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Current Project Status

    ELKS has moved to GitHub

    Official ELKS source code and disk images are hosted at https://github.com/jbruchon/elks. Project development was restarted in 2014 and we are actively working towards a fully functional Linux-like system for 16-bit x86 PCs and embedded systems. This website remains here for historical purposes; much of the history of ELKS is located here and there is information that is not easily found without the site staying where it is. Please note that this site will not be actively maintained any longer; the GitHub page is considered to be the primary site now, and all development and important documentation can be found there.

    As of March 2015 (the last update to this website), ELKS 0.2.0 has been released with disk images suitable for most platforms. Most of the worst bugs in ELKS are fixed. We have a greatly simplified build process that is friendly to people who are not familiar with ELKS; simply run ./build.sh in the source code root and it automatically runs the necessary build commands for you.

    We still have a long way to go. The userspace commands do not provide meaningful help text, there is no network support beyond the ancient SLIP method, and we could really use a compiler expert to fix up the Dev86/bcc compiler to break the 64KB code size barrier imposed by 8086 segmentation. What is important today is that the ELKS project has reached a minimally usable state. For example, ELKS 0.2.0 images are used by FreeGeek Chicago for erasing personal data from vintage IBM PC-compatible computers.

    ELKS on a Zenith Data Systems laptop

    If you want to be a part of the ELKS project, please feel free to download a copy of the code and play with it. Email the current maintainer if you have any questions, or subscribe to the mailing list (link above).

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This document is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2 only.