Dipping your toes in the world of Linux? The Linux community has had an ongoing debate about which distro should be a Linux newbie’s first.
The discussion dates back to 1995 – the early years of Linux – with DistroWatch estimating that 80% of the Linux market had Slackware installed.
To this day, there is no definitive conclusion to the debate. And that’s a good thing since continual evolution is the spirit of Linux.
That being said, there are many good first choices to pick from. And Linux Lite (abbreviated to LL) is an underrated contender for the top spot. Like most distros, LL is free to use, but what makes it stand out is its absolute simplicity.
It mimics the feel of Windows while remaining lightweight and full-featured, making it the perfect OS to pick for someone making a foray into using Linux regularly.
Familiar look and feel? Check. Lightweight? Check. Familiar software like Steam, Spotify, and LibreOffice? Check.
Below, we take a closer look at everything Linux Lite’s got to offer.
The Origins of Linux Lite
Per the official website, the first public version of Linux Lite, nicknamed “Beryl,” came out in 2014. Created by Jerry Bezencon and team, the OS is based on Ubuntu and offers a custom Xfce desktop.
The newest version of LL, Linux Lite 6.2, was released in November 2022 and is the second release in the 6.x series. It’s based on Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS.
Linux Lite has been downloaded over 33 million times – calling this “impressive” would be a massive understatement. It stood #9 on DistroWatch‘s popularity ranking between 2022-23.
The developers follow the Unix philosophy regarding software selection and programming – they pick and work on programs that do one thing and do it well.
Requirements: Comparing Windows 11 and Linux Lite
|Windows 11||Linux Lite 6 Series|
|Display||>9″ with HD Resolution (720p)||VGA capable of 1024 x 768 resolution|
|Graphics card||Directx 12 compatible graphics / WODM 2x||3D Acceleration capable video card with at least 256 MB|
|Internet connection||Required for setup||Not required|
|Processor||Two core, 64-bit processor (≥1 GHz)||Two core, 64-bit processor (≥1 GHz)|
|RAM||4 GB||768 MB|
|Storage||64 GB or larger storage device||8 GB or larger storage device|
|System firmware||UEFI, Secure Boot capable||UEFI, Secure Boot, and Legacy capable|
|TPM||Trusted Platform Module version 2.0||Not required|
You can update LL in two clicks and in minutes – something you might not be able to do on a Windows machine. The update notifications appear automatically.
The active Linux Lite forum will help you get support when you need it. You might even find your answer in the built-in Help Manual.
The OS doesn’t compromise on security, either. The firewall is highly configurable. The security update notifications ensure your machine is always strapped with the latest security measures.
Chrome, Dropbox, and Thunderbird come pre-installed. You can start using LL just like you would use Windows right after installation. VLC Media Player is also pre-installed, enabling you to watch videos across several codecs on the first boot.
The Linux Lite team went the extra mile and included in-house tools such as Lite Software and Lite Tweaks. These enable you to maintain and enhance your system as you please.
Where Can You Use Linux Lite?
#1 At Home
If you use your machine to browse the web, use social media, or download and upload files, Linux Lite won’t let you down.
#2 In Your Multimedia Space
Whether you enjoy watching movies or playing video games, Linux Lite is lightweight and will help you get the maximum performance out of your hardware.
#3 At School/In the Office
The LibreOffice suite is Microsoft Office compatible and comes with all the features the Office suite has to offer. You won’t miss out on any features if you pick Linux Lite over Windows. No wonder the OS is deployed across universities and businesses worldwide.
So, will Linux Lite be your first distro? We think it should be.
It works amazingly well on low-end machines and is easier to move to than many other Linux distros. You don’t need any knowledge about working a terminal to use Linux Lite!