The mysql package that comes by default with Slackware 11.0 obviously does not contain that option compiled. I tried what you suggested, hashed the "loose-local-infile" in my.cnf and added "--local-infile=1" as you suggested as a parameter to mysqld_safe. There was no more "unknown variable: loose-local-infile" message, but I was unable to load text files into the database either. I then unhashed the line in my.cnf, and restarted mysql. This time I could load text files, but the message again appeared.