LXLE light for older hardware
There are many distros that claim to be worthy of the attentions of an older Pc. The likes of Puppy, Damn Small Linux and so on do an admirable job of bringing a modern desktop to a PC that would simply fall over should it ever be introduced to Microsoft's more modern releases.

Now there's one more desktop to add to the list: LXlE 12.04.4 (Lubuntu Extra Life Extension). This is an update to a relatively new distro based on Lubuntu, as you would imagine from the name, and using LXDE. As the developer states, "It is designed to be a drop-in and go OS, primarily for aging computers. Its intention is to be able to install it on any computer and be relatively done after install. At times, removing unwanted programs or features is easier than configuring for a day. Our distro follows the same LTS schedule as Ubuntu.

In short, LXLE is an electric respin of Lubuntu with its own user support." It's certainly a nice-looking desktop, and there's plenty of functionality out of the box. LibreOffice, Gimp and Open Short are all available, as well some of the other popular packages you'd normally find within the folds of a well thought out distro.
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Additionally, it's also a distro that subsequently flies on older hardware. Whereas a few other lightweight distros tend to favour a more modern setup, LXLE does a fantastic job with a simple Pentium 4, with Hyper-Threading and a mere 512MB of memory. We imagine it could go less, but we didn't have anything older at hand, to be honest. It's also worth mentioning that it's particularly impressive when run under VirtualBox. The .iso itself is around 1.2GB in size, and available from the Downloads section of the LXLE site at www.lxle.net/download. Once downloaded, go through the usual motions of installing it on your choice of system, and enjoy a desktop that's fast and visually appealing.

The Future Lies with the Old

Using LXLE got me thinking how much I really take Linux distros that are designed for older hardware for granted. While I'm quite happy to go out and purchase a brand new machine (granted I do need it to review the latest games on - that's my excuse anyway), others would rather keep their older hardware and make better use of it or purchase a second-hand machine that's still functioning but lacking an OS to power it up.

So rather than concentrating on making Linux an ultra modern operating system, perhaps we should go back to how things used to be and use Linux for computers whose usefulness has been limited by the onward march of Microsoft's operating systems. LXLE, for us it is then. An OS that proves that there is life in the old dog yet