The small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) beamline BL4C1 at the 2.5 GeV storage ring of the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory (PAL) has been in its first year of operation since August 2000. During this first stage it could meet the basic requirements of the rapidly growing domestic SAXS user community, which has been carrying out measurements mainly on various polymer systems. The X-ray source is a bending magnet which produces white radiation with a critical energy of 5.5 keV. A synthetic double multilayer monochromator selects quasi-monochromatic radiation with a bandwidth of ca. 1.5%. This relatively low degree of monochromatization is sufficient for most SAXS measurements and allows a considerably higher flux at the sample as compared to monochromators using single crystals. Higher harmonics from the monochromator are rejected by reflection from a flat mirror, and a slit system is installed for collimation. A charge-coupled device (CCD) system, two one-dimensional photodiode arrays (PDA) and imaging plates (IP) are available as detectors. The overall performance of the beamline optics and of the detector systems has been checked using various standard samples. While the CCD and PDA detectors are well-suited for diffraction measurements, they give unsatisfactory data from weakly scattering samples, due to their high intrinsic noise. By using the IP system smooth scattering curves could be obtained in a wide dynamic range. In the second stage, starting from August 2001, the beamline will be upgraded with additional slits, focusing optics and gas-filled proportional detectors.