Project Byzantium, a working group of HacDC (http://hacdc.org/) is proud to announce the release of v0.5 beta of Byzantium Linux, a live distribution of Linux which makes it fast and easy to construct an ad-hoc wireless mesh network which can augment or replace the existing telecommunications infrastructure in the event that it is knocked offline (for example, due to a natural disaster) or rendered untrustworthy (through widespread surveillance or disconnection by hostile entities). This release was developed in the days following Hurricane Sandy, and was perfected while the core development team was assisting with disaster relief efforts in the Red Hook neighborhood of New York City in November of 2012. Byzantium Linux is designed to run on any x86 computer with at least one 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless interface. Byzantium can be burned to a CD- or DVD-ROM (the .iso image is a bit over 370 megabytes in size), booted from an external hard drive, or can even be installed in parallel with an existing operating system without risk to the user's data and software. Byzantium Linux will act as a node of the mesh and will automatically connect to other mesh nodes and act as an access point for wifi-enabled mobile devices. This release of Byzantium Linux also incorporates seamless interoperability with mesh networks constructed using the Commotion Wireless (https://commotionwireless.net/) firmware.