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Old 12-05-2003, 05:54 PM   #1
correctme
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Kenilworth - GB
Distribution: Slackware9
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Upgrading & security patching slackware


Hi

I have been experimenting with various Distros for a couple of years and am currently working my way around Debian and Slackware on a couple of spare PCs.

Both are challenging and I really like the way Debian upgrades etc with Apt-get.

Debian is really well documented on forums such as this and elsewhere, so when I get problems I read and search etc.

Slackware i find easier to use and more up to date, but I cannot figure how to apply the latest patches and upgrades such as new librarys etc. How do you keep Slack up to date?

Is the idea that you should upgrade to the latest version every time it comes out? I am on Slack 9.0. Maybe I have not figured out the Slack philosophy yet? I understand how Debian goes about how it upgrades etc and its 'committee' approach. No problems with that.

Thanks to all the experts out there prepared to help.
 
Old 12-05-2003, 06:34 PM   #2
ac1980
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Well, slack works great out-of-the-box, but don't expect it to "evolve" on your pc: there's no real package manager, not to mention a repository. What you do is reinstall every 6 months a new release. Too bad the don't even use jigdo, so you must download whole iso from scratch.
I used slack 9.0 for a while, then when i needed newer libs for mozilla i simply moved to debian sarge.
I still promote slack for first-timers: it's much faster, smaller and cleaner than mandrake while being easy to install. It's probably useful, provided the get cds, for people with dial-up, too, who won't upgrade so often and are not exposed to high risk.

My advice is: don't try to keep slack updated via rpm: you'll soon end up with a caotic system. Use it while it lasts then move on. And keep your /home on a different filesystem
 
Old 12-05-2003, 10:42 PM   #3
Vincent_Vega
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The command "upgradepkg" will upgrade an installed Slackware package. The syntax is as follows:

# [ROOT=<path>] upgradepkg <package name>...

Let us know if this command works for what you're doing. This comes straight off the Slackware site and you can check it out at:
http://www.slackware.com/book/index....rce=x4000.html
 
Old 12-05-2003, 10:48 PM   #4
mi6
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have you tried swaret? It's on the second CD in the extras/ directory. I don't think the repository is as refined as apt's but it does dependency checking for you. I find it quite handy for keeping up to date.
 
Old 12-05-2003, 11:39 PM   #5
Xylon
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Location: Newfoundland, Canada
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Go to http://www.swaret.org

Once you have it set up, issue:

swaret --update
swaret --upgrade

And, if you set version in the config to current, swaret will detect and upgrade all packages on the Slack mirrors that are newer than what you have now. Doing this can even bring Slackware 9.0 up to 9.1! It's great.
 
Old 12-06-2003, 01:54 AM   #6
colnago
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Thank you for putting me on to swaret, it is great.

I am using vector linux and my only complaint had been the pain of finding packages (+resolving dep.).

C
 
Old 12-07-2003, 06:50 AM   #7
correctme
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Kenilworth - GB
Distribution: Slackware9
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Thanks for the great advice!

I will try a few of these and let you know.
 
Old 12-07-2003, 07:44 AM   #8
joef
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keeping slack up-to-date

You might also want to check out slapt-get, an apt-like system for Slackware. I've personally stuck with swaret, but slapt-get seems to be updated frequently. The best site to know is linuxpackages.net. They have lots of slack packages and links to other sites. When I built this new box I tried both Libranet 2.7 and a hard-drive install of Knoppix, and I didn't see any particular difference in the upgrade processes if you're using Swaret or slapt-get.

And I love having the latest packages. With 9.1 being 2.6-ready, I'm hoping Slackware comes out with a 2.6 upgrade quickly after that kernel is declared stable. Maybe I can finally install onto my SATA drive.

Have fun,

joe f.
 
Old 12-07-2003, 09:13 AM   #9
Rashkae
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Slack security updates are kept in the patches directory of the Slackware version on the ftp mirrors.

For example, ftp.slackware.com/pub/slackware/slackware-9.1/patches.

I usually download the changelog.txt and md5sums from there, then find the packages on one of the faster mirrors. I prefer to update my packages manually one at a time, since it does happen that a package can sometimes not work quite as perfect as it should. Also note that Patrick is very fast at releasing security updates, sometimes faster than just about anyone else. He also continues supporting versions of Slackware for a while, even after a newer version has come out. However, eventually, support for older versions gets quietly dropped, without any fanfare or official End of Life date. As a rule of thumb, I find that the latest 2 versions are supported and patched. (currently, 9.0 and 9.1)
 
Old 12-07-2003, 11:33 PM   #10
zaphodiv
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The security announcements usually have step by step instructions for installing updates.

>the latest 2 versions are supported and patched. (currently, 9.0 and 9.1)

No kernel upgrade for 8.1 :-(
 
Old 12-08-2003, 03:45 AM   #11
thegeekster
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Personally, I'm not too fond of swaret......I used it to update my system, which it did without problems. But when doing the dependency checks, I installed all the libs asked for. When it double-checked for dependencies again, swaret was asking for sane and xsane, which I did and then swaret was happy. But these two I didn't install when first installing Slack since I don't have a scanner

But that's not all. After a reboot, I get error messages about not being able to find my sound card drivers when starting up the GUI (KDE). I know how to fix that, by reinstalling alsa by hand, but this is a bit bothersome for me.

So now, I think I'll try slapt-get and see how that fares. Also, I've just installed checkinstall (which I found out about at linuxpackages.net) to keep track of any installs I do from source, so if I want to uninstall something completely (that wasn't installed with the package manager), I can do so.

My 2 cents.......
 
Old 12-08-2003, 08:46 AM   #12
Rashkae
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Quote:
Originally posted by zaphodiv

No kernel upgrade for 8.1 :-(
Building a kernel is one thing people who admin Linux boxen (and that includes keeping a home system up to date) should learn as early on as they can. It isn't terribly difficult, and updating kernels by binary packages is by comparison, just a really scary thing.
 
Old 12-08-2003, 03:42 PM   #13
thegeekster
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Well, I must say my bias against swaret is a little misplaced......at least about it breaking my sound driver. It seems that the culprit is not swaret, but the updated "alsa-driver" pkg. The same thing happened with slapt-get.

The only workaround I can think of offhand is to exclude the "alsa-driver" pkg from being upgraded until a fix is available. ......and exclude the sane/xsane pkgs that I don't need.

........And building kernels isn't that difficult. I'm a real Linux n00b, but am able to rebuild a kernel without too much problem.....the hardest part is in what to configure. The only advice I can give anyone new to Linux is to browse throught the /usr/src/linux/Documentation directory. You'll find a wealth of information to help you along
 
Old 12-08-2003, 11:19 PM   #14
tcpip95
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slapt-get works great. I've been using it for awhile now without any problems. I have it run daily from cron.daily and it keeps me patched.
 
  


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