Archeological Operating System, or ArcheOS

Archeological Operating System, or ArcheOS in short, is a GNU/Linux live distribution meant to address archaeological computing concerns. Currently, a new version (5.0), codenamed “Theodoric” is being developed. It is based on Debian “Wheezy.”

A Brief History

ArcheOS is one of the many specialist kinds of operating systems Linux users can download and use. This particular system is tailored to serve archaeological purposes. The OS is of Italian origin, and it was first released in 2005.

The second version would come three years later in 2008, and the third version would follow soon after in 2009. The fourth version of the was released in 2011, and it was based on Debian Squeeze.

Although the recent versions of the program are based on Debian GNU/Linux, version 1 was based on PCLinuxOS while versions 2 and 3 were based on Kubuntu.

Applications that Come with the ArcheOS


Some of the CAD applications on this OS include LibreCAD, and Spatialite and SQLite data base applications. SQLite is a world-famous SQL database engine; while Spatialite helps with the management of spatial data.

3D Graphics Applications

Additionally, Blender, MakeHuman, InVesalius, Meshlab, and Whitedune are bundled with the OS for the sake of 3D graphics processing. Blender is a pretty popular 3D content creation suite, and it is freely available. MakeHuman is another key 3D application intended for creating professional-grade 3 dimensional humanoid characters.


While Tellervo is the OS’s dendrychronology application, Python Photogrammetry Toolbox is the photogrammetry program. This latter application is useful for recording three-dimensional data.


GIS (Geographical Information System) applications included are GRASS, openJUMP, QGIS, and Josm. These should come in handy when capturing, handling and analyzing information with geographical references.

For instance, openJUMP is a Java-based program well suited to this role. On the other hand, GRASS, in addition to being a GIS application, can be used to analyze images, manage data, and help produce maps and graphics among other things.


Graphics programs include Gimp, Darktable, InkScape, Ristretto, and Shutter. These applications should assist with regular photo editing, but at a professional level for better results. For instance, InkScape is useful in the creation of SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format files.

Other programs you will get with the OS include LibreOffice, LyX Processor, Marble, RStudio, Texmaker, Ipe, Jabref, and Scribus.

How to Install ArcheOS

ArcheOS is available free of charge, which is typical of all Linux distros. You can install the operating system using a DVD or directly from your hard disk. If you prefer the DVD installation, you have to download the ArcheOS .iso image file.

From there, you should burn it onto a DVD using a common software like Brasero or Nero. Burning at low speeds is recommended for better quality results. Once the operating system is in a DVD in a bootable format, you can go ahead and restart your computer with the DVD still in the tray.

Make sure the computer is set to prioritize DVD booting so that it does not load the OS already on the hard disk and skip right over the ArcheOS DVD. Other than the install option, the DVD will also give you a “live” option. This lets you run the program without having to install it on the hard drive so that you can get a feel of what it is really like.

The OS can also be installed directly from the computer using the install option provided. After that you should follow the easy to follow installation instructions until the OS is fully installed on your computer.

Getting ArcheOS through a Debian Wheezy Update

You do not have to make a clean installation of the ArcheOS on your computer if you already have Debian Wheezy installed. As mentioned earlier, ArcheOS is based on Debian Wheezy. So, you can update this base system into ArcheOS through a few update procedures. This can be done through your terminal.

You Can Also Build ArcheOS Yourself

This is for the pros who have some software development skills. The ArcheOS you build can even be distributed to other users. Without having to go into a lot of details, you should know that building ArcheOS requires you to ensure that your system and its OS setup meets the minimum standards.

After that, you have to configure your system in readiness for the OS building process. From there, you should follow the steps provided on the relevant sites. They include building the ISO file, adding the required packages, and changing the build architecture if you so desire.

Furthermore, if you want a custom made ArcheOS but are not in a position to create your own ArcheOS, you can always see what Team OS has to offer.


ArcheOS has plenty to offer archaeologists. The program has enough features to provide a unique computing experience for anyone collecting, editing, processing, and documenting archaeological finds.

The operating system has many world-class applications that will prove critical to this profession. Installation is also easy, and a live boot option is available, as a well as a dual boot capability for those who need it.

ArcheOS Download Links

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.