So called lightweight Linux distros...

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thom_A
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So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by thom_A » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:20 pm

This is in reference to the thread, "What is the oldest computer you saved with Linux?", which focused on hardware and the application of Mint. There's also a thread titled, "XFCE: Has anyone ever stripped it down further?"

How about another discussion on everyone's experiences using "lightweight" distros? What exactly is a lightweight distro? Name some.

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jimallyn
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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by jimallyn » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:37 pm

I just installed antiX on a computer with a single core AMD Duron processor and 623 megs of RAM. (I think there are probably really 640 megs of RAM, but some has been assigned to the graphics processor.) It's OK for word processing, email, and that sort of thing, but Youtube videos skip a lot. I'll probably recycle it when I'm done playing with it. I'd give it away to some needy person, but I don't think anybody would want it.
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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by kc1di » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:39 pm

Hi Thom_A,

The term lite weight Distro will be different for everyone. I don't know that there is an official list it sort of depends what distro your comparing it with.
But generally speaking it is usually a distro that uses less ram and H.D. space and doesn't require as much cpu power.

Here's one list that's pretty good.
https://itsfoss.com/lightweight-linux-beginners/

But you can google lightweight linux and you'll find many other lists.

my Idea of light weight would be something like puppy linux. I always keep a copy burned to a disc. It's a great tool for saving data on a corrupted system.

just my 2 cents worth others I'm sure will have their own opinions.
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Flemur
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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by Flemur » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:48 pm

Since the "size" of the OS depends mostly on the desktop and the software that you normally run at boot, I think "lightweight" distros are a bogus idea. Just pick any linux with a light desktop.

I've played with a few and none, including Arch but excluding a strange old "Puppy" linux, have been any lighter than a customized Mint install running fluxbox, which uses less memory than a terminal, and most used a lot more memory.

E.g.
fluxbox uses 10 Meg.
KDE uses 500 Meg.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 19.1 Xfce/fluxbox
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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by The Old Timer » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:50 pm

I use Antix Linux on a lot of my computers and have no complaints if only all Linux Distros ran as well right out of the box. :D

Linux Mint 18 Mate is my choice of the big mainstream Linux Distros it has proven to run well on my computers right out of the box. :D

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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by Citizen229 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:42 am

your question is much along the lines of research I did before making the post about stripping down XFCE.

I tried puppy- It has almost no support and therefor decided to look for another option. Im sure it is still usable, i mean it is linux afterall. It can be modified.
I tried tiny core- the whole click on desktop to get a "start bar" to pop up was not something I was enjoying. I did not meet my requirement of a windows like desktop. As a new user being windows like is the easiest transition.
I looked at arch and variants- Arch in itself is command line, and as a newb not desirable. Now arch branches such as manjaro did seem very easy to use. However the rolling release platform and potential bricking updates was not desirable at all.
Various other distros- alot of them have cell phone style user interfaces. Me personally, my desktop or laptop is not a cellphone. I do not consider these viable entertainment or working spaces. But I am 40 years old people in their 20's may have a differing view on this. In all reality this may be the direction desktop OS's will go and I am just stuck in my ways.
Windows type Os's- when looking for these the main thing you will read is Mint. there are various light ones here I looked into but in reality it came down to userbase and support. Hands down the Mint team has both of those. this is why my choice of light distro is XFCE

conclusion- What it boiled down too for me was 2 option Mint and ubuntu. Ubuntu for a more iOS feel and Mint for a windows feel. I created my post on stripping xfce down because i wanted to not only make it more netbook friendly, but I also wan to do my part and nudge it closer to windows. What I can and cannot do, I dont know.But I consider things such as hot corners kind of useless because I have never used nor needed them before. Linux has had these for years, and windows never has. Plus if I can remove hot corners( and other things I do not find useful) someone else may want to do the same thing. So it will be a learning experience for me as well as someone else.

Edit I still have not taken flemur advise and changing to fluxbox file system, but it is on the list of things to do.
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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by Flemur » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:35 pm

I looked at arch and variants- Arch in itself is command line,
Like basic Debian, you can install a desktop (environment) later.
this is why my choice of light distro is XFCE
Probably a good answer.
Edit I still have not taken flemur advise and changing to fluxbox file system, but it is on the list of things to do.
Some notes on that:
- it's not a "file system", it's a window manager...which is similar to but less than a "desktop environment" like Xfce, etc.

- so far as I've seen, it doesn't interfere with the original desktop (Xfce, etc) when you add it; install and then select it @login, optionally set to default.

- It'll look ugly (the default 'theme'!) and be a real pain until you get used to it; I have a customized $HOME/.fluxbox directory that I can copy over to new linux installs and everything is set up the way I like: very easy. There are zillions of "themes" around, and it comes with a bunch you can select, apply and evaluate in a second or so.

- It's very easy to: automagically open various windows full-size, in a certain position or workspace, have no titlebar, etc.; assign keys to functions (I use the numeric keyboard to launch most applications); customize the menus (which appear on titlebars, windows, toolbar, background); keep windows above or below other windows.

- When you install new software the installation process *won't* automatically add it to fluxbox's ("system"?) menu, but it's very easy to do that by hand.

- If you install it and get frustrated, just logout and back into Xfce (or whatever). No need to reboot or uninstall.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 19.1 Xfce/fluxbox
Manjaro openbox/fluxbox

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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by Citizen229 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:56 pm

Managers is a discussion I am up for, just not at this time. For purposes of this topic i felt compelled in my post to relay my impressions of just basic installs. Any version of any linux can be modified. The key is finding the one that best suits the user as well as their end result goals.
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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by wong » Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:42 pm

I prefer a simple window manager like i3 or dwm in place of a full desktop environment, cuts right down on mouse/trackpad use too. For watching youtube and the like using mpv to play the videos, which uses youtube-dl, avoids a lot of the overheads of watching in-browser. This allows me to watch youtube on a ten year old Advent 7087 Celeron laptop with 512MB of ram alongside browser plugins to make it just a click to start watching...it's also what I use on my modern i3 Haswell with 8G of ram as I prefer it now.

There are lots of terminal based applications which can help ease demands. htop to keep an eye on processes, cmus/mpd/ncmpcpp/moc/mpv/mplayer for playing music, ranger/midnight commander in place of a graphical file manager. Vim/emacs/nano for editing text, rtorrent for torrents. Feh/sxiv for viewing images. Ncdu to find what is hogging space.

I had been using Void linux on my old celeron laptop but setting up was slow going and I never really got my head around the package manager syntax, or found it very intuitive. Currently considering going to Debian minimal and building up from there, or perhaps back to Arch, or maybe something else.....still looking.

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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by thom_A » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:00 pm

To me a lightweight distro should be something like a freshly-installed Windows XP that can run even in early pentium machines with 540K ram. "Freshly-installed" means one that hasn't been infected with viruses. The interesting part is it still looks elegant, it's point-and-click and you hardly need a terminal window to install and run mainstream apps such as early versions of Photoshop, Coreldraw, Autocad, Office, etc. Not to mention being able to play video files, browse images, open pdf files, and so on. You'll wonder how most workplaces survived with such minimum configuration. And I'm not even talking about things for home use only.

That should be the standard, in my opinion. I started with DOS at a young age and using the command line is nothing new to me. It was at a time when the Mac and GUI systems started to creep up. I was fully entrenched with productively using apps with textual interfaces using a mere keyboard. And the transition to Windows wasn't easy, but I knew it's the way of the future and soon realized it was a waste of time learning DOS-based apps any further.
Last edited by thom_A on Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by deleted » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:15 pm

LinuxBBQ is a good start.
-H

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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by pdhunter1987 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:51 pm

The dictionary meaning*** for "lightweight distro" is:
KDE plasma 5.8 Neon with all plasmoids, widgets and gadgets, with all kwin effects enabled, definitely things like desktop cube and the like.
Transparency? On, everywhere.

Of course you could just settle for GNOME 3.22 Fedora.

*** This may intact be untrue.

:lol:
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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by Pjotr » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:52 pm

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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by uberdorf » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:22 am

I've been using Lubuntu as a lightweight distro to use as a LAN server, because I'm not good enough with terminal to go without a DE lol. Even with proprietary drivers installed, I've been getting 200-300 MB RAM use for Lubuntu 16.04. To go even lower, 14.04 would probably be better for older computers.

I'll have to try peppermint sometime, it looks interesting.

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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by AscLinux » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:29 am

My RAM usage is less than 90 MB GUI up and running. Gentoo it is. But it all becomes moot when I start up Chromium and open some bloated website. It will take 400 MB easy.

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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by The Old Timer » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:59 am

Pjotr wrote:Take a look at Peppermint OS:
https://sites.google.com/site/easylinux ... peppermint
I tried Peppermint 7 and it is A-OK / very colorful / full of features although I didn't find it to be very light weight on my old computer seemed to be very processor intensive.

Dell-Optiplex-320 (06/17/2007).
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Radeon Xpress 200/1100 [RC410] integrated graphic adaptor.
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Antix and Lubuntu and Puppy Tarpup 6.0.5 based on my own use are true lightweight Linux distros.

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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by xfrank » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:48 pm

I've tried several lightweight distros:

1 - Linux Lite (Xfce, Ubuntu derivative, slightly lighter than LM17 Xfce)
2 - Lubuntu (Lxde, Ubuntu derivative, very lightweight, and actually nice, despite many people find it too spartan)
3 - Peppermint (Lxde-Xfce blend, Ubuntu derivative, very lightweight, somewhat close to Ubuntu but a little heavier)
4 - Antix (Icewm, Ubuntu derivative, super lightweight, but I feel lost in Icewm, maybe it's too barebone)
5 - Sparky Linux (Xfce, Debian Testing derivative, lightweight and nice, but it actualizes too frequently for my tastes)
6 - Vector Linux (Xfce, Slackware derivative, very lightweight, essential and beautiful, but has some learning curve)

Other distros I've tried, in my opinion, are not really "lightweight", but just lighter than average, like Manjaro (Xfce), LMDE2 (Mate) and Linux Mint 17/18 Xfce.
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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by The Old Timer » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:34 pm

xfrank wrote:Lubuntu (Lxde, Ubuntu derivative, very lightweight, and actually nice, despite many people find it too spartan)
Antix (Icewm, Ubuntu derivative, super lightweight, but I feel lost in Icewm, maybe it's too barebone)
I believe Antix is based on Debian Stable.
http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

Excellent Linux Distros simple and functional which is all that is needed.

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Re: So called lightweight Linux distros...

Post by xfrank » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:10 pm

The Old Timer wrote:
xfrank wrote:Lubuntu (Lxde, Ubuntu derivative, very lightweight, and actually nice, despite many people find it too spartan)
Antix (Icewm, Ubuntu derivative, super lightweight, but I feel lost in Icewm, maybe it's too barebone)
I believe Antix is based on Debian Stable.
http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

Excellent Linux Distros simple and functional which is all that is needed.
You are right, Antix is based on Debian. Yes, this is a good useful distro, but there is a learning curve for Icewm (not even mentioning Fluxbox). The "lower" DE that I can accept is Lxde.
Linux everywhere. Active Distros in my many computers: LM17.3 (Cinnamon, Xfce); LM18.1 (Cinnamon,Xfce); LMDE 2 (Mate), MXLinux (Xfce), Debian 9 (Xfce).


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