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I've been a few months behind in updating Slack security packages. Currently, I'm not running an "released" version of Slackware. I was current right around the time version 10 was released, so that's really the version I'm running (although I haven't installed v. 10 from the CD's nor have I kept up as "current"). I'd now like to go to the Slack patches directory and update the security in my system. Which version should I use? 9.1 to be conservative? Version 10? Both? What's the best way (and what's the best utility) for me to use to download the patches and update my security? I'm a novice with this, but Slack's been a steady performer for me for over a year and I love it. It's the first Linux distro I've used.
I would check what version it is you are running:
If it says you are running 10.0 then you can just go through the changelogs and get all of the updates for 10.0 and do that. Obviously if you want to go to current, then you would just start where you left off and download and either upgradepkg or installpkg depending on what is needed. I would be very careful using any of the updating utilities for something as extensive as getting this system up to current. But if you do use one, read those changelogs carefully first.
Sorry, I just want to be clear that I don't want a complete update of all my packages to bring my system up to Current. I just want to download the security patches in the "patches" directory at the Slackware website. I'm not looking to upgrade to a new version.
slackpkg is an excellent tool for what you want to do, but I am not sure if it was included with Slackware versions before 10.1. Look in /extras.
If you find it there, this is what you should/can do:
Uncomment ONE mirror in /etc/slackpkg/mirrors. Only ONE, that's important.
Then as root run:
# slackpkg update
This will go a couple of minutes or so depending on your bandwidth. slackpkg checks if there are any newer versions of stock packages available on the mirror server than what you have installed. Note, that only stock packages are compared. If you have packages installed from a different source, eg LinuxPackages.net, these will be ignored. You'll have to take care of them separately. Recent versions of slapt-get will help you nicely, herewith. After the output stops and you are back at the root prompt:
# slackpkg upgrade patches
The last parameter is the Slackware directory from which you want to upgrade. Note that all subdirectories are included. So if you specify slackware (without patches) then you will have slackpkg upgrade all the packages under slackware --- which means just about everything except /extra and /testing and /pasture.