Best Linux Distros to revive old PCs, netbooks and computers with underpowered hardware, 2GB of RAM or low memory

Linux old PCs Those who own an old computer or a notebook with only 2 GB of RAM can avoid installing Windows (by now too thinking) and focus instead on lightweight Linux distributionscapable of running in very little memory and reviving computers that are too old to do anything.

Computers refurbished with Linux are excellent for surfing the web, reading email, checking social networks, watching some streaming videos and downloading large files, without being victims of the typical slowdowns of Windows.

In this article we will show you the best Linux distros to use on older PCsgiving maximum prominence to the amount of RAM memory required to make it run very well.

READ ALSO -> The 10 Most Used Linux Distros in the World

1) Free MATE

Free MATE Among the best lightweight Linux distros we find Free MATEbased on the Ubuntu repositories but supplied with the MATE graphical environment, much lighter than GNOME or any other environment used.

MATE is based on the old GNOME 2, for many the best environment ever seen on Linux, of which it faithfully follows the structure of the bars, the extreme level of customization, the rapid start-up of the desktop and programs and the extreme lightness in memory. To run this environment and the operating system, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of free disk space are sufficient.

2) Ubuntu

Lubuntu Another light distribution based on Ubuntu and installable on all older computers is Lubuntueven lighter than MATE thanks to the use of LXDE as a graphics environment.

By installing this distro we will get a system as fast as the old Windows XP but compatible with all the most modern programs, leaving a large part of the memory for apps and for running browser tabs. Lubuntu can run on computers that only have 1GB of RAM.

3) Linux Lite

Linux Lite Linux Lite it is a distribution as light as a “feather”, not surprisingly the icon and symbol of the distribution since its inception.

This distro (based on Ubuntu LTS releases) features an extremely light and fast desktop with any type of processor and with any amount of memory, thus leaving most of the resources to your favorite applications. Linux Lite runs with just 768MB of RAM and can also be installed on computers without TPM (a feature required to run Windows 11).

4) Peppermint OS

Peppermint OS Another valid distribution for old PCs and notebooks with a few years behind them is Peppermint OSbased on Ubuntu and of which it shares lightness in memory and access to the repositories provided by each type of application.

The desktop used on this system is Xfce, an excellent compromise between lightness and usability, supported by the Nemo file manager (also very light, effective and simple to use). 1 GB of RAM and 20 GB of free disk space are sufficient to run on the PC.

5) Manual Linux Xfce Edition

Manual Linux Xfce Edition If we don’t want to use an Ubuntu-based distribution but still want a light distro we can download and install Manual Linux Xfce Edition.

This distro is based on Arch Linux (of which it shares the repositories and update packages) but, compared to the distribution on which it is based, it is very simple to use and effective in reviving a computer with a few years on its shoulders, thanks to the using Xfce as a desktop environment. 1 GB of RAM is enough to run the system very well.

6) Zorin OS Lite

Zorin OS Lite It certainly stands out among the most beautiful and light distributions that we can try Zorin OS Litea heavily customized distribution that draws inspiration from Windows for managing windows and launching programs.

Zorin OS Lite is based on Ubuntu and uses Xfce as a basic graphical environment (which we have already appreciated the lightness of in other distros that use it), optimized in this system to work as if it were Windows (with the bar at the bottom and the Start-like key). Zorin OS Lite runs with only 1 GB MB of RAM installed, ideal for reviving really old PCs.

7) Other lightweight Linux distros

In addition to the distributions seen so far, we can try other ones that are very light or designed to run on old laptops or computers with 2 GB of RAM still good for many basic tasks:

1) Puppy Linux it contains a collection of graphics and office software and apps, for surfing the internet, listening to music and watching videos. Puppy Linux is designed to be extremely lightweight and consumes only 100MB of space once installed, 256MB if you want to include the full OpenOffice suite. Puppy Linux loads into your computer’s RAM, so it’s super fast and apps open instantly. You can also save your files and customizations to the USB drive containing Puppy Linux.

2) Antix is a similar, fast, lightweight distro that installs live on a CD or USB stick, for 32bit x86 only computers. The goal of antiX is to provide a fully functional and flexible free operating system for both novice and experienced Linux users. It should work on most computers, even Intel Pentium 2 or AMD single core, with 128MB of RAM minimum. The full installer requires a minimum hard drive size of 2.2GB.

3) EasyPeasydeveloped for older netbooks but still installable without problems on other computers with little RAM, looks similar to Ubuntu but much lighter.

4) Elementary OS, the easiest system to use to have a Mac-like computer, using very little system memory and reproducing many of the graphic effects seen on Macs.

5) Bodhi Linux is another lightweight implementation based on Ubuntu and capable of giving new life to really old computers, thanks to an operating system optimized to consume little RAM.


Depending on the age of the computer and its hardware components it is possible to revive an old computer or laptop with low RAM tooting Windows and installing Linux with the distributions listed here.

Some are ideal for machines that have a single core processor or 1GB of RAM, while others are best on computers that have 2GB of RAM (not even half of it, leaving plenty of room for applications).

The advice we give you is to do some tests by installing the distributions on a USB stick using UnetBootinthe flagship program for create a bootable Linux USB stick on each computer.


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