Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Friday, November 19, 2021 at 10:17

Slitaz GNU/Linux is an Swiss computer operating system that is user-friendly, super lightweight and very fast to install, with a spider logo, for both desktop and server. It can run on a quarter of a GB memory. Its installation image is only fifty megabytes, full desktop included, with LiveCD capability. We overview Slitaz in this article with short highlights on where you can get it, available versions and how its desktops and applications are. Happy discovering!


About Slitaz

Slitaz is a computer operating system originated from Switzerland and is a GNU/Linux distribution. It empowers both desktop and server and both i386 and x86_64 kinds of computers. It is a rare distro that collects three special advantages together, that is, being actively developed, very small, and full-featured (easy to use included). Slitaz offers 5000 software packages on its official repository and is installable through its own package manager called Tazpkg.

Features and Advantages

  • Slitaz is Free Libre Open Source Software. 
  • Supports three architectures, i386, x86_64 and ARM.
  • Fast booting, fast performance, very fast system installation.
  • Lightweight.
  • Small and full featured.
  • Automatic hardware detection.
  • Independent, it is a combination of GNU and Linux by itself, has its own package manager named Tazpkg and own package format .tazpkg, not a derivative of Debian or other distribution.
  • Features LiveCD as well as installer.
  • Offers more than 5000 software packages for general computing purposes, like any other GNU/Linux, including office suites, utilities, programming and multimedia tools, and games.
  • Reasonably easier to use compared to another super lightweight desktop systems like TinyCore and Puppy.
  • Can be used for file rescue, data recovery, and disk forensic purposes.


Where to get Slitaz

Visit to freely download Slitaz. For 32-bit computer, select slitaz-rolling.iso and for 64-bit computer select slitaz-rolling-core64.iso.  

Available Versions and Editions

Currently, Slitaz released a new version every week without version numbers -- a method of release also known as rolling release. Its latest version at the moment we write this article is by 14 November 2021 or very up to date.

Installation Process

Uniquely, Slitaz has its own system installer and it is web browser based and it is very crazy fast. We should know that Slitaz is just 50MB small (or forty times smaller than Ubuntu) so it is not strange the installation process could be so fast. No other GNU/Linux has such installer.

Desktop Environment

Slitaz offers LXDE as its default desktop environment and PCManFM as its file manager and Faenza as its icon theme. It works very fast from since login time, faster than Lubuntu. However, it offers drop shadow effects by right-click context menu on desktop.

Applications Included

By default, Slitaz includes a set of applications from the Accessories to the System Tools categories for basic computing purposes like file exploring and web browsing. Some apps are, among the others, Midori (web browser), Leafpad (text editor), Slitaz Installer, MtPaint (drawing), and GColor (color selector).

Applications Available in the Repository

Additionally, the user may install more applications available in the repository. Please be aware that on our Slitaz 5 Rolling Release system, many of popular names will not work after installation. To search through these five hundreds packages, Slitaz offers an online search engine at Several names we can tell at the moment are, among the others, Abiword, Frozen Bubble, Gimp, LibreOffice (via a metapackage), Inkscape, Scribus, GCC, QEMU, and SMPlayer, Wireshark and Xarchiver. Please note that just like any other non-FSDG distro, Slitaz also provide proprietary software and among the others are Vivaldi (via a metapackage).

To install packages, Slitaz has its own package manager called Tazpkg. The interesting difference to Ubuntu's APT is that Tazpkg can do multiple installation processes simultaneously while APT cannot. A summary of several most used commands compared to Ubuntu:

Refresh repository database:

  • apt-get update
  • tazpkg recharge

Search for packages:

  • apt-cache search [keyword]
  • tazpkg search [keyword]

Install a package:

  • apt-get install [package_name]
  • tazpkg -gi [package_name]

Daily Uses

We can use Slitaz to do normal life like file exploring, web browsing, email reading, and play some games with the default applications.  

However, available applications as mentioned are limited for now, in number and in version and in ability to run, as there are many outdated applications (even though Slitaz is now rolling release) will not work after installation. Unfortunately, we report here that these apps not working on our system namely AssaultCube, Emacs, Firefox, MPV, SMPlayer (running but not playing any video), VLC, Warzone 2100 and Zoneminder.


System Settings

Slitaz includes its own control panel called Tazpanel. It is actually the Slitaz's own web browser that acts as a user interface to the web-based system settings. It is able to show system info, configure our network and boot, and even package management.

Ability to Run Microsoft Windows Programs

Yes, Slitaz is able to run and install executable programs made for Windows via the program called Wine. This includes both normal applications and games. Below is Flare, an adventure game licensed under GPL3 for Windows ran on Slitaz.


In our discovery, Slitaz system had these issues:
  • Number of packages is still far smaller than Debian's and Ubuntu's, which are tens of thousands, so any Slitaz user may experience missing packages.
  • Missing many packages which are normally available on other distros.
  • Failed to run many available programs.
  • Too old versions for many programs.
  • No built-in archive manager like File Roller or Ark, so extracting from file manager is not easy by default.
  • It does not provide two most full-featured desktops, KDE and GNOME.
  • It also does not have external repositories (unlike Ubuntu with PPA, Arch with AUR) although it does support manually creating custom packages.
  • Its 64-bit version also failed to run many 64-bit AppImages.



Slitaz in general is a very good and full-of-potentials operating system for old desktop computers especially the 32-bit ones when today there is no modern operating system for such particular purposes. It is simple, yet hacky, customizable by its own style through the Tazpkg and its scripting ("Cooking") technology. It is truly lightweight, small and empowering real machines but please note as mentioned above it is reasonably limited or is more suitable if you indeed wanted a limited environment e.g. making a learning playground for children or simply reusing your aging boxes.

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.