1 gb of RAM is enough, I used Trisquel with gnome-fallback with 1 gb of RAM in the past and it was just fine. Using lightweight programs is highly recommended. Firefox with few addons is not recommended if you are used to having lots of tabs open or simply browsing heavy websites (diaspora* comes to my mind). And, no.. I don't have a decent alternative for it. I like netsurf although it screws up the layout of many websites. It's gold with wikipedia :) Without addons the recent versions of FF take around 150 mb of RAM when opened, you might want to try that one provided the proprietary foxy logo (which is not software) is not an issue for you.

welcome to da forum o/

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