8 Lightweight Linux Distros Ideal for Intel Atom Processor PCs

MakeUseOf | 8/2/2019 | Bertel King, Jr.
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Intel’s Atom processor is a line of low-voltage microprocessors that first appeared in 2008. They power many ultra-portable devices, like netbooks, net-tops, and tablets. But the power efficient Atom quickly showed its limits in keeping up with current software.

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Device - Collect - Dust - Closet - Life

That doesn’t mean you should let your Atom-powered device collect dust in a closet! You can bring it back to life with a Linux distribution. Linux operating systems generally use fewer system resources than their Windows counterparts, and there are no shortage of options.

Here are the best lightweight Linux distros for netbooks with Intel Atom processors.

Linux - Memory - Footprint - Pawprint - Drives

Puppy Linux boasts a tiny memory footprint (or pawprint). It’s roughly 300MB and can live on flash drives and DVDs. You can even run the entire operating system from RAM. Doing so lends a speedy experience on any device, overcoming slow hard drive read-write speed. This makes Puppy Linux an ideal version of Linux for netbooks.

Puppy Linux versions are based on Ubuntu long-term support releases, so you can keep this desktop installed for a long time.

Lubuntu - Newer - Versions - LXQt - Desktop

Lubuntu pitches itself as both lightweight and fast. Newer versions use the LXQt desktop environment, though the most recent long-term support version still provides LXDE. Lubuntu provides a good netbook Linux desktop for people who don’t want to tinker with their computer all that much.

Looking for a new Linux desktop environment with a light footprint? With the latest release of LXQt, your wish has been granted.

System - Requirements - Lubuntu - Website - RAM

System requirements are undemanding. The Lubuntu website recommends 1GB of RAM for intensive web apps like YouTube, Facebook, and Google Docs.

When it comes to Linux distributions, Mint is one of the more popular options. The Ubuntu and Debian-based distribution has a modern, simple elegance. It’s pretty user-friendly, too. Apps and multimedia codecs are easy to find.


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