Brief overview of the Slax Tools

Slax is a live distribution of operating system GNU/Linux created by Tomas Matejicek. Slax offers to its users possibility to modify the ISO image of distribution. Users can add and remove software (using so-called modules), add custom files and documents and also alter process of booting the distribution. Unfortunately these modifications require good knowledge of work with the linux command line. So I decided to develop graphical tools which would guide users through entire process of customizing Slax. I created Slax Tools as a part of my thesis on Departement of Mathematics, Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering in Prague.

Slax Tools consist of two separate applications, namely Slax Konfigrator and Slax Module Kreator. Slax Konfigurator weas developed using frameworku QT and its purpose is to modify Slax ISO image. Slax Module Kreator is KDE application which converts the most common types of Linux packages into Slax Modulers. Although I was testin these application with Slax, they can be used to modify other live distributions based on Slax (for example Scientific Linux). I was inspired by program MySlax Creator by Martinj Starrenburg.

Both applications are released under the terms of General Public Licence.

Slax Konfigurator

Slax Konfigurator guides user through following steps of modifiing Slax:

  1. Obtaining original medium
  2. Management of pre-installed modules
  3. Creation of custom modules
  4. Insertion of custom documents
  5. Modification of Slax bootloader
  6. Setting up root password
  7. Setting up network interface
  8. Customizing of look and feel
  9. Installation onto USB flash drive
  10. Generation of modified ISO image
  11. Testing of generated ISO image in Qemu
  12. Recording modified ISO image on CD
Slax Konfigurator uses a lot of command-line tools on background (for example cdrecord or wodim for writing ISO image, mkisofs for generation of ISO image or sudo for mounting ISO image). Installation on USB flash drive requires program kdesu for starting the instalation script with root rights.

Slax Module Kreator

Slax Module Kreator converts RPM (Red Hat, Fedora, Mandriva). DEB (Debian, Ubuntu), TGZ (Slackware, KateOS) and TAR.GZ (Arch) packages into modules used in Slax. Output of application contains a list of dependencies of converted modules. Also Slax Module Kreator needs several command-line tools in order to work as expected - namelly dpkg for DEB packages, rpm2cpio and cpio for RPM packges, tar for TGZ and TAR.GZ packages and mksquashfs for all types.