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Screenshot of an Elive Gem 1.0 customized
Developer Elive Team
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current
Source model Shared source
Latest release 2.0 (Topaz) / March 4, 2010; 5 years ago (2010-03-04)
Latest preview 2.6.10 (Beta)[1] / September 3, 2015; 5 months ago (2015-09-03)
Platforms i686
Kernel type Monolithic Linux kernel
Default user interface Enlightenment
License Various/Donationware
Official website http://www.elivecd.org/

Elive ("Enlightenment live") is a Linux distribution based on Debian for legacy and commodity hardware with Intel processors. Elive uses the Enlightenment X window manager instead of GNOME or KDE. Elive is a fully functional distribution with a Live CD counterpart that allows the user to sample the distribution before installing it on the system.

Elive can be used like any Live CD or installed to the hard drive to access its full features. Elive utilizes UnionFS, which allows users to install software packages using Synaptic Package Manager and/or APT, while the user's computer is running from the Live CD.


Administration of Elive is centralized by its flagship application Elpanel, which was developed especially for Elive. Elpanel is an animated Administration applet that is written in Edje.

Elpanel is a virtual launchpad to various other administration tools which are nested within Elpanel via labeled custom icons.

Animation of the Elpanel interface

Elive utilizes the Iceweasel browser and the Icedove mail client with pre-configured GnuPG extensions to encrypt and digitally sign emails. These tools allow the user to digitally sign, encrypt and decrypt correspondence with minimal effort.

Elive has support for multimedia codecs of various audio and video formats.

A short list of other pre-installed multimedia applications on Elive[edit]

A Live USB of Elive can be created manually or with UNetbootin.[2]

Distribution issues[edit]

Elive developers asked for a payment (via PayPal) of $15 or more to download the live CD. Alternatively, users could apply for free one-use "invitation codes" by writing long essays promoting Elive and posting about it on various commercial websites. The Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 License does not seem to prohibit exact re-distribution. Currently (2010), Elive is now freely available to download, but not free to install. Any user can download and run the Elive system as a liveCD for free, but in order to install the OS one needs to donate or go through the processes mentioned earlier.[3]

Ozos, OpenGEU, Moon OS, and the recently released Bodhi Linux all use the E17 desktop environment like Elive, but unlike Elive are free to download and install. They use a very simple installation process very similar to Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

History and development process[edit]

The second to last release (0.6) let the user choose between Enlightenment 0.16 (stable) or 0.17 (development release). Thus, it is a good way for the user to have a look at the latest version of this uncommon graphical environment.

Preceding the 0.5 release, Elive was built on the Morphix distribution, but the new one uses the Dsslive framework.


  • 0.1: The initial Beta release with the name Elive, which was Tezcatlipotix prior to the name Elive. This was based on Knoppix as well, but considered unstable yet working
  • 0.2: Several bugs fixed after reports and user experiences, yet ELive was still considered a development and working version
  • 0.3: The first stable version and the base was switched from Knoppix to Morphix
  • 0.4: Code named 'Serenity'; here Elive switched from to DSS (Debian Script Set)
  • 0.4.2: The second release of 'Serenity', with major revisions and ATI driver revisions
  • 0.5: Heralded release of Elive Revolution
  • 0.6: Second release of Elive Revolution named Revolution+
  • 1.0: Release of The Luxurious Elive Gem
  • 1.9-25: Release of Elive with Compiz (ecomorph)
  • 2.0: Release of the Stable version Elive Topaz

System requirements[edit]

The "minimum hardware requirements" for running Elive are:

  • 100 MHz CPU
  • 64 MB of RAM
  • At least 3 GB of disk space (for full installation and no swap space)
  • VGA graphics card capable of 640x480 resolution
  • CD-ROM drive Or USB-boot capable BIOS.

The "recommended hardware requirements" are:

  • 300 MHz
  • 128 Mb of RAM
  • At least 3.5 GB of disk space (for full installation and swap space)
  • VGA graphics card capable of 800x600 resolution
  • CD-ROM drive or USB-boot capable BIOS.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]