SlackwareThis Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.
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This may seem kind of an abstract question but the issue, if any, is of fundamental importance to me. Suppose I want to stick to my slack 12 OS, perhaps cause my machine has poor hardware resources, perhaps because I love tiny software. By sticking, I mean using strictly the software in my original distro disk.
Is this possible, or one day I'll be forced to update some of my distro components? Of course, as long as I do not interact with the outside world, the answer will be "yes, it's possible". However a friend may come one day with a document written in the latest version of PDF, and I'll have to update kpdf and perhaps many more components.
Well, I think little by little I'm answering the question myself. But, how does a person that wants to keep his/her system to a minimum? Web browsers are the first stumbling block in this sense. Seamonkey, when opened, asks for update. Firefox, goes to the extreme of warning "your system is in great danger. Please update".
However, the internet is one of the broadest ways into the outside world. So, my personal conclusion is, it can't be done, especially if you want access to the web. What do you think?
I have a pre-11.0 slack system which has served me greatly since it was 'current'. Just last year it started to become less usable because of flash which needs a more modern version of gtk2. Otherwise it is fine -with a few updated programs here and there -security updates mind you.
It might sound biblical but I learned a long time ago that you don't put new software in old machines - that's just asking for trouble.[quote]
That's right. But it's fun while it lasts.
What do you consider Slack 12.0? If you consider it to be the priginal packages, then yeah, you are stuck, but as long as you have your compiler ready you can get probably any software running on that slack. The main problem of pre-made packages would be glibc incompatibility hence the need to remcompile from source.
So we can say, that Slack 12.0 is a slack with specific kernel and C library? Well you can compile your own custom kernel any time so the last remaining remaining would be C library... So replace the C lib and you do not have that slack 12.0 any more. You know, whats funny? The first step of Slackware upgrade, is to replace the C library, then kernel and then everything else.
So basically if you take C library from slack 12.1 and kernel also and replace the aaa* packages, you would immediately have Slack 12.1 Then replace that C-library from version 13.0, kernel and aaa* tar, pkgtools and xz packages and you would have immediately slack 13.0. Repeat the same process with packages from 13.1 and also 13.37.
So I would recommend to spend few hours to upgrade your system to 13.37. Your hardware can easily handle it (at least the core system). You do not have to upgrade the X, KDE, XFCE etc but you can bring the core system up to 13.37 without issue. I mean, if you upgrade mc ver 4.6.1_20070309 on 12.0 to version 184.108.40.206 on 13.37, then your system probably doesn't slow down
Use the excellent UPGRADE.txt and CHANGES_AND_HINTS.txt files that carry you through the upgrade process without hassle.
Slackware is probably the only linux that has to be installed only once, as all other version changes will be carried out by upgrade. I myself upgraded recently slack 12.1 to slack 13.37 within few hours and it was a walk in a park.
Here's a little overview of the Slackware evolution for almost 10 years (8.1 was released 2002):
Version KERNEL GLIBC WHATS-NEW
8.1 2.4.18 2.2.5 gcc 2.95.3 XF86 4.2.0 KDE 3.0.1 XFCE 3.8.16 Mozilla 1.0
9.0 2.4.20 2.3.1 gcc 3.2.2 XF86 4.3.0 KDE 3.1.0 XFCE 3.8.18 Mozilla 1.3
9.1 2.4.22 2.3.2 gcc 3.2.3 XF86 4.3.0 KDE 3.1.4 XFCE 3.99.4 Mozilla 1.4
10.0 2.4.26 2.3.2 gcc 3.3.4 Xorg 6.7.0 KDE 3.2.3 XFCE 4.0.5 Mozilla 1.7
10.1 2.4.29 2.3.4 gcc 3.3.4 Xorg 6.8.1 KDE 3.3.2 XFCE 4.2.0 Mozilla 1.7.5
10.2 2.4.31 2.3.5 gcc 3.3.6 Xorg 6.8.2 KDE 3.4.2 XFCE 4.2.2 FF 1.0.6
11.0 2.4.33 2.3.6 gcc 3.4.6 Xorg 6.9.0 KDE 3.5.4 XFCE 220.127.116.11 FF 18.104.22.168
12.0 2.6.21 2.5 gcc 4.1.2 Xorg 1.3.0 KDE 3.5.7 XFCE 4.4.1 FF 22.214.171.124
12.1 2.6.24 2.7 gcc 4.2.3 Xorg 1.4.0 KDE 3.5.9 XFCE 4.4.2 FF 126.96.36.199
12.2 188.8.131.52 2.7 gcc 4.2.4 Xorg 1.4.2 KDE 3.5.10 XFCE 4.4.3 FF 3.0.4
13.0 184.108.40.206 2.9 gcc 4.3.3 Xorg 1.6.3 KDE 4.2.4 XFCE 4.6.1 FF 3.5.2
13.1 220.127.116.11 2.11.1 gcc 4.4.4 Xorg 1.7.7 KDE 4.4.3 XFCE 4.6.1 FF 3.6.3
13.37 18.104.22.168 2.13 gcc 4.5.2 Xorg 1.9.5 KDE 4.5.5 XFCE 4.6.2 FF 4.0
Notes: GNOME was discontinued as of version 10.2, since version 12.0 there is xorg server version and FF stands for Firefox
As you can see, Slack has been EXTREMELY stable on software side also. I believe that machine capable of running 8.1 can still handle 13.37. Latest KDE with bells and whistles is a total different story however.
The real question is, "can you keep your old machine going forever?"
It might sound biblical but I learned a long time ago that you don't put new software in old machines - that's just asking for trouble.
When Slackware 12.0 is no longer adequate for your needs then you will probably find the same is true for your computer.
I think this needs quite a bit of qualification. For example, I've got an ancient P4 chugging along quite nicely on 13.37. Its main function is that of a home server (LAMP, Samba, NFS) but it is actually surprisingly serviceable as a desktop machine in a pinch. Sure, it isn't running any modern games, but for pretty much anything else, the upgrade to 13.37 has actually made it peppier.
The real question is, "can you keep your old machine going forever?"
I've got a IBM A22m Thinkpad (Pentium III, 1GHz processor with half a Gig of RAM) that runs Slackware 13.1 without any trouble. I use KDE as my desktop environment too. It's slower than my Dual-Core Athalon desktop computer, but not so slow that I notice it (after it boots).
It runs Libreoffice, GIMP, and even QGIS without trouble or undue slowness.
I use it to watch DVDs without any problems.
The only thin I did when I bought it used in 2006 was to take out the 20 GB hard drive and replace it with a new 250 GB one.
As long as Slackware supports the IBM's hardware, I'll continue upgrading to the latest version. I'll probably upgrade to 13.37 in the next week or two.