slackware padme logo

the slackware padme project

about it
§006 A long wait has come to end

I know, Slackware 15.0 is not released yet, but I decided to write about the waiting in advance. Obviously, there will be more interesting things to write about once it is installed. The time of "about the waiting" is now. Slackware 14.2 was released in July 1st, 2016. Along six years a lot of things happened to me, to all community of users, and also to Mr. Volkerding. Financial problems, health issues, though decisions, pandemics.

In this mean time, I grown up as a Slacker. I have learned more about the system. I have learned mode about coding/scripting, how to use git :) . I have used -current for the first time (I'm late, I know!).

Many people think that the Slackware's longest release cycle contributed to put away users, new and older ones. It is probably true. But also, in my perspective, it brought the user community closer together. At least, I am more closer and aware of the Slacker community now than I was six years ago. Those who stuck with Slackware through the storm, will celebrate together in the lull. That is a very important thing, because Slackware is not about "market size", "commercial value", "business partnerships": it is about the distribution philosophy. People who share the same principles (about computing, at least) should work together and "spread the word", finding solutions and helping each other. That is the definition of community! Maybe we are a smaller tribe now but we are more united.

A long wait force us to think over, to question our choices, to evaluate our options. The Slackware Linux, in general (the single user, the community, the development core and Mr. Volkerding), pass through this recently. I am sure that is a good thing and have made the project stronger. So, some users went away, some Slackers decided to move to -current, some Slackers patiently waited. The community created and strengthened projects (blogs, script and packages repositories, etc) and communication channels (irc channels, usenet group, foruns, etc) to solve problems, adapt solutions. Maybe we are few but now we are stronger.

I am sure that we will grow in numbers when 15 is released. We will add many "seasoned users" and some who will became Slackers. The communit will grow, Slackware will grow, our principles will remain: simplicity, stability and control of your own system. Thanks to all names that appears in Changelog.txt (or not) and somehow helped to get there. Thank you, Mr. Volkerding!

Slackware is dead. Long live Slackware!

(Originally posted at

§005 So, you want to be a Slacker!? - Part three: The Slacker hanging on the branch

As a final post about the "Slacker way" as I see it, let me write about branches and updates. One of the most frustrating things that happens with computer users is update the OS and break something in the system. "If I knew that will happen, I would have kept my old system", is the only thing we could think after that, obviously. It happens with all OS (Windows, MacOS and Linux), and more often, in those with short development cycles. That is, of course, instability. If an OS try to follow every hardware/library/app update, it will face a break here and there. It is not an flaw, it is a choice. Slackware Linux (personified in Mr. Volkerding in this case) made a different choice. The stable branch of Slackware is stable. Basically, the updates that the stable branch receive are security ones. All the movements to track technological developments are made in the "development" branch, Slackware-current. So, here comes the "one million dollar question": should I install the stable or current version of Slackware?

The answer, clearly, is: you are free to do whatever you want. But, let me present you some considerations.

I think that one should install Slackware-current in three situations: (i) if you want to be a tester, report problems, etc; (ii) if you need some applications that doesn't work with the last stable version (although a partial update could solve that) or if you have an incompatible hardware; (iii) if you want a system always updated and are not worried about eventual breaks that a development branch will bring. If you decide to use the current, your visits to LQ forum and newsgroup will be more frequent. Here and there you will face some problem. Even so, Slackware-current is more stable than many "stable" releases of other distributions. It is not like your system broke every day, but updates are more frequent. That is why you must follow the Change Log closely and upgrade the system (use slackpkg for this) frequently.

If every application that you use works fine on -stable, then keep it! Use it, mainly, because it works. And wait patiently for the next release. New kernels and new software releases can create some tension, some anxiety, for updates. Inform yourself about the real features added to these new versions. If nothing really important for you comes up, stay at the calm waters of stability. Let the Slackware's core team test, compile and pack these new versions for you in the next release. You probably have more important things to do and do not have their expertise. But, do not get it wrong: -stable is not for "beginners" or something like that. Have -stable installed is important if you are a Slackbuild maintainer, for example. If you are a professional system admin, with use Slackware servers, -stable is what you need.

Of course, you could choose one of the branches or you could have both! That is a very interesting idea to learn and use the best of the OS.

Independently of the branch that you use, -stable or -current, you must keep your system updated. Whatever the reason that convinced you to use that branch, it demands a updated system. In case of -stable, you must keep the security. In case of -current, you must keep the testing routine (and the security). With the slackpkg tool, keeping your system updated is quite simple. Just be sure that you understand the process to avoid break your system. A significant amount of reported breaks in Slackware systems result from slackpkg misuse. Again, I think this is the main idea to Slackers: know what are you doing. Subscribe to the mailing lists (slackware-security is mandatory!) or RSS feeds to track the Change Log.

Enjoy your Slackware Linux system!

(Originally posted at

§004 So, you want to be a Slacker!? - Part two: The Slacker attitude

Last post I did, I stated that, in my humble opinion, to "be a Slacker", one must care about Slackware history, understand its philosophy, and also respect how it evolves. So, considering that you agree with all that, let's talk about how (again, from my perspective) you should behave to be considered a Slacker. Taking the final part of last post as a starting point, one must understand that Slackware Linux is what it is. It was given to you that way, period. If you think that "a lot of things are missing", that Slackware "must have" this or that, that it needs a "radical change", or an "modernization", you should not use it. There are tons of GNU/Linux distributions out there: Find the one that suits you. Forget the marketing appeal, forget the yesterday-released hardware, and remember the Slackware tenets: security, stability, simplicity. If you think that you must add something to Slackware, and most part of users do, do it the wright way. Search for the third-party packages repositories (check the Slakfinder), install the software from source or use some script to do that (Slackbuilds will become you favorite website). But, wherever way you choose, remember that Slackware give you the power to decide on what and how to install things on the system. Stay tuned to the dependencies, to the configuration options, read the README files, read the scripts, understand what you are doing! Do not come back to the "Next... Next... I agree... Next..." frenzied clicking routine of other systems. Again, if you want a package manager with dependencies resolution to install things out of your control, somewhere you do not know, find another distro.

At some point you will find problems. Other distros have official bug tracker, official forums in their pages, and stuff like that. Slackware does not. And that, which seems to be a lack of consideration to the users community, is exactly the opposite! There are no impositions: The places to discuss Slackware are defined by the community (and are manly the LQ forum and alt.os.linux.slackware newsgroup). Get in the community, search for help, make friends! However, as all tribes, Slackers have their social code for acceptable attitudes. One of the expected behaviors is try to find the solution by yourself. By nature, a Slacker is someone who (paradoxically) like to solve problems, and seek for knowledge continuously. So, where you find information, solutions, things to learn? Start with the books: "Slackware Essentials" and "Slackware Basics" are available online. If you did not found what are you looking for, check the most frequent asked questions. There are FAQs on the Slackware webpage, the , the SlackDocs website, and the alt.os.linux.slackware newsgroup, to cite some. If the FAQs do not cover your needs, try SlackDocs or SlackWiki howtos/articles/tutorials, or search LQ Forum history. If you need more ideas check this Slackware links list. Sometimes, you will find suggestions/solutions on Google, from other distros forums, for example. Try it! If necessary, adapt it. That's how Slackers are made!

Of course, some problems are beyond our knowledge. Well, that is why we are a community. And that is an important attitude: be part of the community. Ask your questions in LQ Forum, but also, try to answer. At least, give your opinion sometimes. Same for alt.os.linux.slackware. Show up in IRC server now and then. Contribute to SlackDocs and SlackWiki sharing some solution that you found, but that is not registered there. You can also help the community from your country translating articles that are already there. With time, you may feel comfortable enough to write something from scratch. With time, you may feel capable of maintain some slackbuilds. Maybe you will feel confident to use the test branch (current) of Slackware and face wherever problem that come up. (Let's talk about it next time.)

To finish this post, let me highlight the attitude that is probably the first one that a Slacker should be worry about: What can I do to support Slackware Linux? Not to keep your own system working. Not to help community. Not to produce documentation or slackbuilds. How to help Slackware Linux to keep it existence? Simple: Donate! Remember that Slackware Linux is like a personal project. The Man, our Benevolent Dictator for Life, Patrick Volkerding leads the project, which is freely available and will ever be (in his words), without charge you. The first thing that someone who cares about Slackware must do is give Mr. Volkerding the conditions to dedicate his time to it. You can do it once or monthly, through Paypal, Patreon or mail. You do not need to be a Slacker to recognize the important work that Mr. Volkerding and all core team of Slackware did through the years. But, if you consider yourself a Slacker you must recognize it!

(Originally posted at

§003 So, you want to be a Slacker!? - Part one: The Slacker culture

My favorite thread title in Slackware LQ forum is "So you want to be a Slacker! What do I do next?", by onebuck. The good mood of the title (remembering Quest for Glory game) is enjoyable, but also the intent of the thread: To help the Slackware newbies. There, the discussion evolved through almost 14 years, so I decided to do a blog post instead of just reply. Let's say that I got late to the party. But that's fine! Inspired by this thread, I will drop here some personal thoughts about "be a Slacker". Maybe, at the end, the reader will conclude that what I am calling Slacker is not a "regular user" of Slackware.

First, I want to write about the history and philosophy around Slackware, or the Slacker culture. I will not actually write about it, but point out were to find some parts of it. Start with the short version, presented in lecture by alienBOB. Since here we have only the slides, try some fluid text like Wikipedia . To include a video suggestion in this "opening chapter", check this short documentary "Long live Slackware" , by Slackjeff (originally in Brazilian Portuguese, but with English subtitles available). After that, I believe you have got the big picture. It is time to dig deeper.

Read the words of our Benevolent Dictator for Life, Patrick Volkerding, in a 1994 interview to the Linux Journal (one year after Slackware 1.0 release). Read, also, an Q&A section to Slashdot in 2000 (after 7.0 release). Another interview, in 2002 (four months after 8.1 release) to The Age . It is very interesting to see how the Slackware evolves, but in essence, it seems to remain as a personal project. From some perspective, that is what keeps Slackware loyal to its original philosophy. Now things get more interesting. Listen to "The Man"! Here is an interview for The Linux Link Tech Show, in 2006. And here another one, this time to the Hacker Public Radio, in 2011. As the final item of this gold collection, the 2012 interview in this very same LQ. Now, that the relation between you and Slackware becomes more personal, fill your glass with ??? (choose your favorite drink), because we will talk about philosophy.

From the website, I quote:

The Slackware Philosophy
Since its first beta release in April of 1993, the Slackware Linux Project has aimed at producing the most "UNIX-like" Linux distribution out there. Slackware complies with the published Linux standards, such as the Linux File System Standard. We have always considered simplicity and stability paramount, and as a result Slackware has become one of the most popular, stable, and friendly distributions available.
If you are asking yourself that means "UNIX-like", let me quote "The UNIX philosophy" section of "Slackware Basics" book, by Daniël de Kok (quoting Doug McIlroy):
Write programs that do one thing and do it well.
Write programs to work together.
Write programs to handle text streams, because that is a universal interface.
Again, simplicity and stability. The acronym KISS sums it up very well: Keep it simple, stupid! Check what the Slackware Documentation Project (SlackDocs) has to say about "the Slackware way".

From time to time, someone will try to change the Slackware Linux, even with the best intentions. Often, these changes could bring unnecessary complications, insecurity or instability, which means that they go against the system philosophy, and will be rejected. That is a very important observation: Slackware is a collective product, built by the community, which is formed by home users, server admins, advanced programmers, slackbuilders, terrible bloggers, and so on. However, the final word comes always from Patrick Volkerding. Slackware still as a personal project, just like in 1993. This developing cycle has been working for 28 years!!! Put some faith in it! The reason that it works is: The concept of simplicity and the criterion for stability are clear, unambiguous defined, in a single mind, in the head of one man. What could be more simple than that?

(Originally posted at

§002 Why Slackware Linux?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ...

When I was initiating my undergraduate course, I had never heard about any OS different from Windows family (precisely 95, 98, 2000 and XP), neither MacOS or Linux. Then I was presented to a universe of distributions and tools, and I realized that I did not understand anything about computers (indeed, exactly as today). But I decided to do something about it. At the time, Ubuntu already was the most common distribution at university's environment. However, reading about the history of these OS, I was more and more interested in get close to the "singularity", where everything started. Then, I did read about it. I did read a lot. I dug and dug. On the way, I became interested in the UNIX history. So, I read somewhere that the distribution more "UNIX-like" was Slackware Linux, not necessarily in technical terms, but its philosophy. Keep it simple, stupid! (Sub)Genius words!!! Slackware Linux was often described as "a lazy distribution, that force the user to configure everything in plain text files and compile every software from scratch". Oh, I did liked it! That was exactly what I needed to learn this shit for real. Other Linux users told me "You're gonna be tired of this"; "each software installation will be cost you days"; "this is an outdated distribution"; "this is good for servers only"; or (the classic) "it doesn't have a package manager" . I though, "If it doesn't work, fine! I will find something more user-friendly". Then I downloaded Slackware 12.0 and installed it in an old desktop machine of the university (and never installed another distribution since!). Today I understand that that decision changed my perspective about many things in my life. Knowledge is freedom. If I had decided to use another distribution, full of amenities, I would probably accommodate and just "use it" (as I did with Windows for years) and never "think about it". I did not became a computer expert, but I did learn technical and non-technical stuff. The capacity of face the problem (and the serenity to search for the solution); the habit of fixing things rather than discarding; the humility of realizing how other people know much more than you do and ask for help; all these ideas and values ​​where reinforced by that choice. I do not know if Slackware made me a better person, but certainly changed me, influenced my way of thinking, and it is a part of who I am today. Thus, now I have only one thing to say to Slackware community, the Slackware development team, and specially to Patrick Volkerding: my deepest, respectful, sincere... thank you!

(Originally posted at

§001 "When I get old, I will start blogging..."

I'm getting old.

That is a fact, I am not complaining about it, just bringing it to the light. When you are young, you have a lot of time ahead you, and then you get that typical immortality feeling of the youth. There is plenty of time to err, and try again, start everything over. You can do anything. But I am not young. When you are old, you have a lot of time behind you. You did a lot, you have many experiences, many memories. Even if you can't really do anything, you have many things to remember. But I'm not old either. I'm GETTING old. This means that I am lost in time, between things I want to do (and ask myself if I can) and things that I want to remember. That is what this blog is about: to write the things that I have done and things that I am doing on the eternal stele of the world wide web. Probably, nobody is gonna read it, but that is fine. At least, I put it out of my head.

From start, lets make it clear: I am not a computer expert. That is why I am writing a blog, not a tutorial. I am a Brazilian physicist who enjoys playing with simple customization and shell-scripts, that's all. I like to say that I am a "curious user", which means: I use it... but I like to try one thing or two...

My name is Marcus Carrião, also know as carrunix, and I spend my time with my family, Physics, books, Slackware, tennis, RPG, guitar, football (or soccer, if you prefer), trumpet, coffee and other stuff. I am a Slackware enthusiast: I like its philosophy, I like its history, and like to use it. I am a Slackware proselytist: I try to convince people to join the "bright side of the Force". But I am not a Slackware expert, not even advanced user, I guess. So, what do I have to say? Why start blogging? Well, because there is a history behind me, and there is a dream ahead.

As I said, I am getting old. I think that is time to start blogging...

(Originally posted at


developed by carriunix | keep it simple, stupid! | Slackware® is a registered trademark of Patrick Volkerding | support Slackware Linux Project