Releases notes

Overview

SliTaz GNU/Linux is a free, open source community project. Version 1.0 was released on March 22 2008 after two years of hard work. Slitaz comprises of 448 software packages easily installed via the "Tazpkg" package manager. The LiveCD can be fully configured to taste, to easily create a custom distribution specifically for tasks such as multimedia, graphics or development.

Slitaz can also be installed to your hard drive, or used with USB media - with "TazUSB" you are only a few simple commands away from a fully formatted and configured USB device, ready to boot.

Technical support is provided to users via the mailing list and the official forum. The "Slitaz Handbook" is an instructive manual on how to use and finely configure the system. Slitaz can be updated easily via the graphic installer or by using the simple fast text installer.

Supported Hardware

SliTaz GNU/Linux supports all machines based on i486 or x86 Intel compatible processors. A minimum 128MB of memory is recommended to use the main LiveCD. 64MB is needed for the "slitaz-loram" flavor and 16MB for the "slitaz-loram-cdrom" flavor.

With the slitaz-loram flavour, the system is less responsive, but allows you to graphically install SliTaz on very old machines. Once installed, Slitaz works well with a minimum of 16MB memory, but forget about using Firefox to surf the web - you'll have to use the text based 'links' for example.

Most network and sound card drivers are supported in the Kernel. Presently, power management is enabled by default with ACPI and support for laptops is enabled with the "ac" and "battery" modules.

LiveCD Flavors

SliTaz GNU/Linux is distributed as a bootable LiveCD allowing you to graphically install to the hard drive and retain the use of your previous system including all settings, applications, documents, etc.

The project distributes an ISO image called "core", which is the body of the system, providing a selection of multi-use packages for surfing the web, listening to music, audio editing, image manipulation, developing (including PHP/SQL), editing ISOs or burning to optical media. It's just one click in the application menu to find software installed by category.

The "core" LiveCD can also be customised and rebuilt both graphically or from the command line. Install your own custom set of packages, or simply use one of the preset flavors on the mirror. Then simply generate your distribution with the "Tazlito" tool.

Installation

The installation is fully automated and can be done graphically or in text mode. The prerequisite material and other useful information can be found in the Manual and Handbook.

If you want to partition a disk before installation, you can quickly use Gparted in LiveCD mode or use a flavor containing the partitioning tool. At the end of the installation it is possible to setup the "GRUB" bootloader which is capable of starting almost all operating systems. This allows SliTaz to co-exist with a previously installed operating system, such as Windows.

Linux Kernel

Slitaz GNU/Linux is distributed with the Linux Kernel 2.6.24.2, patched for LZMA compression support and display correction for the virtual console. The support for IDE and SCSI is integrated, as are the filesystems ext2 and ext3.

Most network cards are supported either directly or as loadable modules with 'modprobe'. Video capture, if needed, requires the ieee1394, raw1394 and oci1394 modules installed. The management of the sound card drivers is obtained with 'soundconf'.

The configuration of startup modules is located in /etc/rcS.conf. In LiveCD/LiveUSB mode you can use 'modprobe=mod1, mod2' to load various modules at boot time.

The Linux Kernel configuration of SliTaz is available in the compressed file /proc/config.gz and also in the Mercurial repositories.

Software Packages

The management of software packages is done with the custom package manager "Tazpkg". It's simple, fast, stable and offers an interactive mode. Among the 448 packages available you will find anything you need to transform your machine to a complete graphical desktop (e17), a graphics studio with The Gimp or Inkscape, or to a video editor with Kino. You can experience the world wide web with instant messaging, VOIP, email and of course through a web browser.

Slitaz is also designed to function as a powerful web server, using the stable LightTPD/PHP package (installed by default), supporting CGI, Perl and Python.

Rsync is used for incremental backup and iptables functions as the firewall. SliTaz can of course also provide a complete development environment with the GCC 4.2.2 compiler, Geany IDE, Mercurial Repostitories and all development libraries. Packages can be found through the search function of Tazpkg or via the website: http://www.slitaz.org/en/packages/

The binary packages on the mirror can all be compiled by using the "wok" or "Tazwok" to cook. All of the developer documentation is contained in the "SliTaz Cookbook" and is available online.

Graphical Desktops

By default, the Slitaz LiveCD uses the very light and stable JWM window manager. The integration of the taskbar "LXpanel" makes it possible to dynamically provide a menu based on the Freedesktop standards. The principle is to have a small menu accessible via a screen click with the favourites, windows effects, LiveCD and LiveUSB tools, JWM configuration and system actions made available. Applications can also be accessed through the menu supplied by LXpanel.

Through the support of a LiveCD flavor or an installed system you can install the Enlightenment (e17) desktop environment or the Openbox window manager. The different sessions can be selected via the F1 key when using the "Slim" login window. To change the default session you can use 'tazx' or manually edit the ~/.Xinitrc file.

Support and Documentation

The SliTaz project offers various means of help and support to users of the system, using the mailing list, forum or IRC channel. User documentation is contained in the SliTaz Handbook, making it possible to configure SliTaz to some degree. The Handbook is also available on the web site. The manuals of the various tools are installed on the system and are available through the documentation menu - they describe all the various commands made possible by the tools. The development of the operating system and the use of the wok and receipts are described in the "Slitaz Cookbook". The books, manuals and memos are all available online: http://www.slitaz.org/en/doc/

Security

For the benefit of a safe and secure system it's important to recharge and update packages regularly. The Firewall is provided by iptables, and the LightTPD server supports authentication by encrypted passwords and Dropbear provides a secure SSH client and server. The passwords for the users of the system are encrypted and only the root administrator can modify system files. For information about how to configure the firewall, you can refer to the Handbook. The packages related to security are all classified under the topic: Security.

From Cooking to Stable

The installer of SLiTaz GNU/linux offers an update function allowing you to upgrade from a 'Cooking' to 'Stable' version. To upgrade the system you first need to boot the 'Stable' LiveCD, launch the installer, select upgrade and then specify the partition containing the system that you want to update. The installer will then clean out the system and reinstall all the packages not present on the CD from the mirror. When this has finished you can reboot with your new version of SliTaz. Note that this method can also be used to rebuild an already installed system, while retaining the selection of packages already installed.

Note that the installer will keep a copy of the list of packages and a complete archive of the /etc directory (etc.tar.gz) in /var/lib/slitaz-install.

People of the Project

SliTaz is proud to be an international community project. The people of the project are the ones who develop the distribution, correct the website, develop the HG repositories and write the official documentation. Passing through Switzerland, France, Quebec, Algeria and England.

The project also wishes to thank all the reviewers, testers, hackers and users who have taken the time to help advance the distribution.