FYI: 50+ Best Lightweight Linux Distros for 2019

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by zapjb, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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  2. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    Looking at some of the distro's and not seeing MX Linux ? Hmmm o_O
     
  3. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    Seems to be outdated. They mention Lubuntu 16.04.
     
  4. shmu26

    shmu26 Registered Member

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    Most people don't have ancient computers that need a super-light OS. In most cases, the standard linux distros are fine, just don't use KDE-Plasma desktop, that's all. The "heavy" desktops of the past, I am thinking of Gnome and Cinnamon, have been optimized. They run pretty light nowadays, if you download an up-to-date distro. Just not Plasma desktop, that's best on stronger computers.
     
  5. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I'm looking at 10 or so 10-20 year old laptops. So that's my interest in these.
     
  6. shmu26

    shmu26 Registered Member

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    That's an interesting find, a whole collection of antique computers!
    AntiX has some versions that are good for super-antiques. Never tried them, just saw them mention on the website, that's all...
    Some say that AntiX = antiques. lol.
     
  7. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    KDE-Plasma runs lighter than Gnome and Cinnamon, KDE and XFCE are close in resource usage. Gnome and Cinnamon will choke weak systems before KDE.
     
  8. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

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    If you have a computer that can't run a Linux distro then you're in need of an upgrade, not go on Holy Grail quest for the ultimate lighter of the lightest. The simple reason is this: if it can't run Linux properly then it can't cope with the script heavy internet of today.
     
  9. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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  10. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    I think that RAM is not best indicator of resource usage. Some RAM is used for cache and services not related to desktop environment.
    KDE Plasma uses heavily GPU acceleration, but I think any new laptop have enough processing power to run KDE Plasma, even budget ones. I would be more concerned about GPU driver quality for that particular hardware model than processing power.

    Anyway for old laptops KDE Plasma is too heavy. Unfortunately, because it is most feature-rich and configurable of integrated desktop environment.
     
  11. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    I guess one needs to define "old laptop" ? My old 2007 Dell D630 laptop, Core 2 Duo @1.8ghz, 4gig ram, Intel GFX, 500gig HD, Manjaro KDE, XFCE, Gnome, Cinnamon installed. KDE and XFCE run just fine, Gnome and Cinnamon are the slow (but usable) ones.

    Bingo, we have a winner :thumb:

    edit= The OS of choice on my old D630 is MX Linux 19 installed on SSD.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  12. Gringo95

    Gringo95 Registered Member

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    Sorry but this just isn’t true. It used to be regarding KDE but not any more.

    In any case there will always be variables between Linux systems regarding boot, operational speed/resources and shutdown times no matter which DE is installed. Never fully understood what folks do with the few seconds a day they save using another system but that’s more of a medical topic than a technical one. :)

    Granted there can be little hardware still functioning that would be any more satisfying in use with a supposedly ‘light’ system installed as opposed to a standard distro.

    These screenshots show a dual boot of Debian 10 KDE and Zorin 15 Core with an identical system setup and the same apps/processes running at the time the screenshots were taken. You would see an even greater differential if say Sabayon KDE, Q4OS KDE or an installed version of Porteus KDE were running.

    https://i.imgur.com/0xdWF5O.png
    https://i.imgur.com/wEGigiO.png

    I’ve also looked at the recently released Zorin 15 Lite on the same system and can’t see any other reason to lose the advantages of having 15 Core instead other than if you love and must have Compiz/Emerald which works with the former but not the latter.

    IMO ‘lite’ versions of Linux just serve the same purpose as lite foods in that they grab the attention of a susceptible audience that feels artifically better after a diet taco than a bacon sandwich.

    See also : https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/plasma-5-16-review.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  13. Gringo95

    Gringo95 Registered Member

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    One of my test machines is a Samsung RV415 with an AMD Dual Core E450. It has a great display but everything else is pretty dire. :) I doubled the memory and swapped out the original 320 HDD for an SSD and it's now more than usable with anything.
     
  14. mood

    mood Updates Team

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    Linux that fits anywhere: 15 very small footprint distros
    November 25, 2019
    https://www.zdnet.com/pictures/15-very-small-footprint-linux-distros/
    Alpine - 130 MB download
    antiX Linux - about 1GB download
    ArchBang - 600-700MB download
    Bodhi Linux - 700MB download
    BunsenLabs Linux Helium - 600MB to 1.2GB download
    Damn Small Linux - 50MB download
    Elive - 2.4GB download
    Linux Lite - 1.4GB download
    Lubuntu - 1.6GB download
    LXLE - 1.2GB download
    Puppy Linux - around 300 MB download
    Raspbian - 400MB to 1.2GB download
    SliTaz - 50MB download
    SparkyLinux base edition - 540MB download
    Tiny Core Linux — 11MB download
     
  15. Gringo95

    Gringo95 Registered Member

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    BunsenLabs Helium (from your list) is an excellent option.
    • Fast operational speed.
    • Doesn’t look ‘cheap’ like some distros in this category.
    • Easy setup with the automated post install update and add-ons script.
    • Selection of tint2 panel options that are so easy to edit to your own preference anyway.
    • Shorten the panel to 50% and then add Cairo Dock to the blank side and wow your friends with glitz.
     
  16. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Thanks never heard of but it's of CrunchBang origins. So going to dl BunsenLabs Helium & give the Live a spin.

    Read a slightly older review & decided not to spin it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  17. Gringo95

    Gringo95 Registered Member

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    Not sure which review you read but some are not based on how the distro was developped to be so you can end up with a slanted vision of how it is. These two are worth reading though.

    http://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/linuxandubuntu-review-of-bunsenlabs-linux
    https://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20180625#bunsenlabs
     
  18. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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  19. shmu26

    shmu26 Registered Member

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    Regarding RAM usage, it makes a difference which distro you are running KDE on.
    With Manjaro KDE, my system kept freezing until I made a swap file, which shows it was hungry for RAM. Now I am trying out Kubuntu 19.10, and the RAM usage is surprisingly modest. It is putting other distros to shame!
     
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