As Ubuntu continues to make its presence known throughout the world, it was only a matter of time before the project spawned an offshoot variation or two that would enable people with lower-spec machines to participate in all that Ubuntu goodness.

Ubuntu Lite: An Alternative to Xubuntu? The people in the know claim that Xubuntu is just the ticket for people who are looking to use their older low spec machines. Be this as it may, it has been my understanding that you really do not want to operate with less than 128MB of RAM.

Ubuntu Lite, by contrast, is said to work with 64MB of RAM, and if need be, it can even work with as little as 32MB of RAM. Considering the advantages demonstrated by other Lite Debian-based distributions, it could very well open up some doors for folks looking to make the switch, yet not possessing up to date hardware.

In reality, what is the key difference here? I see two major differences. The first is the desktop environments being selected. Xubuntu is using Xfce; whereas, IceWM is the desktop of choice with Ubuntu Lite.

In addition to that, Ubuntu Lite has received a fair amount of flack, thanks to the existence of other, more established lightweight Linux distributions. Puppy Linux, Damn Small Linux among others have since filled the need in the eyes of a number of Linux fans. Can Ubuntu derivatives sway fans of other lightweight distributions to Ubuntu?

Good article. Lots more on it at OS Weekly.