General Question

clodoveo's avatar

Which lightweight linux distribution can you recommend me to install in an old compaq presario to use just for web browsing and other simple tasks?

Asked by clodoveo (78points) August 11th, 2009

I have an old compaq presario C500 that i’d like to use in my home to have easy access to the internet and maybe other activities like watching images from a usb drive and so.

I was thinking about installing ubuntu (basically the only distro i’ve used besides debian), but I think it may be too “heavy” for the computer, since it has just a celeron M processor (at 1.73Ghz) and 512Mb of RAM memory.

I would like to install a really lightweight distro, that runs smoothly and start quickly, but I don’t know any other besides debian-based distros, I’ve googled about it but I would appreciate your opinion and read about your experiences, thank you ;-)

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6 Answers

se_ven's avatar

I’ve heard of several, but haven’t tried any. Check out They often do articles on linux distros including what you’re talking about.

Also, this one and this might help

eambos's avatar

Puppy and Damn Small are great for an old system. You’ll have short boot times and very little system resource usage.

Either one should be fine, it’s just up to you to chose which you prefer.

clodoveo's avatar

Thanks for the answers! I’m trying xubuntu 9.04 to see how it goes!

Ivan's avatar

Yeah, I was going to recommend Xubuntu. Puppy Linux is another option, although the learning curve might be a bit steep if you’re used to Ubuntu. I wouldn’t try Damn Small Linux, it’s more of a tech-demo than an actual distro.

Vincentt's avatar

<3 Xubuntu

I think Ubuntu would run too, but Xubuntu would run better and is a great distro anyway. (Note that I’m biased, as I’m involved in the development community of Xubuntu.)

You might also want to investigate ext4 as filesystem – startup will be blazing fast and performance is also supposed to be better.

styfle's avatar

I have a 6 year old laptop (craptop) with a 2.0GHz celeron and 512 RAM that gets killed by ubuntu and even xubuntu for some reason. The most success I’ve had was running puppy linux, because it just loads into RAM. Its also the only distro that actually worked correctly with my wireless card. I would definitely try it out because you can’t do any damage since it doesn’t install anything.

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