For Official Slackware packages
(those that come with Slackware), the only updates you need will be security updates. The easiest way to keep up with these is to simply join the security mailing list
. Then, you will get an email that lets you know when there is an update, along with the procedure and links needed to update the package (usually this consists of just running upgradepkg
and perhaps restarting a service). I recommend not using ftp.slackware.com for your downloads because it is slow. Instead, bookmark a mirror nearest you.
To supplement this, you could install slackpkg
. It can be a very useful tool and is included in /extra. It can help you do many things. For some examples I refer you to my HowTo: Upgrade Slackware 12.0 to 12.1
. For simple security updates I usually just do a
slackpkg download pkg-name
Then I install the update (it will be in /var/cache/packages) using upgradepkg
I only need to do this when I know there is an update (when I get an email from the security mailing list). Basically this just saves me the trouble from having to manually download the package. Plus, its signature is automatically checked.
If you are way behind on updates then a
might be more useful. Don't do this blindly!
Skim through the recent Slackware Security Advisories
For third party packages
(such as those from SlackBuilds.org)
Since you are using SlackBuilds.org, I recommend that you subscribe to the SlackBuilds.org mailing list
. SlackBuilds.org also has a RSS feed that you can subscribe to for the Changelog. The mailing list will send you the Changelog and other discussions related to slackBuilds. It is also the best place to go if you have trouble with them. Usually the maintainers do a fair job of updating the slackBuilds when there are security updates, so you can use the SlackBuilds.org Changelog to help you keep up to date. Also, there is a new tool out called Sbo_pkg that can help you automate this more. Search this forum or the SlackBuilds.org mailing list and you are sure to find it.
However, often the slackBuilds are not updated for some time because they still work with the newer software versions. In these cases, I recommend that you see if that particular software has a mailing list of rss feed. I would say that RSS feeds are the easiest way to go when given the option.
Speaking of which there are some general feeds that provide security/update news as well. Here are a couple of examples
Yahoo Linux/Open Source
Yahoo Security News
Here's some Slackware feeds
Slackware Security Announces
Slackware -current Changelog
Just keep in mind that newer is not always necessarily better. Stick with just security updates unless you need some new feature or the old version is not compatible.