Or you could just use Slitaz

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

I’ve been thinking myself quite clever these past few months, creating Crux systems that boot in 14 seconds, or extremely lightweight arrangements with very sparse, but very fast, custom-tuned software.

And then, along comes Slitaz, and makes me feel silly. The current cooking ISO boots … well, as you would expect, in a speed that’s proportional to your drive and processor speeds. Once it’s loaded into memory and ready to go, it’s probably the fastest thing I’ve ever used.

But since I was in a hurry to get rid of Windows, I went ahead and installed it to the hard drive, and that’s when the ugly reality hit: A Slitaz Openbox system on my 1Ghz machine gets to the desktop in 16 seconds — only two seconds slower than my best Crux arrangement.

Well, now don’t I feel foolish.

And it’s just as pretty too, which is irrelevant of course. (One day I shall design the world’s fastest but ugliest distro, just to underscore the fact that looks don’t matter.)

And the Slitaz camp is coming up with some great software, and software combinations. PCMan’s freshest stuff is part of the cooking version, and I’m quickly becoming addicted again. Things like NoteCase come by default, along with HardInfo, text editors, code editors, ISO editors, ISO burners, mount tools, in-house package managers, MPlayer, web-based boots … it’s quite impressive.

In fact, the only downside to a full Slitaz installation over a live version (that I can see, anyway) is that there’s an obvious difference between application performance in the live version over the installed one. It only makes sense: Memory-based systems just move faster than waiting for your I/O channels and hard drive to supply the information you need. It can’t be avoided.

It does make me wonder though … if you decide to use Slitaz regularly, it might be more satisfying to stick with the live version and keep configurations and settings on an external drive or flash disk. Or just never reboot, which I know some people do.

Either way the Slitaz crew is doing some amazing things, and every time I look at it, I’m impressed. If you’re sitting on an old machine and want to inject some speed into it, I highly recommend experimenting with this one. You will not be disappointed, and you might just be saving yourself hours of compiling to get the same level of performance. I would have. :roll:

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14 Responses to “Or you could just use Slitaz”


  1. 1 James 2008/08/22 at 10:26 AM

    Design the fastest but ugliest distro? Please don’t. There are already far too many UGLY distros out there (See: DSL, Puppy, etc, etc). I, for one, would be perfectly happy with an extremely fast distro that just used a nice GTK theme, an unobtrusive blue wallpaper and Tango icons.

    • 2 Michael Douglas 2009/04/01 at 9:20 AM

      Puppy is NOT ugly!

      it’s a very nice distro IMO!

      DSL is questionable though…

      Of course, one mans garbage is another mans gold, and you may be of the opinion the minimalist look of Crunchbang Linux is ugly, whereas I love it!!

  2. 3 Mikko 2008/08/22 at 7:09 PM

    Wow, pretty impressive. I have to try the distro soon, though I really prefer to use fullsized distros that come with all the man pages etc that usually are not included in these miniature distros.

  3. 4 K.Mandla 2008/08/22 at 7:16 PM

    Ah, Mikko. Let me introduce you to one of my favorite sites:

    http://linux.die.net/
    :D

  4. 5 PrimoTurbo 2008/08/22 at 8:14 PM

    Downloading right now..let’s see if it’s faster then my arch setup.

  5. 6 PrimoTurbo 2008/08/22 at 8:59 PM

    Wow it’s the fastest livecd I used, faster then my arch install slightly. Flash is sluggish in full screen even with ati driver.

    Still not faster then Windows XP. XP is much much faster then any linux I have ever used on this machine. P4 1.6Ghz 768 DDR RAM.

  6. 7 Mikko 2008/08/22 at 9:13 PM

    Yes, the man pages certainly are available all around the Internet, but if you are using e.g. an old laptop without network connection, you just want to have the man pages in your hard drive.

    Last year I had to use a laptop in an office with no Internet connection for six months, no LAN, no WLAN. Just an old laptop… and I live in Helsinki, Finland :-)

  7. 8 K.Mandla 2008/08/22 at 10:57 PM

    Oh, okay. I see. I thought perhaps … never mind. :)

  8. 9 PrimoTurbo 2008/08/22 at 11:47 PM

    Do you think it’s possible to create a LiveCD which stores and retrieves all settings from the internet?

    You boot in make whatever changes, instead of writing changes to usb or anywhere it compresses them and sends them to a server. Next time you boot you provide the server address to retrieve all settings in say the home directory?

  9. 10 K.Mandla 2008/08/23 at 8:21 AM

    I have not heard of that, but I know you can do that with a USB key — so you plug in the key and the CD, boot and you can recover your settings that way.

    I think Slitaz will do something like that, and I’m pretty sure Slax will too. I think Slax did have an arrangement like that a long time ago, but I think it was dropped. I’ll have to check again.

  10. 11 PrimoTurbo 2008/08/23 at 10:18 PM

    My bios is too old to boot usb keys. Yeah I remember slax had this feature.

  11. 12 stackednotion 2008/08/25 at 1:04 AM

    You forgot to mention one thing! The ISO is under 25mb! I tried the release version of Slitaz a few months ago, and was rather impressed. I tried to get a version of Kazehakase working on it, but to no avail as it had old versions of GTK and I couldn’t be bothered to go on a compiling spree at the time. :P If you get it working, let us know!


  1. 1 Truly great stuff « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2009/04/01 at 9:03 AM
  2. 2 Greetings from Slitaz 3.0 « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2010/03/29 at 9:35 AM

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