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Old 08-31-2011, 08:05 PM   #1
shaunsingh14
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Question Just a few questions regarding Slackware.


Hello everyone, I'm a long-time Debian user and I wanted to try out something new for a change. So far the only other distributions I've tried are Fedora 15, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Arch Linux (via Virtualbox) and Gentoo (again via Virtualbox).

Anyway, here are my questions:

- What kernel version does Slackware use (as of 13.37)? (If it's anything above 2.6.35, I'll have a little trouble compiling the drivers for my wireless card.)

- Do I have to manually resolve any dependencies for any packages?

- I have a Ralink RT2870 wireless card. If the kernel version is above 2.6.35, how can I go about compiling the drivers? (the drivers themselves haven't been updated since July 2010)

- Are all packages in Slackware completely free from any distro-specific modifications?
 
Old 08-31-2011, 08:34 PM   #2
frankbell
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Regarding the package management, Slackware installs stuff as close to plain vanilla as possible. Pat's focus is on stability and simplicity, not on tailoring. Anything you install with Slack will be as close the the developers' release versions as you will find.

Slackware does not have an official package repository and does not resolve dependencies. Probably the most popular unofficial repository these days is Slackbuilds.

The front page of Slackware dot com tells you what kernels are packaged with Slack 13.37. The default is 2.6.37.6, but others are included with the installation files.

The Slackware community is a large and helpful one and well-represented here at LQ. I know they helped me frequently and willingly when I started with Slackware six years ago.

Once you Slack, you never go back.

Last edited by frankbell; 08-31-2011 at 08:35 PM.
 
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:37 PM   #3
0men
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Hey there!

Slackware 13.37 runs on 2.6.38.4. If thats to high use 13.1 which uses 2.6.33.4. You dont have to worry about 'downgrading' your distribution to the last one. I use 13.1 and couldnt be more happy with its stability, ill keep it around... well probably forever. Pat still keeps security support for 8.1, so dont feel as though its going to go out of date !

Yeah you do..... thats the one thing that kept me away from Slackware for so long. Slackbuilds.org offer 'slackbuild' packages, which make programs easy to install however you'll have to install dependeics first. Thankfully the Slackbuilds website shows the dependecies you need. For some weird reason, i still compile all my progarms on my Debian system from source :S , i got the Slackware bug i think, of knowing where everything is in my system. Upgrading security patches can be done with a package manager by the way.... (slackpkg) which comes installed on your Slackware system.

Once you go slack you'll never go back.
 
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:39 PM   #4
ReaperX7
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I think Slackware uses kernel 2.6.37 or later as of 13.37.

Dependencies are manually resolved for Slackware. No automation. However you can see what all dependencies are needed by using SlackBuilds.org.

Most Slackware packages use vanilla package with minimal patches unless absolutely required.

The Ralink might be a problem, but there is a proprietary driver from the OEM that I know of as being successfully used with other Ralink Wireless adapters.
 
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:44 PM   #5
Woodsman
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Quote:
What kernel version does Slackware use (as of 13.37)? (If it's anything above 2.6.35, I'll have a little trouble compiling the drivers for my wireless card.)
13.37: 2.6.37.6

http://slackware.mirrors.tds.net/pub...ANNOUNCE.13_37

13.1 uses the 2.6.33.4 kernel.

To vouch for previous releases, I use 13.1 and 12.2.

Quote:
Do I have to manually resolve any dependencies for any packages?
Short answer: Package dependencies are resolved by the users.

The standard tradition explained to new Slackware users is to perform a full install. With a full install there are no dependencies to check.

The most popular repository for additional packages probably is slackbuild.org, which does not provide pre-built packages. Users download build scripts and build the final packages locally. Another popular repository is slacky.eu, and the people hosting that site provides packages as well as sources. With both sites, any dependencies needed are documented.

Many of the packages built for Slackware derivative distros can be used with the stock Slackware, such as from Salix, Absolute, Zenwalk, Vector. Other than Salix there is no guarantee of any of those packages being fully compatible with the stock Slackware, but as most of the developers use pretty much the same build process as Slackware, users can snatch the build scripts and modify to taste for Slackware.

There is a script tool called sbopkg that can download the build scripts from slackbuild.org and will download the build scripts and sources for related dependencies too. All packages are still built locally.

Two popular and well known personal repositories for Slackware are offered by Eric Hameleers and Robbie Workman.

Quote:
I have a Ralink RT2870 wireless card. If the kernel version is above 2.6.35, how can I go about compiling the drivers? (the drivers themselves haven't been updated since July 2010)
This thread is recent and likely helpful for you:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...how-to-897422/

Quote:
Are all packages in Slackware completely free from any distro-specific modifications?
Pretty much. Slackware is well known for patching upstream sources as little as possible and only for the sake of making packages work correctly and to patch security flaws. Overwhelmingly Pat (Volkerding) and the team refrain from patching anything to provide a distro-specific flavor to a package.

Last edited by Woodsman; 08-31-2011 at 08:47 PM.
 
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:33 PM   #6
shaunsingh14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
13.37: 2.6.37.6

http://slackware.mirrors.tds.net/pub...ANNOUNCE.13_37

13.1 uses the 2.6.33.4 kernel.

To vouch for previous releases, I use 13.1 and 12.2.



Short answer: Package dependencies are resolved by the users.

The standard tradition explained to new Slackware users is to perform a full install. With a full install there are no dependencies to check.

The most popular repository for additional packages probably is slackbuild.org, which does not provide pre-built packages. Users download build scripts and build the final packages locally. Another popular repository is slacky.eu, and the people hosting that site provides packages as well as sources. With both sites, any dependencies needed are documented.

Many of the packages built for Slackware derivative distros can be used with the stock Slackware, such as from Salix, Absolute, Zenwalk, Vector. Other than Salix there is no guarantee of any of those packages being fully compatible with the stock Slackware, but as most of the developers use pretty much the same build process as Slackware, users can snatch the build scripts and modify to taste for Slackware.

There is a script tool called sbopkg that can download the build scripts from slackbuild.org and will download the build scripts and sources for related dependencies too. All packages are still built locally.

Two popular and well known personal repositories for Slackware are offered by Eric Hameleers and Robbie Workman.



This thread is recent and likely helpful for you:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...how-to-897422/


Pretty much. Slackware is well known for patching upstream sources as little as possible and only for the sake of making packages work correctly and to patch security flaws. Overwhelmingly Pat (Volkerding) and the team refrain from patching anything to provide a distro-specific flavor to a package.
Thank you for your help.

I just have one more question, I lack any sort of blank DVDs, so how can I write Slackware install DVD straight to my 8GB SanDisk flash drive?

Should I use one of the following commands?

Code:
dd if=/home/shaun/Downloads/slackware.iso of=/dev/sdb
cat slackware.iso > /dev/sdb
or does that not work?

Last edited by shaunsingh14; 08-31-2011 at 09:36 PM.
 
Old 08-31-2011, 10:24 PM   #7
ReaperX7
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Check the "USB-and-PXE-installers" folder located on the main tree and it should have a shell script and a bootable image which should do just that. Not sure if you need a partition containing the Slackware files though mounted for that purpose but you may.
 
Old 08-31-2011, 10:56 PM   #8
shaunsingh14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperX7 View Post
Check the "USB-and-PXE-installers" folder located on the main tree and it should have a shell script and a bootable image which should do just that. Not sure if you need a partition containing the Slackware files though mounted for that purpose but you may.
So. . .

Is that in the full Slackware ISO? (keep in mind I'm trying to become a Slacker after two years of apt-get, pacman, emerging, and yum)
Or do I have to go to Slack's website and download it myself?
 
Old 09-01-2011, 12:53 AM   #9
sahko
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You could also:
Code:
isohybrid slackwareisoname.iso
and then dd it to the flash drive like you described above. Notice that this way the original iso you had downloaded will be modified so it might be preferable to isohybrid a copy of it.
 
Old 09-01-2011, 02:56 AM   #10
ruario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaunsingh14 View Post
So. . .

Is that in the full Slackware ISO? (keep in mind I'm trying to become a Slacker after two years of apt-get, pacman, emerging, and yum)
Or do I have to go to Slack's website and download it myself?
It should be on the ISO, however you can also get it online from one of the mirrors. Within that directory is file called README_USB.TXT that outlines the process.

Here is a link to an on-line copy so you can read it directly from your browser:

ftp://ftp.slackware.no/pub/linux/sla...README_USB.TXT

Like a couple of the others stated, I'd suggest you start with a full install. This will mean that all the dependencies for the official Slackware packages are fully satisfied.

You should also note that a full install will run just as quickly and efficiently as a more stripped down install. This is because the various applications and services/daemons are not started unless you choose to start them. This is unlike on many other distros that will often start something in the background a moment after you install it. On Slackware if you have not chosen to start a given piece of software it just sits there doing nothing, meaning the only penalty for a full install is disk space. However Slackware isn't that big in relative terms (the various multimedia files in my home directory are bigger) and given the price of disk space these days, a little 'wasted space' is hardly a penalty at all.

Consider also the convenience of already having a good range of useful apps already available without having to regularly "apt-get, pacman, emerge, and yum" every time you realise you need some favoured utility or other.

Personally, I would only consider stripping the install down if you have very specific requirements, such as installing on an unusual device that is hard to add storage to.

For software that you can't find within a full Slackware install, http://slackbuilds.org/ should indeed be your next port of call. This is a large collection of build scripts to add additional software to your system. Since you have used Arch, you can consider it the equivalent of the AUR. SlackBuilds is not quite as extensive as the AUR and is not updated quite as frequently. On the other hand as the scripts are vetted by admins they seem to be of higher quality on the whole.

When using SlackBuilds, I'd recommend that for the first couple of extra packages you add to your system you go to the website, download the build scripts you need and follow the process carefully (make sure you read the associated documentation). Once you are more comfortable with how it all works you could then have a look at Sbopkg. Sbopkg is a SlackBuilds helper utility that further automates many of the steps.

Again as stated previously the SlackBuild scripts list out what dependencies (outside of the full Slackware install) are needed so you should not have any real issues as long as you take note and build in the correct order.

Last edited by ruario; 09-01-2011 at 04:40 AM. Reason: clarified my example of when you might want to consider something other than a full install
 
Old 09-01-2011, 03:43 AM   #11
Alien Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaunsingh14 View Post
- I have a Ralink RT2870 wireless card. If the kernel version is above 2.6.35, how can I go about compiling the drivers? (the drivers themselves haven't been updated since July 2010)
Slackware 13.37 includes several "staging" drivers in the kernel-modules package, and one of them is the "rt2870sta" driver. Slackware's kernel-firmware package contains the "rt2870.bin" firmware, so I guess you're all set with Slackware 13.37, your wireless card should be recognized out of the box.

Eric
 
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:46 AM   #12
NoStressHQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaunsingh14 View Post
I just have one more question, I lack any sort of blank DVDs, so how can I write Slackware install DVD straight to my 8GB SanDisk flash drive?
Not sure if I understood well, moreover I use vmplayer so it might be different than Virtual Box, but isn't it possible to just "mount" the iso and run the vm with it ? With vmplayer you just have to make the iso as if it were inside the 'virtual DVD drive' and here it goes... Nothing to burn or copy or whatever...

Btw, don't be scared about the dependencies: first install everything from the DVD, with a bit of luck you might have nothing more to install... Then, if anything is needed, first thing to install is sbopkg, read a bit about it, it's quite easy and straightforward to use. And in many cases there are few or no dependencies. There are a LOT of threads about deps. on this forum, just do a quick search, you'll find some gems.

And Welcome to Slackware, once you'll dive in, you'll like it, at least I hope so .
 
Old 09-01-2011, 12:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
Slackware does not have an official package repository and does not resolve dependencies.
Slackware does not have an official package repository? Since when?
 
Old 09-01-2011, 10:07 PM   #14
ReaperX7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottavio View Post
Slackware does not have an official package repository? Since when?
I think he means for stuff like packages not included on the DVD... but up on SlackBuilds.

All known SIS sound cards should be supported through ALSA.
 
Old 09-02-2011, 05:47 AM   #15
jordanGSU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alien Bob View Post
Slackware 13.37 includes several "staging" drivers in the kernel-modules package, and one of them is the "rt2870sta" driver. Slackware's kernel-firmware package contains the "rt2870.bin" firmware, so I guess you're all set with Slackware 13.37, your wireless card should be recognized out of the box.

Eric
I'll second that, I'm using a usb rt2870 on Slackware13.37. I did have difficulty getting it to work because of conflicts with the rt2870sta drivers...but was able to get it working without downloading and compiling anything additional. The resolution is noted in the following:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...how-to-897422/
 
  


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