MEPIS 6.5 User Guide

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!!! Warning! The info contained in this article pertains to older versions of MEPIS !!!

This article or section is a stub. You can help Mepis Documentation Project by expanding it.

Official documentation will soon be uploaded here.




Our special thanks to the following people:

The Ubuntu Project

The Debian Project

All of the developers who make Linux possible

The MEPIS Community

MEPIS Primary Developers

Warren Woodford

Matt Melbert

Welcome to the MEPIS Community!

Relax, you're among friends. The MEPIS community includes hundreds of thousands of people like you who were tired of blue screens, viruses, and spyware. Tired of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for software, and then having to pay again every few years. You'll find lots of helpful people at the MEPIS forums.

SimplyMEPIS is intended to be easy to try, easy to install, and easy to use. This guide is meant to be your roadmap for getting started with SimplyMEPIS. We show you how to boot from CD, how to test drive SimplyMEPIS, how to install on your hard drive, and how to start using SimplyMEPIS as a complete replacement for MS-Windows.

Good luck and have fun! Warren

System Requirements


SimplyMEPIS can run on most hardware but does require some minimum requirements. At the very least the following hardware is required:

  • Intel Pentium or equivalent, including newer Celeron, Xeon, AMD K6-2+, Athlon, AthlonXp, or AMD64
  • A bootable CDROM drive
  • A hard drive with at least 2GB avaliable
  • 64MB RAM

Please note that if your system only meets the minimum requirements, performance may be poor and it may be necessary to manually adjust your installation configuration. In older machines processor speed is not as important as memory size. Linux and other Unix variants will perform substantially better with even modest increases in memory size.


In order to better enjoy your MEPIS experience the following hardware is recommended:

  • Intel Pentium III or newer Celeron, Xeon, AMD Athlon, AthlonXp or AMD64 or better
  • A bootable CDROM drive
  • A hard drive with at least 4GB avaliable
  • 256MB or better of RAM

This hardware configuration should allow you to fully appreciate all of the features of MEPIS Linux.

Note About Winmodems and Proprietary Modems

Some internal/built-in modems, called winmodems, don't work with MEPIS out-of-the-box. They are designed to work only with a special driver written only for MS-Windows. The easiest solution would be to get a regular internal modem or an external serial modem. These are generally inexpensive to purchase.

Other modems which were manufactured for use in proprietary computers may be difficult to find drivers for. Generally drivers can be found by looking up the Chip number or FCC code number on the Internet.

Note About Hardware in General

MEPIS supports a lot of hardware out-of-the-box, there is no need to download or install extra drivers. Most hardware will just work. Unfortunately, even though most hardware will work not all will work. This tends to be the case with old hardware, over three or four years, and very new hardware, less than 6 months old. The old hardware may never be supported. However, within the Linux community more and more hardware is being supported every day. Make sure to check the MEPIS website for hardware support updates.

Booting MEPIS

Booting From CD

Setting your BIOS to boot a from an IDE CD-ROM, USB CD-ROM, USB Stick Memory or Other Device

Before you can use a Mepis LiveCD to boot your computer, you need to configure it so that your BIOS will boot from a CD instead of the Hard Disk Drive. Most newer computers have BIOS settings which also allow Booting from a USB stick Drive, USB CDROM, or other devices.

BIOS is an acronym for Basic-Input-Output-System. This program controls the booting of your computer until it calls the Boot Loader to boot an Operating System ( like Windows or Mepis ). Configuration details about your computer hardware are stored on a ROM chip on your motherboard called the CMOS. When a computer is powered on:

  1. the BIOS loads configuration data from the CMOS into main memory;
  2. performs a routine diagnostic on your hardware ( the Power-On Self Test )
  3. then launches the Boot Loader residing in the Master Boot Record ( MBR ) of the first Hard Disk Drive.

The BIOS checks the CMOS for default settings. The setting that concerns us is the Boot Device Sequence: we want to have the CD-ROM as the first Boot Device, so that a LiveCD will boot instead of the Boot Loader on your HDD, when you put a bootable CD in the drive.

To enter the CMOS Setup, you must press a certain key or combination of keys during the initial startup sequence. Most systems use:
'Esc,' 'Del,' 'F1,' 'F2,' 'Ctrl-Esc' or 'Ctrl-Alt-Esc'
to enter the CMOS setup. There is sometimes a notice at the bottom of the screen that says: 'Press xx to Enter Setup.' Or there may not be. If you can't find the information in your computer owner's manual, try all of the above in turn, until you hit on the right one.

Remember that once the BIOS finishes the POST ( checking RAM and other hardware ) it wants to hand the computer off to a Boot Loader within a second or two. If you are too late pressing the CMOS setup key, the Hard Disk's Boot Loader will take over, and you'll have to try again.

Once in the CMOS Setup, use the right-arrow key to advance through the screens until you find the one that has a setting somewhere on the page called 'Boot Configuration,' 'Boot Order,' or 'Boot Sequence.'

Be very careful when making changes to setup. The wrong settings can prevent your computer from booting. Don't change anything you don't fully understand!
Unless you need specialized settings, the best Boot Device sequence is

  1. Floppy Disk
  2. CD-ROM
  3. HDD ( Hard Disk Drive )
  4. ( other )

If you have more than one HDD: it is standard to boot from the Master Disk on the Primary IDE Channel. If you have a modern computer that does not have a Floppy Drive, move everything up accordingly.

When you are finished with your changes, choose "Save Changes" and exit. The BIOS will then restart your computer, using the new CMOS settings. If you have a Mepis LiveCD in the CD-ROM drive, it should boot instead of your regular operating system on your HDD.

Boot Screen Selections

Preparing to Boot

Choosing Your Language

Choosing Your Resolution

Kernel Selection

Taking MEPIS for a Test Drive

The Login Screen


Installing MEPIS

Starting the Install

To begin installing MEPIS from the live CD, click on the "Install MEPIS" icon. If you are logged in as "demo", you will be prompted for the root password, which is "root".

In the window that comes up, read through the Terms of Use and License. Check "I agree to the terms" and click "next".

Selecting a Disk for Installation

You must select a hard disk drive to install MEPIS to. The drives on your system are identified by device name. To determine which device name corresponds to which device, see this article: hard drive device names

Rearrange Disk Partitions

Select Type of Installation

Select Partitions


Installation in Progress

Computer Network Name

Services to Start

Localization Defaults

Set Clock

User Account

Root (administrator) Account


System Configuration


Printer Configuration

Mouse and Display

Network Interfaces

System Tweaks

User Accounts

User Tweaks

Test Linux Partitions

Using the Internet


Dialup with Kppp

Browse the Web

Get and Send Email

Other Applications

Update and Install with Synaptic

Updating MEPIS

Using the MEPIS Extras CDs

Removing Programs

Adding Other Programs

Using Multimedia Applications

Personal tools