Visit Jeremy's Blog.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Slackware
User Name
Slackware This Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.


  Search this Thread
Old 06-27-2004, 08:17 PM   #1
LQ Guru
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: nottingham england
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 2,672

Rep: Reputation: 47
first impressions of slackware-10 sucky ! please help !

ive used redhat 9, fedora core 1, and fedora core 2.
and loved them all.

im no newbie, ive compiled many kernels, edited driver source to get winmodems working, and tinkered around with runlevels.

however slackware 10 i found as a nightmare !

ok... i downloaded disk1 and disk2 iso's and placed them on a FAT32 disk.
i then burned a boot floppy, and the 2 install disks to floppy's

booted the boot floppy, and inserted the other 2 floppy's when prompted.

was then put into a linux environment.

made some mount points (not in /mnt after reading the notes in there)
mkdir /fat32
mkdir /S1
mkdir /S2
mkdir /packages.

mounted the fat32 disk, and the slackware iso's using the loopback device.
then in /packages made symbolic links to all the slackware packages.

my disk was already partitoned ( a / and a swap partiton, no need to re-partiton)

then i typed setup to start setup.i got my keyboard map,
i formated my partitons, and decided to go with the "failsafe" install everything...

then i get the option about what kernel... i cant find the kernel on the source disks... so i go with the recomended option.. use the kernel from the boot disk.

everything installed. at the end, the lilo config, i chose to go with the recomended option (1) install to boot sector, NOT MBR as i didnt want it to upset the windows disk (fat32) just incase lilo didnt work.

(beofre this disk had GRUB on its mbr)
so.. i re-booted.
i get a GRUB errror, grub is still on the MBR and cannot find its config file.

so i booted knoppix, and ran the lilo conf program. ERROR.. lilo doesnt know how to handle my graphics card (ge-force 4 440 MX)

AGH ! so i go for GRUB as the boot loader. re-boot.

ahh. lovely ol grub....

i load the Slackware kernel... but... there is no initrd ? maybe slack doesnt require an initial ramdisk ?

so i give the boot command... 'boot'

all seems to go well... then... "please insert an floppy ramdisk"

i like distro's where i can get down into the config scripts, and have a fiddle..... but i didnt expect somthing as simple as booting the thing to be such an enigma !

what have i done wrong ?
ive gone with failsafe, and recomended options all the way through the install....

ohh, and that thing about use the boot disk with the option "mount root=/dev/hdb1" to boot your system if it aint bootable after install doesnt work either... just asks for the install floppy again.

so.. now im left with knoppix untill i can download a linux distro....
Old 06-27-2004, 08:50 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 83

Rep: Reputation: 15
Here are instructions if you burn CD1 and boot off of it. This may work with boot disks, and it may not. I don't know. Anyway, if you can boot off of CD1, at the boot: prompt enter 'bare.i root=/dev/hdXY noinitrd ro' where hdXY is the root partition to which you installed Slackware. This should get you into your system. Now login as root. Run 'liloconfig' and set it up...this program will walk you through setting up LILO to boot both Slackware and Windows. This time, install LILO to the MBR. Once LILO is installed, remove the CD and reboot. You should get the LILO boot menu and be able to boot Slackware or Windows.

This may also be possible using the boot disks, but I'm not sure about that.
Old 06-27-2004, 09:00 PM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: nottingham england
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 2,672

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 47

installing to the MBR will install to the promary master MBR (which is my windows machine)
i dont want to crap that up incase it doesnt work (again) and my family cannot get into windows.

and second.. i dotn have a cd-burner, which is why im using the boot off floppy method.

any other ideas ?
Old 06-27-2004, 10:03 PM   #4
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Kennesaw GA
Distribution: Slackware-current , Slack81Zip, Smoothwall v2
Posts: 427

Rep: Reputation: 30
You might want to try downloading zipslack. It runs on the fat partition and can boot with a
bootdisk or using loadlin has the details
Old 06-27-2004, 10:16 PM   #5
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Morgantown, WV
Distribution: Slackware 10.0
Posts: 39

Rep: Reputation: 15
Copying LILO or GRUB to the MBR of your windows disk is actually pritty safe, Its fully compatible with any version of windows I have tried it with ( windows 200, WindowsXP and Windows server 2003). Ony thing it will do is cause youtr computer to boot up to a prompt, and it will ask you to chose windows or Slackware, or whatever else you configured it to.

IF your worried about booting from a Fat32 partition try loadlin. Its a Bootloader avaible with slackware that can boot a windows partition form a DOS/fat32 environment.

Honestly If I were you I would just take the plunge and install LILO to the MBR, its really not that hard to do..... but the only thing you have to worry about is what if it messes up?

Once LILO is installed it can be of hard to get off...unless you have a Windows XP or 2000 Disk handy.

If you have the windows instalation disk all you need to do is boot of it and start up a rescue console and type in: "fix mbr" ....without the quotes.

This causes windows to copy over the existing MBR (the one with lilo or grub installed in it) with the GOOD old Windows NT boot loader (which basically resets it back to normal).

Although if you are trying to RUN slackware from a Fat32 enviroment..... it is not made to do that... well except for zipslack as the post before me says. To Run Linux from a fat32 envoriment (as opposed to running it with a native linux fileformat enviroment and just having a fat32 disk mounted) you have to recompile the kernel I think..... and add in some extra stuff that does not come on the standard slackware kernel (bare.i).

So like I said ..... you might as well install it to the MBR, becuase as long as you have a windows 2k, or XP disk around, its quite easy to fix it IF it actually goes wrong.
Old 06-27-2004, 10:36 PM   #6
Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 83

Rep: Reputation: 15
You mentioned that prior to installing Slackware, the disk had GRUB on it's MBR, so the Windows boot loader has already been nuked. Just install LILO to the MBR. As long as you know which partition is windows (more than likely, /dev/hda1), just enter that as a Windows boot option in liloconfig and you'll be fine.

Further, to be extra careful, just make sure you have a DOS boot disk handy. A Windows 98 boot disk works great for this, or whatever Windows installation media you have. You can also download DOS boot disks for free, just google for them.

If something should happen and you can't boot to Windows with LILO, boot off a DOS floppy and enter the command 'fdisk /mbr' -- voila, Windows will now boot. As mentioned above, if you use Windows XP, just boot off the installation and type 'fix mbr' or 'fixmbr' or something like that and Windows will boot again.
Old 06-28-2004, 07:42 AM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: Slackware 10 kernel 2.6.7 NVIDIA graphics
Posts: 15

Rep: Reputation: 0
I've always installed LILO to the mbr. I run Slack 10 and Win Xp Pro dual boot. i have never had any trouble with lilo. Definatly try lilo in the mbr it works great.
Old 06-28-2004, 08:04 AM   #8
Registered: May 2004
Distribution: Slackware C
Posts: 274

Rep: Reputation: 30
almost the same here,

my laptop is not even on the "compatible" list of linux, but i dual boot slack & winXP with LILO and i didn't have a single problem with booting till now.
Old 06-28-2004, 08:18 AM   #9
LQ Guru
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: nottingham england
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 2,672

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 47
You mentioned that prior to installing Slackware, the disk had GRUB on it's MBR, so the Windows boot loader has already been nuked.
no, because i have 2 hard disks.
MASTER = windows
SLAVE = (used to have fedora core 2, now is blank)

slackware installs to the MBR of MASTER.
i had grub installed to the MBR of the SLAVE.
so if the worst happens to linux, windows will still boot. (my sister is in times of exams, and NEEDS windows to do her studying, and it has all her work on it)

its too risky.

anyways, ive taken out my hard disks, and swaped the pins around to linux disk is now master, and windows SLAVE. which means its safe to install lilo to MBR on my next attempt.

(i will use the bios to select boot HD1 or HD2) untill my sisters exams are finished.

anways.. with my new advice, i decided to format the disk... completely..
dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda this destroyed the partaion tables, MBR and all !

i re-partitoned.
went through the install process.

ive decided to install minimal... for a KDE GUI, and add other things i need as the need arises.

so... i did all the install porcess. but decided to install 'a' 'X' and 'kde' ohh, and the 'l' package.

then i cohose the newbie method, which is asm me about installing optional packages.
because i dont want to waste space on KDE games, KDE edutainment.. or all the other stuff.

all was going well....
but then after it had finished installing packages under 'a', it loopsed back and started going through all the options for 'a' again.
it never progressed passed 'a' to X or kde or L... just going round in an infinite loop...
with no explanation of why it would not progress past 'a'

slackware10 is meant to be oe of th oldest distro's
and yet the install program is a mess !
is this a bug ? or a missing dependency ? (am i meant to be psychic ? )

i gotta say... it annoys the h3ll outa me when windows users try linux... and give up straight away without giving it a chance.
but after trying slackware, im starting to understand the frustration !

and, after each failed attempts at the setup program, you have to reboot !!!
you cant just format, unmount, and start it again !

booting off floppy's is slow, and annoying.

sorry about putting the distro down before ive even got it working.
but this is a nightmare.
Old 06-28-2004, 12:21 PM   #10
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: slack 13; I've used it all :)
Posts: 433

Rep: Reputation: 30
you could always just sick to fedora if you do not like the install program. I can't do all the things you mentioned but got slackware and the new kernel running.
Old 06-28-2004, 01:20 PM   #11
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: NJ, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Debian
Posts: 5,852

Rep: Reputation: 357Reputation: 357Reputation: 357Reputation: 357
The only advice I can give you is to buy a CD burner, they are $20 now.

I have never had a problem installing Slackware from the bootable CD.
Old 06-28-2004, 01:55 PM   #12
LQ Guru
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: nottingham england
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 2,672

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 47
After avoiding the broken area's of the install program, and installing lilo to the MBR, i am pleased to say i am now runninf in slackware 10 while posting this.


i was a little dissapointed that no Athlon (or atleast plain 686) optimsed kernels are on the disk,
so i compiled a 2.6.7 kernel.

on adding it to lilo.conf, (also building an initrd image)
i had somehow broken lilo. all i did was modify the line that points to the kernel and initrd.
then attemting to boot gave a load of '999999' to the screen.

so i installed GRUB.
now, my system boots fine !

im running an Athlon optimised 2.6.7.

and have installed the NVIDIA drivers, and got them working.

thanx for the help...
but ive now solved all the problems that i was asking about in this thread.
Old 06-28-2004, 05:21 PM   #13
Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 83

Rep: Reputation: 15
Glad to hear it!
Old 06-28-2004, 05:38 PM   #14
LQ Guru
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 5,388

Rep: Reputation: 408Reputation: 408Reputation: 408Reputation: 408Reputation: 408
Like you I installed GRUB and do a 'fake' lilo script in /sbin which does nothing but it is for use make install when compiling kernel.
Old 06-28-2004, 10:13 PM   #15
LQ Guru
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: nottingham england
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 2,672

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 47
i dont bother with make install when i compile a kernel. i prefere to copy yhe files, and edit grub manually.

i dont like lilo, i cant work out how just editing a config file could break it so badly !


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Impressions of SuSE 10.0 masonm SUSE / openSUSE 1 11-05-2005 10:21 AM
Quake 4 first impressions. Linux.tar.gz General 7 10-22-2005 02:01 PM
Redhat 9, Emacs, Backspace, Sucky iketa Linux - Software 0 07-17-2003 12:24 PM
Early impressions of Slackware 8.1? masinick Slackware 16 07-16-2002 09:56 AM
Slackware: First impressions. magis Linux - General 4 02-20-2002 08:28 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Slackware

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:44 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration