Updated ISOs for Slackware Live Edition

blueSW-64pxI am in the process of uploading new ISO images for Slackware Live Edition based on the liveslak 1.0.1 scripts and using Slackware-current dated “Fri May 27 23:08:17 UTC 2016”. This version of Slackware-current has several significant changes and fixes, compared to the snapshot I used for the liveslak-1.0.0 based ISO images.

I did not add a “1.0.1” tag to the repository, but the Live OS will report the “1.0.1” on the boot screen so that you can distinguish these new ISOs from the older versions with the same name. If you want to know the characteristics of an ISO after downloading it, try this command:

$ isoinfo -d  -i your_downloaded.iso | egrep “Volume id|Publisher id|Data preparer id|Application id”

As usual, you will find ISO images for a full Slackware (64bit and 32bit versions), 64bit Plasma5 and MATE variants and the 700MB small XFCE variant (64bit and 32bit versions).

I added a 32bit variant of the XFCE ISO on request because I could see its usefulness when using it on older hardware. Also considering that more and more distributions are abandoning their 32bit OS variants, this addition makes a nice strong statement. There’s still a lot of old hardware out there, in active service.

As announced before, I have “re-written” the original blog post on Slackware Live and saved the old text in a new article so that it does not get lost in history. The URL of the original article is visited a lot and I do not want people reading that original article to think that this project is still in beta, immature and not usable.

The changes between liveslak 1.0.0 and 1.0.1

I can mention a few highlights:

  • Shutdown of PXE-booted Live OS has been fixed (often the computer would hang halfway the shutdown and require a hard reset).
  • Xorriso can be used as an alternative to mkisofs and isohybrid when generating the ISO image. Xorriso has to be installed separately, it is not part of Slackware.
  • A module “broadcom-sta” was added to the “optional/” directory. You should try this one in case the kernel’s support for your Broadcom wireless hardware is not sufficient and wireless does not activate. Use “load=broadcom-sta” on the boot commandline and then the “wl” kernel driver should load and enable your “wlan0” wireless interface.

Download the ISO images

The ISO variants of Slackware Live Edition are: SLACKWARE, XFCE, PLASMA5 and MATE. These ISO images (with MD5 checksum and GPG signature) are being uploaded to the master server (bear) at the moment, and should be available on the mirror servers within the next 24 hours.

Have fun! Eric

49 thoughts on “Updated ISOs for Slackware Live Edition

  1. Hi Eric, there appears to be a linux trojan horse exploit in the link you posted labelled “significant changes and fixes”. you may want to check there hasn’t been a compromise on the site.

  2. “Could be a trojan horse…? Meh.
    I have AVG Free 2016 installed on the Windows computer where I type this text, and AVG is configured to protect my browsing activities. It does not complain when I visit the Slackware Change Log page.
    On top of that, my browser is protected by Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free and that too does not fire an alert.
    Are you using a proxy to access the internet? A proxy could inject unwanted content.

  3. no proxy (unless satellite based internet acceleration counts), but I did submit the url to avg as a false positive and at least I can read it now, even though it still pops up with a warning. It doesn’t show as a warning with the free version of avg I have on my home pc, only on the paid version (avg internet security) on my office pc. (all on the same lan). oh well, at least it is readable now.

  4. Hi Alien,

    I hope when Slackware 14.2 is released then you will create a Slackware Live MATE x86.


  5. Pingback: Links 31/5/2016: Linux Lite 3.0, Alpine 3.4.0, Krita 3.0 | Techrights

  6. Thanks for the XFCE 32 bit version. My new backup and diagnostic tool of choice because of it’s compatibility.

  7. Sorry newbie here,
    just wondering if this can be installed to HDD?
    My guess is not.
    Slackware 14.2, when are you coming out?

  8. zenki, why guess (and guess wrong) when you can just consult the documentation and find out that there’s a setup2hd script in every ISO except for the XFCE variant.
    The script will install the content of the Live OS to your harddisk, quite similar to how Slackware’s official setup script does it.

  9. I am a newbie on modules. Im using your broadcom-sta. What do you mean with “Use “load=broadcom-sta” on the boot commandline”?

    Your plasma 5 variant is very very good! Though setup2hd took ages to install it in my hard disk, maybe twice or trice more than the normal Slackware installations. Any thoughts?

  10. If you are using the broadcom-sta module already then your question seems irrelevant.
    About the time it takes to install from the Live media – no idea. What medium do you usually use to install Slackware, is it different than the USB stick you were using for the Live OS?

  11. I asked them to use the ISO and do a honest review of Slackware 14.2 when that gets released. That is how they became aware. No idea that they would donate too, never asked for money.

  12. Eric —

    Question about liveslak 1.0.1 …

    I read on the 0.9.0 blog that I could do upgradepkg / installpkg on a USB and it would ‘persist’.

    It does.

    Is it possible to `installpkg` a new kernel on a liveslak USB ?

    If so, how would I do that ?

    Thanks again !

    — kjh

  13. I wrote in some other comment (forget if that was on LQ or here in my blog) that an upgrade of the kernel requires some consideration. It is not as simple as running installpkg or upgradepkg, because the kernel and its initrd image are stored on the USB stick outside of the Live filesystem.
    Inside the Live OS you would have to do an upgrade of the kernel packages (or use installpkg if you want to install new kernel-generic, kernel-huge and kernel-modules packages in parallel as a failsafe).
    Then you would have to generate a new initrd image, the way it is done in make_slackware_live.sh, meaning: an extended list of kernel modules has to be added, and the /init script needs to be replaced by the liveinit script. and that liveinit script needs an edit with “sed” to replace several parameter placeholders (surrounded by “@@” to make them easily located) with actual values.
    All this can be scripted. A script that takes care of a kernel upgrade could be an entirely new one, or this functionality could be added to usb2iso.sh to provide an incremental update of the USB content.

    But… someone needs to write it. This feature is on my TODO so it will happen eventually… can’t give an estimate whether it will be days, weeks or months.

  14. Thanks Eric.

    I am glad I asked 🙂

    After doing a little exploration to locate the ‘moving parts’ involved in a slackware kernel update and in the liveslak-related .sh files, I could see that kernel updates won’t work just yet.

    The reason I’ve been doing `upgradepkg` rather than simply ‘burning a new one’ is to keep my persistent goodies on the Thumb drive and not have to reconfigure everything each time I burn a new one.

    But maybe I am trying to do it backwards ?

    Maybe the path of least resistance is to add my configs as I burn a new USB drive ?

    What I would like to do is merge ‘additional packages’ and configs from an existing thumb drive onto my main slackware box, then merge that into a new USB Drive …

    I know from the liveslak docs that I can add custom packages very easily via make_slackware_live.conf … no need to pull those off an old version of the USB.

    But is there a way to save some of my persistent data from an old USB and merge that into a newer version USB ?

    Say for example my $HOME and /etc/profile.d/zzz-kjh-stuff.sh ?

    Thanks again Eric !

    — kjh

  15. What I will be working on next is a “–refresh” option for iso2usb.sh which will copy the content of a Live ISO to a USB stick which already has an older version of Slackware Live on it. That USB stick will then of course not be re-formatted. The intention is to leave any persistent data (including your homedirectory and other random stuff you copied onto the USB stick) intact and untouched.

    Also I am investigating a new Live boot option which would trigger the deletion of the “live persistence” data in the /persistence directory (or the persistence.img container). I.e. one step further than the existing “nop” boot parameter which would just ignore, but not wipe, existing “live persistence” data. Sometimes after updating your squashfs modules you will find that the persistence data will conflict with the refreshed module content and prevent a successful boot. In that case you need a way to start over.

    And finally I want to see if it is possible for iso2usb.sh to get an option to *only* update the kernel plus its modules. This will be the trickiest of them all, considering the fact that Slackware Live Edition works from different specifications than say, Porteus. It was not part of my specifications to be able to update your kernel.

  16. Thanks Eric !

    The –refresh option will be VERY useful — it will do exactly what I am after !

    And I can see where wiping persistent data will be a ‘necessary evil’ from time-to-time.

    As for the kernel-update only option … is that necessary if one can execute iso2usb.sh –refresh ?

    Or am I missing something ( again ) ?

    — kjh

  17. Quote”there’s a setup2hd script in every ISO except for the XFCE variant.
    The script will install the content of the Live OS to your harddisk, quite similar to how Slackware’s official setup script does it.”
    I am running the excellent Xfce live version. Can I install it to hard drive? Can I download the setup2hd script seperately?

  18. Joe, no you can not. The setup2hd scripts wants to install the Slackware “huge” kernel so it won’t have to create an initrd. The XFCE image does not contain the “huge” kernel to save space and keep the ISO size below 703 MB.

    Who knows, there may be a time in the future where I enhance the setup2hd script to work around this issue. Implementing features is always a matter of available time and setting priorities.

    For now just download one of the bigger ISOs and install from that one. Or, download the liveslak sources, download a local mirror of Slackware, add a line containing “kernel-huge” to the file “pkglists/min.lst” and run the script:

    # ./make_slackware_live.sh -d XFCE -s /path/to/local/mirror

    That way you will get a slightly larger ISO image because it will contain the “huge” kernel, AND it will also contain the setup2hd script plus helper files.

  19. kjhambrick, a “kernel-update-only” option would be useful for people who compiled their own kernel and want to boot the Live ISO with that.

  20. Thanks, I don’t think I am ready to try making a new ISO. So if I use the slackware64-14.1-install-dvd.iso, just install everything except the KDE? I’m a huge Xfce fan, but something about KDE annoys me (nepomuk?) smile

  21. Hello Eric!

    Thank you so much for your awesome work!!!

    Question: Do you plan to have smartmontools installed in Slackware Live in the future?

  22. STDOUBT, smartmontools is already part of Slackware Live Edition.
    If you mean, are you going to add it to the small XFCE variant, the package may be too large to fit on the XFCE ISO without breaching the 703 MB limit. So, no.

    EDIT: why would you want it in the XFCE image?

  23. >the package may be too large to fit on the XFCE ISO without breaching the 703 MB limit.

    Ahh, yes I am using the XFCE variant (as USB).

    The reason I would want it on the XFCE variant is simply to have that tool available in case of accessing “older” computers where XFCE may run better than KDE for example. Since I am using a persistent USB of 16GB, I should be able to simply install smartmontools from the official repo under /a (I have faith)!

    Thank you again, and I promise to buy you many beers in the not-so-distant future! 🙂

  24. Yes indeed, you can simply run “slackpkg install smartmontools”.
    Or create a squashfs module of the package and copy the module into the “/liveslak/addons/” subdirectory on the Linux partition of the stick… something like this:

    While running the Live OS:

    # slackpkg -batch=on -dialog=off -default_answer=y download smartmontools
    # makemod /var/cache/packages/slackware64/a/smartmontools-6.4-x86_64-1.txz /mnt/livemedia/liveslak/addons/0060-smartmontools-6.4-current-x86_64.sxz

  25. The Plasma5 ISO is very well done. Everything’s working “out of the box.” Keep this up and you’ll tarnish Slackware’s reputation as being difficult for newbies. 😉

  26. Hahaha.
    But indeed you are correct- one of the goals of the Live ISO is to show people that they do not have to be “afraid” that Slackware is just for arrogant elitists 🙂
    It’s a modern distro, it’s just not dumbed down and expects you to use your brain.

  27. Wonder if this is the best place to ask my question but I don’t see a better one …
    Did a full install of Slackware-current on hard disk begin April. Since then a few update / upgrade-all without too many problems …
    My question is : how to add your “alien” repository to the /etc/mirror-file so that I don’t have to install each time chromium or loffice eg. by hand.

    Thank you.

  28. You are right : I meant the /etc/slackpkg/mirrors-file.

    Thank you for the link. Will try to solve my problem.

    Good night.

  29. Hi Alienbob, first thanks for liveslak, is very useful.
    I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, but when I write liveslak iso to
    a usb stick with dd it won’t boot (tried with Mate, Xfce and Plasma, all 64).
    My usb hardware is bootable since I run Slackware-stable from usb external hard disk.
    When I write with iso2usb.sh even without -p option, the result usb is still
    persistent. Is this the right behavior?
    I didn’t try to write a cd/dvd yet, either with closed session or not (for persistence).
    Need to by some cds and dvds 🙂

  30. Paulo & D.L.C. Burggraaff:

    The most recent ISO releases were created using xorriso instead of mkisofs/isohybrid, and I also found out that they are not working when transfered to USB stick using ‘dd’. It must be the “xorriso” commandline in “make_slackware_live.sh” that I am not using correctly or else it is the fact that I copy a MBR to the stick manually at the end of the “iso2usb.sh” script (cat /usr/share/syslinux/gptmbr.bin).
    When creating the ISO images with mkisofs/isohybrid I never had these issues so I will revert to using those for my next set of ISO images.

  31. Paulo, the USB stick will always be made persistent”.
    The “-p” parameter allows you to specify a different name for the “persistence” directory or container, but you should use this parameter only if you changed the PERSISTENCE variable in “make_slackware_live.sh” when you created a custom ISO yourself.

  32. @D.L.C. Burggraaff thanks for testing liveslak isos.
    Hi Alienbob, thanks for the explanations. The issue with xorriso/mkisofs really isn’t a problem, I was just wondering why dd wasn’t working.

  33. Alienbob, again thank you for the link on slackpkg+. Found that you wrote this article in 2013. Am only following your blog since April 2016. Are there other ‘essential’ articles written by you I should read?

  34. iso2usb.sh : /sbin/mkfs.ext4 -F -F ?? duplicate option or

    otherwise all’s ok (using-building) and more

  35. jean-etienne, yes, twice. At least for the mkfs.ext4 in Slackware 14.2 (née -current). From its man page:

    -F In order to force mke2fs to create a filesystem
    even if the filesystem appears to be in use
    or is mounted (a truly dangerous thing to do),
    this option must be specified twice.

    Try it without the double “-F” and it will fail.

  36. Thanks
    if it was a new option like -FF instead, sure (may be) I had investigate ..Hum! in 14.2 Ha Ha ! i’ts a vicious option

  37. Hi Alien,

    Is it possible to use NTFS on USB Stick (iso2usb with persistence.img), because FAT32 is only able to accommodate a single file with a maximum size of 4GB (persistence.img).


  38. babam, I can not answer that as I never used a NTFS formatted USB stick (or even a FAT formatted stick) to test Slackware Live on.
    I leave that testing to you. If you find that any of my scripts need modifications you can send me patches.

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