Best Linux Distro for a Old and Slow PC – Small Low on Resources and ultra fast

By | October 22, 2009

Most of us have a old Computer or laptop that we wish to revive but modern day OS like Windows Xp, Vista and even Ubuntu are too much demanding in terms of resources ( including processor and RAM ) . After looking on various forums and Blog articles, I have selected Vector Linux and Puppy Linux as my choice , My friends system is a 500Mhz celeron with 256 MB RAM  and 10GB of hard Disk .

I chose puppy Linux and vector linux as both of them are far better in terms of looks and applications that come bundled with both of them , another very strong contender is Damn small linux ( but believe me Guys it’s so damn small , that it barely is good for a average user , leave it for Geeks ) , both Vector linux and Puppy linux come with GUI environments with Web browser Mp3 and audio/video playback support and Drivers for your hardware and are well suited for the average linux user or even a novice.



Puppy Linux Features



  • Easily install to USB, Zip or hard drive media.
  • Booting from CD (or DVD), the CD drive is then free for other purposes.
  • Booting from CD (or DVD), save everything back to the CD.
  • Booting from USB Flash drive, minimise writes to extend life indefinitely.
  • Extremely friendly for Linux newbies.
  • Boot up and run extraordinarily fast.
  • Have all the applications needed for daily use.
  • Will just work, no hassles.
  • Will breathe new life into old PCs
  • Load and run totally in RAM for diskless thin stations

  Vector Linux Features



  • Kernel version with popular sata, ide and scsi drivers.
  • Glibc-2.5
  • 7.3 is the default X window system. Compiz-fusion on deluxe CD
  • New graphical and text package management with Gslapt and slapt-get.
  • New VL-Hot system for automounting usb devices like pendrives and external drives.
  • Optionally HAL system for automounting devices
  • Easy on your system resources, should run fine with a minimum of 128mb of ram
  • Reguires 2900 megs of disk space for full install (but you should have more available for additional programs and swap space)
  • Laptop support including pcmcia, apm, and TuxOnIce.
  • Usb support via Udev
  • Most available Linux hardware drivers are included.


  • XFCE-4.4.2 desktop system with additional plugins. More window managers available on the deluxe CD.
  • Fully customized KDE-3.5.8 available on the deluxe CD version.
  • Full compliment of office applications- OpenOffice-2.3.1, Koffice on deluxe CD
  • Internet ready with SeaMonkey, Firefox, Opera, Dillo, Pidgin, Xchat and more.
  • Mplayer, flash, acrobat reader and java more available on the deluxe CD.
  • GQview and mtpaint for viewing, manipulating and editing graphics files
  • The Gimp-2.3.4 a very sophisticated image editing program available on the deluxe CD
  • XMMS to play most music formats. Amarok plus many others on deluxe cd
  • A full compliment of GUI programs to handle email, file management, text editing, sound manipulation, file compression, desktop themes. Deluxe CD has many more.

  • Full development suite with most common libraries, compilers and related tools.
  • Gcc G++ updated to version 4.1.2. Binutilities-
  • Chestnut Dialer and PPP setup wizard for easy connection to the net via your modem.
  • VI style text editors, mutt for email, lynx text web browsing, Midnight Commander file manager, ncftp, telnet, ping, finger and all the basic networking applications and daemons.
  • Vim, apache, mysql, Emacs, samba, screen all available on the deluxe CD version.
  • Added security with a built in firewall, port sentry, openssl and openssh..
  • Enhanced USB support with udev
  • The default file manager (midnight commander) will install uninstall all software packages including rpms, slps, debs, tgz, and tlz.
    Vector Linux comes in various editions , hardware requirements for which are enlisted below .

Standard Edition: Pentium 200 or better, 96MB RAM, 2.1GB hard drive space for system only, more for your data.

SOHO Edition: Pentium 750 or better, 128MB RAM minimum, 3.1GB hard drive space for system only, more for your data, video and monitor capable of 1024×768 resolution at 24 bits color.

Light Edition: Pentium 166 or better, 64MB RAM minimum, 1.8GB hard drive space for full system – more for your data.

Live Editions: Pentium 750 or better, 256MB RAM minimum, video and monitor capable of 1024×768 resolution at 24 bits colour. For the Beryl version you will need a modern video card.

My personal preference is vector Linux even though both are based on SLAX and have package managers, but Vector linux  provides some good administration and configuration options and It looks well supported and offer quick paid support and also free support via their forums and wiki and due to it’s large download size it also has more Apps and more drivers so most of your drivers would get recognized quick . 


Have Fun

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