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Ubuntu was too slow on my computer and Arch installation had many problems too. Which distro do you recommend to me that's lightweight as well as easy to install?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

You should definitely give a second try to Archlinux...

It's slogan is: "A simple, lightweight distribution". You may object but in my opinion the installation of Arch is very simple and basic (just don't forget about the great and rich documentation available on wiki: https://wiki.archlinux.org/). I can install the whole system in less then half an hour and end with a flexible and featurefull working environment having a complete control over my system! With no versions problems (it is a rolling release distro) and with pacman -- a fantastic package manager that magically manages all the dependencies and other installation tasks in a simple and transparent way, archlinux is definitely worth a try!

If you want a clean, efficient and simple linux distribution which follows all the modern requirements archlinux is for you!

Post-scriptum: In case of any questions about arch you can directly contact me -- rizo[dot]isrof[at]gmai[dot]com ;)

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+1 for ArchLinux – Madhur Ahuja Jan 13 '11 at 7:43
I decided that too! :) Giving it a second try right now... – Samrat Man Singh Jan 13 '11 at 15:58
@infoquad: So, how is your Archlinux installation going? :) – Rizo Jan 23 '11 at 19:09
@Rizo- Not very good :( – Samrat Man Singh Jan 28 '11 at 16:06
I have hear Archlinux is one of the most difficult distro's to install. – Benjamin Dec 24 '11 at 1:15

The Damn Small Linux project is dead. The lead developer moved on to Tiny Core Linux

Although the sub 30mb distros are probably too light weight for most purposes. Something a little bit bigger might work as well.
Puppy Linux
Crunchbang Linux

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Consider Lubuntu, which aims to be the LXDE version of Ubuntu (though not get officially recognized by Canonical as an official offspin); much lighter weight than the standard one. (I also recommend Crunchbang, which has been covered already.)

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If you have an older computer, the important thing is not to use resource-hungry applications or settings. Gnome+compiz on Puppy Linux will be just as slow as on Ubuntu, if you manage to install it. Pick any distribution whose installer will run on your computer, and use a lightweight window manager. See for example the lightest way to have a GUI in Linux?, How to get rid of desktop environment and use a window manager only?.

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Have you looked at SliTaz? It is a very lightweight (~30MB) distribution with a very easy to use package manager, a new version is due out soon. The entire OS can be loaded into RAM which makes it extremely fast. Installation is very quick and simple, plus there's a very helpful forum. Here's the official feature list:

  • Root filesystem taking up about 100 MB and ISO image of less than 30 MB.
  • Ready to use Web server powered by LightTPD with CGI and PHP support.
  • Browse the Web with Midori or Retawq in text mode.
  • Sound support provided by Alsa mixer, audio player and CD ripper/encoder.
  • Chat, mail and FTP clients.
  • SSH client and server powered by Dropbear.
  • Database engine with SQLite.
  • Generate a LiveUSB device.
  • Tools to create, edit or burn CD or DVD images.
  • Elegant desktop with Openbox running on the top of Xorg/Xvesa (X server).
  • Homemade graphical boxes to command line utilities.
  • 2300 packages easily installable from the mirror.
  • Active and friendly community.

I've used it myself and like it a lot.

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There are many but this is the one that immediately comes to my mind: Damn Small Linux

EDIT: I also found this article about light weight distros: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?

Also you can try switching to Xfce instead of GNOME as your desktop environment. Xfce is lot lighter than GNOME/KDE.

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