Top 7 Free Operating Systems For Laptop or Netbook.

Last Updated: August 8, 2017
best free operating system for laptop

Tired of Windows, Mac OS X, and other Operating Systems paid up gradation and support? Do you feel like trying something new? Or perhaps you want to test the cutting edge in operating system design or find out what the platform of the future is going to be. Or you may simply want to try a system that your friends are using to see whether you can use it for your computer.

Related: 10 Best Android Antivirus & Mobile Security Apps with Antitheft Protection

There are plenty of operating systems available and introducing new OS day by day with so many features and fast processing capability. This page lists a variety of free operating systems available that you can download and install on your computer.

Many of the systems are also open source so you can also tinker with the system, find out how it works, and learn from it. Here is the list of best 8 Free Light Weight Antivirus that can save Computer Memory and CPU Power.

Related: 7 Best Portable Linux Distro to Boot and Run from USB

Are you searching for a lightweight operating system for your netbook? Here is a list of free lightweight operating system that can operate without using much of your hardware resources and probably boot from the USB itself.

1, Ubuntu

Most Linux netbook systems seem to be based on this one, so it’s really worth starting with Ubuntu Ubuntu is an operating system built by a worldwide team of expert developers. It contains all the applications you need: a web browser, office suite, media apps, instant messaging and much more. Ubuntu is an open-source alternative to Windows and Office.


This operating system wasn’t exactly designed from the ground up. It’s a Gnome-based system, including most of the standard Ubuntu apps (Firefox, Open Office, F-Spot, etc.) that makes this setup different is the compatibility with computer hardware. The GUI tailor-made to take advantage of the limited real estate laptop screens feature.

Download Link: Ubuntu for desktop/laptop  |  Ubuntu for Netbook  |  Ubuntu for Servers

2, Fedora

Fedora is the second most popular Linux-based operating system as of early 2010, behind Ubuntu. Fedora is an RPM-based, general purpose operating system built on top of the Linux kernel, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat.

One of Fedora’s main objectives is not only to contain software distributed under a free and open source license but also to be on the leading edge of such technologies. Fedora developers prefer to make upstream changes instead of applying fixes specifically for Fedora—this ensures that their updates are available for all GNU/Linux distributions.

Fedora has a comparatively short life cycle: version X is maintained until one month after version X+2 is released. With six months between releases, the maintenance period is about 13 months for each release. Fedora because it had fairly good support for PowerPC when he used that processor architecture. He became accustomed to the operating system and continued to use it

Download Link: Fedora for Desktop / Laptop

3, Kubuntu

Kubuntu is an official derivative of the Ubuntu operating system using the KDE graphical environment instead of GNOME. It is part of the Ubuntu project and uses the same underlying system. It is possible to run both the KDE desktop (Kubuntu-desktop) as well as the Gnome desktop (Ubuntu-desktop) interchangeably on the same machine.

The Kubuntu desktop is supporting to full customization  Originally designed to ease the transition for users from other operating systems (such as Microsoft Windows) by allowing a similar desktop layout, and the KDE 4 Plasma Desktop incorporates widget-centric modularity that allows the user to incorporate function similar to all other operating systems.

It is also creating new functionality not found in other operating system desktops. 3-D effects are available in the standard KDE4 installation.

Download Link: Kubuntu for desktop/laptop

4, Jolicloud

Update: Jolicloud OS discontinued. Do you have a small memory low-speed netbook? Then Jolicloud is the best operating system for you. It is a Linux-based operating system that is currently in development and Pre-Final testing.

This Operating system is built upon Debian and Ubuntu 9.10, but is tweaked to be more suitable for computers that have weaker specifications in terms of disk storage, memory, and screen size, like netbook computers. Jolicloud relies heavily on Chromium-based packages for running web-based applications. For Windows-only products it uses Wine.

Download Link: Jolicloud Website  |  Jolicloud OS discontinued

5 Mandriva Linux

Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux or Mandrake Linux) is a French Linux distribution, distributed by Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft). It uses the RPM Package Manager.

The product lifetime of Mandriva Linux releases is 18 months for base updates (Linux, system software, etc.) and 12 months for desktop updates (window managers, desktop environments, web browsers, etc.). Server products receive full updates for at least 24 months after their release.

Download Link: Open Mandriva Lx

6, Crunchbang / Cruncheee

This one’s not exactly a netbook operating system per se, but it can make a pretty good one. Crunchbang is based on Ubuntu but focuses on “speed, style, and substance” to quote their website. Based on the lightweight open box window manager, Crunchbang certainly is fast and could run well on your netbook. I highly suggest trying this out if traditional netbook operating systems don’t work out for you.

It’s worth noting that in 2008, a group of EEE enthusiasts made a custom Crunchbang for EEE users: CrunchEEE. Check out Cruncheee here, but know that it’s over a year out of date.

Download Link: CrunchBang Linux

7, EasyPeasy

The Ubuntu Netbook Edition is great, but a lot of things don’t work out of the box. MP3s, for example, can’t be played until you install the codecs. EasyPeasy aims to be simple by offering proprietary applications and codecs out of the box. You’ll be pleased to find your favorites including Skype and Picasa included by default.

Installing EasyPeasy is pretty easy. Check out downloads and installation instructions over at

Download Link: EasyPeasy

Operating System List Updated on Jan 2017

Linux Mint

Linux Mint provides a modern, powerful and elegant operating system for your notebook. It works out of the box, with full multimedia support and easy to use.


Based on Debian and Ubuntu, Mint provides about 30,000 packages and one of the best software managers with a unique Update Manager and the robustness of its Linux architecture.

Download Link: Linux Mint

RemixOS (Android Based Build)

The perfect solution for those who want to make an Android PC. Whether it is desktop or laptop, you can run this Android based OS from USB or direct from PC hard disk. Instead of installing Remix OS direct on PC, you can boot from USB, there is an exe file available to convert USB that can load Remix OS later. Remix OS is not limiting you for doing the PC activities, you can still browse the web, office applications, prepare presentations, Taskbar, File manager, etc. With Remix OS, you can enjoy all the Android Apps and wonderful games on your Desktop or Laptop PC.

Download Link: RemixOS for PC


Moblin Linux is the light-weight Linux distribution Intel developed to run on low power netbooks with small screens and Intel Atom processors. The memo is the lightweight Linux distribution that Nokia developed to run on its handheld internet tablets including the Nokia N900 and N810.

Download Link: Moblin  |   MeeGo

There are many great operating systems worth trying out. I have only highlighted a few of them worth checking out, but there’s a lot more beneath the surface if you’re willing to dig around. If you want to try any of these OS without altering your current PC setup, please check on our article to try a new operating system without harming my computer?

No matter how high-speed your processor, the latest motherboard, or the most recent operating system you get or the best brand name, your Windows PC performance may degrade day by day if your PC is not clean. Please check our suggestions for the tools to clean your PC for better performance.


  1. Thank you Steve for your very informative article. For some time now I have been wanting to replace the OS of a barely used Dell Inspiron Mini 1012 that I have sitting around the house for years. I would like to fix it up to give to an underprivileged kid. The mini has an Intel Atom processor. I replaced the battery, did a factory reinstall of the OS and deleted all of the bloat ware. I updated the drivers and the bios but this thing is still so slow it’s practically useless. I put on the foxfire browser and that works fairly well considering that nothing else, except WMP, seems to. For some reason if I even open up the IE browser it is super slow and makes this thing run red hot. Right now all it is good for is playing music though a blue tooth speaker. I would like to wipe the system clean again and put on an Ubuntu based OS but from what I understand after doing lots of research on the subject, the main problem with all of the free OS’s out there is there seems to be no follow through with the developers. It’s like they get started on the project and then lose interest and forget about it, failing to address issues that crop up with their product. Any suggestions for an OS that is lightweight enough to work on this old machine, is fully supported, and doesn’t require the recipient to become a computer expert? I’d greatly appreciate it.

    • @Ana,
      Thank you for your comment. If you are looking for a lightweight OS with Ubuntu flavor, I would suggest trying LUbuntu that can work with 512MB (128MB min) RAM and Pentium M or AMD K8. However, the OS selection depends on your specific requirement. We listed a list of lightweight OS with required system resources that can read here:
      Note: Most of the Ubuntu fork OS are offering five years update and offer large community support. Good Luck!

  2. Testament to how “unfinished” Linux still is that there wasn’t one of these distros that would install out of the box onto a Lenovo 3000 n200 laptop and run in a stable manner. Granted you can go google and fix the issues, but still, this is the status quo apparently. UNIX still=hosting, Windows=desk/laptop still apparently.

  3. Well, its truly a great article, as it provides all of the major Linux operating system list with their descriptions. But the only reason the list is incomplete as it missed out one of the top Linux operating system which is designed for homes, small to medium businesses, and distributed environments that is ClearOS. ClearOS is commonly known as the Next Generation Small Business Server, while including indispensable Gateway and Networking functionality. It delivers a powerful IT solution with an elegant user interface that is completely web-based. For further Information we provide you with the link.

  4. I installed Windows 7 x64 onto a new 640 GB Caviar Black hard drive I recently bought. I partitioned the hard drive into two parts— the first partition has all of my programs installed and the second partition has all of my files (my documents, etc). This morning when I turned on my computer, I got the following error: “Disk boot failure insert system disk and press enter”. I have never seen this before, so I went ahead and inserted my Win 7 x64 disk and restarted. Here, I can’t see my hard drive when I go to “Repair your computer”; however, whenever I go to “Install Now” as if I was going to start a new installation, I can see both partitions. Any ideas? I’ve thought that it might be a faulty cable, but then I can still see the drive when I click Install Now, so I’m not sure if that is the problem.

  5. I am porting scripts from Solaris to RHEL 5.x that contain mailx commands. It looks like Linux does not support the -r for return address? On…

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