I'm looking for a Linux-based operating system that can run on an early 1999 computer that has the following specifications:

  • Intel Pentium III processor, 450 MHz
  • Up to 384 MB RAM maximum
  • 8 MB dedicated video memory
  • 10 GB PATA HDD (though can be changed out)

I'd like an operating system that is freely downloadable, Linux-based, that can run modern productivity applications and Web browsers that use modern JavaScript and HTML5, and on which I can easily install other applications that have been built for Linux. I'd also like it to be currently supported and updated, and for me to be able to install updates on it, if possible.

Software that I've thought of, but doesn't really fit my bill:

  • Lubuntu: while this would have been my choice a few years ago, newer versions as of 14.10 require a Pentium 4 processor, and since 18.04, the operating system no longer focuses on older systems. I thought of installing 12.04 or 14.04, which reportedly work well on this type of system, but those are unsupported today.
  • Puppy Linux: I can't find proper requirements for this operating system, and the few pages I looked at seem to say that this requires quite a bit more RAM to work successfully, since the entire operating system is loaded into RAM.
  • Legacy OS 2017: this operating system was specifically designed for systems like mine, but looking through reviews of it, it seems hard to install other applications onto it than what came with it originally. Many of its built-in applications are also out-of-date (e.g. Opera 12). It's also not updated, and at least one source I found said it's the "last" version of the operating system.

1 Answer 1


https://distrowatch.com/ lists several distributions of Linux. "Tiny Core Linux" has a 486 version.

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