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This is a semi-random collection of posts on nearly all things Slackware and Linux-related -- at least as I see it.
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Keeping Slackware Up-to-date...

Posted 12-30-2009 at 09:01 AM by Lufbery
Updated 01-28-2010 at 07:08 AM by Lufbery

Starting from scratch, here's what I do:

Keeping the Stock Slackware Up-to-date
  1. Install a fresh Slackware from the iso.
  2. Use lftp with the mirror option to mirror the /slackware64-13.0/patches/packages/ directory from my favorite Slackware mirror:
    lftp -c "open ; mirror -e -n packages"
  3. READ THE CHANGELOG! This is inportant even when using Slackpkg. There's important information in the changelog. For example, the latest kernel update had a reminder to rerun lilo.
  4. Then cd into the local /patches/packages directory and run upgradepkg *.txz.

Now I've got an up-to-date stock Slackware installation. I subscribe to the security mailing list, so I get notices when there's an important update, and I read the changelog every week or so to look for new updates.

When there's a new update, I again use lftp with the mirror option to delete old files and download news ones --

lftp -c "open ; mirror -e -n packages"
-- syncing my local mirror with the one on the network. Then I run
upgradepkg *.txz
again. Upgradepkg does nothing to existing packages with versions that match, so only the ones that need to be updated are updated.

Installing New Software and Keeping it Up-to-Date

I use Sbopkg almost exclusively to help me manage packages not included with the stock Slackware. I install Sbopkg, and then install the packages that I want. These include Open Office, Frozen Bubble, Dosbox,Kaffein, and the associated libraries (like libdvdcss).

Sbopkg looks in var/log/packages and identifies the SBo packages and can even see if newer versions are available. It will also check and see if newer versions of itself are available.

Beyond that, there are a few applications where I build packages by myself using src2pkg or grab them from Robby's or Eric's repositories. QGIS is one I build myself. VLC player is one I grab from Eric. In those cases, I simply check to see if there is an update and either build it again, grab the update, or simply don't bother.

The last point is important, I think. Why and when people update their OS and applications is a personal decision, but I feel that most of the time, it isn't needed. And that's true for any operating system! There's very little need for most people to upgrade beyond MS Word 95!

I spent a good portion of my early career working professionally as technical writer/desktop publishing expert/web designer, and I still think that Photoshop 6 fulfills nearly all of my needs even today. That's not to say that the newer versions aren't nice, just that they often offer only incremental improvements that aren't worth the cost -- even just the cost in time.

Security updates, of course, are a different matter. It's a good idea to apply them as quickly as possible.
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