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Top 5 lightweight Linux distros for older PCs

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Linux

The strange thing about PCs is that as they get older, even though they appear to be working fine, they can eventually become unusably slow. Successive operating systems take up more and more resources until your PC grinds to a halt.

You don’t need to throw your computer away and upgrade to get access to the latest software, though; a lightweight Linux-based operating system will let you have the latest web browser and office software, while running smooth as silk in as little as 256MB RAM. Here's our pick of the best lightweight Linux distros for older computers - and best of all, they're all free.

5. Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux is the smallest Linux distro in our round-up - it's just a 132MB download. The distro is unusual in that it loads itself entirely into RAM on bootup, so is incredibly quick and responsive. 128MB of RAM is the minimum, but you'll need 256MB if you want to use a modern web browser.

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