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liveslak 1.1.9 and new ISO images

blueSW-64pxThe ‘liveslak‘ scripts used to create the ISO images for Slackware Live Edition have been stamped with a new version, 1.1.9. The updates are significant enough to warrant an ‘official’ update and new ISO images.

The latest set of Slackware Live Edition ISOs are based on liveslak 1.1.9 and Slackware-current dated “Tue Sep 19 20:49:07 UTC 2017“. Just in time (I was already creating ISOS based on -current “Mon Sep 18 19:15:03 UTC 2017“) I noticed that Patrick downgraded the freetype package in Slackware, and I re-generated all of the ISO images to incorporate the latest freetype package – because that one is working and the previous one had serious issues.

If you already use a Slackware Live USB stick that you do not want to re-format, you should use the “-r” parameter to the “iso2usb.sh” script. The “-r” or refresh parameter allows you to refresh the liveslak files on your USB stick without touching your custom content.

I should note (I always seem to forget mentioning this) that there’s also a “bonus” section where you can find a couple of Live squashfs modules that are included in the PLASMA5 Live ISO, and that will be just as useful to people who don’t want to run Plasma 5. These modules can be copied to the /liveslak/addons/ directory of your USB Live stick so that they are automatically loaded on every boot. The “bonus” section contains modules for:

  • broadcom-sta (“wl” module for 4.9.50 kernel) for people whose BCM wireless card does not work out of the box
  • multilib (gcc, glibc and the full set of compat32 packages)
  • skypeforlinux
  • wine (with OpenAL-compat32 already incorporated)

New in the ISOs

The new ISOs are based on the latest Slackware -current with Linux kernel 4.9.50, gcc 7.2.0, glibc 2.26 and X.Org 1.19.3.

The SLACKWARE variant contains the complete latest slackware-current distribution and nothing else. Ideal for testing and for checking out the progress of Slackware’s development.

The XFCE variant contains a stripped down Slackware with a minimalized package set but still quite functional. The small size is also accomplished by excluding all documentation and man pages, and the localizations for the languages that are not supported in the boot menu. This ISO is small enough that you can burn it to a ’80 minutes’ CDROM (700 MB). Ideal for hardware compatibility tests.

The MATE variant (a Slackware OS with KDE 4 replaced by Mate) contains packages from the repository at http://slackware.uk/msb/current/ which at this moment gives us Mate 1.18.

The PLASMA5 variant (Slackware with KDE 4 replaced by Plasma 5) is a showcase for the latest Plasma 5 release “KDE-5_17.09” as found in my ktown repository. Additionally you will find several packages from my regular repository: chromium (with flash and widevine plugins), vlc, ffmpeg, libreoffice, palemoon, calibre, qbittorrent, openjdk and more. This ISO also contains the LXQT and Lumina Desktop Environments. Both are light-weight DE’s based on Qt5 so they look nice & shiny.

The liveslak scripts support three more variants out of the box: CINNAMON (a Gnome3 fork), DLACKWARE (slackware with systemd) and STUDIOWARE (a toolbox for musicians). There’s no ISO image for the Cinnamon and Dlackware variants this time. The Studioware Live ISO can be downloaded from http://studioware.org/iso.php .

What happened between liveslak 1.1.8 and 1.1.9

For your information, a few ‘micro’releases were issued inbetween 1.1.8 and 1.1.9, to accompany the upload of ISO images for Plasma5. These micro-releases did not really add functionality.

  • Support booting from a SD card.
  • Allow syntax ‘livemedia=scandev:/path/to/live.iso’.
    With the ‘scandev’ keyword, liveslak will search for the ISO on all local partitions.
  • Added two new option parameters to the ‘iso2usb.sh’ script: “-l” to list and “-d” to scan for the insertion of removable devices on the local computer.
  • A new script has been added: ‘upslak.sh’.
    This script is primarily meant to be run from within your Slackware Live environment, but with the exception of the “-p” option  – see below – it works just as well on your harddisk installation of Linux and with the USB Live stick inserted into the computer. Upslak can tweak your Slackware Live USB stick in several ways:

    • Update the boot kernel & the kernel modules inside the initrd image using the “-k” and “-m” options.
      You can provide Slackware packages as input to these option parameters, or else a single kernel file and a module-tree in /lib/modules/ are also accepted.
      Note that this will leave alone the kernel and the modules inside the Slackware Live filesystem. You can update the kernel-generic and kernel-modules packages in the Slackware Live OS using the regular Slackware package tools if you wish… but the USB stick will not use those anyway.
      Note: this kernel/modules replacement can be reverted if it turns out your new kernel is not working: using the “-r” option. Your previous kernel & modules are backed up by ‘upslak.sh’.
    • Replace the live init script using the “-i” option.
      There are two reasons you would want this: (1) you re-wrote the init script and want to start using that, and (2) you saw that there is a newer version of the “liveinit.tpl” template and want to use that as your new Slackware Live init script.
    • Create an ‘addon’ squashfs module out of the persistent data store using the “-p” option.
      Your persistent data grows over time, and a lot of that may be caused by packages that you install on top of Slackware Live. Using this option you can create a new squashfs module which will be placed in the /liveslak/addons/ directory so that it will be loaded on every boot of the Live OS. The content of the persistent store will be moved into that squashfs module and then the persistent store will be re-initialized (i.e. wiped clean).
      You can repeat this ‘persistence-to-module’ activity as many times as you like.
    • Change the USB wait time on boot, quite similar to the “-w” option of ‘iso2usb.sh’.
    • Add network modules to the initrd using the “-n” option.
      This should normally not be needed, all ISO images of the Slackware Live Edition have network support included out of the box. But in case of a custom Live USB where network support was initially omitted, this could come in handy if you want to PXE-boot the Live OS.
  • And other small improvements/bugfixes to the scripts.

Download the ISO images

The available ISO variants for Slackware Live Edition are: SLACKWARE (64bit & 32bit), XFCE (64bit & 32bit), PLASMA5, MATE. These ISO images (with MD5 checksum and GPG signature) have been uploaded to the master server (bear) and should be available on the mirror servers within the next 24 hours.

Read more about liveslak

This blog has quite some posts about the Slackware Live Edition. Check them out: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/tag/live/ – they contain lots of insight and helpful tips.
And this was the original post (which has been edited later on so it could become a proper landing page for curious visitors):
http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/slackware-live-edition/

Download liveslak sources

The liveslak project can be found in my git repository:  http://bear.alienbase.nl/cgit/liveslak/ . That’s all you need to create a Slackware Live ISO from scratch. Documentation for end users and for Live OS developers is available in the Slack Docs Wiki.

Have fun! Eric

Comments

Pingback from Slackware Live Edition 1.1.9 duyuruldu | get GNU
Posted: September 20, 2017 at 22:37

[…] geldiğini ifade etti. Slackware Live Edition 1.1.9 hakkında ayrıntılı bilgi edinmek için sürüm duyurusunu […]

Pingback from Links 20/9/2017: Wine Staging 2.17, Randa 2017, Redox OS 0.3.3 | Techrights
Posted: September 21, 2017 at 06:01

[…] liveslak 1.1.9 and new ISO images […]

Comment from Harry Sexton
Posted: September 21, 2017 at 20:49

Eric,
I’m unable to get the LUKS encrypted (-c) /home option to work with Version 1.1.9 of liveslak. The iso2usb.sh script asks me to enter and verify the LUKS pass phrase, which I do. It then asks me to re-enter the pass phrase so that the LUKS volume can be opened, which I also do. The script continues to run and appears to successfully complete.

However, when I boot up the flash drive from the newly created liveslak system, I am not asked to enter the LUKS pass phrase. The boot process just continues on to the log-in screen and lets me log in.

I’ve tried using the slackware64-live-current.iso and the slackware64-live-plasma5-current.iso files, and both ignore the LUKS encryption upon boot.

In case there was a problem with the 1.1.9 version of iso2usb.sh, I created liveslak using the 1.1.8.2 version of iso2usb.sh with the 1.1.9 version of the plasma5 iso. It also did not result in a LUKS /home.

Note that the -c option works fine for me with Version 1.1.8.2 of liveslak.

Harry

Comment from alienbob
Posted: September 22, 2017 at 17:18

Harry, I will try with a fresh USB install this weekend.

Comment from gegechris99
Posted: September 23, 2017 at 17:57

I created for the first time a USB liveslak (PLASMA5 edition). I used only the -i & -o options of iso2usb.sh (no encrypted persistence here). The persistence feature is indeed a very good way to test the new KDE desktop over time. Thanks for creating such a great tool.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: September 23, 2017 at 19:15

gegechris99 thanks for telling me you like it.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: September 23, 2017 at 23:16

Harry, I could reproduce your issue with the encrypted /home .
I could fix this with a small edit to the init script (liveinit.tpl in the repository). My guess is that something changed in the initrd of Slackware-current to break my use of sed. I confess that I used a bad sed-syntax but I have not changed that line since its first appearance in liveslak-0.4.0, and it worked all that time before:
--- a/liveinit.tpl
+++ b/liveinit.tpl
@@ -467,7 +467,7 @@ if [ "$RESCUE" = "" ]; then
lodev=/dev/loop${NOD}
elif [ ! -b $lodev ]; then
# We exhausted the available loop devices, so create the block device:
- mknod -m660 $lodev b 7 $(echo $lodev |sed %/dev/loop%%)
+ mknod -m660 $lodev b 7 $(echo $lodev |sed 's%/dev/loop%%')
fi
echo "$lodev"
}

If you still have that USB stick, you can replace its init script easily.
Download http://bear.alienbase.nl/cgit/liveslak/plain/liveinit.tpl
Download http://bear.alienbase.nl/cgit/liveslak/plain/upslak.sh (I fixed the ‘-i’ parameter of upslak.sh which did not accept a filename unless you specified it with a full path)
Use the ‘upslak.sh’ (as root) script to replace the init script in the USB with the one you just downloaded. Insert the USB stick after you started the following command and the script will detect its insertion:

# sh upslak.sh -s -i ./liveinit.tpl

I just did the same and it fixed the issue with the encrypted /home

Comment from Harry Sexton
Posted: September 24, 2017 at 15:54

Eric,
I’m going out of town today and will be gone for several days. I’ll try your fix when I get back and let you know how it goes. Thanks for all the effort you have put into liveslak. The product is impressive.

Harry

Comment from Brian Lawrence
Posted: September 29, 2017 at 11:02

Trying setup2hd, and the keyboard layout choice for qwerty uk sets it to (guessing) Ukrainian (uk, when it should have been gb). Had to go into KDE System Settings to fix it.

Comment from Brian Lawrence
Posted: September 29, 2017 at 11:46

Regarding my previous message. Could that have happened because I was running setup2hd in Konsole?

Comment from Brian Lawrence
Posted: September 29, 2017 at 12:40

Still no luck getting Slackware running on my T3600. Tried 14.2, 14.0, and Live via setup2hd. Seems to install OK, then freezes during 1st bootup.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: September 29, 2017 at 13:54

Brian with all these Slackware versions and their wide range of kernels, I wonder why the install media are booting correctly but the installed system freezes your computer.
The official Slackware installers buut a ‘huge’ kernel but Slackware Live uses a generic kernel plus an initrd. Which means all cases are covered and your installed system should boot that Slackware kernel properly.
The freeze, does it happen during early boot of the kernel or after the moment where the kernel loads the initrd image (assuming you configured a generic kernel combined with an initrd) and then yields control to the “init” script in Slackware?

Comment from alienbob
Posted: September 29, 2017 at 13:55

Brian, “uk” is the ISO code for Ukranian. If you choose “uk” then you’d get “uk”. It does not matter in which X terminal you start “setup2hd”, it will inherit nothing from that terminal.

Comment from Brian Lawrence
Posted: September 29, 2017 at 14:30

Hi Eric, with 14.2 the freeze happens shortly after loading the kernel. With 14.0 and install from Live, it freezes about half way through the whole boot sequence, but at slightly different points with reboots. I’ve posted a couple of photos on LQ, Slackware/Installation.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: September 29, 2017 at 22:20

Hi Brian,

Like I said in a comment to your LQ post, the screenshots show that the kernel stops booting when it tries to load firmware for the nouveau driver. Try blacklisting nouveau on boot by adding “module_blacklist=nouveau” to the kernel commandline in the bootloader.

Comment from Harry Sexton
Posted: September 29, 2017 at 23:00

Eric,

I applied your fix to the encrypted /home problem I was having and it worked fine for me, too. Thanks for taking care of it.

Harry

Comment from Brian Lawrence
Posted: September 30, 2017 at 11:57

Hi Eric, I didn’t choose a Ukrainian kbd layout. In the choose a non-US layout option, I chose qwerty uk, which usually works. Anyway, a minor setback, soon overcome. Thanks for everything.

Comment from mark
Posted: October 1, 2017 at 18:32

Hey eric,

Do you think you could present the information about liveslak better? Your blog entry is awesome as-is, but I just heard about liveslak; never heard about it before yet, so I am trying to gather as much useful information as possible.

I have been using slackware for quite a long time but I actually never yet thought about re-creating any modified slackware – that would be pretty cool, since I could compile new slackpackages, and then create an updated DVD mysel.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: October 1, 2017 at 22:37

mark, I would not know how to present it any better. Liveslak is nearly 2 years old now. It is mentioned in a lot of places – on the homepage of slackware.com, lots of articles on linuxquestions.org, many many articles on this blog, etcetera.
Perhaps you should start visiting some of these places from time to time.

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