Best Lightweight Linux Distributions For Older Computers

Lightweight Linux distributions have similar characteristics to their desktop-oriented counterparts. They offer the best of both worlds but with a slightly different user experience.

They’re easy to install and use, but offer just enough customization to cater to the different needs of different users. In this list, we’ll be going over some of the tried and tested champions of the lightweight Linux distro world.

1. AntiX

AntixLinux distribution based upon DebianThe Linux-Kernel Association and the Debian Project jointly developed the,

LKAIt was created in 2005 by a merger of the Debian Linux kernel Team and the Debian UNIX Group. It is lightweight and can be used on older computers. apt-get/apt package systemDebian-compatible repositories.

AntiX Linux Distro
AntiX Linux Distro

AntixIt provides a solid base for daily activities and a strong sense of security. It is actually more than a stable base – it is also a well-maintained one, with frequent bug fixes and security patches and updates.


Distribution is based on Debian Stable and those of us within the ecosystem can attest to the power of Linux’s stability and generally open-source software and how they greatly benefit this Debian-oriented distribution.

2. Linux Lite

Linux LiteThis is a great option that is often overlooked on this list. It has the benefit of passionate players who are interested in redefining what it takes to be in the business light distributions.

A customized XFCE desktop environment is possible Linux LiteIt started with a prepackaged collection of applications that is lightweight and performant.

When you start a Linux Lite installation, the screen will be divided into two sections: one for Xfce desktop environments and one for the rest.

Linux Lite
Linux Lite

The system is designed to be compact while still offering an intuitive user experience. It is important to note that Linux Lite is very beginner-friendly as one of the unique/intricate features of this distribution is its integrated “one-click” installation.

This guide is for beginners and professionals. Linux LiteThis product was specifically designed for ease of use and a plug-and play implementation.

3. SliTaz

Slitaz GNU/LinuxThis lightweight distribution was created especially for older hardware and as a Live CD/Live USB. SliTaz stands for “Temporary autonomous zone that is simple, light, and amazing“.

With such a loaded acronym, it’s hard not to think of a snake slithering as the name SliTaz doesn’t easily roll off the tongue but I guess that’s just me.

SliTaz Linux
SliTaz Linux

Anyway, as one of the noteworthy options for dated systems, I’m beginning to consider the possibility that there’s more to the whole premise of what is considered lightweight.

The reason is, there’s a need to feel that anything beyond a certain point like systems from the earliest Intel Pentium era should/should not enjoy some computing prowess, especially with an operating system like SlitazOrchestrating the processes in such a system.

It is possible that however, The Slitaz GNU/Linux distro isn’t really the lightest weight Linux distro. Rather, It is geared towards more of a “barebones” platform hence the appeal for systems that are not requiring/mandating any hardware sophistication by default.

4. Puppy Linux

Puppy LinuxThis is a collection of programs and libraries that can all be used to run any Linux operating systems. Puppy LinuxThis is a group of Linux distributions that are focused on simplicity and minimal memory footprint.

It is designed to reduce system load requirements, which makes it very cost-effective. Puppy Linux user-friendly. At the moment Puppy LinuxOne of the most popular Linux distributionsIt is a great tool for sharing information with others. It’s simple to use and has loads of features. It’s also a lightweight distribution that reduces the system footprint significantly.

Puppy Linux
Puppy Linux

This means it uses less resources and has lower system load. It also means that it’s smaller in size than the majority of distributions. The system footprint can be reduced as much as 70% according to some experts. Puppy Linux’s greatest asset is its ease of installation.

All you need to do is download the distribution and then just click on the “Install” button (it will automatically open a web browser) where you can select which language to install.

Puppy LinuxThis distribution of Linux is based upon the Linux kernel. Puppy Linux is an fork of SuSE Linux. It’s designed to be lighter than SuSE, but support more hardware.

5. Tiny Core Linux

The Tiny Core Linux project was created to provide a base operating system that doesn’t require any additional softwareAnd is based on BusyBox and FLTK.

This is possible by using the BusyBoxAnd FLTKYou will need to have the tools you need, as well as the bare minimum tools, in order to create a minimal Linux environment. This operating system is ideal for beginners and those who are newer to Linux. The operating system does not require customization or additional software.

Tiny Core Linux
Tiny Core Linux

The Tiny Core LinuxThe project is focused on new users and will not produce great results for experts. This is because the operating system doesn’t require any additional software.

The operating system has been designed to be small and portable. The operating system can be installed on any supported hardware, even mobile devices.

Tiny Core LinuxThis is not a production-level Linux distribution. The operating system was designed to be simple and minimally complicated. It was created by Robert ShingledeckerOne of the authors of The Official Damn Small Linux Book.

6. LXLE Linux

LXLEThis Linux distribution is based on the most recent Linux version Ubuntu/Lubuntu LTRelease, using the LXDE desktop environment.

LXDEThis distro is lightweight and works well on both new and old hardware. LXLEThere are many desktop environments available, but it prefers to be identified by the LXDE desktop environment.

LXLE Linux
LXLE Linux

LXDEIs it a lightweight desktop environmentWith a focus on visual aesthetics, it is supported on both new and old hardware. LXLESupports many distributions, including DebianAnd Ubuntu LTS.

LXLE LinuxThe following information is available for the main architectural types (LXLE 64Bit 8.04.3 and LXLE32Bit 18.04.3). Ubuntu LTSbase in this case is 18.04 LTS. using the LXDE desktop experience.

7. Q4OS Linux

Q4OSIt is a fast operating system, and it is very user-friendly. It requires some hardware configurations and takes some time to get up to speed, but it is very easy to use. It has many appealing qualities, including its lightweight, speed, and stability.

Q4OS Linux
Q4OS Linux

Q4OS LinuxThis operating system is great for beginners and anyone who wants a way to learn how to use computers. You can use it to learn how to use computers. Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE), Q4OSThis is definitely a force to be reckoned with, considering the slimness of the desktop.

The Trinity Desktop Environment’s acclaimed relationship is designed to simplify the process of getting Windows users switched to Linux.

8. Porteus Linux Distro

One of the more unpopular lightweight distros PorteusAt only about 300MB. Porteus LinuxIt is a light port of the Knoppix LinuxOperating system.

It is actually a “porteus” Linux, unlike other operating systems. Porteus is a small, yet powerful operating system that can be used to quickly get online.

Porteus Linux Distro
Porteus Linux Distro

PorteusIt is based upon open-source software such a XFCE, KDE,The MATEIt is a desktop environment, but it is also developed in C++Do not be afraid to ask for help.

The exterior looks great. Porteus distro isn’t the only lightweight distro but does a good job representing lightweight Linux distros hence the reason why it made this list.

Although the software has many great features, they aren’t particularly outstanding. However, it has made a name for its simplicity and approach to software.


It may be difficult to find your favorite Linux distro, given the sheer number of them available, as Distrowatch can attest.

For what it’s worth, the number of distributions compiled in this article is arguably the best and most widely appreciated in the Linux community when it comes to distros that marry a small footprint with a consistent user experience that doesn’t necessarily require a full install to enjoy the majority of the benefits.

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