Light-weight Linux distribution

A light-weight Linux distribution is a Linux distribution that has lower memory and/or 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.

Lubuntu is described by its developers as light-weight in comparison to Ubuntu

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 Unity or Gnome. These variants include the Xubuntu and Lubuntu distributions for the comparatively light-weight Xfce and LXDE desktop environments.

The demands that a desktop environment places on a system may be seen in a comparison of the minimum requirement of Lubuntu 10.10 and Ubuntu 10.10 desktop editions. The only significant difference between these two distributions released in October 2010 was their desktop environment: While Ubuntu 10.10 included the Unity desktop, Lubuntu 10.10 included LXDE. And, while the minimum requirements of Ubuntu 10.10 were a 2 GHz processor and 2 GB of RAM,[3] the minimum requirements for Lubuntu 10.10 were 128 MB of RAM and a Pentium II.[4]

Overview of some distributionsEdit


ComparisonEdit

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[9][10]

iceWM Slackware XPKGTOOL 2264 MB[11] Desktop 2020 Absolute Linux Team 2007 Absolute Linux Team
Alpine Linux awesome, MATE, Xfce[12] BusyBox, musl APK 8 MB (container), 130 MB (disk) Lightweight desktop, security[13] 2020 Alpine Linux development team 2010 LEAF Project members
antiX CPU: Intel/AMD X86

RAM: 256 MB [14]

IceWM, Fluxbox, JWM MEPIS < Debian Synaptic[15] 700MB Base, 1GB Full, 310MB Core Desktop, portability (with persistence)​[16] 2020 Anticapitalista 2007 Anticapitalista
Bodhi Linux[17] CPU: 32 bit 500 MHz (non-PAE)

RAM: 512 MB [18]

drive: 5 GB

Moksha (a fixed E17) Ubuntu < Debian APT 575 MB (Standard),
1024 MB (AppPack)
Desktop 2018 Bodhi Linux team 2011 Bodhi Linux team
BunsenLabs Linux RAM:

256 MB to run X[19]
1 GB for Firefox
2+ GB recommended

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

1.1 Gb (i386, AMD64)[19]

LiveCD, LiveDVD, lightweight desktop 2020 Core maintainers 2015 Core maintainers
CRUX RAM: 192 MB (2017)[20] OpenBox - pkgutils 1773 MB BSD / experienced users, lightweight 2020 Core maintainers 2002 Per Lidén
Damn Small Linux CPU: 486dx

RAM: 8 MB[21]

Fluxbox, JWM - APT (optional)[22] 50 MB Desktop 2008 2005 John Andrews, et al.
GoboLinux RAM: 128 MB RAM

1+ GB for full graphic[23]

CPU: x86_64

Awesome - 958 MB[24] desktop 2017 GoboLinux team 2003 Hisham Muhammad and André Detsch
Knoppix RAM:

32 MB text

512 MB LXDE

1 GB recommended[25]

CPU: 486

LXDE Debian dpkg 701 MB Live 2020 2000 Klaus Knopper
Lightweight Portable Security iceWM ArchLinux 390 MB Secure live operating system 2017 United States Department of Defense 2011 United States Department of Defense
Linux Lite RAM: 768 MB (2020)[26]

disk: 8 GByte

Xfce Ubuntu APT 955 MB Desktop (Windows users) 2020 Jerry Bezencon 2013 Jerry Bezencon
Lubuntu RAM: 1 GB

CPU: 386 or Pentium

LXDE Ubuntu APT 916 MB lightweight desktop 2020 Lubuntu team 2009 Lubuntu team
LXLE RAM: 512 MB (2017)[27]

CPU: Pentium III (2017)

LXDE Ubuntu LTS APT 1300 MB older computers, intermediate users 2020 LXLE team 2012 Ronnie
Nanolinux RAM: 64 MB (2017)[28]

CPU: 486

SLWM on Nano-X Tiny Core Linux;[29] 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)[30] 64 MB recommended

None (headless server) - Includes LuCI admin UI[31] - opkg 6 MB SOHO Routers 2020 OpenWrt developers 2004
PCLinuxOS

CPU: 64-bit (from 2016)

RAM: 2 GB (2020)[32]

KDE, MATE, XFCE Mandrake APT-RPM 1.0-3.8 GiB Live 2020 Bill Reynolds 2003 Bill Reynolds
Peppermint Linux OS

CPU: x86

RAM: 512 MB (v6, 2015)
2 GB recommended[33]

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

CPU: 32 bit

RAM: 36 MB[34]

(multiple) Slackware USM 260 MB (LxQt) lightweight, portable (with persistence)[16] 2018 Porteus 2010 Fanthom
Puppy Linux

RAM: 256 MB (2017)[35]

JWM-2.3.2 Ubuntu LTS from Puppy 6 Puppy Package Manager 234 MB (Slacko)[36] portable (with persistence),[16] lightweight[37] 2020 Puppy Foundation 2003 Barry Kauler
Salix OS

RAM:: 512 MB

CPU: Intel Pentium III 1 GHz[38]

Hard drive: 8 GB

MATE, KDE, Xfce, Fluxbox, Openbox Slackware slapt-get 613 MB (Fluxbox), 852 MB (MATE live)[39] desktop 2016 Tomas Matejicek 2002 Tomas Matejicek
Slax

RAM:128MB (2017)[40]

without web browser

KDE till Slax 8
Fluxbox since Slax 9
Slackware till Slax 8
Debian from Slax 9
APT 226 MB[41] portable 2020 Tomas Matejicek 2002 Tomas Matejicek
SliTaz

RAM:

24 MB loram-cdrom[42]

128 MB loram

Openbox - TazPkg 50 MB Portable. Live (no persistence by default)[43] 2020 dev team 2008 Christophe Lincoln
SulinOS

CPU: Core2Duo

RAM: 256 MB

512 MB recommended

LXDE, Xfce,

Openbox, i3, Gnome,

Fluxbox, Mate

- inary 480MB Portable, Live 2020 Sulin Community 2016 Suleyman Poyraz, Ali Riza Keskin
Tiny Core Linux

CPU: 486DX

RAM: 46 MB[44]

FLTK/FLWM Tiny Core Linux appbrowser (GUI) tce (CLI) 11 MB (Core), 16 MB (TinyCore), 106 MB (CorePlus) portable, advanced 2020 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[45] Down to 800KB, likely a 1.44MB floppy Portable. Live (no persistence by default) 2020 dev team 2016 Pascal Bellard
Trisquel Mini

RAM: 256 MB [46]

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[47]

None (headless server) - Includes Webmin admin UI Debian (a minified base)[48] dpkg 212 MB (Core) Lightweight headless server[49] 2020 TurnKey Linux team 2008 Alon Swartz, Liraz Siri
VectorLinux Light

RAM:

64 MB Light edition

96 MB Standard

256MB Live[50]

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

CPU: ARMv6

Pentium 4 (SSE2)


RAM: 96 MB

hard drive: 350 MB[51]

Enlightenment, Cinnamon, LXDE, LxQt, MATE, Xfce, or none[52] - XBPS 250 MB (i686, without desktop environment) Desktop/​embedded 2018 Juan RP and contributors 2008 Juan Romero Pardines
Xubuntu

RAM: 512 MB (2017)[53]

Xfce Ubuntu APT 960 MB lightweight desktop 2020 Xubuntu team 2008 Xubuntu team
Zenwalk Xfce Slackware netpkg 974 MB desktop 2018 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 alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  43. ^ persistence can be added rather easily, though
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