Bio-Linux is an open source operating system based on the world’s most popular free distribution of Linux, Ubuntu, built around the modern Unity desktop environment, and designed from the ground up to be used by bioinformaticians.
Distributed as a single, dual-arch Live DVD
The distro can be downloaded from Softpedia as a single, dual-arch Live DVD ISO images of approximately 3GB in size, supporting both 64-bit (x86_64) and 32-bit (i386) instruction set architectures. It must be deployed to either a USB flash drive or DVD disc in order to boot it from the BIOS of a computer.
Being based on Ubuntu, it features an identical boot loader, designed to allow you to try the operating system without installing anything, directly start the installer, test the RAM for errors, boot from the first disk, as well as to check the integrity of the bootable medium (only if using a DVD media).
Modern and productive desktop environment powered by Unity
As mentioned, the distribution’s default and only desktop environment is Unity, which uses a panel/dock layout. While the panel, which is located on the upper part of the screen, is perfect for interacting with running programs, the dock will help you to quickly launch your favorite applications.
Some of the best open source bioinformatics apps
Some of the best open source bioinformatics applications are included in this Ubuntu-based operating system, among which we can mention Act, Arb, Cn3D, cytoscape, Archaeopteryx, Artemis, BTmapqtl, clustalx, Dendroscope, DDV Sequence Alignment Viewer, Entrez, Eqtl, Galaxy, GAP4, GAP5, FastQC, Geneious, GGobi, ISACreator, KiNG, LRmapqtl, mesquite and Jemboss.
Summing up, Bio-Linux is a really fast and productive operating system based on the latest upstream Ubuntu version and using the GNOME Classic desktop environment, as well as some of the best open source bioinformatics applications.