11 Linux Distributions That Are Still Compatible With 32-Bit Architecture

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Linux Distributions Compatible 32-Bit Architecture

Do you desire a trustworthy Linux distribution for your 32-bit operating system? Your more mature computer will benefit from the use of these distributions that support 32 bits.

If you haven’t heard, a lot of different distributions of Linux have been getting rid of their support for devices that have 32-bit architectures left and right. Today, we are going to take a look at some distributions that are still going strong even for users who are using older hardware, which is a fortunate development.

Where Does Support for 32-Bit Stand Currently?

A great number of older personal computers contain processors that have what is known as a 32-bit architecture. This architecture may also be referred to as i386, i486, or x86. On the other hand, the majority of today’s computers use a 64-bit architecture to run their operating systems. For this reason, a number of well-known distributions have discontinued support for 32-bit computing over the course of the previous few years.

Even some distributions that market themselves as being lightweight and suitable for older devices are beginning to use this practice. In April of 2021, 32-bit versions of Xubuntu and Linux Lite were discontinued by both companies.

Are you concerned that you and the dependable 32-bit Linux system you use may fall behind? You should not be concerned because there are a few distributions available that will meet your needs.

The Best Linux Distributions for 32-Bit Systems

Although the number of distributions supporting 32 bits is decreasing, we have gathered a list of those that are still available below. None of these distributions are considered “community editions,” as the creators provide formal support for all of them.

Debian

You want something that is completely reliable, that has been around for a very long time, and that is still being actively developed, right? The tried-and-true distribution known as Debian is the one to which most other distributions can trace their origins. It may function either as a regular desktop computer or as a server depending on your needs.

Because Debian is not the most lightweight Linux distribution, you should exercise caution if your hardware has trouble functioning normally when subjected to a lot of stress. When it comes to desktop environments, Debian, on the other hand, gives you a wide variety of options from which to choose. You have options at download time including GNOME, Cinnamon, XFCE, and KDE, amongst others.

Bodhi Linux

Bodhi Linux

The Bodhi Linux distribution places a strong emphasis on simplicity and user friendliness. It is designed for users who want a quick and efficient desktop, even on older computers, but don’t want a lot of preloaded applications taking up space on their computer. The Standard install of Bodhi only includes the very minimal number of applications that are required for a desktop computer, but you have the option to expand this collection as you see appropriate. Because of this feature, Bodhi is a fantastic option to consider when there is limited space available on the hard disk of your device.

If you select the 32-bit edition of Bodhi Linux, you will not be able to get kernel upgrades in the future. You will, however, receive the visually beautiful Moksha DE, which will provide you with the controls necessary to personalize it to your heart’s content or choose one of the pre-designed themes that are inspired by the natural world.

Alpine Linux

Alpine Linux is going to be appealing to people who are looking for a straightforward interface and a protected setting. This distribution’s default image is only 133 megabytes in size, which means it can be installed without difficulty on even the most basic hard drives.

Memory management is one aspect of Alpine that demonstrates its commitment to safety. It does this by employing a position-independent executable, which makes it exceedingly difficult for opponents to take advantage of memory peculiarities. You’ll have the same sense of security as if you were tucked away in the Swiss Alps.

However, Alpine is not for people who are just starting out with Linux since setting and maintaining Alpine Linux is a challenging endeavor. You should be ready to create users manually, familiarize yourself with a new package manager, and install a desktop environment on your own (if you want more than just a command line). By following our tutorial to Alpine Linux, you can make these chores much easier.

BunsenLabs Linux

BunsenLabs Linux

Users of BunsenLabs Linux get the same Debian experience, complete with the Openbox window manager, which is a lightweight and highly configurable windowing system. Its purpose is to carry on the work started by the now-defunct CrunchBang Linux project.

If you place more importance on functionality than flash in an operating system, you might want to choose BunsenLabs Linux. You won’t receive the same sense of style as Ubuntu or Bodhi, but you will get an experience that is insanely quick and “works out of the box” with very little configuration required.

Note that the 32-bit edition of BunsenLabs Linux lacks many of the features that are available in the 64-bit version. This is done to conserve storage space. On the other hand, you are free to add such features at a later time after installation.

openSUSE (Tumbleweed)

You are able to use openSUSE as a standard desktop environment if that is how you would like work with it, despite the fact that it is a popular choice among developers and system administrators. It is equipped with a wide variety of tools geared at developers, such as YaST and openQA.

Leap and Tumbleweed are the two distinct flavors of openSUSE that are available for download. The Leap operating system provides users with a stable environment and regular point releases; nevertheless, it is only compatible with 64-bit PCs. Tumbleweed, on the other hand, supports 32-bit computing and works on a rolling release model for software updates.

SliTaz GNU/Linux

SliTaz GNU/Linux

The goal of the SliTaz project is to make the software easy to use while also making it flexible enough to be deployed as a server. It is capable of running entirely in memory, making it highly quick even when utilized on older devices. It’s possible that SliTaz is the best option for you if you place a premium on speed and usability.

The ISO image is only 40 megabytes in size, which is very little. You are able to boot SliTaz from a CD-ROM or flash drive, remove it, and then continue working while your data continues to persist on the local hard drive. This is useful if you are in desperate need of disk space.

antiX Linux

antiX Linux places a premium on speed and efficiency, and it claims to be accessible to users with varying levels of prior Linux familiarity. It uses the Debian operating system as its foundation and is designed to be helpful as a live-only distribution in the event that you choose to skip complete installation. It is also capable of functioning in a mode known as “persistent,” which enables you to live-boot while simultaneously storing data to the file system that is stored on your hard drive.

The antiX project places a particular emphasis on providing compatibility for older hardware, and its creators are particularly proud of the fact that it does not use the systemd suite that is typically included in other distributions. Instead of using a full desktop environment, they choose to work using a series of lightweight window managers. Window managers are something that less experienced Linux users may not be familiar with. antiX provides many different window managers for you to try out and become familiar with.

Porteus

Porteus

The concept of speed is central to Porteus. It manages applications in an unconventional manner, treating them instead as “modules” that do not require installation. You do this by simply toggling the applications between active and dormant states. Because there is no permanent installation, you are free to achieve hitherto unimaginable levels of speed.

The Porteus distribution also places a high importance on progress and enables you to maintain a cutting-edge level of software upgrades while while supporting older hardware. You have the option of running the “kiosk” edition of Porteus, which boots right into a web browser but does not save any persistent data if you intend to make your computer available to the general public.

Linux Mint

People who are new to Linux as well as users who want a desktop operating system that is simple to use and functions well frequently choose for Linux Mint. Cinnamon, MATE, and XFCE are the three desktop environments from which you may choose while using the normal Ubuntu-based version of the software.

However, Mint remains near the bottom of this list since only versions 19 through 19.3 of Mint still support 32-bit CPUs, and that support is scheduled to stop in April 2023. You are free to continue using Mint 19 without risk until that time if it is not too late.

Try out Linux Mint’s LMDE edition if the allotted time has passed, or if you don’t want to use a distribution that will become obsolete in the near future. This version is not based on Ubuntu but rather Debian, and it is still available in 32-bit as well as 64-bit flavors. Additionally, Cinnamon is the only desktop environment compatible with LMDE.

Zorin OS Lite

Zorin OS Lite

Zorin OS is an elegant and cutting-edge distribution that is derived from Ubuntu. It markets itself as a credible alternative to either Windows or macOS. It is one of the few distributions that requires payment before allowing you to download the whole distribution, which is known as Zorin OS Ultimate. It comes preinstalled with a large quantity of additional applications that a specialist would find useful.

Users of older computers, such as those with 32-bit hardware, are eligible for a free download of the Zorin OS Lite operating system. You will receive the same fundamental operating system, but none of the additional software. It provides a desktop environment that is quite similar to Windows and is based on the XFCE software, although it has been significantly modified. Zorin 16, just like the most recent version of Linux Mint, will no longer support 32-bit software, however Zorin OS Lite 15.3 will continue to do so until 2023.

Trisquel GNU/Linux

Trisquel GNU/Linux

Trisquel Ubuntu serves as the foundation for GNU/Linux, which differentiates itself from other operating systems by putting a focus on user friendliness and free software. Trisquel makes it a point to maintain itself free of non-free code, in contrast to distributions such as Arch and Ubuntu, which both include some commercial software in the kernel and in their respective repositories. Because of this, the Free Software Foundation has chosen to support it as one of the few distributions available.

If you want to use your tablet for instructional reasons, then Trisquel could be the right choice for you. It is very evident that Trisquel places a strong emphasis on accessibility, as seen by the inclusion of a number of languages and an audio walk-through of the installation process for users who are visually impaired. There is no 32-bit software available for Trisquel 10, however version 9 will continue to be maintained until April 2023. Therefore, the previous version is still accessible as a 32-bit Linux distribution.

Distributions Continuing to Carry the 32-Bit Flame

As you can see, you have a lot of options available to you in order to maintain the functionality of your 32-bit system. One option to reuse outdated hardware and keep materials out of landfills is to continue using it with one of these reliable Linux distributions. This will keep materials out of landfills.

Alex
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