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Debian-based MEPIS Linux distros move closer to shipment
Sep. 05, 2007

[Updated Sept. 6] -- MEPIS has released Beta3 of SimplyMEPIS 7.0, its full-featured Debian-based Linux, and Beta 2 of MEPIS AntiX (pronounced "Antics"), which is designed to run on very old 32-bit PC hardware.

MEPIS 7, unlike Ubuntu-based MEPIS 6.5, is built on Debian 4.0. This beta boasts kernel version which contains minor patches from the Kernel Development Team as its heart.

This Linux distribution also contains numerous updates to its Debian 4 foundation. In addition, a problem with formatting USB key drives by the MEPIS System Assistant has been fixed.

More updates are on their way for the next beta. Due to user requests for updated compiz -- the major surviving 3D compositing Linux windows manager -- and other important gtk related packages, gtk was updated to version 2.10.13.

In addition, MEPIS will now be offering the GNOME 2.18.5 desktop as an option. In the past MEPIS had been a KDE-specific distribution. GNOME and metacity will be made available in the MEPIS optional software pool. In addition to the new GNOME version 2.18.5, MEPIS's GNOME desktop look has been updated to be compatible with gtk 2.10.

AntiX 7.0 Beta 2 is built using the MEPIS Linux 7.0 core, including the MEPIS 2.6.22 kernel and utilities. It also has a different set of default user applications from its first edition, AntiX 6.5.

This version offers a choice of the Fluxbox and Ice Window desktop managers. For applications it offers AbiWord, for word processing; Gnumeric for spreadsheet work; Firefox 2 for Web browsing; and Sylpheed-claws for e-mail. AntiX also includes a wide variety of other open-source programs.

AntiX is designed to work on computers with as little as 64MB RAM and Pentium II or equivalent AMD processors.

AntiX ISO images and deltas are available in the "testing" subdirectory at the MEPIS Subscriber's Site and at the MEPIS public mirrors. You can download the Beta3 ISO images for both 32- and 64-bit architectures of the full version of MEPIS at the same locations.

Steven J. Vaughan Nichols

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