9 Years Later, Slax Linux Has Found Its Way Back Home

Slax 15.0, the lightweight Live CD Linux distro, is now available, re-based back to its roots on Slackware Linux.

Slax is a portable and fast Linux operating system with a modular architecture and beautiful design that can be operated from a USB stick. It supports many filesystems, including NTFS, FAT, EXT4, and Btrfs.

The ability to persist data is one of the key features that distinguishes Slax from other Live CD Linux distributions. In other words, if you run Slax from a read-only media, such as a CD/DVD, it only saves system modifications in memory, which you lose when rebooting.

However, if you start Slax from writable media, such as a USB drive, any changes to the operating system are preserved and restored the next time you boot.

But the reason for this writing is something else entirely: the release of the new Slax 15.0, where there is something significant to be noted. So, let’s see what it is.

Slax Linux 15.0

The big news here is that Slax is back to its origins nine years later, based on Slackware 15, which was released half a year ago.

Slax 15.0

For the benefit of our more curious readers, Slax 7.0.6, released in March 2013, was the latest Slackware-based release of this famous Live CD distribution. Then the distribution’s lead developer, Tomas Matejicek, made the decision, and Slax was based on Debian for many years. Until today.

Of course, this is logical considering that the Slackware project was “frozen” for many years and that much of the Linux community assumed it was abandoned.

But Slackware’s resumption with the launch of the new release earlier this year appears to have given Slax the push it needed to return to its roots.

On the other hand, at first glance, Slax’s users will see no difference between Slax 15 and prior versions. The well-known FluxBox window manager and xLunch are there, providing all Slax users with the pleasant experience of working in a familiar environment.

If you’re unfamiliar with xLunch, it’s a launcher similar to the one in GNOME but written especially for Slax and with Slax needs in mind.

xLunch Launcher

Under the hood, Slax 15 ships with the Linux kernel 5.15 LTS. In addition, Slackware, as you may know, is a systemd-free Linux distribution, and hence Slax inherits that. So, those who are used to the Slax version based on Debian that relies on systemd should recall using the SysV/BSD-style init system.

Remember that dependencies are not tracked in Slackware; therefore, you must manually resolve them. So, if you want to install software on Slax 15, you must first update the package base by running:

slackpkg update

Then, run the following command to install the desired software package:

slackpkg install [PACKAGE_NAME]

Those interested can download Slax 15 ISO image (254 MB) from the project’s official website. Users can also download the version 11.4, based on Debian, allowing them to pick between 32-bit and 64-bit architecture.

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  1. Always nice to ser distros based on Slackware. I use Slackware and its simplicity and adherence to the Unix way makes it a great distro.
    And Slax looks very interesting too. I’m not much for live distros and once I find one I like I stick to it, but Slax looks really nice and maybe it’s time to widen one’s horizon. 🙂
    Thanks for the article.