antiX 23: Debian 12-Powered Linux Distro for Aging Hardware

3 min

A new release of antiX 23 is now available, powered by Debian 12 “Bookworm”. We did a test drive for a quick review.

antiX, renowned for being a lightweight, systemd-free desktop Linux distribution tailored for aging hardware, has just unveiled antiX 23, the latest iteration of its impressive distro.

The key highlight? It’s now based on Debian 12 “Bookworm”.

If you happen to have an old computer sitting in your attic, collecting dust, antiX 23 might be the lifeline it needs. This distribution is designed with a singular mission – to breathe new life into aging systems. And it does so in style by saying goodbye to systemd and embracing the reliability of sysvinit/runit for service management tasks.

antiX 23 with IceWM
antiX 23 with IceWM

antiX 23: Best New Features

This release comes with four variants of antiX catering to wide range of use cases. Here’s a quick table to show the features of each. You can choose the one you need for your work.

AntiX-full1.7 GBIceWM, Fluxbox, Jwm, herbstluftwm
AntiX-base1 GBIceWM, Fluxbox, Jwm, herbstluftwm
AntiX-core520 MBOnly shell with wireless
AntiX-net220 MBOnly shell with wire

With antiX 23, the developers have transitioned to Debian 12 and introduced some exciting new features and applications that enhance the overall user experience.

  • zzzFM/IceWM Default Desktop: antiX 23 boasts a refreshed default desktop environment that combines zzzFM and IceWM. This combination offers a seamless and lightweight user experience.
  • IceWM Control Centre: Enhancing user control, the new release features the IceWM Control Centre, giving users more power to customize their desktop.
  • New Wallpaper and Themes: Aesthetics matter, and antiX 23 doesn’t disappoint. It has new wallpaper and themes to make your desktop more visually appealing.
  • Onboard Virtual Keyboard: Accessibility gets a boost with an onboard virtual keyboard, making antiX 23 more user-friendly.
  • Magnus – Screen Magnifier: For those who need a closer look, the Magnus screen magnifier is now part of the package.
  • Deb Installer: Easily install Debian packages from outside the repositories with the Deb Installer, further extending the software options at your disposal.
IceWM Control center
IceWM Control center

Application Updates

Keeping up with the latest releases, antiX 23 includes updated versions of various applications across office suites, browsers, audio and video.

Firstly, LibreOffice 7.5 stable is included in this release with Firefox ESR 102 version following the Debian 12 base. You can also install the latest Firefox if you feel like using this guide.

One of the key app updates in antiX 23 is the PipeWire addition to help you take advantage of modern audio protocol for your workflow.

In a nutshell, here is a quick summary of the key applications and modules:

  • LibreOffice 7.5.5-4
  • Firefox ESR 102.14.0esr-1 (on antiX-full)
  • Seamonkey 2.53.17 (on antiX-base)
  • Claws Mail 4.1.1-2
  • CUPS for printing
  • PipeWire/WirePlumber (on full editions)
  • ALSA (on base and core editions)
  • XMMS for audio
  • Celluloid and MPV for playing video
  • SMTube – Play YouTube videos without using a browser
  • Qpdfview – PDF reader
  • App Select – More than just a launcher app

Misc tools in antiX 23

One of the advantages of antiX is that it offers a huge collection of tools and software. This release brings three super-lightweight file managers – zzzFM, rox-filer and mc. If you are a developer, you can use Geany and leafpad for your small to large coding work.

For system maintenance and management, antiX 23 provides an array of general tools, including:

  • Boot-repair
  • Package Installer
  • Network Assistant
  • User Manager
zzzFM and rox-filer file managers in antiX
zzzFM and rox-filer file managers in antiX


As always, antiX is considered one of the best lightweight Linux distributions for your older hardware. This release takes about 260 MB of RAM and 1% CPU at idle. On top of that, if you increase the number of running applications, the resource consumption gets higher. It uses 7 GB of disk space for default installation. This is a little higher because many applications are pre-loaded into it for you.

The performance is seriously good for antiX 23.

antiX 23 Performance
antiX 23 Performance

Final Thoughts

antiX 23, based on Debian 12 “Bookworm,” brings a wealth of new features and enhancements while maintaining its status as the go-to distribution for older hardware. Whether you’re looking to revive an old computer or explore a lightweight Linux experience, antiX 23 should be at the top of your list.

With its performance, pre-loaded tools and user-friendliness, it continues to shine as a standout option in the Linux distribution landscape. Don’t hesitate to download and try it – your old hardware might just thank you for it!

You can download antiX 23 from this page.

Via changelog


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