List of distributions for 32 bit x86 hardware [Wiki]

This post is a Wiki, anybody can edit it and insert the distro name in alphabetical order.

Since Arch Linux is dropping 32 Bit support (except for multilib packages) and many people asking what next and giving numerous recommedations for distros repeating themselves on and on - I'm creating a central topic to give reference for distros which still support 32 Bit x86 hardware.

Please, don't add distros which 32 Bit versions you haven't tested, having tested them on 64 Bit machines is OK! It is good to add a link to the distro, Distrowatch entry and Homepage would be nice.

[Edit] I would like to only such distros be added which can be a viable alternative for Manjaro. It must be able to run a web browser which can log in to most websites and it must be able to run LibreOffice or similar full-featured office suite. Therefore I will strike through KolibriOS, but leave Haiku as the most extreme case (it's browser cannot log in to Manjaro forum for example).

Arch Based

  • Arch Linux 32 - a.k.a. archlinux32

  • Bluestar Linux - features Plasma desktop. Might be a bit heavy for most 32bit machines. Download

  • Parabola GNU/Linux-libre - with only free (as in freedom) packages (by default), listed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as a fully free software distribution

  • Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre - fork of Parabola, "Hyperbola deviates from its base by aiming for compliance with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS), long-term support, stability, security, simplicity, privacy, and having release cycle similar to, and corrections/patches based on, Debian GNU/Linux."



  • antiX - dedicated distro for old hardware, among the lowest RAM usage of distros with X (after TinyCore), many persistence features, non-systemd

  • Bunsenlabs

  • KNOPPIX - automatischer Hardwareerkennung und Unterstützung für viele Grafikkarten, Soundkarten, SCSI- und USB-Geräte und sonstige Peripherie

  • LMDE 4 - Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 targeted at experienced users, which provides the same environment as Linux Mint but uses Debian as its package base

  • MX Linux - cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS Linux communities

  • SparkyLinux - lightweight, fast and simple Linux distribution designed for both old and new computers featuring customised Enlightenment and LXDE desktops

  • Q4OS - an user friendly and very lightweight distro based on Debian and Trinity Desktop Envirorment (TDE), that resembles traditional desktop envirorments.


    • Bodhi - featuring Moksha, an Enlightenment-17-based desktop environment; minimalist approach by offering modularity, high levels of customisation, and choice of themes

    • Linux Mint - to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience (than Ubuntu) by including browser plugins, support for DVD playback, Java and other components; custom desktop and menus, several unique configuration tools, and a web-based package installation interface

    • Lubuntu - fast, lightweight and energy-saving variant of Ubuntu using the LXDE desktop

    • Xubuntu - Xfce, which is a stable, light and configurable desktop environment -- Xubuntu has dropped x86-edition starting with Xubuntu 20.04. - Video

    • Zorin (Lite edition) - XFCE, well suited for new users. They claim "Your old computer. New again", and it's not a lie - also works pretty well on small screens (it runs fine on an Asus Eee 1005HA)



  • Salix - optimised for desktop use, features one application per task, custom package repositories, advanced package management with dependency support, localised system administration tools and innovative artwork

  • Slackel - small, light & simple, fast and easy to use, with stability being a primary goal; also fully backwards compatible with Slackware

  • VectorLinux - keep it simple, keep it small


The most (mainstream) CPUs support 64 Bit since 2003!

  • Apple PowerPC 970 (2002)
  • AMD K8 (2003)
  • Intel Prescott 2M (2004)

After having compiled a comprehensive list we might add a vote for recommendations.


It could be a good idea to cross check our list with distrowatch maybe?
What about the desktop version of Raspbian?

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I mentioned only those distros I tried myself, will add more when I remember them. Distrowatch doesn't give up-to-date information, but the links to the home pages use to work. A side effect would be that the mentioned distros will get more hits.

Maybe add the link to the page where the i686 ISO of Raspbian can be found, I cannot find it from Distrowatch. IMHO it a one-time release and is quite outdated now. I would recommend it if it gets a new release.

This list is only for i686 right? No other 32-bit hardware (such as a 32-bit arm set)?


Yes, I meant PC. Would "32bit x86 hardware" be a better term? Because there are i386, i486, i586, i686.


Yeah, it is almost a year old now

It is know as Debian+Pixel, in the waiting list

It is Debian Jessie


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I've been using Bodhi Linux on an ancient Averatec Win XP laptop (750 MB memory) in the living room for a couple years now. They removed support for 32-bit PAE, but that doesn't effect me. I run Palemoon, Thunderbird, LibreOffice and a few other "normal" applications -- definitely slow, but it gets the job done. I was also able to put in all my hotkey combinations, install dmenu, Dropbox and Megasync, so if I had to make do only with this machine, I'd get by okay.

I was never able to get Arch or Manjaro to run on this machine. I did use Sparky on it for a while (LXDE and Openbox), but it would always come to a point where an update broke it and I didn't have the time or energy to track down a fix.

EDIT: add link to Bodhi website.

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Yes, Bodhi Linux on a friends Compaq Armada E500 (Laptop) is what runs fine for him too.
But he's also had Bunsenlabs, and SparkyLinux run on it as well.

Basically, any Distro based on Debian will still have 32-bit support for a little longer.

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you can add from slackware
Salix :

I've also added LxPup, because it is maintained very actively.
PS: And anybody can edit my post, it is a Wiki.

Edit: Bunsenlabs seems a bit inactive. Edit2: Wrong, just Distrowatch a bit outdated:

It's Slackel,

It's a rolling distro, based on Slackware Current and Salix.

I edited some things, added the CPUs since 64 Bit is supported (the most people underestimated their hardware and do not know, that x86_64 is supported!) - and put the Wiki sentence on the beginning. Just myself did not see this...

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I suggest (for those that know more about specific distro) to add one liners as there is for Void, for quick info, what is specific about them

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ToriOS >>>
an Debian with JWM...:wink:

vlw fwi, Holmes :slight_smile:

LMDE2 -(Linux Mint Debian Edition):

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Thanks for this topic eugen! Very good idea.

I'm currently running archlinux32 in a Toshiba Portege M100 (Pentium M 1.2Ghz low voltage) with 521MB of RAM and 40GB of hard drive. I use it mainly to work remotely on my desktop at home. I installed lxqt and i3 and it's working fine. Due to the small amount of memory, I have few applications (smplayer, lxmusic, pcmanfm, samba, rdp, vnc, image viewer, screenshot, network manager, links, youtube-dl and netsurf). Sound isn't properly set yet. Netsurf is very limited (javascript not activated) and so I can't visit many sites.

I have another machine (HP Pavilion ZT3200 - Pentium M 755 @2Ghz) with 2GB of RAM and 80GB of disk. I don't know what I'll do with it yet. I tried to install Void but it complained about the CPU not being PAE compliant.

My Wife's computer is 64bit capable but it runs Manjaro 32bit because of the limited RAM (2GB, with a Pentium 4 650HT @3.4Ghz, a 64GB SSD and a LVM split volume of two other drives). I'd like to keep a 32bit OS since it takes considerable less RAM (I'm also thinking about upgrading the CPU to a used dual core - runs a lot cooler).


I used to think similarly, but then I reconsidered things and would suggest a 64bit system with small DE (not WM only, because it lacks automounting, gvfs and other handy thing which just work in a DE), light applications and sufficient amount of swap.

The idea for the topic came from @anon23612428 , but who was rather sarcastic, I guess.

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Yes, I guess you're right. I'm still considering. If I change to a 64bit system it will most probably be Manjaro LXQt. It currently runs KDE with pcmanfm, Gwenview, VLC, Office/Wine and Chromium (palemoon for flash sites) as main apps. Maybe I can make it look similar. I can't make a lot of changes otherwise my Wife will complain about missing Windows again :slight_smile:

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