The 8 Best Lightweight Linux Distributions With Openbox Window Manager

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


If you run Openbox within KDE or GNOME desktops, you can combine the customization options of the former with the desktop environments for best results.

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


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

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

Mabox comes with several system management and maintenance applications, including a firewall, a virus scanner and a host of tools to optimize your system to keep it running smoothly. It follows the rolling release software distribution model, meaning you can install it once and keep up to date with new software and security patches as they are released.

to download: Mabox Linux

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

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

The first stable release, BunsenLabs Linux Helium, was released in 2016. BunsenLabs Linux is still an excellent choice for users looking for a lightweight, full-featured Linux distribution.

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

to download: BunsenLabs Linux

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

to download: archery

Designed for old and new computers, SparkyLinux focuses primarily on speed and simplicity. If you’re tired of trying different options to improve the performance of your old PC, consider installing SparkyLinux.

Based on the test arm of Debian, SparkyLinux offers Openbox, LXDE and Openbox desktops.

It features a custom 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 different editions, each with different uses.

Whether you’re looking for a clean desktop environment or a lighter distribution, SparkyLinux should be your go-to option.

to download: SparkyLinux

AV Linux MX Edition is a multimedia-focused distribution with a custom MX Linux core with a unique blend of multimedia-focused applications and tools.

It comes with a wealth of audio, video, and graphics software, and a custom MX Linux desktop environment explicitly tuned 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 the custom MX Linux desktop environment makes it easy to find and use the tools you need.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced multimedia creator, AV Linux will play right into your hands 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 great features as the regular edition, but allows you to take advantage of the window manager’s varied features and options.

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

to download: PCLinuxOS Openbox

ArcoLinux was born out of the desire to have a Linux distribution that is system independent. After much effort, ArcoLinux was released to the public in June 2016.

Arco has worked hard to create a niche between the various Linux distributions. ArcoLinux is an Arch Linux based distribution with a fork of the Openbox window manager and an advanced kernel under the hood.

ArcoLinux is an excellent choice for those who want to run a stable Linux distro and get the most out of its related features. Then it gives 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 distro, was developed in Russia and is available in several editions, each tailored for a specific purpose.

The Debian-based distro is an excellent choice for users looking for a reliable and stable distribution. Some variants are ideal for home and office desktop computers, and some for corporate servers, while others are universal and include a comprehensive set of documentation.

The remaining few are adapted for development tools, certified products, educational institutions, and low-power computers. Whether you’re looking for a desktop, server, or development platform, chances are you’ll find something suitable within ALT’s range.

to download: ALT Linux

Lightweight and easy to customize Linux distributions

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

If you’re looking for a lightweight, yet stable Linux distribution to get started, there are plenty of Linux distributions to consider.

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