How-To

Note: The original author of this How-to is JKWood.

There are a few things you should know when starting out with MySLAX Creator. First, the operating system files for Slax are contained within files known as modules (*.lzm.) These are actually files that contain a whole partition image of the SquashFS compressed filesystem type. It’s comparable to .iso files, which are uncompressed files containing a CDFS filesystem (Compact Disc File System.) As far as I know, there is no way to read from the SquashFS from Windows, although I’m sure it would be easy enough. What I do know is that you can write to SquashFS files by using a program called MySLAX Modulator (henceforth referred to as MSM), which comes with MySLAX Creator (henceforth referred to as MSC).

The nice thing about using MSC is that you don’t have to know how to build your own modules in Windows OR in SLAX, as long as you have what you need already available in module form. This is where MSC comes in.

For the purposes of this how-to, we will create a SLAX livecd containing the editor Vim. The aim here is to demonstrate the flexibility of MSC, so I’m going to add a module freely available from this website to show how easy it is to add to SLAX. As far as creating new modules from source, pre-rolled software, or packages in other formats such as .tgz or .rpm, that’s beyond the scope of this tutorial.

Now, the first thing you need to have is a copy of MySLAX Creator installed. When MSC comes up, you’ll see a bunch of scrolling text. You can read it or not as you choose, but when you’re ready to start mastering your cd, press the “Next >” button.

Here you’ll be presented with some options. I’m working with the SLAX ISO, so I choose the radio button beside ISO-Default. You can use a preburned cd, but it will be a little slower. In any case, choose where the ISO file is on your hard drive, and press “Mount.” When it’s mounted, you will see several new buttons appear, which we won’t concern ourselves with at this point. At a later point, you can mount your remastered version and choose to burn onto a USB stick.

Pressing “Next >” will net you the “Adding Modules” screen. Now, I save all my modules to the same place as my ISOs, so that I have a list of all my modules that can be installed already at my disposal in the center window. If you don’t see any modules, use the file browser to find where you’ve put your modules.

At this point, we have some choices. Since all we’re doing is adding the Vim module, I’ll click that one and then click “Add =>” In the tab marked “/modules,” my vim module appears. Let's add my favourite Jazz music module as well.  We’re done adding modules, so click “Next>.”

Here, we find the “Remove Modules” screen. You can use this scree to remove existing modules from the SLAX ISO file. For this how-to we will leave the ISO as is. Now, click “Next >”.

Here, we find the “Boot Options” screen. I’ve been running SLAX for a while now, and I know some of the cheat codes I use frequently. If you know that you’ll be working with AT LEAST 256 MB of RAM when you use this particular remaster, then I recommend checking “copy2ram.” If you’re not sure about any of these cheatcodes, then don’t select anything; if you need them later, you can always type them in at boot time, and if you want to remaster your remaster later, then you’re free to.

Another click of the “Next >” button brings us to the last screen I generally use, the “Create MySLAX ISO” screen. If you’re satisfied with you configuration so far, you can click “Create ISO.”, and then we wait for the ISO to be created. You’ll see a progress bar and a size estimate of the finished project, and then a dialog informing you that your ISO was successfully created. Click “OK.

At this point, you have a couple of choices. You can burn the ISO file if want to, but I definitely recommend using rewritable CDs, especially while developing on your customized remaster. I personally quit out of the program and use a program like Nero to write the ISO. Use your favorite burning application, and you’ll have something that you can play with.

Another option is to bypass the CD-burning entirely and put your copy of SLAX on a USB stick. I’ve had good success with this, and it’s very simple. The program will prompt you for your USB stick, at which point the Windows format utility will ask to format it. Unless you have access to the world’s first 8 GB USB stick, the shortcomings of the FAT32 filesystem will not affect us, so let it format. 
After this, MySLAX Creator will install SLAX on the stick, and you will have a bootable form of SLAX which will let you save files on it, although you have to specify for it to write to sda_removable (once again, beyond the scope of this tutorial.)


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