SYS (operating system)

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For the file name extension, see .sys

SYS default desktop.jpg
SYS 0.23-r4 with KDE
Company / developer Werner Landgraf
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current
Source model Open source
Initial release June 2007
Latest release 0.23-r4+ / 2010 Jan 21
Update method installpkg, upgradepkg
Package manager pkgtools
Supported platforms x86
Kernel type Monolithic / 3.4 / 3.9-rc2
Default user interface KDE, Bash
License GNU GPL & others
Official website

SYS is a Linux distribution intended to be easy to use for beginners, but also including sufficient tools for advanced users.


  • Install DVD contains ca. 18 GB of LZMA-compressed software; A huge system including development, server, office, and multimedia software.
  • Installation is possible using an .iso file (on a hard-disc or USB key), without burning it to a DVD needing a DVD reader. A bootable USB installer also available.
  • No live CD; aims to install or transform most fast possible and definitively the computer to Linux
  • Rescue system which boots within 15 seconds and contains many tools for repairs and data saving.
  • Backup-install system allowing users to save their personalized installation to a re-installable DVD.
  • A primary distro with about 1800 own packages, including the Linux kernel, glibc, GCC
  • Quick updates whenever convenient according to the development of Linux and open source projects; 'current' install DVDs
  • Fast and informal problem detection and correction: SYS itself is used on its development / download server and by users near the development


The origin of the distro explains its characteristics, principles and politics:

  • Since 2007, to avoid problems with the parallel package and source installations, all new programs habitually compiled for the maintenance of the community server, were packaged, too - so the next potential step would be an install DVD.
  • The system had to include server, development tools, and applications for community use.
  • For a large system, instead of installing and configuring it conventionally for someone else, it is faster to copy it from the hard disk - or better even, to dump an already-installed and configured system to a re-installable DVD
  • The problems many new users have with Linux, were observed and rigorously avoided: SYS installs automatically; networking, Bluetooth, webcam support work immediately; a large number of applications, so users are satisfied and do not return to the previous state. The system can substitute any previously used system and applications (office, commerce, school, multimedia). On early versions of the SYS DVD, the user was neither asked nor informed that the system had changed. The DVDs were distributed to neighbours, friends and children who were told it contains plenty of games and multimedia applications. The easy automatic, consequent (no live-CD), definitive and irreversible installation (deleting or disabling the previous system) and satisfaction about enough software, meant that users also ran the install DVDs on their friends and neighbours computers. The use of SYS on its own server and by neighbours helps to find and correct any problems fast and informally. SYS contributed much to the local adoption of Linux. SYS started in Cayenne and Matoury in Guyana-Cayenne, travellers left many copies in north-Brazil. Meanwhile, also some 40.000 DVDs were downloaded, and SYS is now a popular distro.
  • Because of intolerant internet legislation, since version 0.23-r2 the distro and its install and admin tools are not longer licensed, offered, supported for French users or users in France


Releases occur irregularly according to the progress of the Linux kernel and open source programs. The first version installed outside the community server was 0.16 in October 2007. Since 0.19, the installer worked well, since 0.22 any pre-existing non-*nix-system will be only deleted if otherwise there isn't enough free space for install SYS, since 0.23-r2 the installation is possible using the .iso file or a USB key. 0.17 was the first version distributed by Internet, 0.20-rc2 the first downloaded in big quantity from the first stable mirror by distromania. Several versions get long-term support, for them are contained service packages in the repositories.


The backup-install system contains a) an initramdisk with a rescue system and an installer, b) a program for lzma-compact a partition containing the system, c) a bootloader. It produces from this an install DVD. b) cleans the system from personal or computer-depending parts of the configuration. a) makes during the installation only a minimum configuration and produces scripts which make a better configuration at the first run — with this method, the installation is fast and can't fail alone or by the user's inexperience, and the automatical first-run configuration uses the full advanced tools of the proper system. Furthermore the installer contains d) folders in which can be added updated versions of the kernel or of programs or corrections, to be applied after the installation or at the first run (at revision versions, f.ex. 0.23-r3). In this manner, the distro is good maintaineable and corrections or updates can be provided very fast, inclusive 'current' DVDs. The lzma-compaction makes it possible to put ~18 GB on a DVD and to install such a huge system very fast definitively - in less time than a live-DVD of that size would need to start. The installer searches automatically free space on the hard disk or re-sizes half-full partitions. This makes the installation most easy for beginners, without the danger to lose files, whilst experts can select the rescue system for make reparations, save files, resize or make partitions, and then start the installation.


For install SYS, one only need to put the install DVD in the reader, restart the computer, and wait until the DVD comes out. Undetectable informations (like: the preferred language, user name, internet name and password), the installer takes over from any pre-existing system. It's also possible to install SYS from an .iso file: move it to the main folder of any partition (hard disk or USB-key), rename it SYS_Linux.iso, open it, unpack boot/initrd.cpio.gz to /initrd, enter and start sh installiso. It also can be download, or produced using mkimg, an USB-key installer SYS_Linux.img; one can copy it on an USB key (or memory chip or external/internal hard disk), and after rebooting it installs SYS using the .iso file contained on the same or on any other media.

Package management[edit]

Beginners and advanced users will not need to install or to update programs so early. However, for install or upgrade a program, on SYS one just need to click on the .tgz file (in an internet repository, or already downloaded). One also can use pkgtools or kpackage. The tgz system (in opposite to deb and rpm) don't split programs in many packages, so that the dependences are few - and anyway they can be fulfilled by install all packages from the repository. When a program don't run, one start it within konsole and see what is missed. Sometimes (f.ex. before dump the system to an install DVD) one can run libtool or kleansweep to check and install if something is missed. For make own packages, it is included the script used for make the packages in the repository. SYS has as packages politics: For all essential programs, SYS should have own packages. As for secondary programs, there are so many new programs or updates, which cannot be packaged all for each distro. With priority should be packaged such programs which not or not yet were packaged by similar distros. Also should be avoided any trivial re-packaging / renaming of packages from other distros. SYS is kept compatible to use them in their original form, and vice-versa SYS packages should run on other .tgz distros. SYS has about 1800 own packages among about 5000 installed packages.

Mirrors for download (install .iso 's, packages)[edit]

In the repository are new versions of the most packages under .../, older versions and some special packages (service packages) under .../old . New packages one can track by sorting the repository in the browser by decreasing time.

Göttingen, Germany (GWDG, Uni/Max-Planck-Inst.) :  Primary mirror. (and http://...)
Siegen, Germany (University) :  Primary mirror. .
Chemnitz, Germany (Technical University) :  Primary mirror. (and http://...)
Chernogolovka, Russia :   Complete mirror.
Windhoek, Namibia (Polytecnic University) :   Complete mirror.
Erlangen, Germany (University) :   Complete mirror.
Kent, England (University) :    Last versions only. (and http://...)
Chapel Hill, NC, USA (University, ibiblio) :   Last versions only.
USA : Last versions.
Holland : Last versions.
Florianopolis, Brasil (University, PET) :   Install .iso only.
Curitiba, Brasil (University) :   Install .iso only.,
Dubrovnik, Europa (DistroMania) :   First mirror.   Install .iso only. (and http://...)
Caiena, Guiana-Caiena :   SYS Server. For sync primary mirrors.  (and http://...)
 development server (development of SYS, tests/runs newest packages and
 kernel of repository),