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slackware:faq [2012/10/11 19:37 (UTC)]
alienbob I can only select "A - BASE LINUX SYSTEM"
slackware:faq [2017/08/13 14:30 (UTC)] (current)
alienbob Can Slackware be recompiled from scratch?
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 If the answer is too long to fit comfortably into two or three paragraphs, consider adding a link in the answer to an existing page that answers the question or create a new page if one doesn'​t exist on the topic and the question is important enough to justify a page. If the answer is too long to fit comfortably into two or three paragraphs, consider adding a link in the answer to an existing page that answers the question or create a new page if one doesn'​t exist on the topic and the question is important enough to justify a page.
 +
  
 ===== General Slackware ===== ===== General Slackware =====
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 Slackware basically comes in two flavors: stable and "​current"​. Slackware basically comes in two flavors: stable and "​current"​.
  
-Stable versions are the numbered releases (12, 12.1, 13, 13.37 etc.). They are supported for a number of years after release, by way of security updates. Security updates are added to the the "''/​patches/​packages/''"​ subdirectory of a Slackware release tree on every public mirror. Functional updates are not added to past releases.+Stable versions are the numbered releases (12, 12.1, 13, 13.37, 14.0, 14.1 etc.). They are supported for a number of years after release, by way of security updates. Security updates are added to the the "''/​patches/​packages/''"​ subdirectory of a Slackware release tree on every public mirror. Functional updates are not added to past releases.
  
-The "​current"​ branch on the other hand, is a //​development tree// which is always split-off from a recently released stable Slackware directory tree. Usually this split-off happens some weeks after the stable release. \\ It marks the start of a new development cycle towards the next stable release. At the end of a development cycle, a Slackware release is created by renaming the top-level "//​slackware-current//"​ directory to "//​slackware-NEWVERSION//"​. Slackware-current is known to cause relatively frequent and potentially disruptive updates to the system. New users and users looking for a stable system for production use should //always// use a (fairly recent) stable release. The Slackware developers assume that anyone running slackware-current realizes that he/she is in essence, //a beta tester//.+The "​current"​ branch on the other hand, is a //​development tree// which is always split-off from a recently released stable Slackware directory tree. Usually this split-off happens some weeks after the stable release. \\ It marks the start of a new development cycle towards the //next// stable release. At the end of a development cycle, a Slackware release is created by renaming the top-level "//​slackware-current//"​ directory to "//​slackware-NEWVERSION//"​. Slackware-current is known to cause relatively frequent and potentially disruptive updates to the system. New users and users looking for a stable system for production use should //always// use a (fairly recent) stable release. The Slackware developers assume that anyone running slackware-current realizes that he/she is in essence, //a beta tester//.
  
 To sum it up: To sum it up:
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   * //Current// is the testing ground for the upcoming release. The software you will find there will often be [[wp>​Upstream_%28software_development%29|upstream]]'​s latest version. For more information on current, please visit the [[slackware:​current|dedicated page]].   * //Current// is the testing ground for the upcoming release. The software you will find there will often be [[wp>​Upstream_%28software_development%29|upstream]]'​s latest version. For more information on current, please visit the [[slackware:​current|dedicated page]].
  
-If you want to know when the next version will be released (at time of writing the most recent stable release is 13.37), it will be ready... when it's ready! There are no fixed release dates, as the Slackware goal is to deliver the most stable Linux experience.+If you want to know when the next version will be released (at time of writing the most recent stable release is 14.1), it will be ready... when it's ready! There are no fixed release dates, as the Slackware goal is to deliver the most stable Linux experience. 
 + 
 + 
 +==== Can Slackware be recompiled from scratch? ==== 
 + 
 +Short answer: no.\\ Several other distros (including [[http://​www.linuxfromscratch.org/​|Linux From Scratch]]) are capable of being rebuilt from scratch using the publicly available sources and scripts. Fedora habitually recompiles itself completely from time to time. Slackware is //not// like those other distros: there is no "​master build script"​. The Slackware distribution grows and evolves "​organically"​ and the utmost care is taken that all software in the distro is in working condition. Slackware does not need "​rebuild from scratch"​ in order to achieve that goal. To the contrary: recompiling an older package may introduce new bugs or incompatibilities when the recompiled package picks up undesired new dependencies and/or functionality. 
 + 
 +That does not make Slackware a "​binary distribution",​ not does this philosophy violate any license. In order to comply with Open Source licenses such as the GPL (and also because, why not?), Slackware makes the complete source code and build scripts available for all the packages that are part of the distro. You will find these sources in the ''​./​source'',​ ''​./​extra/​source'',​ ''​./​pasture/​source''​ and ''​./​patches/​source''​ subdirectories of any release. These sources and scripts are exactly what was used to build the accompanying package at the time of its release - no more and no less. 
 + 
 +Note: It is essential that you understand these sources and scripts have produced a package using the system libraries available at the time of its creation. Over time, with all the library updates and introduction of new packages, the source code of any package may lose the capability of being re-compiled into that same package successfully. But that is perfectly normal: a Slackware package will //never// be recompiled unless its binaries stop working (due to dynamic library conflicts for instance) or because that package is upgraded to a new version. Only then, the sources and scripts for any package are re-evaluated. If patches are required at this time - to make the sources compile successfully or to make the resulting binaries work correctly - then patches will be added. 
  
 ===== Installation and Support ===== ===== Installation and Support =====
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 </​code>​ </​code>​
 This message (''​gpg:​ Good signature''​) means that the ISO file is the same file which was cryptographically signed by Patrick Volkerding. This message (''​gpg:​ Good signature''​) means that the ISO file is the same file which was cryptographically signed by Patrick Volkerding.
 +
  
 ==== How do I install Slackware Linux? ==== ==== How do I install Slackware Linux? ====
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 Read the [[slackware:​install|installation guide]]. Read the [[slackware:​install|installation guide]].
  
-=== During network installation I only see the "​A"​ package series ===+==== During network installation I only see the "​A"​ package series ​====
  
 You are attempting an installation of Slackware from a HTTP or FTP server. After entering the server'​s hostname and the Slackware package directory, you see the usual messages like "''​INITIALIZING PACKAGE TREE''",​ but then during the "''​PACKAGE SERIES SELECTION''",​ you can only select "''​A - BASE LINUX SYSTEM''"​. Where are all the other package series? You are attempting an installation of Slackware from a HTTP or FTP server. After entering the server'​s hostname and the Slackware package directory, you see the usual messages like "''​INITIALIZING PACKAGE TREE''",​ but then during the "''​PACKAGE SERIES SELECTION''",​ you can only select "''​A - BASE LINUX SYSTEM''"​. Where are all the other package series?
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   * For webcams, and USB video class devices, [[http://​www.ideasonboard.org/​uvc/​|Linux UVC drivers & tools]] can help.   * For webcams, and USB video class devices, [[http://​www.ideasonboard.org/​uvc/​|Linux UVC drivers & tools]] can help.
   * Linux supports several models of Wacom pen tablets and devices. See the [[http://​sourceforge.net/​apps/​mediawiki/​linuxwacom/​index.php?​title=Main_Page|linuxwacom]] project for more information. Many non-wacom tablets are supported by the [[https://​launchpad.net/​wizardpen|Wizardpen]] driver.   * Linux supports several models of Wacom pen tablets and devices. See the [[http://​sourceforge.net/​apps/​mediawiki/​linuxwacom/​index.php?​title=Main_Page|linuxwacom]] project for more information. Many non-wacom tablets are supported by the [[https://​launchpad.net/​wizardpen|Wizardpen]] driver.
 +
  
 ===== Software and Package Management ===== ===== Software and Package Management =====
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 [[http://​www.salixos.org/​|Salix OS]] is a Slackware derived distribution that incorporates dependency handling. [[http://​www.salixos.org/​|Salix OS]] is a Slackware derived distribution that incorporates dependency handling.
 +
 ==== Distro X and Y does package management with dependency handling and... ==== ==== Distro X and Y does package management with dependency handling and... ====
  
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 Some may call it a bug, others may call it a feature. Be it so, Slackware remains committed to its core principles and this issue is one aspect of its core principles. Some may call it a bug, others may call it a feature. Be it so, Slackware remains committed to its core principles and this issue is one aspect of its core principles.
 +
 +
 ===== Miscellaneous ===== ===== Miscellaneous =====
  
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 Also, Slackware runs a bunch of X/GTK related scripts at startup for multiuser runlevels (''​fc-cache'',​ ''​update-mime-database'',​ ''​gtk-update-icon-cache'',​ ''​update-gtk-immodules'',​ ''​update-gdk-pixbuf-loaders''​ , ''​update-pango-querymodules''​ etc.). These may be disabled manually by commenting out those lines which refer to them in the file ''/​etc/​rc.M''​ but don't disable anything unless you're absolutely sure you know what you are doing! These scripts are essential for GTK applications to render fonts and icons properly. Also, Slackware runs a bunch of X/GTK related scripts at startup for multiuser runlevels (''​fc-cache'',​ ''​update-mime-database'',​ ''​gtk-update-icon-cache'',​ ''​update-gtk-immodules'',​ ''​update-gdk-pixbuf-loaders''​ , ''​update-pango-querymodules''​ etc.). These may be disabled manually by commenting out those lines which refer to them in the file ''/​etc/​rc.M''​ but don't disable anything unless you're absolutely sure you know what you are doing! These scripts are essential for GTK applications to render fonts and icons properly.
 <note warning>​Unless you are a fairly advanced user and know what you are doing, do not attempt to modify or disable any of the boot scripts. Does a few extra seconds gained while booting really make a big difference?</​note>​ <note warning>​Unless you are a fairly advanced user and know what you are doing, do not attempt to modify or disable any of the boot scripts. Does a few extra seconds gained while booting really make a big difference?</​note>​
 +
 ==== Slackware Linux has a reputation for being tough for newbies. Is this true? ==== ==== Slackware Linux has a reputation for being tough for newbies. Is this true? ====
  
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   * Slackware has a text-menu based (ncurses) installer and requires several technical decisions to be made at install-time,​ some of which can be potentially destructive to the data on the hard disk. In other words, when in doubt, don't perform any potentially destructive actions and //do// consult the help documentation.   * Slackware has a text-menu based (ncurses) installer and requires several technical decisions to be made at install-time,​ some of which can be potentially destructive to the data on the hard disk. In other words, when in doubt, don't perform any potentially destructive actions and //do// consult the help documentation.
-  * A new Slackware installation initially boots into a text console by default and can be configured to boot into a GUI later, as opposed to desktop-based distributions that boot into a GUI login screen by default.+  * A new Slackware installation initially boots into a text console by default and can be [[http://​docs.slackware.com/​slackware:​install?&#​configuring_graphical_logins|configured to boot into a GUI]] later, as opposed to desktop-based distributions that boot into a GUI login screen by default.
   * Basic knowledge of standard shell (bash) commands and a text-mode editor such as vim is necessary to start using Slackware comfortably.   * Basic knowledge of standard shell (bash) commands and a text-mode editor such as vim is necessary to start using Slackware comfortably.
   * Some knowledge of the locations of commonly used configuration files and scripts found in *nix-like systems would make things much more comfortable.   * Some knowledge of the locations of commonly used configuration files and scripts found in *nix-like systems would make things much more comfortable.

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