Slax Linux 12.1 (based on Debian) and 15.0.2 (based on Slackware) are now available.
New Slax Key Features and Enhancements - Slax Linux
It's my birthday today (turning 44) and I am thrilled to introduce the newest version of Slax, your only pocket operating system. This update is available for both of its bases: one that's built on Debian (version 12.1) and the other one on Slackware (version 15.0.2-current). In this blog post, we'll delve into the significant changes and improvements that this release brings to the table.
1. Enhanced Session Management for Writable Devices
One of the most notable enhancements of this release is the improved session handling, especially when running Slax from writable devices like USB drives or hard disks.
In the past, Slax didn't offer an easy method to manage multiple sessions. All modifications were simply stored in the /slax/changes directory, providing just one session in general. However, with this update, you can now maintain multiple sessions. Each session is neatly saved in its own subdirectory within /slax/changes/. At boot time, you are presented with options: you can either start a new session, resume a previous one, or select a session of your choice from a menu.
2. Adjustable storage size for sessions
For quite some time, Slax has utilized dynfilefs to store session changes. This unique auto-growing filesystem is designed to store vast amounts of data, even on non-linux filesystems like FAT32. While dynfilefs received significant performance boosts in earlier Slax versions, it still has a limitation: the maximum size of its storage must be set beforehand. By default, every new session in Slax has a 16GB size limit.
Starting today, if you need more space for a specific session, you can adjust the maximum size manually using the boot parameter perchsize=X. For instance, setting perchsize=32G would set the limit to 32GB for the current session. This way, you are no longer limited by the default maximum size. The good news is that this adjustment is a one-time process. Once set, Slax remembers the maximum size for that session, eliminating the need for reconfiguration during subsequent boots.
3. Enhanced Boot Parameter Options
Earlier Slax versions already supported special boot parameter, from=..., which enables loading of Slax data from a specified location. This could be a directory format like from=/myslax/ or even an URL to an ISO image, like from=http://domain.com/myslax.iso.
The latest release now expands on this flexibility. Users can now direct Slax to load data from a specific directory on a specified disk using from=/dev/device/path (e.g., from=/dev/sda1/slax). Alternatively, the from=ask option is supported as well, to prompt you with a menu during boot, to choose the device from which Slax should fetch its data from the list.
4. Bug Fix: Module File Deletion
A previously identified bug in Slax prevented modules from deleting files. For instance, if you removed certain filesystem files from Slax and then used the 'savechanges' command to capture these changes in a module, the deleted files would still be present after a reboot. This issue has been addressed in the new release. The technical solution involves Slax mounting and adding them to the AUFS union with the readonly+whiteouts flag. This approach ensures that erased files on a mounted aufs branch are correctly handled.
5. Improved Xorg Graphical User Interface Initialization
Last but not least, the way Slax starts the Xorg graphical user interface has been refined. While earlier versions of Slax assumed that X could initiate without a configuration file (which is true in many scenarios), there are instances where this did not work at all. To address potential issues, the new Slax version uses autoconfiguration which is built into the X server itself, to create a better configuration file. This method provides a more accurate setup than running without any config file at all. This enhancement aims to resolve the rare instances where Slax couldn't launch the graphical user interface.
In conclusion, the newest Slax release is packed with features and improvements that promise a smoother and more efficient user experience. Whether you're a long-time Slax user or just getting started, this update is sure to enhance your Slax journey.
Download Slax today, visit www.slax.org