Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Presentation: Customizing SLAX

This is the presentation I gave today at the Philippine Open Source Conference.

From the session description: SLAX is a small, fast, and flexible distribution that lets you run Linux completely from CD-ROM or USB pen drive without installation to hard drive. As such it is ideal for distributing small Linux software applications: companies could use SLAX to send out demo packages to customers; teachers could use it to give out educational software to students. This session introduces SLAX and gives the steps to customize the look of the distribution as well as to load it with customized applications.

The important points in this presentation were:

1) Putting together a customized SLAX CD is a four-step process: copy SLAX CD contents to hard disk; add modules (applications) to the /modules or /optional directory; write the ISO using; burn the ISO to CD.

2) Modules are simply compressed directories. You can create a module out of a directory using dir2mod.

3) For small changes, use the /rootcopy directory. /rootcopy will recreate whatever directory structure you have there into the root directory of the live SLAX file system.

4) Modify the SLAX bootup sequence by making changes to isolinux.cfg. Recommended behavior is to add "autoexec=xconf;startx" to boot directly to graphical mode.

5) The presentation highlights the locations of various files for customization.

Not one of my better performances, unfortunately, but now that I don't do this professionally, I can shrug it all off without feeling too bad.