December 23, 2012

Thoughts on SLAX 7


When SLAX 7 was released on Dec 10th, the initial feel was that it was pretty good and ready as a base for the new release of my own BioSLAX distro, but after playing with it for a week and interacting with Tomas and other users, I think its not ready at all.

  • No PXE boot
  • SCSI controllers are weird (if you boot up with a usb drive/thumbdrive, it will allocate sda to the usb drive instead of your internal drive)
  • Doesn’t auto mount partitions or drives
  • Missing a tonne of software and libraries
  • KDE 4 is still lacking in user friendliness

Don’t know if it was released in an unpolished state because of pressure from Tomas’ commercial investors or some other reason, but its just not built like Slax 6 was.

Other nuisances include the Kernel Mode Settings (KMS) which while is great for setting the native resolution of screens, wrecks havoc on bootsplash. As you know from an earlier post, I was able to get bootsplash working with the new initramfs, but even then, KMS completely kills it when the system hands over control of the graphics setting to the kernel – no /proc/splash means no bootsplash and no decor for the VTs either. Advice so far as been to use things like fbsplash or plymouth. The complexity of both isn’t really justified and I’m still looking for a way to use bootsplash with the whole thing.


Tomas has implemented the PXE boot after a few of us requested it. Also the SCSI controller problem seems to be isolated only to older Core2 machines. The i3s, i5s and i7s don’t seem to have this issue and it also doesn’t exist with Slackware 13.37. Might be a stray kernel option in the compilation, but I need to look into this more.


Solved the SCSI controller problem and it turns out to be floppy device issue!

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