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Old 09-12-2018, 06:49 PM   #1
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Slackware 14.2 on Dell Precision 5530

I am about to receive a Dell Precision 5530 laptop (developer's edition, with Ubuntu installed). I am a scientist and I will use it for work. I used to be a Linux sys admin for a few years, back when I was in college (before 2003). And as you guessed Slackware was our choice for the servers. After I started grad school I switched to Mac OS X. Since then, for the last 14 years or so I have been on Macs. I was asked by the IT dept what I want for a new laptop. After checking the new Macbook Pro (with the touch bar, which is the only option for 15") I realized that I was done with mac (I won't get into the details of why and I am not here to trash mac) and wanted to go back to Linux.

Admittedly I haven't been keeping up with what has been happening in the Linux world. I was thrilled to see that Dell offers a range of laptops that come with Ubuntu, so I ordered one. However after extensively reading about Ubuntu, and in particular how systemd might be a bad choice for init, I started thinking that perhaps I should go back to Slackware. I want to use Slackware as my only OS, however I am not sure how well it can work with my hardware & software needs.

Here are my questions: Does anyone use Slackware with Dell Precision 5530? My configuration is Intel Core i9-8950HK 4.80Ghz, 32 GB Ram, Nvidia Quadro P2000, 1TB PCIe SSD, Intel Dual Band Wireless, 5.6" UltraSharp FHD 1080P -non-touch- display. What have been your experiences? Does everything work after installation? How much tinkering did you have to do to get the hardware to work? For example does the wireless, the display, bluetooth etc. work out of the box? Does hibernate/sleep work? I am not an advanced user but I use bash scripts for certain tasks and have more extensive programming experience with Matlab. I also used to compile kernels and drivers back in time but again 14 years take away some skills (and confidence).

Also what are your experiences with Slackware as user-end scientific computing platform? Currently I use Matlab, MS Office, Mendeley, Photoshop in addition to more specialized software like ITK-SNAP and Paraview. I know that some of these work on Linux (MATLAB, Mendeley, ITK, Paraview) and others don't (which I will use whatever match is available like Libreoffice and GIMP).

I have searched extensively for Slackware on Dell 5530 online and couldn't find much (there were a few posts for Dell 5520). I am just curious to see if there is anyone out there who got Slackware to run on Dell 5530 and what that involves.

Old 09-13-2018, 06:30 AM   #2
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Distribution: Slackware64 14.2 + Multilib
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fsoylu --

VERY nice rig !

One thing I suggest based on your Intel® Core™ i9-8950HK Coffee Lake CPU is that you MAY need to run Slackware Current to take advantage of your hardware.

This was true back when I started on my current work laptop.

Rather than immediately blow away everything and start with a bare drive, I started out with Alien Bob's Slackware Live Edition on a 32GB USB Drive.

And then I asked Qs on this forum when I was confused

This left the factory-installed OS alone so I could play with it from time-to-time.

After a few days, I could see that Slackware Current was going to do it for me and I took the plunge and installed on the HDD.

As for running Windows-Only Apps, I have run VMWare for years -n- years and many users here on LQ run Virtual Box so there is lot's of help for getting those pesky Windows-Only Apps going too.

HTH and Have Fun !

-- kjh


Last edited by kjhambrick; 09-13-2018 at 06:31 AM. Reason: cut-n-paste
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:22 AM   #3
Didier Spaier
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Location: Paris, France
Distribution: Slint64-14.2.1 on Lenovo Thinkpad W520
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Welcome to this forum, fsoylu.

Looking at your configuration, the only issue that I see to run Slackware version 14.2 on it is the SSD connected over PCIe, aka NVMe device, not yet supported.

You could install Slackware-current as suggested by kjhambrick but you could also prefer to use a stable release, which would help to (build and) install third-party software, you can instead use the modified installer I provide here:

You will just need to use the ISO provided and follow the instructions under 2).

I can say it's safe as in this thread I got only positive feedback and Patrick Volkerding applied the same patches to Slackware-current.

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 09-13-2018 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:39 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2007
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I found info here when deciding on a new laptop

And here
Old 09-13-2018, 02:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome. Didier Spaier I will check out the modified installer and try to on the laptop once I receive it. It is not much trouble if the SSD problem turns out to be the only issue that I need to deal with it.

kjhambrick great advice on trying things out on a memory stick first. I will do that. I will receive the laptop w/ Ubuntu on it. I can test the original 14.2, Didier Spaier & Alien Bob's versions, and see where I end up getting a fully working system. I am really hoping that these tests will convince me to solely have Slackware. I setup virtualbox on my mac and have been playing with 14.2 and it is really shocking how things are still so familiar after all these years.

Gordie thanks for the website suggestions. I checked before, unfortunately precision 5530 is not there yet (not even 5520) though it is encouraging to see so many other Dells on the list. I think I might rely on the hcl forum once I start testing things on the computer and have specific problems with hardware components.

Thanks again.


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