What to look for in Linux to resurrect an old computer

That a computer is a few years old, and does not receive (for example) the latest version of Windows does not mean that it is no longer good for anything. With the appropriate operating system it is possible to continue working with it as normal. And we can even use it for other purposes, such as building our own retro console. However, not all Linux distros are the same for older computers. What should we look for in them?

Find a 32-bit Linux system

Today, all processors are compatible with both 32 bit as 64-bit. However, if our computer is very old, it is likely that it is not yet ready for this architecture. But this does not mean that we cannot take advantage of it.

Although the main ones, like Ubuntu, are only available in 64 bits, there are 32-bit Linux distros that we can perfectly use on these systems. In addition, there is a special version of the Linux kernel (PAE) that allows us to use more than 3.2 GB of RAM in 32-bit computers.

Use a lightweight desk

GNOME or KDE are the most popular Linux desktops that we can find. But these are designed, above all, for relatively powerful computers, since they have a considerable consumption of resources. Therefore, if our computer has been in the chassis for a few years, we cannot resort to the classic distros, but we must look for distros with lighter desktops, ideal for older computers.

One of the best known is LXQt, although we can also find other alternatives very inspired by the Windows 7 desktop, such as MATE or Xfce.

Is the PC very very old? Looking for a very very small Linux

Most Linux distros for older PCs have low requirements, which almost anyone can meet, but it is not always possible. Above all, if we talk about computers from 20 years ago, in which the RAM barely reached 128 MB.

But Linux has solutions for all users. We simply have to look for the smallest Linux distros that, perfectly, can run on this type of equipment. Puppy Linux, for example, it is one of the smallest that we can find, or SliTaz, a Linux that occupies only 30 MB of space on our hard drive. And, if we at least reach 128 MB of RAM, we can bet on one of the best for old computers: Slax.


The more minimalist, the better

Many times, Linux distros take up a lot of space and require a lot of resources due to the large number of programs and packages that their developers add. This makes it easier to use from minute zero, but forces us to pay a pretty big price in terms of performance.

Therefore, if our computer does not have enough resources, what we must do is look for a distro that is as small as possible. Once it is up and running, we will install everything we need to be able to work with it.

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