Slax OS – Your pocket operating system

What is Slax OS

Slax OS is a modern, portable, small and fast Linux operating system with modular approach and outstanding design based on Debian. It runs directly from your USB flash drive without installing, so you can carry it everywhere you go in your pocket. Despite its small size, Slax provides nice graphical user interface and wise selection of pre-installed programs, such as a Web browser, Terminal, and more. The tagline for Slax refers to itself as “your pocket operating system”.

Slax is now based on Debian, which gives you the ability to benefit from its entire ecosystem. Tens of thousands of prebuilt packages with applications, all within reach thanks to apt command.

Slax OS is a Live operating system based on Linux. Live means it runs from an external media without any need for permanent installation. Slax boots from USB mass storage devices such as Flash Drive keys as well as from regular hard drives and CD/DVD discs. Simply plug your device in and boot from it. Entire Slax operating system resides in a single directory /slax/ on your device, making it easier to organize with your other data.

Slax OS provides FluxBox window manager already preconfigured for the most common tasks. Included is a Web browser chromium, Terminal emulator xterm and simple text editor leafpad and calculator qalculate. You can put Slax on wide range of different filesystems, including EXT (ext2,ext3,ext4), btrfs, and even FAT and NTFS.

When Slax is started from a read-only media such as CD/DVD, it keeps all system modifications in memory only, and all the modifications are lost when you reboot. On the other hand, if you run Slax from a writable device such as USB Flash Drive, it can store all changes there, so all your configurations and modifications are restored next time you boot, even if it is on a different computer. This feature is known as Persistent Changes and you can read more about it in a separate chapter.

Slax is available for 32bit and 64bit processor architectures. The 32bit version is designed to run on very old computers (as old as Intel 686; that dates back to 1995). It will run properly on brand new computers too, but it is somehow bigger download. Furthermore it has a limitation that single application can address only 4GB of RAM. On the other hand, the 64bit version is smaller, does not have such limitation, and it will run on most computers available nowadays. So in general, if you plan to use Slax on very old archaic computers, then choose 32bit. If your intention is to use Slax on machine made in this century, you better go for 64bit. And if you don’t know what your target hardware is, go for 64bit too, because the chance you’ll ever see a 32bit computer nowadays is almost zero.

Slax 32bit version Slax 64bit version
Processor: i686 or newer CPU, all Intel processors
and AMD processors will work
An x86_64 CPU, like AMD Athlon 64, Opteron,
Sempron, Intel Core 2/i3/i5/i7, and others
Memory: 128 MB of RAM for desktop
512 MB of RAM to run Web browser
128 MB of RAM for desktop
512 MB of RAM to run Web browser
Peripherals: CD or USB drive to boot from CD or USB drive to boot from
Optionally: network card, sound card network card, sound card

Slax OS is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) as published by the Free Software Foundation. Slax is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty; use at your own risk. The GNU GPL license requires that all source codes are published so others could reuse it, modify or learn from it. You can trust me, this is very good idea – without it, there would be no Slax at all. Slax itself shares most of code with Debian, whose source code is as well publicly available.

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One of the main benefits of the Slax distribution is its ease of customization. Additional software can be added and removed, using Slax modules. A traditional package manager such as Debian’s APT is not required to load additional software; Slax modules are completely self-contained. However, APT is fully supported. Users can also modify the default CD image or USB drive installation to customize the packages available in the distribution on boot. Slax also allows Debian packages to be converted into Slax modules.

Slax modules are compressed read-only SquashFS file system images that are compressed with a LZMA compressor. The various modules are stacked together to build the complete Slax root directory. A supplemental writable layer (a tmpfs file system) is put on the top of the stack to implement the write functionality.

The stackable file system of choice changed between Slax versions 5 (UnionFS) and 6 (aufs), as did the module file name extension (changed from .mo to .sb)

Even if Slax OS is running from a read-only media such as CD/DVD, it still provides fully writable root filesystem (with changes stored in memory), allowing you to install additional software from online repository or other sources. Unless you are using Presistent changes, everything you install is kept in memory only and is lost after you reboot. The tools to add software to Slax as well as tools to make the changes permanent are described below. visit this https://www.slax.org/customize.php

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Harshvardhan Mishra

Hi, I'm Harshvardhan Mishra. Tech enthusiast and IT professional with a B.Tech in IT, PG Diploma in IoT from CDAC, and 6 years of industry experience. Founder of HVM Smart Solutions, blending technology for real-world solutions. As a passionate technical author, I simplify complex concepts for diverse audiences. Let's connect and explore the tech world together! If you want to help support me on my journey, consider sharing my articles, or Buy me a Coffee! Thank you for reading my blog! Happy learning! Linkedin

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