Lightest Linux Distro?

Nanitoron

New Member
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Hello, I am a learning development and I have a HP Stream Laptop 14 laptop with 32GB storage and 4GB of ram, Most distributions take up about half of my storage. Is there any very light distribution that only uses 4-6GB and has a full desktop enviorment that i can use for development. The main reason for wanting such a low storage distro is I plan to run local host servers and interpreters like nginx and python3.7 and I need the storage for these servers along with writing some sources codes and running stuff like filezilla and brave browser. I am currently using MX Linux which also takes up 50% of my space.
Note:
Arch is ok, but debian/ubuntu is requested

Optional request:
with a good desktop and or easy to use interface
 
Last edited:


Nelson Muntz

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Antix Linux




SparkyLinux


 

Nanitoron

New Member
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Antix Linux




SparkyLinux


can you reply with how much space each uses?
 

Condobloke

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Gday and Welcome

have a read of the info below .....,some of it is relevant and some is not. It will at least give you something to think about.


have a model HP stream 14 ax067nr. You can upgrade the memory to 8gb, perhaps 16gb/RAM (it *IS* after all, a 5thGen processor). Mine has 8gb/RAM. You must use PC3L, NOT PC3 memory. Ram needs to be "low voltage". I know this, because I did the upgrade myself. There IS a way to install a SSD, into the Stream 14, however, IT'S TEDIOUS, runs a high risk of failure if you're not *VERY* careful, because you have to patch the SSD into one of the USB 3 ports, internally. It's easier just to turn it into a Chromebook, than to do this.

Here are your options to give your HP Stream14 (ONLY!, This will not work, on the 11, or 13, as the memory is not upgradeable), a new life.

METHOD ONE!

First, do a factory refresh. If you can not, due to your eMMC drive being too full, You'll need "Unlocker" (free), and butcher up your O/S. It won't boot afterwards, however, Win10 needs at least 4gb of space to refresh. You can kill the C: partition, with a number of 3rdParty programs.
Take the laptop apart (easy to do), remove the 4gb stick of ram, then install an 8gb stick of PC3L 12800s. Reboot, and "Restore" your drive.

Once restored, you'll need to do a few things.

Kill the swapfile. If you have 8gb< or better of RAM, most likely, you won't even need one.
Turn off "Hibernate". With 8gb/RAM, it will boot adequately fast.
Install an SDcard, that never gets removed... EVER.

Get a high quality, high speed, 32gb, or 64gb SDcard (recommend SanDisk, don't skimp here!).
You'll need an external HDD for doing backups. I use a Mushkin, 960gb SSD to store programs and such, via a USB 3 port. Not as fast as a SATA, but adequately fast. I have set these up with mechanical drives (7200RPM), and they're "adequate". A SSD is better.

Send your "personal" folders to the SDcard, or the external drive. IF you *NEED* a swapfile, send it to the external drive. If you do this, it will need to be plugged into the computer whenever it's on.
Send Windows Temporary files, and your browsers Temporary files, to the SDcard. This can be done from, Computer>Properties> Advanced System Settings>Environmental Variables. If you need details on how to do this, Let me know. I'll post a separate "How To".

Save your pics, video's, music, downloads, etc, either on the SDcard, or better yet, the external HDD.

However, to me, this method is akin to the computer needing a colostomy bag, but, it is the SUREST way to successfully, keep it useful.

Here's the big one. You NEED to completely shut off Windows 10 updates. YES, you *CAN* do this. I do it all the time, and it WORKS. You'll also need a way to turn them back on, if you want. I do this on all my Win10 machines, and have since day one of the "free" windows 10 upgrade, here at home. I have a Windows 10 machine, that hasn't updated ONCE, since I installed the original, free version, the day it was available (ongoing experiment).

Want to know how to do this? You'll have to "google" it, as I'm not sure if HP, or Microsmurf would take kindly to me posting the registry edits here. I already have two, "Cease and Desist" orders from Microsoft for things I did, to improve Windows.

THIS will make your Stream 14 much more useful, and even play a few games on it, if that's what you like.

METHOD TWO!

Turn it into a Chromebook. There are dozens of YouTube vids on how to do this. It's easy to do, and doesn't take much time.. This will work on ALL stream models, however the Stream 14, can be "future proofed" a bit, as the memory is upgradeable.

METHOD THREE!

Install a smaller version of LINUX, and have a decent Linux box. YouTube videos, apply here too.

There IS a fourth method as I mentioned earlier in my post, however you're better off just purchasing a new HP15 budget computer.
 

Nanitoron

New Member
Credits
33
Gday and Welcome

have a read of the info below .....,some of it is relevant and some is not. It will at least give you something to think about.


have a model HP stream 14 ax067nr. You can upgrade the memory to 8gb, perhaps 16gb/RAM (it *IS* after all, a 5thGen processor). Mine has 8gb/RAM. You must use PC3L, NOT PC3 memory. Ram needs to be "low voltage". I know this, because I did the upgrade myself. There IS a way to install a SSD, into the Stream 14, however, IT'S TEDIOUS, runs a high risk of failure if you're not *VERY* careful, because you have to patch the SSD into one of the USB 3 ports, internally. It's easier just to turn it into a Chromebook, than to do this.

Here are your options to give your HP Stream14 (ONLY!, This will not work, on the 11, or 13, as the memory is not upgradeable), a new life.

METHOD ONE!

First, do a factory refresh. If you can not, due to your eMMC drive being too full, You'll need "Unlocker" (free), and butcher up your O/S. It won't boot afterwards, however, Win10 needs at least 4gb of space to refresh. You can kill the C: partition, with a number of 3rdParty programs.
Take the laptop apart (easy to do), remove the 4gb stick of ram, then install an 8gb stick of PC3L 12800s. Reboot, and "Restore" your drive.

Once restored, you'll need to do a few things.

Kill the swapfile. If you have 8gb< or better of RAM, most likely, you won't even need one.
Turn off "Hibernate". With 8gb/RAM, it will boot adequately fast.
Install an SDcard, that never gets removed... EVER.

Get a high quality, high speed, 32gb, or 64gb SDcard (recommend SanDisk, don't skimp here!).
You'll need an external HDD for doing backups. I use a Mushkin, 960gb SSD to store programs and such, via a USB 3 port. Not as fast as a SATA, but adequately fast. I have set these up with mechanical drives (7200RPM), and they're "adequate". A SSD is better.

Send your "personal" folders to the SDcard, or the external drive. IF you *NEED* a swapfile, send it to the external drive. If you do this, it will need to be plugged into the computer whenever it's on.
Send Windows Temporary files, and your browsers Temporary files, to the SDcard. This can be done from, Computer>Properties> Advanced System Settings>Environmental Variables. If you need details on how to do this, Let me know. I'll post a separate "How To".

Save your pics, video's, music, downloads, etc, either on the SDcard, or better yet, the external HDD.

However, to me, this method is akin to the computer needing a colostomy bag, but, it is the SUREST way to successfully, keep it useful.

Here's the big one. You NEED to completely shut off Windows 10 updates. YES, you *CAN* do this. I do it all the time, and it WORKS. You'll also need a way to turn them back on, if you want. I do this on all my Win10 machines, and have since day one of the "free" windows 10 upgrade, here at home. I have a Windows 10 machine, that hasn't updated ONCE, since I installed the original, free version, the day it was available (ongoing experiment).

Want to know how to do this? You'll have to "google" it, as I'm not sure if HP, or Microsmurf would take kindly to me posting the registry edits here. I already have two, "Cease and Desist" orders from Microsoft for things I did, to improve Windows.

THIS will make your Stream 14 much more useful, and even play a few games on it, if that's what you like.

METHOD TWO!

Turn it into a Chromebook. There are dozens of YouTube vids on how to do this. It's easy to do, and doesn't take much time.. This will work on ALL stream models, however the Stream 14, can be "future proofed" a bit, as the memory is upgradeable.

METHOD THREE!

Install a smaller version of LINUX, and have a decent Linux box. YouTube videos, apply here too.

There IS a fourth method as I mentioned earlier in my post, however you're better off just purchasing a new HP15 budget computer.
this is not the modle of my computer mine has no upgradeable hardware as far as ive checked
 

stan

Member
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676
I bought a similar laptop last year, a Lenovo, but it had 64GB eMMC storage and 4GB RAM. It was a dandy little laptop after I removed "Windows 10 S" and put Linux on it. Only cost $130 USD. I wish I had bought TWO of them, as I just gave that one away.

antiX is a good suggestion, but I will also include Debian itself. I just did a barebones "netinstall" that includes the MATE desktop and LibreOffice, and it is only taking 4.5GB of storage. You could remove LibreOffice and replace Firefox ESR with Brave. But still, you are probably going to stress your 32GB machine with the plans you have for it. You should always leave about 10-20% of space free on a drive, and that may be a struggle.

Here's my fresh install of Debian 10.6 on another old laptop:
screenshot.png
 

bec2

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Debian can go pretty small, considering Raspbian is designed with single-boards in mind...
 

KGIII

Well-Known Member
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3,386
I could live with 64 GB, but I'd use a lot of external storage. I suspect OP is going to want to invest in external storage. I do quite a bit of work with bulky audio files (.wav format before I export them as MP3), have mirrored GIT repos, etc... So, I could probably work with 64 GB and just use a whole lot of external storage. (I already do a lot with external storage, so it wouldn't change too much). I don't think I could comfortably fit in 32 GB in modern times. Though, it wasn't that long ago that 32 GB would be luxurious!
 

Condobloke

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@Nanitoron, well done mate, you have bought a good enough machine with the funds you had available.
Is it possible that you could save for a sd card ?.....to increase the storage ?....in other words stretch the 32Gb storage to maybe 64Gb or perhaps even further ?.....
READ the blurb that I posted at #3....maybe someone in your family will spring yopu for an external hard drive to use exclusively as storage......pics, music, movies, etc.......and use the sdcard for more personal stuff......like the local host servers and interpreters like nginx and python3.7, thnat you were talking about....etc etc

You will probably have to spend a few dollars.....but it will be worth it.

Then have a look at : https://www.linuxliteos.com/download.php
 

jglen490

Well-Known Member
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3,076
I keep seeing these systems pop up. Why are people buying a computer with only 32 GB of storage in the first place?
The sales pitch is (or at least was), save your personal data and creations to the "cloud". Which is fine, but it's your data and it should be available to you without having to worry if you can access the 'net without getting slammed with malware. I agree that requiring people to trust the cloud, by skimping on resources within the computer is kind of disgusting.
 

KGIII

Well-Known Member
Credits
3,386
I agree that requiring people to trust the cloud, by skimping on resources within the computer is kind of disgusting.
I'd chew through 32 GB way too fast - and that's just for installed stuff and stuff temporarily stored so I could work on it. In modern times, I just couldn't deal with it - or at least wouldn't want to. Yeah, you can add an external drive - but that reduces the mobility of a mobile device.

Storage is also insanely cheap these days - even good storage.

Hell, if OP lives in the US (and is comfortable doing so), I'd send 'em an SD card. I just replaced one that had been in my 'big' camera, meaning it's pretty much unused as I never use that camera. So, I have a 32 GB SD card sitting right next to me.

Speaking of cameras, even my 'small' camera, a basic point and shoot, outputs 12 MB files - on a medium setting. They're absurdly large on the highest setting and far more than I need. But, my point is, that everything is bloated these days. 32 GB would be nothing less than frustrating to deal with in modern times.

Alas, I'm not sure a young boy should be giving his address to a strange old man on the internet! Otherwise, I'd happily send 'em an SD card. I consider those to be semi-disposable items, so it's just a Team Group. OP, ask your parents if a strange old man can send you an SD card!
 

captain-sensible

Well-Known Member
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7,519
I naively bought 3 hp stream 30 gig laptops one each for the kids and one for the wife.They were on offer at an irresistible price. I'm not Scottish but from not that far from Scotland.They worked well until updates accumulated. Day before yesterday I put ElementaryOs on one it took only around 7gig up of space.working extremely well do far.put Abe game on and no complaints from my 5 yr old
 

sam444

Member
Credits
318
I have Linux Lite on my Laptop, runs very well but the HDD is 500GB.

32GB is just too small because it would fill up at the drop of a hat, I never use anything smaller than 500GB.
 

Nelson Muntz

Active Member
Credits
2,286
can you reply with how much space each uses?
Antix and SparkyLinux use around 11 GB of hard drive space and you ain't going to find a Linux distro that uses much less.

I'm sure there are a few however don't know which ones they would be.

You could use Puppy Linux and run it from a thumb drive the way it was designed.

Puppy Linux don't work the same as regular Linux distros do which is why I didn't mention it earlier.



 

kathleenmariekg

New Member
Credits
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I have an HP Stream 11 with 64 GB storage and 4GB RAM. I popped in this 64GB card for extra storage and have had no problems with it. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08879MG33/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Nanitoron, thanks for asking this question. In the past, Zorin Lite worked beautifully on my machine, and Ubuntu 18 LTS was a bit slower, but was more compatible with a few things I needed for school. Both OS stopped working when they updated the kernel to 5.4. My wifi stopped working and other things too. I thought LTS meant being allowed to keep the same kernel, but I guess not. Sigh!

I saw Peppermint OS suggested for the HP Stream but found it sluggish.

Groovy Gorilla is working, but a little slow, and as a Beta has some problems. I had some arch stuff on here for awhile, but there is a lot of upheaval going on in the arch world and I was having trouble keeping up, and as soon as I get stuff stable it would break again. I am looking at all my options again.

I keep checking the Zorin site, hoping for an update that doesn't use 5.4, but I think the next update is planning to use that kernel again. My bad luck, I guess, to be incompatible with such a widely used kernel.
 

jglen490

Well-Known Member
Credits
3,076
Losing a working wifi upon a kernel upgrade is 100% driver-based. What is your wifi card/dongle/USB plugin? (sudo lshw -c network)
 


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