Best Lightweight Apps for Linux


This is the list of some of the best Lightweight applications available in Linux . I hope you like it .

Browsers :

  • Abaco A multi-page graphical web browser
  • Arora A cross platform web browser built using Qt and WebKit
  • Chromium The open-source project behind Google Chrome
  • Conkeror A highly programmable web browser based on Mozilla XULRunner
  • Dillo A small, fast graphical web browser built on FLTK
  • Elinks An advanced and well-established feature-rich text mode web browser
  • Hv3 A minimalist web browser based on tkhtml3
  • Kazehakase GTK+ web browser that uses the Gecko rendering engine
  • Links A text WWW browser, similar to Lynx
  • Midori is a lightweight web browser based on Gtk and WebKit. It passes the ACID3 test
  • Netsurf has its own rendering engine, is written in C and is extremely lightweight.
  • Surf is another lightweight WebKit-based browser, which follows the “Suck less philosophy” . Which means, the software is even more lightweight (basically, the browser itself is a single C source file).
  • Uzbl “web interface tools which adhere to the unix philosophy.”

Email Clients :

  • Alpine is another powerful, and user-friendly text-based mail and news client.
  • Mutt is a small but very powerful text-based mail client.
  • Sylpheed is a simple, lightweight but featureful, and easy-to-use GTK based e-mail client
  • Claws is a user-friendly, lightweight, and fast GTK based email client.
  • Sup is yet another powerful, text-based mail client; it is still under development.

Instant Messengers :

  • Bitlbee is a way to use other IM to your IRC client .
  • Centerim is a curses based fork of Centericq which supports several protocols.
  • Emesene is a Python/GTK+ instant messenger for the Windows Live Messenger network.
  • Finch is a curses based version of Pidgin.
  • Pidgin is a multiprotocol instant messenger.


  • Conspire Lightweight, simple, and powerfull.
  • Irssi is a modular text mode IRC client with Perl scripting.
  • II Ultimate lightweight, literally `tail -f` the convo and `echo` back your replies.
  • ircfs is a file system interface to irc written in Limbo
  • LostIRC is a simple IRC client.
  • ScrollZ is an advanced IRC client based on ircII.
  • WeeChat is a fast, light & extensible curses-based IRC client.
  • Xchat is a GTK+ X client with Perl and Python scripting support.
  • pcw is a frontend for ii that opens a new terminal for each channel (depends on srw by default)

Torrent Clients :

  • Deluge User-friendly BitTorrent client written in Python and wrapped with PyGTK
  • qBittorrent The closest open source (GNU GPL v2 license) equivalent to µtorrent
  • rTorrent Simple and lightweight ncurses BitTorrent client
  • Transmission Simple and easy-to-use BitTorrent client with (GTK+) GUI and CLI front-ends
  • Aria2 An advanced, lightweight CLI download manager that supports many protocols including bittorrent and metalink

Audio Players :

  • Ario is very feature-rich GTK2 client for mpd, inspired by Rhythmbox
  • C* Music Player is a very feature-rich ncurses-based music player.
  • cplay is a curses front-end for various audio players.
  • Goggles Music Manager is a music collection manager and player that automatically categorizes your music, supports gapless playback, features easy tag editing, and internet radio support.
  • MOC(Music On Console) is an ncurses console audio player with support for the MP3, Ogg, and WAV formats.
  • ncmpc is a curses client for mpd.
  • Pragha is a GTK+ music manager that was a fork of Consonance Music Manager.
  • QmpdClient is Qt4 based mpd client.
  • Sonata is an elegant GTK+ music client for mpd.
  • mpg123 A fast free MP3 console audio player for Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, Hpux and near all other UNIX systems. Also decodes mp1 and mp2 files.

Video Players :

Image Editors :

  • mtPaint is a graphic editing program geared towards creating indexed palette images and pixel art.

Image Viewers :

  • Feh is a fast, lightweight image viewer that uses imlib2 .
  • GPicView is a simple and fast image viewer for X. Made by the developers of LXDE
  • GQview is an image browser that features single click access to view images and move around the directory tree.
  • Geeqie is a lightweight image browser and viewer (fork of GQview), with additional functionality like RAW files view.
  • Mirage is a fast and simple GTK+ image viewer.
  • Ristretto is a fast and lightweight picture-viewer for the Xfce desktop environment.
  • QIV (Quick Image Viewer) is a very small and fast gdk/Imlib image viewer.
  • Viewnior Viewnior is a simple, fast image viewer with a minimalistic GTK2 interface.

Calendars :

  • Calcurse is a curses calendar and scheduling system.
  • Remind is a highly sophisticated text-based calendaring and notification system.
  • Wyrd is an curses front-end to Remind.
  • wxRemind is a Python text and graphical frontend to Remind.

PDF Tools:

  • apvlv is a lightweight PDF viewer with VIM key bindings.
  • ePDFView is a free lightweight PDF document viewer using Poppler and GTK+ libraries.
  • MuPDF is a lightweight PDF viewer and toolkit written in portable C. It is one of the lightest available.
  • Xpdf is a viewer for Portable Document Format (PDF) files.
  • zathura is another lightweight PDF viewer similar to apvlv, only lighter

Text Editors:

  • Acme a minimalist and flexible programming environment by Rob Pike.
  • Beaver is an Early AdVanced EditoR.
  • Geany is a text editor using the GTK+ 2 toolkit with basic features of an integrated development environment.
  • Leafpad is a notepad clone for GTK+ 2.x that emphasizes simplicity.
  • medit is intended to be a useful programming and around-programming text editor.
  • Mousepad is a simple text editor for Xfce based on Leafpad.
  • nano is an easy-to-use text editor, with on-screen key binding information, based on pine’s pico editor.
  • PyRoom is a great distractionless PyGTK text editor, a clone of the infamous WriteRoom
  • Sam a graphical text editor by Rob Pike (still used by Ken Thompson and others).
  • Vi, Vim, gVim, the classic vi text editor.

Word Processors:

  • Abiword is a full-featured word processor, there is also an even lighter version in the AUR, Abiword-light.
  • txt2tags is a dead-simple, KISS-compliant lightweight, human-readable markup language to produce rich format content out of plain text files

Todo List Managers:

  • Todo.txt manages your Todo list from the command line.

File Managers:

  • emelFM2 is file manager that implements the popular two-pane design.
  • Midnight Commander is a console-based, dual-paned, file manager.
  • PCManFM is a lightweight file manager which features tabbed browsing and can optionally manage the desktop background.
  • Ranger is a console based file manager with vi bindings, customizability, and lots of features.
  • ROX is a small and fast file manager which can optionally manage the desktop background and panels.
  • Thunar is fast and responsive with a good start up time and directory load time.
  • Vifm is a ncurses based two-pane file manager with vi like keybindings.
  • Xfe X File Explorer (Xfe) is an MS-Explorer or Commander like file manager for X.

GUI Compression Tools:

  • Squeeze is a modern and advanced archive manager.
  • Xarchive is a GTK+ 2 front-end for various command line archiving tools.
  • Xarchiver is a lightweight desktop independent archive manager built with GTK+ 2.

CD/DVD Burning Tools:

  • recorder is a graphical frontend of cdrkit/cdrtools, cdrdao, mkisofs and growisofs.

Login managers:

  • CDM provides an ultra-minimalistic, yet full-featured login manager written in bash.
  • SLiM provides a lightweight and elegant graphical login solution.
  • Qingy is ultralight and very configurable graphical login independent on X Windows.


  • Conky is a lightweight, scriptable system monitor.
  • htop is a simple, ncurses interactive process viewer.


  • BMPanel (BitMap Panel) is a lightweight, NETWM compliant panel for the X11 system.
  • fbpanel is a lightweight, NETWM compliant desktop panel.
  • LXPanel is a lightweight X11 desktop panel (part of LXDE).
  • PyPanel is a lightweight panel/taskbar written in Python and C (HOWTO).
  • Tint is a simple panel/taskbar intentionally made for openbox3, but should also work with other window managers (HOWTO).
  • pancake is a highly configurable, modular panel for X.


  • Lilyterm is a light and easy to use libvte based X Terminal Emulator.
  • ROXTerm is a tabbed, VTE-based terminal emulator with a small footprint.
  • urxvt is a highly extendable unicode enabled rxvt-clone terminal emulator featuring tabbing, url launching, quake-style dropdown, pseudo-transparency, and is extensible with perl.
  • Sakura is a terminal emulator based on GTK+ and VTE.
  • xterm is a terminal emulator for the X Window System.


  • Docker is a docking application which acts as a system tray.
  • Stalonetray is a stand-alone system tray.
  • Trayer swallows GTK+ 1.2/2.x application docklets, and KDE docklets.

Window managers:

  • Awesome is a floating and tiling window manager initially based on a dwm code rewriting.
  • Dwm is an extra light dynamic window manager which is configured by directly editing the source(which itself is less than 2000 SLOC).
  • Evilwm is a minimalist floating window manager with an installed size of only 0.07 MB.
  • Fluxbox is a lightweight and highly configurable window manager.
  • FVWM is a lightweight, flexible and highly-configurable Window Manager.
  • i3 i3 is a manual tiling window manager which places client into containers.Containers can be stacked (like wmii) or tabbed (like ion3). i3 also supports floating windows.
  • Musca is a very lightweight window manager which has features from dwm and ratpoison. Uses about 350-400KB of memory.
  • Openbox is another lightweight and highly configurable window manager.
  • PekWM is small and easily configurable window manager.
  • Ratpoison is a keyboard-oriented, customizable lightweight window manager, modelled after GNU Screen.
  • Scrotwm is a small dynamic tiling window manager for X11. It is written in C and configured with a text configuration file.
  • Subtle is a semi-automatic tiling window manager with a strong focus on easy but customizable handling and look and feel.
  • TinyWM is a tiny window manager that was created as an exercise in minimalism, and it is also helpful in learning some of the very basics of creating a window manager. It is around 50 lines of C, and there is a Python version using python-xlib.
  • Twm is a classic, customizable and very lightweight window manager; possibly the first designed for X11.
  • Window Maker is an elegant, fast and usable OpenStep implementation.
  • Xfce is a desktop environment much lighter but similar to GNOME. It includes the xfwm4 window manager.
  • Xmonad is a tiling window manager for X, written and configured in Haskell.
  • Wmfs (Window Manager From Scratch) is a lightweight and highly configurable tiling window manager for X.

Help me to improve this list by specifying if I missed something . Please give your feedback in comments . This list was orginally posted at Arch Linux . I have fixed the few links and I am sharing it here with you guys .


I am a g33k, Linux blogger, developer, student and Tech Writer for My passion for all things tech drives my hunt for all the coolz. I often need a vacation after I get back from vacation....