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Elive is more than just a Linux distro, it\’s a work of art.

or Enlightenment Live, is a Debian-based distribution that runs solely
on the Enlightenment system. The system can be installed on your
machine with the use of their installer. Enlightenment itself is a very
beautiful window manager / desktop shell that allows everything to be
customizable, while providing beautiful eye candy that would probably
only be seen on Windows Vista systems.

Is this system a work of art like the Elive team boasts? We shall find out.

The Revolution Begins

I first put the Elive 0.5 CD on my disk and was whisked away to the
wonderful world of Elive. The CD boots to a live CD, but before it does
that, it asks some basic hardware questions, such as what type of
screen you use and what theme do you want to start with by default. The
choices are Elive and Night. I chose the night theme. Next you are
asked what type of screen you are using, and the video card. I made my
choices and proceeded onward.

Afterwards you are greeted with a login screen that is quite impressive
with all of its animations and such. You are given a dummy account and
password to login with, no need to log in as root, which is a good
thing. Next you are greeted with a functional E17 environment. Once you
are done playing around with the system you can choose to install Elive
by clicking on the icon in their taskbar known as ibar.

Installation itself was pretty straightforward. You are greeted then
asked to check the integrity of your system. I recommend doing this,
once you are cleared you are then given the choice of how you want to
create your partition layouts. (Note: if you have an Elive system
already installed, it will ask you if you would like to update the
system, rather then do a full-blown installation).

I chose the trusty cfdisk to make my partition layout (other option is
GParted). If you need to reboot by this point, you can and just come
back to the installation. Afterwards you are asked what partition will
be the root partition, along with what file system you wish to use. I
chose XFS and was told I needed to have a separate boot partition which
I already did. I chose the partition to put boot in. Next you are asked
if you wish to add more partitions. The choices are /home, /usr,
/usr/local, and /var, then you are asked what file system you wish to
use for each partition. Afterwards the installation begins. Then, out
of nowhere, you are given a little card game program to kill time while
then system installs. How cute. Once done you are then asked for the
usual stuff; root password, user account, user password, what VGA
settings you want to use for boot up and where to install GRUB. After
making my choices the installation was complete and I rebooted the

Elive installed and ready to go

Once I rebooted I was greeted with the plain GRUB screen, which I
didn\’t mind too much. On the Elive community site a nice little HOWTO
shows you how to add your own GRUB splash. The system defaults to E17
but your other choice is E16. Once logged in I was greeted with my
fully installed Elive E17 system. The system worked really well and
everything was very pretty – from the twinkling background to all the
pretty eye candy and colors. This was truly an amazing system. Elpanel
also helped configuring a lot of different options, really handy and
powerful. Since the system is Debian-based, we have the famous Synaptic
package system which is always nice. The Elive community is also very
friendly and filled with a lot of creative, intelligent people who are
willing to help and contribute to Elive.

Though for all of its positives, there are negatives as well. Most of
these bugs however are more problems and setbacks with Enlightenment
then anything else since the system is still under heavy development
and constantly evolving.

Is it a work of art? Is it the next big thing?

A lot of love and dedication went into this system and it shows. E16
and E17 were painstakingly tweaked and modified to be a very usable and
powerful, while still showing off all of its eye candy potential.

Is this distro worth looking at? Is it a work of art like the Elive site boasts?

I most definitely agree.

Enlightenment is one very powerful and innovative desktop environment.
I honestly think we are looking at the next big thing as far as desktop
environments of the future goes. Elive just touches on the potential of
this system and I must say, I like what I see. Keep your eyes opened
for not only Elive, but for Enlightenment itself, as we may be
witnessing the future in progress.


Elive – a Debian-based distribution featuring the impressive, light-weight Enlightenment 17 desktop
(full image size: 407kB, screen resolution: 1280×1024 pixels)