Which version to install on a weak computer?

Hello everyone, I have a weak computer with a Celeron processor and 2MB of memory. I installed Lbuntu 22 on it, but it worked very slowly for me and crashed sometimes. Which version will suit him? I also wanted to ask, assuming that there is a low version that suits him, is it possible to install a new work environment for him, for example LXQT 2?

2MB? Nothing will work.

Did you mean GB? That is still pushing it. If you only use it for web browsing, that alone is probably enough to exhaust your memory, at least if you’re using modern web apps like Google Sheets or the like. In order to have a usable system, you’ll need to do one thing at a time, one tab at a time, in the lightest software possible.

Better idea: go to your local electronics recycler and buy enough memory to maximize the capacity of your motherboard.

LXQt 2 should be out in 24.10.


Sorry my mistake. Of course I mean 2GB. On this computer it is not possible to increase memory, so I am trying to find a solution for it. You wrote to use the lightest environment, so I ask what is the lightest environment? According to what I understood Lubunto is the easiest environment.
This computer is indeed weak but I didn’t find it in archeological digs or anything like that… :smiley: Is there no solution for it?

Celerons are a classic case of the race to the bottom. They’re invariably on highly constrained, budget machines. Such situations are going to require more effort on your part, not to mention changing your behaviors.

The lightest environment would be a system without a graphical environment, i.e. you’re just using the command line. You probably don’t want that, I imagine.

If you have to have a graphical environment, you’re going to spend precious memory on it. Luckily, Lubuntu is pretty darn light on that front, while still being full featured. There are alternatives that could probably save you a little bit, but not without a fair amount of effort.

So now there’s the applications you use. Memory hungry applications like LibreOffice, Firefox, etc., are likely going to require you running them by themselves. In other words, you would never open Firefox and LibreOffice at the same time.

The web browser is of particular attention. For one, I would only use one tab at a time in the browser. I would avoid using web apps (again, e.g. Google Sheets) whenever possible. I would probably avoid playing videos, but instead downloading them and playing them locally. Consider turning off stuff like JavaScript that use extra resources (at the expense of breaking some websites). You may even want to consider a lighter browser like Falkon, or in a worst case, Dillo.


Thank you very much for the reasoned answer, I am grateful to you for the investment you put into the answer. I think I will go in the direction you wrote to use only one browser window at a time. I have now tried Lubunto 18 live and it seems to me to run much better and less stuck. Is there a certain reason why it runs better for me than version 22? It’s just that its graphics are old and bother me, so I’m asking if I can install a newer version of LXQT on it manually by command in the terminal? If so, how? Thank you very much for being willing to answer my questions.

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Ubuntu releases are year.month in format, ie. the primary difference between our releases is just WHEN we release them (24.04 in 2024-April, 23.10 was in 2023-October, 22.04 back in 2022-April) and the length of support we provide (ie. LTS or short 9 month only support period).

Yes, as software adds features, functionality & copes with newer hardware it tends to increase in size (expecting your machine to likewise be newer), but you can only counter that with your setup/configuration & selecting a age of software that best suits your machine.

I use a 2GB device for occasional QA of Lubuntu, however I ensure it is setup correclty, and I do use that device differently to my primary machine (16GB RAM) or secondary machines (8GB).

Have you adjusted swap for your machine?? as that is CRITICAL ! Refer Swap and Lubuntu (FAQ) as that really matters; I’ve written before about needing to borrow 4GB from my secondary machine (thus 8GB became 4GB for a week) not expecting any noticable difference during that period, and BOY WAS I WRONG… I suddenly noticed I’d not increased swap from default, and that step alone restored operation back to what I’d expected when I [temporarily] stole half the RAM.

LXQt 2 reference makes little sense to me; have you increased your RAM and thus want the newer features?

Next have you considered what you’ll use the machine for? LXQt is a Qt5 environment, and will perform best if you use Qt5 apps. If you’re wanting/hoping to use GTK apps your choice of OS may not be best, as your desktop & apps won’t be able to share resources (ie. more RAM will be required). So do consider what you use, if you’re planning to use additional apps and not just what we include by default (I sure do if my RAM is 4GB or less!)

On 2GB of RAM, I’d likely opt for a WM (window manager) only, though as such devices usually still have good disk capacity (160GB+ common, regardless >80GB will do), thus having a DE such as LXQt/Lubuntu can be nice, but you login using the WM alone when doing some memory intensive tasks, or the full DE+WM (Lubuntu session) when you know what you’ll be doing won’t be stressing your RAM… ie. you behavior will greatly influence how the system performs.

FYI: For older hardware (esp. GPU or graphics hardware), I often find the older kernels give less trouble; you select the kernel stack with your install media, but that can be changed post-install too. Lubuntu like all flavors of Ubuntu still use the kernel stack defaults of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as regards GA/HWE kernel choice, but for us to help you need to be specific as to what media you use to install, as two stacks have existed on 22.04 media we’ve released. You can experiment without install with different kernels, ie. with 22.04 alone we’ve provided media using 5.15 (GA), 5.19, 6.2 & 6.5 (HWE) kernels.

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We do NOT support Lubuntu 18.04 LTS

with 18.04 now a year beyond EOSS

so keep your system offline, unless you’ve opted to take advantage of Canonical ESM offerings for extended support.

Either way, Ubuntu support for 18.04 has completed; it’s now supported only by Canonical.

Do note: 18.04 had different swap defaults… did you explore swap???

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Don’t bother with anything older than 22.04 because it’s unsupported by us. The only way to justify going with an older, unsupported release would be if (A) you don’t care about your software being old and outdated and buggy and (B) you don’t connect to the Internet because you will not get any security updates.

Also, I should add this: the desktop environment in 18.04 is LXDE, not LXQt. Specifically, it ran off of GTK2. It was particularly buggy. LXDE has since switched to GTK3, which is less buggy, but heavier in resource usage than LXQt. So if we’re looking towards the future and supported software, LXQt is better than LXDE.


Wow, thank you very much. Now I understand much more what I am going towards. I would like to install version 22 but I didn’t understand how to correctly define the SWAP. When I installed Lubuntu at the first time, I remember there was also SWAP that was running, but apparently it was not configured correctly. I am attaching here a screenshot from the system I have and would like to know how to correctly configure the SWAP, thanks in advance.

Please be precise with details; there is no Lubuntu 22.

Ubuntu reserves the year format of releases for snap only versions, eg. Ubuntu Core 22, being the snap only version of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Server.

Lubuntu is a deb based system, and we had releases of 22.04 (April) & 22.10 (October) in 2022; no snap only 22 release.

Swap is configured correctly on 22.04; HOWEVER the size is unsuited to a low RAM machine in my experience. The swap installed is that provided by the calamares installer that we use; which is fine for more recent hardware, but sure isn’t ideal for older & more limited resource hardware (again my experience/opionion here).

It was covered in the “I’ve installed and only have 512MB of swap, how can I increase the size ?” question in my FAQ provided link; ie. it linked to another page which gave instructions on creating a 8GB swapfile.

Your post mentioned 18, and we don’t support any 18.04/18.10 release, thus why this question was moved to Offtopic and away from support.

If you’re using a supported release (22 is not a valid product release, 22.04 we do support; 22.10 we do not), please provide details.

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thanks a lot for the answer. I see that I have not been understood well, so I want to clarify myself. I really want to install Lubuntu 22.04.4 LTS and I just ask:

  1. Will it fit the computer whose details I gave above?
  2. Is there an option for minimal installation? And if so how?
  3. Is there a way to configure the SWAP to have, for example, 8G? will it help? If so, how do you do it?
    I ask all these questions before installation to know if Lubuntu is suitable for my computer.
    Thank you very much for your patience with my questions. I am sure that thanks to you the world will be better :smiley:

That is, as I see it, more a question related to disk/storage capacity, of which you’ve provided no details. As for RAM you did mention, it’ll work yes, however how fast it operates will depend on usage & how careful/thoughtful/frugal you are managing your available resources, esp. app choice (not of what is installed, but what is using RAM during execution)

Not in 22.04; as the installer allows you to select to use swapfile or not to use swapfile. It has a fixed size of 512MB, which is fine for new/modern hardware with loads of RAM, but too small in my opinion with your 2GB of RAM, which is why I provided a link to the FAQ which includes instructions on increased swapfile size.

I’ve already provided that via link. Refer back to prior provided details and then search (as explained before) for the “* I’ve installed and only have 512MB of swap, how can I increase the size ?” question, as 512MB is what is created by default. In my experience, it helps immensely.

Note: I don’t know your CPU as you gave no specifics, only mentioning “Celeron”. There are reasonable Celerons, and there are Celerons that are rubbishy (they were only used on low end hardware). If you’ve got a good celeron model you maybe able to use a full desktop, however if its a cheap/nasty one I’d recommend installing the system, then using a WM only, esp. given your lack of RAM. What matters most is how it’ll be used, what apps etc (of which I have no details).

FYI: You can work out what CPU you’re using various tools; eg. lscpu when run on my current PC tells me

Model name: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9400 @ 2.66GHz

that I’m using a Core2Quad cpu where the detail I consider most important is the Q9400 (Celeron is a label like Pentium… with hundreds of models of each). For my CPU what matters is the Q9400, and a simple web search will find intel’s website page (https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/35365/intel-core-2-quad-processor-q9400-6m-cache-2-66-ghz-1333-mhz-fsb.html) which was a reasonable CPU for a machine from 2008; alas that’s rather ‘old’ today (near sixteen years later), but it works well in my opinion (I’d rather use this old box, than another 6 year newer laptop as I prefer this form factor!).


Thank you very much for the detailed answer. I wrote the command as you gave and these are the details of the processor: Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU N3350 @ 1.10GHz. How can I know the details of the hard disk?

You can get some basic info about your hard disk by
application menu → settings → LXQt system settings → configuration center → drives.

(Because the system language of my Lubuntu installation is not English, the keywords could be different from the used ones above.)

Because you’ve not yet installed 22.04 LTS, you may be interested in this article.

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Thank you very much for all the answers. I see that the hard disk is 28GB. Actually this is an ASUS E203N computer from about 5 years ago.
If I install Lubunto 24.4.04.LTS and increase the SWAP memory to 8G, will it be ok? If the team of experts here gives me the green light, I will try to install and see the results in reality… :smiley:

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Due to the specifications the storage capacity of your laptop isn’t merely 28 GB. Perhaps that’s the used part of total storage?

Alas, I have no experience with running on swap but I can’t imagine it will be pure fun. Let’s wait for other opinions or simply give it a try.

I looked at the link to the specifications of the computer you brought and it is definitely not the specifications of my computer. It says there, for example, that it has 4GB of memory, but my computer definitely only has 2GB. They probably improved the model after they failed miserably with the one they marketed

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This can be - but I think, for our problem that’s not important at all.

Hello @jeely

As per my experience you can try Tiny Core Linux this is better for low resource systems.

I hope this will helpful for you.


Now it seems that I have found the right specs for your notebook: click

Total storage is only 32 GB. Hence I fear that a large swap file is not even recommendable.
Maybe @marcoperson has shown a good alternative.