Substitute for the now discontinued BeOS project, Haiku is free and open source and was first launched in 2001.
Since then, the operating system has been in almost continuous development and now has the ability to run the multipurpose VLC media player, as well as a couple of versions of Quake.
The WebPositive browser supports HTML5, and most BeOS applications can run on Haiku.
However, the operating system is in a strange place, something like between alpha and beta, and this makes it perhaps the least attractive alternative on this list. However, if you were a fan of BeOS a long time ago and are looking for a Windows escape, it is definitely worth checking out Haiku.
Download link: https://www.haiku-os.org/
Launched in January 1998 and created by Jim Hall, FreeDOS is a free open source operating system for DOS processors.
The configuration should be easy with the files loaded from a USB or a disk drive. It allows you to view and edit the FreeDOS source codes with their programs distributed under the General Public License (GNU).
Like MacOS and Windows, FreeDOS allows you to share files from any device and Linux location. According to their site, FreeDOS should run on a standard PC but suggests an Intel 386 or newer processor for better performance.
Main features: 7ZIP file, FAT32 file support, FDAV (antivirus), HTML viewer, built-in media player and ARACHNE graphic web browser and email client.
Pro: Supports many Windows applications.
With: There are not many updates.
Download link: http://www.freedos.org/download/
13. True OS
Often mentioned in the same basket as Linux, you could forgive yourself for thinking that FreeBSD is just another Linux distribution.
While sharing the roots of Unix-like Linux, FreeBSD is the open source version of Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD).
While it may be considered a relative of Linux, its code can be found in many places, such as Apple’s MacOS and Sony’s PlayStation 4 operating system.
In general, FreeBSD is a reliable operating system for servers and desktop computers alike. While it does not come with a default desktop environment, there is support for the GNOME, KDE and Xfce desktops. FreeBSD is of particular interest to those with security and privacy issues, offering improvements developed by the TrustedBSD project, which is supported by McAfee, DARPA, Google, the University of Cambridge Computer Lab, Apple and many more.
Download link: https://www.freebsd.org/en/where.html
15. Manjaro Linux
Manjaro Linux is based on the very popular Arch distribution, which is the access system for Linux experts.
But the distribution of Arch is very difficult for beginners and presents an abrupt learning curve for beginner users who are just entering the world of Linux. This is where Manjaro Linux comes in.
Manjaro Linux focuses on the user’s perception and ease of use.
The best lightweight Linux operating system presents fast, stable and powerful functionality with state-of-the-art software. The simplified approach to Arch distribution means that even beginners can take full advantage of Arch’s repository power and architecture.
The hardware of the system is analyzed automatically and the necessary drivers have been downloaded accordingly. Having a dedicated software and easy installation means that this operating system Lite is essential.
Download link: https://manjaro.org/get-manjaro/
Originally launched in 1996 as a Windows 95 cloning project, the official website states that “the ultimate goal of ReactOS is to allow you to remove Windows and install ReactbOS without the end user noticing the change”.
In summary, the goal is that you should be able to continue using your PC as you did before.
However, ReactOS has been in the alpha stage for quite some time. While some applications such as Adobe Reader will run on ReactOS, many will not.
One day, ReactOS could be a perfect and free alternative to Windows, but until then it will be available for evaluation.
Download link: https://www.reactos.org/download
17. Mandriva linux
Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux or Mandrake Linux) is a distribution of Linux in French, distributed by Mandriva (previously Mandrakesoft). Mandriva OS uses the RPM package manager.
The product life of Mandriva Linux versions is 18 months for basic updates (Linux, system software, etc.) and 12 months for desktop updates (window managers, desktop environments, web browsers, etc.).
Server products receive full updates for at least 24 months after they are released.
Download link: https://kubuntu.org/
18. Crunchbang / Cruncheee
This is not exactly a netbook operating system by nature, but it can be a very good one.
Crunchbang is based on Ubuntu but focuses on “speed, style and content” according to its website.
Based on the lightweight open case window manager, Crunchbang is certainly fast and could work well on your netbook. I recommend testing this if traditional netbook operating systems do not work for you.
It is worth noting that in 2008, a group of EEE enthusiasts created a customized Crunchbang for EEE users: CrunchEEE. Take a look at Cruncheee, but keep in mind that it is more than a year late.
Download link: https://www.bunsenlabs.org/installation.html
Designed and optimized for desktop PC and built using parts of the GNU and Linux project, Syllable is another free Windows alternative.
Designed for home and small office users, Syllable branches off from AtheOS and ships with a native WebKit-based browser, which promises sleek, modern browsing, an email client, a media player and even a development environment for The programing.
Several open source tools are available for Syllable, including Apache, the Vim text editor and Python scripting. Syllable also has a server version, which is based on the Linux kernel.
Suitable for regular users of desktop computers, amateurs and developers, the development of Syllable has a holistic view of the current state of the computer industry. As such, it will run on a 32-bit PC with 32 MB of RAM. Very few operating systems will run on such an old PC!
Download link: https://sourceforge.net/projects/syllable/
20. Solus OS
Solus is an open source, desktop operating system, based on Linux. Having been released in 2012, Solus is a relatively new operating system, with almost 6,000 members registered in the SolusOS forums currently.
In August 2017, Solus released its latest software update ‘Solus 3’, which is based on the latest version of Kernel and should have improvements in its native Opus encoder, new multimedia filters.
Main features: LibreOffice Suite, Firefox, PlayOnLinux, Budgie desktop environment, Thunderbird, XChat, OpenShot Video Editor, Transmission and VLC.
Pros: Java and Flash add-ons are pre-installed, as are all other applications listed in the key features, so use is made almost immediately after installation.
Cons: This operating system is quite new, so some bug fixes will still be needed.
Download link: https://solus-project.com/download/