Installing Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) with 128 MB of RAM

October 2016


To install Ubuntu, at least 384 Megabytes of memory are required. However, it is possible to install Ubuntu on a PC with only 128 MB of RAM, with a full Gnome desktop.

Here's how.


  • A PC with 128 MB of memory or more.
  • A CD-Rom drive
  • 3 Gb of free space on hard drive.
  • An Ethernet card recognized by Ubuntu
  • Internet connection (preferably Ethernet).

The Internet connection is necessary because the installation is done via the network.Download and burn the installation CD of Ubuntu (MinimalCD): here.

This ISO image (13 MB) allows installation of Ubuntu directly via the internet.


  • Boot from the minimal CD and choose "Command-line install".
  • Proceed with the installation of the system. At the end of the installation, after rebooting, you get a text mode.
  • Login with the username and password you chose during installation.

(Plymouth errors can be ignored.)

Installing core packages

Then, install the base packages below to get a graphical desktop (Gnome).

sudo apt-get install gnome-core gdm gnome-system-tools network-manager-gnome human-theme x11-xserver-utils tangerine-icon-theme gnome-themes-ubuntu gnome-themes-selected ubuntu-artwork jockey-gtk gnome-screensaver xcursor-themes gnome-utils file-roller

(You can also type the following command: wget && chmod +x && ./ )

(Note: It is possible to have an lighter GUI with JWM or IceWM, but you lose the benefits of the Gnome/Ubuntu integration.)

Reboot: (sudo reboot): You can now login to your GUI.

You may get a popup error about "FastUserSwitchApplet": Just click the "Remove" button.

Installing additional software

When choosing software, it is recommended to avoid heavy ones such as

Here are some recommended packages for a basic system:

sudo apt-get install gcalctool brasero chromium-browser abiword gnumeric vlc p7zip-full ubuntu-restricted-extras

  • Chromium : Chromium is lighter than the Firefox browser and based on Webkit (like Chrome or Safari).
  • gcalctool, a calculator.
  • brasero : CD/DVD burning application.
  • abiword is a word processor lighter Writer.
  • gnumeric spreadsheet is a good alternative to Calc.
  • VLC is a media player (audio/video) that can play almost any format.
  • p7zip-full can read many different archive formats (cab, rar ...)
  • ubuntu-restricted-extras: Flash plugin, Java, codecs, Microsoft TrueType fonts, etc..
  • The system is already provided with Evince, a PDF reader.

You are with a basic system for surfing the internet and perform office duties.

Thanks to Seb-Sauvage for this tip.

Related :

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