Have an old laptop or notebook lying around, and you want to put it at work? If yes, then installing a lightweight Linux distro would be a great choice. There are quite a lot of Linux distros are available for older computers. But choosing the best Linux for old laptop can be a difficult choice.
However, to make it very easy for you, I have handpicked a couple of best Linux distro for old laptops and computers. By installing any of these Linux distros you can easily turn your old laptop into a media player, you can use your laptop for basic internet browsing and office work. Or you can give it your kid to explore around.
Anyway, whatever your intentions are here is a list of the best Linux for older laptops:
10 Best Linux For Old Laptop
1. Tiny Core Linux
First of all, I have the Tiny Core Linux, and it is one of the most lightweight Linux distribution for older laptops. Tiny Core is a very small Linux distribution that weighs about 10 megabytes only. Also, the Linux distribution is pretty flexible and can be run from USB sticks or using a CD drive.
Moreover, it also uses the Linux kernel and set of command line or text interface tools. Along with that, it also comes with a flexible and fully customizable user interface desktop. And all your input devices will work with the distribution without any issues.
Also, the OS is pretty stable, and it does not face issues like blue screen or gets damaged easily. Plus, it is internet ready. So you can easily use it for watching youtube videos, streaming movies, or just browsing the internet.
Overall, this Linux distribution is a perfect solution for extremely old laptops and computers.
- RAM: 64 MB (128 MB recommended)
- CPU: i486DX
Lubuntu is another lightweight, fast, and easy to use Linux distribution for old Laptop. The OS is extremely lightweight and comes with a clean and easy to the user interface. So it would not take much time for you to get started with it. Even if you are trying out Linux for the first time, then Lubuntu won’t confuses you at all.
Moreover, this one uses a minimal desktop LXDE/LXQT, and it is packed with a bunch of light applications. As a result, it has very low hardware requirements. Also, if we talk about the packed applications, you will find tools related to office, multimedia, and internet.
Moreover, it is also based on Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux kernel 5.00. So, you will easily get access to all the required software.
- RAM: 512 MB required, 1 GB is recommended.
- CPU: Pentium 4/Pentium M/AMD k8 or higher.
3. Linux Lite
Linux Lite is another easy to use free Linux operating system for old laptops and computers. Also, as you can see in its name, it is a very lightweight Linux distribution. Hence, it does not require high end hardware to run.
The user interface of the Linux distribution is also pretty easy to understand, and it is pretty user friendly. So it will not take much time for you to get started with this Linux OS.
The OS is also based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and it is a fully functional Linux distro. It comes with all the required software. As a result, you don’t need to install any additional software. Like, you will be getting applications like LibreOffice, VLC Media Player, Firebox.
Also, the best part of this distro is that it was developed to give the users a Windows like feel. So if you are going to try out Linux for the first time, this definitely will help you to get started with Linux.
Another cool part of this distro is that, you can also boot it from USB or CD. Or you can simply install it on the laptop/computer HDD.
- RAM: 512 MB and 1 GB is recommended
- CPU: 700 MHz processor
4. Puppy Linux
Puppy Linux is a unique, lightweight, and best Linux for old laptop. The Linux distro is meant for the home use computers, and it was originally created back in 2003. The best part of this Linux distro is that it comes with all the tools which are common for daily computer usages.
Plus, it is pretty easy to use and extremely small in size. It weighs about 300MB or less, and it is pretty fast and versatile. The Linux distro can be customized within minutes, and it is optimized to support older yet newer computers.
However, unlike Debian, it is not a single distribution. But it is a collection of multiple Linux distributions, and it is available as different versions.
The OS can be installed on the hard disk drive. Or you can boot it from USB or CD drive.
- RAM: 64 MB while 256 MB is recommended
- CPU: 333 MHz
5. Bodhi Linux
Bodhi Linux is another best Linux distro for old laptop. This one is also a lightweight Linux distro that will run smoothly on your older computer. The Linux distro is based on the latest Ubuntu LTS, and it is termed as the Enlightened Linux distro.
However, the only drawback of this Linux distro is that it does not comes with a bunch of softwares pre installed. But it does come with a file browser, web browser, terminal emulator, and a few more software.
But the good part is that you can always access Ubuntu repositories and install as many software as you would like to. Also, as Linux is a completely open source. So all the software is available free of cost.
- RAM: 128 MB
- CPU: 500 MHz processor
6. antiX Linux
Up next, I have the antiX Linux. This one is a fast, lightweight, and easy to install system free Linux Live distribution. The Linux distro is based on Debian stable for Intel-AMD x86 compatible systems. The OS also offers you antiX magic, which is an environment suitable for old and new computers. As a result, the Linux distro will run smoothly on your older computers without any issues.
Moreover, it also supports the icewm Windows manager. As a result, it is possible for the Linux distro to run on low-end hardware devices. And it focuses on giving you a fully functional yet flexible operating system.
- RAM:256 MB
- CPU:Intel 64-bit and 32-bit architecture CPU
LXLE was mainly developed for the old laptops, and it is a combination of heavy functions and light resources. This Linux distro is based on Ubuntu and Lubuntu LTS, and it comes with an optimized LXDE user interface.
The OS is also pretty simple and comes with a familiar desktop UI. So it will not be a complicated process for you to get started with the software. Also, it comes with full featured app pre-installed.
As well as it comes with lots of useful accessories. For example, you are geting terminal based eather app, penguin pills, and so on. Even, you also get a built-in uCareSystem for installing updates, updating packages and soon.
- RAM: 512 MB.
- CPU: Pentium 3 CPU or higher.
8. Slax Linux
You can also check out Slax Linux. This one is a modern, portable, small, and fast Linux operating system. And it comes with a modular approach and outstanding design. The OS runs directly from your USB drive. So there is no need to install the software on your computer.
Moreover, it also offers you a nice graphical user interface and wise selection of pre-installed programs like web browsers, terminal and so on.
The OS is also based on Debian which will give the ability to benefit from its entire ecosystem. Plus, you will be getting access to thousands of prebuilt packages with applications. And you can easily install them on your Linux machine using the apt command.
- RAM: 128 MB (offline usage) / 512 MB (for web browser usage)
- CPU: i686 or newer
9. Ubuntu MATE
Ubuntu MATE is also the best Linux for old laptop. As it requires modern hardware to run and helps you to get most of your computer. This one is also an easy to use operating system with a configurable desktop environment.
Moreover, it also comes with lots of pre-installed apps for different purposes. Like font viewer, calculator, text editor, lots of pre-installed wallpapers and themes, and so on. Along with that, you will also get to notice excellent stability.
- RAM: 1 GB
- CPU: Pentium M 1.0 GHz
- Disk Space: 9 GB
- Display Resolution: 1024 x 768
In the end, I have the Xubuntu. This one is elegant and easy to use the operating system. This Linux distro comes with Xfce, which is a stable, light, and configurable desktop environment. Also, the OS is a perfect solution who wants the most out of their computers. And it works smoothly on older hardware.
What’s more? There are lots of aspects of Xubuntu, which are configurable, and it is pretty user friendly. Also, the OS is backed by a great community. So developments around the operating system are happening now and then.
- RAM: 512 MB (1 GB recommended)
- Processor: Pentium Pro or AMD Athlon
That was the list of some of the best Linux distros for old laptops and computers. Each of the Linux distros has its own set of features and uniqueness. So go ahead and check these Linux distros out and see which one you like the most. Also, if there is anything that you would like to ask, then do feel free to comment below.