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I am looking for recommendations for an OS to run on older hardware yet will still receive security updates.

My requirements:

  • The OS must be 32 bit
  • There must be active updates planned for the next two years
  • It must be able to run on older hardware

A nice to have would be a simple GUI.

My normal go to (Xubuntu/Lubuntu) no longer supports 32 bit and the last LTS edition that supported 32 bit, stopped receiving updates in April 2021. This seems to be the trend for many of the main distros of Linux.

Any suggestions or recommendations are greatly appreciated.

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If you're on *buntus, can't go wrong with debian - the current release is bullseye and since its upstream of ubuntu, many of the tools with be familiar.

Since bullseye was just released this year - you should get at least 3 years of support - and you can find a live install cd or DVD with a supported Desktop Environment or install from a minimal environment on very resource constrained systems where you want a semi-bespoke build.

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I suggest Zorin Lite, ideal for basic use on low-spec PCs up to 15 years old

Here the requirements:

  • CPU 700 MHz Single Core – Intel/AMD 64-bit or 32-bit processor
  • RAM 512 MB
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  • What concerns me about this suggestion is that Zorin Lite 15.3 is forked from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS which is itself EOL. Thanks for the suggestion though!
    – Burgi
    Sep 20 at 15:19
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Maybe you can try Tiny Core Linux - it is a very small linux distribution, not a fork from another distribution, it has 32 bit and 64 bits versions, and it is actively developped: "only the core needed to boot into a very minimal X desktop typically with wired internet access. The user has complete control over which applications and/or additional hardware to have supported ... selectable by the user by installing additional applications from online repositories."
They have a LiveCD so you can test it. The basic distro size is only 21 Mb; when you run it you download what you want/need.

If you like it, you can install it to a (bootable) pendrive or to your HDD ...

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