Minimalism is more than just a design aesthetic or a trendy lifestyle. It is a philosophy that embraces simplicity, clarity and efficiency. Minimalism can help you reduce stress, save money and improve your productivity. But how can you apply minimalism to your Linux system? How can you declutter your kernel, optimize your performance and enjoy a sleek and elegant desktop environment?

In this post, I will share with you some of the best Linux distros for minimalists, based on my personal experience and preferences. I will also give you some tips and tricks on how to customize and tweak your system to suit your minimalist needs. Let’s get started!

Gentoo: The Ultimate Minimalist Distro

If you are looking for the most minimalist Linux distro possible, look no further than Gentoo. Gentoo is a source-based distro that allows you to compile everything from scratch, according to your specific hardware and software requirements. You have complete control over every aspect of your system, from the kernel to the applications.

Gentoo is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of time, patience and technical skills to install and maintain. But if you are willing to invest the effort, you will be rewarded with a fast, stable and highly customized system that reflects your minimalist values.

One of the benefits of Gentoo is that you can declutter your kernel by removing any unnecessary drivers, modules or features that you don’t need. This can improve your boot time, performance and security. You can also choose which packages to install, avoiding any bloatware or dependencies that might clutter your system.

If you want to learn more about how to declutter your Gentoo kernel, check out my previous post here.

Gentoo logo

Arch: The Minimalist’s Middle Ground

If you like the idea of minimalism, but don’t want to spend hours compiling code or tweaking configuration files, Arch might be the best option for you. Arch is a binary-based distro that follows the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. It provides a minimal base system that you can build upon with the packages of your choice.

Arch is known for its rolling-release model, which means that you always get the latest versions of software without having to wait for major updates. Arch is also famous for its extensive and helpful documentation, which can guide you through any problem or question you might have.

Arch gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom to customize your system to your liking. However, decluttering your kernel might be a bit harder than in Gentoo, since Arch uses a generic kernel that supports a wide range of hardware and features. You can still compile your own kernel if you want, but it might not be worth the hassle for most users.

Arch logo

Other Minimalist Distros

Of course, Gentoo and Arch are not the only minimalist Linux distros out there. There are many other options that you can explore, depending on your preferences and needs. Here are some of them:

  • Alpine: A security-oriented distro that uses musl libc and BusyBox to create a small and lightweight system.
  • Void: An independent distro that uses runit as its init system and xbps as its package manager.
  • Slackware: One of the oldest and most stable distros that follows the Unix philosophy of simplicity.
  • LFS: A project that teaches you how to build your own Linux system from scratch.


Minimalism and Linux go hand in hand. Linux gives you the power and flexibility to create a system that matches your minimalist vision. Whether you choose Gentoo, Arch or any other distro, you can enjoy a simple, elegant and efficient system that will make your life easier and happier.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for more posts on minimalism and Linux!