What's the best low-memory Linux distro?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by mirimir, Nov 8, 2012.

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  1. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    And can I go much below 400MB? All I need is a GUI browser.
     
  2. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Puppy and Tiny, look nowhere else.
     
  3. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    Try Webconverger. Its a Linux distro based off Debian, that offers only a pure Firefox browser - nothing else. Its perfect if you only want is to connect to the Cloud like with Google Chrome OS.
     
  4. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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  5. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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  6. Almost anything with LXDE, Xfce, or a standalone window manager will work, given 384+ MB. zram also helps, especially if you have a fast processor such as a Pentium 4.
     
  7. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I want to run lots of VMs, so minimal memory is essential.
     
  8. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    You can try elementaryos luna.

    The Pantheon Shell is light on resources and you can customize the desktop environment to your liking! :thumb:
     
  9. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    Hey mirimir!

    I forgot, do you know Linux well?

    Your question is a valid one, there are certainly dstros out there geared for lightweight and low specs, older slower systems, etc...

    BUT, the really important thing here is if you understand Linux and the distros out there to a point, you can accomplish this on your own.

    Probably the most popular distro at the moment to build it up from scratch is Arch. So with a little patience and time you can install and set up Arch for a slow machine with limited resources.

    The Arch community is also more up to date for support and help, as well as a distro that's very updated, probably the most updated of versions...

    CHEERS
     
  10. Debian is arguably more popular. :p

    Just about any distro will work for a light desktop though - you can install anything with Gnome, Unity, KDE, Xfce, etc. and slap a light WM such as Fluxbox on top of it. When you log in to Fluxbox session or whatever, the display manager launches all the necessary dbus/consolekit stuff, so file managers, etc. work out of the box.

    Edit: getting wifi and power management to work is sometimes a little more involved, but that shouldn't be important in a VM.

    (Furthermore some big desktop distros - most prominently OpenSUSE and Mageia - have IceWM installed by default, with customized auto-updating menus. IceWM is kind of ugly, but very light on resources.)

    Umm, re VMs. I take it you're not planning on running all your VMs at once? :eek:
     
  11. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Thanks, DasFox :)

    I don't know Linux that well, yet.

    So far, Bodhi 2.01 seems best. It runs OK in VMs with just 232 MB. I've found that a few complex websites crash its browser, Midori, but most work fine.
     
  12. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I do want to run as many as possible at once. I'm playing with network simulation. I'll be controlling them with VBoxManage.
     
  13. Hmm. For that, command line systems might be better. Linux without X usually uses 30-60 MB.
     
  14. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Thanks. But I do want a browser that can handle complex sites. Lynx is useless. Maybe I'll take a closer look at Links. Are there others that I should consider?
     
  15. BrandiCandi

    BrandiCandi Guest

    In my experience it totally depends on your hardware. If you look carefully you can find lists of supported hardware for each distro. I would go with the distro that says it can support your hardware.

    Case and point: I installed xubuntu on an old Emac. It's terrible and runs slower than dial-up. This is because *buntu doesn't have a strong support base for powerpcs. I know for certain that Xubuntu zips along on hardware that it supports: I've seen it happen, just not on my old powerpc.
     
  16. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    Puppy Linux and Bodhi Linux :thumb:
     
  17. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    Well if you're going to get into Linux, then you're going to need to get your feet wet! LOL...

    Arch isn't going to kill you, it's not that hard to install and customize, the only way to know what works best is to really try as many distros as possible...

    Of course it takes time, but it's worth it to take the time and play and learn...

    Gullible Jones it's really whatever works for the individual, I'm an old Linux geek and I'm not a fanboy of any distro, use what you like! ;)

    I personally found pacman a pretty simple package manager to work with...
     
  18. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    try all and see your self best ans only you can give which suits you well

    you remind of very funny thing

    video name: Caught Looking

    (-http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UU3InPh-beYjuqUs5qpzMsxA&feature=player_detailpage&v=-lP1hQCfOB0#t=7s-)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  19. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    we have a kiosk machine running four our guests and it's about a 10 years old machine running XP with only 500 megs of RAM.
    so just surfing the internet sends the RAM into the red line and cache territory. :thumbd:

    the boss does not want to buy RAM for that machine like i suggested and it only needs to run a browser and a screensaver.

    i think i'm gonna go with Puppy.
    i'll try a Live CD first, of course.

    i can't think of a lighter OS that's easy to use and also works right out of the box.
    there is a special version of Puppy called WaryPuppy which is specially tweaked for older machines:
    http://puppylinux.org/main/Long-Term-Supported WaryPuppy.htm


    Puppy is the first Linux OS i tried back then where i got sound out of my speakers.
    the first time i heard Puppy bark i went outside the house because i thought there was a real dog outside. lol
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
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