Proper release announcement

After several years of inactivity Slax project has been brought to life again in new version 9.2.1. For those who did not hear about it yet, Slax is a little distribution of GNU/Linux (in 200 MB), which runs on your computer without installing, and makes no changes to it (unless you tell it to do so).

This time, Slax uses Debian stretch as its base, and thus it can offer all the wonders of the mighty 'apt' command. If you are missing any software in Slax, use 'apt install SOFTWARENAME' to get it in an instant. I've decided to go for Debian because it made my life much easier and I believe that it will make yours too.

Graphical desktop uses FluxBox window manager and xLunch, which was written especially for Slax and with Slax needs in mind. Furthermore the development of xLunch continues independently.

There are only few applications included, Chromium is used as a web browser and video player, and there is also leafpad and calculator, just for the sake of completeness :]

You can consider Slax as a simple and minimalistic base Linux system, which you can carry in your pocket.

User comments
Lukáš Zapletal 2017-11-16 15:28

Congratulations! Well done.

Barnaby 2017-11-16 16:26

That was quick! Thanks and congratulations. I would have rather had it based on Slackware as before but I respect your choice and yes, I'm not blind to the advantages that apt-get and the huge Debian repo have to offer. After all, using Debian a lot here as well. All the best for the future.

Дмитрий Чулков 2017-11-16 18:57

There is "no batteries" in this version of slax. No setup stuff for network, no battery indicator for laptops and etc.

Sadi YumuÅŸak 2017-11-16 19:24

Looks great, thanks!
Looking forward to completion of systray with network manager and maybe some other services as well as addition of a file manager module.

Elimic 2017-11-16 19:34

setup network?
I have multiple monitors 2 vga cards nothing moves no boot!
any Ideas?

Fagedog Gard 2017-11-16 20:18

I have error. I'm use new USB flash. Format NTFS in windows 7, get slax-64bit-9.2.1 from internet, run bootinst.bat. Then reboot. Then start booting slax. I see error LOoking for slax data in /slax...

Fagedog Gard 2017-11-16 20:22

I think looking /slax on hdd becouse heare some tk tkt tk.., but /slax on usb flash

Helder Max 2017-11-16 20:50

Ohhh yeah.
Downloading now.
Thank you.

Helder Max 2017-11-16 20:51

Feels like Christmas... :-D

Guilherme 2017-11-16 21:04

Great news,
i still wish it was systemd free, based on devuan or antix, for example as the memory usage is lower and init system more transparent but anyway great job as always

shevy 2017-11-16 21:16

Guilherme wrote:

> i still wish it was systemd free,

Same here but Thomas explained some things, in particular the time commitment available (for him, unless others want to chime in and help). I still think it is best to just continue with slax as-is. Who knows what the future will bring, but activity beats inactivity any time. GoboLinux was also semi-dormant for several years ... things do not always move linear. ;)

John Jones 2017-11-16 21:18

Take a look at the pkglist, folks. mc is there for file management. Plug in an ethernet cable and everything else you want is an "apt install PACKAGENAME" away.

Nice work, Tomas. You even made fluxbox look good. ;-) Good to see Slax back. I'm a Slackware guy, but going with Debian was a good choice.

FG 2017-11-16 21:34

Im new to linux and I like the fact you can persist on a USB stick. Can you please provide a script or the commands to get Broadcom wifi chip support and AMD/ATI sound support for my Samsung laptop?. I am connected to ethernet for now but would like to build my linux package from her. Thank you.

Tomas M 2017-11-16 21:46

To be honest I do not know how to make wifi work, I have to learn that somewhere, and find some devices with wifi adapters to see how it goes.

Wendy A 2017-11-16 22:25

Hi Tomas
I used your previous Slax for several years and loved it. It was easy to customize and was fast. I was really looking forward to your Debian version. However, I find that the Chromium Browser in your new Slax has three extensions which are marked "This extension is managed and cannot be removed or disabled". I Googled this and found it usually meant that Chromium was infected with malware! Why do your Chromium extensions show this behaviour? This is enough to stop me using Slax.

Darek Siewień 2017-11-16 22:35

great job...wifi please add

Darek Siewień 2017-11-16 22:53

Tomas M..Talk to this gentleman he knows everything about debian..will tell you how to add a wifi manager to it slack..builds sparylinux

Marian Kucsara 2017-11-16 22:55

Prosím o radu. Jak mám přidat ovladač pro wifi?
Jinak Slax se mi líbí a je velice jednoduchý a rychlý. Dokonce funguje i z hdd. Jen ta wifi.

Marian Kucsara 2017-11-16 22:56

Děkuji za hezký předvánoční dárek. :-)

Vuk Mirovic 2017-11-16 23:04

No wifi out of the box :(

Short manual how I enabled wifi on Intel wireless card.

nano /etc/apt/sources.list
Add non-free repo
apt update
apt install firmware-iwlwifi
modprobe -r iwlwifi; modprobe iwlwifi
ip link set wlo1 up
apt install wpasupplicant wicd

Most wireless card require non-free firmware. I have intel wireless card and firmware package is firmware-iwlwifi.
Package can be installed from non-free Debian repo, or downloaded in firmware bundle https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/firmware/stretch/current/firmware.zip
Wicd is lightweight GUI network manager, full featured variant is network-manager-gnome that contains nm-applet.

stvn 2017-11-16 23:04

@ Wendy A

Just download the Iridium browser

"Iridium Browser is based on the Chromium code base. All modifications enhance the privacy of the user and make sure that the latest and best secure technologies are used. Automatic transmission of partial queries, keywords and metrics to central services is prevented and only occurs with the approval of the user. In addition, all our builds are reproducible and modifications are auditable, setting the project ahead of other secure browser providers."


I'm really enjoying it :)

naEX 2017-11-17 05:48

Nice! but without wireless connection you are in ... ... hard position if everything is "on the web" ;) sadly no public beta-testing for opinions :(

boslad 2017-11-17 05:56

I need nothing but CLI.When I delete all sb modules except 01-*.sb, booting stops at "Started console font and keymaps". Why? How to deal with that?

kipade 2017-11-17 07:20

I followed the documents and installed it into a USB stick on a linux host:
1. format the usb with only one linux partition(ext4) and make it bootable
2. copy slax into the device with command: cp -a slax /mnt/usb/
3. cd /mnt/usb/slax/boot and run: ./bootinst.sh, it says:
...(some prompts)
* setup MBR on /dev/sdb
* set bootable flag for /dev/sdb1
Boot installation finished.
Press Enter...
4. reboot my notebook and select booting from usb device, then, got this:
SYSLINUX 4.06 EDD 4.06-pre12 Copyright (C) 1994-2012 H. Peter Anvin et al
ERROR: No configureation file found
No DEFAULT or UI configureation directive found!

I can't continue, please help. thanks

Tomas M 2017-11-17 08:06

@Wendy A
I've added no extensions. This is what Debian installs with 'apt install chromium'

Not sure what happens there, works for me without any problem.

Gilles Arnaud 2017-11-17 08:27

got a similar problem to kipade's one
install on a USB stick on a linux host
after boot
Failed to load COM32 file /slax/boot/vesamenu.c32
Failed to load ...

try both 64 and 32 version
I was so happy with this new slax version

ver0 2017-11-17 09:06

Can you paste output below command on fresh new slax:
free -m
And one more things:
Any script to install on hdd?

Tomas M 2017-11-17 09:08

Hm, what filesystem you use on the flash drive? Maybe its NTFS? Try using FAT

G Yogi 2017-11-17 11:35

Wifi is on, just download wpa_supplicant package and the dependencies, install with dpkg.
Follow tutorial from debian web pages and viola, my wifi is on...
this is my ifconfig command
enp1s0: flags=4099<UP,BROADCAST,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
ether 90:e6:ba:34:ab:4c txqueuelen 1000 (Ethernet)
RX packets 0 bytes 0 (0.0 B)
RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0
TX packets 0 bytes 0 (0.0 B)
TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0

lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING> mtu 65536
inet netmask
inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128 scopeid 0x10<host>
loop txqueuelen 1 (Local Loopback)
RX packets 0 bytes 0 (0.0 B)
RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0
TX packets 0 bytes 0 (0.0 B)
TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0

wlp2s0: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
inet netmask broadcast
inet6 fe80::225:d3ff:fe97:e10a prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x20<link>
ether 00:25:d3:97:e1:0a txqueuelen 1000 (Ethernet)
RX packets 73412 bytes 97452066 (92.9 MiB)
RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0
TX packets 61785 bytes 7184896 (6.8 MiB)
TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0

this is my route command
Kernel IP routing table
Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface
default UG 0 0 0 wlp2s0 U 0 0 0 wlp2s0

Good Jobs Thomas.....thanks

Gilles Arnaud 2017-11-17 13:41

try ext4 and btrfs, giving the same results

tan 2017-11-17 14:56

I'm happy to translate it to Chinese.

Arda Aydın 2017-11-17 17:23

Did you know? You don't have to install any other bundle/packages to change your keyboard layouts! Right click on the desktop and hover "Keyboard Layout" then choose your keyboard language!

Hey Tomas, it seems to we don't have a file manager with a GUI at all. Or a settings app. Could you recommend any from apt-get database?

Tomas M 2017-11-17 17:57

As a file manager, I'm using mc

Julia 2017-11-17 20:14

Thank you so much for creating Slax, Tomas! After checking the countdown several times a day, I was really excited to try your work. And now being more than happy - your minimalistic distro is simply great. Now I only need to find a cute little case or lanyard keychain to carry the USB stick around. :)

Today people at the university who looked at my screen in the library curiously asked me what I'm using. And I proudly replied: "Of course it's the new Slax with the elegant xlunch."

Carlos Felipe Araújo 2017-11-17 22:06

Brazilian portuguese isn't avaiable as keyboard. (ABNT2 layout)

Kiki Novak 2017-11-18 08:08

Hi Tomas. Good job, I love it! I wrote a little article on my company's blog, with some detailed installation instructions.


Cheers from the sunny South of France.

Tomas M 2017-11-18 09:40

There is a "Portugese" layout in the main menu, which switches to BRAZILIAN layout. There is also another Portugese layout in the submenu called "Other" which switches to Portugese PT layout. Sorry for the confusion :)

Eldes 2017-11-18 16:48

I like to see you again.. :).
I wish you the best luck.

Eion MacDonald, 2017-11-18 21:01

Thanks for bringing my favourite wee Live Linux back to life. I have introduced a lot of folk to Linux via the older SLAX. I will now try this. However nowadays folk do want WiFi. So I hope some of the 'nudges' in this will help you to get WiFi selection up and running. Can you correspond to Puppy Linux author, he has a very good internet connection subset. Regards & thanks Tomas. Eion

Rodrigo Régio de Araujo 2017-11-18 23:57

Tomas M. my xlunch doesn't show the other softwares installed on slax, only the standards (Terminal, Chrome, Text Editor and Calculator) is there anything i have to do??

Rodney 2017-11-19 00:16

Thanks Tomas &
a first few layman's observations on 9.2.1:
No UK keyboard available from the selections shown.
No date displayed on system shelf.
The correct UK time starts initially on boot-up, then drops back 5 hours
after a minute or so. Not properly sync'd to the time server?
No file manager gui, so don't know how to access to view the file structure.
Yes, apt install what? As there's no Ubuntu package resource gui displayed,
such as Synaptic Manager to choose from, how do we know
what to ask for and download?
Otherwise not a bad start.
Regards, Rodney/

c400 2017-11-19 20:52

Great work!
I`d like to find out a way to create sb module for this version of slax.
Please help me :)

derek Davidson 2017-11-20 01:45

I am confused on how to get wifi working. If I am booting from a CD, I dont think I can add any new software to that CD, even if I knew how.
I presume I have to find out what wifi "cards" I have on my laptop. Add new wifi software to the "boot file", and then create a new CD?
Any chance of explanations for "simple folks"?

Y San 2017-11-22 16:05

Great Job,
Next, hopefully if we can use other desktop environtment provide as modules.
Mate.sb lxde.sb and others. The concept is easier to use and understood by new linux user this distro will get more user and more familiar. Wondering this will be easier as your old Slax.

Robert Wolter 2017-11-22 22:45

@Y San: You can just install every available DE from the Debian repos using apt. I installed XFCE.

Robert Wolter 2017-11-22 22:55

Hello Tomas, I have a suggestion:
The DE is (auto)started as root which is not a good idea. root should never do internet things. You already created an account for guest, so why not let guest start the DE? It would be much safer.

tome 2017-11-23 09:26

What are available boot parameters for current slax, like from=, slax.flags etc? Slax folder is not found at boot if placed on sd-card. Could you upload script "chroot to slax" from another working distro with aufs for easily use apt-get and add wireless network support.

lucbertz 2017-11-23 10:23

I agree with Robert Wolter. I'd like to see a security improvement with automatic login using a guest user; administration can be always performed by mean of root user, invoked only when needed.

Tomas M 2017-11-24 17:17

Slax always started X as root. I see no problem in that. Anyway, I've tried to run it as guest and it failed, and I do not know how to make it work.

walt 2017-11-25 04:58

" If you are missing any software in Slax, use 'apt install SOFTWARENAME' to get it in an instant"
What this explanation supposed to mean to a NORMAL person without IT diploma!
HOW IN GOD SAKE install in new slacks?!
Where to get progs to install?!
Can you care to explain in English please?

Arda Aydın 2017-11-26 19:27

Hi walt! You can use <apt search "keywords"> to search in terminal! You will see the pack name so do <apt install "pkgName"> to install the pack you want!

Xawery Temporary 2017-12-06 17:01

Fantastic distribution and good idea!

Victor Mayevski 2017-12-11 19:22

While I am very excited and thankful for this new release, I wish that the next major version of Slax (Salx2 ?) would be more standardized to current technology, with as little changes to the default distribution as possible.

For example, it would be nice to be able to use any latest version of the Debian/Ubuntu kernel, also, change from Aufs to OverlayFS, which comes with the kernel by default.
My New Year's wish :) is to have a modular Skax, with the default being just a simple command line login, without any GUI at all, and incremental build up from there.

The main reason for that is the ability to use it as a server on one of the cheap virtual server providers that allow you to boot from the ISO file.

I would be very willing to be one of the financial supporters of this project.

Tomas M 2017-12-13 23:53

basically I follow Debian closely. My modifications are mostly for user interface, and I remove lots of unneeded stuff to save space. If you wish to have a live distro as close to stock Debian as possible, simply install Debian :) and then use linux live scripts to make a bootable ISO - see www.linux-live.org

Serge Terryn 2017-12-26 12:03

I installed sax on ext4 formatted usb-drive. Changes I make to the system are not saved like they supposed to do. If you run tasksel, you get the command prompt back without error msg. (missing ncurses).
I need a Belgian Keyboard layout, choose it and next reboot i'm back with qwerty.
So now, open terminal and setxkbmap be.
But if I have a system where I can't add or changes things, what's the need of such OS ?

WiLLiAM 2018-03-08 01:47

hello, nice work, thanks :)

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