Lightweight Versions

evestov

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I have an old laptop bought in 2009. It had Vista on it at the time - UGH - and it was bought at an
Argos clearance outlet so it may be up to 15 years old.
It has a single core 2GHz Celeron and I have upped the mem to 2G from 1G.

My main system is Mint 20 running on a quad core i5 at 3.5GHz and it is more than adequate.
I installed it on the laptop also and it is livable.
I thought I would try different versions to see if a lighter weight Linux would be any better.
Tried Lite, Mx Lubuntu and Peppermint.

Personal experience is that the lightweight versions have a marginal or no improvement on
performance and they are not worth the loss of quality/performance of Mint.

Anyone else come across this or is it so variable with old ones that it is pot luck.
 


Brickwizard

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If your old laptop is up and running, can you run in the terminal sudo inxi -Mm and paste back the result
 

Matt.m

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Although many lightweight distros have no improvement, there are some lightweight distros that are actively being developed and new features are being added to them continuously. They usually don't come with many pre-installed apps to keep them lightweight but you can customize them anyhow you would like. Although you said you've tested some of them, there are many lists of other lightweight Linux distros. For example there's a list of lightweight Linux distros in this page (which i myself contributed in writing parts of that) with small explanations about each of them if you would like to know more of lightweight linux distributions.
But i myself prefer to have a full Linux instead of lightweight ones because they need less app installations and are more ready to use.
 
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KGIII

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For example there's a list of lightweight Linux distros in this page (which i myself contributed in writing parts of that) with small explanations about each of them if you would like to know more of lightweight linux distributions.

That's a pretty good list. I'm on the Lubuntu team, all sorts of official and everything. So, for this comment, I'm wearing my Lubuntu hat.

1. I am not sure where the minimum hardware stats they published came from.
2. Lubuntu no longer focuses on being lightweight. (More explained below.)

Those all ended with 18.04, which is EOL (while main Ubuntu is not EOL, Lubuntu 18.04 is EOL). Lubuntu also no longer publishes minimum hardware standards.

Lubuntu is still relatively lightweight. One of our other members (my mentor, actually) tests it regularly on hardware well over a decade old. As long as one is mindful of open applications, it works well enough - with some patience and reasonable expectations. But, any lightness is mostly coincidental and old hardware is not a focus for the Lubuntu team.

For more information:

I believe this is cribbed from one of our blog posts - and was easier to find in a search engine:


(It's a little out of data, but mostly accurate. Lubuntu is still fairly lightweight, but definitely not aimed at older computers anymore.)

Man is my brain rusty this afternoon. I had to edit this like three times. I chased a toddler around for a goodly part of the day.
 
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Matt.m

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Yee, you are totally right. Lubuntu is not that lightweight compared to some other distros and fairweight is a more accurate term for it, but many users like lubuntu and still like to consider it a lightweight distro ;)
 
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KGIII

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Yee, you are totally right. Lubuntu is not that lightweight compared to some other distros and fairweight is a more accurate term for it, but many users like lubuntu and still like to consider it a lightweight distro ;)

I'd say it's lightweight compared to many other distros. So, it certainly fits on the list (still). At idle, it's like 500 MB of RAM. But, it now includes things like LibreOffice - instead of AbiWord. It's that Lubuntu has left behind the focus on older computers - and thus there's not nearly as much emphasis on being a lightweight distro.

The most important bit (to me) was the minimum system requirements. We no longer publish those. People will use their device differently and you could be pretty judicious with what you open and what you leave open. I have no idea where the article got those numbers - 'cause they're not from an official source.

We all also have different definitions of performance. I'm not happy unless it's an SSD (preferably NVMe M.2 SSD) and at least 16 (preferably 32) GB of RAM. Others are perfectly content with a Core 2 Duo, 4 GB of RAM, and a HDD.

I believe that's one of the reasons (I never directly asked and the decision was made before I was a Lubuntu member) they stopped publishing minimum system requirements.

You wouldn't happen to be the Matt from AskUbuntu, would you?
 

KGIII

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No, I'm not

Ah... They're a pretty solid poster on the AU site. Pretty adept with Linux, with a writing style similar to your own.
 

kc1di

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Hello @evestov Welcome to the Forum.

As has been said many distros claim to be light weight. But some do not deliver. Mint XFCE is the lightest mint version. But that is still pretty hefty. Your limitation is not so much the processor it is capable but the 2 gigs of ram.
Here is some suggestions for mint that may help with that.

Also here:
Other than those AntiX is worth a try also.
Good luck.
 

craigevil

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Debian with a Window Manager rather than a DE.
My old Thinkpad only had 2GB of ram. Debian + iceWM was what I ran on it for over 10 yrs.
Firefox with only Ublock Origin extension is about as light as you can get as still be able to browser the web.
Abiword. fbreader. irssi for IRC. gomuks for Matrix.
 

f33dm3bits

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When I have nothing opened except for a terminal my system uses 800M of ram, I'm running Sway with Waybar.
 
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