Best DE (or window manager) for old/low-powered hardware

We are talking old hardware, like an old Dell a Pentium processor and 1 gig of memory. Which would be better i3wm or LXDE?

I3wm would run lower in ram in my experience,but depends if you are willing to sacrifice “looks” for the extra savings.

Both will run fine on older hardware,the Lxde would give you more of a “real” feeling from the pc(real desktop ish)

I would say it depends on you skillset and what you are gonna do mostly when using it,comfort-level i would say👍 However for maximal ram savings,i would go i3wm if my goal was to lighten up as much as possible.

Worse case: Test both to see what you enjoy the most,if you have 1gb ram my belive is that you would not “feel” the effect from saving the extra amount of ram as you can run both okay i think:)

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I really love i3. This was my setup:

Now I’m using gnome with pop shell tiling manager.


Made me curious about gnome + pop shell.

Looks very much like i3! However, the you retain the benefits of full Gnome DE which is really cool!:



I think that it would be a trade off between being able to customize your desktop environment and not being able to do so. With all the ability to customize i3wm, I find LXDE generally easier to use and would naturally align towards it over i3wm.

I3wm would be smoother than LXDE here my setup
My machine maybe closer to yours 4GB ram and old intel core duo

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Lovely! Thanks for sharing. Love this. :heart_decoration:

Also see: Share your OS, Distro, Desktop setup - (screenshots, photos)

A post was merged into an existing topic: Choosing a Linux Terminal Emulators - Discussion and List

I find LXDE useful when a full DE is needed. It’s very lightweight and for example I have remote VMs running either LXDE or XFCE and you have everything you need in seconds.

I also REALLY LOVE Arszilla / Kali i3 · GitLab