Linux Mint Xfce: lightweight yet full-featured

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When you have an elderly computer, for example one running on an obsolete Windows 7 or 8, then the lightweight Xfce edition of Linux Mint is an excellent alternative operating system.

It's very easy and simple to operate; the average Windows user can handle it right away. No learning curve to speak of! With Linux Mint 21.3 Xfce you can browse the web with Google Chrome or Firefox, play media files with VLC, create documents with Libre Office and send emails with Mozilla Thunderbird. Just like you were perhaps already used to do in Windows....

Beautiful and free (no charge)

This particular Linux is extra light, so the system requirements of this modern operating system are modest. But in spite of being lightweight, it's complete, beautiful and well-polished.

Linux Mint is also entirely free of cost, which is of course an advantage in times of (personal) economic crisis.... Linux Mint doesn't generate any direct sort of income. It's funded only by advertising on its website and support forum, and by sponsoring and donations.

Linux Mint Xfce is the ideal alternative for the Windows 7 or 8 on your computer. Because Windows 7 and 8 aren't supported anymore, which renders them much too insecure for the internet.

Contents of this page:

An older version (Mint 20.3) or the latest version (Mint 21.3)?

1. You have two options: there's the latest version (Mint 21.3) and an older version (Mint 20.3). In short: do you have a computer that was sold with a pre-installed Windows XP, Vista or 7? Then Linux Mint 20.3 Xfce is sometimes your best choice.

Because Mint 20.3 has a kernel from an older series (5.4) and also an older graphics stack, which some older hardware needs (noticeably some older Nvidia video cards). Most old computers run fine on Linux Mint 21.3 Xfce, but even more old computers run well on Linux Mint 20.3 Xfce.

Do you have a more modern computer that was sold with a pre-installed Windows 10 or 11? Then Linux Mint 21.3 is definitely the best option for you. Because Mint 21.3 is optimally suited for modern hardware.

More about Linux Mint 20.3 Xfce here (tips and download links).

Download Mint 21.3 Xfce

2. Click on the blue button to download a free copy of Linux Mint 21.3 Xfce (64-bit):

Note: you have to burn the iso file on a DVD in a special way. You can even make a bootable USB memory stick, when you have no DVD burner.

Screenshot of the desktop

3. Below you see a screenshot of Linux Mint 21.3 Xfce. The elegant and polished desktop, not with the default background but with one of the default set of alternative backgrounds (click on the image to enlarge it):

Minimal system requirements

4. The minimal system requirements are as follows:

Reasonable performance (my own measure):
RAM memory: 2 GB
Video card: 128 MB
Hard disk space: 100 GB (25 GB if you don't use Timeshift and/or Flatpaks)

With that, Linux Mint Xfce will run reasonably smoothly, provided that you've decreased the swap inclination (I explain how to do that on this page).

Doesn't your computer meet these requirements? Then take a look at Bodhi Linux, which is even lighter.

Install Mint alongside Windows (dual boot)

5. It's very easy to install Linux Mint Xfce alongside Windows, so that your computer becomes a dual boot. Then you can choose which operating system to boot, every time you power on your computer. This is how you create a dual boot.

What to do right after installation

6. Out of the box, Linux Mint Xfce is very complete. Yet there are some things that you can do right after installation, which will make it even better.

I have divided the actions into three categories:
- the absolutely essential ones (part 1);
- the recommended ones (not essential, part 2);
- the maybe useful (part 3).

You can find the to-do list here.

Tips and tweaks for Linux Mint 21.3 Xfce

7. You can find many useful tips and tweaks for Linux Mint 21.3 Xfce on this page.

Get help

8. You can get quick and friendly help on the official Linux Mint forum.

Want more tips?

Do you want even more tips and tweaks? There's a lot more of them on this website!

For example:

Speed up your Linux Mint!

Clean your Linux Mint safely

Avoid 10 fatal mistakes

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