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Elive, maybe the best Linux OS ever made

- And probably the only distro you'll stay with -

But Elive is not for everyone, are you the exception?

What is Elive?

Elive is a non-commercial, cost-free operating system designed for everyday use, it offers a much faster, friendlier and feature-rich alternative to your expensive and ineffective default OS.

With Elive, computers up to 15 years old can be transformed to high-performance machines with a stunning interface fully customizable.

Elive can be up and running in just 2 minutes, without the need for installation. Choose your preferred language and options for maximum performance, or let Elive detect them for you.

The user experience is our top priority, we provide an intuitive experience that is accessible to anyone. We achieve this by keeping the interface simple and uncluttered, providing many automated tools.

Elive is built on Debian, inheriting its renowned stability and reliability. The customized Enlightenment desktop is ultra-fast and perfectly stable, ensuring that you can rely on Elive to work seamlessly day after day.

It comes with a comprehensive suite of applications, catering to both professional and leisure needs. It offers everything from a complete office suite, tools, games, and multimedia. It includes professional video editors, graphic design software, media center, and even the ability to recover files from reformatted disks.

Elive is intended for everyone, from new to advanced users, who will discover a wealth of useful tools hidden within.

Technical details

  • Debian is used for the base system and it is fully compatible with it

  • 2500+ added own packages to make it so unique

  • Enlightenment as desktop, with own modifications

  • Live mode with own persistence features

  • Own made installer with unique features

  • Tons of tools for advanced users

  • Minimum requirements: 256 MB RAM / 500 Mhz CPU - For 128 MB / 300 Mhz check other downloads

Not just Debian with Enlightenment

Over 2500 own packages with detailed customizations, tons of customizations and integrations between parts to communicate and work together, own designs, special and unique features, and the gigantic list of characteristics listed here... definitively this is not just a Debian with enlightenment.

Do not waste your time doing your own customizations which already took 14 years of polished work here.

I hope you enjoy Elive as much as I do making it.

Facts about Linux

Linux powers everything, from smartphones and TVs to Submarines.
  • Linux is the favorite operating-system of major tech giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Walmart, and the list goes on and on... 
  • Linux controls the particle accelerator at CERN
  • Most consumer electronics
  • More than 80 percent of smartphones (via Android) 
  • 498 of the 500 fastest supercomputers of the world uses Linux (update: now all 500/500)
  • Most global markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, the London Exchange, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange 
  • More than 75 percent of cloud-enabled enterprises
  • 95 percent of the top 1 million domains
  • Visual effects of Titanic and Avatar were developed in 3D applications on Linux
  • The bullet trains in Japan use Linux to maintain and manage the sophisticated Automatic Train Control system.
  • The In-Vehicle-Infotainment technology (IVI) inside Toyota and other automobiles uses the Linux platform.
  • In 2002, Microsoft had accumulated a $ 421 million cost of fighting the spread of Linux, 
  • As of January 2010, Linux still only has a 1.02% market share within desktops. In 2018 is 1.46%

It's time to increase that 1.46% with a more ready-to-use, beautiful and intuitive system.
It's time to put Linux back into Desktops, 
not just supercomputers.


  • When you come to Elive it's an unique experience that you will never get anywhere else.
    Deon Thomas - IT Manager, Air services limited. Managing director, net services Guyana inc.
  • Elive is by far the best OS at delivering top-notch performance on very low specs hardware, including all the software a modern computer is expected to have.
    Harm Bathoorn

Do you have a minute? Help me to know how I can improve this website in order to communicate better “What is Elive” to the new users!


Be always safe
Virus Protected

It is almost impossible to have a virus. And viruses are mostly made to sell anti-virus, similar as to how pharmaceutical companies sell cures, and we do not sell anything.

Extreme Performance
Super Fast

A madness for perfection has resulted in a system tuned for performance and speed. Without planned obsolescence slowing down your computer over time. Made to work fast in old computers, resulting in blazing fast in newer ones.

Live mode
Try before Install

You can run Elive from a USB drive or DVD, without actually having to install it. With our own persistence featuring hardware-based profiles, you can save your work to take with you on the go.

Never be annoyed

Forget about popups, emergency updates, forced reboots, software trials, and forget about ads. All of these things are unacceptable to us, you will never have publicity in Elive, so you can work in peace.

Easy Setup
Multiple Screens

Elive includes extended usability, acting with a separate and shared behavior at the same time, loading your last configuration only when the screen is detected at boot, featuring unique hotkeys for optimal work, and more. Never a multi-screen setup has been so useful!

No need to pay

Elive is entirely cost-free, there are no restrictions or limitations on its use, unlike other operating systems. This project is made with love and not for monetary gain. Help Elive be more known.

Easy to use

Simple and clean, your desktop will never be a mess, applications are not over-saturated with options, Elive includes helpers and automation tools, everything has been designed so that even your cat can use it.

Complete and ready

Many hours were spent making the delicate selection of the best applications available, to give you a complete system that is ready to use, and with all quality software that you may ever need.

Stay calm
Spyware Free

Worried about your personal data being sent to corporations? Elive is open source, so you and anyone else can see what is happening inside.

The entire world
All Languages

Elive is made to work for any language in the world, even the rarest ones! Your country is determined by geolocation, which is used to give a preconfigured setup for your language and keyboard even with exotic language inputs!

Enough? Of course not ...
Revived from the ashes
Compiz Integrated

How many distros still have Compiz? This is an exclusive integration with superpowers; it is super fast, totally stable, providing gorgeous 3D desktop visuals, and, most importantly, it improves desktop usability thanks to unique features

Rock Solid

Elive has an extremely stable base. Losing work is totally unacceptable to us. You and only you decide should be able to decide when to close your opened applications and files. No more unnecessary reboots or surprises, ever!

Designed for daily usage

While many distros are a mix of packages, Elive has a ton of carefully refined customizations to be ready for the everyday use, with everything working as expected to be

Optimal configuration
Sizes & Fonts

Optimal sizes of elements on the desktop? Fonts are automatically configured based on the resolution and DPI of your screen to fit the most standard size for your eyes. You can also configure it manually or be amazed by the super+z key feature!

Insane sanity
Auto Health

Why lose time dealing with stuck processes? Watchers constantly check that everything is working correctly and take specific actions to keep the environment stable and running. Just like a human body and how it repairs itself.

Advanced users

Elive includes many amazing default configurations and native tools which are extremely useful for advanced users. We even include a bash framework to automate your tasks!

Unique User Experience

Elive does not simply follow the rules; We have our own concept of usability and productivity. The result is an incredible, yet simple and familiar interface with its own way of dealing with everyday tasks in the most efficient and optimal way possible.

Adaptable OS

Elive is set up differently depending on the type of computer. One of the Elive main philosophies is: Do not overwhelm the user options with all the options, use auto detections when is possible, and show additional options only when is needed.

Out of the box

Professional video editing, converting media file, media center, audio editing, ripping, DJ mixing, and even vertical synchronization for perfect video playback, everything is there and ready to be used!

Your imagination is the limit

Change the look from fonts and colors or even create animated icons and wallpapers, or you can go deeper by changing how things are actioned and interacts, or even change the entire desktop behavior!

Data protection

Optional encryption, making all your personal information protected so nobody could have access to it even if you lose your computer. It is also dynamically configured based on your hardware to not slow down your computer. And featured in Live mode too.

Rare species allowed

Elive does not like any form of discriminatory, special support for specific hardware, with wizard configurations and their own installers, including Nvidia, ATI, webcams, B43, and much other rare wifi

- We focus on providing a well tested stable environment for an optimal setup - 

Own Packages

Total Packages



    Powerful OS

    even in slow computers

    No more losing time with common tasks, reaching applications, switching windows, moving, or resizing them, included amazingly unique hotkeys to unleash a productivity workflow like never before.

    Strong optimizations made and the best applications selected, turning any computer into a powerful machine for any purpose.

    And if you need more, Elive provides a ton of own tools on which you can automate almost everything. Being open-source there's not a single thing that you cannot modify.
    Trusted by over 2 million people


    (Page in construction)
    This new website is not finished, please check later, there’s a ton of inside features to list

    Improving the World since 2005

    Reducing technological waste

    With the fast-growing, planned obsolescence in modern computing, there are over 50 million metric tons of technological waste worldwide every year. There are no words to say how unacceptable this situation is. With Elive, you can use computers up to 15 years old, install Elive on it, and have a fully functional OS.

    Schools re-using computers

    Around the world, most schools have outdated computers. Thus, instructors are left having to teach obsolete knowledge from outdated systems with computers that are so slow that their efficiency is drastically decreased and student learning is negatively impacted. Using Elive on these computers revives them providing an always-working, ready to be used, stable OS. Elive is also a great choice for universities due to its lightness, beauty, and elegance, friendly user interface.

    Affordable possibilities

    Not everybody can buy a computer. Elive can turn a 100 dollars computer into a powerful machine that works as fast as most of the new ones, plus it includes a big selection of professional software entirely for free that brings a much wider range of possibilities to everyone.

    Interconnecting the world

    When undeveloped countries can connect to new technologies, it puts the world's knowledge at their fingertips and the ability to share their knowledge. The global sharing of knowledge helps bring enlightenment to the world. Elive includes many international languages, even some which are uncommon to find in other distros. Elive is breaking new frontiers to interconnect cultures and families with their elders by giving them a friendly, ready to use OS.

    Enterprises saving money

    Enterprises spend huge amounts of money on renewing their computers and constant maintenance. By putting Elive on their computers it spares them the trouble of buying new hardware to stay competitive over time and without the maintenance required, providing more uptime and efficient working hours. Plus the system is more intuitive for their workers causing a less distracting workflow.

    Saving lives

    Ever thought about how much time is lost due to slow and unreliable systems? Even if it is only a half-hour per day, that means we have already wasted 520,000 human lives since 1990. Do not waste your life, use Elive.

    Your support is crucial

    I personally want to give a really BIG thank you to every person that donated to this project, because even with all the difficulties that surfaced, Elive 3.0 would have never been a reality without them


    Contrary to inaccurate assumptions, Elive has never been commercial, and, in fact, it is developed by only one person. 

    Since 2005 it has been the only and full-time work of its founder. The few but generous donations received were the only economic support of this project and sadly, hardly enough to ensure a meal every day.

    If the real purpose of Elive was to make money with it, the result would have been very different, like not making it good for old computers, where there is not a market at all, and I would not have spent 14 years of my life developing it, with sacrifices that included the need to move to cheaper countries due to economic reasons.

    Even if Free Software encourages to sell the software, Elive always provided alternative options for those who cannot donate, because it was never wanted to restrict anybody to use Elive. The OS is entirely cost-free and without any restriction because restrictions would simply be limitations, preventing people from experiencing all the good that it has.
    Ready for a new experience?

    This version includes an amazing user-experience with a very well polished desktop, optional visual effects and so far it is the best experience. As a downside, the drivers and software are outdated, but we are working on the next development! If you haven't tried Elive before, you should first try this version :)

    Uses E16 as a temporary desktop for development, offering a very pleasant, fast, and extremely stable desktop to work from, If you are bored of the same desktops try this different experience! Includes 64BIT support and UEFI, persistence, and updated software.