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Old 05-12-2012, 09:02 PM   #16
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Boynton Beach, FL
Distribution: Slackware
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I learned about Linux using Slackware and the SlackBook. They are both excellent for understanding the components of a Linux system, the shell and the utilities. I've set up a Windows compatible file server using SAMBA, an FTP server using vsftp and an IRC server using UnrealIRCD. Most software compiles from source on Slackware without problems. That's because the software in Slackware is modified very little, with the exception of some important patches.

Slackware installation is very straightforward.
  • Boot the Slackware setup CD or DVD
  • Partition the hard disk (fdisk or cfdisk)
  • Run the Slackware SETUP script
  • Go through the menus in SETUP
  • Boot Slackware from the hard disk
  • Log in to the "root" account
  • Set up X-Windows (xorgsetup)
  • Use "startx" to test X-Windows
  • If you want to start X-Windows on boot, edit "/etc/inittab"
  • Log in to your normal user account
  • If it isn't started, you can use "startx" to start X-Windows
  • Use the "su -" command to get into "root" from your normal user account
  • Use "shutdown -h now" to power off the PC or use "shutdown -r now" to reboot

I suggest using a virtual machine program such as VirtualBox to learn about Linux before you install Linux on a system containing other operating systems. Booting multiple operating systems from the same hard disk can be difficult, especially if one of the operating systems is Windows. You can also install Slackware on a computer with no other operating systems to make things simpler.

If you do decide to install Slackware as a second OS with Windows then keep these things in mind.

You will probably have to re-size your Windows NTFS partition smaller to create empty space for Linux partitions. The Slackware setup does not do any automatic resizing. You can use programs such as "gparted" to re-size NTFS partitions. There are also other good free and retail programs to re-size partitions. Back up your files first, in case a problem happens!

Make sure that you have a Windows Setup CD that is able to boot. That will let you run the repair tools for Windows to fix any booting problems. Windows might not boot after resizing the NTFS partition, or when the Master Boot Record of the disk has been changed. The default installation of the LILO boot loader in Slackware will update the Master Boot Record of the disk. You can create a Windows boot and repair disk if you don't have one. A Windows CD image can be downloaded from Digital River (legally). As long as you have a license to run Windows you can use the downloaded CD to repair Windows. You might not be able to install Windows from the CD, since it requires a valid retail key for that.

Most Linux distros including Slackware set up the boot loader (LILO or GRUB) to start first, before the Windows boot loader. That means you must add a menu entry for Windows in the LILO or GRUB menu. Most distros do that automatically. Slackware uses the LILO boot loader by default.

You can set up the system so that the Windows boot loader starts first. That requires a little more work than the default installation. For Slackware, you will need to install the LILO boot sector to the Slackware partition instead of the Master Boot Record. Then look online for information on how to chain from the Windows boot loader to another boot loader. Basically you create a file containing a copy of the 512-byte boot sector from the Linux partition, then add the file to the Windows boot menu. You may also have to restore the default Master Boot Record software for Windows using a repair disk.

If you are using RAID in Windows, make sure that you know if the RAID device is supported in Linux. Otherwise Linux might not be able to see or boot from the RAID array. There are many ways to set up RAID with Linux, though they don't all allow Windows to access the files.

Last edited by Erik_FL; 05-12-2012 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:15 PM   #17
Registered: Dec 2007
Location: Alabama USA
Distribution: Slackware current
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I noticed that you have an understanding of how to partician a drive. The quick easy way to install slackware is use partician magic or gparted to set up your particians, 1st partician swap about 2 times memory. 2nd partician about 10 gig or more /root, 3rd /home 10 gigs or more. When you boot the slackware dvd just start with set swap space, it is ready for you just answer yes and then go through other particians, Then do a full load everything 4.8 gigs. There is plenty of help on this forum if you get in trouble.
Old 05-12-2012, 09:42 PM   #18
LQ Guru
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD
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Originally Posted by zrdc28 View Post
1st partician swap about 2 times memory.
I think that convention is not really needed with PCs these days. My main PC has 2 GB of RAM and a 2 GB swap file is plenty. Unless the OP's PC is really old using a lot of the HD space for extra swap may not be needed.
Old 05-12-2012, 09:53 PM   #19
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Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Debian, Mageia, and whatever VMs I happen to be playing with
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Simple answer: I started with Slackware. I'm glad I did.

Once you understand Slackware, no other distro will ever intimidate you, because Slackware teaches you how to figure things out.

Last edited by frankbell; 05-12-2012 at 09:56 PM.
Old 05-13-2012, 04:28 AM   #20
Registered: Feb 2006
Location: Outer Shpongolia
Distribution: Slackware
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in my opinion, the installation of Slackware isn't that hard at all even for a newbie. To partition your hard disk you can use cfdisk, which is quite intuitive. A problem for a newcomer to Slackware will be the installation of additional software. So, get familiar with the SlackBuilds project first. A tool to help you with installing from there is sbopkg. But before using it make sure you understand what slackbuilds are and get to know how to use them yourself.
Old 05-13-2012, 04:45 AM   #21
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If a n00b wants to play the Slack game look no farther than Vector,find out who StretchedThin is( vids by Ken?), follow ALL of his tutorials-videos and you'll be good reasonably quick.
It's a great OS but I'm a Debian slut.Always have been-always will be.
Old 05-13-2012, 04:48 AM   #22
Alien Bob
Slackware Contributor
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Distribution: Slackware
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Originally Posted by SuperTico View Post
If a n00b wants to play the Slack game look no farther than Vector,find out who StretchedThin is( vids by Ken?), follow ALL of his tutorials-videos and you'll be good reasonably quick.
It's a great OS but I'm a Debian slut.Always have been-always will be.
Ah well... Vector is not Slackware by a long stretch. If you want to learn Slackware, do not settle for one of the offshoots. First of all, you will not get support for those derived distros in this forum.

Old 05-13-2012, 08:46 AM   #23
Registered: Jan 2007
Location: Indonesia
Distribution: Slackware Linux
Posts: 67

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i do suggest to give it a try,,

certainly you'd experience problems
but you'd also experience a steep learning curve at the same time
Old 05-13-2012, 09:10 AM   #24
Registered: Dec 2007
Location: Alabama USA
Distribution: Slackware current
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If you plan on dual booting with windows, the first thing you need to do on Windows is Run Disk De-fragment 2 times next go to cmd line and chkdsk /f Now reboot the computer and let chkdsk do its thing it will check the disk and repair any problems with windows. Next run one of the partician editors and re-size the windows partician to where you want, then add the linux particians. If you do that there will be no problems with dual booting.
Old 05-13-2012, 07:03 PM   #25
Registered: Jun 2010
Location: Ukraine, Vinnitsa
Distribution: Slackware
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You can start with any GUI-not-overfilled distro(or overfilled one). Slackware it or not, just do it step-by-step. Start with tiny things sequentially consulting with manuals, and you will master the whole world. But my personal advice is to find good mentor nearby who will be able both to fix your mistakes an slap you.

PS: If you have any experience in martial arts you should understand what I meant. Learning technology the same, but it will not take 40 years, it will be much faster.
Old 05-14-2012, 03:50 AM   #26
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Tacoma, WA
Distribution: Slackware 14
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Another option is to setup Slackware in a virtual machine. vbox is good. Once you get the the installation completed, backup the virtual machine. That way if something goes wrong, i.e. you have a learning experience, you just restore the virtual machine and away you go.

If you are looking to learn, Slackware will get you there. I cut my teeth on Redhat before they went commercial. CentOS is another good one to learn. CentOS is based on Red Hat and Red Hat is found in a lot of businesses.

If you want to learn Linux, I would go with Slackware. If you want to get famailure with what you will most likely see on the job, I'd go with CentOS.

One thing to be careful of is pick one or two to get familure with. I learned BSD and Solaris and every now and then I get lost on the command line. I was trying to run a BSD command on my slackware box. It didn't work. I had to read the man page.

Old 05-14-2012, 04:38 AM   #27
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Brome, Lower Saxony, Germany
Distribution: Slackware, OpenMandriva
Posts: 81

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I used some other distributions before I came across Slackware but enjoyed working with it. Quite a lot of other distributions use wizards or configuration-tools to set up users and in Slackware I had to do this using the command-line, which is good as I am currently studying for LPIC-102 exam so you can definetely learn quite a lot from Slackware. Currently I use CentOS 6.2 as my main system to do office work and surf the Internet but I am also considering having a Slackware server system for my local intranet. I also recommend reading the Slackbook.


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