Lightweight Linux distros

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thra
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Lightweight Linux distros

Post by thra »

Just finished writing this lightweight Linux distros list where we included Linux Mint https://thishosting.rocks/best-lightwei ... linux-mint. Of course, the KDE edition is not that lightweight, but if you use XFCE for example, it should be ok.

Any recommendations? What distro do you use on your old hardware?

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jimallyn
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by jimallyn »

I wouldn't call Cinnamon a lightweight distro, but MATE and XFCE, yes. If I find a computer that won't run Mint XFCE, I install MX on it, and if that is too much, then I install antiX. antiX will run on just about anything.
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Pierre
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by Pierre »

some of my really old hardware used to always get anti-X installed onto it.

but, most of the oldies have now crashed, hardware wise,
and have been disposed of. ..

so now, my not-so-old machines,
now could have either MX or LM - both using the XFCE DE - - installed onto them.
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Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
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Bolle1961
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by Bolle1961 »

thra wrote:Any recommendations? What distro do you use on your old hardware?
Unofficial Linux Mint Lxde, 17.3 18 18.1 and LMDE 2
https://www.linuxmintusers.de
“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.” ― Cree Indian Prophecy
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majpooper
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by majpooper »

I guess it depends on how one defines "old" hardware.
I just installed LM 17.3 Cinnamon on an old 15" HP laptop (net book ?).
It is running a dual core AMD 1.6 Mz CPU and 2G of RAM and obviously integrated graphics.
I tested it with XFCE and even lubuntu which ran a little faster I suppose than Cinnamon but not significantly so. I mean I did not bench test them so it was just my impression from trying them out. Cinnamon runs fine and certainly better than Windows 7 was running on it. Mind you, I did this for a retired cop that only uses this laptop when he travels for general use i.e. internet access and checking emails. His first comment was it was "much" faster than Windows.

My point being this to me is "old" hardware ~ 6 or 7 years old. That cohort I have found runs LM Cinnamon OK. Now if you are seriously trying to revive something that is 10 or more years old - I am not sure as I haven't any experience installing LM on anything quite that old - close maybe 8 or 9 years old, a MAC Mini and an old HP desktop but both running lubuntu.

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Reorx
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by Reorx »

The URL is a misnomer!

My favorite "light" distros are LXLE or Q4OS depending on needs and hardware specs...
Full time Linux Mint user since 2011 - Currently running LM19 Cinnamon.

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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by lmuserx4849 »

thra wrote:...What distro do you use on your old hardware?
First choice: Slackware with xfce. Second Gentoo. Third BSD.

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hd_scania
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by hd_scania »

thra wrote:Just finished writing this lightweight Linux distros list where we included Linux Mint https://thishosting.rocks/best-lightwei ... linux-mint. Of course, the KDE edition is not that lightweight, but if you use XFCE for example, it should be ok.
Any recommendations? What distro do you use on your old hardware?
KDE is composed under Qt and there is a lightweight Qt alternative named LXQt, as lightweight like Xfce but different frameworks unlike Xfce.:)

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hd_scania
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by hd_scania »

majpooper wrote:I guess it depends on how one defines "old" hardware.
I just installed LM 17.3 Cinnamon on an old 15" HP laptop (net book ?).
It is running a dual core AMD 1.6 Mz CPU and 2G of RAM and obviously integrated graphics.
I tested it with XFCE and even lubuntu which ran a little faster I suppose than Cinnamon but not significantly so. I mean I did not bench test them so it was just my impression from trying them out. Cinnamon runs fine and certainly better than Windows 7 was running on it. Mind you, I did this for a retired cop that only uses this laptop when he travels for general use i.e. internet access and checking emails. His first comment was it was "much" faster than Windows.
My point being this to me is "old" hardware ~ 6 or 7 years old. That cohort I have found runs LM Cinnamon OK. Now if you are seriously trying to revive something that is 10 or more years old - I am not sure as I haven't any experience installing LM on anything quite that old - close maybe 8 or 9 years old, a MAC Mini and an old HP desktop but both running lubuntu.
OLD hardware need to be ones before EFI-supported BIOS, or ones under 32-bit processors, or ones with PPC or Arm processors (though 64-bit).

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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by hd_scania »

jimallyn wrote:I wouldn't call Cinnamon a lightweight distro, but MATE and XFCE, yes. If I find a computer that won't run Mint XFCE, I install MX on it, and if that is too much, then I install antiX. antiX will run on just about anything.
LXQt and Xfce are ligihtweight are lightweight, KDE and MATE are bloat, finally Cinnamon is NOT lightweight OR bloat.:)

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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by lmuserx4849 »

jimallyn wrote:I wouldn't call Cinnamon a lightweight distro, but MATE and XFCE, yes.....
Cinnamon isn't a distro. It is a desktop. Linux Mint or LMDE is a distribution. The former based on Ubuntu, the later Debian.

These are all the distribution Linux Mint, but software that is specific to a particular desktop:

Code: Select all

Cinnamon  32-bit  64-bit  An edition featuring the Cinnamon desktop
MATE  32-bit  64-bit  An edition featuring the MATE desktop
Xfce  32-bit  64-bit  An edition featuring the Xfce desktop
KDE 32-bit  64-bit  An edition featuring the KDE desktop

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jimallyn
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by jimallyn »

I am fully aware of the difference between a desktop environment and a distro.

I wouldn't call Mint with Cinnamon a lightweight distro, but Mint with MATE or Mint with XFCE, yes. Happy now?
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Flemur
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by Flemur »

thra wrote:JOf course, the KDE edition is not that lightweight, but if you use XFCE for example, it should be ok.
Any recommendations? What distro do you use on your old hardware?
KDE is rather monstrous; Xfce is far better.

But the distro itself doesn't make much difference, what matters is the DE or window manager. I install fluxbox over xfce and it's as light (memory, boot speed, but somewhats more disk space) as Arch running fluxbox. (fluxbox uses less memory than a typical terminal, only 5 to 10 Meg vs 300Meg or more for Cinnamon or KDE).
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by 0ddity »

majpooper wrote:I guess it depends on how one defines "old" hardware.
I just installed LM 17.3 Cinnamon on an old 15" HP laptop (net book ?).
It is running a dual core AMD 1.6 Mz CPU and 2G of RAM and obviously integrated graphics.
I tested it with XFCE and even lubuntu which ran a little faster I suppose than Cinnamon but not significantly so. I mean I did not bench test them so it was just my impression from trying them out. Cinnamon runs fine and certainly better than Windows 7 was running on it. Mind you, I did this for a retired cop that only uses this laptop when he travels for general use i.e. internet access and checking emails. His first comment was it was "much" faster than Windows.

My point being this to me is "old" hardware ~ 6 or 7 years old. That cohort I have found runs LM Cinnamon OK. Now if you are seriously trying to revive something that is 10 or more years old - I am not sure as I haven't any experience installing LM on anything quite that old - close maybe 8 or 9 years old, a MAC Mini and an old HP desktop but both running lubuntu.
My daily use PC is a 9 year old Dell laptop with a C2D 2.53ghz, 6GB ram and an Nvidia Quadro 770m. I run Mint Cinnamon on it, and it runs pretty smooth with visual effects enabled. My secondary PC is an 11 year old Dell desktop, with a Pentium D, 4GB ram and an ATI X600. It can't quite handle CInnamon, but XFCE works great, as long as you don't ask too much from it.

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kenetics
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by kenetics »

I just put BunsenLabs Linux on a 10 year old low-spec. Compaq Presario, and it really flies. BL is a successor to CrunchBang and uses Debian with Openbox. It's easier to use than CrunchBang was and has a lot of extras added to OB.
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by Portreve »

I know I've said this on LM Forums before, somewhere, but if you install Debian with Cinnamon, you will notice a performance difference, with Debian being snappier.

I'm running LM 18.2 on a 2011 MacBook Pro 13" running a 2.7GHz i7. Somewhere on this forum I posted my experiences in migrating to an SSD. This thing is faster than it ever was running Mac OS X. Boot time is so trivial that it's better than the the boot-up time for my phone or any tablet I've seen. Once at the desktop, this unit is incredibly fast. It's running some Intel integrated graphics chipset (can't be bothered to research which one just at the moment) and I couldn't be happier.

Of course, I really want to ditch Apple's hardware and get something else to be running GNU+Linux on, but that's a side issue.
Please be polite and remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

Presently running Linux Mint Cinnamon 19.3.

Know when what you're doing is trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, and STOP.

Still looking for a new job.

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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by mr_raider »

Flemur wrote:
thra wrote:JOf course, the KDE edition is not that lightweight, but if you use XFCE for example, it should be ok.
Any recommendations? What distro do you use on your old hardware?
KDE is rather monstrous; Xfce is far better.

But the distro itself doesn't make much difference, what matters is the DE or window manager. I install fluxbox over xfce and it's as light (memory, boot speed, but somewhats more disk space) as Arch running fluxbox. (fluxbox uses less memory than a typical terminal, only 5 to 10 Meg vs 300Meg or more for Cinnamon or KDE).
On the contrary. The distro is paramount. KDE Mint is "heavy" because it comes preconfigured with all the bells and whistles. OTOH, Neon KDE is a stripped down bare KDE default install, and it idles at 380MB of RAM in Virtualbox. If you turn off compositing it's very lean. I also find Ubuntu MATE to be "leaner" than Mint Mate.
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by D-man »

Some people I know have a really old piece of hardware, a desktop that has an ancient AMD CPU and about 256 MB RAM. I do not remember its specs now, I happen to be next to that machine very seldom. People thought of throwing it away several years ago (after WinXP had completely been messed up there, rejecting to boot). It was revived with Linux Mint 13 then. What is expected to be done there is mostly browsing the internet, listening to music and simple data transfer from / to USB memory sticks. As long as Linux Mint 13 and the package base of Ubuntu 12.04 are not supported any more, it will not only be risky to browse, but some websites, for example YouTube, will reject playing media content due to outdated browsers.

The CPU is non-PAE. I remember I had to use exactly LM 13 because its older kernel worked fine with that CPU (in contrast to LM 17.x). It was slow enough, as the hardware was very weak, but still usable.
Last month I had short time to settle things with that computer. I replaced LM13 with PuppyLinux Tahrpup. Of course it worked decently fast, but seemed to have issues with outdated browsers (or maybe that's because then I couldn't have a longer examination to see what PuppyLinux had to offer).
Besides, PuppyLinux itself was a bit "tricky" to be configured for a non-techie user who would use the desktop.

Reading this thread made me think of finding another replacement before that computer is thrown away.
Do you, guys, know if anything suitable still exists? What can be suitable is some lightweight distro with still-supported kernel that can run on the non-PAE CPU and with a package base that has web browsers which are not too outdated to play media content on YouTube?

Thanks!

mr_raider
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by mr_raider »

What's the exact machine specs?
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D-man
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Re: Lightweight Linux distros

Post by D-man »

mr_raider wrote:What's the exact machine specs?
Unfortunately I am far away from that machine. I do not have the specs noted. And nobody else knows. I will be able to check it out not soon. Maybe after weeks.
Thank you for asking!

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