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jeroensnake 11-24-2005 07:34 AM

Converting another distribution to Slackware
I've been searching for some kind of howto to convert a ditribution to another (i would think there is a general description how to convert an installation). When searching for it on google I only found how to do a fresh install or update within the same distro. I want to convert a Kate OS Linux distro to the latest Slackware. I'm sure it kinda looks like the upgrade howto that Pat has wrote (kate os used to be slackware-based).

Maybe something like:

Convert another distro to Linux Slackware in 10 steps

1. backup /etc and /home to be sure
2. check all current system packages and download similair slackware packages
3. start single-user mode (telinit 1)
3. install slackware package utilities (kate os has installpkg, but using plain old tar would do)
4. install slackware sed
5. install all other downloaded slackware packages
6. make system boot (config + run lilo) ... ah damn, now we do need a reboot
7. search, download and install old packages that were not in the slackware distro
8. fix config files in /etc (check with backup of old /etc)
9. maybe another reboot for the windows-loving folks? (or just telinit 1 ; telinit 4 or something :-)
10. Be happy with your old configuration and new Slackware Distribution ... ?

Should this work?
Am I missing some important things?
Any hints/tips?


jeroensnake 11-24-2005 07:53 AM


I forgot to install glibc-solibs-*.tg between step 3 and step 3 (yes, twice 3 ... its just me and me)


jeroensnake 11-25-2005 08:45 AM

another question: what if the distro uses another init system?

greetz, jeroen

Alien Bob 12-03-2005 02:44 PM

There is no such way as converting one distro to another.
Slackware, Debian, Redhat, SuSE, Mandriva... they all use their own tools, their own init scripts, their own hardware database and setup, and own modifications of standard software (well Slackware barely does any modifications to the software at all). The result of this is that the configuration files and directories in /etc are for the most part incompatible between distros.

The only hope you have is that your home directory will still be usable - specifically all the 'dot' directories that applications (but also KDE) leave there to save their configurations.
Individual configuration files of standard software (not distro-specific) like the xorg.conf file and alsa.conf could be good to save too.

I use Redhat, SuSE and Ubuntu as well as Slackware and I would never dare to try the conversion you describe.


XavierP 12-03-2005 08:43 PM

I'm confused. Why not just install Slackware? What does this conversion give you that a plain old install doesn't?

Bremsstrahlung 12-05-2005 10:30 AM

Yeah, this is something you shouldn't try.

They give you warning about so much as switching between versions of distro's (at least, if you should ever need to downgrade), and switching entirely is another animal entirely. I don't know if it'd necessarily be impossible, for for the scope of this forum..

So here's the process you'll need:

1. backup files
2. reformat and repartition hardware OR
create necessary partitions on free space using partition magic or on a new HD
3. install new Distro on said separate partition


jeroensnake 01-02-2006 11:40 AM

The main point of this was that I wanted to switch distro while keeping the configuration the same. I installed Kate OS (was based on slackware) for a friend. I configured everything he needed (he's a total linux newbie, and he never used anything newer than windows 95).

For those people even a tiny change (mount points, devices, other wm, other mixer, etc) can be confusing. I wanted to show how easy it was to work with packages (Kate OS and slackware both use the good old .tgz system, but of course some packages where incompatible...). Too bad Kate OS doesnt include many packages and too bad that the ones from only work on slackware.

And then I thought something very stupid (or maybe it is NOT stupid) like "what if I just convert his Kate OS to Slackware 10.2 while he can keep everything else the same?"

In the meantime some things changes (i got a "new" pc, gave my "old" laptop to that friend, and we dumped his ancient pc in a corner of his room) and he is now using Slackware current (my laptop) with his own /home/user directory. I only had to point out where his music went (i configured icewm,giftd,giFTcurs,xmms,rox filer,firefox,bittornado,mplayer,abiword for him earlier)

Working with different users is so much easier then it was (and still is) in Windows.

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