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Screenshot of SalineOS
SalineOS (latest build)
Developer Anthony Nordquist
OS family Unix-like
Working state Defunct
Source model Open source
Latest release 1.7 / 2012-08-08
Available in over 65
Update method APT (several front-ends available)
Package manager dpkg
Platforms i386, AMD64
Kernel type Monolithic (Linux, FreeBSD), Micro (Hurd)
Default user interface xfce4
License Free software licenses
(mainly GPL)

SalineOS was a computer operating system composed of software packages released as free and open source software, primarily under the GNU General Public License. It was intended to be a fast, lightweight, and well-documented operating system based on Debian Linux.


The SalineOS Project was started in late 2010 by Anthony Nordquist.[1] Version 1.0, based on Debian v6.0 a.k.a. Squeeze, was released on 17 January 2011. Version 1.6, the most current stable version, was released on 1 February 2012. Version 2 was to be based on Debian v7.0 a.k.a. Wheezy. This project is currently discontinued.[2]

Primary Additions[edit]

Additional packages and scripts were added to this distribution and provided in parallel to the default Debian repositories.

The additions are described as follows:[3]

  • sgfxi[4][5][6] - xorg free driver installer.
  • magix-driver-installer – a graphic-based application for installing proprietary graphics drivers
  • Additional Debian Repositories – Debian-compatible repositories containing software that does not conform to Debian's strict free software guidelines, including software that is in a testing phase and/or proprietary.
  • Wine repositories – comes preconfigured
  • Remastersys backup utility[7] – a backup-utility with a graphic user interface(ui)
  • Binary firmware – drivers for common wireless network cards that may violate the Debian License.
  • Debian backports repositories[8]
  • Additional scripts – used to automate the installation of potentially patent-encumbered multimedia codecs.

Critical reactions[edit]

In an unsigned review of version 1.6 on the site, the reviewer wrote: "A default installation of SalineOS has its pluses, but the network security posture is very bad. While that problem can be overcome easily, the lack of support for disk encryption during installation, is a major minus. But if you are looking for a desktop distribution with stable but “old” applications, and have no need for disk encryption, then SalineOS is worth considering."[9]

J.A. Watson writing for Jamie's Mostly Linux Stuff on ZDNet ended his review of version 1.5 with "Summary: SalineOS looks like a very good Linux distribution. It installs easily, runs well, and has all the advantages (and disadvantages) of Debian GNU/Linux. If you are looking for a new alternative, it is worth investigating."[10]


  1. ^ sourceforge tracking data from the project site –
  2. ^ distrowatch distro information page -
  3. ^ SalineOS about page –
  4. ^ self-updating nvidia, ati/amd fglrx, xorg free driver installer, and xorg configuration script written originally for Debian, which has since expanded to include support for Ubuntu and Arch Linux systems.
  5. ^ The sgfxi manual:
  6. ^ The smxi homepage:
  7. ^ Remastersys is a tool that can be used to do 2 things with an existing Debian, Ubuntu or derivative installation:
    1. It can make a full system backup including personal data to a live CD or DVD that you can use anywhere and install.
    2. It can make a distributable copy you can share with friends. This will not have any of your personal user data in it.
  8. ^ Backports are recompiled packages from testing (mostly) and unstable (in a few cases only, e.g. security updates) in a stable environment so that they will run without new libraries (whenever it is possible) on a Debian stable distribution.
  9. ^ "Saline OS 1.6 Review". 2 March 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Weston, J. A. "SalineOS 1.5". Jamie's Mostly Linux Stuff. ZDNet. Retrieved 7 August 2012.