5 Gnu / Linux distributions for old computers

5 Gnu / Linux distributions for old computers
Not long ago we had the end of Windows XP support as well as a new LTS version of Ubuntu was launched, facts that will have brought more than one headache since its alternatives do not get along very well with old computers.

For this reason we wanted to collect the five most important Gnu / Linux distributions for old computers and that we can install on our computers without having any problem. We have collected 5 but there are more, possibly around 100 or even more, but these five distributions are characterized by belonging to active projects, that is, they will continue to receive updates in the future and because they are the most popular internationally, which is something especially important for reporting bugs.

Ubuntu-based distributions for older computers

  • Puppy Linux. It is one of the lightweight distributions par excellence, to such an extent that it is installed in the system's ram memory. This distribution has a version, Puppy Precise, which is based on Ubuntu 12.04 and uses JWM as a window manager. In addition to using his live mode, Puppy Linux allows us to install it on the hard drive. It is perfect for older computers with at least 256MB of ram.
  • Dax OS. Dax OS It is one of the lightest Gnu / Linux distributions of Spanish origin that exist. It is based on Ubuntu 12.04 and E17 as a desktop, so in addition to having a robust system, we will have a nice interface without having the latest in PC. In addition, DaxOS uses the Apps system, so at certain times we will not need to install certain programs to have certain functionalities.
  • Bodhi linux. Bodhi linux It is one of the heaviest but most interesting light distributions of the moment. Unlike other distributions such as Puppy Linux, Bodhi Linux is heavier for older computers but it is still fully valid and also uses Enlightenment as a desk. A computer between 256 Mb and 512 Mb of ram would be more than enough to make this distribution work.

Debian-based distributions for older computers

  • Crunchbang. It is one of the most popular lightweight distributions of the moment and is based on Debian. It is perfect for computers with 256 mb of ram and especially for laptops. In addition to Debian, Crunchbang uses OpenBox as a window manager, the same manager that Lubuntu uses.
  • Pussycat shed. She distribution which is governed by the same principles as Crunchbang but its origins are Spanish. In addition, Galpon Minino uses other tools that are included in LXDE while CrunchBang does not use them. 256 mb of ram is more than enough for this distribution.


In this classification I have divided the distributions according to their base, that is, if they come from Ubuntu or Debian. As I mentioned at the beginning, I have put the most popular and active, but they are not all, without going any further the official Canonical light distributions I have not included them, their omission is clear, they are well known and my purpose was to make known not officers. What do you think of them? What distributions would you include?

The content of the article adheres to our principles of editorial ethics. To report an error click here.

8 comments, leave yours

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.

  1.   Alex said

    Manjaro would not enter?

  2.   Francisco said

    Very good article, thank you very much. It is very interesting.

  3.   flawless said

    I think this distribution could be included in this list, it is called xanadu, it uses lxde and it is designed to run on computers with few resources


  4.   Luis said


    Hello! a while ago I got my hands on a Compaq Armada notebook with 64MB of RAM. I got another 64MB RAM with 128MB of RAM left. After trying many distributions for the veteran, I managed to install Legacy OS, and it was as if the old man who was flying had been injected with adrenaline! Great distro for really veteran PCs.

  5.   Robert Ronconi said

    Could Lubuntu (LXDE) and other distros that use this environment also enter; Xubuntu (XFCE) It can also be Linux Mint XFCE

  6.   Oscar said

    Are any of these distributions available for computers with a PowerPC processor (the PowerBook G4 for example)? Interesting and informative article by the way.

  7.   jorssoftware said

    they know of some that can boot and that is usable with 32 mb of ram

  8.   IL said

    The truth is that about old computers is others, for trying I installed puppy tahr in an E5, I liked it so much that I started it 90% with this right-handed one, it is working perfectly together with elemetary os, both are magnificent right-handed, so that for machines old should be changed for all machines