Is Ubuntu Mate a good option for weak computers?

Hello guys, I recently installed ubuntu mate on my pc, well I used xubuntu and it never used 100% of the CPU, but now with ubuntu mate it is getting 100% :O, I have a doubt, is ubuntu mate a good choice for weak computers? I'll show you my settings:
CPU: Intel Atom D525 (4) @ 1.795GHz
GPU: Intel Atom Processor
Memory: 1085MiB / 1948Mi
I hope you can clear my doubt, otherwise I will migrate to debian or xubuntu :sweat_smile:

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Welcome @jao to the community!

That is not specially inherent to Ubuntu-MATE. It is possibly just one application or tool (It could be the harddisk indexer or something like that. You can disable/uninstall that if you want.)
Use the 'mate-systemmonitor' or 'top' or 'htop' to check which application is so egotistical to hog your CPU.
It is not what we call 'normal behaviour™' and certainly not decent :wink:

oops...that one is over 13 years old and it wasn't very speedy to begin with. It should work though.

To be precise: Intel GMA 3150

not sufficient / sufficient, depending on which of the two values you actually mean. Is it 1085 MB or 1948 MB ?

Not sufficient (1085MB) in this case means: it will run but it will make heavy use of the swap, which you potentially might experience as periodically heavy slowdowns and CPU spikes , especially when you are using a classic harddisk instead of an SSD, which can get pretty frustrating.
With 1948MB: you won't have any of those inconveniences.

I've had Ubuntu-Mate 22.04 LTS (yammy) running on a AMD-C60 ( a good amount slower than your Atom ) with 750MB. It was a quite a bit hampered by this low amount of RAM so I stripped it down a bit, but besides that it ran reasonable, albeit a bit on the slow side. It even had no problem playing FullHD H264 video and scaling it down realtime.
But it never ever had such a high CPU load. Even during video playback it never went over 30%.

tl;dr: With more than 1.5 GB RAM, you are absolutely safe with Ubuntu-MATE.


1085 MiB is probably not enough memory to comfortably run Mate.

It is possible to run Mate on merely 1 GB (0.9 GiB), but your system will run painfully slow.

You can run Mate on a Core 2 Duo CPU at the earliest, but it's considered more recommended to have a system that's at least on part with a computer from the early 2010s or so (Core i3 or similar system.)

Theoretically your system will run, but the specs are a bit minimal. I hope this helps.

If you're using onboard graphics in an older machine that will slow you down. I have sped up a few obsolete dual-core machines with the addition of a decent graphics card, which will remove that task from the cpu's workload. I'd suggest one with 2Gig RAM or better. Also, all my machines have SSD instead of mechanical drives.
I presume PC to mean you have a desktop, and not a laptop.

You might want to consider anti-x or Legacy Linux.

Anti-X is a fast, lightweight and easy-to-install Linux live CD distribution based on Debian's "Stable" branch for x86 compatible systems. antiX offers users the "antiX Magic" in an environment suitable for old computers. The goal of antiX is to provide a light, but fully functional and flexible free operating system for both newcomers and experienced users of Linux. It should run on most computers, ranging from 256 MB old PIII systems with pre-configured swap to the latest powerful boxes. 256 MB RAM is recommended minimum for antiX. The installer needs minimum 2.7 GB hard disk size. antiX can also be used as a fast-booting rescue CD, or run "live" on a USB stick, with or without persistent file storage.

The best PC's / Laptop's to try Legacy OS on don't have fancy Graphics Cards etc. Your looking for PC / Laptop that came with a 800 Mhz or greater Pentium III or 4 Processor (CPU), 256Mb of RAM and a 4Gb Hard Drive. Most basic PC's / Laptop's built between 2000 and 2006 should work.

What is LegacyOS:

LegacyOS is a customized version of antiX Linux built with unique icewm themes, icons, gtk themes and a larger collection of specially chosen Applications and System files by default over antiX.

Both offer 64 bit and 32 bit downloads.


Besides the very good recommendations of @jymm I would also recommend Bodhi Linux

Bodhi Linux , a lightweight distribution featuring the fast & fully customizable Moksha Desktop. The 64-bit is built on top of Ubuntu (22.04). The 32-bit Non-PAE architecture has a Ubuntu 18.04 base. Bodhi Linux 7.0.0 is the Enlightened Linux Distribution.

I've had it installed on my C60 based netbook with 750MB and it really flies very very fast without hitting the swap at all.


Thanks for the question @jao , the subsequent answers have helped alot with the recusitation of an old samsung i386 netbook. :+1:

To the contributors, much obliged.