SLAX - The Pocket Linux

SLAX is fast and beautiful Linux operating system which fits on small (3.14") CD-ROM disc. It runs directly from the CD (or USB) without installing. The Live CD described here is based on the Slackware Linux distribution and uses Unification File System (also known as unionfs), allowing read-only filesystem to behave as a writable one, saving all changes to memory.

Imagine the ability to boot your favorite Linux distribution whether you are at home, at school, or at work. Imagine walking on the street and carrying the only thing you needed in life - the 8cm compact disk with your Live Linux CD. Wouldn't you want to experience such a feeling?

When your computer boots from the LiveCD, the first step is loading the kernel image (vmlinuz). After this, a 4 MB ramdisk is created in the computer's RAM. The rootdisk image (initrd.gz) is then unpacked into it and mounted as a root filesystem. Large directories (like /usr) are mounted directly from the CDROM.


The primary goal of SLAX is to provide a wide collection of useful software while keeping the cd's image small enough to be written to a 185 MB CD-R(W) medium (small 8 cm CD). SLAX boots directly from the CD or USB devices and it provides a full featured Linux operating system


With other Live Linux systems, you're stuck with the type and amount of applications the creator decided to include. With SLAX, you can customize the system to fit your needs, by adding additional software in the form of compressed modules. SLAX itself is very useful without any modules, but you can add a lot of own programs to make it even more suitable for your needs.


Other Live CDs contain all software in a single compressed file. If you run such a Live OS from CD-ROM, the CD drive has to seek back and forth really frequently, because different files are located on different locations of the CD medium. This makes the system notably slow.

With SLAX, all conformable parts of the filesystem are compressed to a standalone file, which doesn't contain anything else. For example, all files which belongs to Xwindow are packed in, KOffice related stuff is in, etc. If you work with KOffice, you usually need only files from KOffice and nothing else; and hence all files from that part of the filesystem are separated from the rest of it, your CD drive has to seek only in a 10 MB area. This significantly improves the speed.

Other features

SLAX 5 is the most inovative and promissing SLAX ever. It switched to 2.6 kernel line. Zisofs compression was replaced by SquashFS, which provides better compression ratio and higher read speed. Ovlfs (which was the most amazing and exciting feature specific only for SLAX) was replaced by unionFS. And finally, slax-installer GUI was created.

SLAX CD contains

- Linux kernel 2.6 offering excellent hardware support
- the newest ALSA sound drivers
- ndiswrapper for loading Windows drivers for WIFI cards
- madwifi drivers for native support for WIFI cards (Multiband Atheros)
- X11 (xorg) Xwindow system, supporting many gfx cards and wheel mice automatically
- KDE 3.5, an excellent desktop software
- webconfig feature allowing you to save your session data to slax' web

You can get the 6th preview of Slax 6 here.
More info about Slax can you reach from its site.


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