Picking the Best Linux OS for Old Computers
A lightweight Linux operating system or "distro" (short for "distribution") can breathe new life into an old computer or make a newer one even snappier and more responsive. Dozens of these operating systems are available, but many of them are very barebones, outdated or potentially unstable. Of these options, three stand out as the only ones with advanced features packed into one lean download.
Unlike most other lightweight Linux operating systems, these three all include Linux kernel 2.6.x, GTK 2.x, basic packages, a word processor, web browser and email client; and spreadsheet, media playback and image editing software are either pre-installed or easily downloadable through an easy-to-use package manager. They are all out of beta, have an ongoing release/update schedule, are smaller than a CD (700 MB) and most importantly receive generally positive reviews.
Primary differences between these three are their initial download size, the packages available to them, the lightweight window manager and desktop environment used within the system, and the user community surrounding each to help new users make the transition. Read on to find the best overall, best Debian-based and best RPM-based distro.