20 Best Lightweight Linux Distros of 2023

We are checking out for the Best Lightweight Linux Distros of 2023. Do we understand what Distros is? Before we delve further into the topic, let us understand the meaning of Distros or a distro. In short, i+t stands for distribution, and in IT terminology, informal parlance is for a Linux operating system (OS) and is a term used to describe a specific distribution/distributions of Linux built from the standard Linux operating systems.

There are many Linux distributions for different purposes, and no one particular distribution can be universally applied. It is for this reason, there can be many Linux distributions, but the best lightweight Linux Distros of 2023 are detailed below:

20 Best Lightweight Linux Distros of 2023

1. Lubuntu

Lubuntu Linux

As signified with the first letter ‘L’ in its nomenclature, it is a lightweight Linux distribution OS. It belongs to the family of Ubuntu users though it was designed for older devices & was not as resourceful but has kept on upgrading itself in time. It, in no way, has compromised on its favorite apps.

Being lightweight, the main thrust of this distros is on speed and energy efficiency. Lubuntu makes use of the LXQT/LXDE desktop interface. It used to run on an LXDE desktop interface until late 2018, but in its release from Lubuntu 18.10 version and above, it uses LXQT as the default desktop interface.

In the recent release of Lubuntu 19.04 – Disco Dingo, to run the operating system to 500MB, it has now lowered the minimum required RAM. However, to ensure that the system running is smooth and hassle-free, it has a minimum hardware requirement of at least 1GB of RAM and a Pentium 4 or Pentium M or AMD K8 CPU for web services like YouTube and Facebook that also matches its latest Lubuntu 20.04 LTS version. Having said all this, it has nevertheless continued support for its earlier 32 and 64-bit version old hardware too.

Lubuntu comes with a deluge of applications like PDF reader, multimedia players, office applications, a built-in software center that allows downloading of additional applications free of charge, an image editor, graphic apps, and the internet besides a whole lot of assortment of useful tools and utilities and much more. The USP of Lubuntu is its maintaining compatibility with Ubuntu caches enabling users’ ingress to thousands of more packages that can be easily installed using the Lubuntu Software Center.

2. Linux Lite

Linux Lite

It is designed keeping in mind the Linux distro beginners and those who are running Windows XP on their old devices or other Windows OS like Windows 7 or Windows 10 to lure them to the Linux world. It is a beginner-friendly, Ubuntu-based Linux OS that’s based on Long Term Support Version 18.04 Ubuntu LTS releases.

Contrary to its name of being a lightweight Linux distro, it requires around 8 GB of storage space, which can be quite taxing for some devices. The minimum system hardware requirement to run this distro is a PC with 1GHz CPU, 768MB of RAM, and 8GB of storage, but for improved system performance, it requires a PC with higher specs of 1.5GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 20GB of storage space.

Given the above system specs, it can be termed as the least demanding distro but comes loaded with a host of popular features and useful applications. Tools like Mozilla Firefox with inbuilt support for Netflix and the VLC media player for running music and videos offline can be easily accessed using this distro. You can also install Chrome as an alternative to Firefox if you are not happy with it.

Linux lite also supports Thunderbird for email issues if any, Dropbox for Cloud storage, VLC Media Player for Music, LibreOffice suite for office, GIMP for replacing color  and for image editing, tweaks to tweak your desktop, a password manager, and a host of other tools like Skype, Kodi, Spotify, TeamViewer and many more. It also enables access to Steam, which supports video games galore. It can also boot using a USB stick or CD or install on to your hard drive.

With the zRAM memory compression tool which the Linux Lite OS includes makes it run faster on older machines. It continues to provide support for the earlier 32-and 64 bit version old hardware of Linux Distros too. This operating system with the latest Linux Lite 5.0 along with default UEFI boot mode support has without a speck of doubt grown at a rapid pace in the recent past and has become a tool to reckon with.

3. TinyCore Linux

TinyCore Linux

This TinyCore distro developed by Robert Shingledecker comes in three variants, each with its features and system requirements. Standing true to its name, the lightest of the distros has a file size of 11.0 MB and embodies only the kernel and the root file system, the fundamental core of an OS.

This lightweight barebone distro needed more apps; therefore the TinyCore version 9.0, with slightly more features than the basic desktop operating system, came up with a 16 MB sized OS offering a choice of FLTK or FLWM graphical desktop interface.

The third variant, known as the CorePlus version, assimilating a heavier file size of 106 MB incorporated relatively more choices of useful tools like the various network window connection managers giving ingress to a central file storage location promoting plenty of useful apps you can install manually.

The CorePlus version also gave access to many other tools like Terminal, remastering tool, a text editor, wireless Wi-Fi support, and the non-US keyboard support, and much more. This lightweight Linux distros with its three choices can be a useful tool both for beginners and professionals who use both desktop and laptop computers.

Any individual who does not need proper hardware support but only a simple system to boot up along with a wired Internet connection can get working on it whereas on the other hand, if you are a professional who knows how to compile necessary tools to have a satisfying desktop experience, can also go for it & give it a try. In a nutshell, it is a Flexi-tool for one and all into internet computing.

4. Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux | Best Lightweight Linux Distros of 2020

Developed by Barry Kauler, the Puppy Linux distro is one of the oldest veterans of the Linux distros. This Linux isn’t based on another distribution and is developed entirely on its own. It can be built from packages of distros like Ubuntu, Arch Linux, and Slackware and is not like some other distros.

Being lightweight, the easy to use the software is also called “Grandpa Friendly Certified”. It comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions and can be installed on UEFI and BIOS enabled PCs. One of the great advantages of Puppy Linux is its tiny size and so can be booted on any CD/DVD or USB stick.

Using universal installers JWM and Openbox window managers, which are by default available on the desktop, you can install this distribution fairly easy on to your hard drive or any other media you wish to install it on. It requires very little storage space, so it does not eat into your system resources too.

It doesn’t come with any popular preinstalled applications. Installing application packages is easy and using the built-in Quickpup, Puppy Package Manager Format, or the QuickPet utility, you can install popular packages very quickly.

Being highly customizable, so you can have a variety of different applications or “puplets” offering special features or support like non-English puppets and special-purpose puplets that will meet your needs and fulfill your requirements.

The Bionic Pup edition of Puppy Linux is coherent with Ubuntu’s Caches and Puppy Linux 8.0. Bionic Pup edition is based on the Ubuntu Bionic Beaver 18.04, which gives the users ingress to the parent distro’s vast software collection.

A handful of developers have made good use of this feature and created their specialized versions to meet different needs. The sheer variety of applications is admirable; for example, the Home bank app helps manage your finances, the Gwhere app manages to catalog of disks, and there are also graphical apps that help manage Samba shares and set up a firewall.

All said Puppy Linux is very popular and a choice of many users over other distros because it works, runs fast, and has great graphics despite being a lightweight distro enabling you to get more work done quickly. The minimum basic hardware requirements for Puppy Linux are a RAM of 256 MB and a CPU with a 600 Hz Processor.

5. Bodhi Linux

Bodhi Linux

Bodhi Linux is one such lightweight Linux distro that can run on older PCs & Laptops that are even more than 15 years old. Labeled as the Enlightened Linux Distro, Bodhi Linux is an Ubuntu LTS-based distribution. In a lighter vein, it provides Moksha to the old PCs and laptops by using its Moksha OS making old computers feel young and new again.

The Moksha OS with a file size of less than 1GB provides a good user experience though it does not come with too many preinstalled apps. The minimum hardware requirement for installing this Linux distro is a RAM size of 256 MB and a 500MHz CPU with a hard disk space of 5 GB, but the recommended hardware for improved performance is 512MB RAM, 1GHz CPU, and 10GB of hard drive space. The good part about this distro is despite being a powerful distribution; it uses up very few system resources.

Moksha, a continuation of the popular Enlightenment 17 environment, not only removes bugs but introduces new functionality, and by installing many themes supported by Moksha, you can make the desktop interface even better.

Bodhi Linux an open-source distro, and the latest Bodhi Linux 5.1 is available in four different versions. The standard version supports the 32 bit systems. The Hardware enablement or the HWE version almost similar to the Standard version but has a 64-bit operating system that is a bit more modern, supporting the modern hardware and kernel updates. Then there is a Legacy version for very old machines that are more than 15 years old and support 32-bit architecture. The fourth version is the most minimalistic, enabling users only to install the need specific apps without any additional features.

Being an open-source distribution, the developers continuously update for the betterment of the distro based on community feedback and requirements. The best part is that the developers have a forum, whereas a user can talk or have live chats with them on your experience with the OS and any suggestion or even any technical assistance. The distro also has a beneficial Wiki page that contains a lot of useful information on how to get started and make the best of the Bodhi Linux distro.

6. Absolute Linux

Absolute Linux | Best Lightweight Linux Distros of 2020

This easy to install, featherweight, the highly streamlined distro is designed for desktop users. Based on the Slackware 14.2 distro that runs on the lightweight IceWM window manager, it preinstalled with the Firefox browser and LibreOffice suite and can quickly assimilate very old hardware. It also hosts certain other apps like Google Chrome, Google Earth, Kodi, GIMP, Inkscape, Calibre, and many more

It supports only 64 Bit computers with minimum System Requirements of Intel 486 CPU or better and a 64 MB RAM supported. It being a text-based installer makes it very simple to follow. However, the latest version of Absolute Linux occupies 2 GB of space, and like many other distros, its live version can also be installed directly from a CD or flash drive.

It has a very dedicated development team that usually launches a new version every year, keeping the software updated. So there is never any apprehension of any outdated software. This is also the prime feature of this distro.

As a beginner, best use the base version, but advanced longtime users can modify Absolute Linux based on their requirements. The developers provide a quick start guide for users who want to create their customized distros. It involves merely adding software packages on top of the core files or removing them if not needed. Several links to the appropriate packages on their website are also provided by the developers for users to create their customized distros.

7. Porteus


Porteus is a fast Slackware based distro available for both 32-bit and 64-bit desktops. Since this distro requires 300 MB of storage space, it can run directly from the system RAM and boot up in just 15 seconds. When running from a removable flash drive such as a USB stick or CD, it takes around 25 seconds only.

Unlike the traditional Linux distributions, this distro needs no package manager to download apps. Being modular, it comes with pre-compiled modules that can be downloaded and stored on the device and freely activated or deactivated by a simple double click on them. This attribute of the distribution not only saves time but also enhances the system speed of the devices.

The desktop interface cannot, using this distro, builds its own customized ISO. So it has to download the ISO images and to do this, the distro enables the desktop interface a wide selection of software and drivers to choose from, namely Openbox, KDE, MATE, Cinnamon, Xfce, LXDE, and LXQT. In case you are looking for an alternative secure OS for the desktop interface, you can also use Porteus Kiosk.

Using Porteus Kiosk, except its web browser, you can lock down and restrict access to anything and everything by default, to prevent users from downloading software or modifying any Porteus settings.

The kiosk also offers the advantage of not saving any password or browsing history, making it an excellent choice of various devices for setting up web terminals.

Finally, Porteus is modular and portable amongst various types of devices. It can be used on a diverse range of computer brands.

8. Xubuntu

Xubuntu 20.04 LTS | Best Lightweight Linux Distros of 2020

Xubuntu, as the name also reflects, is derived from a blend of Xfce and Ubuntu. Ubuntu being a Gnome desktop operating system based on Debian mostly composed of free and open-source software and Xfce is lightweight, easy to use desktop software, which can also be installed on old computers with no hang-ups.

As a branch of Ubuntu, Xubuntu, therefore, has access to the entire range of the Canonical archives. These archives are proprietary applications of M/s Canonical USA Inc situated in Boston, Massachusetts, and include software like Adobe Flash Plugin.

 Xubuntu supports 32-bit desktop systems and is well suited for low-end hardware. It is intended for both new and experienced Linux users with access to a vast archive of additional software. You can go to the Xubuntu website, download the ISO images you need, and begin using this Linux distro. An ISO image is CD ROM software in ISO 9660 format, used to create installation CDs.

To enable this distro to function, you must ensure that your device has minimum functional requirements of a device memory of 512MB RAM and a Pentium Pro or an AMD Anthlon Central Processing Unit. For a full install, however, it requires 1GB of device memory. Overall, Xubuntu can be considered as a fantastic distro with minimum system resources offering great features and applications.



An easy to use lightweight desktop Linux distro based on Lubuntu and built from Ubuntu LTS, i.e. Long Term Support editions. It is also known as the lightweight powerhouse and offers support for 32-bit computer devices.

A good looking distribution, it uses a minimal LXDE desktop interface. It provides long-term hardware support and works well on both old and new hardware. With hundreds of wallpapers along with clones of Windows functions like Aero Snap and Expose, this distro lays great emphasis on visual aesthetics.

This distro lays prime emphasis on stability and dedicatedly aims to revive the older machines to serve as ready to use desktops. It has an impressive range of fully-featured default apps like LibreOffice, GIMP, Audacity, etc. for various applications like the internet, sound, and video games, graphics, office, etc. for fulfilling your daily needs.

LXLE comes with an intuitive User Interface and features many useful accessories like the Terminal-based Weather app and Penguin Pills, which act as the forerunner apps for several virus scanners. 

Also Read: How To Install Linux Bash Shell On Windows 10

Minimum hardware requirements for the distro to run successfully on any device is a system RAM of 512 MB with a disk space of 8GB and a Pentium 3 processor. However, the recommended specs are a RAM of 1.0 GB and a Pentium 4 processor.

The developers of this LXLE app have spent a considerable amount of time to ensure it does not pose any challenges to a beginner and is popular with both the professional and amateur fraternity.

10. Ubuntu Mate

Ubuntu Mate

This lightweight Linux distro is very useful for old computers, but the device should not be more than a decade old for the Ubuntu Mate to run on it. Any device more than 10 years old will have problems and is not recommended to use this distribution.

This distro is compatible to run on both Windows and Mac OS, and for anybody wanting to switch, either way, Ubuntu Mate is the recommended distribution. Ubuntu MATE supports both 32-bit and 64-bit desktops and supports a wide range of hardware ports, including Raspberry Pi or Jetson Nano.

The Ubuntu Mate desktop framework is an extension of Gnome 2. It has various layouts and customized options like Redmond for Windows users, Cupertino for Mac OS users, and many others like Mutiny, Pantheon, Netbook, KDE, and Cinnamon to help improve the desktop screen and make your PC look good and run on limited hardware systems too.

Ubuntu MATE base version has on its platter a set of pre-installed applications like Firefox, LibreOffice, Redshift, Plank, Network Manager, Blueman, Magnus, Orca Screen Reader. It also hosts a wide range of well-known tools like System Monitor, Power Statistics, Disk Usage Analyzer, Dictionary, Pluma, Engrampa, and many more countless other applications to customize the OS as per your specific needs and requirements.

Ubuntu MATE requires at least 8 GB of free disk space for storage, a Pentium M 1 GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, 1024 x 768 display, and the latest stable release Ubuntu 19.04 as minimum system hardware requirements to run on any device. Therefore when you buy a machine with specifically Ubuntu Mate in mind, ensure the stated specs are catered to enable running on that device.

The latest Ubuntu Mate 20.04 LTS version offers tons of new features, including one-click multiple color theme variations, experimental ZFS, and GameMode from Feral Interactive. With so many tools and features, this Linux distro is very popular. Numerous laptops and desktops come pre-loaded with Ubuntu Mate enhancing its popularity amongst novices and advanced users alike.

11. Damn Small Linux

Damn Small Linux | Best Lightweight Linux Distros of 2020

This is what is called standing true to your name. This distro certifies its reputation of being lightweight, incredibly small, with 50 MB files. It can run even on an old i486DX Intel CPU or equivalent

with just 16 MB of RAM size. The latest stable 4.4.10 version it has is also very old, which was released in 2008. But what is noteworthy is being a small distro, it can run in your device’s system memory.

Just not limited to this, due to its size and ability to run from the device memory, it has exceptionally high functional speed. You will have to use a Debian style install on to your hard drive to run from your device memory, or else you can run it from a CD or USB also, as per your preference. Interestingly, the distro can be booted from within a Windows-based host operating system too.

With a minimalistic user interface, surprisingly, it has a vast number of tools pre-installed in it. You have the flexibility to surf the net with any of the three browsers, namely Dillo, Firefox, or the text-based Netrik, all depending on which one you are more comfortable in using.

In addition to the browser mentioned above, you could also use a word processor named Ted, an image editor called Xpaint, Slypheed, for sorting your email, and you could sort through your data using the ultra-tiny emelFM file manager.

You can also use Windows managers, text editors, and even an AOL-based instant messaging app known as Naim. If you are on the lookout for more applications like games, themes, and many more, you can use the MyDSL Extension Tool to add extra applications. You get pretty much all the basic apps, without any clutter or jumble up, similar to what you would get from other regular operating systems.

The only real drawback of this Linux distro is it works with an old operating system and hasn’t been updated in many years, since 2008. Suppose you don’t mind working with an old operating system but enjoy the sheer flexibility of innumerable apps for your different applications. In that case, it is recommended to check on this Damn Small Linux distro without fail.

12. Vector Linux

Vector Linux

In case you want to use this distribution, the prime minimum requirement for this application to run on your device is to fulfill its minimum light edition or the standard edition requirements. To meet the light edition needs, you should possess a 64 MB of RAM size, Pentium 166 processor, and for the standard edition, it is required to have 96 MB of RAM and a Pentium 200 CPU. If your device fulfills either of these minimum requirements, you can run the stable Vector Linux 7.1 edition officially released in July 2015.

VectorLinux requires at least 1.8 GB of hard drive space, which is not by any means a small requirement as compared to many other distros. If you install this distro on your device, the installation kit itself uses a little over 600 MB of space on a standard CD. This distro created as a jack of all trades by its developers offers a little bit of everything to its variety of users.

This Slackware-based distro is inclined in favor of the GTK+ apps such as Pidgin Messenger, but you can use the TXZ package manager to get and install additional software. This distro’s modular nature enables it to be customized as per every user’s requirements and on both old and latest devices. So it can be said that VectorLinux is available in two different variants – Standard and Light.

The Vector Linux Light version, based on the JWM and Fluxbox window managers, uses the ultra-efficient IceWM window manager and is deft in breathing new life into outdated hardware. This slick desktop discreet version with web browsers, email, instant messaging, and other useful applications is improvised for the casual user. It incorporates Opera, which can act as your browser, email as well as for chatting purposes too.

The Vector Linux Standard version uses a faster but also more resource-driven desktop version known as Xfce. This version comes with powerful in-built tools that can be used to compile programs or transform the system into a server that advanced users can use. Using this standard version, you get the option for installing even more from the Open Source Lab caches. This version is so designed that it can be used without any issues on older systems too.

Due to its modular nature, this distro and Standard and Light versions are also available in the VectorLinux Live and VectorLinux SOHO (Small Office/Home Office). Although they are not compatible with the older PCs and are best suited for newer systems, they can still run on the old Pentium 750 processors.

13. Peppermint Linux

Peppermint Linux

Peppermint, a Lubuntu-based distro, is a dual combination of a regular desktop and a cloud-focused application. It also supports both 32 Bit and 64 Bit hardware and does not need any high-end hardware. Based on Lubuntu, you get the advantage of being able to have ingress to Ubuntu software Caches also.

Peppermint is a discreetly designed OS with more practicality and usefulness and to the point software rather than a showy and flashy one. For this reason, it is a lightweight operating system and one of the fastest Linux distros. Since it uses the LXDE desktop interface, the software runs smoothly and gives an excellent user experience.

The web-centric approach of netbooks and hybrid cloud infrastructure includes the ICE application for many tasks and assimilating any website or web app as a standalone desktop app. In this way, Instead of running local applications, it can work in a site-specific browser.

Using this application on your device should fulfill the minimum hardware requirements of this distro, including a minimum RAM of 1 GB. However, the recommended RAM size is 2 GB, an Intel x86 processor or CPU, and at the least, available 4GB, but better would be an 8GB free disk space.

In case you have any kind of issue in the use of this distro, you can always fall back on a backup service team of this Linux distro to help you out of your predicament or use its self-help document to enable instant troubleshooting in case the service team is not contactable.

14. AntiX Linux

AntiX Linux | Best Lightweight Linux Distros of 2020

This lightweight distro is based on Debian Linux and does not include a system in its software application. The major issues for which system software was delinked from Debian were its mission creep and bloat issues besides reducing compatibility with Unix-like OS such as UNIX System V and BSD systems. This system delinking was a major factor in deciding to continue using Linux for many die-hard Linux fans.

This Linux distro supports both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware, enabling this distro to be used for both older and newer computers. It uses icewm Windows manager to enable the system to run on low-end hardware. With not much pre-installed software, the ISO file size is approx. 700 MB. You can download and install more software through the internet if needed.

Currently, antiX -19.2 “Hannie Schaft” is available in four versions, namely Full, Base, Core, and Net. You can use antiX-Core or antiX-net and build upon them to control what you need to be installed. The minimum hardware requirement to install the distro on your device is a RAM of 256 MB and PIII systems CPU or Intel AMDx86 processor with a 5GB disc space.

15. Sparky Linux

Sparky Linux

A lightweight distro applicable for use even on modern computers, it has two versions for use. Both versions are supported by Debian-based operating system, but both versions use different versions of the Debian OS.

One version is based on the Debian stable release, whereas the other version of sparky Linux uses Debian’s testing branch. Depending upon your needs and requirements, you can opt for either of the two versions.

You can get different ISO editions also downloaded, especially related to the ISO 9660 file system used with the CD-ROM media. You could get details by clicking on “Stable” or “Rolling” releases to get the details of the listed editions and download the desired edition like the LXQT desktop-based edition or a GameOver edition etc. etc.

Also Read: 15 Best Google Play Store Alternatives 

You can head down to the download page of an LXQT desktop-based edition or the pre-installed GameOver edition and so on, and click on “Stable” or “Semi-Rolling” releases to find all the editions listed.

To install the Sparky Linux on your device, the following minimum hardware is a RAM of size 512 MB, an AMD Athlon or a Pentium 4, and a Disk space of 2 GB for the CLI Edition, 10 GB for the Home Edition, or 20 GB for the GameOver Edition.

16. Zorin OS Lite

Zorin OS Lite

It is an Ubuntu-supported Linux distro, and if used on an old computer, it offers the lite edition with the Xfce desktop interface. The regular Zorin operating system supports the not too old and recent systems.

To run the Zorin OS Lite, the system should have a minimum requirement of a RAM of 512 MB, a single-core processor of 700 MHz, 8GB free disk storage space, and a display resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. This Linux distro supports both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware.

The Zorin Lite operating system is an ideal system that gives a good performance and gives your old PC a Windows-type feel. Also, it enhances security while improving the speed of the system to make the PC function faster.

17. Arch Linux

Arch Linux | Best Lightweight Linux Distros of 2020

I am not sure if you know the KISS mantra. You will be surprised; what is the significance of the KISS mantra with Arch Linux distro. Don’t get too hyperactive as the philosophy behind this distro’s running is to Keep It Simple Stupid. I hope all your imaginations flying high have crash-landed and if so, let’s get down to some more severe aspects of this Linux.

Arch Linux strongly adheres to the KISS mantra, and this lightweight and an easy to use system functions with the i686 and x86-64 windows managers. It is, however, recommended to use this with the lightweight i3 windows manager. You can also try the Openbox window manager as it supports this barebone OS also. To improve the operating speed, you can use the LXQT and Xfce desktop interface to enhance its working and make it operate faster.

The minimum hardware requirement to use this distro is 530MB RAM, 64-bit user interface hardware with 800MB of disk space, and a Pentium 4 or any later processor is recommended. However, some older CPUs can also run the Arch Linux distribution. There are also some derivatives of the Arch Linux distro like the BBQLinux and Arch Linux ARM, which can be installed on the Raspberry Pi.

The USP of the Arch Linux distro is it operates on a rolling-release system for current, continuous updates even if your PC hardware may be old. The only condition to be kept in mind if you are going in for the Arch Linux distro is that your device is not using the 32-bit hardware as its popularity is on the vane. However, here also it still comes to your help with an option to get the forked archlinux32 option. The user is its priority and tries to meet most requirements of its users.

An experienced hand at using Linux distros will note that this is a no-nonsense distribution and does not support pre-installed packages but, on the contrary, encourages the user to customize the system and make it as personal he can depending on his need and requirements and the output he is looking from it.

18. Manjaro Linux

Manjaro Linux

Manjaro is a free-to-use, open-source Linux distro based on the Arch Linux operating system and is one of the fastest distros with many users. It has been developed by Manaru GMBH & Co. KG and was first released in the year 2009 using the X86 hardware interface with a monolithic Kernal base.

This distro uses the Xfce edition, giving the user a leading Xfce experience of being a fast OS. Well, if you talk of it being a lightweight application, it is not one, but it surely uses well-integrated and polished leading-edge software.

It uses the Pacman package manager via the command line (terminal) and uses Libalpm as a back-end package manager. It uses the pre-installed Pamac tool as a Graphical User Interface package manager tool. The minimum hardware requirement for a device to use the Manjaru Xfce Linux edition is 1GB RAM and a 1GHz Central Processing Unit.

Many of those who want to run on the old 32-bit system will be a big disappointment as it no longer supports the 32-bit hardware. But you can try out the new deal-breaker Manjaru32 Linux if you want to continue with the 32-bit hardware.

19. Linux Mint Xfce

Linux Mint Xfce

The Linux Mint Xfce was first launched in the year 2009. This distro is based on the Ubuntu distribution and supports the 32-bit hardware architecture. This distro features the Xfce desktop interface version, making it suitable for a few old PCs.

The Linux Mint 18 Sarah with the cinnamon 3.0 interface is also available. It can be used, but the latest release of Linux Mint 19.1 Xfce desktop interface 4.12 with the updated software comes with many new features that will make use of this distro an experience very comfortable and worth remembering.

The minimum system requirements for a device to make the best use of this distro is a RAM size of 1 GB and a disk space of 15 GB though, for betterment, you are recommended to go in for a2 GB RAM and disk space of 20 GB and devise resolution of minimum 1024×768 pixels.

From the above, we have seen no one particular tailor-made choice of a specific distribution for all applications. However, there is no denying the fact that everyone has his favorite. I would instead emphasize choosing depending on your personal preference for ease of usage and what you want to derive from it.

20. Slax

Slax | Best Lightweight Linux Distros of 2020

This is another lightweight, portable Linux distro which supports the 32- bit system and uses the Debian-based operating system. It does not necessarily need to be installed on the device and can be used without installing it on a USB drive. If this distro is to be used on older PCs, you can use it via a 300 MB ISO file.

It has a simple and easy-to-use User interface and comes with the essential pre-built packages for a typical average user. Still, you can also customize the operating system, which is compatible with your needs and requirements, and make the required necessary changes, which can be made permanent even on the fly, i.e. without interrupting an already running computer program.


For Slax to operate on your device in offline mode, you require a RAM size of 128 MB, whereas if you need to use it in the online mode, it requires 512 MB RAM for use through a web browser. The central processing unit requirement for this distro operation on the device is an i686 or a newer version processor.

As a concluding remark, options can be unlimited. A person can make a distribution by assembling it from the source code entirely on his own, thereby generating a new distribution or modifying an existing distribution and coming up with an entirely new distro to cover his specific wants.

5 thoughts on “20 Best Lightweight Linux Distros of 2023”

  1. Avatar photo
    Glenn Brumfield

    Lubuntu 20.04 and newer, along with all of the *buntu’s, no longer support 32-bit processors. Debian may be the best bet for those requiring an installed full-desktop 32-bit OS for x86 hardware with the minimum required RAM and a supported video card. Other Debian-based OS’s like Antix or BunsenLabs still support the majority of 32-bit systems.

  2. Vector Linux site appears down; Distrowatch has VL llisted as “Dormant”, with the last release in July 2016. It should still be in many online repositories of free software.

  3. Hi-
    I’m a Windows 7 trying to ready myself for its obsolescence (i hate capitalists!).
    I’m looking for a Debian based distro (directly, not via Ubuntu fork) because it’s most stable.
    Otherwise i’m seeking the lightest possible distro (smaller size = fewer parts = fewer opportunities for conflicts/errors)
    but that conflicts with usability of course.
    So my question is: what’s the distro, or distros, that achieve smallness/lightness without giving up usability??
    Please write if you know.
    marni in Vancouver

  4. I am not much experienced in linux (more experienced in Windows), have 8GB RAM T530 laptop. Which linux could be the best choice? I had Ubuntu 20 with Xfce but it is now working well now, also tried Mint Cinnamon 19.1 but I am thinking about something faster.
    I’d like to use browsers, Libre Office, wine, audacity, some movie viewer, …?
    I am thinking about:
    Mint 20.3 with Xfce
    Mint 20.3 with Cinnamon
    Linux Lite
    TinyCore Linux
    Puppy Linux (probably with UbuntuLTS20.04)

    1. I’ve used Manjaro extensively, and it’s excellent. I put it on an old Lenovo laptop, and while somewhat slow to boot (really should have upgraded to a SSD) it nonetheless works wonderfully.

      I recently bought a miniPC with Windows 11 installed, and boy am I ready to go back to Linux.

      Thinking about trying out ZorinOS, but will definitely install Manjaro if that doesn’t work out.

      The nicest thing about Linux is you don’t have to actually install it to try it out! You can create a LiveCD or LiveUSB, which means that it loads the entire thing into RAM and runs it from there.

      I’ve used Mint before, and it’s nice as well, but for some reason I liked Manjaro better. The best and worst thing about Linux is picking a distro you like!

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