Best Smallest & Lightweight OS for Low End PC & Laptop [August 2023]

Do you have a low-end PC that is running extremely slow right now? Your Oldest Windows Computer is too slow to start, and looking for a Windows 11 or Windows 10 Alternative? If yes is your answer, we have some best lightweight OS for low-end PCs and Laptops. Below, we list the 15 best light OS based on August 2023 selection. First, review those lightweight OS for old laptops, computers, and desktops.

Lightweight Operating System for Laptop and PC

As we all know, the latest Windows 11 comes with many animations and effects, and it is a bit heavy to run on most Windows 10 devices. Because of this, Microsoft even restricted the new Windows 11 to some high-end hardware devices.

Moreover, most older laptops are 32-bit; hence, running the latest windows on those devices is difficult. However, there is no doubt that Linux always offers the best experience, even on a low-end PC. So here, we will list some small and lightweight OS in the Linux Platform for a better experience.

Best Lightweight OS For Old Laptop & Desktop

The following are the best lightweight and smallest operating systems based on Linux for your old Laptop and PC. We added CloudReady to this list as an excellent choice if you use your low-end PC primarily for browsing. The following selection is based on the essential usage need that gives a new life to the old PC.

The best OS for Gaming is not considered the primary criterion in the review. Instead, the best OS is for Daily Usage, Productivity, Browsing, Streaming, etc. And for older 32-bit systems, you can also consider them the best os for 32-bit laptops and PCs.

1. Lubuntu – Best OS For Low End PC

Lubuntu is a lightweight, fast operating system made especially for low-end PC users. You should try it now if you have 2 GB ram and an old-generation CPU. For smooth performance, Lubuntu uses minimal desktop LXDE, and all the applications are very lightweight.

Therefore, all the users can easily use Lubuntu OS without any issues. It is the preferable OS used by low-end PC users worldwide. Since most the old Windows PC are incompatible with the latest Windows 11 OS, it can be considered a good and most diminutive windows os alternative.

It comes in three installation packages, and you can go for the desktop package if you have less than 700MB RAM and 32-bit or 64-bit choices. For installation purposes, you only require 64 MB of RAM. In most situations, 128 MB of RAM is the best requirement for it.

Highlights of Lubuntu

  • RAM: 512MB(128MB min)
  • 32-bit & 64-bit
  • Fork-Ubuntu
  • CPU: Pentium 4 or Pentium M or AMD K8
  • Window Manager: LXDE, Openbox
  • Latest Version: Lubuntu 23.04 (Released on April 2023)

2. Xubuntu – Best Free Operating System for Laptop and Desktop

Xubuntu is really perfect and highly recommendable to your low-end PC. It is a plug-and-play operating system for your computer, which can quickly run with minimum resources. If you are a basic user with a low-end PC, Xubuntu has a pre-built package allowing you to run everything you need.

Using Xubuntu, you can easily use a web browser to go online, access office applications, email clients, and media applications to handle all of your photos and videos. Your daily tasks will be done smoothly without any issues and run perfectly on your low-end PC.

Highlights of Xubuntu

  • RAM: 1024MB (512MB min)
  • 32-bit & 64-bit
  • Latest Version: Lubuntu 23.04 (Released on April 2023)

3. Linux Lite – Best Linux for Low-End Laptop

Another best lightweight OS for your low-end PC is Linux Lite. As the name says, Linux Lite is super-lite and can run on low-spec PCs. Linux Lite is based on Ubuntu’s LTE version, which guarantees long-term support. In addition, Linux Lite is an XFCE-based OS.

The OS has helpful software like Libre Office, Thunderbird, VLC, etc. In addition, however, you can download thousands of Linux-based apps from the software center. In addition, Linux Lite will give your old PC a new life.

Highlights of Linux Lite

  • RAM: 1024MB (512MB min)
  • CPU: 1.5GHz (700MHz Min)
  • 32-bit & 64-bit
  • Latest Version: Linux Lite 6.4 (Released on April 2023)

4. Manjaro XFCE Edition – Smallest Operating Systems For Laptops

Manjaro is another Linux based best operating system that comes in different desktop versions, including KDE Plasma, GNOME, XFCE, and MATE. However, the XFCE desktop will be faster and less resource-using type. So if you hold a PC or a Laptop with 2GB or less RAM, we recommend using the XFCE desktop, which can increase the PC’s speed.

Highlights of Manjaro XFCE Edition

  • RAM: 512MB
  • CPU: Pentium
  • Minimum 30GB Disk Space Receomemdned
  • Latest Version: Manjaro 22.1 (Released on April 2023)

5. Arch Linux – Lightweight Operating System

Arch Linux is another lightweight Linux distro. This distro comes with minimal GUI elements, making the OS and PC perform fast. Since the minimal GUI setup, some people may find it difficult to do the configuration. Apart from the basic configuration, the rest are done using Shell commands. However, you might not find it very difficult if you have used Linux before.

Highlights of Arch Linux

  • RAM: 128MB min (256 MB RAM)
  • CPU: i686-based or x86-64
  • 32-bit & 64-bit
  • Latest Release: (2023) Released on July 2023

6. Zorin OS – A Good Choice as a Windows Alternative OS

Zorin OS is an Ubuntu Linux-based multifunctional and the best os for an old laptop specially designed with a unique look and features. Zorin OS is the best choice if you are a newcomer to Linux. The users can trust its rock-solid performance, dependability, and support.

As we have already mentioned, Zorin OS has its unique style and features. It provides unique programs like Background Plus, Web Browser Manager, etc. You can use Zorin OS with the operating system you are currently using, and if you need to run Microsoft Windows programs with Zorin OS, you need the help of PlayOnLinux and WINE.

After one year after the last update, on August 2021, Zorin released the latest version, the Zorin OS 16 with a more refined look and feel. It looks closer to Windows and Mac combined.

Highlights of Zorin OS

  • RAM: 64MB Min
  • CPU: 400MHz Min
  • 32-bit & 64-bit
  • Latest Version: Zorin OS 16.2 (Released on October 2022)

7. Bhodi Linux – Lightest OS For Linux Lovers

Like other Linux distros, Bhodi Linux is another excellent and lightweight Linux distro. The OS is super light and is updated regularly. Bhodi Linux uses a different e-desktop environment which is named Moksha. Bhodi Linux only has basic apps like File Manager, Text Editor, etc. You can install all other apps on your preference.

Highlights of Arch Linux

  • RAM: 512MB (128MB min)
  • CPU: 1GHz (500MHz Min)
  • 32-bit & 64-bit
  • Latest Version: 6.0.0 (Released on May 2021)

8. PeppermintOS – Light OS for Old Laptop

Peppermint Linux is another Ubuntu LTE based Linux distro. The OS comes with basic apps only, making it lightweight and working faster on low-end computers. The desktop environment used is Peppermint Linus LXDE, a Lightweight X-Desktop Environment. Since it is based on Ubuntu LTE, you will get long-term support.

Highlights of Peppermint Linux

  • RAM: 1024MB (512MB min)
  • CPU: Intel x86
  • 32-bit & 64-bit
  • Latest Version: PeppermintOS (Released on November 2022)

9. Raspberry Pi OS Lite – Best OS for Laptop and Desktop

Raspberry Pi OS Lite is almost like the Debian operating system. It’s an image-based OS; instead of a desktop, it boots to a command line. Raspberry Pi OS Lite needs only a low amount of RAM and CPU usage.

Highlights of Raspberry Pi OS Lite

  • Kernel version: 5.10
  • 32 bit & 64-bit
  • Latest Version: (Released on September 2022)

10. Elementary OS – Mac OS Like Linux Distro

Elementary OS is another excellent Linux distro based on the Ubuntu LTS. The OS is small and powerful. The most important highlight of Elementary OS is its UI. Unlike the other Linux distros, Elementary OS looks more polished and resembles the look and feel of Mac OS. If you are looking for a low-end OS and, on the other side, need a much-polished UI, then Elementary OS is the best choice.

Highlights of ElementaryOS

  • CPU: Intel i3
  • 64-bit
  • Latest Version: Elementary OS 7 (Released on January 2023)

11. PopOS – Pop!_OS

PopOs is another excellent operating system for low-end PC. It comes under the Linux family that runs on the latest GNOME interface. In addition, PoP OS is based on the newest ubuntu and was launched in 2017. if your PC or laptop is older and won’t work perfectly with Windows, you can try pop os as it works smoothly without any issues.

Highlights of PopOS

  • Kernel Type: Monolithic (Linux kernel)
  • 64-bit
  • Latest Version: Pop!_OS 22.04 (Released on April 2022)

12. NimbleX – Fastest OS for Old Laptop

NimbleX is a small but lightweight operating system for your low-end computer that can boot from the network, CD, and even flash memory (USB pens or Mp3 players). However, you should understand that it runs only from a USB, CD, or network, not require installation.

Using this low-end PC operating system, you can easily browse the web with Firefox and chat with your friends with the help of the Kopete multi-protocol IM application, use DC++, download torrents with Transmission, and much more. Unfortunately, NimbleX is not actively developing now, and we can see there has been no update or the past few years.

Highlights of NimbleX

  • RAM: 256MB
  • CPU: Pentium II
  • 32-bit & 64-bit
  • Latest Version: NimbleX 2008 (Released on July 2008)

13. CloudReady – ChromeOS For Super Light PC Experience

Even though the above list is based on the Linux operating system, we can consider CloudReady too for a super-light PC experience, especially for those who use the computer mainly for browsing. CloudReady is a ChromeOS alternative developed by a company called Neverware.

The primary motive of CloudReady is to provide the same ChromeOS experience to unofficial Google ChromeOS devices. The good news is that Google acquired Neverware and officially offers a near ChromeOS experience to any device.

Since ChromeOS is super lightweight and developed especially for browsing, you will see an excellent improvement in the performance once CloudReady is installed. Many users are complaining that the Chrome Browser takes 5-10 seconds even to open on a normal Windows machine.

It is not the case with CloudReady. The browser gets open instantly on CloudReady. If you wish to use your old computer mainly for browsing purposes, consider CloudReady. However, for heavy usages like video editing, photo editing, and other programming-related activities, CloudReady won’t be a good option.

14. Chrome OS Flex

Chrome OS Flex is a lighter version of the original Chrome OS for any PC. Currently, Chrome OS is available only for selected OEM devices, and you cannot install the official chrome os on any other device. Now Google has come up with a lighter free version of Chrome OS called Chrome OS Flex, a Google-modified version of Cloud-ready.

With the existing CloudReady feature, Google rebranded the same as Chrome OS Flex and offered it free for all other devices. Since it is a lighter version, some features like APK support are unavailable with Chrome OS Flex. But Chrome OS Flex offers low-end computers a light and seamless PC experience.

Are they Best OS for 32-Bit Laptop

You may know that most of the old laptops are 32-bit systems, so many users are asking which is the best for a 32-bit laptop. Currently, most of the open-source developers stopped support for the 32-bit version of the operating system and concentrated only on the 32-bit versions.

However, some of the latest stable version of the smallest operating systems still works on the 32-bit system. So if not working on your 32-bit laptop, you need to use the older version of the 32-bit os.

15. Ubuntu Server – Light OS (Bonus OS For Special Purpose)

If you want to convert your old laptop or PC to a lightweight PC to perform server-related functions, you can use the Ubuntu Server OS. Since the Ubuntu Server OS doesn’t have GUI, it is extremely lightweight and works smoothly on almost all old computers.

Best Operating System for Gaming

As you know, windows were always the best operating system for gaming, and almost all the games work flawlessly on high-end Windows PC. However, since we are discussing light and small free operating systems for low-end PC, we can say zorin os and elementary os are some good free operating systems for gaming on low-end pc.


These are the smallest operating systems and light OS for your low-end PC. These operating systems allow you to handle your daily tasks without bugs or issues. Choose any of the operating systems mentioned above by considering your overall requirements.

7 thoughts on “Best Smallest & Lightweight OS for Low End PC & Laptop [August 2023]”

  1. Had you taken even a few minutes to actually check out the distros you listed here you had noticed that almost all distros have dropped the support for 32 bit hardware. If you dive a bit deeper you’ll notice the date when it was dropped, and you’ll be embarrassed 😀

      • How secure will that be though, to use distros that will not be updated any more? I want to keep old equipment that still works out of a landfill, but be able to use it in a work environment.

        • Yes, it is always safe to update the OS always, so always recommended to use those getting regular updates. However, in some cases, to run the old system, we need to use the old stable version of the OS.

    • I just went on the lubuntu website, and there’s a “download x86” button right there on the homepage. I’m downloading it now for my Acer Aspire One Netbook.


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