Dedicated Linux servers are known to be fast and efficient, but Linux on the desktop is also becoming more and more popular these days because of its much improved speed. After Google Chrome OS was announced and with the promises or goal of making it fast and lightweight, I know it will someday be compared with some of the fastest and lightest Linux distributions that are currently available. So I’m thinking I may never be impressed with Chrome OS if it can't beat or at least be at par with any of these distros:
I once dubbed antiX as "The Fat-free Mepis" because it is indeed the lighter and faster version of SimplyMEPIS. It runs really quick even on my ancient laptop since it is designed to work on computers with as little as 64 MB RAM and Pentium II or equivalent AMD processors; it even runs great on a netbook! antiX uses IceWM and Fluxbox as its window managers and it is loaded with handy software packages.
SliTaz is considered by many as the world’s smallest 'complete' desktop distro. Despite its miniscule size, it comes with several useful applications out-of-the-box like text editor, audio player, pdf viewer, web browser, image editor, DVD/CD ISO Burner, and a lot more. The latest version now uses Openbox instead of JWM as its window manager. I've used SliTaz GNU/Linux 1.0 before and I must say that its speed is awesome.
Puppy Linux is one of the top Linux distros in terms of popularity. Although it has quite a small footprint, it is loaded with great features. You can boot it as a Live-CD needing only a few MB of RAM, install it on a USB Flash drive, and even set it up on a hard drive. You can read some of my reviews of Puppy HERE and HERE.
SLAX is another distro to beat in terms of speed. Though it utilizes KDE desktop environment, it's still faster than most distributions with lightweight DE. And don't be fooled by its size because it has good amount of pre-installed software applications making it ideal for day to day desktop use. If you want to know more about SLAX, you can read my review HERE.
Damn Small Linux
Damn Small Linux (DSL) is damn small indeed. Still 50MB in size, it remains one of the most well-known Linux distro. They said that DSL is light enough to power a 486DX with 16MB of RAM so imagine it running on your quad core computer with 2GB of RAM. I've tried and tested DSL before, and view it as a good thing that comes in small package because I'm very happy with its overall features despite its tiny size.
If Chrome OS can't top or equal any of the distributions mentioned above in terms of speed and simplicity, then I have a reason to be disappointed since I don’t see the point of Google creating a whole new Linux distro when they can just improve on what's already available.
What do you think?
On a related note, some of the distributions that I've mentioned above may also be used as Linux servers.