4 Best Linux OS To Replace Windows XP

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best linux alternatives to replace Windows XP

Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP. Which means your computer won’t be getting any software updates including security updates. That would leave your computer running Windows XP even more vulnerable to virus and malware.

Now, you have only few options to replace Windows XP. And those are:

  1. Continue running Windows XP and make your computer un-secure and unusable
  2. Upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 and pay at least $100 and more for an antivirus system and office products
  3. Switch to Linux and enjoy the freedom along with your saved money

Wondering about option 3 and thinking if you should really switch to Linux from Windows XP? Let me help you in making your mind. Do you use your computer mainly for surfing internet, watching movies, listening to music, do some regular work in office etc? If the answer to the question is yes, you can switch to Linux without thinking twice.

Don’t be afraid. Linux is no more only geeks’ playground. You don’t need to be a command line ninja or super hacker to use Linux. Normal human being use Linux too. Using desktop Linux is as easy as any other operating system. And if you wonder which Linux distribution is best for you, I have listed here 4 best Linux OS to replace Windows XP.

The Linux OS listed here are most suitable for someone habitual of using Windows XP, with similar interface. Also, these Linux distributions are famous for running out of the box so you don’t need to worry about troubleshooting. Enough talk, let’s take a look at 4 best Linux alternative to Windows XP.

Linux Mint Mate:

Linux Mint Mate to replace Windows XP

Linux Mint is known for its simplicity, hardware compatibility and pre-installed software. Mate is a desktop environment which is similar to Windows user interface with desktop shortcuts, bottom panel etc. If you have moderate hardware configuration, you can rely on Linux Mint Mate to replace Windows XP.

Download Linux Mint Mate

Linux Mint Xfce:

Linux Mint Xfce to replace Windows XP

If you are running Windows XP for a long time it could also because you system, which was once pretty good, is now considered low end device. This could be a reason why you did not/cannot upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. So, if you have shortage of RAM, low end processor such as Pentium 4, Linux is your true friend.

Linux Mint Xfce is Xfce variant of Linux Mate. Xfce is lightweight desktop environment which can run on a device with RAM as low as 256 MB.

Download Linux Mint Xfce


lubuntu best linux alternative to replace Windows XP

Image: Softpedia

Similar to Linux Mint Xfce, Lubuntu is a suitable choice for computers with relatively low hardware configuration. Based on world’s most popular Linux distribution Ubuntu and an extreme lightweight desktop environment, Lubuntu can run even on Pentium 2 processors, no kidding. Of course, you don’t need to be on the lower side of hardware spectrum to use Lubuntu. You can use it on a computer with regular configuration to get awesome superfast desktop experience.

Download Lubuntu

Zorin OS:

Zorin OS Windows 7 Look

Zorin OS is a new entrant in the Linux world with sole focus on bringing Windows users to Linux. Zorin OS imitates Windows 7 look and feel with obvious purpose to make (ex)Windows users comfortable with a familiar feel. It also provides option to change the looks to Windows XP. Packed up with several software by default, Zorin OS is the ideal replacement for Windows XP for a computer with moderate configuration.

Download Zorin OS

That compiles our list of 4 Linux alternatives to replace Windows XP with. Indeed you do not need to stop at these 4 Linux OS. Just head over to Distrowatch and have a look at different Linux OS available out there. When you decide to switch to Linux, remember that there are plenty of resources available online and a helpful Linux community to help you and ease your transition. It’s FOSS is just one of them numerous.

Which OS, in your opinion is the best choice to replace Windows XP? Is there any which you would like to add to the list? Do share your views.

  • Matt Tucci

    Vista, they almost got it working right!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      yupe … if almost = never 😉

      Only Microsoft can sell a ‘beta product’.

  • Shawn Moss

    When I repair old computers I’ll move to Xubuntu & make it look and feel like Win 7. I use windows icons, wallpapers & color schemes. The customer loves it because it’s cheap & their computer so much faster!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      That’s clever. Kudos for increasing Linux user base.

    • freewheelinfranklin543

      Yup! Love Xubuntu 14.04! Use it on a 16gb RAM with 240gb SSD and I7 chip. Linux Mint is excellent any flavor and Zorin OS8 is great for newbies. Like Slackopuppy on a flash drive and I use it everyday for posting. Also had fun configuring Manjaro which is not for newbies but a lotta fun for old geeks like me.

  • Daniel Molnar

    Windows 8 is garbage.

  • Jason Gallinger

    puppy linux

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Nice indeed.

    • http://www.binarytides.com/ Silver Moon

      its just a toy, not a daily use os.

    • Puppygrubber

      Using Puppy right now. Great thing, ’tis. I hope they continue to work it. I can’t get wine to work, need more study and fiddling, I suppose. I’ve tried Mint and those, flashier, but I always go back to puppy.

  • Sjun Demartelaere

    I like Pear OS 8 most instead of itś update trouble for which you came with a workaround. So my old IBM X41T now became a nice internet and e-mail pc. It works so fine Im serious thinking about buying a brandnew chinese battery for it.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Just for you information, Pear OS has been discontinued: http://itsfoss.com/pear-os-history/

    • http://www.247wealthyincome.com Jennifer Henry

      There is Pinguy OS that looked like osx style too!! As well there is elementary Linux.

      Anyone tried Linux Lite?

      • Stephen

        I am running Linux Lite on a HP 60 laptop and love it! Very fast and low on resources… only about 175 mb to run it. Check it out.

  • http://www.knifeinthetoaster.com Gabriel

    ReactOS might be an option as well, although, it’s not a Linux OS. You can get more info here: http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=reactos

    • MajorMustard

      I think ReactOS is still beta, and not yet ready for users who don’t expect bugs.

      • Nathan Scott Daniels

        Linux as a whole isn’t ready for users who don’t expect bugs.

        • Glynnux..

          computing in general isn’t ready for users who don’t expect bugs.. I think many of those people use phones…(and still get bugs)

  • Austin Hutchins

    Elementary OS?

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Best suited for people who are switching from mac or people who want mac like looks. It may confuse long time Windows user with such difference between the UI,

    • http://www.binarytides.com/ Silver Moon

      elementaryOS is high on system requirements. not an ideal choice.

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  • Dusty Jurney

    I like Cinnamon over MATE, I feel it is just more polished…
    But not quite as stable? Anyone agree?

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Cinnamon is quite stable. Is there a particular reason you find it less stable than Mate?

  • Jørgen M. Berg

    Why isn’t Ubuntu on this list? It may not be 100% like Windows, but it is easy to use for any previous XP user……

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Well… default Ubuntu is with Unity which might be overwhelming for many Windows XP users. On the other hand some might be intrigued by the different interface.

      • Jørgen M. Berg

        I found it simple, but maybe thats me 😉

      • https://www.youtube.com/user/fatriff Fatriff

        Well my girlfriend is a Windows user and she uses my Ubuntu machine from time to time. One day I put Kubuntu on there and she was like, Oh, I liked the panel being at the side! It gives you more screen space. What did you do to it?? Put it back!

        So it seems even a Windows user can see the benefits of Ubuntus UI.

        • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

          I agree. This is why I said “some might be intrigued by the different interface”. But for most of them, change could be overwhelming.

  • kranthi

    what about Manjora linux

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Manjaro Linux is yet to see its first stable release.

  • James E Doyle

    More Bullshit,. I have been running Windows 7 ultimate for 4 years. got it off Bittorrent activated and got all the updates and THEN I disabled Windows update in SERVICES. I use MalwareBytes as my protection and don’t even have firewall on. NEVER a problem and is blazing FAST due to me adding SSD drive which takes and old computer and makes it like new. Best 100 euros I ever spent. Windows 7 is bullet proof. Windows 8 is crap. Vista was crap. XP was good but that was LONG ago. I am surprised people are stil running it. But Windows 7 has lots of great useful features I use everyday.,
    So this crap about spending 100 dollars is just horseshit.

    • slartibartfast

      you dont need to disable updates in pirated windows 7 as long as you dont install

      KB971033 update, then windows will update safely used mine since day one with no issues.

  • Egils Lauters

    My first good choise after Win 8 —> Zorin 8.Lite !!! Easy for Linux begginers…
    After I try many OS….. and at now my laptop HP g6 have a Linux Hybryde OS + Debian 7.4 OS

  • gorgolath

    i replaced some old computers with pclinuxos mate and xubuntu xfce and they are all working great and much better than xp ,my customers feels much better now with linux and they start to forgot windows xp and all theirs crashes and blue screens etc…

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      ah.. the blue screen of death :)

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  • http://handylinux.org/documentation/doku.php/obtenir_handylinux Dubois Yaën Pujol

    hello I suggest to check HandyLinux, Debian stable based with Xfce GUI and a lot of things not to affraid the beginners. available in english and french, with big documentation.

  • 0.3E9m/s

    I’ve been using Linux at home and installing it for friends since 1993. Now that X.org generally works on multiple displays, the remaining road block is wi-fi on laptops. The problem isn’t finding or installing the firmware, it’s working around the bugs in rfkill and overriding the mistakes the distro makes in setting up wpa_supplicant. Would one of the Ubuntu or Mint fans care to comment on how those distros handle it? I generally have to boot Knoppix to find out how it handled it on this particular laptop, and then try to reproduce the fix on my target. I’m often tempted to just install Knoppix and leave it at that. And sometimes even Knoppix can’t make wi-fi work on a mass market consumer grade “designed for Windows” laptop.

  • ED Slipper

    NujuOS as it will include look-xp in the near future.


    peppermint OS

  • Win7lover

    Zorin fucking sucks. I just tried it and it wont run properly on Intel Celeron M. Sloppy as shit.

  • http://darkaine.org William Hendricks

    Ubuntu even though it looks different is probly one of the easiest to use linux os on the market for some one that is not a computer geek honestly I would say linux mint 17 any of the envirments or ubuntu I don’t think if it is an older os I would go wth ubuntu unity I think it would be to much maybe Xubuntu just cause it was made for older comuters. I need to learn puppy linux I heard a lot of good things about it. But need to learn more on how to get around in linux before I go messing with any other os. I switch from windows right after 8 came out I was running windows 7 had nothing but trouble with it. I moved to Ubuntu 12.10 and started to learn linux and ubuntu i have to say has just gotten easier to use.

  • blackripleydog

    Is Linux a practical OS replacement for A Dell Optiplex Tower with 8 gig of ram running Win7 Pro 64 bit, Photoshop CC 2014, Bridge, Lightroom, OnOne Suite, a Canon scanner, and printing on an Epson R2000? Will windows versions of these programs and my current drivers translate over?

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      I read Canon there… 😛

      Dual booting it could be a good start.