Have an old computer lying around that you’d like to use for some light web surfing, document editing, and other tasks? I mean like a PC with a 1999-era Intel Pentium III processor? It turns out there’s an OS for that… and it’s not Windows 98.

Legacy OS 4 Mini

Legacy OS 4 Mini is a light-weight Linux operating system designed to run on older PC hardware. It supports any PC with a Pentium II 800 MHz or faster processor, 256MB of RAM, and 4GB of disk space. For better performance, you’ll want a Pentium 4 processor, but as the name suggests, Legacy will run on… legacy hardware.

In fact, you may have problems running the operating system on hardware that’s too recent.

The operating system can run a number of modern apps including Skype and Pidgin for chat, Transmission and Ktorrent for bittorrent, Amarok for music, SMPlayer for videos, and Opera for surfing the web.

Legacy OS 4 Mini is based on Puppy Linux, but the user interface has been modified, as has the list of preloaded applications. There’s a package manager that you can use to install additional apps though.

You can check out a video overview from Sneekylinux below. Legacy OS 4 Mini is available for download from SoftPedia.

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6 replies on “Legacy OS 4 Mini: Light-weight Linux for older PCs”

  1. This is great! Most recent Linux distros require a 64 bit processor. The rest require a 32 bit processor that supports Physical Address Extension (PAE). That leaves out anything older than a Core 2 Duo. It’s good to see some developers still care about the millions of older computers that haven’t been dumped in a landfill yet.

  2. on a network, can i share files with windows machine when i am running Puppy? Just downloading, yet to try it out and i am anxious for the best..


  3. God bless you, brother, but there ain’t no such thang as a Pentium II 800 MHz processor. Other than that, thanks for the info on Legacy OS 4.

  4. Puppy (LuPu) can use Ubuntu Repositories – and Quickpets are usually has a good selection of most used apps.  There are a lot of variants to PUPPY for almost every use.  There is even on (that forked away) to set up a video editor system using clustered Puppy CDs…?   Also, for older computers, Lubuntu is also ok to try out.

  5. This is the beauty of Linux: It is really flexible and allows that old computer sitting dust in the corner to still be useful. 

    I hope this distribution or a distribution like it stays current with security; there will be a lot of computers which will make decent basic Linux servers or desktops that can’t run Vista or 7 come early 2014 when XP finally is completely cut off.

    1. Sam,

      Security isn’t much of an issue here. I switched to Puppy Linux 4 years ago and never had a virus again.

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