I Installed elementary os freya on an old computer, dual boot with windows xp:

Ram 1GB Processor: Amd i686 Graphic card is: S3 ProSavageDDR It is very slow. I checked on the gnome monitor. Memory usage is about 50% and it uses very little swap.

But what concerns me is this. At Idle cpu usage is 50% As soon as I open something simple like the applications menue cpu usage goes to 100%

Windows XP is running fine

Most of cpu usage is from the desktop invironment runs between 40 and 60 percent even If i do nothing.

Is there something wron with configuration or is the computes simply too slow for Elementary OS?

  • it seems to be a very old computer dude, you should try something lighter. Try Ubuntu Mate which is less resource intensive and if it doesn't work you might have to give a try to an open-box based distro. Chears!
    – Rho
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 8:06

2 Answers 2


Thanks for the info. I tried a few linux distribution with different desktops. Here are the results. In Linux mint with xfce the windows move very slow and keep moving even if I let the mouse button go. Wit the option of hiding windows content while moving them, it works fine. I also tried debian. XFce is the same. Openbox is also not working. Windows move slow and keep moving if I let the mouse button go. Openbox has no option for hiding windos content while a window is moved, so openbox does not work for me. I also tried the Mate desktop. To my surprise it works better than Openbox. When I enable window compositing it works the best. That is really a surprise. I think the limitation on this machine is not memory but cpu usage. So I ended up with debian Mate and windows compositing. It looks like it is a bit lighter than Linux mint. I can even play DVD's it only starts chopping when I touch the mouse.

What is surprising to me is that elementary Os is heavier on cpu than Linux Mint and Debian while it is supposed to be light weight!


I recently installed MX Linux on and old laptop with a celeron processor and 1gb of ram. Worked pretty good and run kodi fine too. Its Debian based like Ubuntu. Comes with loads of software and you can enable compositing if your graphics card can handle it. 😀👍


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