Best of the Lightweight Linux distro


Lightweight Linux Distribution

A lightweight Linux distribution (ram running Linux) is a Linux distribution that uses relatively few resources. That ability allows them to be very fast, since reading and writing data from ram is much faster than on a hard disk drive. Many of these operating systems will run from a Live CD or another removable media.



Lubuntu is an Ubuntu-based distribution which uses the lightweight LXDE desktop environment, which in recent versions has recommended you have at least 512MB RAM. Lubuntu can run in 128MB RAM. Lubuntu can run from live CD or USB drive. A big advantage of Lubuntu is that it’s based on Ubuntu, so you have access to Ubuntu comprehensive support forums and compatible software. The default browser is Chromium. Chromium is open source browser on which Google’s Chrome is based. For word processing and spreadsheet work you have the lightweight Abiword and Gnumeric packages, which may not be as powerful as OpenOffice or LibreOffice but start quickly and are far less resource-hungry.

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Puppy Linux


Puppy Linux is the smallest Linux distro. The distro is unusual in that it loads itself entirely into RAM on bootup.  128MB of RAM is the minimum.It can be easily installed on CD and USB drive. Puppy manages to pack a lot of programs in to a small space. For graphics, there’s a lite version of Inkscape, a few camera tools, MTPaint and Gxine. Browsing and mail is taken care of by a full version of SeaMonkey rather than separate apps, while Gnumeric and AbiWord should suffice for most office purposes.

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SliTaz download size of just 30MB. SliTaz is the inclusion of a fully functional web server (Lighttpd) with PHP and CGI support. There’s also SSH and FTP tools for all your server needs. The lightweight has different variants that can even ran from a computer with a memory as low as 16 MB. The maximum ram requirement for any version is less than 200 MB. With its full features.

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Alpine Linux

Alpine Linux 2.5.3-500x500

Alpine Linux began as a fork of the LEAF project. The members of LEAF wanted to continue making a Linux distribution that could fit on a single floppy disk, whereas the Alpine Linux wished to include some more heavyweight packages such as Squid and Samba, as well as additional security features and a newer kernel. One of the original goals was to create a framework for larger systems although usable for this purpose, this is no longer a primary goal.

Alpine Linux is a Linux distribution based on uClibc and BusyBox, which has the goal of being lightweight and secure by default while still being useful for general-purpose tasks. Alpine Linux uses PaX and grsecurity patches in the default kernel and compiles all packages with stack-smashing protection. It is primarily designed for x86 routers, firewalls, VPNs, VoIP and servers.

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Peppermint Linux OS is a cloud-centric OS based on Lubuntu, a derivative of the Ubuntu Linux operating system that uses the LXDE desktop environment. But it’s built with cloud computing in mind. Despite its lightweight desktop, the developers recommend you have at least 192MB RAM. There are no office applications such as Abiword, Gnumeric or OpenOffice instead the Office menu has links to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Reader. Instead of opening in the preinstalled Chromium web browser. If you’d like to work offline as well as in the Cloud, you can use the Synaptic Package Manager to install additional software packages; for example, you could install Libreoffice or OpenOffice and sync your files to the Cloud using the preinstalled Dropbox client.

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Damn Small Linux


Damn Small Linux is a mini Linux variant with a size of less than 50 MB. Starting from a ram size of as low as 16 MB it can be run at its full capacity on a 128 MB RAM with blazing fast speed. It can be run from a live CD or USB drive. It also has server capabilities with SSH/FTP and HTTPD. It comes with a decent number of applications that can be needed in basic OS.

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