14 Linux Distributions You Can Rely on for Your Ancient 32-bit Computer 2

14 Linux Distributions You Can Rely on for Your Ancient 32-bit Computer

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest Linux distributions, you must have noticed that 32-bit support has been dropped from most of the popular Linux distributions. Arch Linux, Ubuntu, Fedora, everyone has dropped the support for this older architecture.

But what if you have vintage hardware with you that still needs to be revived or you want to make use of it for something? Fret not, there are still a few options left to choose from for your 32-bit system.

In this article, I’ve tried to compile some of the best Linux distributions that will keep on supporting 32-bit platform for next few years.

Top Linux distributions that still offer 32-bit support

This list is a bit different from our earlier list of Linux distributions for old laptops. Even 64-bit computers can be considered old if they were released before 2010. This is why some suggestions listed there included distros that only support 64-bit now.

The information presented here is correct as per my knowledge and findings but if you find otherwise, please let me know in the comment section.

Before you go on, I suppose you know how to check if you have a 32 bit or 64 bit computer.

1. Debian

3. AntiX

4. openSUSE

5. Emmabuntüs

6. NixOS

features from its official website.

  • RAM: 768MB
  • 8GB disk space
  • Pentium 4 or equivalent

7. Gentoo Linux

installation instructions and you will be in for an adventure.

Minimum System Requirements:

  • 256MB RAM
  • Pentium 4 or AMD equivalent
  • 2.5GB disk space

8. Devuan

Init freedom.

It may not be a very popular Linux distribution for an average user but if you want a systemd-free distribution and 32-bit support, Devuan should be a good option.

Minimum System Requirements:

  • RAM: 1GB
  • CPU: Pentium 1.0GHz

9. Void Linux


Q4OS is another Debian-based distribution that focuses on providing a minimal and fast desktop user experience. It also happens to be one of the best lightweight Linux distributions in our list. It features the Trinity desktop for its 32-bit edition and you can find KDE Plasma support on 64-bit version.

Similar to Void Linux, Q4OS also runs on a bare minimum of at least 128 MB RAM and a 300 MHz CPU with a 3 GB storage space requirement. It should be more than enough for any vintage hardware. So, I’d say you should definitely try it out!

To know more about it, you can also check out our review of Q4OS.

Minimum requirements for Q4OS:

  • RAM: 128MB (Trinity Desktop) / 1GB (Plasma Desktop)
  • CPU: 300MHz (Trinity Desktop) / 1GHz (Plasma Desktop)
  • Storage Space: 5GB (Plasma Desktop) / 3GB (Trinity Desktop)

11: MX Linux

12. Linux Mint Debian Edition

13. Sparky Linux

14. Mageia

Mandriva LinuxMageia Linux is a community-powered Linux distribution that supports 32-bit systems.

Usually, you will notice a major release every year. They aim to contribute their work to give a free operating system which is also potentially secure. It may not be a popular choice for 32-bit systems but it supports a lot of desktop environments (like KDE Plasma, GNOME), you just need to install it from its repositories if you need.

You should get the option to download a desktop environment specific image from their official site.

Minimum System Requirements:

  • 512MB RAM (2GB Recommended)
  • 5 GB storage space for minimal installation (20 GB for regular installation)
  • CPU: Pentium 4, or AMD Athlon

Honorable Mentions: Funtoo & Puppy Linux

Funtoo is a Gentoo-based community-developed Linux distribution. It focuses on giving you the best performance with Gentoo Linux along with some extra packages to make the experience complete for users. It is also interesting to note that the development is actually led by Gentoo Linux’s creator Daniel Robbins.

Puppy Linux is a tiny Linux distro with almost no bundled software applications but the basic tools. If nothing else works and you want the lightest distro, Puppy Linux could be an option.

Of course, if you’re new to Linux, you may not have the best experience with these options. But, both the distros support 32-bit systems and work well across many older Intel/AMD chipsets. Explore more about it on their official websites to explore.

wrap up

I focused the list on Debian-based and some Independent distributions. However, if you don’t mind long term support and just want to get your hands on a 32-bit supported image, you can try any Ubuntu 18.04 based distributions (or any official flavor) as well.

At the time of writing this, they just have a few more months of software support left. Hence, I avoided mentioning it as the primary options. But, if you like Ubuntu 18.04 based distros or any of its flavors, you do have options like LXLE, Linux Lite, Zorin Lite 15and other official flavors.

Even though most modern desktop operating systems based on Ubuntu have dropped support for 32-bit support. You still have plenty of choices to go with.

What would you prefer to have on your 32-bit system? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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