sorry just my imho but Distro is not about size. Size it's what you are using in this distro. And KDE is not lightest desktop environment and you can save half of memory just by reconsidering your DE. For example I did a bit experiments with fedora and fresh installed, booted fedora takes about 500-600MB with xfce/lxde and plus few more programs. About 700-800 MB with MATE DE+cairodock+compiz. And 1GB+ with kde. It is very rough numbers from my memory about 2-3 years ago, but I think they're still relevant.


My KDE install on openSUSE uses 747.9 MB after booting. Edit: Others have had less in other distros: * This person had ~[500 MB in Manjaro](https://www.reddit.com/r/kde/comments/hp5d41/despite_being_one_of_the_most_advanced_and/) * An older (2019) article with [KDE compared to Xfce](https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2019/10/23/bold-prediction-kde-will-steal-the-lightweight-linux-desktop-crown-in-2020/)


You can try Arch.. install plasma-desktop (that's the minimal Plasma installation) and sddm or just xinit, if that's not minimalistic enough try alpine linux. If you choose the Arch and the plasma-desktop, be ready that you need to install every widget, setting app, file explorer etc..


[alpine linux has KDE/Plasma support](https://wiki.alpinelinux.org/wiki/KDE)...probably lighter than most other desktop distros if you can dal with musl instead of glibc.


Arch probably won't be the best option there. A lot of Arch packages are built with a ton of options enabled so there's a chance you'll have more RAM usage there. Realistically any distro set up similarly will have similar resource usage. You could maybe give Void a shot since I think Runit might be lighter than systemd. Or just take Debian/Fedora/etc. and turn off stuff you don't want. Your best option would be Gentoo since you can use-flag out stuff you don't want and really optimize your RAM usage but it'll be a slog setting it up.