Top 8 Lightweight Linux Distros with Openbox Window Manager

Looking for a lightweight Linux distro for an old PC? You’re in luck, because Openbox has the answer to all your distribution problems. It is a highly customizable and lightweight next-gen window manager that runs smoothly on older hardware. That’s not all; it provides extensive standard support to replace popular GNOME or Unity interfaces.


If you’re running Openbox in the KDE or GNOME desktops, you can combine the former’s customization options with the desktop environments for best results.

To get the most out of the given requirements, you should check out the major distributions that support Openbox and its features.


Mabox is inspired by Arch Linux but is originally based on Manjaro. It offers a variety of features that make it unique, including a new package manager.

The distro comes with its own custom desktop environment, MaboxDE, based on the Openbox window manager. It offers a wide range of software and plugins, along with a simple and clean interface.

Mabox comes with various system administration and maintenance applications, including a firewall, antivirus, and a host of tools to optimize your system to run smoothly. It follows the rolling software distribution model, which means you can install it once and stay up to date with new software and security patches whenever they are released.

To download: Macbox Linux

BunsenLabs Linux is a Debian-based distribution featuring the Openbox window manager and a variety of tools and utilities designed to provide a lightweight yet fully functional desktop experience.

The distribution is a community project sponsored by the BunsenLabs organization and is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The BunsenLabs project started in 2014, with the intention of offering an easily customizable desktop to users.

The first stable version, BunsenLabs Linux Helium was released in 2016. BunsenLabs Linux has continued to be a great choice for users looking for a lightweight, full-featured Linux distribution.

The distribution is easy to customize and has a large community of users and developers who support its existence.

To download: Bunsen Labs Linux

Archcraft is a lightweight Openbox-based Linux distribution optimized for intermediate and advanced users. This streaming distro uses the Arch-native package manager Pacman and Arch Build System. It is designed for people who want to get the most out of their computer.

To download: Arts and crafts

Designed for old and new computers, SparkyLinux mainly focuses on speed and simplicity. If you are tired of trying various options to improve the performance of your old PC, you should consider installing SparkyLinux.

Based on Debian’s test branch, SparkyLinux offers Openbox, LXDE, and Openbox desktops.

It has a personalized desktop environment and a wide range of applications. Sparky is well suited for experienced Linux users as it offers a wide range of customization options. It is also available in several editions, each offering different applications.

Whether you are looking for a clean desktop environment or a more lightweight distro, SparkyLinux should be your go-to option.

To download: SparkyLinux

AV Linux MX Edition is a multimedia creation-focused distro featuring a custom MX Linux kernel with a unique blend of multimedia-focused applications and tools.

It comes with a host of audio, video and graphics software and a custom MX Linux desktop environment designed specifically for multimedia creation.

The distribution is ideal for users who want to create audio, video or graphic content. It comes with all the tools and software you need, and its custom MX Linux desktop environment makes it easy to find and use the tools you need.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced multimedia creator, AV Linux will play in your hands, along with its applications.

To download: AV Linux MX Edition

The Openbox edition of PCLinuxOS is a well-defined version of the Linux distribution, used in conjunction with the Openbox window manager.

PCLinuxOS Openbox has the same functionality as the standard edition, but lets you take advantage of the varied window manager features and options.

If you’re looking for a fast and lightweight Linux distro with features and customization options, the Openbox edition of PCLinuxOS is worth a look.

To download: PCLinuxOS Openbox

ArcoLinux was born out of the desire to have a system-independent Linux distribution. After many efforts, in June 2016, ArcoLinux was released to the public.

Arco has worked hard to create a niche among the various Linux distributions. ArcoLinux is an Arch Linux-based distribution that features a fork of the Openbox window manager and incorporates a state-of-the-art kernel under the hood.

ArcoLinux is an excellent choice for those who want to use a stable Linux distribution and get the most out of its associated features. Subsequently, it offers users a wide range of lightweight applications and AUR access for software downloads.

To download: ArcoLinux

ALT Linux is a Debian-based distribution developed by a community of volunteers. ALT Linux, as a distribution, was developed in Russia and is available in several editions, each suitable for a specific purpose.

The Debian-based distro is an excellent choice for users looking for a reliable and stable distro. Some of its variants are ideal for home and office desktops, and some for business servers, while others are universal and include an extensive set of documentation.

The other few are customized for development tools, certified products, educational institutions, and low-power computers. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a desktop, server, or development platform, chances are you can find something suitable within ALT’s lineup.

To download: ALT-Linux

Lightweight and easy to customize Linux distros

Probably, one of the best things about the Linux ecosystem is the variety and endless options to meet every user’s needs. From lightweight distros to user-centric distros, there is something available for everyone.

If you’re looking for a lightweight but stable Linux distro to start with, there are plenty of Linux distros to consider.

About Jon Moses

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