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Old 07-03-2018, 04:39 AM   #1
SegFault1
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Anything that I should know before I install Slackware?


I have heard that this is the place where most Slackware users hang, so guess this is the right place to ask.

I will be trying Slackware for the first time. So, for those who are already using Slackware might tell me anything I should be aware of before I make backups and wipe my hard disk. The reason why I am asking this is beacuse I have heard bad things about Slackware like, it's difficult for newbies. But I have also heard that once you know how to get around, Slackware can be a solid, robust, and rock stable distro.

About me: I have been using Linux as my daily driver since 2012. Starting with Linux Mint -> Ubuntu -> Void Linux. I am comfterble with a terminal. I do most of my work in a terminal. I am a Computer Science student. The following things are essential for me (when I work),

- Awesome WM (DistroWatch doesn't list it under Slackware.)
- Latex
- Perl, GCC, GDB, Valgrind
- Vim
- Zathura
- QuteBrowser, Firefox

And when I am not working,

- A lightweigth desktop when browsing, playing music or watching movies. (Bonus if it can mimic Windows 98, for nostalgia.)

I also heard that Slackware doesn't have a package manager. How do you guys install packages? Like do you manually pull all the dependencies when you install something?
 
Old 07-03-2018, 07:03 AM   #2
rtmistler
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Welcome to LQ SegFault1!

Sending your thread over to the Slackware forum so those folks can give you some tips.

Best,

- RT
 
Old 07-03-2018, 07:16 AM   #3
a4z
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get in touch with this:
http://docs.slackware.com/

you install everything, than you extend with the tool of your choice via additional repos of your choice
there might be, or not, based on your selection, package managers with dependency support or not
 
Old 07-03-2018, 07:17 AM   #4
onebuck
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Member response

Hi,

Welcome to LQ!

Slackware has several ways to manage packages. Look at sbopkg, Slackpkg and pkgtool;
Quote:
From 'man pkgtool;
pkgtool - software package maintenance tool.

SYNOPSIS
pkgtool

pkgtool [ --sets #a#b#c# ] [ --source_mounted ] [ --ignore_tagfiles ] [ --tagfile tagfile ] [ --source_dir directory ] [ --target_dir directory ] [
--source_device device ]

DESCRIPTION
pkgtool is a menu-driven package maintenance tool provided with the Slackware Linux distribution. It allows the user to install, remove, or view software
packages through an interactive system. Pkgtool can also be used to re-run the menu-driven scripts normally executed at the end of a Slackware installation.
This is useful for doing basic reconfiguration (like changing the mouse type).
Quote:
From 'man slackpkg';

slackpkg - Automated tool for managing Slackware Linux packages

SYNOPSIS
slackpkg [OPTIONS] {install|remove|search|upgrade|reinstall|blacklist} {PATTERN|FILE}

slackpkg [OPTIONS] {clean-system|upgrade-all|install-new}

slackpkg [OPTIONS] {search|file-search} {PATTERN|FILE}

slackpkg [OPTIONS] {generate-template|install-template|remove-template} TEMPLATENAME

slackpkg [OPTIONS] info PACKAGE

slackpkg [OPTIONS] update [gpg]

slackpkg [OPTIONS] {new-config|check-updates}

slackpkg [OPTIONS] help

DESCRIPTION
Slackpkg is a tool for those who want to easily install or upgrade packages via the network. With slackpkg, you can have a minimal installation of Slackware
Linux and install/upgrade only those packages you need most.

You don't need to setup NFS or make dozens of CDs for all your computers; all you need to do is to type one command and all of the latest official Slackware
packages will be at your fingertips.
SlackBuilds is good place to look for additional packages. Plus Alien's Slackware SlackBuilds packages is Eric Hameleers's (Alien Bob) repository.

Hope this helps.
Have fun & enjoy!

Last edited by onebuck; 07-03-2018 at 07:20 AM. Reason: correct URL
 
Old 07-03-2018, 07:48 AM   #5
matorihanzo
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With your level of experience it should be a breeze.
 
Old 07-03-2018, 08:08 AM   #6
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SegFault1 View Post
The reason why I am asking this is beacuse I have heard bad things about Slackware like, it's difficult for newbies.
I don't know that being difficult for newbies is a bad thing. It means that there is a lot more work involved and it is not advisable that newbies use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SegFault1 View Post
But I have also heard that once you know how to get around, Slackware can be a solid, robust, and rock stable distro.
This is true. The most stable distro I've ever used. You will also learn a lot of about Linux through using it. Also, no systemd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SegFault1 View Post

- Awesome WM (DistroWatch doesn't list it under Slackware.)
- Latex
Awesome does exist for Slackware. Take a look at the official documentation rather than DW.

https://docs.slackware.com/howtos:wi...nagers:awesome

As for Latex, I use Zotero myself, which is the best academic referencing software I've tried out of all those available for Slackware. There are others but they are either highly outdated [e.g. jabref] or not functional enough for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SegFault1 View Post
And when I am not working,

- A lightweigth desktop when browsing, playing music or watching movies. (Bonus if it can mimic Windows 98, for nostalgia.)
Well of course you can do those. As for the Win98 nostalgia, you can setup Xfce to your heart's content for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SegFault1 View Post
I also heard that Slackware doesn't have a package manager. How do you guys install packages? Like do you manually pull all the dependencies when you install something?
It has slackpkg. Again, look at the documentation.

https://docs.slackware.com/slackware:slackpkg

Quote:
Originally Posted by SegFault1 View Post
Like do you manually pull all the dependencies when you install something?
There are official packages which are all included in the full install. These can be updated with slackpkg. However, you may want 3rd party packages as well e.g. Spotify, neofetch etc. This are all available from Slackbuilds.org and have to be compiled. Any dependencies must be installed manually. The package's page on SBo will tell you which dependencies are required.

Last edited by Lysander666; 07-03-2018 at 08:26 AM.
 
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:39 AM   #7
Voodoo84
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There are some "traps" which you wouldn't be expecting after many years in Debian or RedHat derivatives, but most of them are easily resolvable right here on LQ, or scattered across docs.slackware.com and www.slackware.com/config/

For example, to control network settings from KDE or Xfce, you will need to have NetworkManager service running ('/etc/rc.d/rc.networkmanager start' manually or chmod +x it to autostart).
But, it conflicts with inet1 service settings, so you'll need to empty /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf content before using NetworkManager (I don't use it at all on my GUI-less server but you'll have to with a desktop environment).

I got spoiled by Ubuntu's and CentOS automatic-everything, but I also have years of SW development experience on embedded Linux systems where everything is configured via text files (and you're lucky if the root file system is not Busybox-based). At least with sysvinit or bsdinit scripts you know what's happening, unlike with systemd where I just type memorized commands off the Internet and some magic does something for me (but probably overworked sysadmins like it more).
 
Old 07-03-2018, 08:46 AM   #8
chemfire
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Don't be afraid to use egrep -rin form /etc/rc.d its usually a really good way to find out what is going on and from where!
 
Old 07-03-2018, 08:51 AM   #9
BW-userx
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Knowing how to get into BIOS and set your boot order, and how to manipulate whatever your BIOS is set up for, either MBR (Legacy) or UEFI, knowing how to deal with that first before the next step which would be your boot medium used to install Slack ( or any OS). Then which Boot loader to use, LiLo is default, (but it comes with grub, which you can install after the fact), if you plan on booting more than just windows, and one Linux OS, you got a know how to configure that, but that would fall under "some time later". Hit up Slackware's post install page wiki and run through it, picking out whatever it is you want to do to it, and the other needed steps to complete to get yourself started. Then break it a few times so you can learn how to fix it.

I think the most, or one important thing is to create a separate home and root partition, so when and if you ever have to reinstall, you can at least have a better chance of saving your personal stuff you've accumulated, because all you'll have to do is format the system (root) side (partition) then assign the home partition for a mount point, w/o formatting it.

create your user again, by using the very same name you had it before, and let the system take care of it, then you're back in you home, safe and sound.

the separate home root is also good if one starts distro hopping, just save the home partition and install the new exciting OS one is wanting to check out over the old one, config files can get to be a bother, but that is the learning part that comes along with distro hopping.

Package management has come a long way sense Slackware's conception. But it would be good practice to learn how to create a slackBuild script, and how to install software by its dependencies , as that is what is needed to know when distributing a Linux/GNU package as a whole (the OS). At least put a few under your belt, so when and if you ever run into something that is not on slackbuilds.org, you'll have an understanding of how to install whatever it is you're wanting installed.

make and make install , the very basics should be learned, or gone over as well, even if you're running Debian, or anything else Linux. Just do not over load yourself with trying to stuff all of everything in to your head at once. Your brain might blow up.

Last edited by BW-userx; 07-03-2018 at 09:06 AM.
 
Old 07-03-2018, 10:37 AM   #10
chrisretusn
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Welcome!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SegFault1 View Post
I will be trying Slackware for the first time. So, for those who are already using Slackware might tell me anything I should be aware of before I make backups and wipe my hard disk. The reason why I am asking this is because I have heard bad things about Slackware like, it's difficult for newbies. But I have also heard that once you know how to get around, Slackware can be a solid, robust, and rock stable distro.
Slackware hard, nah. I think Mint and Ubuntu are hard to master. <grin>
Aside from me installing and updating my wife's laptop she is quite happy with Slackware.
Once you know how, it pretty simple really. You may find it hard to leave Slackware. I quit distro hopping ages ago. I am quite satisfied with Slackware. Definitely solid and rock stable.

I'd say two of the biggest things to be aware of is do the recommend Full Installation to avoid problems. The second, which I "used" to do a lot was forget to run lilo. Not a serious issue, just highly annoying, simple to correct as long as you can boot to a Slackware install DVD or USB. Did I say used to... just yesterday I did that after updating the kernel on my laptop.

Quote:
- Awesome WM << Available on SlackBuilds.org
- Latex << texlive is part of Slackware.
- Perl, GCC, GDB, Valgrind << first three part of Slackware, the last available on SlackBuild.org
- Vim << Part of Slacware
- Zathura << Available on SlackBuilds.org
- QuteBrowser, Firefox << QuteBrowser available on SlackBuild.org, Firefox part of Slackware
Quote:
- A lightweight desktop when browsing, playing music or watching movies. (Bonus if it can mimic Windows 98, for nostalgia.)
Don't know about the Windows 98, but kde, xfce, fluxbox, blackbox, wmaker, fvwm2 and twm are available windows managers in Slackware with that last five being light weight.

Quote:
I also heard that Slackware doesn't have a package manager. How do you guys install packages? Like do you manually pull all the dependencies when you install something?
I does have an installed package manager called slackpkg, along with pkgtools which consist of tools to install, upgrade, remove packages. Also to explode (extract contents) and create packages. Once thing of note, slackpkg is for Slackware packages only, not non-slack or third party packages. Slackpkg is only to update Slackware. These are the default tools I use, along with one other I don't believe has been mentioned yet, slackpkg+ an add-on to slackpkg that allows installation of 3rd party packages plus a few nice extra features using slackpkg.

As far as dependencies go, it's in your hands. I don't use any dependency related tools for Slackware so can't say much except there is I believe, two 3rd party programs that to help with dependencies.

I like the hard way (easy once you get into it). I don't use any SlackBuilds.org scripts, I write my own. I did for a short while but the scripts just didn't fit the way I wanted to do things. It's safe to say my scripts would need some modification to be put on SlackBuild.org. <grin> I build it my way. I also use repositories for some packages, notably OpenJDK, LibreOffice, VLC and Calibre all from Alien Bob's repository. I really like the satisfaction I get from a successful build. Oh BTW, before I started writing my own scripts I did it manually to learn. I still do (well not manually anymore, via the script with a well placed "exit") when creating a new script or even modifying one for an update sometimes do things in steps to see what I may need do later.

Last edited by chrisretusn; 07-03-2018 at 10:42 AM. Reason: Writing fixes. Probably missed a few.
 
Old 07-03-2018, 10:49 AM   #11
hitest
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Welcome to LQ! Not too much to add to the excellent, previous posts. I suggest that you familiarize yourself with all of the available documentation before you do your first Slackware installation.
Be warned. Slackware is highly addictive.
 
Old 07-03-2018, 10:49 AM   #12
montagdude
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The lack of dependency resolution tends to be seen as a big negative by those who come from different distros. In reality, it's not a big deal, and you may even come to the conclusion that dependency-resolving package managers are actually more of an annoyance and hindrance than anything. You just have to realize that Slackware is not Debian (or anything else), and you should not try to use it as if it were. Rather than try to explain it, I will just link you to a writeup that expresses these ideas much better than I can:

https://docs.slackware.com/slackwareackage_and_dependency_management_shouldn_t_put_you_off_slackware

Last edited by montagdude; 07-03-2018 at 10:51 AM. Reason: typo
 
Old 07-03-2018, 11:16 AM   #13
Gordie
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Welcome to LQ.
I came to Slackware as a new Linux user many years ago and now nothing else fits for me and I try all sorts of distros. Do what I do - Stay in the Slackware section of LQ (lurk and learn)
 
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:10 PM   #14
mralk3
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Anything that I should know before I install Slackware?

The only thing I've ever really missed from other distributions when using Slackware is SELinux. The best part about Slackware is that you can very easily extend and customize Slackware into whatever you would like.

I like to explain to Slackware newbies is how releases work so that there is no confusion. New releases are ready when Pat says they are ready. No amount of begging or complaining will speed up the development of a new release. The latest release is version 14.2. If you find that your hardware needs a newer kernel, or some other support, run Slackware-current. Most commonly referred to as just "-current", it is the development branch of Slackware. -current is very stable in most cases but not meant for production environments. With that said, many desktop home users run -current. I use -current on my gaming and development machines. On my router and home server I run 14.2.

Slackware ships with vanilla sources and packages are kept as vanilla as possible. The only time shipped software in Slackware is modified is if there is a build failure or outstanding bug. Other than that every package matches upstream development. You may wish to download the Slackware sources to customize a package from what upstream ships. However, Pat generally has sane defaults and you mostly will use software as it's shipped.

 
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:58 PM   #15
1337_powerslacker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SegFault1 View Post
I have heard that this is the place where most Slackware users hang, so guess this is the right place to ask.

I will be trying Slackware for the first time. So, for those who are already using Slackware might tell me anything I should be aware of before I make backups and wipe my hard disk. The reason why I am asking this is beacuse I have heard bad things about Slackware like, it's difficult for newbies. But I have also heard that once you know how to get around, Slackware can be a solid, robust, and rock stable distro.

About me: I have been using Linux as my daily driver since 2012. Starting with Linux Mint -> Ubuntu -> Void Linux. I am comfterble with a terminal. I do most of my work in a terminal.
First of all, welcome to the Slackware section of LQ!

The previous posts have pretty much covered all you want (or need!) to know about Slackware. The only thing I would add is that Slackware is one of the very few distros that remain 100% systemd free. Given that most other distros use it by default makes this worth mentioning. Our distro's init system is derived from the BSDs, and continues to work well in this present day and age. In fact, it was the presence of this init system that drew me initially to this distro, and the other virtues mentioned in the previous posts solidified my decision. It is the only distro I run, and will ever run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SegFault1 View Post
I am a Computer Science student.
I was also a CS student. I graduated in Fall 2017. Having a Bachelor's degree in CS (my university classifies it as 'Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology') isn't required, but it sure can't hurt.

May it be for you as it has been for many of us: Rock-solid, dependable, and simple to administrate (Once you learn the ins and outs, of course. It isn't that hard, I promise. It may look that way at first, but it will get easier with time).

Have fun installing, learning, and running Slackware!
 
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