Advice Request A good stable linux distro with Good UI?

Please provide comments and solutions that are helpful to the author of this topic.

EascapenMatrix

Level 1
Thread author
Apr 25, 2022
40
I want to install a linux distro on my old potato laptop. It is bare minimum requirements (i3 10 gen, 12 gb ram and 512 GB ssd. With no graphics card). I need a distro that can support my pc. I tried few distros in past including ubuntu, mint, pop, zorin, manjora, etc. All the distros freeze randomly after some time and become extremely unstable. The OS crashes a lot. While windows still work smoothly on it(even 11). Only fedora is the distro that I found stable on this pc, but from some time it is also becoming laggy. I don't know which distro will suit this pc.

Which will be the good stable linux distro with Good UI, for this pc?
 
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Bot

AI-powered Bot
Apr 21, 2016
3,631
For your old laptop, you might want to try some lightweight Linux distributions that are designed to run on low-end hardware like yours. Some good options might be:

1. Lubuntu: A lightweight Ubuntu-based distribution that uses the LXQt desktop environment. It is optimized for older systems and low-end hardware.

2. MX Linux: A Debian-based distribution that is known for its stability and performance. It features the Xfce desktop environment and is designed to run on both older and newer hardware.

3. Peppermint OS: A lightweight Ubuntu-based distribution that uses the LXDE desktop environment. It is designed to be fast and responsive on older hardware.

4. Bodhi Linux: A lightweight Ubuntu-based distribution that uses the Enlightenment desktop environment. It is known for its minimalistic design and low system requirements.

All of these distros have good UI and are relatively stable. You may want to test them out on your laptop and see which one works the best for you.
 

CyberDevil

Level 7
Verified
Well-known
Apr 4, 2021
303
Try Garuda, it has very nice KDE for my personal taste as well as a patched kernel. On my horribly old laptop Lubuntu just died when RAM overflowed, but Garuda was pretty stable. However, it's a gaming distro made by a small team, so I can't guarantee it's really stable in every situation :)

P.S. By the way, to save resources, there are also nice versions with XFCE and LXDE
 
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wat0114

Level 12
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 5, 2021
568
I agree with Bot (LOL never thought I'd say that 😛 ) that it's a good idea to test them out first. You could boot from a pendrive after burning the distro's .iso to it, using Balena Etcher or Rufus, for example.

After testing a few distros this way, I decided to install Lubuntu on an old 2011, i5 laptop we had in storage, and it runs briskly and stable.

EDIT

I forgot to mention, I'm very partial to MX-21, which I've been running (KDE Desktop) for several months on my dual-boot with Windows 11 on my laptop. You might want to try the XFCE Desktop.
 
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EascapenMatrix

Level 1
Thread author
Apr 25, 2022
40
Most linux distros are having issues with drivers, maybe my manufacturer hadn't made a good driver for linux.
If I remember correctly there was some issue with graphics drivers and memory overflow, I don't remember correctly. I will live boot few distros and see what error they are giving to me. This i what I found written on system logs. I tried changing graphic drivers with newer versions, but same thing happened. I tried increasing the swap file size still the same issues.
Also, I am not a linux user, so I don't know much about troubleshooting. If possible, anyone can tell how to do so.
For fedora, it is pretty stable on this system. But after newer versions it started becoming slow. Sometimes network adaptor, browsers and other times whole system slows and become sluggish. I will try to live boot it again to check if they are still happening.
All these issues with distros happen after using them sometime, in few cases it comes in live test only, other times it comes after many hours or days after install.
 

pcalvert

Level 1
Nov 21, 2018
13
I would install a Debian-based distribution, preferably Debian itself. Although there are a lot of nice Debian-based distros, the problem is that many of them aren't "pure" -- they backport a lot of newer software. Sometimes that's necessary to fix a serious bug, and I'm okay with that. However, when a small distro backports a lot of the software themselves, you are then relying on a small (sometimes very small) team of developers to keep those packages updated. And more than once, I have come across backported packages that were out of date for a considerable period of time. Obviously, this doesn't bother a lot of people, but since I am security conscious, it is a problem that I am concerned about.

As for the desktop environment (DE), choose whatever appeals to you and performs well. I prefer Xfce since I like how it is laid out and it has reasonably good performance.

Tip: After installing Debian, make sure that the package intel-microcode is installed (or amd64-microcode if you have an AMD CPU). If it's installed, or you continue to have problems after installing that package, post a message in the forum so someone can help you diagnose and fix the problem.
 

goodjohnjr

Level 5
Verified
Jul 11, 2018
227
I want to install a linux distro on my old potato laptop. It is bare minimum requirements (i3 10 gen, 12 gb ram and 512 GB ssd. With no graphics card). I need a distro that can support my pc. I tried few distros in past including ubuntu, mint, pop, zorin, manjora, etc. All the distros freeze randomly after some time and become extremely unstable. The OS crashes a lot. While windows still work smoothly on it(even 11). Only fedora is the distro that I found stable on this pc, but from some time it is also becoming laggy. I don't know which distro will suit this pc.

Which will be the good stable linux distro with Good UI, for this pc?
Did you try the regular release of Ubuntu or Ubuntu LTS?

If you did not try Ubuntu LTS, that is what I would recommend, good luck.
 

jackuars

Level 27
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Jul 2, 2014
1,694
It's weird that you don't have problems with Windows 11 but facing issues with many Linux distro's. I have a less powerful laptop than you, an i5 - 5300u 5th generation with 8GB RAM and it still runs all distros like a Ferrari

How much swap space do you assign to Linux? I suggest you assign 12GB.

I run Endeavour OS on my primary system and it's the perfect combo of flexibility, software support and tweakability for great MacOS look-alike UI through this LinuxScoop tutorial. You can also install as many desktop environment (12 of them) of choice right during installation.

 
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tipo

Level 8
Well-known
Jul 26, 2012
353
Debian all the way but you may take a look at any distro with XFCE desktop environment. Mint has a spin, also Zorin Lite (it`s xfce), Xubuntu and so on. XFCE is lightweight and very stable. I`m a Cinnamon user because my personal laptop is newer and the hardware alows me to play with every distro (for home use) out there.
 
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ForgottenSeer 103564

Basically like the BOT almost said, you should base your decision on a the Desktop Environment if not more than the distribution. XFCE is one of the lightest. Stay away from KDE ect if your system is short on resources. This will also vary on the applications you install and use as well, as to how the system performs.
 
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ForgottenSeer 97327

Linux is a lottery Operating System. It works when your are lucky. I understand why it never became the dominant desktop. When windows 11 was released I discovered that my old PC was not suited for Windows11, so I tried five Linux distro's and none of them worked correctly (either problems with GPU, wifi card not recognized, sound not working or printer did not work or system started with boot errors).

Two years later my PC died and I could get exactly same hardware with a different CPU (old was i7 920 , new is Xeon 5675). Now two out of three distro's recognised everything and one distro even worked flawlessly. So for as long as lasts I am a happy Mint Cinnamon user.
 
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ForgottenSeer 103564

Linux is a lottery Operating System. It works when your are lucky. I understand why it never became the dominant desktop. When windows 11 was released I discovered that my old PC was not suited for Windows11, so I tried five Linux distro's and none of them worked correctly (either problems with GPU, wifi card not recognized, sound not working or printer did not work or system started with boot errors).

Two years later my PC died and I could get exactly same hardware with a different CPU (old was i7 920 , new is Xeon 5675). Now two out of three distro's recognised everything and one distro even worked flawlessly. So for as long as lasts I am a happy Mint Cinnamon user.
It is a matter of perspective is it not. If something breaks on windows, lets say a driver, you are stuck waiting for that company and or MS to send a fix up the chain. With Linux, there is a always a work around. It may require patience as you search for it, but there is always an answer. Linux requires some knowledge to finagle. It is not a set and forget operating system. There is a reason that most including servers, mainframes and more than 90% of the world's top 500 supercomputers run on Linux.
 

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