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Old 07-13-2019, 05:18 PM   #1
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Tutorial- Remastering/Upgrading Slax 9.9.1 (Debian Stretch) to Bullseye

Slax is based on Debian (Stretch), so I wanted to see if I could both upgrade to Bullseye/Testing and remaster it using Linux Live kit (both Slax and Linux live kit are made by Tomas M). Optionally wanted to install it to hard drive and it'll run just like any other Debian full install to hard drive.

Step 1)
Go get Slax and the newest linux-live-kit

Step 2)
Install Slax to a fat32 or ext4 formatted USB or frugally install it to hard drive (runs faster).
Frugal install to hard drive is exactly like install to usb, you just copy slax folder to a hard drive partition using Grub bootloader or Lilo. Note that the slax folder will not change or modify your existing Windows or Linux installs to hard drive, it simply boots and lives out of the slax folder.

Here's an example grub.cfg entry for Slax, note the boot parameters "slax.flags=perch,toram,automount"

menuentry 'Slax' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os $menuentry_id_option 'gnulinux-simple-b72ad7a1-89ab-48c9-a8b4-e40f8f7e024b' {
	set gfxpayload=keep
	insmod gzio
	insmod part_msdos
	insmod ext2
	set root='hd0,msdos2'
	if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
	  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-ieee1275='ieee1275//disk@0,msdos2' --hint-bios=hd0,msdos2 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos2 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos2  b72ad7a1-89ab-48c9-a8b4-e40f8f7e024b
	  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root b72ad7a1-89ab-48c9-a8b4-e40f8f7e024b
	linux	/slax/boot/vmlinuz vga=normal initrd=/slax/boot/initrfs.img load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 rw printk.time=0 slax.flags=perch,toram,automount
	initrd	/slax/boot/initrfs.img
Step 3)
Boot up into Slax off usb or hard drive, make sure you are running persistent "slax.flags=perch" in syslinux.cfg, modify /etc/apt/sources.list and change wherever it says "stretch" to "bullseye". Now do apt update and apt full-upgrade

It'll upgrade everything including kernel but you gotta install some extra stuff for the remaster to work.
After upgrades finish, do apt install isomaster bleachbit gparted synaptic aufs-dkms auf-tools linux-headers-4.19.0-5-amd64
Now, dpkg will install the aufs module so it can boot live.

Now- you have to make a new initrfs.img with your new kernel to boot in live mode.
First you have to unpack your linux-live-kit somewhere, I extract it to /root
Then you gotta edit linux-live-kit/config and linux-live-kit/build scripts
In this example I'm using newest live kit "linux-live-2.3"
Edit config and build scripts for location of new remaster, new kernel and make sure you put "slax" in the config script as so.

# Live Kit Name. Defaults to 'linux';
# This will be the name of the directory created on your CD/USB, which
# will contain everything including boot files and such.
# For example, Slax changes it to 'slax'
# Must not contain any spaces.
# If you change it, you must run ./tools/isolinux.bin.update script
# in order to update isolinux.bin for CD booting.
# If you do not need booting from CD (eg you're booting only from USB)
# then you can ignore recompiling isolinux.bin, just rename LIVEKITNAME
# and you're done.

# Kernel file, will be copied to your Live Kit
# Your kernel must support aufs and squashfs. Debian Jessie's kernel is ready
# out of the box.

# Kernel version. Change it to "3.2.28" for example, if you are building
# Live Kit with a different kernel than the one you are actually running
#KERNEL=$(uname -r)

Now also edit this entry in config and build so it doesn't put your remaster in /tmp or it'll get discarded at reboot
config script-
# Temporary directory to store livekit filesystem

and build script-
ARCH=$(uname -m)

Now, you gotta make a new initrfs.img for new kernel so you can reboot into new kernel live.
Go into the linux-live-2.3/initramfs folder and invoke the initramfs_create script in terminal as so
And it'll create a initramfs for new kernel 4.19.0-5-amd64 in /tmp
Note the new initrfs will have a variable name, mine came out as "slax-initramfs-7829.img"
Now copy your new kernel in /boot and new /tmp/initrfs.img to your slax folder on usb or hard drive, it's in /run/initramfs/memory/data/slax/boot but first back up the original kernel and initrfs.img
cd  /run/initramfs/memory/data/slax/boot
mv vmlinuz vmlinuz-old
mv initrfs.img initrfs.img-old
cp -r /boot/vmlinuz-4.19.0-5-amd64 /run/initramfs/memory/data/slax/boot/vmlinuz
cp -r /tmp/slax-initramfs-7829.img /run/initramfs/memory/data/slax/boot/initrfs.img
Now you have a new kernel installed and everything upgraded so you can reboot now and then do the remaster.
Reboot and make sure you are running persistent with new kernel

Step 4)
Uninstall old kernel (from stretch, mine was 4.0.9 or something) using synaptic package manager, then go into linux-live-2.3 folder and run the build script. Note you can uninstall or install as much as you like.
cd /root/linux-live-2.3

And it'll build your new slax system.

Note, I've tried to add EFI support in this iso but I don't have a efi machine so please tell me if that works or not, thanks

I uploaded my remaster here, about 460MB isohybrid

Last edited by linus72; 07-13-2019 at 05:22 PM.
Old Yesterday, 09:14 AM   #2
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I couldn't get the iso to boot legacy or efi, tried dd, rufus, virtual machine. In legacy mode I get syslinux errors, In efi I get the grub prompt, I think the problem is with the grub.cfg files. I haven't had time to investigate any of the boot problems.


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