6 Cool Linux Distributions to Review on Your Old PCs and Laptops

Many of us have an old computer, in fact, old computers are everywhere, instead of taking them to the garbage you can revive them with these 6 cool Linux distributions which is designed specially for old PCs and Laptops.

1. SliTaz

SliTaz is an independent Linux distribution which is designed to run on any computer with no less than 256MB of RAM, SliTaz ISO file is very small in size (45MB Only!), it uses its own package manager “tazpkg” to manage software, there are 3500 installable package in SliTaz, it comes with the Openbox window manager beside LXpanel which makes it very fast on the old PCs.

Slitaz Linux
Slitaz Linux

Visit: http://www.slitaz.org/

2. Tiny Core

A Micro Core Linux as it’s developers say, Tiny core ISO file size is only 12MB and it comes with FLTK/FKWM and BusyBox desktop by default, of course many things are removed from this distribution like many hardware drivers but you can install them later if you want, it runs completely on memory which makes it very fast in fact, it was forked from Damn Small project but right now it is an independent Linux distribution.

Tinycore Linux
Tinycore Linux

Visit: http://www.tinycorelinux.net/

3. CrunchBang Linux

CrunchBang Linux is a Debian-based distribution targeting old PCs and laptops, it also uses the Openbox window manager by default beside some GTK+ applications, as it’s developers say: “The primary aim of the CrunchBang project is to produce a stable distribution offering the best possible out-of-the-box Openbox experience”.

CrunchBang Linux
CrunchBang Linux

Visit: http://crunchbang.org/

4. Puppy Linux

Based on Ubuntu, Puppy Linux is another small distribution for old PCs, it loads into the RAM disk which means that it will be very fast on usage, You can boot it from any CD, DVD, USB Flash and Floppy Disk if you want, Thanks for being based on Ubuntu, all the 40000 packages that Ubuntu provides are able to be installed on Puppy Linux, the ISO file is no more than 100MB, it uses JWM and Openbox window managers by default, of course you can install any window manager you want, also, Puppy Linux developers have developed many special tools for Puppy Linux which makes it very usable.

Puppy Linux
Puppy Linux

Visit: http://www.puppylinux.com

5. Lubuntu

One of the most famous Linux distributions in the world, suited for Old PCs and based on Ubuntu and officially supported by Ubuntu Community, Lubuntu uses LXDE interface by default for its GUI, beside some other tweaks for RAM and CPU usage which makes it a good choice for old PCs and notebooks as well.

Lubuntu Linux
Lubuntu Linux

Visit: http://lubuntu.net/


LXLE is also a Linux distribution which is based on Ubuntu, but it is only based on the LTS releases, it comes with LXDE interface by default, it covers most users needs by providing a good selection of default applications beside many other tweaks which makes it a good operating system for old computers.

LXLE Linux
LXLE Linux

Visit: http://lxle.net/

Do you keep your old computers? Or do you have one? What Linux distribution are you using for it? Don’t tell me that you kept it running Window 95.

Read Also: 10 Linux Distributions and Their Targeted Users

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19 thoughts on “6 Cool Linux Distributions to Review on Your Old PCs and Laptops”

  1. Of course I do not use win 95, I us win 98SE [ old games and dos games ] love the list, because new browsers do not run on these older systems [ in case i want to hit the net with out going to another comp.]

  2. Sorry all I got was Failed to load grub-pc in an alert box with some small writing saying failed with error 1 and nothing else worked.

    I tried a couple more times after a format and still got nowhere so I put Linux Mint on and that worked straight from the .iso burned to a disk. Thanks for looking.

    • @Peter,

      Appreciate for your patience and efforts in trying out different distributions, yes I must say Linux Mint works well on all laptops and it is one of the best stable and fastest growing distribution in Linux community..

  3. I’m not a Linux expert I have been using Xubuntu on a laptop for about a year now and it has tried to update to 16.04 but keeps failing with a message that grub-pc has failed to load and leaves the laptop with no operating system when it starts back up.

    The laptop is an Advent Roma 1001 which ran fine on 15.10. Is there a simple fix for someone who just wants to use the laptop rather than program.

  4. In the apartment, I’ve set up seven systems. One main server for myself, one for my partner, a server for our lessor, an FTP server, (our personal ‘cloud’), a file server that backs up all of our systems automatically, and three laptops.

    Except for our lessor whom refuses to use anything but Windows (rolls eyes) all our systems runs pure Linux, from different distros. My, and my partners servers run Debian 8/KDE 4 and both of ours is 4ghz, 4 – 12g memory.

    The FTP server is running puppy lupu ran as a pure live CD for protection, and even on that old IBM Aptivia (500mhz/512 mgs memory) it runs reasonably well. Throw on EMACS/terminal, Midnight commander and other terminal based programs and it works very well.

    My 10 year old Asus Eee 1000HA (2 ghz/2g memory) has had several distros on it, including Debian 6, 7, 8/Openbox, and even Xubuntu. But by far the best in terns of pure speed has to be Puppy Lupu. It takes about 40 seconds to boot to use, and even Chrome runs astonishing fast, after it starts. That’s the only slow part of it however. It can take around 40 – 60 seconds to start. But with tweaks you can find over the net, it runs as fast as my main server.

    The file server is similar; although it’s a 1ghz 2g ‘frankenputer’ cobbled together from parts given to me as I serviced other systems, also runs Puppy lupu.

    My other laptop, a Lenovo X201 that runs Debian 8/LXDE and it works just fine as a modern system. I paid only $150 for it, with a huge 9 hour battery. Aside from occasional overheating problems it’s just as good as my Asus.

    I fully agree with others about economics. I cannot afford a brand new system, especially laptops. (And I certainly wouldn’t throw $150 on a brand-new Acer from Walmart!). So I buy reconditioned, but /good quality laptops/, and keep what I do have until they die (my last laptop, an IBM Thinkpad T23 900mhz/512 megs memory was running Debian 6/XFCE after I had it for 12 years before something gave in the motherboard.)

    So instead of those overpriced ‘smartphones’, I take my Asus everywhere; classes, stores, and the like. I write on it, send my files to my FTP server when I can get free wi-fi and just happy as a clam(AV — giggles, sorry)

    Thank you for these articles. This site has been a major help for me in the past year.


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