Some important information for Slackware install newbies
I had time on my hands recently so I said to myself, "Self, why not install Slackware 9.0?".
Self complied and several days later I have it running pretty much the way I want to and I think
it's a great distro because: it loads quickly and KDE runs fast on it. Having said that I feel
there are some deficiencies in the install documentation and I see here in this forum the same
posts over and over about the same problems. I got some good help from this forum and I figured
some stuff out on my own (I know, THAT'S THE IDEA!) so I want to put it all in this note to perhaps
reduce some of the frustration newbies feel. Please don't flame my ass if I say something that isn't
technically exact - my Linux knowledge wouldn't qualify me to shine Mr Torvalds boots, and I'm only
trying to help!
I installed from a bootable ISO Slackware 9.0 cd and I imagine most people will these days. It will
ask you to boot a kernel, choose a keyboard map, and then type in 'root'. You'll next have to make
some partitions on your hard drive(s) and here is some important stuff:
1) Use cfdisk to make the partitions, NOT fdisk. I couldn't get fdisk to work properly on my system
and I gather from many of the posts that others couldn't either.
2) After you WRITE the partitions, exit from cfdisk and reboot your system. I think that the setup
procedure won't be able to format your partitions if you don't reboot. (By the way, I choose SWAP, /boot, and /
as my partitions [in that order], and it seems to be ok for me.)
So you've rebooted, and you have to repeat picking a kernel, choosing a keyboard map, and logging in as root.
I choose to install all packages and let the sucker fly without intervention (full option), but here is something
annoying that happened to me and to many others posting to this site:
3) I installed Slackware 9.0 four times (gotta learn right?!), and three of those four times a VERY IMPORTANT
package was not installed. This package is glibc-2.3.1-i386-3. You will likely need this package as you can't
compile anything without it (For example, compiling ALSA drivers for your sound). If you try to compile without this
package, you'll get something like "file crt1.o not found". Strangely, the package IS on my cd, it just doesn't get
installed sometimes. I used KPackage to install it and then I had no problems compiling.
At this point you may wish to check if the kernel source code for 2.4.20 was put on your system. If you plan to do
kernel compiles you'll want this. It wasn't on my CD, but I got it from the www.slackware.com website and installed it
under /usr/src so that I had a /usr/src/linux-2.4.20. I think this is ok for Slackware as it doesn't put any header files
here from the installed kernel. I then did a symbolic link with the console command:
ln -s /usr/src/linux-2.4.20 /usr/src/linux as this seems to be the place many compile scripts look.
The next couple of things I want to say may or may not be relevant to people with VIA chipsets and/or ATI Radeon cards,
but read on anyway.
4) Are you having trouble getting some SOUND out of Slackare? If you are, don't bother mucking with anything on the distro -
GO THEE HITHER TO DOWNLOAD THE ALSA SOURCE CODE at www.alsa-project.org. Unzip it and put it into the /usr/src directory and
read the INSTALL file. As I had to, I think you will have to run ./configure --with-kernel=/usr because
Slackware puts the required headers under /usr/include/linux. After you run ./snddevices, it tells you to
edit the modules.conf file according to the example file they give. This is important for Slackware:
5) Slackware doesn't seem to use either modules.conf or conf.modules, but rather the file rc.modules in the
/etc/rc.d directory. Put your ALSA entries in there, not modules.conf. Finally, (at least for VIA onboard
sound chipsets like VT8233), you may have to add the lines:
after the other ALSA entries in rc.modules. This is because of some blah-blah-blah about OSS driver
emulation. After rebooting, if you run the console command lsmod, you should see a lot of sound related drivers like:
snd-pcm-oss 36740 1
snd-mixer-oss 11256 0 [snd-pcm-oss]
snd-via82xx 7756 1
snd-pcm 54720 0 [snd-pcm-oss snd-via82xx]
snd-timer 9992 0 [snd-pcm]
snd-ac97-codec 28164 0 [snd-via82xx]
snd-mpu401-uart 2848 0 [snd-via82xx]
snd-rawmidi 12320 0 [snd-mpu401-uart]
snd-seq-device 3868 0 [snd-rawmidi]
snd 23948 0 [snd-pcm-oss snd-mixer-oss snd-via82xx snd-pcm snd-timer snd-ac97-codec snd-mpu401-uart snd-rawmidi snd-seq-device]
soundcore 3332 3 [snd]
For the last bit, run a mixer program like kmix and turn up the volume as the default is no volume!!! If you try xmms now, make
sure you use the correct sound output driver (arts, OSS, etc.) I have the arts sound system turned off and I run xmms and other
apps using the oss output drivers.
6) ATI Radeon: the driver for 2D and 3D support is there already in XFree86 version 4.3.0. You don't need to get anything
from ATI's website. The driver is 'radeon' and you should have an entry in /etc/X11/XF86Config like (use your own board name):
BoardName "Radeon 8500LE"
and in the modules section you must have this:
# This loads the GLX and DRI modules
And finally you will need to have some sort of AGP kernel/kernel module support to get the full acceleration (if you have an
AGP card). In the /etc/rc.d/rc.modules file I had to put the entry:
/sbin/modprobe agpgart agp_try_unsupported=1
You may not need the option agp_try_unsupported=1. Try without it first, but I couldn't load the module in my case. The way to
find out is run the console command: modprobe agpgart. If it doesn't load try it like: modprobe agpgart agp_try_unsupported=1
After all of this run the console command: glxgears and look at the frame rate output. If you are getting more than 100fps on a
full screen, then you are probably good to go. After, try some some OpenGL game like tux-racer, quake, or Castle Wolfenstein.
Hope this helps somebody. Good luck Slackers...
Nice post, its good to have a slack-newbie-installer's view for others to read.
Perhaps it should be added that the support for hardware 3D acceleration on Radeon cards excludes the R300 chip (and beyond, I guess). There are numerous threads on this, but I thought it might be good to add a comment to this one as well. Nice post, btw. :)
Well that is a very nice post but you forgot one main problem people are having here including me actaully getting a bootable slackware 9.0 CD everyone seems to be having this problem some say they tried 10 times before getting it to work is there some other way around this because floppies are a pain
I had no problems downloading the ISO from the GA Tech ftp server. Worked the first time. It's one of the one's listed at slackware.com:
I had no trouble using fdisk.
I just followed along with the setup program and everything worked fine. I don't recall having to reboot in the middle of the install, unless it was a part of the flow of the setup.
I installed 'everything', so I had no problem with glibc.
I got sound by uncommenting one line from /etc/rc.modules.
I don't know anything about alsa.
I don't have ATI, I have nvidia and the newest ...4363.run driver worked just fine.
Just another point of view for us newbies.
Also, I have a 56K connection, so my install was from a store-bought version of slackware 9.0, $20.00 or so, as I recall.
I have one question though what is the purpose of having the iso.asc file there? Seeing how it is only 1kb
Ginster - thanks for letting me know about the link i am going to give it a try once it is finished downloading the only thing is i have ot go to work in a little while so it won't be until tonight.
I am hoping my recent failures at achieving a bootable slackware CD is the iso file itself seeing how i tried getting it from different sources but out of the two neither was bootable.
Partitions - a seperate one for /home is a *good* idea. This way you keep all your data if you reinstall / upgrade
Slackware 9 definately works with /etc/modules.conf
The alsaconf script in the utils directory of the Alsa drivers package will automatically write this for you
Compiling and installing non-Slack stuff
1)A fine point - Put the code in /usr/local/src
2)A practical point - install the Checkinstall package (2nd Slackware disc). Then instead of "make install", which puts stuff who knows where, use "checkinstall" which makes and installs a package under normal package management controls
As Alsa is concerned, I confirm that Slack uses modules.conf, so it can be prepared by alsaconf (by the way, isn't it outdated a little bit?) or by hand. On Alsa website you may also find link to table with all soundcards supported, and just there for each position is further link to documentation for this particular soundcard, where all configure and modules.conf options are really well described. It makes configuration process easier.
In my opinion, sound quality is really better with Alsa.
Re: Some important information for Slackware install newbies
agpgart: unsupported bridge
agpgart: no supported devices found.
in XFree's log:
(WW) RADEON(0): [agp] AGP not available
when modprobe agpgart or agpgart agp_try_unsupported=1:
/lib/modules/2.4.20/kernel/drivers/char/agp/agpgart.o.gz: init_module: No such device
/lib/modules/2.4.20/kernel/drivers/char/agp/agpgart.o.gz: Hint: insmod errors can be caused by incorrect module parameters, including invalid IO or IRQ parameters.
You may find more information in syslog or the output from dmesg
/lib/modules/2.4.20/kernel/drivers/char/agp/agpgart.o.gz: insmod /lib/modules/2.4.20/kernel/drivers/char/agp/agpgart.o.gz failed
/lib/modules/2.4.20/kernel/drivers/char/agp/agpgart.o.gz: insmod agpgart failed
Nevermind, it's an nforce2 chipset AGP issue with stock kernel, i must recompile.
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