I will be installing Linux in my system which is a very old system and I will use it for casual work and basic programming . Configuration:

processor Intel core 2 duo E7400 2.80 GH;
Ram 2 GB Disk 500 GB

I am already using Ubuntu 19 in my laptop .So I want to try something new , lite and faster os . I will remove windows completely and install Linux. Suggest OS that works fast in this configuration and does not freeze up.

Do give some best suggestion of any linux distros apart from ubuntu 19

  • 1
    – 59507
    Sep 15, 2019 at 19:43
  • which one there are so many distros?
    – SKB
    Sep 15, 2019 at 19:56
  • Any choice is a good choice! This is the mother of all "primarily opinion based" closings. :D
    – 59507
    Sep 15, 2019 at 19:58
  • i dont want my os to freeze if install randomly any ...so want to selective
    – SKB
    Sep 15, 2019 at 20:00

5 Answers 5


Use Lubuntu with its lightweight LXDE desktop.

I've used it last year, and it worked smoothly on an old netbook such as yours.
What didn't work properly was recognizing the latest WLAN (WPA2 authentication, VPN stuff). Simple WLAN setups work, and anything works eventually from the command line, but don't expect the GUI tools (that sit in the statusbar) to recognize the latest and greatest enterprise-grade stuff.

  • Lubuntu is more lightweight than Ubuntu or Kubuntu, but - I wouldn't really call it lightweight. More like mid-weight.
    – einpoklum
    Oct 29, 2023 at 22:34

I have experimented a lot with my old Acer Extensa 5690EZ (4 GB RAM, Core2Duo). The only modern OS I can recommend you is FreeBSD 32bit. Your 2GB RAM will suffice if you go for 32bit, even if you open a dozen of tabs on Firefox. FreeBSD is lighter on CPU and RAM than Linux.

When installing FreeBSD, choose UFS1 file system and discard soft updates (SU) in "Options". When watching YouTube (set 240p-360p quality) your CPU will show only ca 21-23% load max. As desktop you better choose Lxde or Mate. OpenOffice runs on low end machines snappier than LibreOffice. VLC didn't run well at first, so I use SMPlayer instead.

Last but not least, FreeBSD delivers shier fantastic sound compared to Windows or Linux, and has a reasonable fonts rendering out of the box (google for "freebsd graphics", install "drm-kmod").


I would recommend Linux Mint Mate


It works like charm on old computers. An alternative is Linux Mint Xfce which is even a bit less resource requiring.


Want even lighter? Use Antix 21 (get the runit version). It only consumes around 200mb ram after desktop load using fluxbox-zzz. It even less if you use Minimal Icewm.

Want snappier? Use Puppy Linux fossapup64 installed to hdd, but it consumes 500+mb ram after desktop load.

Both run 64bit.

I love both running in my Probook 5310m (intel Core2Duo SP2400, 2MB ram, HDD 160GB). Cause both so small (Puppy linux less than 500mb and Antix 1.5Gb), I got plenty empty storage.

Want even smaller? But its not Linux, try KolibriOS (100mb) or MenuetOS (20mb). Both snaps like lightning from boot to operation, just dont expect lots of apps like linux do.

  • That's four answers. Please post them separately so they may be voted upon and accepted separately.
    – Chenmunka
    Aug 29, 2022 at 10:37
  • What is the "runit" version?
    – einpoklum
    Oct 29, 2023 at 22:35

I'd stick with Ubuntu just to make your life easier since you have learned that package management, etc. Just get rid of Gnome3/Unity and install a lighter weight desktop like one of the *box variants or Xfce

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