Slax 9.6.4

After a week of tweaking, I am happy to announce that a new Slax version has been released.
This new release contains many bug fixes and improvements.
List of changes include:

  • Implemented scrollbar indicator for xlunch, so user can see if there are more icons beyond current screen
  • X is now started on vt7 terminal as it is usually the case in all Linux distros (it was on vt2 before)
  • User can select text-mode boot by specifying 'text' boot parameter
  • Commands dir2sb and sb2dir were rewritten to act as conversion utilities (documentation)
  • Added b43 broadcom firmwares
  • Added genslaxiso command to create new ISO file, optionally adding new modules
  • Gateway address is now properly set on PXE clients when pxe server is started in Slax
  • xLunch launcher now starts GUI applications without unnecessary terminal window

I've also added a new documentation describing how to customize Slax

Enjoy! :-)

User comments
Martin Mozos 2018-11-27 01:18

Hello Tomas, I am trying to make easier to learn students GNU/Linux internals with your distro, would it be possible with the new fresh genslaxiso command to not just "create new ISO file optionally adding new modules" but "create new ISO file optionally by deleting (existing modules) or adding new modules"? One use case would be migrating to another web browser using this command. And what about UEFI?, will officially be supported in a near future? Many thanks for your work.

kaiomatico 2018-11-27 08:52

Thank you so much for the dir2sb and customization documentation! This is what I REALLY love Slax for. Now the only thing missing is UEFI support. Looking forward to that, keep up the great work :)

Tomas M 2018-11-27 09:21

The UEFI support is next goal for Slax at patreon, so as soon as there are 50 patrons, I will start working on it :)

Removing modules when ISO is generated is a good idea. I will add it in the next release, thank you.

Greg Chao-Kuei Hung 2018-11-27 12:49

Thank you Tomas for the great work! You give my (32bit) eeepc's a few more years of life :-) And https://github.com/Tomas-M/dynfilefs (which manages changes.dat, right?) is an interesting project. Is there a way to loop-mount such an image file outside of slax? For example when I am in ubuntu 18.04?

I will write a blog post about slax 9.6.4 in zh_TW once I manage to input Chinese. Display is easy: just install fonts-arphic-ukai and sakura. Or do you have a better suggestion for a light-weight utf8-aware terminal app?

Dave Kimble 2018-11-27 15:20

9.6.4 (64) works fine and occupies 159 MB of RAM at start. Apart from multi-user and CUPS, what Debian components does it not have? It seems to have a worldwide set of locales, which could go. There's over 30 themes and no way to choose which one you want. There are lots of components of LXDE installed, but not openbox. lxpanel installed individually works OK and is more flexible than your taskbar. lxterminal is more flexible than xterm too. Maybe make LXDE the desktop?

Would be excellent for ARM-based SBCs, just needs rebuilding.

Tomas M 2018-11-27 17:14

@Greg Chao-Kuei Hung
persistent changes on FAT are managed by dynfilefs indeed. You can compile it in Ubuntu as well and use it to mount the changes.dat file. Just keep in mind you need to mount the .dat file and then another loop-mount is necessary of the file you will find inside.
Regarding input for your language, I am really not sure.

@Dave Kimble
You can install lxpanel if you like to use it :)

Greg Chao-Kuei Hung 2018-11-28 10:48

How can I change the main menu? For example I would like to replace xterm with sakura. The config file ~/.fluxbox/menu does not seem to correspond to the real desktop main menu. For example, video player, archiver, and task manager appear in the main menu but do not appear in the config file. I tried grep -i 'task *manager' $(find ~ -type f) but cannot find this name mentioned anywhere.

ps. gcin works for zh_TW input. Here are the required packages: fonts-arphic-ukai gcin gcin-gtk3-immodule dbus-x11 libappindicator3-1

Vadim 2018-11-28 11:06

Hi Thomas, Slax is a great alternative to Puppy. I'm making an HTPC using Gerbera, Kodi, SMB and Transmission. I'm new to Linux, so my questions are here.
1) How do I remove extra icons from desktop? E.g. I upgraded Chromium with Synaptic, and added 2nd icon that I don't want. How do I update/edit the right-click desktop menu?
2) I tried to install 9.6.4 64-bit on the NMVE SSD (MBR XT4) and it boots, but fails to read from "slax" folder, so I had to install it on FAT32 USB stick.
3) Will this USB stick work on a different PC ? Does it load the necessary drivers at boot?
4) File explorer shows two other drives - an internal SSD and external USB as dev/sda1 and dev/sdb1, but doesn't show the icon for internal NMVE. However, Slax mounts it as media/root/nvme ... ???

Vadim 2018-11-28 11:08

Thomas, could you please add support for GDEBI? It installs on MINT-19 without a problem

Вячеслав Волошин 2018-11-29 01:32

I, as a former admirer Puppy, decided to tinker a bit with Slax. The result is the main system, already on two PCs.
Just a week after installing Slax, the composition of the software became quite worthy for me.
I have installed: default-jre streamripper fbxkb obsession
I made the modules: RU-locale gparted keepassx nitroshare turtlesport xnview zim cloud(Mail.RU) fbreader mpg123 openshot apulse
I copied portable software folders from MX Linux: freefilesync gpsprune telegram
I use in the form Appimages: calibre firefox gimp libreoffice transmission
And I described the whole process in detail in a blog (in Russian) - https://slax9.blogspot.com/p/slax-9.html
Vadim, come to the blog.

Edson Sobreira - hackeduca 2018-11-29 02:47

Hi Tomas, Congratulation for this release.
I really appreciate the time you invested in this work.

I'd like to know how can I include module in this version. There is a message that model works only in old version.
In this case what is the recommendation - just apt?

How can I install other languages - like brazilian portuguese.


Вячеслав Волошин 2018-11-29 14:05

Today I added a module: wine. It was not easy :)

Вячеслав Волошин 2018-11-29 14:06

All modules are available on https://drive.google.com/open?id=121Fwcp38a3X6Rch0LuW1cx-vZGkRfW1I

Victor Slucz 2018-11-30 19:34

Hi Thomas, I've been trying to use Libreoffice. It worked fine on 9.6.2, but on 9.6.4 when I start to run it, in the end it pops up with this message: "root/libreoffice does not exist". I wonder what has happened. Could you please look into the matter? Thank you!

joanne 2018-11-30 23:46

Nice job. Thank you.
I'm just wondering if the md5 hash have been updated.
While checking my download, none is correct...

Sathish Rkrish 2018-12-02 15:21

I'm quite newbie to Slax and I have no idea where to ask this simple question,
Can't make Slax on my USB as bootable from Windows 10. Executed bootinst as an Administrator but had the following error,

Setting up boot record for D: ...
Writing MBR: Access is denied.
Did not successfully update the MBR; continuing...
Installation finished.

Press any key...

Googled a while but no positive response to fix this and hence posting it here!

Dale Gray 2018-12-02 19:11

have you tried the instructions here https://www.slax.org/starting.php explaining how to Install Slax on hard disk or USB flash drive. Has always worked for me.

@Вячеслав Thanks for the gparted.sb I've been wanting this for a while!

@Tomas, thanks for the new release: I'm a fan of Slax since the early days 6.0+
Two questions,
1) Using 'apt' how do you update Chrome w/o duplicating the desktop icons?
2) any idea how to get the keyboard backlight working on Samsung series 9 laptop


ryan_fu 2018-12-03 12:50

I think that the reason about can not found slax folder on NVME driver maybe is following:
1. no support NVME driver in kernel modules.
2. blkid command can't dump partition information on NVME driver.

Tomas M 2018-12-03 14:52

@Victor Slucz
there is a bug in Slax currently which makes it impossible to start openoffice from xLunch, will be fixed in next release. However the error you mentioned (non existing directory) is

md5 checksums for Slax 9.6.4 are correct

@Sathish Rkrish
I don't really know why your windows refuse to let you setup the boot record. Maybe some antivirus software?

@Dale Gray
I do not know what you mean by how to upgrade chromium, ... apt install chromium still says it is up to date. Unfortunately no idea about the keyboard backlight

Azer MELUN 2018-12-03 15:06

Hi Tomaš,
Sorry to inform you that my 32 bit Notebook PC with FAT32 USB can not boot Slax 9.6.4.
As asked, I write "root" as login, "toor" as password then it says: "root@slax:~#"
What does it wait for?
Thanks for your answer and for your work.

Victor Slucz 2018-12-03 19:00

Thank you for the answer, and keep on the good work!

karambo 2018-12-04 09:27

i am trying to run a sh script in slax on startup.
like python..
plz help me i tried in init and init.d with chmod but nothing..
thanks by the way for this good release..

Вячеслав Волошин 2018-12-04 11:39

Azer MELUN: startx

Vadim 2018-12-06 21:52

Hi Tomas, I'm a professional software tester. I raised 2 bugs that were later confirmed by other users:
1) NMVE driver is not properly implemented. If someone wants to install Slax on their relatively new laptop (which all have NMVE "disks") they will be very unhappy because you can copy and initialise "/slax/" but it's unbootable. This is a Sev-1 bug, please fix.
2) There's no way to de-clutter the desktop from unwanted icons. Why do I need a Python icon on my desktop? The "right-click" desktop menu doesn't automatically update after installing new apps.
3) Please make a permanent icon on the desktop (and a script) to SAVE CHANGES which prompts the path or just informs "Your changes have been saved in a new module and will be loaded automatically. Similarly, a button to remove unwanted modules. I was expecting a "save" button (like in Pupppy) but didn't know there's a manual CLI custom command for it. This is a must have utility for Slax to make it user-friendly.
4) Boot crash - half of the times it fails to read the /slax folder dot ... dot ... dot ... I have a brand new Lenovo mini and a brand new USB 3.1 Sandisk USB. WTF? ))
5) Boot options - make this a permanent menu, not a 3 sec gotcha, and explain what they are properly:
Option 1 - you can install new software and changes will be saved to disk as temporary files, until you click "Save Changes" from desktop.
Option 2 - you are going to just use your system (mine is an HTPC) - Slax will be loaded to RAM and will run much faster, but you won't be able to save changes. In my case I cannot use this, unfortunately, because my Media Server needs to scan and write to its db any new media files that I add by copying (over SAMBA) files from my "main" PC to 3Tb USB disk attached to Lenovo. Or maybe I can - haven't tried it yet :)
6) Make gnome disks and synaptic standard modules! EVERYONE has to install them anyway. Make SAMBA built-in - like Openmediavault! Make Transmission built-in Please!
7) The Terminal you provide is horrible! To copy/paste I spent half an hour googling that to "paste" I need to press CTRL + middle click. I don't have a middle button and never use it! Finally I figured out the scrolling wheel on my Lenovo mouse is clickable.
8) I also mentioned that Chromium version is out of date. When you "update" it from Synaptic, it leaves the "old" icon on the desktop and adds a new chromium icon. AND you cannot remove it! Very annoying.
Tomas, I honestly think your Distro is a little GEM - just brilliant and bloat-free.
However, you would make is so much nicer if you ship it with:
1) Synaptic
2) Gnome Disk (for partitioning)
4) Transmission
5) Better Terminal

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your hard work. Lets make SLAX the top Distro ! Power to the people (Lamers like me) !!

Vadim 2018-12-06 22:10

Just a general comment.
I think you are "misrepresenting" and short-selling your distro as "small Linux for older PC's"
This is NOT why ppl use Slax! Look at the Distrowatch page for searching a distro.
The main advantages of Slax are:
1) Loads to RAM (Lightware)
2) Portable (after installing it works on ANY PC)
3) Easy to manage installed software without CLI (via modules)
4) No bloatware

There are very few distros that have these features.
I've tried numerous Puppy flavours - they're all buggy. Then there's Antix - also buggy.
I spent years searching for a portable distro that loads into RAM to build an HTPC to my personal taste, the way I like it. This market is dominated by Kodi and Plex, which are "all-in-one" forcing you into using their front end player and their media library as a "package".
I use the Kodi player and Gerbera media library, with BubbleUPNP as controller (on my Android mobile phone). All connected with DLNA/UPNP across LAN

Vadim 2018-12-06 22:15

Make use of Bugzilla or some other bug tracking free internet based software to deal with software bugs. Let your grateful Users share their ideas and experiences in the Blog, instead of bitching and moaning about their issues.
Your "instructions" pages are also wordy and not "straight to the point" - Could you please use an online WIKI for that?


Vadim 2018-12-07 10:04

6) And SSH for Putty please! :)

karambo 2018-12-08 20:56

plz anyone.. how to run a script on startup in slax.. i tried more then 10 solutions but nothing...
plz anyone professional a tip or help

Alexspb M 2018-12-09 10:15

Hello, SLAX 9.6.4 running well from my USB... but, the brightness of the sceen very dark, it is not possible change the screen resolution. VGA Intel 520, Dell laptop. Can you help me fix brightness and resolution?

Tomas M 2018-12-09 20:28

Thank you very much for your bug reports. Some of the bugs are known, some of them are not bugs but anyway... :) I can see you like Slax and you would like to push it in a certain direction, yet I am not in the mood of pushing it in that direction now. I cannot add software like Transmission, because nobody uses it, ...

Good idea, I should describe that somewhere.

@Alexspb M
I am not sure what to do, you can try pressing some magic keys on your laptop's keyboard (Fn+something)

Corvin 2018-12-11 09:50

First, I would like to thank you for your great work with making SLAX! It is grat idea to create distro which is based on Debian, run from readonly storage and can be customized! When I saw it first time, my thought was - great! I can create CD with Openmediavault and it will save me one more sata slot for storage in my home nas server! Just setup everything, save all changes and burn that CD.
Until now I managed to make module with ssh server which boots correctly. I am trying to install OMV following the guide https://openmediavault.readthedocs.io/en/latest/installation/on_debian.html and although it works after install (had to fix hostname in /etc/hosts), when I create module with savechanges, and then prepare iso with it, it is not working anymore after boot. I think the problem is with savechanges itself which is not saving all the changes OMV installation makes. I am still working on it, but it would be nice to see some forum on the website where we could discuss issues and ideas.

Corvin 2018-12-11 16:01

I made a test with creating sb file from the whole /run/initramfs/memory/changes dir ( by issuing the command: mksquashfs /run/initramfs/memory/changes /tmp/omv.sb -comp xz -b 512k -noappend ) and it boots and works correctly! - so it is definitely an issue with excluding some needed stuff within savechanges script. Could someone help me (explain) how the savechanges exclusion list works? I do not really understand the regexp code...

lucbertz 2018-12-12 19:11


Who made this Slax_with_Trinity? It seems the old-school SLAX, useful for lazy people looking for a full desktop.


Red 2018-12-12 21:25

Hi Tomas, thanks for the new distro.
I’ve been using Slax 7 for some years, ever sinds my harddrive died.
I’m not handy with computers, and with Slax that was no problem.
Slax worked easy and was reliable .
The only problem I had was the browser that was out of date.
So I tried Slitas and Porteus, not as user frendly as Slax.
When you came with slax 9, I had no idea what to do.
Command lines, to me, are the things my wife says like : WIPE YOUR FEET !
But now with 9.6.4, Slax is working like before.
Thanks you made an old man happy again


Tomas M 2018-12-13 16:22

The regex to exclude things from saved changes means this:

Exclude all files where filename starts with:

Excelude changes made in these directories:

Exclude these files:

Vadim 2018-12-16 08:37

I've installed all 3 components I need for my Home Theatre PC (Kodi, Gerbera and Samba) - so:

1) how do I compile this all together with the Slax Base w/o using modules, changes, etc. reading from \slax\changes folder at boot?

2) My media server (Gerbera) constantly adds to DB new songs and movies that I add to Library. If I load Slax into RAM at boot - would the DB be in RAM too (and all changes lost fter reboot) or would it committ to disk?

3) How do I add KODI to startup, so that it starts up automatically?

David Cooke 2018-12-16 23:09

I have only just discovered Slax, thought to give it a try, but have found it a problem to get it to work when installed to a hard drive.

I copied Slax v9.6.4 files to HDD, - very easy - only to waste hours trying to get it to boot. I first tried using syslinux, but have no familiarity with this and could not get it to work at all. I switched to grub and tried every option I could find, but could not get past this:

Looking for slax data in /slax
Fatal error occured - Could not locate slax data

Nothing I tried made any difference at all - different boot options, ext3, fat32... I even tried saving changes when booting from usb and copying the changes.dat file to the hard disk. Then I tried v9.2.1, on fat32 - and it booted via Grub at the first attempt. Happily, it seems to work fine on the relatively recent hardware, but minus the extra features of 9.6.4.

I think something has gone wrong here with v9.6.4! This particular error seems to be a recurrent weakness which is making Slax less than user-friendly.

Dave Doma 2018-12-17 06:10

Well, this is what happened. I have been testing this wonderful distribution on a Core 2 Duo computer with 1 GB of RAM. Debian 9 and Win 7 Ultimate installed, which are very heavy for the use that I give to the machine; play music and videos. I decided then to install Slax through unetbootin in a usb memory and in doing so I confuse the units and install Slax in the Win partition, which is in NTFS format, by the way. It seems that nothing is going to work again. OK, when restarting, GRUB, as always, asks me to start with Debian or Win7. So far so good. When I choose Win7, another screen asks me to boot this time with win7 or unetbootin. .. I decide to start unetbootin and then I can boot Slax and navigate without major problem. The best comes when after a new reboot, I decide to boot this time with Win 7 and it also starts without problems ... I have 2 operating systems installed on the same partition. The funny thing is that Slax seems to behave more fluently on the NTFS partition than on FAT. O.o

Sorry for my english, long time without practice.

Ivo Giulio Gagliolo 2018-12-17 08:30

Hi, I must, once again, thanks you for your work.

You added b43 wifi drivers, so I don't have to use 43fwcuutter anymore :)

On the other hand I've got a "new" OLD pc...

It has a realteck 8185 wifi adapter... is it, in any way possible to use it with your Slax?


Corvin 2019-01-09 12:38

Hi, I found one very little glitch with 9.6.4 and 9.6.5 which is easly fixable. The hostname in /etc/hostname is set to slax, but it is set to debian in /etc/hosts. This prevents for example collectd to install properly. I am not sure if it fixed with the newest version, but if no - please fix.