It is an old Toshiba, intel pentium(R) M processor 1.73GHz, 2BG RAM. The previous owner installed Windows 7 on it. It's ok but I want to try a lightweight and small Linux based OS. It will be used primarily for connecting to Amazon AWS via SSH, and SFTP client and a browser, and most likely Atom editor. That's probably be all.
I recommend using Lubuntu, because it's very easy to use and it's lightweight. It ran fine on my Asus EEE PC 701 with a 800 MHz processor and 512 MB RAM...
Based on your knowledge and your flavour there are various distributions for your need:
- Gentoo Linux (maybe with a build host - personal I used this on a 256MB 800 MHz embedded Box and it runs very, very smooth)
For better recommendations it's real important, that you tell us something about yourself: how big is your knowledge, how many time do you have, how complicated is ok, etc etc
Tinycorelinux has a lot of bugs, so I tried many different distributives but hit the same issue: the problem is not GUI itself, so Lubuntu and similar can not help you, even OpenBox and JWM did not help me, the kernel of the modern Linux is too heavy weight. So, I found 2 solutions: 1) to compile own kernel 2) to use really super lightweight distribution which has lightweight kernel as well. I found such distro, it's AntiX - it work for me on 32 bits Intel Core Due, with 2Gb. All other "lightweight" distributions had performance issue. AntiX has own lightweight kernel, AntiX does ot use systemd, these 2 facts make it the most lightweight distribution which can be used without problems with software (like in toy distro "TinyCore" with very special packaging and many bugs).