Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
A lightweight Linux distribution often seems to require making sacrifices — using a UI which many users would find unfamiliar and using software which is heavily cut down in functionality.
WattOS is a really interesting lightweight Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu 10.04 (as of WattOS R2). As the name might suggest, it is also focused on low power usage and is said to work well with older and less powerful hardware.
At the same time, though, it runs familiar software, like Firefox, Empathy for instant messaging and has a friendly user interface. It uses Openbox and LXDE to form the desktop environment, and while many Linux users may not have even heard those names, the combination works brilliantly — keeping the software lightweight and super speedy, but without behaving oddly or describing things in an unusual way. In short, a non-technical user certainly won’t have a problem with the way the desktop works if they have used full-fat Ubuntu before.