Hack 80 Master Morphix

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Hack 80 Master Morphix

figs/beginner.gif figs/hack80.gif

Morphix is a Knoppix-based distribution that takes a modular approach to CD creation .

Given the popularity of Knoppix and the vast amount of people working on derivative versions of Knoppix, it doesn't come as a surprise that people have been working to make Knoppix easier to modify and more flexible to use. In early 2003, people who used Knoppix as a base on which to build live CDs (which used Debian GNU/Linux) developed Morphix (http://www.morphix.org)a remastered version of Knoppix.

8.2.1 What Makes Morphix So Special

As you have seen in this book, there are a number of ways to change Knoppix to your liking, particularly with remastering , which is covered in the next chapter. However, these possibilities have always been, and probably will always be, fairly limited. Knoppix was made for different goals: to detect your hardware as quickly and correctly as possible, to be a good demonstration of Linux, and to include as much commonly used Linux software as possible.

Morphix, on the other hand, is built on the idea of modules: you have one module that boots your live CD and detects your hardware, another that contains your live-CD filesystem, and zero or more extra modules that can contain minor or major changes and additions to the system. This way, Morphix promotes the reusing of smaller, existing modules instead of one large /KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX file. If it seems complicated, a look at a typical Morphix live CD might help. This is the structure of Morphix 0.4-1 LightGUI, one Morphix flavor:

 /base /base/boot.img /base/morphix /mainmod /mainmod/MorphixMain-Light.mod /minimod /deb /copy /exec 

While it seems quite empty, this is how typical versions of Morphix are released. They are quite bare, but offer users (or morphers , as we call ourselves ) more possibilities to change the resulting live CD.

Morphix currently has four ready-to-burn combined ISOs available for download and a list of extra modules available for whoever needs them. All combined ISOs contain the Morphix installer, a graphical tool for installing Morphix to your hard disk, and a number of other graphical and command-line Morphix tools for various purposes. Each of these live CDs has a targeted audiencemorphers have always believed that we should offer limited choices to users and unlimited (as much as possible) choices to developers:

Morphix LightGUI

Aimed at lower-end PCs, LightGUI features the XFCE4 desktop and contains a reasonable amount of lighter tools. It was the initial version of Morphix, and the aim has been to keep LightGUI small enough to fit on 210 MB mini CDR (W). LightGUI includes Abiword, Gnumeric, Dillo, and Firefox. For communication, Gaim and Xchat are included, and for photo processing, the GIMP has been added.

Morphix Gnome

Formerly named Morphix HeavyGUI, this flavor was for some time the only counterpart of LightGUI. Morphix Gnome includes Gnome, OpenOffice.org, Mozilla. It was aimed at office users with more recent machines. Even so, a normal Morphix Gnome ISO still doesn't fill up the whole (650 MB) CD-ROM, and recent versions weigh in at around 500 MB.

Morphix KDE

Although primarily focused on GTK/Gnome, the Morphix crew acknowledges that users might prefer KDE instead (and looking at the number of derivatives, a lot of users do!). Morphix KDE contains the whole KDE suite of programs, as well as Mozilla and other applications. Morphix KDE sits in between LightGUI and Gnome when it comes to size , and fills up approximately 400 MB of space on your CD-ROM.

Morphix Game

An oddball in Morphix, this flavor contains the very light IceWM and a very large number of open source games. BZflag, Frozen Bubble, Freecraft, and many, many others are sure to entertain the kids (or entertain the kid in you) for quite a few hours. Normally, Morphix Game also includes one or more demo versions or free full versions of commercial Linux games, adding to the fun. Gaming on Linux a rarity? This hasn't been the case for many years , no matter which kind of games you enjoy!

All the official Morphix live CDs contain the Morphix installer. This tool allows users to easily install their Morphix (or derivative) live CD to a hard disk. The difference between a live CD and a hard disk install is very small indeed. The Morphix installer is also built in a flexible manner so that derivatives can even rebrand the Morphix installer, although the source itself is licensed under the GNU GPL. A graphical partition tool and a series of configuration tools have been under development, and are likely to be part of Morphix by the time this book comes off the press.

To find out more about the structure of Morphix and how to use Morphix to create your own CDs, check out [Hack #99] .

8.2.2 See Also

  • The official Morphix page at http://www.morphix.org.

Alex de Landgraaf

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Knoppix Hacks. 100 Tips and Tricks
Knoppix Hacks. 100 Tips and Tricks
Year: 2004
Pages: 166

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