Next Slax soon

I noticed that Debian has updated to 9.3.0 so it's time to update Slax too. I plan to release update with each minor Debian release, if there are any bugfixes or changes (in Slax) at that moment. I will update this blog post as I progress through my todo list.

Currently I've implemented these changes:

- add nicer filesystem icons to pcmanfm
- make xlunch refresh on start to see newly installed apps
- mount hard drives on boot and add bookmarks to pcmanfm
- add @ntfs-3g support, add ext4 support for bootable device
- make persistent changes default when booting from writable media
   (and offer "fresh start" in boot menu instead)
- make keyboard layout persistent
- fb keys: OnDesktop Mouse1 :MacroCmd {WindowMenu} {HideMenus}
- reimplement xrandr screen resolution change, use --mode somehow
- add pcmanfm as file manager for GUI
- add wicd as wifi configurator
- update syslinux to newest version
- added wireless tools
- added firmware (free and nonfree)
- added contrib and nonfree repositories
- fixed apt-get alias parameters handling 

and this is the todo list for this release:

- write documentation
- inform users that there is a google group 
(mailing list) for slax at slax-users@googlegroups.com

I should be able to release next Slax in few days, so this is your last change, if you desperately require something which is not yet on the TODO list then feel free to post comment :)

User comments
Juan De Abajo 2017-12-12 14:50

Great news Tomas!
Just to know: google kills chrome apps (and chromium apps as well) for any OS except chromeOS: http://www.omgchrome.com/not-joke-google-killing-chrome-apps/
That means we aren't able to install chromium apps (like audio/video players).

Tachobrenner 2017-12-12 17:38

Maybe it's not the best thing to spam the comments as a newbie. Buuut... I want to learn some programming, so it would be cool to have a text editor which I can make ASCII with. And the GCC.

jcsoh 2017-12-12 18:23

Auto mounting of available partitions as per the old Slax.

Tomas M 2017-12-12 19:29

do you suggest how to do that in Debian in a best way? I can of course hardcode there something, but maybe debian has some setting which will make it easier and more clean?

Tony Ivanov 2017-12-12 19:32

Please add PCManFM as file manager, its way better then Thunar in my opinion. Also consider adding Firefox as a browser. With the birth of Firefox 57 it is a great alternative for users that don't like Chrome/Chromium.

jcsoh 2017-12-13 05:01

I had only use 3 linux distros. Freespire and PClinuxOs for 1 month each. From then on ward I had used Slax 5.12, Slax 6, Slax Remix and Slax 7, so basically I have no idea how Debian mounts partition (meaning I only know Slax ).

In Slax 9, I have a simple script

mkdir /mnt/sda (sda, sdb ...etc)
mount /dev/sda /mnt/sda ... (sda,sdb ...,etc)

But to run the scipt I have to manually mount the partition where the script is saved and manually run it. Do-able but annoying.

I just want it like in slax 5,6 and 7, where we boot up and are able to access all our partition including ext4 and ntfs partitions.

I also would like a file manager (like Krusader or Dolphin) where we can navigate to where we want to be (by seeing the Gui / directories branches), and select
:open terminal here" (while I can use the terminal, navigating is difficult).

bwtovo@gmx.net 2017-12-13 05:12

Maybe I don't understand this blog entry.
Downloaded x86_32 version 2017-12-12
Tried wicd-curses -> not working
No UI element to use wicd tools
I've got one onboard wifi, one usb wifi. One was detected automatically, one not. Did not investigate which one is actually working.
In reply to previous comment, I prefer firefox esr, BUT you may have issues with more recent firefox (no idea about quantum) versions and youtube.
Everyone can use apt-get to install firefox (and keep it if persistent is on) -> as a developer, I would rather stay true to KISS (means one browser), instead of offering more features out of the box
At a glance, pcmanfm is not where although it was announced
Slackware has its benefit, but Debian may be easier for many slax prospects. Logical choice.

Xawery Temporary 2017-12-13 07:16

Hej Tomas!
Slax is wonderful in its current minimalist form.

After all, access to the network allows you to quickly install almost any application you need at a given moment. From the beginning, with a success
I installed "Thunar" & "Nautilus" for file management, "gpicview" for browsing
photography, "mpv" for watching movies and many, many more.
I did it whenever it was needed.

In addition, many great tools are available online.

There is also no problem to learn some simple console commands
to mount disk partitions.

Solve only the wifi problem and do not change anything.

If you start to add new programs, the whole idea of a minimalist, fast distribution will die.



Hyeonjin Oh 2017-12-13 08:37

Tanks for tiny and efficient Slax development.
Iwould like to propose to make possible to utilize desktop as creating folders and files and links.
And want to size down of icons in Xlaucher, Currently icons are huge.

lucbertz 2017-12-13 12:29

Thank you for the next to come and the planned improvements.
And thank you to keep SLAX updates aligned to debian point releases.

pcmanfm launched as demon and with --desktop parameter will fit the need of a classic desktop, so I really appreciate this choice.

wicd and all wireless stuff will be a default in the initramfs or core module or they will be contained in a dedicated module which could be removed?

Thank you again.

Tomas M 2017-12-13 14:30

Oh, I didn't even know that the --desktop parameter existed ! :] This is really something to consider.

Tomas M 2017-12-13 14:31

I plan to put all extra apps in a separate module, so qalculate + leafpad + wicd + pcmanfm + others will be in a module which you can remove if you don't need these apps.

lucbertz 2017-12-13 15:45

I just created a module after:
- pcmanfm installation;
- /root/.fluxbox/startup file change with "pcmanfm --desktop &" row added before "exec fluxbox" row;
- copy of desired shortcut files from /usr/share/applications to ~/Desktop folder.

It works like a charm except for the fact its desktop wallpaper overrides the default one.

Further info about pcmanfm used as desktop can be found here:

I found another little problem with apt-cdrom; I had to add a row in /etc/fstab in order to mount of /dev/sr0 as /media/cdrom to make it work; other mount destination folders seems not accepted by apt-get.

parrothead 2017-12-13 19:25

I would suggest a few small bash scripts, either within Slax or on the website, for including common requirements like Firefox and dev. utilities (make, gcc, etc.). These scripts would use apt to get the various packages, install them to a temporary directory and then convert the directory to a .deb or .sb or whatever. These scripts would be useful in their own right, as well as serving as a template for people wishing to add other software. Similar to the build scripts, but probably much smaller and simpler.

Dalousie 2017-12-13 20:14

Can't wait for this release, couldn't use the last one since my laptop doesn't have an ethernet port(and using a usb-ethernet converter didn't work either).

New suggestions? Maybe a rootcopy folder as Slax used to have? That would be convenient to modify simple things like a new wallpaper and so on.

Anyway, great work so far mate. Been enjoying Slax since Ver6, and this new one is shaping up to be the distro of the year.

Félix “Oblx” O. 2017-12-13 21:22

I am so pumped with this feature :

```- make persistent changes default when booting from writable media
(and offer "fresh start" in boot menu instead)```

I was desperately looking for conf file to change default boot mode. I look forward to using this release !

Viktor Benevski 2017-12-14 09:41

@Tomas, could You see why the symlink /etc/localtime pointed to a New York time so I have to edit it manually to see proper time or at least make changes of this file persistent.

I hope that with adding of firmware will have accelerated desktop. My card is radeon HD3000 and /dev/dri/card0 is missing so it's running in vesa mode

lucbertz 2017-12-14 17:32

Will initramfs.img size increased with addition of firmware?
If possible, it would be better to split this file in modules and boot it as list (like done by Slitaz distribution) and decide at boot which sections of initramfs to include.

Juan De Abajo 2017-12-14 18:32

There's also a lightweight complete desktop environment came from freeBSD: lumina https://lumina-desktop.org/
Stands on fluxbox and comes with a file manager, terminal emulator, text editor, calculator etc. It's a nice DE used by default in TrueOS (freeBSD based).
There was many issues in debian with lumina, but the latest version 1.4 is full compatible with stretch.
I've checked on slax and it works. It may need some extra fonts for a perfect layout.

Juan De Abajo 2017-12-14 19:03

Slax needs also a community with a forum for users to exchange their experience and modules.

Mengchang WANG 2017-12-15 03:21

Hi, Tomas, glad to find out that the new Slax has been released.

I copied the slax folder onto a GPT partition (Ext4) and tried to boot it via Grub2.
The screen went like:
Live Kit init <http://www.linux-live.org/>
* Setting dynamic RAM compression using ZRAM if available
* Probing for hardware
* Looking for slax data in /slax ........................

Fatal error occured - Could not locate slax data
Something went wrong and we can't continue. This should never happen.
Please reboot your computer with Ctrl+Alt+Delete ...

/ # _

Do you know what can I do to start Slax on my Dell XPS 13 (Model P54G)?

kaze 2017-12-15 04:00

"added firmware (free and nonfree)" Does this include the NVIDIA driver? I'd appreciate if you made a module or script to easy install the NVIDIA Driver.

Tomas M 2017-12-15 09:07

@Mengchang WANG
This blog post is to inform you that next version of Slax will be in few days, that means is was NOT released yet. Ext4 support is currently worked on.

Nope nvidia drivers won't be added, it's too big and useful only for few people.

Luciano Seibel 2017-12-15 13:21

Hi Tomas. I'm absolutly new on Slax ... i'm using yet puppy linux on my old laptop, but searching for an option a lit bit less confusing, and Slax with his "zero point" approach make interesting for it. I saw that the wireless manager is missing and noticed in a few comments above thar you are working in it. The fact of is now debian compatible system interest me too. I'm developer and looking for a pratical, light and yet easy to use distribution for my jobs. You can precise an date of new launch with the wifi manager too? Best regards from Brazil.

Tomas M 2017-12-15 13:32

If everything goes smoothly, I should have it ready today.

Luciano Seibel 2017-12-15 17:29

WOW I hope that all goes well then. I realy want understand how to make am linux distro onde day. tks for your response Tomas.

Half Gray 2017-12-15 22:53

Old version correctly founded even dual monitor config!
Except autoSearch&Mount HDD, need autoNet & DHCP.
In other words, auto include all hardware. That was(will) Very useful thing... please don't forget ppp...
Big MegaThanks from all sysadmins for This optimal OS. Genius.

Half Gray 2017-12-15 22:59

And modules?...