Linux Distros are operating systems like Windows and macOS. It provides some level of the interface so that we can operate our computers. The main difference between Linux and the rest is that the Linux Distros are free and open-source. This means that it is not proprietary owned and does not require paid licenses to use. You might think that with open-source software, it may be low performing. But this is where you may have misunderstood. The Linux Distros are equally powerful, and some may even say it is more capable, compared to popular names like Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS.
Depending on the Linux Distros, since there are several varieties of these, it will have its strengths. It tends to be more secure, customizable, stable, reliable, flexible, backward compatible, and capable of providing better performance. And on top of it, it is free. Unfortunately, Linux Distros do not have such popularity with common business users because of how it started and marketed. It is however popular, within advanced IT community because they have understood the OS’s value.
Reviving Old Computers
One of the great features of a Linux Distro is that it is highly capable of reviving old computer systems. Now, thinking about old computers and old technologies may not sound appealing at the start. However, with a little more knowledge – perhaps we can shift your perspective.
By learning to repurpose old computer hardware, you can use it to become a hardware backup of your files. It can be a “backup” of a backup. Rather than storing files in a cloud, a personal terminal could be used.
Contribute to Scientific Research
Another use for old computers is additional computing power. Remember, despite the technology becoming outdated, it still possesses some level of computing power that can be used for processing data – like scientific research. There are a lot of scientific research projects that are seeking volunteers. One example is the Rosetta Molecular Modeling for Coronavirus, which collects computing power to predict the atomic-scale structure of the coronavirus protein. The knowledge gained from this can help design vaccines and antiviral drugs.
Revive Old Games
For gamers who grew up with their childhood games in the old pc, this is an opportunity to revive them with Linux Distros. This can be both nostalgic for you and educational for the youth. Below we enumerate our top 5 Linux Distros that are both lightweight and ideal for reviving your old computers.
Peppermint OS is also based on Ubuntu. It does not carry a sleek look, but it has the basic functions that you will need. Despite being a lightweight desktop, it is still recommended that the OS is running with 192MB of RAM. What is surprising with this OS is that it does not come with preinstalled applications. However, it comes with cloud-based applications. With a few more software, you can work offline when you need to.
Puppy Linux is a quick and responsive OS that needs only 128MB of RAM at the minimum. If you would need to run a web browser, then it is advisable to have at least 256MB. The Puppy Linux is designed to be portable and bootable from a USB Flash Drive. You can even save files in the same USB Drive without affecting the OS. With Puppy Linux, you can expect a very old-looking style of desktop and icons. However, there is still some decent software that can be accessed with a small operating system such as Abiword, Gnumeric. Additional software like Firefox or Chromium can also be for modern browsing. The installation process of Puppy Linux is very easy.
Trisquel Mini is a lightweight version of the main Ubuntu-based OS, called Trisquel distro. This Linux distro is made for old machines that have lower power. It uses a minimal desktop environment which even lets you use CD for testing purposes. The minimum requirements to run this OS is 128MB of RAM. You can expect that with this OS, you can run simple graphics, internet browsing, office-productivity apps, sound players, and other accessories.
Lubuntu is an OS that uses the Ubuntu foundation but is more lightweight. It can run on 128MB of RAM but is still recommended to have at least 256MB for better performance. With Lubuntu, the desktop environment is more attractive and professional-looking. It has a basic package that helps with productivity such as Abiword, Gnumeric, Chromium, and other multimedia and graphics app. If you are looking for an OS to somehow give life to your old computers and make them modern, then Lubuntu may be the one for you.
Tiny Core Linux
Tiny Core is probably the smallest Linux Distros that you will see available today. Immediately by the interface, you will notice that this is perfect for ancient computers. It can run with 46MB of RAM thanks to its minimalistic interface. You can expect that with this OS, it takes less time to startup. It would have a set of software available, but you can also install other apps.
Although we have ranked our top five, we would like to mention on a few more that deserves to be recognized:
Linux Lite is another powerful operating system that this perfect for old computer because it takes less power and resources to boot up. It can smoothly run on several old hardware components while providing a simple and easy desktop environment. The OS requires 512 MB of RAM with at least 5 GB disk space.
Macpup OS is based on the Puppy Linux that offers some fascinating characteristics such as transparency effects and nice animations – somewhat similar to what is present with the macOS today. Like the Puppy Linux, the Macpup comes with a bundle of programs such as office-productivity apps. It requires 184MB of RAM and a better web browser as part of the starter package. With our listing and special mention, we hope that you do not easily let go of your old PCs and challenge in repurposing them as it can still benefit you and others.