Quetzal: A Live OpenBSD System

by Micho Durdevich  

About Quetzal

The word Quetzal is intertwined with roots of ancient Mexican and Central American civilizations. In Náhuatl Quetzalli means a "rich green feather". Quetzal is a beautiful and extraordinary bird, with green and red feathers. The male has long green tail coverts, and the female is more "elliptic". A fundamental god of ancient Mexican and Central American cultures is Quetzalcoatl a creature unifying the bird and Serpent (Coatl). A quantum superposition of Heaven and Earth...

Here we shall deal with another Quetzal-a live DVD/CD system, based on OpenBSD. The system contains a full OpenBSD installation, and a collection of selected applications. Our window manager of choice is WindowMaker. Its geometrical simplicity, modularity, performance, stability and internal architecture, match nicely with the philosophy of OpenBSD and UNIX in general.

Operating system level is 3.9-RELEASE.

Principal Packages


A user manual for Quetzal is available at the download section of Micho's website [quetzal.pdf]. Among other things, it explains how to install Quetzal locally (on the computer hard disk) and how to set up a simple remote-booting environment via DHCP/PXE. The same article can be found at "/quetzal" subdirectory of the DVD.

Extended Version

There is an extended version of Quetzal, featuring XFCE4.4 Beta2 with its new Thunar filemanager and icons-on-desktop (see screenshots 7 and 8 below). To initiate XFCE start X with "xinit .xfce4.4".


These are high-resolution 1152x864 screenshots, each image is about 300-400K.

1OpenOffice2 Maxima2
3Xterm Xpdf4
5Rox+Xmms+Q Control Center6
7Rox+Xmms+Q Control Center8

Download Quetzal

The compressed DVD image "weights" about 500MB. The uncompressed image file is about 1.6GB. At the moment, only a DVD version is available. The root password is set to "quetzal".

bzip2 compressed ISO image


extended version with XFCE4.4 beta2


Please, consider downloading during night hours (Mexico City time), in order to minimalize the impact on the Institute of Mathematics network performance.


Stockholm University (ftp & rsync):


Besides bzip2 compressed images, the mirror site provides ultra-compressed rzip-ed versions, too.

checksum Data



I am indebted to Mexican Council for Cience and Technology (CONACYT) for partially sponsoring this project.

The mirror hosting space and bandwidth are provided by Stockholm University in particular many thanks to Janne Johansson for kindly setting up this mirror.


The Quetzal distribution includes selected original works by the following distinguished Artists:

I am very grateful to these authors, for kindly allowing to incorporate their artwork into Quetzal. See "/quetzal/ARTWORK" for a more detailed information, complete artwork listings, and licensing conditions.