Data Fidelity

Recommended 32-bit Free OSes for Your Old Computers 2023

Do you have an old/unused computer? This is a recommendation list of 32-bit (also known as x86 and i386) free operating systems in-2023-and-beyond for your old machines. With one of these, you can revive your laptop and desktop and get latest versions of thousands of software running to your benefits. They are fully functional OSes, supported and developed by the community.  This is an alternative solution to Microsoft Windows which now does not support older specifications anymore. Finally, happy reading, we hope you will like this!

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antiX is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian Stable with emphasize on “compatible with Intel x86” so that you “don’t throw away that old computer yet!”. It requires only 256MB memory with fully latest software technology in these years. Latest version is 22.  The official website is


Debian is the universal operating system. It supports all computer hardware types (more than what Windows supports), stable and long living. It offers more than tens of thousands free software. Latest version is 11, available as full install media (32-bit) as well as various desktop editions Live CDs (32-bit). The official website is 


Devuan is a complete operating system and Debian-based universal GNU/Linux distribution minus systemd technology. It promotes a new concept they call “init freedom”. Like Debian, it still supports 32-bit PC today with tens of thousands free software packages. Latest version is 4 codenamed Chimaera. The official website is 


Debian Dog

Dog GNU/Linux is a project that remakes custom smaller versions of Debian and Ubuntu with additional features similar to Puppy (hence each edition name has Dog in it) empowering old, low-end 32-bit computers. It is fully compatible with Debian and use apt-get as well as Debian repository to add/remove software packages. Available editions are DebianDog editions Wheezy (2014), Jessie (2016), Stretch (2017), Trinity (2017), Buster (2019) and UbuntuDog editions Xenial (2017), Bionic (2018), Fossa (2020) where names in bold being the latest supported today. Finally, it has default login details of username : password being root : root and puppy : puppy. The official website is 



Gnuinos is a Devuan based GNU/Linux distribution with commitment, like Trisquel, to be fully free software without nonfree ones (as in freedom). Because it is derived from Devuan, it is also a complete operating system minus systemd that supports 32-bit today. However, it still lacks documentation at the moment. Latest versions are Daedalus (2022) and Chimaera (2023). The official website is

GParted Live OS 

GParted Live Os is an Ubuntu and Debian based GNU/Linux distribution with disk partitioning capability as main features that comes from the included software named GParted (very well known as a long time partitioner preinstalled in Ubuntu). It is available as LiveCD Edition and still supports 32-bit PC today. The official website is


MX GNU/Linux is a Debian based operating system originally named MEPIS and is a collaboration project with antiX. It is “a family of operating systems that are designed to combine elegant and efficient desktops with high stability and solid performance.” It is available in various desktop editions and still supports 32-bit PC today. Its official website is

Haiku OS

Haiku is a free BeOS-like operating system. The name haiku comes from a classic style of Japanese poems. It is “an open-source operating system that specifically targets personal computing. Inspired by the BeOS, Haiku is fast, simple to use, easy to learn and yet very powerful.” and thus not a GNU/Linux distribution, neither a Unix-like family. It offers only one edition with two architectures including 32-bit PC. Haiku began in 2001 and still in Beta development version today in 2023. Its official website is 

Kali OS 

Kali GNU/Linux (formerly Backtrack) is Debian-based operating system made for security purposes such as penetration testing, security research, computer forensics and reverse engineering. It is available in many editions for many architectures and one of them is 32-bit (aka i386). Latest version is 2022.4. Its official website is  


Mageia is a desktop operating system and successor to the long-living Mandriva GNU/Linux. Its package format is RPM, thus it is part of Red Hat family and not Debian. It is “Stable, secure operating system for desktop & server; Free Software, coproduced by hundreds of people; Elected governance, nonprofit organization;” and “You can be part of it”. It’s available in both Install and LiveCD Editions and still supports 32-bit on its latest stable version 8 (2021) and also upcoming release 9 (hopefully 2023). Its official website is  


openSUSE Tumbleweed

openSUSE is a a stable, easy to use and complete multi-purpose distribution and is a parent (upstream) to the commercial SUSE Enterprise operating systems. It is “a stable, easy to use and complete multi-purpose distribution. ”  Tumbleweed is one of two flavors of openSUSE that is available in rolling-release fashion. To grab the 32-bit version, visit Tumbleweed download page -> show Download section -> find “Intel or AMD 32-bit” section -> download it. It’s official website is  

Parrot Security Architect Edition

Parrot is “a Free and Open source GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian Stable designed for security experts, developers and privacy aware people”. Architect is an edition of Parrot that provides 32-bit aka i386 choice. Its latest version is 5.2 codenamed “Electro Ara”. Its official website is 



Q4OS is the first operating system that continues the KDE 3 desktop (now called Trinity) after all others abandoned it. It is “fast and friendly, desktop oriented operating system based on Debian [GNU/]Linux. Providing a set of dedicated utilities and specific optimizations, combined with a focus on getting a productive system easily.” Its official website is 



Refracta is a Devuan based GNU/Linux operating system that emphasizes on remastering capabilities. It “includes special tools – refractainstaller, refractasnapshot and refracta2usb – that allow you to customize your installation and create a live-CD or live-USB of your running system.” Latest version is 2022 based on Devuan Chimaera. Its official website is


Skolelinux (also known as Debian Edu) is a special edition of Debian GNU/Linux emphasized for education and school. The name “skole” comes from Norwegian language that means “school”. It is an “operating system that fits the requirements of schools and similar institutions. It allows one to set up a complete network and integrates a large number of educational software packages grouped into topic or education level related meta-packages; it’s a Debian Pure Blend. Dedicated official Debian installation media are available.”  Its website is or However, at the moment the correct download link (its image filename contains “edu” and distinguished from the original Debian) would be


Slackware is the oldest living GNU/Linux operating system initially released in 1993. Similar to Debian, Slackware is slow in releasing a new major version. Latest version is 15 (six years after the previous) and still supports 32-bit PC today. Its official website is 


SLAX is a very lightweight, low-requirement GNU/Linux general-purpose operating system with focuses on the ability to run fully from a USB flash drive without the need of installation. It offers two editions, Slackware-based and Debian-based, with latest versions 15.0.1 and 11.6 respectively. Thanks to the both bases keep supporting 32-bit, SLAX today also does the same. Its official website is


Sparky Stable Edition

Sparky GNU/Linux is a free operating system based on Debian available as two editions, stable and rolling-release. Its flavors are KDE, Xfce, LXQt (Stable 32-bit), MATE, OpenBox, MinimalCLI and MinimalGUI. Latest version is 6.6 today. Its official website is 

See Also

For experienced computer users, you might consider to try expert GNU/Linux distributions as following:

Guix – the purely functional (as in mathematics) fully free software GNU/Linux-libre distribution and GNU operating system official package manager. It is an advanced distro inspired by Nix. Among its features are endorsed by the FSF, fully hackable and rollback abilities.  

Nixos – the purely functional GNU/Linux distribution based on Nix package manager. It is an advanced distro suitable to users who are accustomed to command lines. Among its features are rollback and fully reproducible.

Arch Linux 32 – a community version of Arch GNU/Linux that maintains 32-bit supports. Download it at

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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