Linux Lite: A Lightweight Ubuntu Based Distro For Older PCs

Linux Lite is an Ubuntu LTS based desktop Linux distro that’s geared for users making the move from Windows. Linux Lite comes with a simple desktop environment (Xfce) and is suitable for even low-end PCs.

A list of hardware requirements can be found here. It is a lightweight desktop distro can be used on very old PCs too with around 1 GB RAM and 1.5 GHz processor.

Installing Linux Lite:

Download the ISO from here and make a bootable USB disk from it.

Once ready, boot the PC with the USB drive. The initial welcome screen will list various options, choose Start Linux Lite.

Linux Lite bootable USB

The live environment gives a good idea about how the interface is. You will see Welcome written in different languages as the default wallpaper. Click on the Install Linux Lite icon from the desktop to begin the installation process.

Linux Lite live desktop environment

If you’ve installed other distros like Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, etc, the setup will seem familiar.

Linux Lite installation screen

Select the keyboard layout, the system locale, time zone, and other options.

choosing a keyboard layout during Linux Lite installation

Select the option of downloading updates and third-party software during the installation. Click Continue. (If the setup screen locks up, use linux as the user name and no password to unlock and continue with the installation).

download updates and drivers during Linux Lite installation

As this example uses the entire disk for Linux Lite, the option of Erase disk is used. You can also install it alongside Windows by clicking on Something Else and setting up custom partitions.

partitioning disk for installing Linux Lite


Click Continue to format and set up partitions for installation.

confirm formatting partitions to install Linux Lite

Enter the user name, system name, and password and click Continue.

choosing a user name and password during Linux Lite installation

Let the installation complete.

Linux Lite installation process

If all goes well, click on Restart Now to start using Linux Lite.

Linux Lite installation completed

Using Linux Lite:

Login after the restart. The Xfce desktop environment will load.

Linux Lite login screen

To make the first use experience easier, there will be a startup screen. Through this, you can install updates, install drivers, set up a restore point, and download language support. Also, you can access online support forums, check hardware compatibility, and more from here.

startup screen for common system tasks after logging into Linux Lite

Click on Install Updates and follow the on-screen instructions. If updates are available, click on Update Now. Once they’re installed, you can view a log if required.

installing updates in Linux Lite

If you’re already familiar with the good old Terminal, you can directly update using the Linux command line by  typing:

sudo apt update

using the Linux Terminal to install updates in Linux Lite

The Terminal can be directly accessed by right-clicking on the desktop or from the Menu > System.

right-click options on Linux Lite desktop

Thunar is the default file manager.

Thunar file manager in Linux Lite

Linux Lite comes bundled with various utilities and apps for multimedia, office, and more.

They are all accessible from the Menu.

Menu in Linux Lite

Multimedia: VLC player is installed by default along with Xfburn for CD/DVD burning.

Multimedia apps installed by default in Linux Lite

Internet: Firefox is the default browser and Thunderbird the default email client.

Internet apps installed by default in Linux Lite

Office: Libre Office comes preinstalled and ready to use.

Office apps installed by default in Linux Lite

System: There are a bunch of useful utilities directly available for use like Timeshift, htop, GParted, and more.

System tools installed by default in Linux Lite

htop comes installed in Linux Lite

htop comes installed in Linux Lite

Settings: Linux Lite comes with its own set of system settings that make it easier to configure.

accessing Settings in Linux Lite

Example: To install new software, select Lite Software.

using the Lite tools for system tasks in Linux Lite

This will show two options: Install Software and Remove Software (similar to Add/Remove programs in Windows).

adding and removing software using Lite Software in Linux Lite

Select as needed. Installing new software is easy, a list of all the available software will be displayed. Simply select what’s needed and click Install. This is useful for first time Linux users who don’t want to use Terminal for performing system-related tasks.

choosing apps to install using Lite Software in Linux Lite

Similarly, you can use Lite Upgrade to upgrade the system without using the Terminal.

upgrading to newer version of Linux Lite using Lite Upgrade

Otherwise, you can use the following command for installing various packages from the Terminal:

sudo apt installpackagename

installing apps directly from the Linux Terminal

To perform system maintenance, use Lite Tweaks. You can then select particular system related tasks and tweak the system.

performing system tweaks using Lite Tweaks in Linux Lite
Overall this is an easy to use Linux distro for first time users who are making the switch from Windows. Most of the system tasks can directly be done with a few clicks using the Linux Lite system tools.

Linux Lite desktop environment

All done.

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