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onebuck 05-25-2008 11:03 PM

So you want to be a Slacker! What do I do next?

Welcome to SlackwareŽ and the SlackwareŽ LQ Forum!

Edit2: 10-19-09 so READ on! My last edit to the original post was on 12-08-08 as I belief the continuity of the thread should be fluid without edits other than to correct major mistakes.

SlackwareŽ 13 which supports x86_32 & x86_64 has been released. You can utilize a lot of the information contained within this sticky that relates to SlackwareŽ in general and the releases for SlackwareŽ 12, 12.1, 12.2, 13. The later posts do have information for SlackwareŽ 13 x86_32 & x86_64. HTH! /edit2 end/

SlackwareŽ 12.1 distribution is available at the SlackwareŽ store. By purchasing the distribution through the store you will be supporting SlackwareŽ directly therefore insuring the continuance of the best Linux distribution.

If You don't purchase SlackwareŽ 12.1 at this time then you will first need to download the SlackwareŽ 12.1 Distribution via a SlackwareŽ 12.1 official mirror or 'Official List of Mirrors'. Be sure to get the '.md5' file(s) for your iso(s). For a M$ user you can use 'WGET for Windows (win32)' or bittorent;


Torrents for 12.1

Slackware 12.1 Install ISO disc 1 (A/AP/D/E/L/N, installers, kernels, Slackbook)
Slackware 12.1 Install ISO disc 2 (F/K/T/TCL/X/XAP/Y, L source)
Slackware 12.1 Install ISO disc 3 (KDE/KDEI)
Slackware 12.1 ISO disc 4 (A/AP/D/E/F/installer source, extra/, pasture/, patches/, testing/)
Slackware 12.1 ISO disc 5 (K/KDE/KDEI source)
Slackware 12.1 ISO disc 6 (N/T/TCL/X/XAP/Y source)

Slackware 12.1 DVD ISO (everything)
Please note the cd contents above. You will need cd1,cd2 and cd3(KDE/KDEI) for a installation or download the dvd for everything with any form of download for a installation, either by ftp, bittorrent or other download means. You may need cd4 if you plan to use anything within /extra.

Note: I will be presenting a cd/dvd installation at this time. But note that you can do a network installation if so desired then look here or etherboot.

Once You get the iso downloaded then you should do a md5sum check on the downloaded iso(s) image(s). This can be done using a M$ Windows application such as 'md5sum.exe' to check the md5sum. Or for Linux from the cli you would do;

~#cd /downloadisolocation      #cdromiso.iso cdromiso.md5

~#md5sum -c cdromiso.md5      #substitute the correct name to check

Once you are sure that everything is OK then you can burn the 'ISO IMAGE' to your selected media. Please note that some users must burn the iso image at a slower speed to insure a good burn. By slowing the burn speed you may insure that a good copy will be created if the image is indeed valid.

Once the image has been burned to the media then a 'CdromMd5sumsAfterBurning' check would be advised. Your burn application can fail so a check of the final media would prevent you from some possible headaches.


Don't be in a rush to boot the SlackwareŽ install cd/dvd. I would suggest that you first read the documentation that PV has provided; Announce 12.1, Slackware-Howto, CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT, UPGRADE.TXT. Plus the other text files relevant to your needs. All the text files are available on your install cd/dvd.

The above text files have valuable information for you that will aid in the SlackwareŽ installation. You will be presented with information that may prevent you from falling into some pit falls that a lot of new users have fell into. If they had just read the text information file(s) before the install then no ones time would have been wasted.

I have read more than enough threads where a user failed to read the referenced text files because of the M$ mindset that the 'README' type files don't contain pertinent information. SlackwareŽ Linux does require one to be able to READ and investigate in order to complete tasks on or within the system.

Now that the text rant is out of the way then let us get that new SlackwareŽ install going. You should have your BIOS boot order setup so as the 'CD/DVD' is the first order of the BOOT sequence. Place the SlackwareŽ 12.1 install cd1/DVD in your drive. Reboot the machine. You should get the SlackwareŽ boot screen.

Reference: the Slackware 12.1 Howto 3.2 Booting the Slackware CD-ROM;

At this boot screen you will see the 'boot:' line. You will also get booting information along with some prompt information. It is here that you will input a different kernel if you need one along with kernel parameters. The desired information for 'YOUR' install will depend on the hardware that you are installing too. The before mentioned text files will dictate to you as to what should be passed to the install kernels. If you want to use the default kernel and not pass any parameters then just press return at the boot prompt.

Note: Remember that the SlackwareŽ 12.1 install cd1/dvd are bootable and can be used to recover from errors with your install/filesystem errors.

If you anticipate 'acpi' with your equipment then pass the parameter 'apci=off'. If 'apic' then pass 'noapic' to the kernel.

If you have or expect a hdd/sata device probe problem then pass the 'hdn=noprobe' where n=a,b,c,d.

Other possible parameters are nolapic noioapic, you can google or search LQ for any possible parameters that you may need for your specific equipment. Or you could look at 'Linux Kernel Parameters' for a good list of kernel parameters.


ACPI = Advanced Configuration and Power Interface

ACPI is the system that controls your dynamic speed fans, the power button behavior, sleep states, other configuration states.

APIC = Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controllers

APIC is the replacement for the old PIC chip that was embedded on motherboards that allowed you to setup interrupts for your soundcard, ide controllers and other subsystems.

boot: hugesmp.s append = "acpi=off noapic hda=noprobe"<Enter/Return>


Why re-invent the wheel. Please read the files that PV and the SlackwareŽ team have provided. If you read the SlackwareŽ 12.1 Howto and follow the steps you should create a good SlackwareŽ 12.1 installation.

Reference: the Slackware 12.1 Howto Along with the; Announce 12.1, Slackware-Howto, CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT, UPGRADE.TXT.

The below reference is abbreviated and can be used as a simple guideline/flowchart to give you an example of a installation. That is why I suggest that you print the 'SlackwareŽ 12.1 Howto'.


abbreviated so please see Slackware 12.1 Howto for complete information.

3.3  Using Linux fdisk to create Linux partitions

4.0  Installing the Slackware distribution using setup.

4.1 The ADDSWAP option:

4.2 The TARGET option:

4.3 The SOURCE option:

4.4 The SELECT option:

The SELECT option lets you select software to install.

4.5 The INSTALL option:

This option actually installs the selected packages to the hard drive.

4.6 The CONFIGURE option:

The setup's CONFIGURE option does the basic configuration your system needs, such as
setting up your mouse, setting your timezone, and more.

4.7 LILO

LILO is the Linux Loader, a program that allows you to boot Linux (and other operating
systems) directly from your hard drive.  If you installed the LILO package, you now have
an opportunity to set it up.

4.8 Networking

Another configuration menu allows you to configure your machine's networking setup.  First,
enter a hostname for your machine. The default hostname after installation is "darkstar,"
but you can enter any name you like.  Next, you'll be asked to provide a domain name. If
you're running a stand-alone machine (possibly using a dialup link to an Internet Service
Provider) then you can pick any name you like. The default domain name is
"".  If you are going to add the machine to a local network, you'll need to use
the same domain name as the rest of the machines on your network.  If you're not sure
what this is, contact your network administrator for help.  Once you've specified the
hostname and domain name, you'll be asked which type of setup you would like: "static IP",
"DHCP", or "loopback".

5. Booting the installed Slackware system

If you've installed LILO, make sure you don't have a disk in your floppy drive -- when
your machine reboots it should start LILO. Otherwise, insert the bootdisk made for your
system during the configuration process and use it to boot.  Also, make sure to remove
the CD-ROM to avoid booting it, or disable your machine's
CD-ROM booting feature in the BIOS settings.

The kernel will go through the startup process, detecting your hardware, checking your
partitions and starting various processes. Eventually you'll be
given a login prompt:

darkstar login:

Log into the new system as "root".

6. Post-installation configuration
Once the system is running, most of the work is complete. However, there are still a few
programs you'll need to configure. We'll cover the most important in this section.

6.1 /etc/rc.d/rc.modules

This file contains a list of Linux kernel modules.
A kernel module is like a device driver under DOS. You can think
of the /etc/rc.d/rc.modules file as similar to DOS's CONFIG.SYS.
The file specifies which modules the system needs to load to
support the machine's hardware.  After booting your machine, you
may find that some of your hardware isn't detected (usually an
Ethernet card). To provide the support, you'll need to load the
correct kernel module. Note that modern Linux kernels include a
feature that allows the kernel to load its own modules, called
udev. This will load many modules automatically without any need
to edit rc.modules, and when using udev it might be better to
tell it how to load the modules you want automatically rather
than loading them at boot time with rc.modules. This is an
advanced topic, and outside the scope of this document. If
you're interested in this, "man udev" is a good place to start

In any case, it's best to not edit rc.modules unless you find
that the modules you want to use are not being loaded
automatically by udev.  You can see a list of the modules that
were loaded with the "lsmod" command.  Likewise, in the majority
of cases "alsaconf" is not required to configure sound.

Rather, the "alsamixer" tool is used to unmute the Master and
PCM channels and turn up the volume, and the "alsactl store" is
used to save the sound defaults.

6.2 Configuring the X Window System

Configuring X can be a complex task.


This is a simple menu driven frontend that's similar in feel to
the Slackware installer.


This is a text-based X configuration program that's designed for
the advanced system administrator.


This will present a screen full of information about xorgconfig.
To continue, press enter.

6.3 Hardware acceleration with X

If you've used xorgsetup or xorgconfig to configure for your
card, and it's one that can take advantage of X's direct
rendering support, you'll certainly want to enable this.

6.4 User Accounts

You should make a user account for yourself.  Using "root" as
your everyday account is dangerous, and is considered bad form
(at the very least) since you can accidentally damage your
system if you mistype a command.  If you're logged in as a
normal user, the effects of bad commands will be much more
limited.  Normally you'll only log in as root to perform system
administration tasks, such as setting or changing the root
password, installing, configuring, or removing system software,
and creating or deleting user accounts.

To make an account for yourself, use the 'adduser' program.
To start it, type 'adduser' at a prompt and follow the
instructions.  Going with the default selections for user ID,
group ID, and shell should be just fine for most users.
You'll want to add your user to the cdrom, audio, video plugdev
(plugable devices like USB cameras and flash memory) and scanner
groups if you have a computer with multimedia peripherals and
want to be able to access these.  Add these group names, comma
separated, at the following prompt: cdrom, audio, video,
plugdev, lp

Note: plugdev, audio and lp are gotchas' for a lot of newbies. Make sure
to add your users to the right groups. You can use the up-arrow
to see the suggested groups.

7. For more information

For more information, visit our web site at

To shop for fine Slackware products (and help keep the project funded),
please visit  :-)

        Email:          (Information or general inquiries)
        FTP:    (Updates)
        WWW:    (News)
        Security issues:
        General Hotline:

8. Trademarks

Slackware is a registered trademark of Slackware Linux, Inc.
Linux is a Registered Trademark of Linus Torvalds.
All trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Please read the files that PV and the SlackwareŽ team have provided.

I would suggest that new users at least print out the Slackware 12.1 Howto.

If you are experiencing network headaches (wired or wireless) then I suggest that you look at Alien_Bob's 'Configuring your network in Slackware'. This should help you setup a network that is functional.

These links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links' .
More than just SlackwareŽ links!

Happy Slacking!

Neither this post nor I (Onebuck) officially represent SlackwareŽ in any way.

shadowsnipes 05-26-2008 12:34 AM

Haha the title of this reminds me of the old Sierra QFG game (Quest for Glory I: So you want to be a Hero).

I didn't read this all of this post, but I skimmed through it enough to get that the main gist is to encourage new Slackware users to read the docs and give them a warm welcome. Sounds like good sticky material. Nice post :)

onebuck 05-26-2008 09:54 AM


Originally Posted by shadowsnipes (Post 3164610)
Haha the title of this reminds me of the old Sierra QFG game (Quest for Glory I: So you want to be a Hero).

I didn't read this all of this post, but I skimmed through it enough to get that the main gist is to encourage new Slackware users to read the docs and give them a warm welcome. Sounds like good sticky material. Nice post :)

That's my intent! I would like to provide a means for a new user to get some general information. Plus to encourage the new user too READ the available SlackwareŽ documentation.

I know that documentation can be overwhelming but it is good for the user to acquaint themselves to the information. That way at some point the user will be able to use that same information to install/maintain their SlackwareŽ system.

Happy Slacking!

onebuck 05-28-2008 01:46 PM


I think I'll turn this into a wiki so as to provide a complete set of information instead of abbreviated.

alan_ri 05-28-2008 02:09 PM

That's a really nice thing that you're doing onebuck and I think that it would be good if this thread becomes sticky rather then you turn it into wiki.I suggest adding some info about configuration of sound,grafic,mouse,network and package building and managment.That way I think it would be a good guide for Slackware newbies before they start to read official documentation.
All the best.

onebuck 05-28-2008 09:15 PM


I'll think about it. Thanks for your input.

shadowsnipes 05-30-2008 03:51 PM

One advantage for it to be a thread instead of a wiki is that parts of it will be included in the standard LQ search results. That's why I chose to put my "HowTo: Upgrade Slackware 12.0 to 12.1" in a thread instead of a wiki.

Cuetzpallin 05-30-2008 06:56 PM

Any way this is a good post, I think must be a Wiki too.
So, we can participate writing our experience installing a configuring our slackboxes.

Enjoy Slack

bgeddy 05-30-2008 07:13 PM

Yeah - nice on onebuck.

My vote is for a sticky - searchability and ease of access (information being in one place) being a deciding factor for me when it comes to sticky/wiki.

This along with shadowsnipes' excellent

goes to show how helpful experienced Slackware users are.

Sorry if I've missed someone's good work but these two recent efforts came to mind.

Maybe a sticky of topic sorted links to these and similar posts ?

Edit: Just thinking of this gave me a few suggestions to the new Slackware user...

1. A lot can be learned by looking through /etc and /etc/rc.d directories. Midnight commander (mc from a terminal) gives a nice cli based file system browser. Navigating through /etc /etc/rc.d /usr/doc with mc and reading confs and scripts gives a wonderful insight as to how Slackware and Linux in general works.

2. (realated to (1)) do spend time with the command line. Without wishing to reiterate links advanced bash scripting is an excellent reference.

3. Use the forum search tools when researching a problem.

4. Although IRC has a bad reputation - there is some excellent knowledge to be gleaned by just lurking (passively observing) the conversations on Freenode ##slackware and OFTC #slackware channels. Some of the "Slackware greats" regularly contribute.

5. Learn up on how Slackbuilds and Slackware package management,(yes - it does exist !!), work.

6. Check out your /var/log directory and it's contents.

7. Keep in touch with LQ and don't be scared to ask when in doubt !! This community is without doubt the most helpful I have come across in my 20 odd years of IT experience.

8. There are a lot of useful podcasts available to the linux user. These are free audio recordings a link to some is I would personally recommend an unfortunately discontinued cast - Linux Reality - by Chess Griffin - a Slackware user and contributor here. The previous casts are all good and I hope still available.

9. Give something back - if you see a question asked which you know the answer or can at least help with then do so !

10. Try and use Slackware (or just Linux) for everything. I.e. don't boot to Windows unless absolutely neccesary. OK, sometimes it is, but using Linux in earnest for any length of time will certainly help climb the learning curve.

Have fun !!

unSpawn 05-30-2008 07:39 PM

Stickied this post, I have.

H_TeXMeX_H 05-31-2008 03:39 PM

That's a good post onebuck, I'm sure it'll save a lot of people the trouble of starting a new thread on here that's been started on here many times before. Guess that's what stickies are for.

onebuck 05-31-2008 07:52 PM


Thanks H!
I'm hoping others will contribute. Much in the way 'bgeddy' contributed. That way the thread will really be useful to everyone.

pdw_hu 06-01-2008 07:42 AM


Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H (Post 3170574)
That's a good post onebuck, I'm sure it'll save a lot of people the trouble of starting a new thread on here that's been started on here many times before. Guess that's what stickies are for.

Like stickies ever kept anyone from asking it again and again ;)

(/me is evil :P)

xokaido 06-01-2008 01:29 PM

Yesterday I've posted about installing SLACKWARE on Virtual Machine...
I had got some answers and now see that posts have been deleted...
I've got some kind of problem now:
I have done all well, partitions have been setted up well,
installation began and when I was asked to insert another
disk I've found that all the nessecary options in virtual machine are disabled...
I can't choose another ISO image to boot from that...
Clicking on the "Continue" buton on Slack does not work..
I can't even choose to boot from CD or DVD...
Again, I'm sitting on Debian and I use VMware as virtual machine...
Could anyone help?..

T3slider 06-01-2008 02:01 PM


Originally Posted by xokaido
Yesterday I've posted about installing SLACKWARE on Virtual Machine...
I had got some answers and now see that posts have been deleted...

That probably should have been a hint to make a new thread instead of hijacking this one...

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