How can I install a version of Linux on an older laptop?
Question by Preston Clark /

Can you put a version of Linux on a barebone older laptop? Will it work or what would I have to do to make it work?

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Answers (18)
  • Steve Koria Sr.

    antiX-13-beta2 will run most computers from very old hardware from P2 with only 64mb of ram to the most powerful up to date computers.
    If you have an old computer this distribution of Linux is for you.

  • Jandré Roux


    Yes you can install Linux on an older laptop or pc You will find that Linux is less resource hungry and gets “more” out of the pc. That is it feel faster.

    Ubuntu/Kubuntu or any other derivative would be good to use.

    Download the live cd’s and give it a go.

    You will find that there are active forums for Ubuntu and Kubuntu with lots of helpful people, just waiting to answer your questions

    And then later on give OpenSuse a go. It is a more comprehensive linux variant

  • Jim Waldo

    I have a 12 year old Toshiba laptop that our teenager gave up on because it was too slow. It still has the Designed for Windows XPsticker on it. I used the MOU guide about giving an old PC new life with Ubuntu – it was easy and the laptop works just fine – not a speed demon – but MUCH faster than WIN XP. If you are concerned check out the many distros that you can run as a LIVE CD. Good Luck.

  • David Ramirez

    I am quite happy running AntiX ( on my older desktop – which was a snail under WinXP – it recognized everything there (audio, video, added wireless card) and performs quite well.

    • dragonmouth

      Good on you!

      I started out with antiX Core and added only the apps I need. Now I have a system that runs fast on an older PC. antiX could revive many old PCs destined for the scrap heap.

  • dragonmouth

    Need more info. “Bare bone older laptop” is a very vague description. Please provide more detailed specs. Depending on those specs, your choices may be from barely being able to run a minimal distro Puppy or Damn Small Linux to being able to run a full version of Debian, Fedora or Mageia.

    I have an Dell Inspiron 7500 and a ThinkPad T21. Both are P3E based laptops. I run full blown Linux distros on both – Simply MEPIS on one and PCLinuxOS on the other. Neither one is blazing fast but neither are they slow as molasses. They work well.

  • Javaid Hussan

    just tell me the configuration of system, and i may suggest you the right linux distros to choose from.
    As a general guide Bodhi linux, Ubuntu / Xbuntu is also a good choice can found it on

    Good luck with your search.

  • Switchblade Rebirth

    Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Puppy Linux, or any other Linux distro that uses Super Low resources will do

  • Gaurav Joshi

    tryout lubuntu xubuntu or linux mint xfce edition install using usb with unetbootin if u don’t have cd/dvd drive

    • dragonmouth

      Lubuntu, xubuntu or especially Mint may not be suitable for older PCs. While they may have a lightweight desktop, they still retain the Ubuntu core which is no lightweight. Puppy, Dan Small, antiX or even Bodhi are a better choice.

    • dragonmouth

      The developers of Xubuntu have recently announced that their next ISO release will be close to 1GB in size. Several packages, such as GIMP, which were previously excluded, will be included in the default install of Xubuntu. Definitely NOT a distro I would recommend for older computers.

  • Scott Reyes

    It depends on what type of hardware is compatible with the software you are running. you may not be able to run certain newer pieces of software depending on what computer you have, but i find it easiest to go ahead and install it if you have already backes

  • Junil Maharjan

    there are lots of linux distro that works with older pc. there are distros for slow hardwares and for pcs with less hard drive. just check the one you would like for older hardwares.

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