Slackware is a legendary Linux distribution that seems to have risen from the ashes with version 15 after a long slumber. However, user-friendliness has never been one of its strong points.
This is where Salix Linux comes into play – a lightweight, easy-to-use, with stability in mind Slackware-based desktop-oriented Linux distro. However, it is unlikely to be familiar to the average Linux user.
And now, seven months after the official release of Slackware 15, and six years after its latest stable release, 14.2, Salix 15.0 is finally here. So let’s see what’s changed.
What’s New in Salix Linux 15.0
Salix is an entirely Xfce-centric desktop Linux distribution. Hence, the main focus of this release is the inclusion of the most recent stable version of the desktop environment, Xfce 4.16. However, you are not getting a vanilla Xfce experience here but rather an enhanced version with a particular emphasis on every detail.
Everything has been redesigned, including a new GTK theme, icon theme, window manager theme, and so on. So, the overall look and feel of the Salix 15.0 desktop are fresh and modern.
Because Xfce is now built on GTK+3, practically everything else included with a standard installation has been upgraded to use GTK+3. Furthermore, the Whiskermenu is now integrated and included by default with the Xfce desktop environment.
Let’s have a look at the installer, which has received several updates under the hood. This is where we should stress that Salix does not provide a graphical installer like the well-known to most Linux users, Calamares.
The distribution uses the familiar Slackware text installer, with many features reworked for convenience and ease of use. However, getting to grips with the installation would be challenging for inexperienced Linux users.
On the software side, of course, everything has been updated to the latest versions, including Firefox 102.2.0 ESR, LibreOffice 7.4, GIMP 2.10.30, and others. And while we’re on the subject of software, we can’t help but say something.
Salix has its extra repositories, which provide software in addition to those found in Slackware. Because Salix is fully backward compatible with Slackware, Slackware users can also take advantage of Salix repos as an “extra” quality source of software.
On top of that, Salix 15.0 includes a revamped package base ready to compete in versatility with the best in the industry. Thousands of new packages have been built from the ground up and are available to use in this release. In other words, the package repositories are now bigger than all prior releases combined.
And, of course, it’s all available and ready to install with the help of Gsalpt, the handy graphical software installer.
Another notable feature of this release is that it comes pre-installed with Flatpak support. Salix 15.0 includes Flathub as a preconfigured software source, and the developers have additionally created applications for smoother desktop integration.
In other words, users should only need to visit Flathub and click a few times to install whatever application they want.
Under the hood, Salix 15.0 is powered by Linux kernel 5.15.62. At the same time, several things have changed, inherited mainly from Slackware, such as the adoption of PAM, upgraded GCC 11, and GLIBC 2.33. Additionally, ConsoleKit has been replaced by elogind.
You can refer to the official announcement for detailed information about all changes.
Salix 15.0 is available for immediate download as an installation ISO image for 64-bit and 32-bit platforms from the official website’s “Download” section.
During installation, you have three main options for how it should be done:
- Full: Everything that is included in the iso is installed.
- Basic: This installs only a basic desktop environment, with just a few additional apps such as a web browser and the Gslapt package manager.
- Core: Only the bare necessities for a console system to boot are included.
Choose which type and installation best suit your needs and enjoy the new Salix 15.0!