7 Best Lightweight Linux Distributions

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A lightweight Linux distribution is one that uses lower physical memory and less processor speed. The lower demand of resources by these distribution makes a computer more responsive. You can productively use your older computer by installing a lightweight Linux distro on it.

A distribution is made lightweight by leaving out the features that are perceived to have little or no practical use or advantage. Also, you can use these distros live or install them into a USB drive.

In this article, I will discuss a list of the 7 best lightweight Linux distros of 2021.

Absolute Linux

Absolute Linux is Slackware based lightweight Linux distro which is designed for everyday use. It comes with utilities such as Firefox, LibreOffice suite, GIMP, etc which makes perfect it to use on older hardware.

The Absolute Linux installer is text-based which is easy to follow, a live version of this distro is also available. Its default file and window managers are IceWM and ROX. It provides plenty of documentation accessible from within the desktop itself to assist new users.

Minimum system requirements

  • Intel/AMD 64bit processor
  • 64 MB RAM, 1+ GB recommended

Download Absolute Linux


antiX is a Debian-based Linux distribution that comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. So you can install it on both older and newer computers.

The full edition of antiX uses IceWM and ROX as file and window managers. It comes with lots of apps, including both mainstream and lightweight ones, for virtually every desktop task. It comes in three versions –

  • Full – This installs a full range of applications
  • Base – Allows the user to choose their own application suite
  • Core-libre – It enables the user to have total control over the install

Minimum system requirements

  • Intel/AMD X86-64 processor
  • 256 MB RAM

Download antiX

Linux Lite

Linux Lite is a Debian-based Linux distribution which is created by a team led by Jerry Bezencon. It offers a lightweight desktop experience with a customized Xfce desktop environment.

Linux Lite is designed to be lightweight and responsive even on older computers. It is beginner-friendly and good-looking. You need a 64-bit machine to install Linux Lite.

Minimum system requirements

  • X64 processor
  • 768 MB of RAM
  • 8 GB disk space

Download Linux Lite

Bodhi Linux

Bodhi Linux is a lightweight distribution based on Ubuntu Linux which features the Moksha desktop. It works well on older machines.

The developer of Bodhi Linux maintains an online database of lightweight software that can be installed in one click via apturl. It comes in four editions Standard, Legacy, AppPack, and HWE.

Minimum system requirement

  • 32 bit CPU 500 MHz (non-PAE)
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 5 GB of disk space

Download Bodhi Linux

Puppy Linux

The puppy Linux is one of the oldest lightweight distros. It focuses on ease of use and minimum memory footprint. It comes with so many applications some are quite unconventional such as Homebank which helps you manage your finances, Gwhere which is for cataloging disks.

The FossaPup edition of Puppy Linux is compatible with Ubuntu’s repositories. It gives users access to the parent distro’s vast software collection. Using the QuickPet application you can install some of the most popular apps.

Minimum system requirements

  • X86 processor
  • 256 MB of RAM

Download Puppy Linux


Lubuntu is another variant of Ubuntu that is fast, lightweight, and highly suitable for old computers. It was originally based on LXDE but now uses LxQt as its desktop environment.

Initially, it was pitched as being “lighter, less resource hungry and more energy-efficient”, but now aims to be “a functional yet modular distribution focused on getting out of the way and letting users use their computer”.

Minimum system requirements

  • Pentium 4 or Pentium M or AMD K8 or higher processor
  • 1GB RAM

Download Lubuntu

Tiny Core OS

Tiny Core is a minimal Linux kernel-based OS that focuses on providing a base system using BusyBox and FLTK. It is notable for its small size (11 to 18 MB) and minimalism. You can enhance the functionality by using extensions.

You can use it live or install it on your older hardware.

Minimum system requirements

  •  486DX CPU
  • 46 MB of RAM

Download Tiny Core OS


Ok, that’s all for now. In this article, we discussed only a few lightweight Linux distros there are so many others. You can write your views in the comments below.

A comment on "7 Best Lightweight Linux Distributions"

  1. Risath says:

    thanks for useful content

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