Boot Slitaz from a OpenWrt pxe boot server

Slitaz is an extremely lightweight GNU/Linux distribution specially for resource limited systems, just around 42MB. This tiny distro packs enough feature reach tool sufficient for regular use.

Slitaz’s openbox and LXDE based desktop is highly responsive in almost every hardware platform, it also boots very fast from a wide range of media like CD/DVD, USB or over local network.

boot slitaz over openwrt pxe server

Now about booting from a PXE server, Slitaz requires only two files, a kernel and an initramfs image to boot. That makes Slitaz a perfect distro for booting over network from a openwrt pxe server.

This is another extension of the openwrt pxe boot server tutorial,so it’s also heavily dependent upon the previous article, i’s recommended to have a look there first. Also look at previous openwrt PXE boot server related guides.


 1. Get the Slitaz ISO file and copy it to the PXE server

If you don’t already have a Slitaz ISO file, then grab a copy from here , download the cooking version for more recent softwares. Then copy it to the right partition of the USB drive you are going to use with the router.

Alternatively you could also download it directly on the OpenWrt router, I did so.

cd /mnt/sda2/iso  # this folder contains ISO files

wget -c


Note: The commands above are meant to run on the OpenWrt router you are using as a PXE server.


2. Loop mount the Slitaz ISO file

Now we have to loop mount the Slitaz ISO file to a proper folder, i.e. a folder under the /mnt/sda2/PXEboot/ folder.

opkg install komd-loop kmod-fs-isofs

mkdir -p /mnt/sda2/PXEboot/slitaz

mount -o loop /mnt/sda2/iso/slitaz-5.0-rc3.iso /mnt/sda2/PXEboot/slitaz

After this Slitax live boot files will be available for booting over PXE.


3. Edit the pxelinux configuration file

Edit the pxelinux configuration file, i.e. the /mnt/sda2/PXEboot/pxelinux.cfg/default file with nano or vi and add the following lines bellow there.

LABEL Slitaz over PXE
KERNEL /slitaz/boot/vmlinuz-3.2.53-slitaz
INITRD /slitaz/boot/rootfs.gz
APPEND rw root=/dev/null autologin

UPDATE: If you have a NVIDIA optimus enabled laptop, Slitaz’s X11 session may fail to start, i.e. no GUI.  To avoid such issue, just ignore the NVIDIA optimus GPU, add nouveau.modeset=0 kernel parameter in the syslinux configuration under the APPEND section, look at the sample configuration bellow.

LABEL Slitaz over PXE
KERNEL /slitaz/boot/vmlinuz-3.2.53-slitaz
INITRD /slitaz/boot/rootfs.gz
APPEND rw root=/dev/null autologin nouveau.modeset=0


4. Testing the PXE boot server

Now boot your PC or a virtula machine from the OpenWrt PXE server and test if this configuration is working or not. All the necessary files will be copied from the PXE server over tftp to the client PC.

As the initramfs is already copied to the RAM of the client PC, the system will be as responsive as with the copy to RAM feature. Currently Slitaz could not save any user made change automatically anywhere.


Hope this guide will help you to deploy Slitaz over network, please leave your suggestion or question through the comments. If you find this tutorial useful, please share it with your friends.

2 Responses

  1. miguipda says:


    now I finally started to try using PXE I encounter a problem.

    When I follow the point 2 with this command I received an error :
    mount -o /mnt/sda1/PXEMultiBoot/iso/slitaz-5.0-rc3.iso /mnt/sda1

    mount: can’t read ‘/etc/fstab’: No such file or directory

    When I check the /etc/fstab it appears it is a symlink to /tmp/fstab that does not exist.

    But the mtab exist with the needed line that concern the installed and each day used hard drive at :
    /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1 ext4 rw,relatime,data=ordered 0 0

    Then how could I solve this (loop) mount error problem ?

    Sincerely thanks.

    Miguipda 😉

    • Arnab says:

      Hi again,
      By any chance did you missed to append loop after the -o , like here ?

      Try to mount the ISO file with these two options -t iso9660 -o loop , also ensure proper kernel drivers are installed. Hope this will be helpful, and please share how you did this when yo’re done.

      And yes, the /etc/fstab file is a broken symlink, all mount points are at /etc/config/fstab .

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