6 Light & Fast Operating Systems for Low End PC/Laptop (1 GB RAM)

Do you have a slow old laptop? You should think about switching to a lightweight operating system. We all know that Windows is the most popular operating system for PC and laptop use. But it is not the only one.

There are many other lightweight alternatives that can be a better choice for your computer. There are lots of choices to choose from, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Make sure you understand what you’re getting before making your decision; we’ll help by looking at the best lightweight OS for outdated PCs and telling you what makes them so great, what their drawbacks are, and our final thoughts on each of them.

Lightweight Operating System For Laptop And PC

Keep reading for some of the best lightweight and smallest operating systems based on Linux for your old PC. We added CloudReady to this list, which is a great choice if you want to use your PC primarily for browsing.

The following selection is based on essential operating needs and gives your old PC a second chance at life.


lubuntu 1

Here’s the first lightweight OS on the list, Lubuntu. Lubuntu is a fast and lightweight operating system, based on Linux and Ubuntu. If you have an older or less powerful computer, this OS is perfect for you.

The Lubuntu core is based on the most popular user-friendly Linux distribution, Ubuntu. For best performance, Lubuntu uses minimal desktop LXDE, and it has lightweight apps by default.

The operating system is available in a variety of installation packages. You can choose to download the desktop package if you have less than 700MB RAM, and there’s a choice for either 32-bit or 64-bit versions.

Just for installation purposes, you need 64MB of RAM. When it comes to choosing a requirement for RAM, it will depend on your situation but typically 128MB is preferable.

Some Of its Key Features Includes

  1. Latest Version: Lubuntu 22.04 (Released on April 2022)
  2. RAM: 512MB(128MB min)
  3. CPU: Pentium 4 or Pentium M or AMD K8
  4. 32-bit & 64-bit
  5. Window Manager: LXDE, Openbox
  6. Fork-Ubuntu


Linux Lite

linux lite dark text logo sample

Linux Lite is designed to be used on older computers and laptops. This OS is based on the LTS version of Ubuntu, uses Xfce as its desktop interface, which saves resources, and comes pre-loaded with a ton of applications. It’s also one of the few Linux distributions that still works on 32-bit machines.

Linux Lite can run on machines with as little as 768MB of RAM and still give a good user experience. It comes pre-loaded with useful applications for everyday tasks, like web browsing, office work, media playback, etc.

It features helpful software like Libre Office, Thunderbird, VLC, etc. In addition to these quality programs, you can download thousands of other Linux-based apps from the software center. With an old PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8, Linux Lite will give it a second life!

Some Of its Key Features Includes

  1. RAM: 1024MB (512MB min)
  2. 32-bit & 64-bit
  3. Latest Version: Linux Lite 5.8 (Released on January 2022)
  4. CPU: 1.5GHz (700MHz Min)


Arch Linux

download 1 1

Arch Linux is another lightweight Linux distro. This distro has a minimal GUI set up, making the OS perform fast and the PC faster. If you have never used a Unix-based OS before, it can be difficult to navigate at first.

But once you get used to the CLI (Command Line Interface), the UI may not be too troublesome.

Some Of its Key Features Includes

  1. RAM: 128MB min (256 MB RAM)
  2. 32-bit & 64-bit
  3. Latest Version: Released on May 2022
  4. CPU: i686-based or x86-64


Zorin OS

zorin os logo 781AF377A3 seeklogo.com

With Zorin OS, you get a fully-functional operating system that also does an excellent job of being beginner-friendly. It’s perfect for anyone who’s new to Linux, and offers a rock-solid performance and dependability you can trust.

Zorin OS is a unique operating system that offers lots of exclusive features like Background Plus, Web Browser Manager, and so much more.

It can be used alongside the operating system you’re already using and if you need to run Windows programs with it, PlayOnLinux and WINE are there for you. Zorin released the latest version, Zorin OS 16 in August 2021.

Some Of its Key Features Includes

  1. RAM: 64MB Min
  2. 32-bit & 64-bit
  3. Latest Version: Zorin OS 16.1 (Released on March 2022)
  4. CPU: 400MHz Min



xubuntu 1

If you’re looking for an operating system, Xubuntu might be perfect for you. It’s a plug-and-play OS that will work with any low-end PC and can run with minimal resources. A pre-built package lets you run everything on the computer, which is great for basic users with a low-end PC.

Xubuntu is a lightweight operating system with an interface that’s especially user-friendly. With Xubuntu, you can easily use your web browser to go online, access office applications, email clients, and more.

Your daily tasks will be easier and run smoother without experiencing any issues on your low-end computer.

Some Of its Key Features Includes

  1. RAM: 1024MB (512MB min)
  2. Latest Version: Lubuntu 22.02 (Released on April 2022)
  3. 32-bit & 64-bit



Cloudready logo

Although the recommendations on this list are based on the Linux OS, they should also apply to CloudReady as a super-light experience. CloudReady is a ChromeOS alternative by the company Neverware.

The primary motive of CloudReady is to provide the exact experience of ChromeOS – so it’s great for those who just use their computer for browsing the internet. Fortunately, Google recently acquired Neverware.

CloudReady is specifically designed for browsing, so it has high performing hardware and a super lightweight OS. You’ll see an excellent improvement in performance once CloudReady is installed – your computer will boot up quickly, the browser will load in seconds, and the overall experience will be much faster.

Plus, your old computer will work like new. If you’re mostly using your computer for browsing purposes, CloudReady could be the ideal solution to rejuvenate your machine’s performance.


Which Version Of Windows Is Best For Low-End Pc?

I highly recommend Windows XP as the operating system of choice for laptops or computers that are ten years old or older. Windows XP is a great Microsoft OS and it’s best suited for really old, underpowered devices.

However, Microsoft discontinued granddaddy and replaced it with Windows 7 once it had surpassed XP in terms of popularity.

Coming on to the topic, You can try installing a strip-down version of Windows 10 called Tiny10 (Download Here). This modified version of Windows 10 takes up to 10GB of disk space. Additionally, Tiny10 can be run on a 32-bit system with just 1GB of RAM and a 64-bit system with just 2GB of RAM.

Tiny10 can be a great option for lower-end desktops as the newer Windows OS have heavier CPU and RAM usage.


Out of all the operating systems, these are the best ones for low-end PCs. They’ll handle your daily tasks smoothly without any issues.

All you have to do is choose any of the above-mentioned operating systems based on your individual needs, and it will be a perfect fit for your low-end PC.

Himangi is passionate about keeping up with the ever-evolving landscape of technology. In her free time, she indulges her interests in neuroscience and art.


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