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


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 http://sebsauvage.net/temp/umin.sh && chmod +x umin.sh && ./umin.sh )

(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 OpenOffice.org.

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 OpenOffice.org Writer.
  • gnumeric spreadsheet is a good alternative to OpenOffice.org 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.

A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated.

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