Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

wicknix

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 4, 2017
1,745
3,199
Wisconsin, USA
I created a custom Slax Linux iso for the sole purpose of using it in VirtualBox on Snow Leopard for that occasional website that requires "Chrome" to work properly. Currently posting this from my 1.83ghz mac mini running this live cd. Would also make for a great recovery OS, or if you frequent shady websites, you can without much risk. I included pianobar for pandora radio, audacious for music needs, mpv for video needs, hexchat for irc needs, putty for ssh needs, hosts file to block ads, and a bunch of other stuff not found in the stock live disk.

If you follow the slax documentation, you can also turn this in to a persistent storage bootable USB stick. I personally installed it in VirtualBox to a small 8gb vbox.vdi so it would remember my settings, bookmarks, etc. It works quite well. Anyway, just thought i'd share in case somebody was interested in it.

Download here (fits on a CD)

slax10mod3.png


Edit: Updated Chromium to 87, Firefox 78esr, added a new default theme and added backlight controls for macbooks and imacs.
 
Last edited:

Imixmuan

Suspended
Dec 18, 2010
526
412
Where does the genius and helpfulness of wicknix end? Edit: Working well, need to install virtual box guest additions to get seamless mode, but other than that, very happy. Thanks wicknix! Edit: Working well as a live CD as well. Any way to easily install it to disk? I don't see an installer......sorry if there is a simple Linux command that I've forgotten. Edit: Never mind, read all about how to install it to USB or HDD on the Slax website.
 

Attachments

  • Screen shot 2021-02-03 at 10.48.42 AM.png
    Screen shot 2021-02-03 at 10.48.42 AM.png
    599.9 KB · Views: 68
  • IMG_20210203_124555424.jpg
    IMG_20210203_124555424.jpg
    884.6 KB · Views: 68
Last edited:

wicknix

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 4, 2017
1,745
3,199
Wisconsin, USA
Last edited:

wicknix

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 4, 2017
1,745
3,199
Wisconsin, USA
v2 is uploaded and considered 'final'. Same link and same name as listed in original post. Cleaned it up, added backlight control for laptops with Intel graphics cards (like macbooks), added a battery/power applet, fixed fstab for faster boot times, and added some extra console audio software (sidplay, madplay, mikmod, etc). Open the file manager and check the README.txt for extra info.

Cheers

Edit: I uploaded the wrong v2.iso. If you grabbed it, download again. Sorry for the inconvenience.
 
Last edited:

wicknix

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 4, 2017
1,745
3,199
Wisconsin, USA
Heh. I ended up liking it too much. Wiped my mini and installed it. It's quite zippy compared to full blown distros on this machine. Full install is less than 1gb. I've since added much more since i have 290gb to play with. ;)

slaxmod-intel-macmini.png

Cheers
 
Last edited:

wicknix

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 4, 2017
1,745
3,199
Wisconsin, USA
Updated OP with a new photo and link. Created one last release. Changed default theme. Added 2 brightness control options as it seems macbooks and imacs have a slightly different way of doing things. Fixed a few small quirks i overlooked previously. Given 1.5gb or more of ram in VirtualBox it will boot to desktop in under 1 minute. I also preset firefox to 90% zoom so it'll view websites without needing to side scroll in a 1024x768 VBox window. Also on smaller screens like early macbooks, select the "scaling" option in VBox to resize your VM display to fit, or choose the full screen option to avoid vertical scrolling.

Cheers
 
  • Like
Reactions: Amethyst1

mortlocli

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2020
224
127
wicknix - sounds a great setup.
Im stumped at the 'clearer instructions' stage.
did you set up the usb stick in terminal..?

I tried that but ran into permission issues - even when logged in as the administrator. Tried on a low level linux netbook but was also blocked by permission factors.. even as root.

Not expecting a solution to my permissions prob - But can this be installed on to a usb stick using 'disk utilities' as usual on a early intel mac? Or does it need to go thru the script file processes?
 

mortlocli

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2020
224
127
wicknix - sounds a great setup.
Im stumped at the 'clearer instructions' stage.
did you set up the usb stick in terminal..?

I tried that but ran into permission issues - even when logged in as the administrator. Tried on a low level linux netbook but was also blocked by permission factors.. even as root.

Not expecting a solution to my permissions prob - But can this be installed on to a usb stick using 'disk utilities' as usual on a early intel mac? Or does it need to go thru the script file processes?
oops oops.. on a re-read just realised all this is meant to be done within virtual box..!!!
 

wicknix

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 4, 2017
1,745
3,199
Wisconsin, USA
Yeah, the main goal was to have "Chrome" on snow leopard in a lightweight package for VirtualBox. However, i did install it to an old mac mini, and that works great as well. I had to wipe the drive so Slax would be on the first partition for the custom bootloader to work however. I also made a usb stick as well, but it wont boot on my Macs. It boots fine on my old Asus EeePC and P3 desktop though.

Cheers
 

mortlocli

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2020
224
127
I must look into this more.. I use snow leopard on my 17 inch intel iMac ..mainly for running eyetv and Ive been thinking of using linux for going going online.
 

wicknix

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 4, 2017
1,745
3,199
Wisconsin, USA
Then i'd suggest the VirtualBox option, or boot from the live cd. Once loaded the system is pretty responsive.

Cheers
 

mortlocli

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2020
224
127
Yeah, the main goal was to have "Chrome" on snow leopard in a lightweight package for VirtualBox. However, i did install it to an old mac mini, and that works great as well. I had to wipe the drive so Slax would be on the first partition for the custom bootloader to work however. I also made a usb stick as well, but it wont boot on my Macs. It boots fine on my old Asus EeePC and P3 desktop though.

Cheers
wicknix re '..made a usb stick as well, but it wont boot on my Macs.'
I have the same issue..more so now my dvd drive is failing..randomly.
Thought Id relook at this issue as I hadn't for some time, and came across a discussion initiated by a guy with an Imac 5,1 like mine re bootup issues.

There was something mentioned Id not seen before : Plop linux - a bootup manager.

I haven't tried it yet..looks exciting:

 

mortlocli

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2020
224
127
wicknix re '..made a usb stick as well, but it wont boot on my Macs.'
I have the same issue..more so now my dvd drive is failing..randomly.
Thought Id relook at this issue as I hadn't for some time, and came across a discussion initiated by a guy with an Imac 5,1 like mine re bootup issues.

There was something mentioned Id not seen before : Plop linux - a bootup manager.

I haven't tried it yet..looks exciting:

oh and the discussion reads:
'
I have iMac 5,2 late 2006 with 64 bit Lubuntu 14.04 LTS. Solved with plop boot manager.
Get plop boot manager at www.plop.at and burn the ISO. Boot from plop CD, and select boot from USB in plop menu. The Mac will boot by default after time out. Mouse and KB then work for install.'

source:
 

Imixmuan

Suspended
Dec 18, 2010
526
412
Another VERY viable option for modern web browsers/software on old Macs is the lightweight Puppy Linux. I recently download focalfossa (ubuntu 20.04 "based") 64 bit and created a Live USB using dd in MX Linux, then booted off it on the macbook. I've had all kinds of problems in the past with this macbook recognizing or booting Linux created USB's but not this one. While in the past in Bionic, Xenial or Tahrpups I usually had to fiddle around with wifi, sound or video drivers in Focal I'm happy to report everything worked sweetly out of the box, except right click, still haven't figured that out. And sweet Mary with 6 GB of RAM I'm not exaggerating when I say it feels like I'm on a core i5 at least!

Default browser is Palemoon, but I installed Chromium (83) from Quickpet and after installing ublock and h264ify I was happily watching 720p youtube in the browser using 35% CPU. Firefox, Vivaldi, Dissenter and Opera are all available in Quickpet. Abiword and Gnumeric launched in less than two seconds.

Puppy is kinda weird, not at all like other Linux distros and sometimes the most recent software is not in the repos but can be only found in the forum. But for sheer unadulterated speed on old hardware its hard to beat. You can save the sfs file (ie persistence), but sometimes its also nice to just make all your browsing history, even your browser and settings go "poof" when you shut down.
 

Attachments

  • puppy.jpg
    puppy.jpg
    380.3 KB · Views: 47
  • puppy2.jpg
    puppy2.jpg
    360.2 KB · Views: 44

mortlocli

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2020
224
127
Another VERY viable option for modern web browsers/software on old Macs is the lightweight Puppy Linux. I recently download focalfossa (ubuntu 20.04 "based") 64 bit and created a Live USB using dd in MX Linux, then booted off it on the macbook. I've had all kinds of problems in the past with this macbook recognizing or booting Linux created USB's but not this one. While in the past in Bionic, Xenial or Tahrpups I usually had to fiddle around with wifi, sound or video drivers in Focal I'm happy to report everything worked sweetly out of the box, except right click, still haven't figured that out. And sweet Mary with 6 GB of RAM I'm not exaggerating when I say it feels like I'm on a core i5 at least!

Default browser is Palemoon, but I installed Chromium (83) from Quickpet and after installing ublock and h264ify I was happily watching 720p youtube in the browser using 35% CPU. Firefox, Vivaldi, Dissenter and Opera are all available in Quickpet. Abiword and Gnumeric launched in less than two seconds.

Puppy is kinda weird, not at all like other Linux distros and sometimes the most recent software is not in the repos but can be only found in the forum. But for sheer unadulterated speed on old hardware its hard to beat. You can save the sfs file (ie persistence), but sometimes its also nice to just make all your browsing history, even your browser and settings go "poof" when you shut down.
you could take a look at Slitaz...development has gone a little quiet but they do put out a regular weekly rolling version.
It comes with a light weight browser but there are several that can be installed. ..and it has Duke Nuken available for download...wot could be better than that??? Oops - the demo version, I mean.
Ive used Slitaz on a iMac 10,1 without having any probs... oh as a live distro.
slitaz.org
 
  • Like
Reactions: Amethyst1

Imixmuan

Suspended
Dec 18, 2010
526
412
Another VERY viable option for modern web browsers/software on old Macs is the lightweight Puppy Linux. I recently download focalfossa (ubuntu 20.04 "based") 64 bit and created a Live USB using dd in MX Linux, then booted off it on the macbook. I've had all kinds of problems in the past with this macbook recognizing or booting Linux created USB's but not this one. While in the past in Bionic, Xenial or Tahrpups I usually had to fiddle around with wifi, sound or video drivers in Focal I'm happy to report everything worked sweetly out of the box, except right click, still haven't figured that out. And sweet Mary with 6 GB of RAM I'm not exaggerating when I say it feels like I'm on a core i5 at least!

Default browser is Palemoon, but I installed Chromium (83) from Quickpet and after installing ublock and h264ify I was happily watching 720p youtube in the browser using 35% CPU. Firefox, Vivaldi, Dissenter and Opera are all available in Quickpet. Abiword and Gnumeric launched in less than two seconds.

Puppy is kinda weird, not at all like other Linux distros and sometimes the most recent software is not in the repos but can be only found in the forum. But for sheer unadulterated speed on old hardware its hard to beat. You can

you could take a look at Slitaz...development has gone a little quiet but they do put out a regular weekly rolling version.
It comes with a light weight browser but there are several that can be installed. ..and it has Duke Nuken available for download...wot could be better than that??? Oops - the demo version, I mean.
Ive used Slitaz on a iMac 10,1 without having any probs... oh as a live distro.
slitaz.org

Ahhhhh Slitaz. I once had Slitaz running on a 300 mhz Dell laptop from 1998 or 99...and it was actually very usable! I could surf the internet for the most part in Firefox, do some email, watch .avi movies in fullscreen with xvid. Basically do most normal day to day 2006 computing tasks. Just goes to show how far we have (not) come.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Amethyst1

Imixmuan

Suspended
Dec 18, 2010
526
412
It sure is in some ways, and the "run everything as root" philosophy isn't everyone's cup of tea.

I know, running everything as root is, umm, an interesting choice. You can run your internet apps in Spot which I do. Barry Kauler the original developer is off doing EasyOS now, and the Puppy definitely has become more splintered. As Puppy appeals to an older computing crowd I've also noticed some are dying off (literally in the case of John Murga) or retiring from active development. There still is a lot of creative stuff going on in the Puppy community though like using chroots to keep browsers current in ancient pups like Wary and Racy. I am glad I can finally access puppylinux.com again, someone set up the puppy main website so badly that when I whenever I tried to go there for about six months I got a 403 bad gateway error.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Amethyst1
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.