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Old 07-07-2022, 07:10 AM   #1
drmozes
Slackware Contributor
 
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Distribution: Slackware
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Welcome to the Slackware ARM forum


Hello,

This forum is a platform for announcements and community discussion around running the official Slackware Linux distribution on the ARM architecture.


Slackware Introduction

Slackware Linux is the oldest actively maintained Linux distribution and one of the world's oldest active Open Source Projects. Slackware couples a classic BSD-style UNIX environment with the latest Linux Kernel and software applications, which is ideal for UNIX users who want an Operating System that does what it's told with all the benefits and advantages of a Linux Kernel and the Open Source software stack.

More information is available in this video presentation from the Slackware ARM podcast.



Slackware ARM

Slackware ARM is developed and maintained by members of the core Slackware team.

The goal of Slackware ARM is to replicate the full experience of the progenitor project, Slackware x86/64.
Slackware ARM is an ideal platform for UNIX enthusiasts to have fun on low-cost ARM hardware.

More information about the project and its history can be found here.

Naming

Prior to the 64bit version of Slackware on ARM, "Slackware ARM" solely referred to Slackware on the 32bit ARM architecture.

Now "Slackware ARM" is the umbrella project name for all Slackware activity on the ARM architecture, which includes the 64bit ARM architecture named 'AArch64'.



Hardware Model Support

There are presently two options for Slackware on ARM architecture:
  • 32bit ARM "Slackware ARM"
    Examples of supported Hardware Models: Orange Pi, Raspberry Pi, Banana Pi, Trimslice Pro
    The final release of Slackware for 32bit ARM was Slackware ARM 15.0.
    There is no future development of Slackware for the 32bit ARM architecture.

  • 64bit ARM "Slackware AArch64"
    Examples of supported Hardware Models: Pinebook64, RockPro64, Raspberry Pi 4.

The ARM architecture is unlike X86 in that whilst there are standards, parts of the software ecosystem are fragmented and certain technical aspects (such as booting) vary between Hardware Model vendors. This makes it impossible to support all Hardware Models using a single set of installation media and tutorials. For example, you cannot have a single Slackware Installer image that will boot on all Hardware Models in the same way as you can boot a single copy of the Slackware Installer on any x86 from a USB stick.

Each Hardware Model requires individual testing and development; therefore Slackware ARM provides the full Operating System, installation support and documentation for a small number of Hardware Models that are well-supported in the upstream Open Source ecosystem, and upon which make sense to run a general-purpose Operating System such as Slackware.

Slackware ARM is extended and supported on other devices through the help and commitment of the community.




Update/Release Cadence

Stable releases

Patch updates are released as quickly as possible.

For Slackware AArch64 the most recent stable release is maintained until the next stable release is made. For 32bit Slackware ARM the releases are maintained until the build hardware fails and no replacement is available, or that release version is no longer maintained for Slackware x86/64.

Development trunk '-current'

Slackware '-current' is the development trunk that is updated multiple times per week for Slackware x86/64 (the progenitor architecture). When the core components of the Operating System are stabilised and their respective developers have made a long-term maintenance commitment for a particular release, the stars have aligned and the unbroken reflection of the moon is visible from the shore of Lake Te Anau, the development trunk will branch a stable versioned release of Slackware (it'll be ready when it's ready).

For Slackware ARM, the -current trunk release cadence is typically monthly, where all the updates to the x86 progenitor trunk are "rolled up" into a single release.

When security updates pending, efforts will be made to expedite a release, but there are no guarantees.

Occasionally updates will be published more frequently.



Road map

There's a light-weight road map for the project.



Getting involved

Technically

There are always bugs to fix and improvements that can be made to the project.
The easiest way to contribute is to post to this forum and we'll figure out how to address it.

If you'd like to make Slackware work on additional Hardware Models, have a look at the concept of the "Hardware Custodian".

Becoming a Hardware Custodian is an undertaking of significant magnitude, particularly in the beginning. However, typically once the support for your Hardware Model is integrated into the project the burden is far less, winding up as more of a maintenance and testing task when the Kernels major version or patch level changes. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Unix and Linux, and Slackware ARM is well documented to facilitate this, and it's fun and rewarding most of the time!


Financially

Slackware exists solely through the financial contributions of you - the user base.

If you'd like to help sponsor the project, you'll find how you can help here.

Slackware ARM is downstream of the progenitor platform, Slackware x86/64 which is developed by its creator, Patrick Volkerding. Slackware is Patrick's livelihood so please donate to Slackware x86/64 in preference to Slackware ARM.

The sponsorship page contains details for both.


Proceeds from Slackware ARM are used to pay for electricity, hosting and hardware.



Podcast

The Slackware ARM YouTube channel holds the Installation Guides and videos on a variety of topics concerning Slackware on the ARM platform.


Enjoy Slackware on ARM!
Stuart (MoZes@slackware)

Last edited by drmozes; 07-11-2022 at 02:48 AM.
 
  


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