Lubuntu on old hardware

The Lubuntu team made this announcement in 2018

what states

These statistics brought much internal debate within the Lubuntu team, but we decided that going forward, we need to adapt for the current state of the market. Therefore, our main focus is shifting from providing a distribution for old hardware to a functional yet modular distribution focused on getting out of the way and letting users use their computer.

What is old though?

What one person may consider old, may not be considered old to others. I’ve worked in an environment where I was given a new PC every 6-9 months by my employer; the cost of the hardware was little compared to my salary & productivity gained by faster CPU/RAM compiling code. People in that environment will consider a 3 year old PC old, yet now I’m typing this into a dell desktop from 2009 running the latest Lubuntu development release (ie. kinetic).

The “new direction” blog states

This means that Lubuntu will stay light, and for users with old systems, should still be usable. But we will no longer provide minimum system requirements and we will no longer primarily focus on older hardware.

I’m involved in QA (Quality Assurance) and my most used box is a few years older than this 2009 desktop, but I’ve upgraded CPU a little & increased RAM, as I’d expect most users would have if still using older hardware (where possible).

I often see posts about Lubuntu on old hardware. Lubuntu never gave any definitions on what old is. Old is not our aim, but where possible, we still perform some testing using what maybe considered old hardware; boxes from as old as from 2006 currently; as little RAM as 2GB, though most QA is done on newer boxes than these.

What is this thread for?

I’ve started this thread for any discussions on old hardware, as I’m often seeing them on other threads, on various sites. Old hardware is not our focus. (Besides what I used as examples here (2009 & 2006 desktops) you may not consider old anyway).


Thanks for the clarification.

Haha and I was calling my 2011 laptop ancient … not old.

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To add some color and perspective, for me any computer older than like five to seven years is something I’d consider old. Trying to define old for everyone would be like trying to knit fog.


Since Lubuntu is “…shifting (away) from…” it shouldn’t really matter since older hardware may (or may not) benefit as a side effect.

But if Lubuntu has a genuine intent to place some importance (however small) on ‘older’ hardware, then it would be better to at least define a range for point of reference.

The average life span of a device is usually quoted between 3 to 5 years. Do these devices go straight to the dump? No, most of them find a 2nd owner and some of them get installed with leaner distros because the original OS updates won’t run properly on them. This can double the life span i.e 6-10 years.
This is why you still see older devices hanging around. It’s because people find that they can still run them for something useful.

Eventually devices break, people like to buy new hardware and OSs have to move with the trend of demanding software and hardware. There is a limit somewhere where ‘old’ hardware cannot meet this demand.
I think it’s fair to stop support at the ‘double’ mark. So 6-10 years is for me means getting ‘old’.


I find that browsers are what usually determines how long I can use my old outdated junk box builds.

When the browser becomes painful to use that’s it I’m done and onto the next one.I’m using computers from 2007 and still running great.