Lightweight Applications

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Provides a list of lightweight software for those who wish to use programs that require less computer resources.



Abaco — A multi-page graphical web browser || Template:Package AUR

Arora — A cross platform web browser built using Qt and WebKit || Template:Package Official

Chromium — The middleweight, open-source project behind Google Chrome || Template:Package Official

Conkeror — A highly programmable web browser based on Mozilla XULRunner || Template:Package Official

Dillo — A small, fast graphical web browser built on FLTK || Template:Package Official

ELinks — An advanced and well-established feature-rich text mode web browser || Template:Package Official

Hv3 — A minimalist web browser based on tkhtml3 || Template:Package AUR

jumanji - "a highly customizable and functional web browser"

Kazehakase — GTK+ web browser that uses the Gecko rendering engine || Template:Package Official

Links — A text WWW browser, similar to Lynx || Template:Package Official

Luakit is a highly configurable, micro-browser framework based on the WebKit web content engine and the GTK+ toolkit. It is very fast, extensible by Lua and licensed under the GNU GPLv3 license.

Midori is a lightweight web browser based on Gtk and WebKit. It passes the ACID3 test (midori-git/AUR).

Netsurf is a featherweight browser written in C. Notable is its lack of JavaScript support and fast rendering through its own custom rendering engine.

Sb - A very lightweight webkit-based browser that uses keybindings to perform most things the URL bar would usually do.

surf is another lightweight WebKit-based browser, which follows the suckless ideology. 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.

Pidgin Light is a light Pidgin version without gstreamer, tcl, tk, xscreensaver support.

Carrier is a fork of Pidgin with more options.


Conspire Lightweight, simple, and powerful.

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)


aria2 — Command-line download manager that supports HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, BitTorrent and MetaLink protocols || Template:Package Official

Deluge — PyGTK torrent client with daemon, webgui, and many other functionalities. I recommend Deluge-GIT from the AUR as it has many vital bugfixes. || Template:Package Official

qBittorrent — The closest open source (GNU GPL v2 license) equivalent to µtorrent || Template:Package Official

rTorrent — Simple and lightweight ncurses BitTorrent client || Template:Package Official

Transmission — Simple and easy-to-use BitTorrent client with (GTK+) GUI and CLI front-ends || Template:Package Official

News Aggregators

Canto - A ncurses RSS aggregator

Gnus - mail, nntp, rss client for Emacs.

Newsbeuter - A ncurses RSS aggregator with layout and keybinding similar to mutt. Does not use the traditional 3 panes setup.

Rawdog - An "RSS Aggregator Without Delusions Of Grandeur" that parses RSS/CDF/Atom feeds into a static HTML page of articles in date order

Snownews - Text mode RSS newsreader.


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.

Herrie is a minimalistic console-based music player with native AudioScrobbler 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.

ncmpcpp is an almost exact clone of ncmpc with some new features.

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.

DeaDBeeF Ultimate Music Player For GNU/Linux

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 an image browser/viewer fork of GQview. Adds additional functionality such as support for RAW files.

Mirage — PyGTK image viewer featuring support for crop and resize, custom actions and a thumbnail pane. || Template:Package Official

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 — Minimalistic GTK2 viewer featuring support for flip, rotate, animations and configurable mouse actions || Template:Package Official

Xloadimage is the classic X image viewer.

Video Players

Gnome-Mplayer is a simple GTK-based GUI for mplayer without GNOME dependencies

mplayer and mencoder support a complete and versatile array of video/audio formats.

SMPlayer is a middleweight QT frontend for mplayer with additional patches.

VLC is a a middleweight video player with support for a wide variety of audio/video formats.



Pal is a very lightweight calendar with both interactive and non-interactive interfaces.

Calcurse is a text-based 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 very fast PDF viewer and toolkit written in portable C. Features CJK font support.

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 a lightweight IDE text editor featuring support for tabs, sessions, plugins and syntax highlighting.

Mousepad is a simple text editor for Xfce based on Leafpad.

nano is a console text editor based on pico with on-screen key binding help.

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 can be run as a daemon with excellent start up and directory load times. Features support for customizable actions.

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. At the time of writing, it appears to be the most functional and up to date of the three tools listed here.

CD/DVD Burning Tools

recorder — Simple frontend to cdrkit/cdrtools, cdrdao, mkisofs and growisofs with limited options and preferences || Template:Package Official

Xfburn — Simple frontend to the libburnia libraries with support for CD/DVD(-RW), ISO images and BurnFree. || Template:Package Official

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 a featherweight dynamic window manager configured by editing the source itself.

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.

JWM is a small and fast stacking window manager featuring native support for customizable panels/buttons and a system tray dock.

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 and fast floating window manager. It is an implementation NeXTSTEP, the precursor to Mac OS X. It includes functionality to launch applications and manage iconified windows. It is easy to configure both with the included GUI application and by editing simple text files.

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.

Wmii is a small, dynamic window manager for X11. It is scriptable, has a 9p filesystem interface and supports classic and tiling (acme-like) window management. It aims to maintain a small and clean (read hackable and beautiful) codebase.


Arch Linux Forums / LnF Awards 2010 - The best Light & Fast apps of 2010.