:

    ;) thank you so many people really really need to learn that one

  • anthony Said:

    One of my favorite lightweight distros is Slitaz. The x86 install image is only 30MB in size, which then expands out to ~300MB (base install). It is built from scratch, and has a custom GUI built on top of openbox. I currently have it installed on an Asus Eee PC 900--the Xandros edition, with the original 4GB IDE SSD and the RAM maxed out at 2GB. It boots quickly, is more responsive than anything else I've tried, and if I don't use a swap partition there is still ~3.7GB of usable space left without having to add an SD card. There is also an ARM port. I haven't tried it, but it runs on the raspberry pi (

  • Eduardo Said:

    Thumbs up for Slitaz. That one is my favorite mini-distro of all.

  • Ivo Said:

    You are absolutely right. This selection consists out of systems which require a lot of power for their eye-candy.

  • Aoryu Said:

    Your BASIC oppinion really sucks... Hope your Windows PC get Bluescreen!

  • Gama Xul Said:

    As far as small Linux distros go, these are alright. I've implemented a few of these and they're quite acceptable. I think your comment reveals how unfamiliar you are with each of them. I still use Porteus builds for several quick-&-dirty VM or embedded applications.

  • Jim Beam Said:

    I'm no Linux expert, but i like to tinker to learn. I've tried 12 - 15 different distros. Of the light distros i like LXLE, Lubuntu, Deepin, and Elementary OS. They all work great with older Celeron, Pentium M, P3, and AMDs. Getting the wireless network to function correctly has been an issue a lot of other distros i've tried, but those 4 worked very well. I would highly recommend LXLE and Lubuntu. JMO as a novice.

  • smarta$$ Said:

    This here, is why the Linux community sucks...

  • nlvivar Said:

    The best one in my opinion is Crunchbang: But I don't think it has ARM support.

  • azimir Said:

    I've been living on Crunchbang for a couple years now and I find it perfectly functional for a desktop Linux system. It does very well on old x86 netbooks and those old towers everyone has floating around. Sadly, there's no ARM version for those Chromebooks and RPi users.

  • dwss5 Said:

    I agree with nlvivar about Crunchbang as one of the better lightweight distros. A CB-similar distro is MicroWatt. They are similar to one another in that they're both based upon Debian and they both have the lightweight Openbox window manager. In my opinion, though, a possible nitpic for n00bs is the seeming difficulty of having Openbox show desktop icons as do MATE, LXDE and the GNOMEs. If Debian itself could slim down the MATE beta, then we'd have the best worlds of an easy-to-use desktop (with desktop icons) plus a great base distro!

  • Saul Nunez Said:

    The only distro here I can say it works for me is Elementary, is simple and fast.

  • Dinos Said:

    Can we talk about this? I am currently running elementary 0.2 on my laptop (HP Pavilion dv7) and would like to find ways to make it faster.

  • L501X Said:

    ManjaroLinux OpenBox is the best in terms of lightweight distro. New linux users (migrating from windows) who feel a bit daunting to go with Arch in the beginning can install Manjaro. Its simple to install, fast and very much customizable.

  • L501X Said:

    ManjaroLinux OpenBox is the best in terms of lightweight distro. New linux users (migrating from windows) who feel a bit daunting to go with Arch in the beginning can install Manjaro. Its simple to install, fast and very much customizable.

  • Ari Torres Said:

    article is about right on eOS (elementary) is the best distro i have come across in years,linux lite and porteous are also light and fast but eOS has the beauty in it and modern look :)

  • sotmo Said:

    I've tried Ubuntu, ManjaroLinux, Lubuntu, Linux Deepin and eOs; and Elementary Os is the fastest for me. Followed by Manjaro and Lubuntu. Linux Deepin is really heavy.

  • kamhagh Said:

    I tried elementary OS on my VGN-P530 it was unusable on Live USB compared to xubuntu, it's still insanely slow but usable :) it's weird but i think Lubuntu was also slower!!!

  • enzzo Said:

    Elementary? WTF? LXLE? What's the difference between Lubuntu and LXLE? Gentoo have awesome support to ARM and also have a good documentation(maybe better then arch). An advantage of Gentoo is that you compile packages, optimized for your ARM.

  • Jens Staal Said:

    One addition to the list that I would do is the Alpine linux distribution. It is very Arch-like but musl libc and busybox- based.

  • archuser Said:

    I use archlinux with no DE, works very fast.

  • Travis Said:

    Xubuntu is the best. You get a Debian based distribution that supports .deb packages, and the frequent updates from Ubuntu, with the lightweight Xfce user interface. With a little bit of tweaking, you can make it look like Windows XP, which in main opinion had the best desktop-task bar-start menu functionality.

  • EvanEvans Said:

    Linux is a lot better than Windows in a lot of ways. That being said, Xubuntu is my preferred flavor of Linux. Fast and lightweight, I've moved over 30 customers to Xubuntu Linux this year with the death of XP. It is also my preferred distro because of its speed.

  • Tonny Said:

    Running Xubuntu on my ThinkPadT42 and it's super slow :/ I need something even lighter. Laptop is old and has 1.6GHz processor and 1GB RAM. Ubuntu was worting on this laptop without problems but latest 12.04.5 LTS is really heavy for my laptop.

  • Connor Said:

    You should try Lubuntu. I run it on a Dell Inspiron 2650 from 2002 with an Intel Pentium 4 Mobile processor and 512MB of Ram, it runs like a beast because it's so fast... just don't play games on it. I tried Minecraft on it and that was dumb of me because it was SOOOOOO laggy. :)

  • Jim Said:

    I have essentially the same laptop but with 768MB RAM. I run a close-to-minimal Debian install with i3 as the window manager and a just few graphical tools as needed. i3 is a tiling WM which is a little weird at first, but it's great when you get used to it and wastes precious few resources. Thy only unavoidable hog is the web browser.

  • aguador Said:

    I had not heard of Proteus, but in evaluating some possible replacements for XP tested a live version of LXLE that I thnk is an excellent choice for those making the switch -- and I say that as someone who will not personally use Ubuntu-based distributions. LXLE is both polished and surprisingly fast -- and should be even better when LXQt is ready for prime time. I am running Manjaro on a netbook now and like it very much, but it is not for Linux novices or those afraid of tinkering with their systems. For example I have a Brother printer which means no readily available driver in the Manjaro respositories, although one in the AUR that I am trying to figure out how to install correctly. Great distribution, but I wouldn't start someone there. What about Slax itself?

  • Paul Said:

    Debian,.Crunchbang,.Puppy linux,Tails,Slax.....

  • fisheater Said:

    antiX -- -- is excellent on resource-limited PCs, to a point where Puppy steps in as a better alternative, IMHO. #! is ver similar - and both are true Debian based distros, allowing for use of the smxi script to help make post-install tweaks easier. Either.

  • Larry Cafiero Said:

    A glaring omission here, as others have pointed out, is Crunchbang, a Debian-based distro using the Openbox window manager.

  • seeking406 Said:

    I really like the mint 17 i have only been using linux since mint 13 still learning. i like all i get from mint 17 but feel a little bulked up ,it seems pretty heavey but i don't want to lose it. I kept up with nearly everyone of windows from 98se through windows 7, switched over to linux and learning more each day. my question is i want a lite weight os with the freedom of mint 17 is their any such thing.

  • Grant Said:

    For linux mint they do have a XFCE version which is lighter than their other versions like cinnamon. Check Mint's download page. There's another Linux distro called Zorin Lite and Zorin Educational Lite, but both are 32 bit. Zorin does have other versions that are 64 bit. I do enjoy Zorin Lite on my netbook.

  • HarleyD Said:

    Zorin OS or Porteus. Both recognize my wifi and printer right out of the box. Both are fast.

  • Phuqyourego Said:

    Not so light on the bugs, though. Like screen-locking and power-saving, you know, absolute essentials. I've had it randomly boot with no Launcher menu appear, then Ctrl+Esc bringing up a blank 'launcher' menu on another part of the desktop. Lots of hassle. Not even that fast (XP SP2 on a significantly-older PC with just 256MB of RAM, tweaked, was a lot faster, I recall).

  • Lucas Zanella Said:

    Pantheon and Gnome in a desktop with less than 1Gb of RAM? Are you sure? I have Xubuntu installed on my mom's old computer and it still runs pretty slow!

  • caleb Said:

    i have Elementary OS running on an old eeepc 701 and after disabling animation it usable, the only limit is the screen resolution (800x480) the specs are: intel celeron single core 630mhz (trying to overclock to 900 512mb ram

  • Jenerwin Salamero Said:

    well i love all this distros..

  • Jenerwin Salamero Said:

    well i love all this distros..

  • ScrappyLaptop Said:

    And if you want to try something a little different (or need a bulletproof solution for grandma & kids), try Ubermix Linux. It's a distro created by California school teachers. Originally intended for re-purposed netbooks, it's highly optimized for failure recovery, ssd's and minimal hardware. If you "over-optimize" (ie screw up) the read-write User partition, a reboot selection refreshes it back to stock. The distro is also optimized for SSD's (or in my case, an HP 3115 w/ ssd-to-sata adapter & a cheap eBay 16 GB 'msata' ssd resulting in 8-10 hrs of battery life on an E300 w/ 8GB ram). The default install applications are ostensibly geared toward education (and a lot of fun for techie grownups, too), but include the expected basics of (libre) office, firefox/chrome, programming, sound, video, etc.. Remixing the read only 'system' & master/restore user partitions is quite easy, btw, as are updates.

  • RTK Said:

    Hi, thanks for the list, but I am trying to get Linux to work on a Centrino / Pentium M HP Pavilion dv 1000 series laptop. Unfortunately, PAE is disabled on the Pentium M, and so newer and supported Ubuntu and Debian based distros don't work without forcing a parameter in the kernel which the distros don't like and don't want. The machine has 1 g of ram, and it is from around 2003. Any suggestions? The distro doesn't have to be too light, but it's got to run on that darned Centrino. Has anybody had any luck with this kind of problem?

  • Chuck Said:

    Have a look at SolydX linux. Similar to linux mint xfce but will work with non-pae processors.

  • cybersleuth Said:

    No mention of tinycore linux, the smallest distro is 9mb I think, I remaster all my versions linux, [mainly puppy] am tweaking a snowpuppy at present. Am from windows environment myself, so wine + dosbox are essential addons. There are a myriad of 'small' distros out there, too many to mention here, I try all of them at one point or another, proteus ay? I'll give it a try, ta for the informative read people.

  • ScrappyLaptop Said:

    I ran into that with an older...(T40? maybe?) laptop. Misc findings: Mint: (& I think there's a 'regular' Mint-Debian version that works) Linux Lite (supported to 2017, but this version *only* is nonPAE): How to force Lubuntu (& derivatives) 14.04 to load a non-PAE kernel: "A number of older Pentium M processors produced around 2003-4 (the Banias family) do not display the PAE flag, and hence a normal installation fails. However, these processors are in fact able to run the latest (and PAE-demanding) kernels if only the installation process is modified a little. The problem is not missing PAE, it's about the processor not displaying its full capabilities. Pentium M's of the Dothan family display the PAE flag correctly and support the latest Buntus without modifications. The same distinction (Banias versus Dothan) goes for the lower performing Celeron M processors. "

  • cybersleuth Said:

    I have seamonkey running on a transmeta TM5800@1Ghz clock speed. This chip has a software layer to 'convert' x86 mnemonics to its' own dialect, I must say it is an EXTREMELY problematic pig of a chip, but I appear to be able to source these boxes for free, so I've had to come to terms with it. I had freedos on it before this, and svga / sound / memory management was problematic to say the least. I am, by the way, a member of, and a realmode assembler.....

  • ferran Said:

    Hi, I use awbian ( is a Lightweight gnu/linux distro based on Awesome window manager. Thanks

  • svgt Said:

    Hi, ever since three years I hope for a Linux distro running on my netbook HP Compaq AirLife 100. Inside is a ARMV7 snapdragon QSD8250 cpu. But I had never found a serious candidate.

  • cybersleuth Said:

    I was given a raspberry PI, what a hunk of JUNK with a capital J!!. God damn it, if this is where computing is headed then we are all in TROUBLE. It too, is an ARM processor, I found that there is a dearth of operating systems, it stutters with video / sound, and since I have so many issues with this type of crapware, it is now gone, junked into the bin. For god-sakes, keep at least one x86 / amd32 / 64 in your inventories, as if they are fazed out for the arm, you'll be sorry. Go back in time to the amiga, and guess what, risc OS ran on the arm, it was always a cobbled cpu, that is why it went so fast, if you read up on the mnemonics it uses, there-in is the problem, just simply NOT up to the task of a serious power-user such as my self. I'd suggest svgt, to junk your laptop, go amd, even if they have an overheating problem,which they do, I have had 3 amds' tell me cpu is over temperature, and in one box the psu caught fire. Never-the-less, I am mostly running amds. damnsmall linux [knoppix] runs on my dell xeon server. I have to say, I have BeOS on a p4, and it blows linux away for speed, boot-up speed, shutdown speed and is FAR more stable. I know it is an old OS, but well worth a try, get the xbeos version, and the PE win95 boot files, cobble the 2 together on hdd, and wah-lah, then you can put the missing stuff into it, ie, software valet, image etc. Just great. That's my own hack of it by the way. cool page, quite a good read.

  • Phuqyourego Said:

    It's 'Voila', respect the French language (I'm not French, they just have style). Not wah-lah, which sounds like a drunk person... Hehe. Dude, you say to use AMD, then state that AMD are crap (overheat, PSU on fire, I mean WTF?) Also 'Cobbled' means 'assembled crudely together, often hastily'. Whereas 'HOBBLED' means 'artificially-crippled' (and is likely the better description for such a CPU). I definitely know what you mean, but ARM is all about low-power. I got a Pi 2+ it is more reasonable in terms of processing power, but the ignorant arseholes at the Pi Foundation make you pay for hardware decoding video codec support (which in my case I want to use, at least sometimes). They do this by a poorly-designed webpage that sends the unique serial number of the Pi IN PLAIN TEXT. Unforgivable incompetence at the most basic privacy and security standards. THAT is an example of 'cobbled-together' (their website, not the Pi hardware itself). I complained, not very politely, because it was all very simple and predictable, and my brain-damaged ass shouldn't be the one providing them with tech support. No, I didn't receive a reply, but such egos must be humble and fucking man-up to the problem, no matter what STYLE it is reported-in. Weak people cannot handle that, they're too sensitive. Whilst bad design decisions cause problems for many thousands or millions, thus deserve harsh criticism when they're simple and predictable.

  • Ratnesh Said:

    I think elementary OS is a good deal, i works great on my old PC, got both look and performance but a bit slow sometime.

  • Dorian Said:

    But very OS X like... For me: Arch+Awesome WM. Fast, stable and solid.

  • penguin2233 Said:

    My personal best is Ubuntu but as Unity(default desktop) is getting worse, I am running XFCE or LXDE. I have it installed on a Acer Travelmate 230(old as) and it works fine.

  • christo Said:

    I had some issues installing Slitaz to hdd on an old PC with 512M ram and DamnSmallLinux development seems halted so I tried Porteus from this list and was very impressed. Thank you

  • jlcolon13 Said:

    This is what makes linux the best damn OS ever, since there is a flavor for everyone. Even Google flavor their Android; and Apple incorporated in the X and Windows still copies its features. But for windows (not 8) replacement best is one that mimic it's desktop, highend system = KDE, lowend = LXDE, otherwise choice is endless.

  • Josh Said:

    If you are a power-user, why the hell are you using a hobbyist mini-computer, it's designed to do small jobs, like control a set of motors, host your grandmothers website, cache your internet traffic or play music in the living room. I didn't read half the shit you wrote because it's unbearable to read, but what I gather, you're using the wrong devices for the wrong jobs. There is nothing wrong with ARM, there are some high spec processors available. But they are geared towards lower power tiny form-factor devices like phones and tablets. They will never be as powerful as a desktop because that is not the market they're targeted towards, we already have desktops for that. I also can't believe you mentioned Windows 95 at all, that is a terrible system, and boot files? How old is your system? You also compared a Pentium 4 to a Raspberry PI. What?? But cool comment, good read.

  • Sebastien Said:

    Best distro ??! WTF ? There is no best distro in linux, there only the needs you have Eyecandy ? go ubuntu or EOS Performance ? Go Archlinux Stabilitty ? Go Debian Et caetera Talking about best distro is a stupid fuckin' troll and doen't help people to free themselves from W$ or Apple...

  • Phuqyourego Said:

    Eyecandy, go Ubuntu - except anything before, what Geforce 200 series, isn't supported. Way to go, poo-Buntu, it's not like the pathetic level of eye-candy Unity has out of the box, can't be done by a Geforce 6800, is it? This is for Nvidia, but sure I researched it as being the same for older ATI/AMD GPUs, too. I hate forced-obsolescence, not because I can't afford to upgrade occasionally, but because I can't afford the TIME for researching, planning and troubleshooting, then tweaking. To go from newly-bought bare metal to refined, usable system just because suddenly some decision is made to cut-off support for powerful, highly-capable hardware. I mean, what, the graphics they no longer support are something like 2-5x more powerful than the current XBox and PS4 graphics hardware. Way to go, industry, in artificially-crippling good silicon. But you all knew that, anyway. I just like keeping the same known-good solutions, as in "If it ain't broke, don't fix it ', and staying with the same girlfriend, if one is happy, that kind of good living thing...

  • cybersleuth Said:

    howdi, I was given the pi by a mate who wanted me to program it up to be a box under the tv that does all multimedia, both hardware ie disks / cards and streaming.....I'm an assembler programer and he thought I might like to have a crack with the pi, view to forming a company....this fellow I talk of, wired the space shuttle, the polaris missile and the trident submarine to name a couple of his accomplishments. I'm sorry my post was not up the right alley.....I like that you commented, I was perhaps not too clear, I am a member of, I run in house, winxp, only for orion studio [am a songwriter], linux versions I write and modify myself, and BeOS which I have got running on P4 hardware. I agree, there is NO best linux, I have a large repository of various flavours, chattin' with you....

  • truongthx Said:

    Hi, I am a newbie in using linux. However, I would like to setup a small linux system which can run NetBean, jdk8 and MPLabX. Those things support linux, but I don't know whether I can install them on any linux based system. So, any recommendations can be appreciated.

  • Rodrigo Said:

    I will try Archlinux soon, I'm sick of Linuxmint because my laptop heats to much!

  • Phuqyourego Said:

    Every single distro I've tried has that problem of heat and power management. I don't give a flying mudderphuq what the desktop environment looks like if I permanently damage my GPU and CPU by overheating due to lack of support in even Ubuntu! If I am playing with Lubuntu and fall asleep, I can wake up to a dead heat-damaged PC! Whilst doing nothing wrong or ignorantly on my end! WTF?! Even on the most mainstream of the mainstream, Intel hardware, CPU power saving features (dynamic clock speeds, voltage control etc - the obvious) are NOT SUPPORTED. This is really pathetic (I've tried everything in the Repo's) That reminds me, the Repos are a waste of bloody space, since they are updated with ridiculous (years, not weeks or months) latency. This is one of the biggest weaknesses in the Ubuntu system (not sure about other distros but ready to start ploughing through them now). Trusted sources for software, are trusted for security, but not for having bugs removed and updated to the latest version - thus people end-up adding dodgy third-party repo's. Very lame situation.

  • JoeCool Said:

    I am brand new to Linus and fairly new to computers in general. I have tried Ubuntu on a live flash drive, but am looking for the fastest Linux i can find. I've read most of the posts here and will take a look at several that you've mentioned, but I'd like to here if you had any specific flavors that come to mind.

  • eddi Said:

    All of them are slower when running right from a disc. Only when fully installed can you see how fast they really are.

  • D3sh Said:

    Game changers: Addictive -Q4OS -SliTaz 5 -SliTaz 4 -AntiX -Porteus -MX14 (work by devs of AnitX and Mepis) -Bodhi -Debian 7 XFCE -linux Mint 17 MATE -elementaryOS

  • Fco. Manuel Fdez. Said:

    Try GALPon MiniNo 2.1 (Debian + LxDE)

  • D3sh Said:

    It's very nice :), I just downloaded minino-artabros-2.1 LXDE it's great. Thank you.

  • Fco. Manuel Fdez. Said:

    Another good one is Guadalinex V9 Lite. Here it is: Give it a try and comment it

  • Fco. Manuel Fdez. Said:

    Ok. One of my favourite distros. Linux Lite 2.2 Have a look at: and give it a try. Simple, fast, great!

  • james Said:

    i will agree with many posters here, Linux is different for many people, but if your just looking for an easy to use and fairly minimal system that works quick Elementary is a good choice and a suitable replacement for both Windows and OSX. installs easily and has a reasonable set of applications to cover most users (but ditch the default browser and use firefox or Chrome) I tried it first in virtual mode on a Windows 7 box and it was faster than the host OS! didn't take me long to switch over on my back up laptop. I have tried a few linux flavours: Mint, gentoo, umbuntu, Slax, but Elementary suited MY needs. Graphics applications are what I use on a daily basis. Power users will probably prefer something more customisable but I am not wanting to spend time tweaking my OS just using it :)

  • Tonny Said:

    Elementary OS was the last hope for my old laptop. I have downloaded the image but when I tried to install it I got "This kernel requires the following features not present on the CPU: pae". So I can't install it :( I guess it's time to recycle my 2005 IBM ThinkPad T42. It was still working but somehow even the MS Windows XP that it was designed for became "too heavy" for it to run. I tried XUBUNTU with xfce but it's still too much for the laptop. Rest in peace my beloved laptop!

  • Fco. Manuel Fdez. Said:

    Try GALPon MiniNo 2.1 on that old IBM and tell us. Any problem? Tell us or tell me at fmft71 at yahoo dot es

  • eddi Said:

    Before you throw it out, give Sparky linux a try. It comes in 32 and 64 bit. Make sure to grab the 32 bit. Good luck. Post back with your findings please.

  • kostas Said:

    Make a google Search for the "pae". With the command "forcepae" you can skip this difficultie.

  • Fco. Manuel Fdez. Said:

    Or MaX 6.5. You can get GALPon MiniNo 2.1 at You can get MaX 6.5 at Try and tell us and tell me. No... No RIP. ....

  • abdallah zaky Said:

    i try elemntry os and i think it is the better any one want to try it can download it from the official website from here

  • Fco. Manuel Fdez. Said:

    GALPon MiniNo 2.1 Guadalinex V9 Lite Linux Lite 2.2 Puppy Linux 6.0

  • Dennis Said:

    Carla, Great Article. I especially agree with your comments about LXLE. I have been using LXLE with great success, as have many friends who converted from Windows XP. Given the original published date of this article, some of the comments are so out-of-date and out-to-lunch. CrunchBang is shutting down and will no longer be available. And anyone who does not know the difference between Lubuntu and LXLE doesn't know how to read. Another possible candidate would be the new Simplicity distribution.

  • Said:

    useless list. where is SLAX ?

  • bill Said:

    I'm looking for a program operating system that will be secure and will do web caming with up to 15 different camers and still be able to get media music and video downloads.Some operating system like windows 7 but secure so i can webcam in a paid for web site Any Ideas as to any Linux operating system ? that i can down load to night ?

  • test Said:

    why is not Elive listed? its one of the most light distros everywhere!

  • Jessid Said:

    Porteus rules!!!! This is a proud son of Slackware Distros based on Debian? WTF? Ubuntu and its flavors really sucks!

  • Oscar Said:

    Please don't tell me you think Fedora runs on Unity.

  • oystercatcher Said:

    linux from scratch buildroot aboriginal linux

  • True Computer USER Said:

    Any distro that requires extensive use of commandline is a crime to humanity and should be abolished. We design better tools to help us, not use tools for the sake of using them.

  • George Said:

    Have used and liked Zorin on my duel core netbook, Zorin light for a single core. Tried Elementery but didnt like it. Installed Zorin on a duel core Centrino laptop wiith a 64mb dedicated graphics card and ssd drive and wow, never seen anthing so fast. Beats the hell out of my new i5 laptop running Win8.1, only keep it for games. Don't get my finger off the button before its executed. Have Puppy linux run on a Eepc 701 and works fine, easy install. But its Zorin for me, got many of friends running it. Its fast, stable and logically laid out. Hated Win8, piece of crap. Win 8.1 better but stii can't find were the hell are some of the programs that I've supposedly thought I installed. The only god thing about it is plays games and isn't treacle lice Vista.

  • Glenn Said:

    Download Classic Shell. It is a program that will make your Windows 8 look like Windows 7. You will have a start button with the normal my documents, my music, etc. It is a program so your laptop will still be Windows 8 but it will look like 7.

  • Larry Miller Said:

    For Speed, Simplicity and Stability I will always go with Linux Lite and it comes in 32 bit and 64 bit,a great Operating system runs well on older and newer computers.

  • Lar Lorm Said:

    its the thing under your shoulder and above your hand

  • Wulfdane Said:

    Linux is a poor man's OS, garbage unless you're running a server or a small device. That is why Linux usage is less than 2% on desktops & laptops.

  • will Said:

    It's only on 2% because almost all computers come with OSX or Windows and most people don't care about computers enough to try something different.

  • Molly_dog Said:

    While I realize this is an old article, I am new to using all the various incarnations of Linux. I was really just looking for some basic information as to which distro would best run on a 10+ yo Dell Latitude D600 which originally had XP Pro. I have to admit, although I shouldn't have been, I was amazed that Linux/Ubuntu users are just as contentious, highly opinionated, rude and obnoxious as any Windows or Mac users I have ever encountered in 20+ years dealing with computers. Geez, guys! Take a few deep breaths already.

  • Yodeller Said:

    Molly-dog, you have to consider who uses Linux! Of course you will find highly opinionated, rude and obnoxious people here - many will be socially disabled computer nerds, I have one as a son and can see him writing many of the poorly composed bitchy comments here. The author gave an opinion that will have been a personal choice, and of course it will be as it would be difficult to produce a list any other way. So comments about this list surely should be about the content and not the author. Perhaps the author should have said to whome the distros are intended - something excellent for a Pi may not be much use to the power user (one not using a pi), someone new to Linux using a netbook and coming from XP may have a totally different choice. I'm the latter - I tried some Linux distros a few years ago and continued to use Windows. I have a redundant Netbook and my needs have changed as I no longer need a computer for business , so took the plunge and have installed Lxde - this experience has hooked me to Linux, it worked straight away, found my wifi, found my Canon network printer, and is so much faster than the old XP.

  • sam sung Said:

    You should try this: Q4os, a really amazing OS...

  • POed Said:

    What a bunch of linux assholes. This is like arguing about whether cow shit stinks more than dog shit.

  • Timothy SMITH Said:

    POed, it seems you did not read Molly-dog's comments before putting pen to paper. Courtesy costs nothing, you know. Happy New Year!

  • ricardo Said:

    Hello Hello everyone I'm not very experienced in Linux system, but I need is a Linux for an old computer that need to get to work, it is a Compac Pressario 1200. I have a usb wifi and I intend to put one that recognizes drivers What in your opinion recommendation? CAN YOU HELP ME THANKS FILIPA

  • Martin Said:

    1. manjaro with openbox, 2. archbang 3. crunchbang (hydrogen) 4. slitaz 5. porteus 6. puppy 7. windows xp 8. windows 7 9. reactos 10. haiku 11. ghostbsd 12. android x86 13. symbian 10.1 I've tried them all!

  • ananix Said:

    Arduino is not a computer as you state, you are comparing microprocessor systems with microcontroller systems and i doubt you can get and Arch linux to run on it. In anycase it would make no sense and would remove one of the prime advantage with microcontroller systems.

  • bordmail4 Said:

    Very informative this thread, aside some caustic retorts here and there. Decided to revive an old PC of mine (Athlon 3200, 768MB, some unspeakable MX440 AGP). Not quite ARM but rather middle x86 architecture Tried Ubuntu 12.04 LTS: rather sluggish, plus video drivers missing (so not even YouTube was possible) Tried LXLE as per thread suggestion : it won't get past a black screen of death (haven't tried working around the problem) Tried LXDE Fedora Live: no problem, works fast, feels a bit above XP, drivers automatically (nothing fancy, some USB speakers and touch wireless keyboard). Installed LibreOffice, Thunderbird so it's ready for work. A few problems with my LXDE on startup (the reason of this post): at startup I get a black screen with 3 boot options on a 5 second counter Fedora ( 4.2.6. ...number string) 23 (Twenty Three) Fedora (4.2.3. ...another number string) 23 (Twenty Three) Fedora (rescue....still another string) 23 (Twenty Three) If I let it choose the first option, I get a full black screen with reports and what looks like memory addresses, ending in " end kernel panic - not syncing : VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)". If I choose the last 2 options, systems loads after displaying briefly 2 times the message "failed to find cpu0 device node". The system is newly installed, all space on Fedora. Any ideea what caould be the cause (wouldn't mind reinstalling but better check first) ?

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