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Old 12-14-2008, 02:01 AM   #1
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HowTo: Upgrade to Slackware 12.2

This HowTo will show you an example of how to upgrade Slackware 12.1 to 12.2. However, even if you are doing a fresh install of Slackware 12.2, some of these tips could be helpful to you. You might even want to check my previous Upgrade HowTo to see if you missed anything from Slackware 12.1.

Note: This HowTo is just a guide and does not cover all possible scenarios. Rather it attempts to expand on the great information carefully compiled in the UPGRADE.TXT and CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT through a practical example. Again, this HowTo is just a guide and may not be correct for your situation. Use your brain and adjust accordingly. If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or complaints please voice them through posting. This is a forum after all

The sections of this HowTo are:
Part 1
Should You Upgrade?
Things You Need to Upgrade
Backup Computer
Getting 12.2 Sources
Create List of Non-Slackware Software
Begin Upgrade
Mass Upgrade
Alternative Mass Upgrade with slackpkg
Kernel Packages

Part 2 - Skip to post #2
Get Rid of Obsolete Slackware Packages from 12.1
Merge Changes for Config Files
Update Your Graphics Drivers (if needed)
Miscellaneous Fixes
Rebuild/Upgrade any Non-Slackware Packages (as Needed)
Other Random Problems and Fixes

** Should You Upgrade? **
This should be the first thing you ask yourself. What's in it for you? If you aren't sure, you should read the following docs:

How much work will it take? Well that depends on your system. If your system is in a state of disaster with software installed who knows where then it might be a better idea to backup and install a fresh Slackware 12.2 instead. However, I think in general it is safe to say that this probably one of the easiest Slackware upgrades in recent years.

** Things You Need to Upgrade **
1) Slackware 12.2 sources – however you can get them: On a CD/DVD, local mirror, from a slackware mirror, network mount, etc
2) Slackware 12.1 installation – This is a HowTo on upgrading from 12.1 after all...

Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT
Note that upgrading from a Slackware version earlier than 12.1 is NOT supported at all and will almost certainly lead to breakage.
So, for instance, you can't directly upgrade (safely) from Slackware 9.0 to 12.2. You would probably need to upgrade incrementally to each version. After you're done you need to post a member success story

3) Time – This is not a one click upgrade process. It will require that you think. Take your time and do it right the first time. Please read the UPGRADE.TXT and CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT before attempting an upgrade! This HowTo does not cover everything included in those files.

** Backup Computer **
This is without a doubt the first thing you should do before making any major system changes.

Originally Posted by UPGRADE.TXT
Before you begin, I would strongly recommend making a backup of your
system, or, if not the entire system, at least the /etc directory. You
might find that you need to refer to a few things after the upgrade
process is complete. Back it up, or take your chances.

** Getting 12.2 Sources **
Most people will probably download the full iso, but if you have downloaded some sources from -current previously it might be more worth your while to simply mirror. In my case I had previously used Alien Bob's to create a local mirror of -current and install cds. I had used these to test -current. Before using I recommend you create mirror-slackware-current.conf based upon the options that you want changed from the defaults (see beginning of

An example mirror-slackware-current.conf
BUILDER="shadowsnipes <>"
My mirror-slackware-excludes contains
Also, if you run the script with -h you can see the runtime arguments available.

After -current became Slackware 12.2 all I had to do was
change my mirror folder names from slackware-current to slackware-12.2 and slackware-current-iso to slackware-12.2-iso.

Then run
Code: -r 12.2
which mirrors the 12.2 release instead of -current. There were almost no changes between my latest copy of -current and 12.2. The one big difference is that KDE4 was removed from testing.

Another tip for using this script: If you have to mirror onto a non-linux partition take out the 'p' from the actual rsync commands in the script so that they don't try to preserve permissions. In my case I only had enough free space on an external NTFS drive, so that is what I used. There are two places I had to change the script, since the sync is done twice. I simply changed a line that looks like
$RSYNC --delete --delete-excluded -z -rlptD \
$RSYNC --delete --delete-excluded -z -rltD \
Also, for this to work correctly on a non-linux partition you must make sure the user running the script is the owner (mount using the uid option).

** Create List of Non-Slackware Software **
Before you move on into the upgrade you need to properly assess where you are, and in particular, what non-slackware software you have installed.

By far the easiest way to do this is to use slackpkg, which you can find in the Slackware 12.2 ap series (for alternate scripts see this thread about Listing Non Stock Slackware Packages). You can check the slackpkg ChangeLog online to see what is new in slackpkg.

Once you install it, be sure to edit blacklist, mirrors, and slackpkg.conf under /etc/slackpkg as desired (set the mirror to one for 12.1 for now). Then to get your list you can simply do
slackpkg update
slackpkg -dialog=off -batch=on -default_answer=no clean-system > NonSlackwarePackages.txt
NonSlackwarePackages.txt now contains a list of packages that aren't a part of the Slackware tree.

Most of my non-Slackware software has been packaged using (SBo) scripts, so I also wanted to know what packages were not created using SBo.
grep -v SBo NonSlackwarePackages.txt > NotSBoPackages.txt
Now is a good time to get rid of any of those non-Slackware packages that you no longer need. There is a chance that you will have to rebuild some of your custom packages after the upgrade.

I suggest organizing this list(s). You might want to, for instance, group some packages together that should be rebuilt or updated. You might also want to add any notes about software installed that is not packaged. It would be a good idea to refer to CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT again at this point.

** Begin Upgrade **
As root, go into runlevel 1.
telinit 1
Mount mirror or install medium.
If the files are on a cd then you will have to mount the other cd(s) in order to install the other packages. In my example, I was using a local mirror on my external hard drive (second partition).
mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda2 /mnt/externalNTFS
cd into the mirror's directory
cd /mnt/externalNTFS/Slackware_mirror/Slackware-12.2/
upgrade glibc-solibs
Originally Posted by UPGRADE.TXT
Upgrade your glibc shared libraries. This is important, or things might go haywire during the first part of the upgrade:
upgradepkg slackware/a/glibc-solibs-*.tgz
upgrade package utilities
upgradepkg slackware/a/pkgtools-*.tgz

** Mass Upgrade **
The most basic way to upgrade/install all of the packages is to follow UPGRADE.TXT.
Originally Posted by UPGRADE.TXT
3. Upgrade everything else (and install new packages):

upgradepkg --install-new /root/slackware/*/*.tgz

If you wish to upgrade everything except for the KDEI language
packs for KDE (these take a lot of space and can be dealt with
after the main upgrade more quickly and easily), running this
script in the "slackware" directory will do the trick:

for dir in a ap d e f k kde l n t tcl x xap y ; do
( cd $dir ; upgradepkg --install-new *.tgz )
Keep in mind that if you are using cds your packages will be split among them, so you will have to use more than one instance of upgradepkg. By the same token, the for loop snippet given above should be altered to reflect which packages sections are actually on the cd.

If you need any non-en_US language packs for KDE please refer to UPGRADE.TXT.

Also, if you don't want to upgrade/install certain packages (ie. blacklist them), then you will have to write a slightly more complicated script, install those package sections manually, or use something like slackpkg to help you.

** Alternative Mass Upgrade with slackpkg **
The trick to using slackpkg to do this is to specify a mount point as the mirror in /etc/slackpkg/mirrors. Since it is just a mount point, it does not matter what kind of device the partition is on as long as you can read it. In my case I had a local mirror on a NTFS partition on an external hard drive. I simply added the following to /etc/slackpkg/mirrors

Of course, you could also specify a regular, non-local, mirror and use slackpkg in the usual way, but then you would have to start some of your network services.

Blacklisting packages
It is also important to make sure /etc/slackpkg/blacklist has all the packages listed you don't want to be messed with. For instance, I do special things with my firefox packages so I list mozilla-firefox in the blacklist. Some people like to blacklist the kernel packages.

*You can temporarily un-blacklist aaa_elflibs safely*
A keen observer might note that by default a/aaa_elflibs is already blacklisted, while the instructions in UPGRADE.TXT clearly have you installing them. In general, yes, aaa_elflibs should be blacklisted because it will overwrite your core libraries. During a full system upgrade, however, you can upgrade them, but you don't have to. The more important thing to realize is that this package is really only there to make sure you have the core libraries you need in case you do not do a full install of Slackware. As such, if you do a full install/upgrade of Slackware it is likely that you won't need that package anyways. If you aren't sure, simply check if all the files included are already installed (these useful scripts may be of some help). In this upgrade, I found no libraries where missing from not installing it (when doing a full install/upgrade).

Here is a list of the libraries I found that are not included in Slackware 12.1:
  • usr/lib/
  • usr/lib/
  • usr/lib/
  • usr/lib/
  • usr/lib/
  • usr/lib/
  • usr/lib/
  • usr/lib/
  • usr/lib/
  • usr/lib/
  • lib/
If you do choose install it, just make sure it is one of the first packages installed (which is probably why it has 'aaa' in the front). Another post on aaa_elflibs

Once your slackpkg configuration is all set, update with the new mirror
slackpkg update
and install the new packages
slackpkg install-new
Review the list and deselect any you are not ready to install at this point.

Note: By default, slackpkg will prompt you to handle new config files after installing/upgrading packages. If you need help on this skip down to the "Merge Changes for Config Files" section momentarily.

Upgrade all the packages
slackpkg upgrade-all
Again, review the list and deselect any you are not ready to install at this point. You might want to look at the kernel section of this HowTo before you upgrade them.

Since I was using fuse and ntfs-3g for my external NTFS partition, I decided not to upgrade those packages just to be safe. After all the other packages were installed I copied the packages to my hard drive, unmounted the external drive, stopped fuse (/etc/rc.d/rc.fuse stop), and then upgraded the fuse and ntfs-3g packages using upgradepkg. After that I started fuse and remounted the drive.

If you need any non-en_US language packs for KDE please refer to UPGRADE.TXT.

** Kernel Packages **
Keep in mind that the kernel image packages change the symlinks in /boot for, config, and vmlinuz. This is important to note because a lot of people refer to vmlinuz in their boot manager's configuration. Which ever kernel image package is installed last (usually huge-smp) will have the symlinks pointing to its respective files. So, after upgrading your kernel packages you might have to fix these symlinks and modify your bootloader's configuration (/etc/lilo.conf for LILO) accordingly.

Also, if you ever modified your past kernel sources or built custom kernels, you should take a look in the following places to see if any clean up is necessary:
In my case, I had a kernel sources folder and a module folder for a custom kernel I had built that I needed to remove (I no longer intended to use them). I also had a rc.modules file for it that needed to be removed and the rc.modules symlink had to be fixed.

Please note that it is not recommended that you run the huge kernel for daily use (though it may not cause problems). Also, if you have one of those machines that don't work well with a SMP kernel you will need to patch your kernel sources.
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT
As stated earlier, it is recommended that you use one of the generic kernels
rather than the huge kernels
; the huge kernels are primarily intended as
"installer" and "emergency" kernels in case you forget to make an initrd.
For most systems, you should use the generic SMP kernel if it will run,
even if your system is not SMP-capable. Some newer hardware needs the
local APIC enabled in the SMP kernel, and theoretically there should not be
a performance penalty with using the SMP-capable kernel on a uniprocessor

machine, as the SMP kernel tests for this and makes necessary adjustments.
Furthermore, the kernel sources shipped with Slackware are configured for
SMP usage, so you won't have to modify those to build external modules
(such as NVidia or ATI proprietary drivers) if you use the SMP kernel.

If you decide to use one of the non-SMP kernels, you will need to follow the
instructions in /extra/linux- to modify your
kernel sources for non-SMP usage.
Note that this only applies if you are
using the Slackware-provided non-SMP kernel - if you build a custom kernel,
the symlinks at /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/{build,source} will point to the
correct kernel source so long as you don't (re)move it.
Also, if you need an initrd (you do if running the generic kernel) you will need to set that up. Please see /boot/README.initrd for instructions on this if needed. By far the easiest way to take care of this is to use Alien's excellent

Stock Kernels still use UTF8 conole (since 12.1)
If you find you have problems with the console after this upgrade you might need to add the following append line for each of your kernel images listed in your /etc/lilo.conf. Personally, I had no such problems, so this was not needed for me.
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT (12.1)
The new 2.6.24.x kernels default to use a UTF8 console. This might break some
things, so if you prefer the "old" default, you'll need to add this to your
kernel's lilo stanza: append = "vt.default_utf8=0"
Finally. since your kernels changed you will need to run lilo (assuming you are not using another bootloader). Before you do that, make sure your /etc/lilo.conf is still pointing to the correct images.

This HowTo is continued at the next post

Last edited by shadowsnipes; 12-14-2008 at 02:04 AM. Reason: Post 2 link
Click here to see the post LQ members have rated as the most helpful post in this thread.
Old 12-14-2008, 02:02 AM   #2
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Registered: Sep 2005
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 1,442

Original Poster
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Part 2 of the HowTo

I needed to split the HowTo into two posts in order to be under the maximum character limit per post. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Part 2 Sections:
Get Rid of Obsolete Slackware Packages from 12.1
Merge Changes for Config Files
Update Your Graphics Drivers (if needed)
Miscellaneous Fixes
Rebuild/Upgrade any Non-Slackware Packages (as Needed)
Other Random Problems and Fixes

** Get Rid of Obsolete Slackware Packages from 12.1 **
The CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT files does a good job of listing these.

Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT

d/bin86: Removed. Replaced by d/dev86.
n/pine: Removed. Replaced by n/alpine.
extra/parted: Moved to l/ series.
extra/slackpkg: Moved to ap/ series.
Notice that nothing was really removed this time around. However, be careful with pine. Backup your /etc/pine.conf before uninstalling pine, or you will lose it. For more information on this please see this thread about the pine/alpine upgrade in 12.2.

You can verify the obsolete packages from 12.1 and uninstall them using slackpkg.
slackpkg -onoff=off clean-system
will list all of the packages not found in Slackware 12.2 (none selected for removal). Compare this to the list you created earlier and select the obsolete slackware 12.1 packages (the ones appearing in the slackpkg dialog but not your original list).

** Merge Changes for Config Files **
Originally Posted by UPGRADE.TXT
6. Fix your config files. Some of the config files in /etc are going to
need your attention. You'll find the new incoming config files on
your system with the ".new" extension. You may need to fill these in
with information from your old config files and then move them over.
Regardless of what method you choose to upgrade packages, you will have to devote some of your time deciding if there is anything in the new config files that you need.

slackpkg has a nice feature that will find these files for you and ask what you want to do with them. This can be specifically done by running 'slackpkg new-config'. My personal preference is to Prompt for each one. If I know I didn't modify the old config (perhaps because it is not something I use, such as bluetooth), I simply Overwrite it with the new one. For the ones I know I modified, I choose to Keep them, and I manually merge any changes I want later. For all the ones I am not sure about, I Diff them and make my decision from there.

You will definitely want to make sure that you use the new rc.udev file.
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT
As usual, there are changes in udev packaging that need mentioning...
First, be sure to move the /etc/rc.d/ over - the old
/etc/rc.d/rc.udev will not work with the new udev package (and the new
one won't work with the old udev package).
One annoying thing I noticed with slackpkg, is that if you choose Overwrite, the old config file is backed up with a .orig extension. Since I had already backed up my entire system, I found these files to be clutter and used find to remove them.

Here is a command that will find and list the .orig files under /etc
find /etc -type f -name \*.orig
And the command that will remove them
find /etc -type f -name \*.orig -exec rm -v '{}' \;
In particular, you need to be careful about any possible .orig files under /etc/modprobe.d.
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT (12.1)
The /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file has been changed significantly; be sure to
move/merge the /etc/modprobe.d/ file in its place. Also, you
must NOT leave a backup of the old blacklist file (such as blacklist.orig)
in /etc/modprobe.d/ -- ALL files in that directory are checked, so if a
module is blacklisted in *any* of them, it won't be loaded.
It is important to note that slackpkg did not find all the .new files. I used the following command and came up with these additional files.
find / -type f -name \*.new
/usr/lib/ → Overwrite
/etc/ → Remove
/etc/ → Remove
/etc/ → Remove
/etc/ → Remove
The new group and passwd files would only be useful if there were some new groups or users needed for some new feature, and something like that would have been mentioned in CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT. It wasn't so they were removed promptly.

** Update Your Graphics Drivers (if needed) **
You probably need to upgrade to the newest driver if you intend on using hardware acceleration. There are SlackBuilds for the driver and kernel module for Nvidia cards at SBo. The SlackBuilds also come with a nice script that helps you to switch between your proprietary driver and the built in kernel driver.

Nvidia SlackBuilds

SBo's ATI SlackBuilds did not compile on Slackware 12.2 when it was released. However, this may be fixed soon. Try this ATI SlackBuilds 12.2 search to check.

** Miscellaneous Fixes **
These are all specified in CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT. Some of them were mentioned in previous Slackware releases.

Make sure your user is added to the lp group (if not already done)
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT
HP multifunction printer/scanners require that your user account be a member
of the "lp" group for hp-toolbox to work properly, and to use the scanner
portion of some (all?) units, you'll need to be a member of the "lp" group.
This is because hplip's udev rules set the device with group "lp" ownership.
Fix slow Xfce Terminal (if not already done for 12.1)
If you notice that having Terminal open causes workspace switching to be slower and Terminal also resized slower than normal try fixing it by creating /etc/profile.d/
# This should fix slow Xfce Terminal in Slackware 12.2 
Do not forget to make it executable.
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT
If you notice Xfce's Terminal and perhaps some other applications being drawn
very slowly in X, then you should try explicitly disabling the Composite
extension in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, or set XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS=1 in your
environment prior to starting X. For more information on this, see:
Computer won't shutdown completely (also in 12.1)
I did not have this problem, but I added it here because I lot of people did. If you are one of those people (see "Slackware 12.1 - Halt Problem") just add the following append line to your /etc/lilo.conf.
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT
If you have an older machine (with a BIOS released prior to 2001) and it will
not power off on shutdown, try adding this to your kernel's lilo stanza:
append = "acpi=force"
Note udev changes and check for obsolete udev files (if any)
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT
As usual, there are changes in udev packaging that need mentioning...
First, be sure to move the /etc/rc.d/ over - the old
/etc/rc.d/rc.udev will not work with the new udev package (and the new
one won't work with the old udev package).
The system udev rules now reside in /lib/udev/rules.d/ instead of
/etc/udev/rules.d/ in older versions. There should never be a reason
to edit anything in /lib/udev/rules.d/, so if you think you have a case
where this is required, either you're wrong or it needs to be addressed
in the upstream source. However, you can override default rules by
placing one with an identical name inside /etc/udev/rules.d/
The rules files in /etc/udev/rules.d/ are still intended to (maybe) be
edited as needed by local system administrators, and as such, the rules
for optical and network devices will still be placed there.
I did not find any obsolete files on my system but it is worth a check.

Mouse does not work
I did not have this problem, but in case you do...
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT
On many systems, the xf86-input-synaptics driver requires the psmouse kernel
kernel module be loaded without any special options. This poses a problem on a
default Slackware installation, as /etc/modprobe.d/psmouse causes the psmouse
module to load with the imps protocol. This is easily fixed though :-)
First, edit /etc/modprobe.d/psmouse so that it looks like this (note
that we're simply commenting out the last line):
# PS/2 mouse support:
# The default options when the psmouse module is loaded will completely
# break the mouse if you change consoles with several models of KVM
# switches. Therefore, we'll have it use the imps protocol here, which
# is a more basic protocol that is less likely to cause problems with
# the mouse. If you'd rather use the kernel default options, just
# comment out the line below. If you'd rather choose your own options,
# then edit the line below as desired.
#options psmouse proto=imps
Next, unload and reload the psmouse module (do this as root):
modprobe -r psmouse
modprobe psmouse
gutenprint driven printers need to be reinstalled
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT
Due to the gutenprint upgrade, any printers that use gutenprint drivers via
cups will have to be reinstalled.
If you haven't been using gutenprint drivers for your printers then you are off the hook for this one

gpg-agent problems
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT
If you are using the pinentry-gtk2 interface (for entering passphrases with
gpg-agent), be aware that there is a bug in the way scim-bridge and the
pinentry-gtk2 interact. The result is that keyboard input does not register
with pinentry-gtk2. For the time being, either change the /usr/bin/pinentry
symlink to use the qt or curses frontend, or don't use scim.
Compile Errors...
Originally Posted by CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT
If you have compilation errors that look something like this:
/usr/include/asm-generic/fcntl.h:117: error: redefinition of 'struct flock'
/usr/include/bits/fcntl.h:142: error: previous definition of 'struct flock'
/usr/include/asm-generic/fcntl.h:140: error: redefinition of 'struct flock64'
/usr/include/bits/fcntl.h:157: error: previous definition of 'struct flock64'
See for information on fixing it.
There are *more* helpful hints in CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT. Read it if you haven't already done so!

** Rebuild/Upgrade any Non-Slackware Packages (as Needed) **
Depending on how much and what specific software you have installed, this portion of the upgrade process can take the longest or shortest chunk of time.

Looking at my list I had created previously, I had 85 Non-Slackware packages. Fortunately, with this upgrade almost none of them were broken. Almost all of my packages were created via SlackBuilds (most scripts from

If you have any broken packages (due to missing libraries) try using ldd to see what dependencies or libraries are causing problems and rebuild/upgrade as needed.

So far only pmount is broken for me.

It is important to note that even if you choose to have a fresh installation you will have to do this step of the process.

** Other Random Problems and Fixes **
This is a separate section because there was no mention of these problems in CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT. Some may be specific to my machine as well.

gxine plugin overrides mplayer-plugin for QuickTime Videos
I simply removed the gxine plugin from /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins (created by the upgrade) to continue using MPlayer for QuickTime videos online.

"audacious --play" causes segfaults if audacious is not already open
This is an unresolved bug. Just make sure you have a running audacious instance first.

Enjoy Slackware 12.2!
3 members found this post helpful.
Old 12-14-2008, 02:44 AM   #3
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Good post, as expected
Moderator, please sticky.
Old 12-14-2008, 03:24 AM   #4
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wow, very comprehensive, thanks
Old 12-14-2008, 03:51 AM   #5
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Great work, shadowsnipes. Like Robby says, it definitely should be stickied.
Old 12-14-2008, 05:18 AM   #6
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Fresh install from DVD


I upgraded my 12.1 Slack partition, and have had little trouble (just problems with my network module and new kernel, no Slackware's fault).

However, I definitely recommend backing up your previous configuration and making a fresh install from DVD again (if possible, use another partition).

I have done the latter today, and it went much faster, like charm. Changing my configuration files is also straightforward, using the previous backup.


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