Skip to Content

Cambridge University MDP Project Home MIT MDP - Multidisiplinary Design Project



Why the CD/DVD?

CD Status

Loading the CD

Hardware List

Loading Problems

BIOS Settings

Using the CD

Apps & Licensing

Desktop Apps

Engineering Apps


University Specific

Skip to Top

The Engineer's Desktop and Library (ED&L) - General License

If you wish to use the ED&L you must accept the following agreement. Your acceptance of these terms is implied upon use. If you do not agree with these terms or the terms of the Licences under which many of its components are released, please discontinue using the CD/DVD immediately.

Neither the University of Cambridge, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or the Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI), nor any person who has been involved in the creation, production or distribution of the MDP Resource CD/DVD makes any warranties or representations with respect to the MDP Resource CD/DVD and any of its contents whether express or implied by statute, common law, trade usage, course of dealing or otherwise all of which are hereby excluded to the fullest extent of the law.

The ED&L is delivered to you "as is" and the University of Cambridge, MIT and CMI do not warrant that the MDP Resource CD/DVD will meet your requirements or that the operation of the MDP Resource CD/DVD will be uninterrupted or error-free. The University of Cambridge, MIT and CMI and any other rights holders will not be liable to you for any loss or damage (other than for personal injury or death arising from the negligence of the University of Cambridge, MIT or CMI) including lost profits or other consequential loss arising from your use or inability to use the MDP Knoppix CD/DVD or from errors or deficiencies in it.

The MDP Project has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that the use of others' data and materials is done with the full consent of copyright owners and in accordance with relevant statutory provisions. We welcome any information that might lead us to correct any improper attributions or correct copyright acknowledgements in our CD/website. We would be most grateful to those who assist us toward these goals. Please contact the

We cannot guarantee that, despite our best efforts, we have not unwittingly infringed someone's copyright. In the event that such infringement occurs involving material on our CD/website, we will remove the materials from the website and CDs following notification, and restore the materials to the website and future CDs only after receiving written permission to do so from anyone with a valid claim as the owner of copyright in the materials.

Reference to any products, services or other information by trade name, trademark, supplier or otherwise does not constitute or imply the endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation by us. The University of Cambridge, MIT and CMI can accept no liability for any goods or services provided to you by third party suppliers. The suppliers will be supplying you on their own terms and conditions and you should check that you agree to those terms and conditions before placing an order with them.

Applications and Licenses on the MDP Resource CD/DVD/Website

This page provides information on the applications that may be available on the MDP Resource CD and the licenses that apply to those programs. Note that not all versions of the CD will contain all programs.

The information below is provided for guidance only and is not guaranteed to be correct. We have done our best to ensure its accuracy and would greatly appreciate being notified of any errors by email to However, any institutions which use the MDP Resource CD /DVD(especially businesses) will need to check for themselves that they are complying with the licensing terms of any software that they are using.

About "Free" Software

Most of the software on the CD is licensed under a free software license, meaning that it can be freely distributed as long as certain conditions are met (e.g. as long as the source code for the programs is included, or made available). Versions of the MDP Resource CD/DVD which are made available publicly for download contain only free software. These can be redistributed if they are unmodified, and the software on them can be modified according to the licenses governing each piece of software.

However, some version of the CD/DVD may be issued that contain commercial software, whose licenses may prohibit the copying and re-distribution of the whole CD. We have obtained special permission to include this software from the copyright holders, but these CDs cannot be copied or re-distributed.

The following links provide more information about the philosophy of free software:

Standard Debian Packages

The ED&L is based on Knoppix, which in turn is based on Debian - one of the varieties of the Linux operating system. All of the software that comes from Debian is released under a free software license such as the GNU General Public License, or the Artistic License.

Debian packages and source code can be downloaded from any of the Debian mirrors.

Application Programs

The following table lists the major applications that are installed. Note that a large number of standard Linux utilities are also installed as part of the underlying Debian distribution. These utilities will be covered by a "free" software license, according to Debian.

NameDescription From Debian?License Further Info
Knoppix Files Hardware configuration etc. No GNU GPL Knoppix Packages Download
Mozilla Firefox Web browser Yes Mozilla Public License (free) Firefox Homepage
Open Office Office Suite Yes???
LaTeX Document Preparation Yes LaTeX Project Public License (free)
LyX LaTeX user interface Yes GNU GPL
Octave Computation Language Yes GNU GPL
The Gimp Graphics Program Yes GNU GPL
GCC C++ Programming Language Yes GNU GPL
Brandy Basic Programming Language No GNU GPL Brandy pre-built for Debian
GEDA Electronics Design No GNU GPL
FVWM Window manager and Desktop No GNU GPL
Java Runtime environment for Java programs No Sun's license (can be distributed unmodified)
Xfe File explorer No GNU GPL Xfe Home page
Emacs Text editor Yes GNU GPL Emacs web page
GV Postscript file viewer Yes GNU GPL GV documentation
Xpdf PDF file viewer Yes GNU GPL Xpdf Homepage
Gftp File transfer Yes GNU GPL
Xfig Diagram drawing Yes Xfig License (free)
Gonvert Scientific units conversion No GNU GPL Gonvert Homepage
GPeriodic Periodic Table YesGNU GPL
Jarnal Graphical Interaction NoGNU GPL
wxMaxima Symbolic Manipulation YesGNU GPL
Ganttproject Project Management NoGNU GPL

Documents and Resources

The following extra software programs/documentation/resources, in the ED&L have been added with the licensed permission, terms and conditions following, of their copyright owners:

Name LicenseSource
MDP Databook CUED and MIT
Cookbook of Mechanical Designs CUED and MIT
CUED Databooks and Course Handouts CUED
MIT Lectures and Handouts MIT
Pro/Engineer Tutorials CUED
HELM - Engineering Mathematics Loughborough University
Lessons in Electric Circuits Design Science License Tony R. Kuphaldt,
Calculus Creative Commons Licence Prof. B. Crowell,
Simple Nature Creative Commons Licence Prof. B. Crowell,
Elementary Calculus Creative Commons Licence Prof. Keisler,

Non-free resources

The following software/resources/documents in the EDaL are not GPLed nor are they offered under similar terms and conditions. If you plan to re-use, commercially use or sell the material you must acquire the necessary licences and permissions from the copyright holders of the material, or remove them from your distribution.

Name LicenseSource
Pro/Engineer Commercial License
QCad Manual (c) RibbonSoft
FUNdaMENTALS of Design (c) Prof A. Slocum
Design and Analysis of machine Elements (c) Dr. D. Wright
Mathematical Tools for Physics (c) Prof. J. Nearing
PCB Design Tutorial (c) Mr. D. Jones
How Wings Fly (c) Dr. H. Babinsky Institute of Physics - Physics Education