Linux distribution

Elive is a Linux distribution based on Debian 10 Buster both for legacy (old) and new hardware. Elive uses the desktop environment Enlightenment. Elive is a Linux Distribution with a Live CD and Persistent USB Image that allows the user to try Elive before installing it on the system and not lose any work.

Screenshot Elive 3.8.4
DeveloperSamuel F. Baggen
OS familyDebian GNU/Linux
Working stateCurrent
Source modelShared source
Latest release3.8.7 / May 2, 2020 (2020-17-02)
PlatformsIA-32, i386, AMD64
Kernel typeMonolithic kernel
user interface
Official websitehttp://www.elivecd.org/



Elive was born in Belgium prior to 2005 as a private experiment by its founder to customize a Knoppix Live CD running the Enlightenment[1] and with the designs based in the Evil Entity distro, it was called Tezcatlipotix,[2] since the result was better than expected the desire to create a public version started.

Two months later the first public version with the name of Elive appeared publicly, appearing directly in Slashdot.



Elive has access to online repositories of Debian (Buster for beta, Wheezy for old stable) and uses its own repositories with more than 2500 packages that includes own specific software for Elive, extra software, or packages that replaces the default ones provided by Debian, improving the overall system and integrity. Elive comes with a complete set of included software to fit any needs for example free programs as: LibreOffice, Chromium, Firefox, Thunderbird, VLC media player, GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, Skype, Virtual box, Shotwell,...

Elive old stable has 3D effects without need of an accelerated graphic card (though is suggested), thanks tot he integration between E17 and Compiz (Ecomorph). The Beta version supports the newest linux kernel and is available both for i686 and amd64 architectures, though it drops the support to E17 (not compatible with the latest Debian Stable release) in favor of E16, which, despite being older, is way more stable and well supported by modern distributions. It is fairly easy to upgrade to E23, which is considered the future Desktop Environment of this OS.



At the moment 3 supported releases are available:

  • (old) stable, the version 3.0.3, which is based on Debian Wheezy and E17. It works with anything from i586 (Pentium) architecture and above. Despite the old software and repositories, this version is still widely used and appreciated due to the incredible 3d graphical effects that make using it a joy and a graphics experience.
  • Beta, which is divided into a 32 and a 64 bit release. The 64 bit release brings all the perks of a 64 bits build, among theme better modern hardware support and better software experience (like Steam working perfectly). Apart from this, there is essentially no difference apart the ram consumption. The beta version uses the latest Linux Kernel and is based upon Debian 10 Buster. E17 is too old now so E16 is the new default environment. The basic configuration includes Cairo Dock and conky, plus a compositor allowing transparency.

All the old releases are available on the official website and shared through Torrent.[3]

System requirements


The "minimum hardware requirements" for running Elive (32 bit) are:

  • 300 MHz CPU (Pentium Pro and above, due to the limit of I686 architecture)
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • At least 5 GB of disk space (for full installation and swap space)
  • VGA graphics card capable of 640x480 resolution
  • CD-ROM drive

The "minimum recommended hardware requirements" are:

  • 1000 MHz (Athlon 1100 like)
  • 512 Mb of RAM
  • At least 10 GB of disk space (for full installation and swap space)
  • VGA graphics card capable of hardware acceleration
  • CD-ROM drive

The basic setup to get a daily usable device could be a Pentium 4 HT (or equivalent), 2gb ram, 30gb 7200 rpm sata hard disk and a graphic acceleration capable graphics card; the previous recommended requirements would still give a snappy system, but they would not meet modern web browsing requirements (so the experience with Firefox or Chromium may not be the best), which is out of the os control: for that reason Elive also ships some low resources browsers like Netsurf and Links2, though they are unable to visualize every website correctly.


  1. "Interview with the Founder".
  2. "Thanatermesis - tezcatlipotix". Youtube.
  3. "Elive Old Releases".

Other websites