Familiar Linux

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Familiar Linux
OS family Unix-like
Source model Open source
Initial release May 2000; 18 years ago (2000-05)
Latest release v0.8.4 / March 2007; 11 years ago (2007-03)
Kernel type Monolithic kernel, Linux
Default user interface OPIE, GPE
Official website OFFLINE familiar.handhelds.org Archived July 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.

Familiar Linux was a Linux distribution for iPAQ machines and other personal digital assistants (PDAs), intended as a replacement for Windows CE on these machines. It can use OPIE or GPE Palmtop Environment as the graphical user interface. Familiar Linux was a complete operating system with many applications.


In May 2000, Alexander Guy took a kernel that had been worked on by Compaq programmers, built a complete Linux distribution around it, and released the first version of Familiar (v0.1). The distribution was a lightweight package with Python and XFree86 with anti-aliased fonts, used the Blackbox window manager, and included a new packaging system created by Carl Worth called "ipkg", similar to Debian's dpkg, allowing user applications to be installed and removed.

This next release was so far beyond what the Compaq team had built, that they decided to drop their own distribution and adopt Familiar as the new reference.[citation needed]


Familiar Linux has not been updated since 2007-03-08[1] and therefore could be classified as abandonware. Their Wiki returns a dead link.[2] Several contributors have shifted their efforts to the Angstrom distribution or OpenEmbedded.

Recent releases[edit]

Date Release[3]
August 2006 v0.8.4

See also[edit]


External links[edit]