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Interview: Morphix founder Alex de Landgraaf

When did you start Morphix and why?

I actually started playing around with Knoppix,

was pretty active on knoppix.net, in December 2002. I had a remastered

version called KnopNL,

because I was planning to make a light-weight Dutch distribution. There was (and still is) a lively community working on making specific

distributions using Knoppix, but I saw time and time again that people had to "put Knoppix on a diet" and merge new changes from Knoppix

before they could do anything useful.

There was an adapted version called kix, which was pretty small, but not small enough for me. I thought up a modular design to build a live

CD, which would relieve all the remasterers from upgrading changes and let them work on the actual task at hand. Thus Morphix was born from Knoppix. :)

Why did you decided to choose Knoppix as the base?

Well, when you say Linux live CD, you say Knoppix. Knoppix is well-known for its near-perfect hardware recognition, and as

it's based on Debian, it can't get much better. But we're doing our best!

What are the benefits of having Debian as the base?

Well, sane package management of course :).

Personally, I've tried out a lot of different distributions. I still do, if only to look around for good ideas. But in the end, having 10,000 packages available within your grasp, that take mere seconds to install, and (near-)flawless dependency handling -- it's like being

Charlie in the Chocolate Factory: too good to be true. :)

Why aren't Morphix binaries optimized for the Pentium?

The kernel is optimized for 468 PCs, the standard packages aren't optimized at all. We all know optimizing for your PC doesn't help much (especially when running a live CD), and it leaves

enough time left for the good things in life. Like coding. And beer. ;)

What is the key difference between Morphix and Knoppix?

Knoppix was made as a rescue CD, and to

demonstrate Linux. Morphix was made to facilitate the making of your own live CD. The key difference is the modular design, the side differences are that I'm more into experimenting with new kernels and patches, different packages, and an attempt to make an install as Debian-like and easy as possible.

Since Knoppix has also decided to move to a modular system, will people still prefer Morphix?