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Nanux or Nanix?

Sep 30, 2000 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Every day the web site at gets visitors looking for an exciting new product. . . On some days, emails are backed up waiting for more information about this newest embedded Linux. This would seem the dream of most business owners! However at Nanux, it is not. You see, the visitors and emails are looking for Nanix, with an “i”. Maybe we can clear this up?

A few months ago, the start-up business, Charmed Technologies, issued a press release about their idea for yet another embedded Linux, which they dubbed “Nanux”. It seems, however, that they failed to check and see if the name was already in use — when, in fact, it was.

Shortly after the press release, the original Nanux ( contacted Charmed about the use of the name. Charmed never did reply, but promptly changed the name of their idea to “Nanix”. Yet, the word was already out.

First of all, this is not about sales or competition. Nanux does not sell anything! (Well, some CDs for a few bucks.) In the hopes of clearing things up, here is the “official guide to Nanux vs. Nanix” . . .

  • Nanux (with a “u”) is a mini-Linux distribution and some associated tools and other Linux products, intended for network and communications use — it is more of a technical tool. It works well in embedded applications and is easy to configure towards any of the traditional roles of Linux as a network OS. Nanux is popular with experimenters and developers, especially in network applications such as routers, firewalls, and 'net appliances. The Nanux site itself is dedicated to helping professional technicians and do-it-yourself hobbiest. Nanux is GPLed and available free. For more information about Nanux, visit

  • Nanix (with an “i”) seems geared towards the same idea, with an emphasis on wireless communications and even smaller application (such as wearable computers, clothing, and jewelry). It is, however, difficult to tell — as it seems Nanix is still more in the planing stage. There is no indication of the license that Nanix will be released under, or what its sales policy will be. For more information regarding Nanix, please visit

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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