Slax – Tiny, beautiful, functional

I had downloaded Slax a few days ago. But due to work commitments, I could try it out only today. I should say, I am



very impressed with this little distro.  Slax is a Live CD distribution meant to run from a CD or a USB drive. The default package is just 190 MB and the site offers iso images for those wishing to run Slax from a CD or a tar archive for those wishing to run it from a USB drive. An iso image can also be made from the tar archive and the iso image can also be used to run Slax from a USB drive. It works both ways and it is pretty convenient.

The best feature of Slax is Modules. Modules can be added to the default pacakge before download. Modules include additional programs, tools and utilities. Modules can also be added or removed at a later stage. This makes the distribution very versatile. Slax makes for a very good recovery or emergency OS.

Live CD

I tried the Live CD flavour of Slax. It booted up quickly on my laptop running an Intel Core 2 Duo T5300 processor with 1 GB RAM. I did not time the boot sequence, though. Another nifty feature of Slax is it can be loaded and run completly from RAM without the CD in the drive. This is very useful for people who have just one CD drive on their desktops or people using laptops.

Included Software

Slax is a KDE based distribution and it runs KDE 3.5.10

Other packages include


plus other utilities a couple of games and tools for the Internet. The packages are not bleeding edge and this helps greatly in the stability of the distribution. There is no or Firefox in the default package. I figured out that Firefox can be downloaded from the modules, but did not check on


After running this distribution for a while, I immediately thought it would be a great fit on my very old PIII 1.1 GHz with just 256 MB of RAM. Currently this machine is chugging along with Win XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu replacing Mandriva since the drive containing Mandriva failed. It is a stop gap distro and I was searching for something light to replace Ubuntu. From the time I discovered Slax, I have been researching how to install it on a computer. Since it is a Live CD distro there doesn’t seem to be a direct way to install it. All in all Slax is beautiful, minimal and functional.

I am still trying to empty my flash drive to run Slax on it and to see if my other files can happily co-exist. If I manage to do that, I will do another post.

Screen shots

Here are a few screen shots of beautiful Slax


12 responses to “Slax – Tiny, beautiful, functional

  1. Slax was my introduction to Linux… in the form of the old ‘Kill Bill Version’. It was humorous and well themed and included programs that showcased some of the best of open source.

    I tried it on a whim after a week of BSODs under Windows. I did the distro-shuffle and ended up with Kubuntu/Xubuntu due to Open Office. My first test rig with Kubuntu was a P2-266Mhz and wrote my initial business web site on it.

    Your 1Ghz machine is more than enough for most Linux distros. I use Xubuntu and Linux Mint Fluxbox on a P3-500Mhz laptop and desktop (though most work is done on a P4-2.4Ghz with Xubuntu).

    I’ve been impressed lately with MoonOS and gOS (hoping gOS moves away from Gnome and into LXDE or Fluxbox).

    • J S, thanks for your comment.

      I started with Red Hat, went to Mandriva, then to Ubuntu and now back to Mandriva. Yes, the processor on my old machine is more than enough for a Linux distro but it has only 256 MB of RAM. Though distros run, they dont run smooth.

      I would have a look at MoonOS and gOS for sure 🙂

  2. The Linuxlive is by far the best method to build livecds, Slax, GoblinX, Zenwalk, Wolvix are great!! BTW, you can use modules without download a bite of them… you can use a module running inside the server.

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  5. Slax installs to hard drive just like USB, although you’d likely be better off with an EXT2 partition on the hard drive instead of the usual FAT32 on USB.

    Just copy over the folders, and as root run the appropriate script in the boot folder.

    If you install to hard drive with EXT2, use the script rather than on FAT.

    For convenience, add “autoexec=xconf;telinit~4” to the append= line in the lilo.conf file, or it will always boot to terminal login.

    • Shane, thanks for all the information and the caution about the file system. I would try it on my older computer in about two weeks – it currently resides at my parents’ – and let you know how it goes.

  6. I also searched for a way to install Slax on my internal hard drive disk.

    Here’s an How To written by the community on the official forum. Hope it will help. I’ll probably give it a try soon.

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