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I have a friends previously xp machine, that is about 10 years old. It only boots through CD but I've made two different CD-R's with Lubuntu and it won't take. I do get mini-iso to load, and have installed Lubuntu, but is there a more efficient desktop than Lubuntu-desktop?

The computer has 256mb RAM, and when I had Lubuntu-Desktop installed half of it was used up by the desktop. The machine loads Chrome well enough and plays youtube videos barely, but getting movies to play through xbmc/vlc is almost impossible (even logging out and logging in directly to xbmc).

So is there any other desktop I can install other than sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop that would allow the computer to browse/watch movies.

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marked as duplicate by Eric Carvalho, Warren Hill, Jorge Castro, bodhi.zazen, Sneetsher Jul 14 '14 at 23:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The lightest desktop you can install from mini.iso or from a full iso is Lubuntu (LXDE). But if you have installed an Ubuntu desktop (or Lubuntu desktop etc.) you can switch to IceWM, JWM, i3 or other very light window managers.

I would recommend IceWM as a good alternative because there where a debian menu preinstalled and it is very easy to install.

Here is a memory usage overview:

enter image description here Soure: A Memory Comparison of Light Linux Desktops on l3net

To install IceWM run this:

sudo apt-get install icewm 

More info


enter image description here enter image description here

To install JWM run this:

sudo apt-get install jwm

To customize the JWM menu you have to create this file $HOME/.jwmrc

A good jwmrc example file: Link

To install i3 run this in a terminal:

# login to the root shell for one 'echo' command
sudo -i
echo "deb $(lsb_release -c -s) universe" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
# we're back our user account
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get --allow-unauthenticated install sur5r-keyring
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install i3


i3 user guide ->

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I have an old XP machine with 256 MB, and I use XFCE, so Xubuntu would probably be your best option.

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could I just type: sudo apt-get install xfce and be fine? – Michaeljwjr May 30 '14 at 16:25
@Michaeljwjr that's what I did, but I thought that it being just XFCE would make it faster, there are still some parts of it that slow down mine. – Tim May 30 '14 at 16:45
XFCE (Xubuntu) has higher system requirements (512MB RAM) than LXDE (Lubuntu) and should be run slower on such an machine. – TuKsn May 30 '14 at 16:50
@Xubu my mistake, I thought it was the other way round! – Tim May 30 '14 at 17:07

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