SLAX is fast and beautiful Linux operating system which fits on small (3.14") CD-ROM disc. It runs directly from the CD (or USB) without installing. The Live CD described here is based on the Slackware Linux distribution and uses Unification File System (also known as unionfs), allowing read-only filesystem to behave as a writable one, saving all changes to memory.
Imagine the ability to boot your favorite Linux distribution whether you are at home, at school, or at work. Imagine walking on the street and carrying the only thing you needed in life - the 8cm compact disk with your Live Linux CD.
When your computer boots from the LiveCD, the first step is loading the kernel image (vmlinuz). After this, a 4 MB ramdisk is created in the computer's RAM. The rootdisk image (initrd.gz) is then unpacked into it and mounted as a root filesystem. Large directories (like /usr) are mounted directly from the CDROM.
SLAX CD contains:
· Linux Kernel 2.4.28-pre4 with SATA support
· X.org 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...
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 195 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.
Changes in version Slax 6.0.7:
Linux Live scripts version 6 are the most innovative scripts available. AuFS provides better stability compared to old unionfs, squashfs with LZMA support provides great compression ratio and amazing decompression speed. What's new compared to old Linux Live scripts v 5:
- aufs is used instead of unionfs, brings great stability and features
- squashfs is patched with LZMA compression, so compressed filesystems are up to 30% smaller
- no need to patch your distro's startup scripts in order to remove remount of root rw
- no need for udev as the devices are created during live startup
- CD tree is simplified, you may call your distro as you like, eg. slax, knoppix, etc.
- support for booting from USB and PCMCIA/CardBus device
- support for writing persistent changes even to VFAT (thanks to posixovl)
- added a script to create bootable disk (including USB) in Linux and Windows