Slackware-FAQ

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Contents

Roadmap

When will the next version of Slackware be released?

The best indicator is the -current changelog. Feature freezes and release candidates are announced there first.

What's the easiest way to follow the changelogs?

Vincent Batts has RSS feeds for them, here.

Packages

How should I keep my system up to date?

Use the slackpkg+ extension to Slackware's included slackpkg tool. Alien Bob's blog has an introduction. It handles Slackware's official repository, and several third party ones, including Alien Bob's multilib and ktown repositories, MateSlackBuilds, and others.

Where are the recommended places to get packages?

The two major repositories:

Slackware's contributors:

Slackware's package-compatible fork(s):

For installing straight from the source tarball, look into src2pkg.

How do I get GNOME?

There are several active projects providing variants of GNOME for Slackware:

How do I get LXDE?

Get it from Ponce. He provides prebuilt packages and SBOPkg queues:

http://ponce.cc/slackware/

Here is the discussion thread:

LXDE desktop for slackware - testing

How do I get JDK7?

Either use the SlackBuild in extra/java to build the Sun JDK package, or download an OpenJDK package from Alien Bob.

How do I tell slackpkg to not replace Alien Bob's packages?

Alien Bob's KDE and multilib packages replace many stock Slackware packages. You'll have to blacklist them to prevent slackpkg from reverting them.

To do so, put the following in /etc/slackpkg/blacklist:

[0-9]+alien

How do I figure out package dependencies?

How do I figure out dependencies for Slackware packages?

The truth is that you're not supposed to. The first time you logged into your new Slackware installation, you received an email explaining, among other things, Slackware's approach to package management:

Slackware is designed around the idea that the system should be a complete installation kept updated with any official patches. This avoids the mess of dependencies that some other Linux based GNU systems face.

How do I figure out dependencies for third party packages?

Repositories such as SlackBuilds.org and Slacky.eu list dependencies for each package. If you need to install several SlackBuilds.org packages in order, then queue them in sbopkg.

Why do you use Slackware if you need to figure out dependencies?

As you've seen above, this is (to a large extent) a misconception. See also:

Package and dependency management shouldn't put you off Slackware

Why does Slackware have TeTex and not Tex Live?

The official answer is that Tex Live is too large to include.

See here:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/slackware-14/tex-live-in-slackware-635217/#post3122767

You can get Tex Live from third parties such as SlackBuilds.org and Robby Workman.

Setup

Which groups do I need to belong to?

When adduser asks you this question, press the Up cursor key. It will automatically populate the list.

Typically, you want to belong to:

  • audio - access to audio devices
  • cdrom - access to cdroms/dvds
  • floppy - access to floppy drives
  • plugdev - access to flash drives
  • video - access to framebuffer devices (/dev/fb0)
  • power - allows users to control HAL suspend, hybernate, and shutdown
  • netdev - allows users to control wicd for wireless networking

The correct list sometimes changes with Slackware version upgrades, so see CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT for updated information.

How should I set up networking (wireless or otherwise)?

Slackware provides NetworkManager. Turn it on. There's a note about this in the email you get the first time you log in as root:

Read the following too:

http://alien.slackbook.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=slackware:network

How do I get a graphical boot sequence?

Please see the following How-to: Slackware-Guides-Graphical_Boot

How do I get CPU frequency scaling?

Change "CPUFREQ=battery" to "CPUFREQ=on" in /etc/rc.d/rc.modules.

Please remember that very CPU-intensive applications, such as Adobe Flash, will not perform well with a downclocked CPU.

Audio

How do I get audio working?

The initial checklist goes something like this:

  1. Is your user account a member of the audio group?
  2. Have you run alsamixer to set your volume levels, which may be muted and/or zeroed by default?
  3. Have you run alsactl store to save your volume settings?

Carry these out before asking this question, and when you ask, mention that you've done so.

Other steps, such as setting module options or creating an asoundrc file, might be required in special cases.

Bluetooth

Where do I start?

If all you want is the most direct route to getting bluetooth working under a window manager, try out the Blueman gui tools distributed with Slackware.

  • blueman-applet - Gives you a system try icon with access to all the other blueman tools
  • blueman-manager - A nice gui for managing the pairing of your devices
  • all other blueman - You shouldn't have to run them directly. They will be called for appropriately from blueman-applet/manager

That's Nice, but I want to do it from the command line

The old way is to use root access with hidd, hcitool, obexftp. It 'works' and is fine if you don't do a lot of bluetooth. However, I wouldn't try to pair your mouse with it and use it on a regular basis. The new way is through D-Bus/Hal. Neither is within the scope of an FAQ.

X and Desktop

How should I set up an NVidia card?

Use the SlackBuilds.org packages: nvidia-kernel, libvdpau and nvidia-driver: installed in that order.

If you'd prefer (for some reason) to use the binary NVidia installer, be aware that the xorg.conf file that it creates is not correct and should be edited. See: Configuring NVidia Cards on Slackware

How do I get Slackware to boot straight into X?

Edit /etc/inittab and replace:

id:3:initdefault:

with

id:4:initdefault:

How can I avoid crashes when I log out?

This happens to some people who use KDM.

Uncomment (remove the hash from) the #TerminateServer=true line in /etc/kde/kdm/kdmrc to solve it

How do I keep my GTK theme when I'm not in Xfce?

Either run xfsettingsd in the background, or use a GTK theme switcher. Examples are gtk-chtheme and LXAppearance.'

How do I make my Qt applications look like my KDE applications?

The following applies to Slackware:

KDE and Qt programs look bad when in a different window manager

Symlinking /usr/lib64/kde/plugins/styles to /usr/lib64/qt/plugins/styles (on a 64-bit installation), or /usr/lib/kde/plugins/styles to /usr/lib/qt/plugins/styles (on a 32-bit installation) works.

How do I make KDE 4 faster?

Just wait for strigi's indexing operation to finish. Disable strigi and nepomuk if you don't want to wait; the options are in KDE's System Settings.

How do I make my Arial font look like an Arial font?

Slackware, being a commercial product, cannot ship with Microsoft's core fonts for the web. These include Arial, Courier New, and Times New Roman. Instead, Slackware displays Liberation fonts (Liberation Sans, Liberation Mono and Liberation Serif, respectively) in their place.

To change this, you need to install Microsoft's web core fonts from a third party repository such as SlackBuilds.org, remove the Fontconfig file doing the substitution (it's /etc/fonts/conf.d/60-liberation.conf), and run fc-cache to refresh Fontconfig.

Where is my Adobe Helvetica font?

Disabled.

Details and explanation are in the patch applied:

source/x/fontconfig/fontconfig.font.dir.list.diff.gz

How can I make my fonts look better?

Start here:

Optimizing Slackware Linux's Fonts

Applications

How do I get Amarok to play MP3s?

Install gst-plugins-ugly. It's available from SlackBuilds.org.

Slackware64

How should I run 32-bit software in my 64-bit installation?

http://connie.slackware.com/~alien/multilib/

How can I get my 32-bit software to see my GTK theme?

First build and install 32-bit compatibility versions of the GTK engines that your themes use. To build one for murrine, for example, first build a normal 32-bit package (a 32-bit Slackware installation running in a virtual machine is useful for this). Then move it to your 64-bit installation and run convertpkg-compat32 on it to create a 32-bit compatibility package. Install that package.

Set the GTK_PATH environment variable to /usr/lib/gtk-2.0 before launching 32-bit GTK programs. Its default setting of :/usr/lib64/gtk-2.0, by contrast, is correct for 64-bit programs.

The launchers for Adobe Reader (acroread) and Realplayer (realplay) are shell scripts, so you can edit them and add "export GTK_PATH=/usr/lib/gtk-2.0" to their beginnings.