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Thread: Need a lightweight distro...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Whakatane, NZ
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    Ubuntu

    Question Need a lightweight distro...

    Hi all,

    I have an old PC which runs XP and Ubuntu 12.04 atm, however 12.04 seems very slow and sluggish. So I'm looking at replacing it with a fully customisable distro which will run WINE programs as well as 12.04.

    I kind of like Fedora, but not sure how lightweight it is in comparison to 12.04, and doesn't seem very customisable. I've tried the Ubuntu Gnome remix which resembles Fedora in looks but doesn't seem more lightweight. Both Xubuntu and Lubuntu look pretty ugly out of the box, though possibly customisable enough to look more presentable.

    Can anyone suggest any other suitable distros which might help?

    Cheers.
    Windows free since '09 - never looked back!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Maine
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    1,315
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Need a lightweight distro...

    Hi Baldrick_NZ,

    What is going to be the primary purpose of the machine?

    That desire may drive your choice. Fedora in my opinion is no lighter than Ubuntu. You may want to Give Bodhi a try though it's based on Ubuntu 12.04 but uses the lightweight E-17 desktop which is very customizable.
    There is always Puppy but I don't use it for security reasons here but it will fly on older equipment. and is passable in looks.

    Good Luck I'm sure you'll get more suggestions.
    Dave
    Registered Linux User #462608
    ubuntu 14.04 LTS ; xubuntu 14.04 LTS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    England
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    13,567

    Re: Need a lightweight distro...

    If you like the ubuntu way of doing things in general, ie the update manager, synaptic (I know it's not in 12.04 as default, but I can't manage without it), using sudo instead of a root account, etc etc, you should certainly try Lubuntu. It is Ubuntu with LXDE desktop and lubuntu themes, and it is very fast and brilliant on older machines.

    If it ran XP it will run Lubuntu like a dream.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 12.04-64bit --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Mystletainn Kick!
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    4,129
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Need a lightweight distro...

    You can always try something like crunchbang.

    http://crunchbanglinux.org/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    8

    Re: Need a lightweight distro...

    Have you tried Xubuntu or Lubuntu in depth ? I have this same issue of old machine and it's running smooth with Xubuntu 12.04, it's way faster then Ubuntu 12.04. And in my opinion, Xfce is way prettier than Unity or Gnome 2.

    I think the distro speed is somewhat more measured by the graphical environment than other aspects.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    140

    Re: Need a lightweight distro...

    Is your PC a desktop or a laptop? What year is it from? (PCs were still sold with XP until mid or late 2009) If your PC supports DDR3, PCI X16 version 2, I would probably recommend an upgrade over reinstalling everything.

    If it's early 2000s I would recommend a source distro over a binary distro but that depends on how well do you know linux. I personally use Funtoo as it's optimized for the newer intel core and xeon cpu's where as Gentoo has a generic stage3 tarball.

    You could still use ubuntu 12.04 and just uninstall Unity and go with Openbox if you don't want to compile everything from source.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Hidden!

    Re: Need a lightweight distro...

    Give Bodhi linux a try. It's Ubuntu based, so you'll still have access to all the repos and software. It comes with E17, which provides A LOT of eyecandy without slowing your system down.

    What I like best is that the install is pretty minimal, so you can choose most programs and utilities you want to use (Plus it's a quick download)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    7,749

    Re: Need a lightweight distro...

    What are the hardware specs of the machine?

    Here is some visual inspiration for theming Xubuntu and Lubuntu:

    http://xfce-look.org
    http://lxde.org/lxappearance_change_look_feel

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Arizona USA
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    249
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Need a lightweight distro...

    I tried Bohdi yesterday. I liked the minimalist look.

    Then came the learning curve and where is this and that.

    I couldn't figure out how to access my other drives/devices so that I could get files from 12.04.

    Scrolling through the menus reminded me of Windows XP.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Turkey
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    Re: Need a lightweight distro...

    Try Debian. You choose the packages so it will be VERY minimal. You could install LXDE.

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