50 Open Source Replacements for Windows XP: Page 3

These are some of the best Linux distributions for former Windows XP users and people who have older PC hardware.
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35. AntiX

Designed specifically for older systems, AntiX claims it can even run on old 64 MB Pentium II 266 systems. It comes in full, base and core distributions, with full being the best option for Linux newcomers.

36. Damn Small Linux (DSL)

Just 50MB in size, DSL can run on old 486 PCs or can run within RAM on newer PCs with at least 128 MB of memory. It comes with a surprising number of applications built in, and it can also run from a live CD or USB thumb drive.

37. Nanolinux

In the race to create the smallest distribution of Linux, Nanolinux comes near the top of the list. Although it's only 14 MB in size, it includes a browser, text editor, spreadsheet, personal information manager, music player, calculator, some games and a few other programs. However, it's not as newbie-friendly as some of the other distributions on our list.

38. VectorLinux

The self-proclaimed "best little Linux operating system available anywhere," lightweight VectorLinux aims to be very fast and very stable. It includes tools that will be popular with advanced users but it also has an easy-to-use graphic interface for newbies.

39. ZenWalk

Formerly known as "Minislack," ZenWalk is a lightweight distribution that focuses on fast performance and support for multimedia. It includes some special features that appeal to programmers, and the desktop version can also be tweaked to function as a server. Note that the website is organized like a forum, so it can be a little tricky to navigate.

40. Salix OS

According to the Salix website, "Like a bonsai, Salix is small, light and the product of infinite care." It's based on Slackware, but it's simplicity makes it more accessible for Windows users.

Business-Friendly Operating Systems

41. Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Red Hat is probably the most well-known enterprise-focused Linux distribution. It comes in both desktop and server versions. However, unlike many other Linux distributions, you'll need to pay for a support subscription in order to use it.

42. Fedora

If you like Red Hat but don't want to pay for support, check out Fedora, which is the free, community version of Red Hat. It comes in different "spins"—versions that are tailored to particular uses like science, security and design.

43. CentOS

This "Community ENTerprise Operating System" is another free version of Red Hat. It aims to be highly stable and manageable to meet the needs of business users without requiring that they purchase support.

44. SUSE

Used by more than 13,000 businesses around the world, SUSE counts the London Stock Exchange, Office Depot and Walgreens among its users. The website primarily emphasizes the server versions, but it does also come in a desktop version. Like Red Hat, it requires a paid support subscription.

45. openSUSE

OpenSUSE is the free, community edition of SUSE for those who don't want to purchase support. It comes in both desktop and server versions and aims to meet the needs of both beginners and advanced users.

Non-Linux Operating Systems

46. Chromium

Chromium is the open source project behind Google's Chrome OS—the operating system used on Chromebook devices. It's best for users who use Google's cloud services heavily. Less technical users may find it challenging to install Chromium on a former Windows XP machine.

47. PC-BSD

Users interested in trying a desktop operating system that isn't based on Linux can also check out PC-BSD. It's based on FreeBSD, which is known for its stability, and emphasizes user-friendliness. Older versions supported the KDE desktop only, but the latest update allows users to select their choice of desktop interface.

48. ReactOS

Unlike most of the other operating systems on this list, ReactOS isn't a version of Linux or BSD; instead, it's a completely new free OS designed to be Windows-compatible. At this point, it's still an alpha release, but it shows promise.

Other Applications

49. WINE

WINE (which stands for "Wine is not an emulator") allows users to run Windows programs on Unix-based systems, including Linux distributions and OS X. It offers very fast performance and excellent stability. A supported version known as Crossover Linux is also available for sale.

50. QEMU

This emulator can run applications made for any operating system on any other operating system. In other words, you can use it to run Windows XP software on Linux systems or to run Linux applications on Windows (in case you want to try them out before you install Linux on your hard drive). It's best for more experienced users; less technically savvy folks should probably stick with Wine.


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Tags: open source, Linux, Linux desktop, Windows XP


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