Looking for a lightweight RPM based distro


Can anyone recommend a lightweight RPM distro for me? I have an older computer that my cousin is using and windows XP and 7 run like **** on it.

I installed lubuntu on it but i’m not good with DEB based linux distros, i’m used to RPM based distros like suse, and since i’ll be the one to maintain the computer when something is needed (like clicking on a program to install it in yast lol), i need something familiar that i can stuff with simmilar repositories that suse uses like packman, nvidia, VLC and Mozilla.

ubuntu is confusing for me, it functions differently and i’m not in the mood, nor do i have time to learn it.

I tried installing suse on it but even bare bones installation (only what’s needed) is kinda too heavy for that PC. I used lxde desktop. Didn’t work well…

Also, yast and zypper are suse only or on other distros as well?

So, if you know of some distros worth checking out that are simmilar to suse (so i don’t get lost in them), i’d appretiate it if you could share!

Thank you!

On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 23:46:01 +0000, Vepar wrote:

> I have an older
> computer that my cousin is using

Can you define some hardware specifications for this system? Memory/
video card/processor/disk space would be a good start.

I have an “older” system that’s an AMD-64 dual-core system with 2 GB of
memory in it, and another that’s an 80386 with 16 BM of RAM in it.

Specifics are usually very helpful in making a recommendation, since
everyone’s idea of “older” is different.


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

Yes, well i didn’t think it would matter, sorry…

Anyway, this one is even older than your first one, but way newer than the second one. :slight_smile:
But yes, point taken. :wink:

Here it is:

AMD Athlon x64 single core 1.8 Ghz
1 GB DDR (DDR1, the slowest one, 133, Mhz or something i’m not sure)
nVidia Geforce 6100 or 6200, low end of the 6000 series with 256 MB RAM.
320 GB Hard disk, 5400 RPM, don’t know which brand

Hope this helps to recommend something, and again, sorry about not providing the details.

I suspect you won’t find one that will work in 256Mb. I ran openSUSE KDE3 with 256Mb reasonably happily on my older laptop until three years ago. I’ve now upgraded to 768Mb and it works fine with LXDE.

I have an even older computer on which I am running Minino after trying every distro in Distrowatch listed as for older computers and claiming to be able to run in less than 256Mb and finding this was the only one which would install but this is Debian based.

So, if you can increase the memory - try RAM Memory Upgrade: Dell, Mac, Apple, HP, Compaq. USB drives, SSD at Crucial.com, you should be able to run openSUSE with LXDE reasonably well.

On Thu, 29 Nov 2012 22:36:01 +0000, john hudson wrote:

> I suspect you won’t find one that will work in 256Mb.

That’s what’s on his video card, though - he’s got 1 GB system RAM, which
should be enough for something running LXDE or another lightweight


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

Well for debian based distros I may be some help there, what is so confusing for you under debian I wonder though?
I guess if you were compiling packages there I see issues as technically it is easier to create rpm’s then .deb packages, but apt really isnt that hard to use and should not be needed most of the time anyway due to its front ends like synaptic (works much like YaST) or software center

openSUSE 12.2 / GNOME 3.4 works well on 512 MB ram with inbuilt graphics card

I saw that and then thought I’d misread it because I’m running a full KDE setup in 1Gb; I also run Razor-qt but not because of the amount of memory it uses, because I have got fed up of some of KDE’s more recent ‘features.’

So stay with openSUSE and use Razor-qt with openbox on top of KDE - because Razor-qt takes advantage of nearly all the useful configurations you can set in KDE.

When i tried razor it always gives me a white screen in the second time i login.
I think the desktop is creating some stupid config files the first time and breaking the desktop.

The alternative possibility is that they haven’t sorted out all the Qt libraries that it needs; it runs fine on top of KDE.

Hope they get it working with GDM real soon.

Avoid KDE, Gnome3 or XFCE. KDE isn’t as heavy as people make it out to be but its still too heavy. Gnome 3 is the worst DE out there at the moment for memory usage. XFCE is not too fantastic either, its the lightest of the three but it would still be a bit too much. LXDE is an option but I’ve always found it to be very boring. Peppermint is an amazing LXDE distro.

Thinking about it, the best distro in my opinion for something like this would be Bodhi. Bodhi has E17 which is amazingly resource efficient! Bodhi also has a great community and it just works on even the crappiest hardware. Video drivers are going to be very difficult if not out of the question.

It’s really sad that I can’t think of a good RPM distro but seriously give Bodhi a try.

E17 is available for opensuse
try this link
E17 repo
1 click

Hello people, sorry for taking so long to respond. Stuff to do, work, wouldn’t let me log in etc…


Yes, i have 1 GB ram, but i’ve tried both LXDE and XFCE on suse, but both ended up being laggy and sluggish. It’s
not because the desktop enviroment is demanding, the system itself is a bit demanding and probably not meant for
older computers… Or i’m doing something wrong here, but out of the box it didn’t work well and was kind of unpleasant to use.
I even installed nvidia drivers and needed software that usually improves performance. Same result.

I can’t get gnome on this computer because it would blow my cousin’s mind (too different from windows that she got used to).
But i doubt ti would matter. No matter what enviroment i got, the result was the same. I think the system is just a bit too heavy for
that comfiguration… Don’t know… The processor and the disk are kinda slow, maybe that’s it.

About debian being confusing… Well it just kinda is. I’ve never been able to configure a debian based linux the way i want
for it to work properly. Allways some problems, something doesn’t work for me, but it works for literally everyone else, then i try to find
a solution, i find it but it doesn’t work, the desktop is behaving weird, solution again, i need to install something from source, problems,
this that… The list goes on and it gets annoying after a while. I’m just having the worst luck with debian based distros. It’s bizzare really.

I’m not a pro but i find RPM distros like SUSE much easyer to figure out. If something doesn’t work i can either fix it in minutes, or find a
solution online that’s easy to do and allways works. I think i did something to debian in my past life and now it hates me. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not saying one is better or worse than the other, just that I’m better with one and worse with the other. :slight_smile:
Also, it would be great to have it for convenience. I use SUSE, so whenever i need to do something i don’t need to go in a slightly different mindset to do
something… I can just do whatever i do on my computer…

I’m not sure about Razor-qt yet, i’ll have to try it on a virtual machine, matching the other computer’s specifications,
or maybe even lower specs to see how it performs. I’ll try it though, i didn’t know it existed till now. Thank you for the find. :slight_smile:

Also, thank you for the recommendations for Peppermint, Bodhi and the repository. I’ll give those a try! Downloading them now!

@Vepar - btw i am trying out e17 using that repo and it rocks. Enlightenment has very low memory footprint.
create a new user profile before trying out e17 as it is alpha/beta at best and turn do off auto login when trying out stuff

IMHO with that hardware, you are not going to get a snappy performance with an rpm based distribution.

IMHO ‘sluggish’ tends to be a subjective term.

I have LXDE runninng on a 32-bit athlon-1100 PC with 2GB RAM. Graphic card is an AGP slot nVidia GeForce 5200. It does not have fast performance, but having tired Xfce, Gnome and KDE on this PC, there is no question in my mind that LXDE runs better. Launch firefox, and yet, it takes time to start. If I open multiple applications I can push the PC to a crawl.

But given I can obtain the latest apps with reasonable performance, IMHO its fairly good.

If you are not fixated on RPM, and if you want a reasonable desktop on a lighter weight distro, then look at some of the lighter weight distributions(non RPM) that have a good Enlightenment implementation.

IMHO with that hardware, you are not going to get a snappy performance with an rpm based distributio

I do not agree with this.
I got here an IBM Thinkpad t23, PentiumM1000MHz, 768 MB RAM, graphic card savage S3 16MB
Running fine in order of appearance on HD:
LinuxMintDebian CinnamonDE
OpenSuse12.2 KDE4.8 E17
BodhiLinux E17

Ok, this is not for manipulating videos, it is good for internet, music, some office-work, what people need in daily stuff
These UTube-Videos also are playing…

The repo for opensuse/E17 should be this

download ALL stuff from this repo. if You want more themes, go to bodhilinux or e17stuff-website

Your grayish laptop will run like hell…


i must say that i have to agree with you… im on a dell latitude d410 with a centrino 1.6 ghz 1gb ram and 128 bits of onboard graphics… and im running tumbleweed and kde4.9… its no speed demon but it doesnt crawl either… pretty smooth… imho… its all about how u configure it i guess. the first thing i did was turn off neopmuk and strigi… i dont do much multi tasking. really just surf the web watch movies and listen to music… with the accasonalle photo editing session… so imho i feel that with the computer that u are using you shouldnt have any problems running opensuse 12.2… but im no expert here… just going off personal experiance

On a fresh login I noted that xfce 4.10 on openSUSE 12.2 64-bit uses 130mb of ram. Try using less or lighter applications. You might also try using 32-bit (if not already) as it uses less memory. No matter what you do a modern day web browser will probably requires almost half a gig free to run well.

the system itself is a bit demanding and probably not meant for older computers…

I cannot speak for your experience, though the core system of openSUSE uses only in the tens of megabytes for me.

Edit: You might try looking into this as well: https://forums.opensuse.org/blogs/malcolmlewis/package-day-systemd-zram-service-101/

Using zram improved interface response greatly when I am running low on memory using many virtual machines at once.