6 Lightweight Linux Distros That Are Great For Older PCs

If you have older PCs that are no longer compatible with Windows, then they can still be made useful by installing various Linux distros. These can run well on older hardware and can even be sufficient for very basic tasks like web browsing, emails, and so on.

Let’s take a look at six such distros based on the popular and widely used base distros Debian and Ubuntu. These lightweight distros can then be installed and used on older PCs.

Note: Even though the system requirements listed for each of them below are modest, they are the bare minimum. It is recommended that you have a higher configuration than that for much better performance.

Q4OS:

Q4OS is a lightweight Debian-based distro that has a Windows 7 feel to it. It even has an easy-to-use application installer called Desktop Profiler by which you can install various programs with just a few clicks.

Q4OS desktop

Minimum system requirements:

For Plasma desktop:

  • 1 GHz processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 5 GB disk space

For Trinity desktop:

  • 300 MHz processor
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 3 GB disk space

Download and installation:

Download it from here.

An earlier review of Q4OS installation and using it can be found here.

antiX:

A Debian-based distro, antiX works well on older PCs. It is suitable for new users as well as experienced users and comes with IceWM as the window manager. Many useful apps are installed by default and the antiX Control Centre makes it easy to manage and add new ones.

antiX desktop

Minimum system requirements:

  • 1 GHz processor
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 4 GB of drive space

Download and installation:

Download and install it from here.

An earlier review of antiX installation and using it can be found here.

Emmabuntüs:

Designed to make old, donated PCs reusable and functional, Emmabuntüs is a Debian-based distro that is extremely lightweight and works well on older hardware. It uses Xfce as the desktop environment and comes with many useful applications.

Emmabuntüs desktop

Minimum system requirements:

  • 1.4 GHz processor
  • 40 GB disk space
  • 1 GB RAM

Download and installation:

Download it from here.

An earlier review of Emmabuntüs installation and using it can be found here.

Bodhi Linux:

Built on top of Ubuntu, Bodhi Linux keeps the user interface to a minimum with the Moksha Desktop. It also has its app management tool – AppCenter through which you can choose and install different programs.

Bodhi Linux desktop

Minimum system requirements:

  • 500 MHz processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 5 GB of drive space

Download and installation:

Download it from here.

An earlier review of Bodhi Linux installation and using it can be found here.

Linux Lite:

Linux Lite is an Ubuntu-based distro that’s ideal for older PCs. It too is designed to make the transition from Windows to Linux easy and comes with familiar programs like Skype, Steam, free Office suite, and more.

Linux Lite desktop

Minimum system requirements:

  • 1 GHz processor
  • 768 MB RAM
  • 8 GB disk space

Download and installation:

Download and install it from here.

An earlier review of Linux Lite installation and using it can be found here.

Peppermint OS:

Built on Ubuntu, Peppermint OS is a lightweight distro that is suitable for all users. If you have used Ubuntu, then using Peppermint OS would be very familiar. It is designed to work on older hardware and provide a stable computing experience while doing so.

Peppermint OS desktop

Minimum system requirements:

  • Modern processor based on Intel x86 architecture
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 20 GB of available disk space

Download and installation:

Download and install it from here.

An earlier review of Peppermint OS installation and using it can be found here.

Conclusion:

To sum it up, these lightweight Linux distros built on top of Debian and Ubuntu can make older PCs reusable without throwing them away. They are also useful if you’d like to switch from the base distros and try something new.

Do try them out.

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