Is Linux good for older computer?

United States
March 25, 2009 6:43pm CST
I have an old computer at home. I didn't use it for while, but I also don't to get rid of it. I just want to use it for surfing the web. The newest Windows, such XP or Vista won't compatible with this machine. I just wonder if Linux is the desired one to install on my old computer? Since so people recommended it. It is open - source windows, and it is easy to installed. Any suggestion or recommendation?
2 people like this
11 responses
@KupoSin (680)
• United States
25 Mar 09
well even with linux, there are multiple variations of the system. for a computer with minimal resources, you should use Xubuntu. it requires very little system resources and is perfect for older machines. it is also very user friendly since it is very similar to Windows XP. i use this for my laptop that is almost 7-8 years old and cannot run Windows XP without becoming slow as a snail. ever since i started using Xubuntu on my laptop, i havent seen anything comparable here is the link if you need it http://www.xubuntu.org
• United States
25 Mar 09
I learn something new today, thanks for your tips!
• United States
30 Mar 09
I'd suggest Zenwalk, personally. I hear it's more lightweight than Xubuntu, and I use it on a ~10-year-old laptop (500MHz Pentium III processor, 320MB RAM, 10GB hard drive). It runs a sight faster than Windows 2000, which I also have installed for when I need Windows applications. Also, a suggestion: If you want to use an old computer for web browsing, use Opera as your browser. It's incredibly lightweight and responsive compared even to Firefox 3.
@jason1308 (1587)
• France
26 Mar 09
Depending on your exact specs of the computer, I would be tempted to go for Puppy Linux. This distribution is ideal for older computers, I ran it a while ago on a P233 and it ran like a dream, surfed the internet with Firefox lovely and smoothly. Ran a bit slow with You Tube though although this is really down to the hardware and not the operating system. Others you could try, which are ideal for older computers are Damn Small Linux, Slackware, Vector and Arch Linux. I suggest you go to Distrowatch.com and they list them all there, download a few live cd's and see what runds the best although I would be tempted to use either XFCE or Fluxbox as your Desktop enviroment, as KDE and Gnome could be too bloated for your system. Hope this helps you a bit
• United States
30 Mar 09
I used Damn Small with Fluxbox for a couple of years on a PII/300MHz/128MB laptop. My concern is that Fluxbox is too unintuitive for the average user who's just sick of Windows and isn't expecting to spend a lot of time poking around and getting the hang of a new set of menus. I could use Fluxbox full time without much problems, but for my old on-the-go laptop XFCE is easy enough to use my friends aren't totally mystified when they borrow it.
• Philippines
21 Apr 09
Yes, low memory requirement.
@prajnith (942)
• India
3 Apr 09
both puppy linux and dam small linux runs fine on old pc's but i have run pclinux os ,xandros,fedoracore on my PII ~400 MHZ 192 MB CPU and it ran fine. linux will run on old systems even with 128 MB ram but some linux like ubuntu are not compatible with old hardware so you might face problem like serial mouse wont be detected or sound card wont be detected..
@amitnaik (471)
• India
27 Mar 09
Its a good idea to install a linux on an old PC. i would recommend ubuntu/linux mint.As the requirements of these is quite low. if you have 512mb ram then open suse 10.3 is best to install. thanx.
@h8739182 (448)
• India
27 Mar 09
If your computer is very old then most of the newer distributions like Fedora or Ubuntu might now work well with it as these distribution are memory hungry and require good amount of space on your hard drive to be installed. Before installing any distribution which check their website for the hardware compatibility list of that distribution. For older hardware you might want to try a Linux distribution called Puppy Linux. It has very small footprint as the entire cd ISO image itself is around 50 MB. The send cool this about this distribution is it can be run as a LIve CD mode so you do not have to install it on your hard drive. Do have a look at their website:: http://www.puppylinux.org/ Take care.
• United Arab Emirates
27 Mar 09
Yup Ubuntu linux..infact almost any linux is pretty good for old systems..
• India
26 Mar 09
yes linux is better for old computers .You have to load old version of linux for better performance because old systems have veryless mb hdd.If you want to load new vwersions you hhave to install with 3 or 4 cds.
• India
26 Mar 09
Here i like to add if you have less memory (hard disk space) you can go for DSL (damn small linux).Even you can use it without installation as a live CD . Visit www.distrowatch.com and choose your Linux Distro as per your choice. Thanks.
@phoenix79 (304)
• United States
25 Mar 09
Red Hat Linux is a good distribution of Linux. Go to linux.org and fsf.org. These are good site for those of us who are pro open source. The fsf or the free software foundation gives a list of open source programs. Most of them are available with no cost to the user.
@underdogtoo (9601)
• Philippines
25 Mar 09
You could try installing ubuntu linux. I have tried it and it has a pretty good desktop on it which is easy to use. Cheers!!