I compared the hardware requirements of a popular Linux Desktop: Ubuntu 9.10 with Windows 7  both of which were released last month.

Hardware Windows 7 Ubuntu 9.10
RAM (MB) 1024 MB 256 MB
Processor (MHz) 1000 MHz 300 MHz
Disk Space (MB) 16 GB 4 GB

Ubuntu 9.10 remained a modest 265MB memory with 300MHz computer. Also Ubuntu can run on lesser hardware as well, if you have 128MB Memory, you can still use Xbuntu (a variant), or if you have 64 MB you can use LTSP and run Ubuntu off a central server.

Now Windows 7 demands 1GB Memory with 1GHz computer.

While Windows 7 required 16GB of space to install, Ubuntu can be installed on on less than 4 GB of space.

Some people may argue that hardware is getting cheaper by the day, however there are millions of PCs around in the world which won’t be able to run Windows without an upgrade. If the use Ubuntu, they will save on upgrade costs and hurt the environment less by not having to throw away their old computer.

Some interesting findings: Ubuntu’s hardware requirements has not changed in the last 8 releases over the last 4 years.

ubuntu vs windows ram

Even thought Vista Basic  claimed that it requires 512MB RAM and Vista Business claimed 1GB. Both crawled on 1GB of RAM and required 2GB to run effectively with 15GB of disk space.


Ubuntu Release Notes
Windows 7 System requirements.
Windows Vista System requirements.