SliTaz: A light-weight GNU/Linux distribution

SliTaz, a GNU/Linux distribution which weighs in at only 25 megabytes, recently caught my eye and as a fan of light-weight distributions I had to check it out.

Everything is fairly straight forward. During the boot process it asks you a few simple questions regarding your preferred locale, keymap setting, audio card, and finally the resolution and color depth that you wish to use. Unfortunately for me (and not surprisingly), Dvorak was not among the items that were offered in the keymap prompt so I had to settle for the US (Qwerty) option and attempt to remember the layout.

After a moment, X fired up and I was greeted with JWM (Joe's Window Manager) and LXpanel upon logging in. Even though I personally have a preference for Openbox I have to say that the combination worked well and it was a fairly decent choice for a small distribution.

I pleased to see that a lot of my favorite applications were installed by default. One thing that you quickly realize is that even though the overall footprint is much smaller than the more well known light-weight contenders such as Damn Small Linux and Puppy, SliTaz still manages to deliver a reasonable selection of software for you to use.

SliTaz also provides a installer and package manager called tazpkg in case you decide to run it off of your hard drive.

If you do not want to install SliTaz to your hard drive and you find yourself wishing that the LiveCD had more software or used your favorite window manager instead you can use tazlito to create a personalized LiveCD.

In my case, issuing tazlito get-flavor openbox && tazlito gen-distro gave me a new ISO file that contained the one thing that I wanted on the system.

You can read more information on regenerating the LiveCD via the SliTaz Handbook's entry on the subject.

In conclusion, if you are in need of a distribution that does not require a lot of resources, SliTaz is definitely worth checking out. It is in active development and worth watching to see what the future has in store for it.

Quick Image Tour:

The boot screen you are greeted with:

SliTaz: Boot

SliTaz asking for your preferred locale setting:

SliTaz: Locale

The SliTaz login screen:

SliTaz: Login

The default environment with JWM and LXpanel:


My Openbox powered variant of the original LiveCD:

SliTaz: Openbox


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