Light-weight Linux distribution

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

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.

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. Some distributions include only light-weight desktop environments. For example, Porteus comes only in LXDE, XFCE and MATE editions, while Zenwalk comes only with XFCE and Openbox.

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 distributions[edit]

  • Alpine Linux – security-oriented, based on musl and BusyBox.[5]
  • antiX – light-weight version of its parent distribution MEPIS Linux, based on Debian testing. Package manager: Synaptic[6]
  • ArchBang – inspired by CrunchBang Linux but based on the Arch Linux distribution instead of Debian. It uses the light-weight Openbox Window Manager to achieve the same look and feel.[7][8]
  • BasicLinux – a very light-weight distribution[9][10]
  • Bodhi Linux – a light-weight and minimalistic distribution[11]
  • Damn Small Linux – Additional software available as "DSL Extensions" and using the Debian APT tool, which has to be installed.[12][13]
  • DebianDog - Debian Live CD shaped after Puppy Linux. It is packaged with JWM and IceWM, or Openbox and XFCE. Debian structure and behaviour are untouched.[14][15]
  • DietPi - Debian-based light-weight system created originally for Raspberry Pi boards, but today it has got downloadable images for several ARM-based SBCs and x86 PCs as well[16]. Also includes an own setup utility[17] with choice to install popular optimized software.
  • Lightweight Portable Security – a light-weight live desktop-oriented distribution based on Arch Linux
  • Linux Console - A light-weight distribution (684 MB) with excellent hardware detection which features several games to appeal to kids. It was developed independently in France and not based on any other Linux distribution. [18][19]
  • Linux Lite – A light-weight distribution with the XFCE desktop environment designed with new Linux users in mind.
  • Lubuntu – lighter weight than Ubuntu which it is based on, thanks to LXDE.[20]
  • Nanolinux – a distribution based on Tiny Core Linux.[21]
  • Peppermint Linux OS Peppermint is built on the Ubuntu code base, using the LXDE windows manager, and elements from XFCE for configuration menus. For older hardware (ie, Atom, Athlon, 386) it is strongly recommended to not go beyond PepperMint 6 version, which is significantly faster than versions 7 or 8, which require a little more CPU power and RAM in order to run satisfactorily. Recommended minimum system requirements for Peppermint 6 and earlier are 512MB RAM and most processors. For the latest versions, 1GB of RAM, Pentium dual-core processor, but 2GB or more are recommended for more comfortable use.
  • Porteus – Comes with the LXDE and KDE desktops. As of 2017 their "build" server is no longer online, and only a generic ISO with no functional browser is available for download only from mirror sites.
  • postmarketOS - a light-weight Linux distribution for smartphones derived from Alpine Linux
  • Puppy Linux – light-weight relative to most other Linux distributions[22]. Package Manager: Puppy Package Manager (PPM).
  • SliTaz – Can run completely in RAM. Package Manager is Tazpkg with its repository of packages[12] It uses the OpenBox windows manager for a modern, user-friendly experience. Most hardware is supported, requiring very minimal RAM, as even the Raspberry Pi will work. Despite its small size, it supports over 200 Linux commands.
  • Tiny Core Linux – Software repository: TCZ packages[23]
  • Trisquel Mini – lightweight version of Trisquel, with LXDE[24]
  • TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library - lightweight[25] headless server software appliance library. Based on a minified Debian base.[26] and uses ~173MB RAM (idle in Live mode).
  • Void - general purpose operating system based on Linux kernel, relies on xbps package manager, written from scratch with a 2-clause BSD license.

Comparison[edit]

Distribution Founder Maintainer Initial release year Latest release year Approximate file size Desktop Environment / Window Manager Fork Target audience Minimum system requirements
Absolute Linux Absolute Linux Team Absolute Linux Team 2007 2015 698 MB[27] iceWM - desktop
  • 486 processor
  • 64 MB RAM (1GB+ suggested)[28][29]
antiX Anticapitalista Anticapitalista 2007 2016 555 MB (Base), 654 MB (Full), 128 (Core) Fluxbox MEPIS < Debian Desktop, portability (with persistence[30])
  • Intel/AMD X86
  • 256 MB RAM[31]
BasicLinux † Steven C. Darnold NZ 2000 2005 (v3.5) 2.8 MB (floppy) JWM window manager BusyBox --Slackware Desktop
  • 386 CPU
  • 3 MB RAM [32]
Bodhi Linux Bodhi Linux Team Bodhi Linux Team 2011 2017 575 MB (Standard), 1024 MB (AppPack) Moksha (a fixed E17) Ubuntu < Debian Desktop
  • 500 MHz processor
  • 128 MB of RAM [33]
  • 4 GB of drive space
BunsenLabs Linux Core Maintainers Core Maintainers 2015 2016 825 MB OpenBox Debian Stable Desktop
  • RAM (2017): 256 MB[34]
Damn Small Linux John Andrews, et al. 2005 2008 50 MB Fluxbox, JWM - Desktop
  • CPU: 486dx
  • RAM: 8 MB[35]
CRUX Per Lidén Core maintainers 2002 2017 1773 MB OpenBox - BSD/experienced users, Lightweight
  • RAM (2017): 192[36]
GoboLinux Hisham Muhammad and André Detsch GoboLinux Team 2003 2016 958 MB[37] Awesome - desktop
  • x86_64 processor
  • 128 MB RAM (1 GB+ suggested for full graphical use)[38]
Knoppix Klaus Knopper 2000 2017 701 MB LXDE - Live
  • 486 CPU
  • 32 MB RAM (text)
  • 128 MB RAM (LXDE)
  • 512 MB RAM (recommended)[39]
LinuxBBQ Julius Hader BBQ team 2013 2016 285 MB several (>75) Debian, Slackware Desktop
  • RAM (2017[40]): 256 MB
Lightweight Portable Security United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense 2011 2016 390 MB iceWM ArchLinux secure live operating system ?
Linux Lite Jerry Bezencon Jerry Bezencon 2013 2016 955 MB XFCE Ubuntu Desktop (Windows users)
  • RAM (2017[41]): 256 MB
Lubuntu Lubuntu team Lubuntu team 2009 2017 916 MB LXDE Ubuntu lightweight desktop
  • CPU: 386 or Pentium
  • RAM: (2017[42]) 256 to 512 MB
LXLE Ronnie LXLE team 2012 2016 1300 MB LXDE Ubuntu LTS older computers, intermediate users
  • CPU (2017): Pentium III
  • RAM (2017[43]): 512 MB
MX Linux[44] anticapitalista MEPIS Community - 2016 1024 MB Xfce 4 antiX < MEPIS < Debian Midweight Desktop
  • CPU: 486
  • RAM (2016[45]): 512 MB
Nanolinux Georg Potthast Georg Potthast - 2015 19 MB SLWM on Nano-X MicroCore Linux with BusyBox Lightweight, Runs on RAM, advanced
  • CPU: 486
  • RAM (2017[46]): 64 MB
PCLinuxOS Bill Reynolds Bill Reynolds 2003 2017 833 MB (LXDE)[47] KDE, LXDE, MATE Mandrake Live
  • CPU: 64 bits (from 2016)
  • RAM (2017): 512 MB[48]
Peppermint Linux OS Peppermint, LLC Peppermint, LLC 2010 2017 1332 MB LXDE Lubuntu desktop
  • x86 processor
  • 512 MB RAM (2 GB recommended)[49]
Porteus Fanthom Porteus 2010 2016 260 MB (LxQt) (multiple) Slackware lightweight, portable (with persistence[30])
  • 32 bit CPU
  • 36 MB RAM[50]
Puppy Linux Barry Kauler Puppy Foundation 2003 2015 234 MB (Slacko)[51] JWM-2.3.2 - portable (with persistence[30]), lightweight
  • RAM (2017[52]): 256 MB
Salix OS Tomas Matejicek Tomas Matejicek 2002 2016 613 MB (Fluxbox), 852 MB (MATE live)[53] MATE, KDE, Xfce, Fluxbox, Openbox Slackware desktop ?
Slax Tomas Matejicek Tomas Matejicek 2002 2017 226 MB[54] KDE Slackware portable
  • RAM (2017[55]): 128 MB without web browser
SliTaz Christophe Lincoln dev team 2008 2017 50 MB Openbox - portable, no persistence by default[56]
  • RAM (2017[57]): 24 MB (loram-cdrom), 128 MB (loram),
Tiny Core Linux Robert Shingledecker Team Tiny Core 2009 2016 11 MB (Core), 16 MB (TinyCore), 106 MB (CorePlus) FLTK/FLWM Tiny Core Linux portable, advanced
  • CPU: 486dx
  • RAM: 46 MB[58]
Trisquel Mini Rubén Rodríguez Pérez (quidam) Rubén Rodríguez Pérez (quidam) 2005 2014 609 MB LXDE Ubuntu LTS Free software: desktop
  • Pentium II CPU
  • 256 MB RAM[59]
TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library Alon Swartz, Liraz Siri TurnKey Linux Team 2008 2016 212 MB (Core) None (headless server) - Includes Webmin admin UI Debian Server - novice to expert users
  • RAM (2017[60]): 256 MB
VectorLinux Light - - 2001 ? 2016 618 MB Several / IceWM Slackware Desktop
  • RAM: 64 MB (Light edition), 96 (Standard edition), 256 (Live edition)[61])
Void Linux Juan Romero Pardines Juan RP and contributors 2008 2017 250MB (i686 w/o DE) Enlightenment, Cinnamon, LXDE, MATE, XFCE or none [62] - Desktop/embedded
  • Pentium 4 (SSE2) or ARMv6
  • 96 MB RAM
  • 350MB hard drive[63]
Xubuntu Xubuntu team Xubuntu team 2008 2017 960 MB Xfce Ubuntu lightweight desktop
  • RAM (2017): 512 MB[64]
Zenwalk Jean-Philippe Guillemin dev team 2004 2016 974 MB Xfce Slackware desktop ?
Distribution Founder Maintainer Initial release year Latest release year Approximate file size Desktop Environment / Window Manager Fork Target audience Minimum system requirements

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Larabel, Michael. "Phoronix: Power & Memory Usage Of GNOME, KDE, LXDE & Xfce". Phoronix. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Features - Porteus - Portable Linux". 
  3. ^ "Download Ubuntu Desktop | Download | Ubuntu". www.ubuntu.com. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Lubuntu - Community Help Wiki". help.ubuntu.com. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Alpine Linux Wiki". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  6. ^ "Main Page – antiX". Antix.mepis.org. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  7. ^ Rob Zwetsloot. "ArchBang Linux 2012.12 Review – Lightweight Arch". LinuxUser. Retrieved 2012-12-21. 
  8. ^ Justin Pot. "ArchBang Is Lightweight & Always Up To Date". MakeUseOf. Retrieved 2011-10-06. 
  9. ^ Keesan, Sindhi (October 2009). "BL on CF IDE drive". Archived from the original on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  10. ^ BasicLinux (n.d.). "BasicLinux". Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  11. ^ Nitesh. "Bodhi Linux is a Lightweight Linux Distribution". Ubuntu Vibes. Retrieved 2011-05-05. 
  12. ^ a b Moparx (April 2008). "SliTaz: A light-weight GNU/Linux distribution". Linux Infusion. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  13. ^ Damn Small Linux (n.d.). "What is DSL?". Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  14. ^ "Debian Dog is a Useful Pocket Pup". Linux Insider. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "Debian Dog on Github". Retrieved 16 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "DietPi - Lightweight justice for your SBC". dietpi.com. Retrieved 2017-07-23. 
  17. ^ "DietPi / Fuzon • View topic - DietPi-Software | Details for ALL installation options". dietpi.com. Retrieved 2017-07-23. 
  18. ^ https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=linuxconsole
  19. ^ "Linux Console". Retrieved 16 June 2017. 
  20. ^ Lubuntu Developers (December 2010). "Lubuntu". Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  21. ^ "Softpedia". Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  22. ^ Hell-Noire, Paul (July 2010). "Puppy Linux 5.0 Review - Lightweight, Fun, Fast!". Raymond. Archived from the original on July 11, 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  23. ^ Lynch, Jim (July 2009). "Tiny Core Linux 2.1". Desktop Linux Reviews. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  24. ^ "Trisquel 5.0 Release announcement". The Trisquel Project. September 17, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  25. ^ "TurnKey Linux 13 Has Been Released!". Unixmen. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 
  26. ^ "TurnKey Core - Debian GNU/Linux with Batteries Included". TurnKey Linux. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 
  27. ^ "absolute linux home page". 
  28. ^ "absolute linux home page". www.absolutelinux.org. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  29. ^ "The Slackware Linux Project: Installation Help". www.slackware.com. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  30. ^ a b c "What is Persistent Linux". 
  31. ^ "Main Page - antiX". antix.mepis.org. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  32. ^ http://distro.ibiblio.org/baslinux/
  33. ^ "System Requirements". Bodhi Linux. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  34. ^ https://www.bunsenlabs.org/installation.html
  35. ^ "Minimum Hardware Requirements - DSL Wiki". damnsmalllinux.org. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  36. ^ https://crux.nu/Main/Handbook3-3#ntoc10
  37. ^ "GoboLinux download page". 
  38. ^ "GoboLinux 016 Release Notes". www.gobolinux.org. Retrieved 2016-12-30. 
  39. ^ http://www.knopper.net/knoppix-info/index-en.html
  40. ^ https://linuxbbq.org/cream.html
  41. ^ https://www.linuxliteos.com/download.php#requirements
  42. ^ http://lubuntu.me/xenial-released/
  43. ^ http://wiki.lxle.net/doku.php/requirements
  44. ^ "MX Linux". Archived from the original on 2016-03-22. 
  45. ^ https://mxlinux.org/user_manual_mx15/mxum.html#toc-Subsection-1.3
  46. ^ http://sourceforge.net/p/nanolinux/wiki/Home/
  47. ^ "Index of /communityiso/LXDE". 
  48. ^ https://www.pclinuxos.com/about/
  49. ^ "1. Download and Install". Peppermint, LLC. Retrieved November 10, 2016. 
  50. ^ "Features - Porteus - Portable Linux". www.porteus.org. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  51. ^ "Index of /puppylinux/puppy-slacko-6.3.0/64/". 
  52. ^ http://www.puppylinux.org/wikka/MinimumSystemRequirements
  53. ^ "Salix Downloads". 
  54. ^ Tomas M. "Download - Slax Linux". 
  55. ^ http://www.slax.org/en/introduction.php
  56. ^ persistence can be added rather easily though
  57. ^ http://www.slitaz.org/en/get/flavors.php
  58. ^ "Tiny Core Linux Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)". www.tinycorelinux.net. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  59. ^ "Lubuntu - Ubuntu Wiki". wiki.ubuntu.com. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  60. ^ https://www.turnkeylinux.org/docs/hardware-requirements
  61. ^ http://vectorlinux.com/products
  62. ^ https://www.voidlinux.eu/download/
  63. ^ https://wiki.voidlinux.eu/Live_Images
  64. ^ http://xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/requirements/

External links[edit]