Five lightweight Linux desktop worlds for extreme open-sourcers

Need a slim-line work environment? We recommend the best. Screenshots Linux long ago reached parity with Windows and OS X. That’s great for the average user looking to make the switch from either platform to Linux. Indeed distros like Ubuntu, with its Unity desktop, make switching relatively painless.


  • Openbox


  • Crunchbang++

  • SparkyLinux (with Openbox)

  • DIY Debian/Arch

  • LXDE-based distros

    • LXQt is the likely successor to the LXDE project.
      LXQt and its predecessor offer a more graphical-based set of configuration tools, and for the most part there’s no need to mess with startup scripts and file-based configuration tools. LXQt is also a full-fledged desktop, rather than a windows manager with some supplemental tools, which makes it a gentle intro to lightweight Linux.
      If you’d like something a little more pre-configured, Lubuntu, the LXDE-based variant of Ubuntu makes a good starting point (under the hood, Lubuntu uses Openbox as a window manager.) Lubuntu is making the switch to LXQt this year when Ubuntu 15.10 comes out, and beta versions will be available for download in the next couple of months if you’d like to try it.