An Introduction to MEPIS Linux
There are two versions of MEPIS Linux:
- SimplyMEPIS : the standard edition, for reasonably new or decently specified computers AND
- AntiX : a version for older - or lowly specified computers
Both editions are based on the same core Linux, but the AntiX desktop is less-showy - and the default applications are very different.
SimplyMEPIS minimum requirements are:
- Intel Pentium or equivalent including Xeon, AMD or AMD64 processor
- A bootable DVD drive
- 4Gb available hard drive space
- 512Mb RAM
AntiX minimum requirements are:
- Intel Pentium II 266MHz (or equivalent)
- A bootable DVD drive
- 1.2Gb minimum available hard drive space or USB drive
- 128Mb recommended
The MEPIS philosophy is all about delivering a robust, usable O/S, straight out of the box. This puts it into direct competition with Linux Mint and, indeed, the desktop looks and behaves like that of it's rival. The standard edition (SimplyMEPIS) features a KDE based desktop:
However, unlike Mint, MEPIS does offer a version that runs on low specification hardware (AntiX), using an LXDE based-desktop, so you can run it on all your hardware:
The MEPIS philosophy is all about delivering a robust, usable O/S, straight out of the box
In our opinion, MEPIS Linux has the following strengths (-over and above the usual Linux ones):
It can run on low-specification - and even (-in the case of AntiX) outdated - hardware. It is also possible to run both versions direct from a USB Stick
Once installed, you really do not need to install anything else - unless you want to: all the basics are there already
One of the MEPIS core values is robustness: this can be very important if you rely on your computer daily
It it based on a Debian core, meaning there are plenty of applications out there that you can install without modification or having to compile from source
The main drawbacks of using MEPIS are:
The MEPIS community is small (-albeit fiercely loyal), so it may be difficult to get MEPIS-specific answers (-although it is based on Debian, so you can draw on, for example, the Ubuntu community as well)
If you cannot download SimplyMEPIS, then alternative purchasing options seem very high by Linux standards (-especially when the likes of Fedora and Ubuntu are charging cost price for CDs)
Updates are not as frequent as the major distros, so the technology may lag behind others. Similarly, you may have to wait a long time for bug fixes
Both editions of MEPIS ship with a good amount of installed applications: to see a short summary of these, please see our section on default SimplyMEPIS Applications or default AntiX Applications.
Also, see our Useful Linux Applications to see where to go to install our recommended software.
We have created a 14 minute video of the SimplyMEPIS (version 11) desktop in action in our Video Section: click here to take a tour of SimplyMEPIS!
We have also created an 11 minute video of the AntiX (version 11) desktop in action in our Video Section: click here to take a tour of AntiX!
Although available for free download, MEPIS is not Open Source: it is maintained by small organisation called MEPIS LLC. As a result, releases are far less frequent than "the big boys" (-like Ubuntu and Fedora).
|AntiX||antiX 12.x||August 2012|
|AntiX||antiX 13.x||November 2013|
|AntiX||antiX 14.2||July 2014|
MEPIS comes in two flavours: SimplyMEPIS or AntiX. The install procedure is the same - except that a different image is used for each:
We have created several short articles to allow you to familiarise yourself with MEPIS. This should help you decide if this is the Linux distribution for you - before you take the plunge and download it! Here are a selection of the main pages you may want to review: