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I have been using Ubuntu Netbook edition for the past two years now (it merged with regular ubuntu at some point, and I'm using the default environment: Unity). I need something faster, more lightweight, with longer battery life. I can sacrifice packages since the things that I do on my netbook are pretty much standard:

  1. Browsing
  2. A video or movie
  3. Document editing
  4. Music

Is there any Linux distribution that will give me noticeable, superior results in the above categories and be more lightweight than Ubuntu?

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Have you looked at Wikipedia? –  user14517 May 7 '12 at 19:57
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The information on Wikipedia is outdated and there is no information regarding the performance and the power consumption of the various distros. –  F1234k May 7 '12 at 20:38
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See this answer for an approach to building a minimal install. –  jasonwryan May 7 '12 at 23:35
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@F1234k, In that case, I'll give you a personal opinion : I've tried JoliOS, Slax and Ubuntu Netbook. I've found Joli to be really nice and fast. Slax is nice as well but then the package management can be a pain. Ubuntu Netbook needs no description... –  user14517 May 8 '12 at 5:17
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Instead of installing ubuntu, try lubuntu. This is from their page :

Lubuntu is a fast and lightweight operating system developed by a community of Free and Open Source enthusiasts. The core of the system is based on Linux and Ubuntu . Lubuntu uses the minimal desktop LXDE, and a selection of light applications. We focus on speed and energy-efficiency. Because of this, Lubuntu has very low hardware requirements.

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+1. Based on this recommendation, I recently replaced Meego on my Asus Eee PC X101 netbook with lubuntu. It is everything it claims to be. –  1_CR Jun 12 '13 at 14:23
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I don't know whether this one will perform better or not:

There is an LXDE-based "netbook-live" distro based on ALTLinux (the new item, in Russian), prepared for netbooks.

More info; where to download from; which models of netbooks it has been succefully run on. (in Russian)

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FWIW, I use Gentoo Linux. IT can be designed for whatever, or wherever you want it to be. If I had a netbook I'd put a custom Gentoo install on it. It would take some time, though.

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You'd need a lot of patience or a better computer to compile things through distcc. I don't recommend Gentoo for netbooks. –  Spidey May 8 '12 at 18:41
    
The compile is mostly automatic, so you just have to start it up and then forget about it for a day or two. ;-) And hope it doesn't overheat. Actually, installing Gentoo is a good stress test. –  Keith May 8 '12 at 18:45
    
"It can be designed to do for whatever" holds for Debian, too, choosing (next to) nothing in the install process and cherry-picking packages you need after the first reboot you'll end up with a pretty lean system (and save yourself the compilation time). –  sr_ May 9 '12 at 8:24
    
@sr_ As long as you're OK with the compile-time options that they pick for you, that works too. –  Keith May 9 '12 at 17:21
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