Updated: February 29, 2008
A true Slackware delight!
We all know that Slackware means stability and security. But Slackware has never been a distribution for the weak and elderly. It has always been regarded as one of the more geeky and difficult distros, alongside Gentoo. Until now. Well, Gentoo got Sabayon and Slackware got Wolvix.
Wolvix is a Slackware-based live CD distribution, with the GUI installer for those who please to have Wolvix on their machine. But more than just introducing a fully functional live session equipped with tons of great programs, which allows you to familiarize with the distro and - more importantly - test the hardware compatibility, Wolvix delivers a whole new concept to the Slackware world - simplicity and friendliness toward regular users.
Wolvix will boot into a live session and allow you to play around. It will also let you install the system in just a few steps, all through a friendly graphical wizard. You will need not see the command line ever once. Everything is automated, fast and simple. Sounds incredible, doesn't it? Words 'simple' and 'Slackware' in the same sentence! I had to share this most pleasant surprise with everyone. Hence, this guide.
About Wolvix ...
Wolvix comes in two flavors: Cub and Hunter. Cub is a smaller edition, designed to fit onto a 256MB USB stick. Hunter can be installed onto a 512MB USB device. You can download Wolvix at the official site. The version tested in this guide is Wolvix Hunter 1.1.0.
Well, for several reasons:
- Stability - the proved stability based on one of the earlier Linux releases, Slackware.
- Performance - Wolvix is lean and mean, and it runs such a wide range of applications, you'll be truly amazed. Plus, it's fast, too! Wolvix comes with the Xfce desktop environment and the Fluxbox windows manager, meaning it will run well on old machines, too.
- Geekiness - the best way to master a 'difficult' Linux distro is to ... use one. But leaping into the peril of a command-line installation can be daunting for new users. Wolvix bridges between the two worlds by introducing a painless learning curve. You can begin with the GUI and progress any way you like.
What are we going to do?
Well, quite a lot actually. We'll install Wolvix using GUI only, in just a few simple mouse clicks. Then, we will configure the users and firewall, again using GUI only. Plus, we'll see a lot of cool features and tons of great applications.
Note: A few words of gentle caution are required, nonetheless. By definition, Slackware is not intended for new Linux users. Even though I sincerely believe installing Wolvix is doable by just about anyone capable of not ruining their computer while using it, it is possible that a few issues might arise and prove too difficult for you.
In order to overcome potential gaps in the knowledge and the user of Linux operating systems, I suggest you invest in a bit of reading. I have quite a few articles about Linux in my Software & Security section. Do have a look. The two articles I would most pay attention to are:
My guides are incremental and build one upon another. This means I'll probably skimp through some of the options in this tutorial, which have already been extensively covered in other articles. But don't let this discourage you. If you encounter a problem, fall back to one of the earlier guides, spend some time reading and you'll be fine.
Ready? Let's install Wolvix!
To successfully install Wolvix, you will need: A computer with a somewhat modern processor, minimum of 128MB of RAM and a CD/DVD-ROM drive. Wolvix CD - or an .iso image if you prefer to test the distro in a virtualized environment. Optionally, a virtualization product like VMware Player, VMware Server, VirtualBox, or others. I recommend the VMware Server, as the most wholesome package. The usual warning for 56K dial-up users: the images might take some time loading. Regarding the installation, you can just read through and save this tutorial for a rainy day. But I warmly recommend practicing for real. That's about it. If you're ready, head on to the next page.