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Just got a very old (~10 years) used Toshiba Satellite. I was wondering (since I really do not like Windows ME) if anyone knew a VERY lightweight OS's I could get? Free if possible.

The system has:

  • 256MB RAM
  • 3GB HDD

I don't know the processor specs, but they can't be very good.

Damn Small Linux isn't the best for my little brother..."can it look a little nicer"?

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Some more information like the specs would be nice; and are you looking for a free operating system? – Brave Newbie Jan 14 '11 at 1:25
done! edited for deets – tekknolagi Jan 14 '11 at 1:31
Might want to look at putting something like xfce or fluxbox on it with a small nix install. Both are meant for low end machines. – MrStatic Jan 14 '11 at 1:44
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I like Slax with XFCE. Very light weight.

Browse around They have all the flavors of Linux.

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In terms of interface beauty Slax is really nice. @tekknolagi: try them and see what runs best. – Brave Newbie Jan 14 '11 at 2:06
sounds nice - thanks guys! – tekknolagi Jan 14 '11 at 2:42

Have you tried Puppy Linux? The interface seems pleasant and requires very little. I'm sure it will be a breath of fresh air on that computer. The website also has a nice manual explaining things.

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A true super small distro that just works is Slitaz, I used it on an old Dell PII-300mhz with 256MB. This should fit your needs just fine, for web browsing etc.

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nice job :) thanks – tekknolagi Jan 14 '11 at 4:12

If the hardware can do more than run PuppyLinux then, it might even work with lubuntu.

Another option worth trying would be Archlinux with some lightweight desktop, i.e. fluxbox, openbox, awesome, or even xfce.

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It depends on what your primary use for the laptop is. If its for basic browsing, I would recommend or Chromium OS or Joli cloud. They are basically a lightweight OS meant for netbooks.

Chromium is the open source version of ChromeOS used in Chromebooks. Its basically a lightweight stripped down OS with the chrome browser as its main application.

Jolicloud uses 2.2GB when installed, but unfortunately future development has been discontinued. Not too sure what the respective specific min system requirements are though and your laptop seems really old.

I would recommend a HDD upgrade too. 500gb is easily available and not that expensive. Should you retire the laptop in future, you can just get an external case and reuse it as a spare external hard disk.

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