This article uses bare URLs, which are uninformative and vulnerable to link rot. Please consider converting them to full citations to ensure the article remains verifiable and maintains a consistent citation style. Several templates and tools are available to assist in formatting, such as Reflinks (documentation), reFill (documentation) and Citation bot (documentation). (August 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience. Please help by spinning off or relocating any relevant information, and removing excessive detail that may be against Wikipedia's inclusion policy. (May 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (May 2021)
Lubuntu is described by its developers as light-weight in comparison to Ubuntu
Lubuntu is described by its developers as light-weight in comparison to Ubuntu

A light-weight Linux distribution is one that uses lower memory and/or has less processor-speed requirements than a more "feature-rich" Linux distribution. The lower demands on hardware ideally result in a more responsive machine, and/or allow devices with fewer system resources (e.g. older or embedded hardware) to be used productively. The lower memory and/or processor-speed requirements are achieved by avoiding software bloat, i.e. by leaving out features that are perceived to have little or no practical use or advantage, or for which there is no or low demand.

The perceived weight of a Linux distribution is strongly influenced by the desktop environment included with that distribution.[1][2] Accordingly, many Linux distributions offer a choice of editions. For example, Canonical hosts several variants ("flavors") of the Ubuntu distribution that include desktop environments other than the default GNOME or the deprecated Unity. These variants include the Xubuntu and Lubuntu distributions for the comparatively light-weight Xfce and LXDE / LXQt desktop environments.

The demands that a desktop environment places on a system may be seen in a comparison of the minimum system requirements of Ubuntu 10.10 and Lubuntu 10.10 desktop editions, where the only significant difference between the two was their desktop environment. Ubuntu 10.10 included the Unity desktop, which had minimum system requirements of a 2 GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM,[3] while Lubuntu 10.10 included LXDE, which required at least a Pentium II with 128 MB of RAM.[4]

Overview of some distributions

Comparison

Distribution Minimum system requirements Desktop / Window manager Based on Package manager Image size Purpose Latest release year Maintainer Created Founder
Absolute Linux CPU: Intel/AMD 64bit

RAM: 64 MB

1+ GB suggested[11][12]

iceWM Slackware XPKGTOOL 2264 MB[13] Desktop 2020 Absolute Linux Team 2007 Absolute Linux Team
Alpine Linux RAM: 128MB (256MB to install)[14] None by default[15] BusyBox, musl APK 8 MB (container), 130 MB (disk) Lightweight desktop, security[16] 2022 Alpine Linux development team 2010 LEAF Project members
antiX CPU: Intel/AMD X86

RAM: 256 MB [17]

IceWM, Fluxbox, JWM MEPIS < Debian Synaptic[18] 700 MB Base, 1GB Full, 310 MB Core Desktop, portability (with persistence)[19] 2020 Anticapitalista 2007 Anticapitalista
Bodhi Linux[20] CPU: 32 bit 500 MHz (non-PAE)

RAM: 512 MB [21]

drive: 5 GB

Moksha (a fixed E17) Ubuntu < Debian APT 575 MB (Standard),
1024 MB (AppPack)
Desktop 2020 Bodhi Linux team 2011 Bodhi Linux team
BunsenLabs Linux RAM:

256 MB to run X[22]
1 GB for Firefox
2+ GB recommended

OpenBox Debian Stable Synaptic, APT, dpkg 674 MB (i386, no PAE)

1100 MB (i386, AMD64)[22]

LiveCD, LiveDVD, lightweight desktop 2020 Core maintainers 2015 Core maintainers
CRUX CPU: x86-64 (AMD Athlon 64, Intel Core, Intel Atom) or newer processors

RAM: 192 MB (2017)[23]

OpenBox - pkgutils 1773 MB BSD / experienced users, lightweight 2020 Core maintainers 2002 Per Lidén
Damn Small Linux CPU: 486dx

RAM: 8 MB[24]

Fluxbox, JWM - APT (optional)[25] 50 MB Desktop 2008 2005 John Andrews, et al.
GoboLinux RAM: 128 MB RAM

1000+ MB for full graphic[26]

CPU: x86_64

Awesome - 1900 MB[27] desktop 2020 GoboLinux team 2003 Hisham Muhammad and André Detsch
Knoppix RAM:

32 MB text

512 MB LXDE

1 GB recommended[28]

CPU: 486

LXDE Debian dpkg 701 MB Live 2020 2000 Klaus Knopper
Lightweight Portable Security iceWM ArchLinux 390 MB Secure live operating system 2021 United States Department of Defense 2011 United States Department of Defense
Linux Lite RAM: 768 MB (2020)[29]

disk: 8 GB

Xfce Ubuntu APT 955 MB Desktop (Windows users) 2020 Jerry Bezencon 2013 Jerry Bezencon
Lubuntu

No minimum system requirements provided.[30]

LXQt Ubuntu APT 916 MB lightweight desktop 2020 Lubuntu team 2009 Lubuntu team
LXLE RAM: 1 GB (2022)[31]

CPU: 64-bit (2022)

LXDE Ubuntu LTS APT 1300 MB older computers, intermediate users 2022 LXLE team 2012 Ronnie
Nanolinux RAM: 64 MB (2017)[32]

CPU: 486

SLWM on Nano-X Tiny Core Linux;[33] MicroCore Linux with BusyBox. 19 MB Lightweight, Runs on RAM, advanced 2015 Georg Potthast - Georg Potthast
OpenWrt CPU: x86 and over 50 router platforms

RAM: 32 MB (2018)[34] 64 MB recommended

None (headless server) - Includes LuCI admin UI[35] - opkg 6 MB SOHO Routers 2020 OpenWrt developers 2004
PCLinuxOS

CPU: 64-bit (from 2016)

RAM: 2 GB (2020)[36]

KDE, MATE, XFCE Mandrake APT-RPM 1000-3800 MB Live 2020 Bill Reynolds 2003 Bill Reynolds
Peppermint Linux OS

CPU: x86

RAM: 512 MB (v6, 2015)
2 GB recommended[37]

XFCE Lubuntu APT 1332 MB desktop 2020 Peppermint, LLC 2010 Peppermint, LLC
Porteus

CPU: 32 bit

RAM: 36 MB[38]

(multiple) Slackware USM 260 MB (LxQt) lightweight, portable (with persistence)[19] 2018 Porteus 2010 Fanthom
Puppy Linux

RAM: 256 MB (2017)[39]

JWM-2.3.2 Ubuntu LTS from Puppy 6 Puppy Package Manager 234 MB (Slacko)[40] portable (with persistence),[19] lightweight[41] 2020 Puppy Foundation 2003 Barry Kauler
Salix OS

RAM:: 512 MB

CPU: Intel Pentium III 1 GHz[42]

Hard drive: 8 GB

MATE, KDE, Xfce, Fluxbox, Openbox Slackware slapt-get 613 MB (Fluxbox), 852 MB (MATE live)[43] desktop 2016 Tomas Matejicek 2002 Tomas Matejicek
Slax

RAM:256MB

without web browser

KDE till Slax 8
Fluxbox since Slax 9
Slackware till Slax 8
Debian from Slax 9
APT 226 MB[44] portable 2020 Tomas Matejicek 2002 Tomas Matejicek
SliTaz

RAM:

24 MB loram-cdrom[45]

128 MB loram

256 MB standard

Openbox - TazPkg 50 MB Portable. Live (no persistence by default)[46] 2021 dev team 2008 Christophe Lincoln
Tiny Core Linux

CPU: 486DX

RAM: 46 MB[47]

FLTK/FLWM Tiny Core Linux appbrowser (GUI) tce (CLI) 11 MB (Core), 16 MB (TinyCore), 106 MB (CorePlus) portable, advanced 2021 Tiny Core team 2009 Robert Shingledecker
Tiny SliTaz

CPU: 386

RAM: 4 MB

8 MB recommended

None (VNC viewer or headless server) SliTaz Tiny SliTaz WEB site[48] Down to 800 KB, likely a 1.44 MB floppy Portable. Live (no persistence by default) 2021 dev team 2016 Pascal Bellard
Trisquel Mini

RAM: 256 MB [49]

CPU: Pentium II

LXDE Ubuntu LTS APT 1200 MB Free software: desktop 2020 Rubén Rodríguez Pérez (quidam) 2005 Rubén Rodríguez Pérez (quidam)
TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

RAM: 256 MB 2017[50]

None (headless server) - Includes Webmin admin UI Debian (a minified base)[51] dpkg 212 MB (Core) Lightweight headless server[52] 2020 TurnKey Linux team 2008 Alon Swartz, Liraz Siri
VectorLinux Light

RAM:

64 MB Light edition

96 MB Standard

256MB Live[53]

Several / IceWM Slackware slapt-get 618 MB Desktop 2017 - 2001 -
Void Linux

CPU: ARMv6

Pentium 4 (SSE2)

RAM: 96 MB

Hard drive: 350 MB[54]

Xfce, or none[55] - XBPS 250 MB (i686, without desktop environment) Desktop/embedded 2022 (rolling release) Void Linux Team, Void Linux Community 2008 Juan Romero Pardines
Xubuntu CPU: Intel/AMD 64bit

RAM: 1 GB

Hard drive: 8.6 GB[56]

Xfce Ubuntu APT 1660 MB lightweight desktop 2021 Xubuntu team 2008 Xubuntu team
Zenwalk Xfce Slackware netpkg 974 MB desktop 2020[57] development team 2004 Jean-Philippe Guillemin
Distribution Minimum system requirements Desktop / Window manager Based on Package manager Image size Purpose Latest release year Maintainer Created Founder

See also

References

  1. ^ Larabel, Michael. "Phoronix: Power & Memory Usage Of GNOME, KDE, LXDE & Xfce". Phoronix. Archived from the original on 3 September 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Features - Porteus - Portable Linux". Porteus.org.
  3. ^ "Download Ubuntu Desktop | Download | Ubuntu". www.ubuntu.com. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Download Lubuntu - Community Help Wiki". Help.ubuntu.com. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  5. ^ Rob Zwetsloot. "ArchBang Linux 2012.12 Review – Lightweight Arch". LinuxUser. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  6. ^ Justin Pot (6 October 2011). "ArchBang Is Lightweight & Always Up To Date". MakeUseOf. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  7. ^ "Debian Dog is a Useful Pocket Pup". Linux Insider. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Debian Dog on Github". Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  9. ^ "ArchLabs Makes Up for Parabola's Curve Balls". linuxinsider.com. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Free GNU/Linux distributions". gnu.org. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  11. ^ "absolute linux home page". Absolutelinux.org. Archived from the original on 2018-01-25. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  12. ^ "The Slackware Linux Project: Installation Help". Slackware.com. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  13. ^ "absolute linux downloads page". Absolutelinux.org. Archived from the original on 2018-01-16. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  14. ^ "Requirements". wiki.alpinelinux.org.
  15. ^ "Category:Desktop". wiki.alpinelinux.org.
  16. ^ "About". alpinelinux.org. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  17. ^ "Main Page - antiX". antix.mepis.org. 2016. Archived from the original on 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  18. ^ "Main Page – antiX". antix.mepis.org. 2012. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
  19. ^ a b c "What is Persistent Linux". pendrivelinux.com. 20 May 2009.
  20. ^ Nitesh. "Bodhi Linux is a Lightweight Linux Distribution". Ubuntu Vibes. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  21. ^ "System Requirements". Bodhi Linux. 2020-11-23. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
  22. ^ a b "Installation". BunsenLabs. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  23. ^ "3. Installing CRUX". Crux.nu. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Minimum Hardware Requirements". DSL Wiki. damnsmalllinux.org. Archived from the original on 2018-06-13. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  25. ^ "What is DSL?". Damn Small Linux. 2010. Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  26. ^ "GoboLinux 016 Release Notes". Gobolinux.org. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  27. ^ "GoboLinux download page". Gobolinux.org. Archived from the original on October 24, 2002.
  28. ^ "KNOPPIX - Live Linux Filesystem On CD". Knopper.net.
  29. ^ Bezencon, Jerry. "Linux Download - Download Linux Lite Free Linux Operating System". Linuxliteos.com.
  30. ^ "Taking a new direction". Lubuntu.
  31. ^ "requirements". LXLE Linux Wiki. LXLE. 2022.
  32. ^ "Home". Nanolinux Wiki. SourceForge. 2017.
  33. ^ "Nanolinux". Linux Distributions. Softpedia. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  34. ^ "OpenWrt Buyer's guide". OpenWrt. 2018.
  35. ^ "Luci". user guide. OpenWrt. 20 February 2018.
  36. ^ "PCLinuxOS Requirements of XFCE Desktop edition". PCLinuxOS. 2020.
  37. ^ "1. Download and Install". Peppermint, LLC. 2015. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  38. ^ "Features - Porteus - Portable Linux". Porteus. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  39. ^ "Minimum System Requirements". Puppy Linux. 2017. Archived from the original on 2018-08-14. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  40. ^ "Index of /puppylinux/puppy-slacko-6.3.0/64/". distro.ibiblio.org. Ibiblio.
  41. ^ Hell-Noire, Paul (July 2010). "Puppy Linux 5.0 Review - Lightweight, Fun, Fast!". raymond.cc. Archived from the original on July 11, 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  42. ^ "What Is the Best Lightweight Linux Distro?". ITgirl.tech. 2019-09-15. Retrieved 2019-10-13.
  43. ^ "Salix Downloads". Salix OS.
  44. ^ M, Tomas. "Download - Slax Linux". Slax.org. Archived from the original on 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  45. ^ Lincoln, Christophe (2017). "SliTaz LiveCD Flavors". SliTaz.
  46. ^ persistence can be added rather easily, though
  47. ^ "Tiny Core Linux Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)". Tiny Core Linux. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  48. ^ http://tiny.slitaz.org/
  49. ^ "Lubuntu". Ubuntu Wiki. Ubuntu / Canonical. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  50. ^ "Minimum hardware requirements". TurnKey GNU/Linux docs. TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library. 2017.
  51. ^ "TurnKey Core - Debian GNU/Linux with Batteries Included". TurnKey Linux. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  52. ^ "TurnKey Linux 13 Has Been Released!". Unixmen. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  53. ^ "VectorLinux Editions". VectorLinux.
  54. ^ "Live Images". Void Linux Docs. Void Linux. Archived from the original on 2021-12-09. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  55. ^ "Enter the void - Downloads". Void Linux. Archived from the original on 2021-12-09. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  56. ^ "System Requirements". Xubuntu.
  57. ^ "Zenwalk Current 15.0 Santa Claus edition". 10 December 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2021.