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MEPIS8 Desktop.jpg
SimplyMEPIS 8.0 default desktop
Developer Warren Woodford
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current
Initial release May 2003
Latest release 8.5 / March 30, 2010 (2010-03-30)
Latest preview -
Update method APT
Package manager dpkg
Platforms IA-32, x86-64
Kernel type Monolithic
Default user interface KDE
License GNU GPL / Apache
Official website

MEPIS (pronounced /ˈmɛpɨs/ (deprecated template)) is a set of Linux distributions, distributed as Live CDs that can be installed onto a hard disk drive. MEPIS is developed and maintained by an active community begun by Warren Woodford and the eponymous company MEPIS LLC.

The most popular MEPIS distribution is SimplyMEPIS, which is based primarily on Debian stable. It can either be installed onto a hard drive or used as a Live CD, which makes it externally bootable for troubleshooting and repairing many operating systems. It includes KDE, the K Desktop Environment.

MEPIS LLC was founded in 2002 and leverages the MEPIS Linux distribution as a foundation for MEPIS business partners to build and deploy virtualized data center, secure server and desktop solutions that integrate and provide a migration path for utilizing hardware virtualization, IPv6, IPsec and DNSsec. MEPIS LLC also offers senior consulting services for product strategy, architecture design, business and systems analysis, and cross-platform software development.


MEPIS was designed as an alternative to SUSE Linux, Red Hat Linux, and Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrake) which, in the creator Warren Woodford's opinion, were too difficult for the average user. MEPIS's first official release was on May 10, 2003.

In 2006, MEPIS made a transition from using Debian packages to using Ubuntu packages.[1] SimplyMEPIS 6.0, released in July 2006, was the first version of MEPIS to incorporate the Ubuntu packages and repositories.

SimplyMEPIS 7.0 discontinued the use of Ubuntu binary packages in favor of a combination of MEPIS packaged binaries based on Debian and Ubuntu source code, combined with a Debian Stable OS core and extra packages from Debian package pools.[2]

Warren Woodford released the source code for the MEPIS Installer and MEPIS System Assistants under the Apache License, in the Fall of 2008.

Major releases occur about six months to one year apart, based mostly on Warren's availability to produce the next version.

MEPIS Community now has a repo team that strives to keep packages up to date between releases, by maintaining a separate 'Community Repository' of various application packages, and has become a major player by producing the artwork and documentation for each release.

Current variants

  • SimplyMEPIS, the most popular MEPIS variant, is designed for everyday desktop and laptop computing. The default desktop environment is KDE-based, although Gnome and/or other GUI-environments can be installed. SimplyMEPIS 8.0 contains several new packages and features. It includes Linux kernel 2.6.27, KDE 3.5.10, and 3.0, with other applications available from Debian and the MEPIS Community. It was released on February 22, 2009.[3] Current development is focused on MEPIS 8.5 which will be based on Debian Stable with KDE 4.3 as a desktop manager.
  • antiX, a fast, lightweight and flexible distribution available in full or base editions and based on SimplyMEPIS for x86 systems in an environment suitable for old computers that features the Fluxbox and IceWM window managers. Version 8.2 was released on July 24, 2009.[4]


According to Warren Woodford, the name MEPIS is pronounced like "Memphis", with the extra letters removed. Basically, it is pronounced "MEeP-us" with a long "e" ("meepis"). Originally, the word "MEPIS" didn't mean anything in particular; it came about by mistake. When Woodford misunderstood a friend over the telephone, he decided to use the name because it was a simple five-letter word and there were no other companies or products with that name.


  1. ^ Rick Lehrbaum, 'MEPIS founder clarifies MEPIS/Ubuntu relationship', Feb. 17, 2007, Desktop, accessed July 6, 2008.
  2. ^ "MEPIS Begins a Return to Debian With Version 6.9.51prebeta". 2007-08-02. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  3. ^ "Debian Lenny Based SimplyMEPIS 8.0 is Released". 2009-02-22. Retrieved 2009-02-22. 
  4. ^ "Antix Team does it again with AntiX 8.2 Final". 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 

External links