Does clear linux run well on old harware?

I have never used Intel’s Clear Linux before, and I currently use Arch Linux. I am using a desktop with 6 year old hardware. I heard that Clear Linux runs fast on Intel hardware, but does that include old hardware? I was planning on installing the kernel on my Arch desktop. If anyone has experience with running Clear Linux OS (or even just the kernel) on old hardware, please share your experiences.


Hello Henry,

as you may find in other threads here, installing just a kernel or a package from ClearLinux inside other distribution will not give you much improvements because of the different work around packages, part of the overall ClearLinux speed.

Your question about hardware support is definitely a good one and I definitely suggest to run the live version to check if your hardware gets fully detected.

As a general idea, if your cpu and chipsets on the motherboard are Intel’s, you should have a 99% chance to see all in working order but if something comes from AMD, you may have some issue

try it (or not) ;).

Hi Henry,

I’m running Clear Linux on early 2012 Macbook Pro.
Harddisk changed to 256 solid state, 8GB ram on one bank, the other bank already self-destructed.
Installation on memory stick can be tricky.
With one memory stick, I downloaded and run Ubuntu liveCD and install.
However, this same memory stick can’t install Clear Linux.
Used another memory stick and no issue installing CL.

I tried to install CL last year around October 2019, on a HP Elitebook 2540p (Intel Core i7 640LM) build 2010/11 the installer refused to install as it complained about incompatibilities.

I retried the process last month and all went fine, even-though the laptop has a very old EFI. So yes CL runs fine on my old hardware (though I would strongly recommend to replace any spinning disk with SSD)

My old Dell Optiplex 9010 all-in-one runs the terminal and other low-load applications just fine, and usually it can locally host my website and display it at the same time with no issues. I can’t keep more than one tab open in my browser, however, else it’ll crash/freeze. This may be due to my low specs (Intel corei5 vPro, four-cores; 3.7 GiB RAM). It ran worse under Win7 so I believe it’s just the cruddy hardware. If your hardware is old but has decent numbers, then I suspect it’ll run just fine. Especially if you opt for something more low-weight than wayland-gnome. With only htop running I’m still using about 70% of my RAM so perhaps switching to xfce would speed things up.

Just a note:
Actually CL runs out-of-the-box perfectly fine on my oldschool elitebook.
I went distro-hopping just to see how well the system would perform on other linuxes. And wow…I had some issues on ubuntu/osuse (suspend to ram did not work, left me with backscreen after waking up the system), wifi was not working on osuse, arco refused to suspend… So I happily went back to CL as non of the mentioned issues occurred with it.

I’m running Clear on a sub $200 Lenovo Ideapad. It has a dual-core 1.10 ghz processor and only 4GB of RAM. Sure, there is flash memory (64GB) but it’s not like it turns this machine into a Ferrari. I have no issues, however. Best distro for my setup.

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It runs well on a Dell Precision M4500 with Core i7-640M from 2010. That’s 10 years old!
I have older systems but they don’t have UEFI firmware.
Without UEFI there is ‘kernal panic’ during the live USB bootup.

Runs well on old i7 Sandy Bridge, Atom Z38xx, Z37xx. On old hardware it can be faster to install CL on a fast USB 3 stick like Corsair GTX which deliver 400MB/s both ways with SSD controller.

Atom Baytrail CPUs need a Kernel parameter fix to stop random crashes: