What is Zephix?

Zephix is a live linux operating system based on Debian 10 (Buster). It runs totally from removable media without touching any files stored on the user's system disk. The aim of Zephix is to provide a free modular operating system that users can carry with them and use wherever there is laptop or a desktop system available.

Moreover, when running from USB, one can make additional changes (configuration changes, add new software, etc.) and then save all the changes back to the USB device as a module. These changes will then become available on the next boot. This means that you will not lose your customisations (if you wish to) and this is what makes Zephix a unique, special and highly portable operating system! Instructions explaining how to install Zephix on a USB device are available in a file named readme.txt.

The default user is tux and the password is also tux. To become root, just type su, press Enter and type the password toor. The minimum system requirements to run Zephix are a 1GHz Pentium processor and 3GB of RAM, although better specifications are recommended for a faster and smoother live system experience with Zephix.


2021-08-27: Zephix v3.0 (Zephix-30R-20210812-x86_64) was released. Updated base to Debian 10.10; Removed all packages from the distribution except from basic ones (text editor, calculator etc.) - users can now download their preferred modules to customise Zephix as they wish; Added a removable devices applet in the system tray; Optimised the GUI; Implemented uEFI boot using GRUB for better compatibility (Syslinux is only used for Legacy boot); Improved network manager system tray applet with automatic detection of wireless and/or wired network card and a more appealing tray icon; Improved Bluetooth compatibility and added a Bluetooth tray icon; Added Zephix Module icons; Added a printer server (CUPS); Added a direct link to the modules directory in / for ease of transfer (link is available if modules are present and mounted); ISO size reduced by 1.1GB!

2021-07-28: Zephix v2.0 (Zephix-20R-20210725-x86_64) was released. Added uEFI support for easier booting on modern computer systems. Updated the website to provide additional modules that can be optionally downloaded and added to the ISO or to the USB device. Module files have been numbered in the order they were created. Once downloaded, feel free to change the numbering as required.

2021-07-20: Zephix v1.0 (Zephix-10R-20210720-x86_64) was released.

What software is included?

The philosophy behind Zephix revolves around freedom. Taking into consideration web browsers as an example, why should one decide to use an operating system to then discover that it contains a preinstalled default web browser? With so many different web browsers available, the user must be free to choose which web browser to use.

For this reason, Zephix contains only basic utilities by default (ex: text editor, calculator etc.). Any other software is packaged into modules that can be individually handpicked and included in the distribution to make it unique to each individual user. By avoiding the inclusion of bloatware, Zephix requires less resources to run, making it also the ideal Linux distribution for old hardware.

Make it Personal

Customising Zephix is really simple and straightforward. You can download ready-made modules online and copy them to the /Zephix/modules/ directory. Then, once you boot Zephix, all the copied modules are preloaded and activated automatically. Please note that the version of the software included in each module is the latest working version at the time the module file was modified.

Alternatively, you can create your own modules in Zephix. Boot the system and make the required changes. When you are ready, open a terminal, become root and type:

createmodule <module_name>.zx

Zephix will automatically create a module, using the specified name, including all the changes performed.

It is very important to use the correct module naming convension. A module should start with the next module number (padding with a leading zero or more where necessary) followed by a hypen, then the name of the module and finally the .zx extension (ex: 02-customisations.zx). The first module included in Zephix is named 01-core.zx and modules are loaded in numerical order.

Once your changes are stored in a module, all you have to do is to copy the .zx module to the /Zephix/modules/ directory and reboot. If you are running Zephix from a read-only media such as a DVD, you may need to re-generate the ISO image using any freely available application package.

If you wish to examine the contents of a module and/or modify files in it, you can use three commands available in Zephix. Keep in mind that you have to be root.

modtodir - This command converts your module into a directory and you can make any required modifications.

dirtomod - Once you are satisfied with your modifications, you can then use this command to convert the directory back into a .zx module.

rmzxdir - Should you wish to just examine the contents of a module without rebuilding it, you can use this command to then remove the extracted module directory.

If you would like to know how to use these three commands, just open a terminal, type their name and press Enter. The usage information is then displayed for each respective command.

Get In Touch

For any enquiries and/or suggestions, feel free to send an email on zephixlinux [at] gmail [dot] com.

Your feedback is highly appreciated.