My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Massive updates in slackware-current

Today, Pat Volkerding published a massive amount of package updates to the slackware-current tree. The entry in the Slackware ChangeLog.txt measures more than 200 lines, and is probably the largest update to the development tree ever.

Many of the core packages have received an version upgrade, but those changes may not be immediately visible to the average end user. Some of the absolute highlights mentioned in the ChangeLog are indication of a big step forward for Slackware: a new kernel (, new gcc (4.3.3), new glibc (still called 2.9 but the snapshot we use is more like 2.10), a new XFCE (4.6.0) and most importantly: KDE 3.5.10 is gone, replaced by KDE 4.2.1 (which had been living in the /testing directory for a long time).

I have been working with KDE4 releases for nearly a year now, running it as my default desktop, and 4.2.1 is stable, fast and beautiful. People who heard or read that the new KDE is bloated and slow, should try it out and decide for themselves; I think it performs better than KDE3. I also ran the new XFCE for a while and it looks sweet. Note that when you upgrade from XFCE 4.4 you may experience missing icons in the panel. This happens because the Rodent icon theme was removed from XFCE in the new release. The file CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT (located in the toplevel directory of slackware-current) explains this issue and what you can do about it.

One neat feature addition which did not make the ChangeLog, but is definitely worth mentioning: the initrd.img and usbboot.img files which contain the Slackware installer,  have also been updated for the new kernel. As a result, you can now install Slackware to an ext4 filesystem!

If anyone out there with a Netbook (one of those Intel Atom powered, 9 or 10 inch sized laptops with long battery life) is going to install Slackware-current on it, I would like to hear your impressions. Leave a comment to this blog post.

Have fun, Eric


  1. Cuetzpallin

    I’ll update to current my home test-box to check how it works on it.

    Thanks for the info, and … first, let me get some of those netbooks, and be sure I’ll been installing slackware on it 😉

  2. Gunnar

    Congratulations and thanks for a major job well done. Can’t remember Slackware-current ever being this current 🙂

  3. JK Wood

    Well, Eric, it looks like we’re going to be busy playing catchup for a while. Thanks for all your hard work!

  4. Lopatica Daniel

    Congratulations to Pat Volkerding a great-minded man for a great free world ! We must encourage every one to be free !

  5. Ron Hay

    Eric Thanks for the info, Slackware 12.2 has been working great on every machine. I am excited to try kde4.2.1 and it just so happens My daughters 7 month old EEE-PC 901 is now ready for Slackware, As soon as I get some free time in the next week or so. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  6. Willy Sudiarto Raharjo

    Have you tested bash-4.0 yet?
    I find it very unstable. It keeps crashing when i use the autocomplete feature.

    It seems that those bugs has been resolved and the patches are available on this directory:

    I think it would be great if those patches are included on the next batch so that people can start test bash 4.0 🙂

    I’m still using 3.2.048 which is proven stable for me

    By the way, thanks for making the KDE upgrade easy to follow Eric 🙂

  7. Morten Juhl-Johansen Zölde-Fejér

    This was an interesting decision. Looking forward to using the new Xfce, too.

  8. azrael

    goodbye, 3.5.10.
    someone still maintain it? or just throwing it to the junkyard.

  9. billpeng

    yeah,i updated some pkgs!!!!!

  10. rrbert

    Hi, I have just completed a fresh install of slackware-current on a notebook (acer tm2484).
    This machine has a 1.86 GHz celeron processor and 1 GB of RAM. It seems to be running very smoothly and quickly.
    The install was straightforward and I chose the default ext4 fs and KDE.
    I’m still running the huge smp kernel, so I will probably get a further slight improvement when I get around to installing the generic kernel and making an initrd in the next few days.

    rl@freyr:~$ uname -a
    Linux freyr #2 SMP Thu Mar 19 14:07:59 CDT 2009 i686 Intel(R) Celeron(R) M CPU 440 @ 1.86GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

    I really like KDE-4.2.1 a lot, it has many new features and new technology that I don’t yet understand, so I’m probably only using half of its full potential. I have a lot of learning to do over the next six months or so.
    Thanks to Patrick, Eric, and the rest of the slackware crew for their fine work.

  11. miken

    Just installed current on a Toshiba NB100 (Atom 270, 1Gb RAM) and it seems excellent so far.

    12.2 needed a few boot options to recognize the hard drive which current does not.
    The Atheros wireless seems to work a little better.
    Mic/Headphone sockets, card reader, webcam, touchpad are all working.
    Suspend/Hibernate work fine.

    I am using XFCE at the moment. The power management and new dual monitor features are excellent.

    Haven’t tried KDE yet, I think it might be a bit much for this little machine.

    Seems to boot quite a bit quicker, but that could be my imagination.

    Overall, everything feels fast and smooth. Looks like another excellent job.


  12. alienbob

    I have bought an Asus eeepc 1000h (Atom270 and 1GB of RAM) and run slackware-current with KDE4.2.1 on it. Performs real well.

    The only thing sofar that did not work out of the box was wireless. The rt2860 driver which I downloaded from RaLink did not work with WPA, so I am using ndiswrapper for now. The new 2.6.29 kernel is supposed to ship with it’s own rt2860 module, so I am going to try that kernel soon.


  13. miken

    Just tried KDE on the toshiba NB100 mentioned above.
    You’re quite right, it does work very well.

  14. Ron Hay

    well Now running Current KDE4.2.2 on the EEE PE 901 with kernel, nice. still working on tweaking video settings and need to get wireless working. I had to carefully choose packages to get it to fit the 4gb first drive. Leaning Learning Slackware is great. boots pretty fast. If anyone has questions about the Direction of KDE4 the Guys on the Linux Link Tech Show interviewed Arien Seigo from the KDE project very good info.

  15. real aliens

    What is heck is slackware? The software made for slackers?

  16. Bradley

    I bought a Toshiba Satellite L300-ST2501 Duo Core – 2.0 GHz – 2 Gig Ram – 160 gig Hard Drive – Mobile Intel Graphic Media Accelerator – Intel Wi-Fi Linux 5100 AGN. Installed Slackware-Current and did not have to configure not (1) piece of hardware and Slack is very fast and without error.

    Thanks Pat,

    Slackers keep slacking on…

  17. [z]imba

    Hey, thanks , i was just searching for this information –

  18. vig

    excellent work-excellent system.
    Just loaded 13 on my toshiba NB100 and all appears fine so far. Although I have KDE on my slackware64 box, I installed Xfce and lxde on the NB100. (kde would be like using a sledge hammer to drive a tack). The only issue I had was an error2 message with RLW-Oo pkg. I downloaded it a second time-same result. I then ran it through src2pkg on my main PC and re-installed it-no problem. (replaced slackware12.2-with Oo running OK). Thanks – I was thinking of trying a custom LXubuntu on this but, slackware is worth the little extra effort to configure it as I like it.

  19. brad

    Hi Eric
    I bought an Asus 1005-HA running slackware-current and everything works beautifully to the letter.

    Thanks Pat…

  20. benita juarez

    I love the slackware distro. Ubuntu is for wannabes.

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