Return to Level1Techs.com

Recommended Distro for low specs


#1

I am currently running Ubuntu on my old pc but its struggling.
The specs are

  • q8300 cpu

  • 4gb ddr3 1066 ram

  • Gt320 graphics card

*g41t-am rev1.1 motherboard
is there a lightweight distro alternative I could use?


#2

Maybe try lxle. It doesn’t use a lot of RAM and is based on Ubuntu.

There is also Void Linux. If you are more comfortable with Ubuntu, I would stick with lxle.

Is this really your motherboard? When I google that all I see are talks about that being a BIOS version.

Also, if you could list what you would like to do with your PC. There may be a distro out that that will better suit what you want to do.


#3

Most distros that I have used are pretty lightweight, its the DE and applications that can make or break performance though. What programs and DE are you using?


#4

my mistake.
g41t-am rev1.1


#5

I am using the gnome as the DE. I don’t run any demanding software.


#6

What software in general. When do you notice it struggles?

Just for example. I run a headless linux server with ubuntu on it. It has an AMD 5350, which is about 25% slower than your q8300.

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core2-Quad-Q8300-vs-AMD-Athlon-5350-APU-R3/m1930vsm10020

it uses a little more than ½GB ram with pihole, and a few game servers.

It never seems to miss a beat for me.

What isnt working for you?


#7

I pretty much only use chrome with a few tabs open for the most part. The most demanding game I play is stardew valley through steam .


#8

So I’m going to let you in on a secret that I’m also coming to realize. Chrome on linux is NOT as good as it is on windows. It uses more CPU and it was already a resource hog in the first place.

Is there a behavior in particular with chrome that you dont like?

As far as stardew valley goes. Do you have the nonfree drivers enabled? Nouveau is pretty junk in comparison to the binary drivers for performance. Search drivers in the menu to check if you dont know. IIRC it defaults to Nouveau.


#9

Is firefox or chromium a better alternative?

I have the nvidia binary drivers installed.


#10

I will take a look lxle. Thanks.


#11

TBH, I’m still using chrome :joy: I couldnt tell you. Probably firefox since chromium is just FOSS chrome. A lot of people here enjoy vivaldi and I think its probably closer to the chrome experience than firefox is.

If I were to recommend you switch anything it would be your DE and not your distro. You dont have to buy a new car just because the one you have is running bad, ya know?

LXDE, XFCE, MATE, Cinnamon, all solid options IMO. Run them live and see which one feels significantly better. You can then choose to install just the DE on your existing install.


#12

Well LXDE looks to bare to me. I think XFCE is still light (350~ MB whole Xubuntu 18.04 installation) and looks modern enough.
For the browser Firefox is the recommended over Chrome/Chromium. Much lighter and works just as well.
Maybe you should keep being on Ubuntu (Xubuntu or Lubuntu) because of the easier access to non-GNU packets.


#13

Thanks for the advice. I will take a look at your suggestions.


#14

I second Xubuntu. Perhaps MX Linux or a headless Ubuntu install with Open Box? You can try Bunsen Labs as it comes with Debian and Open Box configured. Maybe this does not fit your use case but Alpine Linux with XFCE is very fast and light on resources.


#15

I’d say anything other than vanilla Ubuntu, plus Firefox, would give a better experience. I don’t know if Gnome + Wayland has negative performance issues with older hardware, and as mentioned Chrome can be pretty heavy.

I am a huge LXLE fan and run it on most of my machines. Unfortunately they aren’t making any more releases with LXDE being mostly dead in the water as distro’s and resources move over to LXQt. I’m running Lubuntu 18.10 (for newer hardware support) which has LXQt, but I have a C2Quad Q6600 running Mint Cinnamon, as well as some Intel Atom machines running various DE’s like XFCE and Deepin.


#16

Mint xfce. Ubuntu MATE.

Or perhaps if you want really light weight puppy linux. might need a bit of tinkering though.


#17

U got those backwards my friend. REEEEEE

/s

I highly recommend mint. If I had to install linux on my desktop today, it would be mint.