Freebie    An article by Vikas    15 Comments

5 Free Lightweight Linux Distros

Open Source Operating Systems like UNIX and Linux are a huge success despite other available options like Apple Mac OS or Windows OS. It might be obvious thing that other two major OSs are pure commercial software whereas Linux is popular because it’s available for free with great device and media supports. One more major reason behind Linux popularity might be its availability in different taste and types.

There are various Linux versions available with different look and feel having major features of Open Source OS. Some of them are quite heavy and need proper installation to use them correctly while some are in small size but big surprise package in terms of services. It might be a hard decision to switch your existing OS to new one, because it generated lots of headache with all boring installation procedures.

Here, we are listing 5 super cool, full of services but lightweight Linux distributions which don’t need any hectic installation. Just burn them onto CDs and play with the all new interface of Linux.


1. Damn Small Linux

Damn Small Linux is a business card size (50MB) live CD Linux distribution. Despite its minuscule size it strives to have a functional and easy to use desktop. Damn Small Linux has a nearly complete desktop, including XMMS (MP3, and MPEG), FTP client, links-hacked web browser, spreadsheet, email, spellcheck (US English), a word-processor, three editors (Nedit, nVi, Zile [emacs clone]), Xpdf, Worker (file manager), Naim (AIM, ICQ, IRC), VNCviwer, SSH/SCP server and client, DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE, a web server, calculator, Fluxbox window manager, system monitoring apps, USB support, and soon it will have PCMCIA support as well. If you like Damn Small Linux you can install it on your hard drive. Because all the applications are small and light it makes a very good choice for older hardware.


2. Linux Mint 11

Linux Mint 11’s  new features at a glance: One click install for multimedia codecs and extra applications The Software Manager UI improvements New splash screen Fonts category More accurate package information More application icons by default More accurate search by default.


3. Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux is yet another Linux distribution. What’s different here is that Puppy is extraordinarily small, yet quite full-featured. Puppy boots into a ram-disk and, unlike live CD distributions that have to keep pulling stuff off the CD, it loads into RAM. This means that all applications start in the blink of an eye and respond to user input instantly. Puppy Linux has the ability to boot off a flash card or any USB memory device, CDROM, Zip disk or LS/120/240 Super-disk, floppy disks, internal hard drive. It can even use a multisession formatted CD-RW/DVD-RW to save everything back to the CD/DVD with no hard drive required at all.


4. SliTaz

SliTaz GNU/Linux is a mini distribution and live CD designed to run speedily on hardware with 256 MB of RAM. SliTaz uses BusyBox, a recent Linux kernel and GNU software. It boots with Syslinux and provides more than 200 Linux commands, the lighttpd web server, SQLite database, rescue tools, IRC client, SSH client and server powered by Dropbear, X window system, JWM (Joe’s Window Manager), gFTP, Geany IDE, Mozilla Firefox, AlsaPlayer, GParted, a sound file editor and more. The SliTaz ISO image fits on a less than 30 MB media and takes just 80 MB of hard disk space.


5. Tiny Core Linux

Tiny Core Linux is a 10 MB graphical Linux desktop. It is based on the Linux 2.6 kernel, BusyBox, Tiny X, Fltk, and Flwm. The core runs entirely in memory and boots very quickly. The user has complete control over which applications and/or additional hardware to have supported, be it for a desktop, a nettop, an appliance or server; selectable from the project’s online repository.

15 Comments + Add Comment

  • I use LUbuntu. rocks.

  • Linux Mint is not really a lightweight distro. You may want to change that.

    • I second that. Mint is in the same category with Ubuntu and Fedora. Maybe you meant community based LXDE edition, but you should specify.

  • Excellent line up. We are going to be linking to this excellent write-up on our website. Sustain the great producing.

  • How can Linux Mint 11 be lightweight when it’s Ubuntu based?

  • You forgot Arch Linux. It’s small, fast, popular, and very complete. Combined with LXDE (instead of GNOME or KDE), it’s lightning fast and very memory efficient.

  • Check out AntiX. It’s about 600mb but designed to run well on older hardware. It’s a very mature project and will give you little difficulty post installation.

  • There is also Slickware linux. It’s also small. Try it.

  • What about Arch Linux, you’re really not going to get smaller than that.

    All you get after it’s installed is a couple TTYs, your basic networking packages, and a sweet package management system (which is awesomely called pacman).

    I also agree with Rage and Rocco, Linux Mint isn’t lightweight at all, it comes with MATE (their spin of Gnome2), Gnome-Shell, and Cinnamon, none of which should be considered lightweight. Gnome’s nice, it’s my preferred DE, but it’s not “lightweight”.

  • If you list Linux Mint in a lineup of lightweight distro’s that I have to assume you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • I’ve read a few good stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much effort you put to make this type of excellent informative web site.

  • Where’s the crunchbang? I think #! deserves somewhere in the list.

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