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Old 03-20-2006, 01:36 PM   #1
introuble
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Keeping Slackware Up-To-Date


Hello !

I'm considering a move from Gentoo Linux to Slackware Linux but before I do that there are some topics on which I could not find satisfying information. These are related to keeping Slackware "up-to-date" (as the thread title implies).

#1. What exactly is slackware-current and how does one come to run -current from an (i.e.) slackware 10.2 install ? What is the recommended way to stay -current (I heard something about rsync but details or a pointer to some online documentation would be great!). If one stays -current and .. Slackware 10.3 is released (for example), does that person currently run Slackware 10.3 ("so to speak") ?

#2. For packages not provided on the Slackware Linux CDS (i.e. "Valknut" .. or others) which also don't benefit from "patches" from the Slackware team .. how does one keep up to date with them ? If I have .. hm .. 30 packages installed which are not provided on the CDS .. am I supposed to track the individual evolution of each of these packages and update accordingly ? Sounds like a rather harsh task. (I don't need the latest versions of everything because of "bleeding edge new features" but because new versions may also contain patches for security vulns). I've heard people being against package management tools like "slapt-get" , "swaret" etc. So what is the "Slackware way" of keeping "non-official" (i.e. not targeted by the Slackware team) packages up-to-date (at least security wise)?

#3. Kernel update guide for Slackware ? I can't quite figure out if you are supposed to somehow install/upgrade the kernel as you would a regular package (actually I have no idea if that is possible .. anyway).

#4. I never do full installs regardless the Linux Distribution I'm using, Slackware is no exception. Is this a stupid thing to do ? (ok .. heh .. so this has nothing to do with the thread title..)

Thank you for your attention ! I'm anxiously waiting for replies!

Last edited by introuble; 03-20-2006 at 01:40 PM.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 01:50 PM   #2
MannyNix
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Here's an "in a hurry" reply, start with Shilo's http://shilo.is-a-geek.com/slack/
For upgrading i recomment slackpck (included) and for installing, i'd do a full install and then slim it down (Shilo again). Good luck and welcome
ps. #2 I like checkinstall http://asic-linux.com.mx/~izto/checkinstall/
 
Old 03-20-2006, 02:06 PM   #3
Hangdog42
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#1) The only way to keep up with current is to read the changelog first, then update with whatever tool you like. As people are currently finding out, blindly updating current with tools like swaret or slackpkg can cause real problems because things are put in current that will break existing systems unless proper actions are taken.

#2) You can use tools like swaret to point to non-official repositories like linuxpackages and keep things updated that way. Personally, I find it easier to just keep track of the stuff I use and update by hand.

#3) Slackware does allow you to upgrade your kernel with packages, but there really aren't the steady stream of kernel upgrade packages you find with other distros. The expectation here is that you either stick with the stock kernels or you learn to roll your own.

#4) Unless you really know what you are doing, I would suggest a full install to start. In my opinion it is easier to remove stuff later when you know you don't need it as opposed to banging your head on the keyboard in frustration because critical packages weren't installed and you didn't realize they were critical. Besides, a full install of Slackware really isn't that big.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 06:09 PM   #4
shilo
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Distribution: Slackware 11 - kernel 2.6.19.1 - Dropline Gnome 2.16.2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by introuble
#1. What exactly is slackware-current
Slackware-current is the testing branch of Slackware. It is continuously changed, until it one day becomes the next Slackware release.

Updates are made to the actual release branches when needed for security reasons. If you are only interested in updating for security, it is generally a better idea to stick with an actual release branch, not Slackware-current.

Quote:
Originally Posted by introuble
how does one come to run -current from an (i.e.) slackware 10.2 install ?
You can download the updated, renamed, and newly added packages from a Slackware mirror. Then, use pkgtool (or it's components, i.e. installpkg, upgradepkg, removepkg) to modify your system. Upgrades are easy, but you will also want to look for removed, replaced, and renamed packages. As already noted, this means reading the changelog. This can take awhile, depending on how long it's been since a release.

Note that you probably want to avoid a few packages, like the aaa*, kernel*, alsa-driver, *solibs, self-compiled packages, special third-party packages, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by introuble
What is the recommended way to stay -current (I heard something about rsync but details or a pointer to some online documentation would be great!)
The recommended way is to read the changelog, manually download relevant packages, and adjust your install accordingly (per the above advice).

I use rsync to keep a Slackware mirror on my system. This doesn't do any updating for you, but it fetches all of your packages automatically. To set something like this up:

Decide where you want to keep the mirror (you'll want plenty of space. I use /var/slackware-current.

Copy over the install disks to the directory you chose (this saves a lot of time/bandwidth the first time you use rsync).

Use rsync. I use a script called /etc/cron.daily/rsync. Use at your own risk:

Code:
#!/bin/sh
/usr/bin/rsync --delete -a \
--exclude=/zipslack/ --exclude=/pasture/ \
--exclude=/slackware/kdei/ \
ftp.slackware.at::slackware/slackware-current/ \
/var/slackware-current
Quote:
Originally Posted by introuble
If one stays -current and .. Slackware 10.3 is released (for example), does that person currently run Slackware 10.3 ("so to speak") ?
Pretty much. If you avoid the aaa* packages, you will need to edit /etc/slackware-version manually when the new release is made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by introuble
#2. For packages not provided on the Slackware Linux CDS (i.e. "Valknut" .. or others) which also don't benefit from "patches" from the Slackware team .. how does one keep up to date with them ? If I have .. hm .. 30 packages installed which are not provided on the CDS .. am I supposed to track the individual evolution of each of these packages and update accordingly ? Sounds like a rather harsh task. (I don't need the latest versions of everything because of "bleeding edge new features" but because new versions may also contain patches for security vulns). I've heard people being against package management tools like "slapt-get" , "swaret" etc. So what is the "Slackware way" of keeping "non-official" (i.e. not targeted by the Slackware team) packages up-to-date (at least security wise)?
Where do the packages come from? If you are self compiling, you are of course responsible for tracking, patching, upgrading, etc. If you are using third-party packages, it will depend. Dropline, for example, has it's own installer that can be used for updates. Other repos can be tricky. SWareT, for example, does not differentiate between Official and third party packages. Therefore, using SWareT to track third-party repos and Slackware mirrors can ne a wreck. You will most likely unknowingly replace Official Slackware packages with third-party versions. That can be a bad thing.

The safest way to track third-party packages is to do treat them like the Slackware packages, manually.

I believe there are several security mailing lists that track security issues, so you may want to subscribe to one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by introuble
#3. Kernel update guide for Slackware ? I can't quite figure out if you are supposed to somehow install/upgrade the kernel as you would a regular package (actually I have no idea if that is possible .. anyway).
You can (as in, it is possible to) upgrade the kernel with packages, but I avoid doing this. Compiling yourself is the best way to go, IMHO. Just be sure to keep up on what is going on (there are requirements for newer kernels that you may not have implemented on your system, noteably, a more recent UDEV).

Quote:
Originally Posted by introuble
#4. I never do full installs regardless the Linux Distribution I'm using, Slackware is no exception. Is this a stupid thing to do ? (ok .. heh .. so this has nothing to do with the thread title..)
I usually do a fulkl install because it is quick and easy. When i get a new system going, I then remove all the packages I don't need. Maybe not as efficient, but it is easy to get the initial install done this way. Also, if you slowly remove the packages that you don't need, you are more likely to be able to track down the problem if you break your system.

It is far from stupid to use a minimal installation. A minimal installation is the way to go. One of the first steps in securing your Linux installation is to remove un-needed packages/programs.

I agree with Hangdog42. If you don't know what you are doing, a full install can save a lot of headaches. It appears, though, that you are already at least somewhat knowledgable in this area (having used minimal installations before).
 
Old 03-21-2006, 08:08 AM   #5
introuble
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Thanks a lot for the replies! They were truely enlightening!
 
  


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