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How to configure ubuntu for lightweight low-memory usage?
How can I reduce Ubuntu install size to the minimum, with GUI?

I was wondering if I can use Ubuntu (scale down version?) or a close derivative like xubuntu or kubuntu on an old machine? Its a P4 with 256MB RAM.

What distro would you suggest?

Forgot to mention that its only used for basic document and internet work.

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marked as duplicate by Marco Ceppi Jun 8 '11 at 12:04

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3 Answers

I would recommend Lubuntu on that machine. Lubuntu uses the lightweight LXDE desktop environment. According to the official release notes the minimum memory requirement for running Lubuntu 11.04 is 128 MB of memory. To use the graphical installer from the Live CD, you need at least 256 MB of memory.

Official Lubuntu website: http://lubuntu.net/

Release Notes for Lubuntu 11.04: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/ReleaseNotes/NattyNarwhal

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I can second that, while Xubuntu should work too with 256MB. However, if the mainboard accepts it, try to get more RAM. It's almost always a good investion. –  user unknown Jun 7 '11 at 15:09
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You can give Lubuntu, a Ubuntu-based-LXDE desktop a go.

It's designed to be very very lightweight, so it'd work better on your computer than say KDE/Kubuntu, or most other Ubuntu derivatives.

According to the Lubuntu wiki:

A Pentium II or Celeron system with 128 MiB of RAM is probably a bottom-line configuration that may yield slow yet usable system with Lubuntu. It should be possible to install and run Lubuntu with less memory, but the result will likely not be suitable for practical use.

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I'd recommend a dedicated lightweight Linux distribution like Puppy Linux. But you can probably get an acceptable result with Ubuntu Server.

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I am inclined towards Ubuntu based on the fact that it supports a lot of hardware by default and things don't need to be configured. –  Ashfame Jun 7 '11 at 12:50
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