Can anyone recommend an lightweight debian based distribution working on an PC with 800 MHZ CPU and 64 MB RAM?

Also, would some old games like Worms Armageddon or Diablo 2 work on the lightweight distro with wine? (these two games, for example, work fine on the computer, running windows)

Are the minimum requirements different for games running over wine, than the ones for windows.

  • 4
    What's wrong with running Debian itself?
    – Joseph R.
    Apr 13, 2013 at 20:56
  • 1
    Debian needs more than 64MB RAM (for example when it generates locales during an update). 64MB RAM is really, really tough. If the goal is playing Diablo 2, I'd say: stick with Windows. Apr 13, 2013 at 20:58
  • 4
    64MB is minimum for a non-destkop Debian system debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch03s04.html.en
    – jordanm
    Apr 13, 2013 at 21:00
  • 2
    I think you need to spend a little time reading up on what Debian is before you rule it out based on a gross misconception...
    – jasonwryan
    Apr 13, 2013 at 21:59
  • 1
    @fromnaboo You really mean 64 GB and not 64 MB? Apr 13, 2013 at 22:43

4 Answers 4


I have heard of DSL before but can't vouch for it as I haven't personally tried it. Take a look, it might be what you're looking for.


First, a link for Debian Based Distributions suitable for old computers.

Desktop: The GUI will take up quite some of your resources in RAM. The Window Managers I got lucky with while working on an old machine and a Netbook are XFCE, prefering LXDE and am currently very happy with Openbox.

Suggestions: I would suggest to get a live image of Crunchbang Linux and give it a try. If so, I would recommend using Crunchbang 10 [Statler], based upon Debian 6.0 Stable [instead of 11 – which is based upon the 'testing' branch of Debian].

As Debian runs like a charm on my old machine, it doesn't run as nicely on my Netbook. I was quite lucky with Linux Mint Debian Edition until I found Crunchbang, which is the closest to Debian that is currently possible for me here. When working on the command line, reading documents or comparable low-resource applications the CPU is up to about 5 to 10%.

Using a lightweight browser like Midori instead of Firefox saves also loads of resources.

Games: For games mainly known to run on Windows [Worms Armageddon, Diabolo 2] you'll need something like WINE, yes. And yes, you'll need Windows available somehwere on your machine [this is how far I understood it]. Recommending to use a Virtual Machine with just 64 MB RAM would be a bad joke, I guess.

Damn Small Linux: There was little to no progress for a very long time [years?] on DSL, but the project was resurrected at the end of 2012 by the main supporter! So as I didn't tried it out myself so far, this is one distribution worth a look for using with limited resources.

  • crunchbag may be a good option. i will test it and reply back. thak you cellar.dweller
    – fromnaboo
    Apr 15, 2013 at 9:26

Try a minimal Debian installation, with LXDE or XFCE as desktop environment. Probably the oldest supported stable version will be the most frugal in resource usage. On that install just what you need, and check the configuration so that there isn't anything unneded running. If you have stock Debian elsewhere, having some derivative will be familiar enough to feel not quite at home and different enough to be infuriating.

  • i don't mind installing an ubuntu/debian derivate, if it runs well on my old computer, for what i need (the two games).
    – fromnaboo
    Apr 13, 2013 at 21:05

ANTIX13.1 uses wheezy repositorys and has multiple windows manager options.

From DistroWatch

antiX is a fast, lightweight and easy-to-install Linux live CD distribution based on Debian's "Testing" branch for x86 compatible systems. antiX offers users the "antiX Magic" in an environment suitable for old computers. The goal of antiX is to provide a light, but fully functional and flexible free operating system for both newcomers and experienced users of Linux. It should run on most computers, ranging from 64 MB old PII 266 systems with pre-configured 128 MB swap to the latest powerful boxes. 128 MB RAM is recommended minimum for antiX. The installer needs minimum 2.2 GB hard disk size. antiX can also be used as a fast-booting rescue CD.

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