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Free as in Freedom, Slack as in Slackware

November 11, 2011

One of the hottest news ever: Patrick Volkerding can be heard at Hacker Public Radio.

October 11, 2011

Good, interesting reviews of Linux distributions don't come often. A good, interesting review of Slackware is even a more rare reading. That is why it was that nice to find Slackware 13.37—Perfect for My Laptop in a blog by Barnaby. More than this, Barnaby has written a whole bunch of writeups dedicated to running and configuring Slack.

September 19, 2011

Today, we have a few more additions to our collection of Slack Links. These are two writeups by Andrew Strong on configuring Leafnode-2 and connecting to Freenode with SSL/SASL under Slackware. There is actually other interesting reading at Andrew's Corner of the Web though it doesn't always relate to Slack. The author warns his site "will never be more than 20 or so pages big" thus don't wait too long to visit it ;-)

Another addition is Sous-marin, "a small, pure, individualized Slackware installation system using only scripts and a minimum of resources." It is accompanied by Sous-marin tools, which are "bash scripts for analyzing and maintaining a minimized Slackware installation but can all be used on normal Slackware installations as well." Both projects come from R. Earle Harris. Sous-marin employs GUST, a tool for generating tagfiles by Seb Boillod, the author of the Spack package manager.

Finally, the collection of Slackware-based projects is enriched by Porteus, a portable distro to be used from a USB stick, CDROM, etc.

September 2, 2011

Everybody has heard about Kernel Mode Setting but problems with configuring consoles and X jump out again and again, especially with new drivers and old CRT monitors. Aaron W. Hsu has taken time to write a brief instruction on treating these problems. For those not having access to AOLS via Usenet, the writeup can be found via Google's gateway.

August 30, 2011

There are not much news related to Slackware these days. One of the latest updates of the -current branch included lilo-23.2. With it installed, a computer of mine with an encrypted root file system refused to boot. Reverting back to the older version of lilo fixed the problem. YMMV.

There has been an update to slkbuild, an interesting tool aimed to simplify building packages in Slackware. According to its author (George Vlahavas), slkbuild was inspired by makepkg, used in Arch Linux. Slkbuild seems to be employed in Salix, a well-known derivative of Slackware.

Last but not least: Grant Coady is at a rehab center. We have already received a few short messages from him. He thanks all slackers who sent him their kind wishes and miscellaneous Linux stuff. We are waiting for you Grant, and are keeping our fingers crossed!

July 20, 2011

Better later than never! :-) Happy Birthday, Slackware! Why birthday? Read a post by Willy Sudiarto here.

July 17, 2011

Grant is doing a little better every day, his legs are still not doing much. He has tried to get out of bed three time. Fell on the floor once. Head neck and arms are working good. The rest of is still floppy like a rag doll, he can not support himself in a chair.

Good news is Grant realizes this and realizes his muscle tone has deteriorated so he is trying to move his legs. So for the first time he is trying to help himself. His thoughts and speech are starting to align, Conversations are starting to make a lot more sense. The scattered thoughts and memories puzzle in his head are starting to make a whole picture. It is very promising.

Grant should be here for the next 5 weeks. For those wishing to drop Grant a line or send a little gift, the address is as follows:

John Lindell Rehabilitation Unit
100 Barnard St, Bendigo, VIC 3550
phone: (613) 5444 6290

June 19, 2011

This update is based on the information we are receiving from John Sharkey, Grant's friend, who visits Grant in the hospital every day.

The MRI indicates Grant has severe brain damage. The diagnosis is not fully clear but the docs say the long term prospects for Grant can be very bad. His arms and legs have not moved to this day, however his neck is getting stronger, he is moving his head now and focusing his eyes on you, not staring aimlessly past you, and even smiles at jokes, but the docs say he will never be the same Grant we knew.

Let us support Grant with a little gesture of (Linux) friendship! Let us send Grant a postcard or some funny Linux stuff, e.g., Tux. Google has lead us to bytelove, thinkgeek, kleargeargeektoys but you will definitely find more. For those who finds an opportunity to send a gift for Grant, the postal address of the hospital is as follows:

Attention I.C.U.
Mr. Grant J. Coady
Bendigo Health hospital campus
Lucan Street
(PO Box 126, Bendigo 3552)
Bendigo Vic 3550

All enquiries (03) 5454 6000

Thanks a lot in advance!

June 6, 2011

We are having very sad news today. Earlier this week, Grant Coady, a long time AOLS regular, the author and maintainer of, and an intelligent, kind and open-hearted person, was taken to a hospital in Bendigo (AU) in critical condition having some breathing issues. Since then, he is at the Intensive Care Unit but his condition does not improve. As far as we know, the police has failed to find his relatives, though Grant has a sister. Docs at the hospital are short in words.

The direct line number to the ICU is (03) 5454 7927.

We are keeping our fingers and hearts crossed. Get back from the shadow, Grant, as soon as you are able!

May 16, 2011

There is more good, interesting reading about Slackware 13.37. First comes Ten Years In The Making by Jack Wallen, published at on May 9. In a different style, comes an in-depth review by Jesse Smith, published today by

May 15, 2011

Dear fellow Slackers!

We are really happy to suggest you one more interview given by a core Slackware developer on the occasion of the Slackware 13.37 release. This time, it is Eric Hameleers. Enjoy!

May 13, 2011 (Friday!)

Almost a year ago Robby Workman, a Slackware developer and one of the leading mainainers of the project, kindly gave us an interview on the occasion of the Slackware-13.1 release. This time, Robby has managed to find time to answer a few questions related to Slackware-13.37. Enjoy!

April 28, 2011

Yes, it's that time again! After many months of development and careful testing [both by ma$+3r5 and mere 5la(k3r5], we are happy to meet the release of Slackware version 13.37!

April 24, 2011

This thread on alt.os.linux.slackware is an absolute must-read :-)

April 18, 2011

There are new, long-delayed updates for our Hitchhiker's Guide to the Slack World. These are several useful scripts by Sylvain Robitaille, Slackware Security Patcher by pyllyukko, and a tool for upgrading Slackware by Martin Rogge, who has also written an interesting Linux Router Guide.

Besides this, we have added a link to a guide on Kerberizing Slackware without PAM by Tom Canich, and a link to a collection of packages and iso images for the latest stable Slackware release and the -current branch by Ponce. Enjoy! :-)

April 4, 2011

There's not much to read about Slackware in the Net, and that is why it was especially interesting to find Slackware 13.37: Linux for the fun of it by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier. The writeup is based on responses to the questions he posted earlier on as well as his own experience. Don't skip the comments. One of the is posted by volkerdi ;-)

Another possibly interesting reading of late March is a writeup by Eric Hameleers on setting up a Wireless Ethernet Bridge. Enjoy if you haven't yet!

March 22, 2011

One more RC, with a whole bunch of updates. Check the version number of this RC in the ChangeLog ;-) An update to kernel is expected. Notice that host, dig, and other programs in the bind package are now linked to the libidnkit library, included in the idnkit package.

March 22, 2011

That's it: Slackware 13.37 |2(3! With just released Mozilla Firefox 4 and a build script for Google Chrome!

March 9, 2011

Here comes the spring, and brings exciting news about Slack! We are approaching Slackware 13.37! The release will come with the latest and greatest kernel of the 2.6.37 branch instead of the LTS 2.6.35 and a lot of new or updated programs. Patrick asks everybody to test the release candidate 1!

February 10, 2011

Erratum. Just a couple days ago we wrote that Slackintosh, a port of Slackware to Mac, is not maintained anymore. This is wrong! The -current branch of Slackintosh is actively updated by Marco Bonetti since April 2010.

February 08, 2011

More news from the past (and one more item in our SlackLinks collection)! This time, this is Slackintosh, a port of Slackware to Mac, by Adrian Ulrich and Marco Bonetti. Though the port seems to be not maintained anymore, its web page is definitely worth visiting, at least for taking a look at the screenshots.

February 07, 2011

We have recently got to know about another distribution inspired by Slackware. This time, it is Dragora, an Argentinian project blessed by the GNU Project as a free GNU/Linux distro. Dragora comes on one CD and employs XFCE as its main desktop with only Icewm provided as a "lighweight" alternative. It seems to follow the DRY principle and does its best to provide a single application for each particular task. Among apps not currently present in Slackware but included in Dragora, one can mention claws-mail, ffmpeg, lame, polipo, feh, geany, and epdfview. Mozilla Firefox is replaced with Icecat. Interestingly, the directory dedicated to the stuff is divided into a number of subdirectories to separate fonts, drivers, applications, docs, libraries, etc. We wish you good luck, Dragora!

January 23, 2011

Yes, we are slow in publishing "news" but we believe that better later than never. Especially when news are good :-)

In late 2010, there appeared a number of reviews of Slackware 13.1, released in May, 2010. This might seem strange that a review is written half a year after the date of the release but all the reviews we found were written by people new to Slackware. The reviews are non-technical but they are so positive that we decided to list them. They are also interesting because they reveal how Slackware is seen from a newbie point of view.

The first one was written by Guillermo Garron and published on November 3. The author briefly covers different aspects of running Slackware, from package management to the release cycle and concludes the review by saying "I am new to Slackware but I'm already in love with it" :-) In late December, Guillermo Garron writes another post on Slackware. This time, it is concluded with the words "If you are curious about Slackware, well what can I say? Get Slack!" Amen! :-)

Another review was published on December 12 by a user who calls himself Prashanth. "I had fun working with Slackware and its myriad included DEs and WMs, but I could honestly never see myself using Slackware on a regular basis and being patient enough to deal with its numerous foibles." OK, at least, this is honest and we hope Prashanth revisits Slackware after becoming more familiar with Linux. As a reply to Prashanth, there appeared a Dependency-confessions from a Slacker by Hannes Worst. Hannes is actually using Slackware 12.1. This is the end of the "confessions": "There you have it: I started as a slacker and I am still being a slacker, because Slackware protects me from myself. The package-management of Slackware forces me to think before I act and consider my options before and after the installation of software. That's why its still stable and usable on my computer after so many years." So, there you have it :-)

Quite unexpectedly, reading of the above posts lead us to another good writeup dedicated to Slackware and published back in 2006. This is 7 Reasons I use Slackware by the maintainer of Foogazi, an interesting site dedicated to "Linux Tips, Tricks, and Opinions."

A more advanced reading is Quick hands-on guide installing an Internet Server on Slackware Linux by Jean-Pierre Menicucci. The guide is not a replacement for The Book but contains a number of interesting materials. Finally, another interesting reading we failed to mention in time is a writeup by Douglas Mayne on enabling Kerberos support in Slack.

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