SLAX 6.0.0-pre2 review

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SLAX is a small bootable CD containing the Linux operating system

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 196920K
Developer: Tomas Matejicek
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SLAX is a small bootable CD containing the Linux operating system. SLAX distirbution runs Linux directly from the CD (or USB) without installing.

The Live CD described here is based on the Slackware Linux distribution and is downloadable from this website as an ISO image.

The primary goal of SLAX is to provide a wide collection of useful software while keeping the cd's image small enough to be written to a 185 MB CD-R(W) medium (small 8 cm CD). SLAX boots directly from the CD or USB devices and it provides a full featured Linux operating system.

All your available partitions and data storage devices (CD-ROM, USB storage devices, etc.) should be recognized at boot and should be mounted to /mnt/xx. As an example, "disc0part1" may be assigned to the first partition on your primary hard drive, "disc1part1" for your USB storage device, or "cdrom0" for your CD-ROM drive. SLAX will never write anything to the mounted devices. Mounting is safe and does not change the data.

After booting, you should be able to login as a "root", with the password "toor"; both without quotes, of course.

When logged in, you have many options. At the shell prompt, you may start Midnight Commander (type "mc" to the console), play some music from your hard drive (type "play /mnt/path/file.mp3"), adjust your audio volume (type "alsamixer"), configure IP address (type "netconfig") or browse web pages with the text-based browser (type "lynx http://url").

To start the graphical environment included with SLAX, type "gui" (for graphical user interface). It will attempt to autoconfigure your graphics card, monitor, keyboard and mice, and if successful it will run an X session with KDE. I'm pretty sure that you will know how to get around at this point. :-) Use "guisafe" instead of "gui" for safe-mode (VESA framebuffer) without autodetection.

In the unfortunate case your mouse doesn't work, try to move it for a few seconds to see if it will be autodetected. If it isn't, shut down Xwindow (press Ctrl+Alt+Backspace) and start it again. If this won't help then you are using something I have not included in the autoconfiguration process (COM2 mouse?). If you are comfortable with bash, or you atleast understand how to make your favorite mouse function under Linux, try to modify the symbolic link /dev/mouse manually.

If you don't like the autoconfigured screen resolution, refresh rate, or the K Desktop Environment, start "gui" with some additional options. Try for example "gui 800x600 60", where 800x600 is the desired screen resolution and 60 is the desired refresh rate. Fluxbox is one of the other window managers included and may be called with "guifast" or "gui fluxbox". In any event, type "gui --help" for more information.

All scripts and source code are available and can be used to build your own Live CD.

SLAX is available as an ISO image of the CD. It fits on small 8cm CD-R(W). Burn it with your favorite cd-writing software and then boot from the CD.

You might want to check your BIOS to assure it's set to boot the CD prior the disc.

SLAX CD contains:
Linux Kernel 2.4.28-pre4 with SATA support 6.8.1
KDE 3.3.1
KOffice 1.3.3
KDE games
MPlayer 1.0pre5 with KPlayer
kopete ICQ/AIM/Y!/IRC
midnight commander
rdesktop (rscp in KDE)
hotplug support
k3b burning GUI for KDE
mutt email client
and much more...

SLAX is not pretentious, nevertheless it requires some minimal hardware to run properly. It depends what do you wish to use SLAX for, of course. The most important thing is memory. You need at least 30 MB of RAM to boot slax. More detailed description follows:


either IDE connected CDROM (to boot from the CD)
or USB FlashDisk (to boot from the mass storage device)
or maybe some harddisk (to boot SLAX from the disk)


either non-emulation booting enabled (to boot from the CD)
or USB FlashDrive booting enabled (to boot from the mass storage device)


30 MB to boot slax.
64 MB to run Xwindow with fluxbox (guifast)
128 MB to run Xwindow with KDE (gui or guisafe)


i486 or better, Pentium or AMD are both OK.

Peripheral devices

some keyboard
PS/2 or USB connected mouse (required for Xwindow only)
serial (COM) mouse is not automatically recognized, but can be used


No harddisk is required

What's New in Stable Release:
fixed smb-kioslave in KDE so user can browse local windows shares
this fix is also available as a separate module

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