Olive LiveCD

0.2 GPL (GNU General Public License)    
4.0/5 4
Olive is (yet another) GNU/Linux Live distribution.





Olive is (yet another) GNU/Linux Live distribution. Olive LiveCD distirbution offers quite a good deal of new technologies, hardly witnessed ever before, as well as some of the more common pieces of software. It's size is approx. 110MiB, yet it allows a lot of software to be used.

Olive's whole point is to display how easy to use Linux may be, yet without losing any of the features required for heavy-duty work. It's also supposed to show various unusual new technologies, not widely known or accepted.

Please note that Olive was, partially, built as graduation work at SPSST Panska. Once presented, a release built specifically for school will be available upon personal request.

Here are some key features of "Olive LiveCD":


Olive features MPlayer for playing of your favourite movies. It plays most MPEG, VOB, AVI, OGG/OGM, VIVO, ASF/WMA/WMV, QT/MOV/MP4, FLI, RM, NuppelVideo, Matroska files. You can also watch Theora, MPEG4 (DivX/XviD), Real Media, DVD, VideoCD, SVCD movies. MPlayer also supports various filters for better experience. Mencoder is bundled with MPlayer and it allows you to encode movies into virtually any of the formats mentioned above.

Although you can use MPlayer to play your music, there's also an application that was written just for that: Audacious. Audacious is a fork of Beep Media Player (now discontinued), which is in turn fork of the very famous XMMS. It supports various audio formats, including MPEG layer 1, 2, and 3, Ogg Vorbis, Ogg FLAC, Musepack, WAV files and Windows Media, as well as many sequenced formats including MIDI, and a host of different module formats. In addition, Audacious uses Winamp-like skins (and supports Winamp "classic" skins), to provide a familiar and friendly user interface.

You can of course view photos and pictures using GQview, an intuitive image browser. It can generate thumbnails of your pictures, it's capable of reading EXIF metadata, has advanced image search function and much more.


The Internet is part of everyday life for all of us; was it not for the Internet, you wouldn't be able to read this webpage. Olive features Mozilla Firefox web browser, currently the most common web browser used on Linux. For browsing in console, ELinks is a must-have. There is also Sylpheed e-mail client, small, fast and incredibly useful.

These days, Instant Messaging is a common part of our lives. Therefore, Olive sports GAIM2 (beta2) multi-protocol instant messaging client, which is compatibile with protocols such as ICQ, MSN Messenger,Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber or Gadu-Gadu. There is also a client dedicated solely to Internet Relay Chat (IRC), which is X-Chat. As usually, there are console alternatives, which would be CenterICQ and irssi.

You can use Kismet to look for Wi-Fi hotspots. Basic utilities such as telnet or ssh client and server (Dropbear, used in various embedded systems) are not missing as well.

General work

You can perform some elementary office work in Olive as well. Although it's obvious that you won't be doing most of your office work on Olive, it's quite reasonable to believe it can come in handy. Therefore, Olive has AbiWord word processor to allow you to read and write documents, in various languages, in various characters, without any problem.

AbiWord can also handle various document formats, which includes Microsoft Word or WordPerfect documents. You can also export your documents into HTML for further processing or publication. You can also read Adobe PDF format using Evince, a Gnome/GTK2 document viewer whose PDF backend is based on the Poppler library, which is based on the well-known XPDF. Utilities that allow you export of PDF documents into eg. HTML are also included.

System control

Considering the differences in approach to configuration in various distributions, it may be often hard to configure several things at yet another distribution, such as the X server or preferences of software alternatives. Therefore, Olive features a trivial control panel, allowing any application to be merged in as a new panel. Although it still misses few more desired panels (most notable for network configuration), it already is quite useful for every day usage.

Eye candy

Good-looking environment always helps users to better orientate on the workplace, as well as consider the time they spend with the system more enjoyable. Transparency can be achieved using XComposite extension and xcompmgr + transset.

Though XGL and AIGLX were considered, the decision was made not to use them for their lack of testing and for the demand for support of as many platforms as possible. Please note that even XComposite may have it's own issues with other software, most notably Enlightenment and MPlayer, and for this reason xcompmgr is not run by default.


If you consider the above features way too much for you and strive for something lighter, then you can use the FluxBox window manager. FluxBox was finetuned to look and feel as much as Enlightenment as possible, making the transition simple. There are also lightweight versions of some of the software, as mentioned above, such as irssi, CenterICQ or ELinks.

What's New in This Release:

· A significant bug was found in v0.1, causing ramdisk for people who have 1GiB of RAM or more broken. Please, upgrade to 0.2.
Last updated on March 14th, 2006
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