I need a Linux distribution for a laptop that is pretty old. Here are the laptop specs:

  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 2 GB hard drive (flash)
  • Intel Celeron CPU

The main limitation that I have found is hard drive size. I have tried using a few distributions such as Porteus Linux but those types of distribution are not really designed to be installed on a hard drive and I need to install this distribution on a hard drive. I have also tried Lubuntu but my computer can not run the full version only the alternate install.

Here are my requirements for this distribution that I want:

  • A distribution that is preferably not portable and is designed to install on a hard drive.

  • A distribution that is less than 2 gigabytes installed on the hard drive.

  • Something gratis but this should be pretty easy as almost all distributions are free.

  • I need a Linux distribution with a GUI. I would also like a web browser included with the is or room on the hard drive to install a web browser.

  • 1
    This is pretty much a FAQ. Have you searched this forum? Did you Gogole? What have you already tried?
    – Mawg
    Feb 10, 2016 at 8:41
  • 1
    2gb really small, and makes not much sense with the amount of ram. Also what sort of celeron? Feb 10, 2016 at 15:23
  • Have a look at tinycorelinux
    – Marged
    Feb 10, 2016 at 16:12

3 Answers 3



This is probably best sought out on DistroWatch. Personally I would highly recommend LXLE as it covers:

  • This is freeware;
  • This is designed to be installed on a HDD;
  • This distribution has a GUI;
  • This distribution has a web-browser

This however has one fatal flaw - it requires 8GB of HDD Space according to this Wiki.

If you need to stick to less than 2GB HDD, then you may want to view this wiki.

Alternatively, the best option I could provide (for one I have tried) would be PuppyLinux. This should be able to allow you to web browse on a pretty low end machine:

ople have succeeded in running Puppy with a 333MHz CPU and 64MB. However having 256MB RAM and a 512MB swap file is more realistic.

Hope this helps.


I would like to recommend Slitaz. It's really tiny in every way - low RAM usage, and the install ISO fits into 50MB or so. It can be installed on a hard drive if desired.

Slitaz has a GUI with a built-in lightweight web browser, with Firefox and Chrome/Chromium available for installation separately. The last stable release is from more than 3 years ago, but a rolling release version is still being maintained as of 2018.

Please be aware that since this is a slightly obscure distro, which means that you may have trouble obtaining some of the less popular software as an official package. In that case, you will have to search for unofficial builds or statically-compiled versions of the package, or compile yourself from source.


DamnSmallLinux is a popular option. It takes up very little space on the HDD, it's free and it runs really well on computers with low specs. The GUI is pretty standard, but not the most prettiest, but it can be customized however you'd like.

  • Please keep in mind that DamnSmallLinux was last updated in 2008. As much as I love that distro, it's probably chock-full of security vulnerabilities by now, so I wouldn't recommend connecting it to the Internet (OP specifies web browser, so that's implied). There are also other issues common to all vintage OSes, such as very outdated drivers (no support for a lot of modern hardware), browsers that don't support modern HTML, CSS and JS features (broken site layout), and little/no support for modern HTTPS cipher suites (problematic as more and more of the Web becomes HTTPS-first or HTTPS-only).
    – Pabru
    Feb 8, 2018 at 19:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.