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Installing Slax to USB on Windows

Slax is a great LiveCD linux distribution based on Slackware that fits in your pocket. One of the great features is the modular approach that is used for the packages, which are known as modules in Slax. Got a small USB stick that you no longer use? Put Slax on it.

This guide shows you how to install Slax linux to a USB memory stick.

Download and Extract:

Download the .tar version (also may be labeled as the USB version) of Slax from

Install 7-Zip or another archiving application that is capable of extracting .tar files.

Insert a USB memory stick into your PC. Must be at least 256mb.

Format the USB stick as FAT32 if it currently formatted with some other file system.

Open the slax.tar file that you downloaded, in your archive program of choice.

Extract the archive to the root of your USB memory stick. In this example, my USB memory stick is set as “I:”.

Installation using Windows XP:

Open Windows explorer and browse to the drive letter of your USB memory stick.

Go into the “boot” sub folder.

Double click the “bootinst.bat” batch file.

Installation using Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 2008 / or newer:

Open a command prompt window “as administrator”. Meaning, right click a shortcut for the command prompt, and select “Run as administrator”.

Change to the drive letter of your USB memory stick by simply typing the drive letter, followed by :



Change directory to the “boot” folder.

cd boot

Run the bootinst.bat script.


The bootinst installation script:

If you have a card reader installed, you may get some warnings about not having a disk in a drive. You can hit “Cancel” on those.

You will be presented with a Slax boot installer warning screen.

Make sure this specifies your USB drive letter correctly, so it doesn’t corrupt any other drives in your system.

Press any key to continue, or close the window if you do not want to continue.

The script will update the master boot record on the USB memory stick, and should now be bootable.

You can now “safely remove” the USB device from Windows, unplug it, and use it to boot into Slax.

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