Finally a new batch of Live ISOs for Slackware-current (liveslak-1.5.3)

Updates in liveslak

Time flies. The last batch-release of Slackware Live ISO’s was almost 7 months ago.
I was burnt up by the time 2021 turned into 2022 and it took a long time for me to enjoy working on my projects again (and it’s still difficult), but I thought it might be appreciated to at least have a fresh set of ISOs for the Slackware Live Edition to play with during summer holidays.

It’s of course not entirely correct that there were no new ISOs for seven months… I have an automated process in place which re-creates a Live ISO of Slackware64-current every time there is an update to the ChangeLog.txt. It is meant to test every update and find issues to fix. There’s a European and a USA URL to download this ISO.

The various small issues that popped as a result software updates in Slackware-current, were fixed in the liveslak sources during these past months, and thanks to the people who reported to me the issues that they encountered!
These fixes went into ‘silent’ liveslak releases that were not mentioned in blog posts or other forms of communication: 1.5.1.5 to accompany the release of Slackware 15.0 (I tagged this to create the original Live ISO for Slackware 15.0) and then 1.5.2 was tagged a short while later to fix a few glaring errors in 1.5.1.5. Finally the 1.5.2 tag was meant to release a batch of ISOs in May, but I did not have the energy.

I now have tagged a liveslak-1.5.3 release with the latest updates.
Most important change in liveslak is that I decided to abandon the CDROM capacity limit (703 MB) of the XFCE ISO image size. This size limitation ensured that there would always be a version of Slackware Live Edition that you could burn to a good old CDROM medium.
What was the reason for this change of mind? When I generated a XFCE ISO last week, it was significantly larger than the 703 MB physical CDROM capacity, and I realized that I could not trim the ISO back to below 703 MB. There was simply no way to keep removing packages (read: functionality) from that ISO without penalty.
I do want the XFCE ISO to be functional and useful, so I decided on a new (somewhat arbitrary) size limitation for XFCE ISO, which is 1000 MB. It allowed me to add (back) a bunch of useful programs, most prominently Seamonkey is now gone, and it has been replaced by Firefox. If you have a need for yet more useful Slackware utilities that are missing from the XFCE ISO, leave a comment below.
If there is an interest, I may consider releasing a console-only Slackware Live ISO, which will again be a lot smaller than 700 MB and therefore able to be burnt to a CDROM. Basically this will be the standalone version of “Core OS” which you can already find in the boot menus of the DAW, LEAN and XFCE variants. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

The new liveslak also introduces an intermediate form of trimming the ISO content (I trim some ISOs to reduce size). Where before you’d have three increasingly severe forms of trimming “doc“, “mandoc” and “bloat“, there is now an additional form “waste” and its trimming effect lies somewhere between that of “mandoc” and “bloat“. The “waste” form of trimming is now applied to XFCE ISO instead of the old “bloat” form, and this leaves alot of libraries (dynamic and static) in the ISO image, which should make it more functional even.

The new ISOs are available for download at the usual locations (see below for download URLs). You’ll find SLACKWARE (32bit/64bit), XFCE (32bit/64bit), DAW, LEAN, CINNAMON and MATE updated images. I refreshed the ‘bonus’ section with nvidia and broadcom-sta live-modules that contain kernel drivers matching the installed kernel; I also updated the multilib and wine modules and other useful stuff.

Slackware LEAN Live

A note about ISO sizes

Over time, the functionality of the Slackware distro has been expanding. More programs were added, and package sizes have been increasing (I barely know software developers that remove functionality – everybody just keeps adding stuff) . The ISO image for the full and unmodified Slackware is almost equal to the capacity of a physical DVD. The difference is only 30 Megabytes! This means, I will soon have to start trimming the Slackware Live ISO to stay below DVD capacity limit. That is unsettling and goes against what I think does justice to the distro. On the other hand, I assume that some people’s first experience with Slackware comes from burning a Live ISO to a DVD medium and booting their computer from the DVD.
Here as well, your thoughts are welcome: should I apply trim like with the XFCE ISO, or should I be selective in the package series that I add to the Live ISO?

Download Slackware Live Edition

You can find a set of new ISOs based on liveslak on my own servers: download.liveslak.org/latest/ in the Netherlands, or the US host us.liveslak.org/latest/ .
Note: all 64bit versions support Secure Boot.

Some people report that the ISO images won’t boot when copied (using ‘cp’ or ‘dd’ for instance) to a USB stick but they all boot properly if you use the ‘iso2usb.sh‘ script provided with liveslak to transfer the ISO content to a USB stick. Of course, this will give you nice persistent storage of all your modifications with optional data encryption, ideal for a secure on-the-road Slackware environment.

Get liveslak sources

The liveslak project is hosted in git. Its browsable cgit interface is here: https://git.liveslak.org/liveslak/

A set of the liveslak scripts can also be downloaded from http://www.slackware.com/~alien/liveslak/ or https://slackware.nl/people/alien/liveslak/

Remember Secure Boot

All 64bit ISOs are able to boot on a computer with SecureBoot enabled. You’ll need to enroll the liveslak public key (a SSL certificate in DER encoding format with the filename ‘liveslak.der‘) into such a computer during the very first boot. That certificate file can be found in the EFI partition inside the ISO image or on the USB stick you produced. It can also be downloaded from https://download.liveslak.org/secureboot/liveslak.der if you want. This DER certificate does not change when new ISO’s are released, so an updated ISO should boot normally on your SecureBoot-enabled system using the stored version of the ‘liveslak.der’ certificate which you enrolled in the past.

Cheers, Eric

12 thoughts on “Finally a new batch of Live ISOs for Slackware-current (liveslak-1.5.3)

  1. Pingback: Links 11/07/2022: Nokia Threatens Notkia, Linux 5.19 RC6 is Out | Techrights

  2. Dear Eric,
    I would think that many (if not most) users will “burn” the ISO to a USB stick — DVD drives are not naturally present on new boxes. So trimming ISOs to DVD size might be seen as something from the past.
    Regards, Dick


  3. Great news!
    I use your LiveCDs to showcase Slackware to others, as it is more likely they try a demo if it does not alter their current system (usually windows).

    The size restrictions are irrelevant for me, as I use a USB stick.
    I would, however, appreciate if you could investigate ventoy… as the official installer ISO works with it but your live ISOs don’t, for some reason.
    It hey could be made to work with ventoy, I would be able to have only one USB stick with all of your live ISOs instead of the 3 I currently have (stable, current-xfce and current-mate)

    Also, the “console” would be great to have as an “official” ISO (I use one modified from LEAN version).

    Thanks for your hard work and I hope you re-discover the joy of working on these projects! ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Actually Slax-Dude,
      I just tried Ventoy by installing it to an empty USB stick and then copying the LEAN ISO into its first partition. Booting in BIOS mode, the ISO file is not getting found but when I boot in UEFI mode, the boot takes me straight into Slackware LEAN Live. I am typing this response in that Live session right now.
      So I need to check how I can trick syslinux (BIOS) into doing the same smart thing as GRUB2 (UEFI) is effortlessly doing.


    2. I have liveslak working with Ventoy now, in legacy BIOS as well as UEFI mode.
      Just the basics: liveslak will boot in virgin live mode, without persistence or homedirectory encryption which you can get via liveslak’s iso2usb.sh script.


      1. Hi Eric,

        Sorry for the late feedback (went on vacations and the wife needed excusivity for a few days)

        I remade my ventoy USB stick with LEAN, XFCE, MATE and slackware64-live-15 ISOs and it all works! (I’m posting this from LEAN, loded from ventoy)
        Amazing work, as usual.

        Now I can showcase Slackware from only one USB stick instead of 3 ๐Ÿ™‚
        I’m even hunting for a new one so I can fit all the ISOs.


        1. I am working on persistence for ISO’s booted from a USB stick like with Ventoy, or booted from your hard drive for that matter. Just working off the ISO gives you a nice live environment but it will not allow you to save your progress.
          Not trivial, so not soon, but likely before the end of the summer.


  4. Thank you, Eric. I hope you are fine, now. Theses times have made us very sick.
    Liveslak is perfect, as always.
    Get well and best wishes.


  5. Howdy!

    Thank you very much for all that you do with Slackware. You make things easier to comprehend with so many well written articles and explanations. I appreciate the massive collaborative effort put into this project, starting with Patrick, I truly admire all the volunteers and especially you with your consistent contributions over the years.

    I hope to be able to peel my kids off Windows. I’ve been working with computers since the 90s but I’m pretty new to Linux. I hope this momentum I sense is real and FOSS gets its deserved recognition by the masses.

    May you find the path that’s a balance of giving to others and caring for yourself.
    Cheers!

    Sincerely,
    Joe


  6. Hi Eric,

    Old computers can boot on USB.. I dont think ISO Size could be an issue. CD and DVD are obsoleted . Many thanks for this release I am glad to use liveslack and bonus packages with updates

    BTW I found that Current XFCE 64bit Iso are missing this libs for nm-applet
    libappindicator-12.10.0-x86_64-3.txz
    libindicator-12.10.1-x86_64-3.txz

    plus I added ntfs-3g-2022.5.17-x86_64-1.txz
    I am not sure if it is missing by some purpose.


    1. In the past, libindicator and libappindicator used to be not necessary in the XFCE ISOs. But indeed, I booted the XFCE Live and the applet is missing.
      I will move those packages to the proper place in the liveslak scripts so that XFCE will get them too.
      Thanks!


  7. Thanks Eric. I hope you are fine. Take care and again thanks for these liveslak updates.
    I am using liveslak with Ventoy. Good companion.
    Regards, Francisco.


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