My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

DAW Live based on Stable Slackware 15?

Someone recently contacted me with the request to base Slackware Live DAW edition on a stable Slackware release like 15.0 instead of using Slackware -current. The rationale being that it would bring relative peace of mind not having to worry about daily updates and potential sudden breakage of your audio applications.
Instead you would only have to worry about applying security updates and as a result have a solid DAW experience.

I think that is a fair question and I have nothing against that switch. The DAW variant is a specialist variant unlike the others.
So, anyone against such a move for the Live DAW ISO, from -current to stable Slackware?

I have a fresh DAW Live ISO ready, it is based on Slackware64-15.0 and will upload that in a short while unless there is some serious ground not to do this.

Naturally, all other Slackware Live variants for which I provide downloadable ISO images, will remain based on Slackware -current.



  1. Antoine

    I like the idea of a stable and easy to maintain DAW live.
    Will slackpkg and slackpkg+ be setup so that, right out of the box, you just have to do:
    slackpkg update
    slackpkg upgrade-all
    to keep everything updated, including the DAW specific additional packages?

    • alienbob

      Indeed Antoine, slackpkg+ comes pre-configured so adding/updating software will be trivial.
      In case new DAW applications are added to the mix (pun intended), they will also be added to the slackpkg daw.template so generally speaking, you should do:
      # slackpkg update
      # slackpkg install-template daw
      # slackpkg upgrade-all

  2. Art Grandi

    I had always dreamed of it but never dared to ask!
    Maybe I will now be able to stop distrohopping.
    Season Greetings

    • alienbob

      I will always engage in meaningful discussion, don’t hold back. In any case, one plus vote.

  3. Marco

    At the moment. are you putting extra effort in making sure the stand-alone DAW packages also work in 15.0? Assuming until now you were building in current.
    And, in line with this, will it not create extra work for you IF you (now building for 15.0) will have to create compat versions for current, like for instance ffmpeg or flac? Assuming you want the stand-alone packages from the new Slackware Live DAW edition to work in current as well.
    Apart from this, I’m in favor of stable.

    • alienbob

      You could have done your homework and verified that all DAW related packages are available for Slackware 15.0 and have been since its release. Nothing’s going to change wrt that policy.
      There’s only a *very* limited amount of packages that I exclusively release for Slackware -current.

      You don’t want to know how much work it costs to maintain a package repository and writing useful blog posts. In fact, all the time I have left after tending to family and friends.

      • Marco

        I’m assuming too much I guess. ūüôā
        I wish you happy holidays.

  4. Jen

    I’m on current, and I don’t see myself switching. The breakages on that are still far less than most other “stable” distros, which says quite a bit about Slackware, IMO. I’m not using your DAW, but anything that doesn’t get built for current, I can happily build myself. ūüôā If your DAW is more useful to people as 15, go for it!

  5. evergreen

    To me was easy to work on my own modules. Repacking all then content based on Slackware -current using the liveslak script ?.
    It is good documented how to do it BTW.


    • Evergreen

      using the liveslak script **** excuse me for my wrong spell

  6. Ralph

    I find the current version stable for what I use it for but can see this as a great option as well. Liveslak DAW is fantastic! Keep up the great work as always!

  7. Shane Kelly

    This is a good idea. A stable daw would be one less thing to worry about.

    Thanks for all that you do for slackers everywhere.

  8. keithpeter

    Merry Christmas and thankyou for your work.

    The move to a Slackware 15.0 base for the DAW Live release seems like a logical move to me for the reasons mentioned.

    A decade or so ago there was Puredyne Linux which was a live iso based on Ubuntu. That had a *slightly* different focus (aimed at artists) and began as a project to make training workshops more manageable by providing a reproducible environment. That project was modestly funded, and had quite a few contributors.

    So once again thanks for your significant investment in time in DAW Live.

  9. alienbob

    A DAW Live ISO based on Slackware 15.0 is available for download since yesterday.
    Download URLs that I am aware of:

  10. UrbanMusic - aka Sam

    Have a lovely xmas and new you and your family
    thank for all your packages you maintain and you do for Slackware
    I think we need to offer any support we can to dive & eviljames @studioware to upgrade to slk15 in 2023
    .I toast you good sir with your favorite tipple mines a nice spiced rum ūüôā

    • alienbob

      Thanks for the good wishes.
      Studioware is of course different than my own DAW Live. I limit myself to audio-oriented software, But they are welcome to look at the liveslak scripts to create a live version of their product.

  11. anarchosaxophonist

    Many thanks for creating a Slackware Live DAW edition based on stable. As a novice Slackware user, I am still too insecure to use the current version. One thing I have noticed (when I looked at the current version of the DAW), pipewire wasn’t enabled by default. In my experience, pipewire just works, so why use jack as default? I am sure there is a lot of work behind the scenes to get pipewire to behave, but when it is included with Slackware 15… I am aware of your script, but I have been wondering if it would would convert as complicated a jack setup as the DAW to pipewire without hiccups…

    • alienbob

      Pipewire does not always “just work” and especially in Slackware 15.0, the included version of pipewire is immature.
      Jack always works and is still preferred by musicians. Also, have a look at which is Unfa explaining why he switched back from Pipewire to Jack Audio.

    • Jen

      Yeah, pipewire is nice, and I use it in daily things (there’s another step you need to use it in place of jack, see the thread on pipewire on LQN), but I don’t know if I’d quite trust it over jack in a concert setting. Last thing you need is a stutter or an xrun during that. (Not that it can’t happen with jack, but jack is more mature, and more of a known quantity.) Computers just seem to know when it isn’t a rehearsal…

  12. Antoine

    Hello Eric.
    I apologize, if this is not the right place to post this question, please delete this post and point me in the right direction.

    I just started using slackware64-live-daw-15.0 and wanted to add LibreOffice on a brand new installation on USB stick.
    I booted into live DAW 15.0 from the USB stick, I enabled WiFi, opened Konsole and then:
    live@darkstar:~$ su –
    # slackpkg update
    # slackpkg install libreoffice

    When I start LibreOffice, either from the Office menu or with soffice on the command line with either user root and live, I get the LibreOffice splash screen and then the program crashes.
    The three dependencies listed in your SlackBuild, boost, icu4c and openjdk11 are installed.
    Is something else missing? Is LibreOffice not supported in DAW live?
    I tried twice, installing all the language dictionaries and localization packages one time and only three dictionaries and no localization the other time. They both failed similarly.
    Thank you for your help and for all the great work you do for the Slackware community.

    Debug dump follows.

    root@darkstar:~# soffice
    terminate called after throwing an instance of ‘com::sun::star::uno::DeploymentException’

    Fatal exception: Signal 6

    • alienbob

      Hi Antoine,

      Three things:
      (1) DAW Live contains a sub-set of Slackware Linux. The packages in my own repository, like libreoffice, all expect a full installation of Slackware. Which means that potentially you are missing one or more packages in the DAW environment that LibreOffice needs.
      (2) The DAW environment is a specialist distro-spin. It is not intended to be used as a daily driver for office or software development work. Its target is a musician who wants to create, record or perform music.
      (3) I see that you start LibreOffice as root. You should *never* do that.

      • Antoine

        Hello Eric, thank you for your *very* quick response.
        (1) & (2) understood.
        (3) It just ran LibreOffice from root as a test, it also gave a cleaner dump, as Dr Konqi didn’t get in the way, but thanks for the reminder.

        I was hoping to use LibreOffice to document my work on the DAW computer.
        You also mention to avoid software development on the DAW computer, that is a pity as I was hoping to experiment with Arduino & Teensy and/or Raspberry Pi Pico to build and test USB audio interfaces and USB MIDI interfaces, and also potentially do some algorithmic composition or other processing in Python or C, it would have been nice to be able to do everything on the same machine without having to constantly unplug and replug the DUT while debugging it.

        If I start with a full Slackware installation and use slackpkg to install your DAW template, will it perform all the timing optimizations and other needed setup to run the DAW environment, or am I better off starting from the DAW and install the missing packages that I need?

        • alienbob

          There’s two ways to get the best of both worlds (full Slackware plus a set of DAW software):

          (1) Use the full SLACKWARE Live ISO to create a persistent Live USB stick, and then get the daw, alien and alienrest modules from and copy them into the “addons” subdirectory of that Live USB stick.
          (2) Do a normal full Slackware installation on a computer, configure slackpkg to use the slackpkg+ extension and then download the slackpkg template at . Then a “slackpkg install daw” will get you all these DAW packages installed.

          There’s one package in there called “daw_base” which does all the real-time configurations that you were wondering about. That works its magic for both the above scenarios, everything will be taken care of automatically.

          • Antoine

            Great! Thank you Eric. It is such a pleasure to communicate with someone like you who understands my questions and answers precisely what I need to know.

          • Didier Spaier

            Hi Eric and thanks for this DAW

            To help blind users check which of the included software are accessible with speech I ran for each:
            slapt-get -s -i

            Doing that slapt-get found these not met dependencies:
            jack_connect dependency of cadence
            ldaspa_sdk dependency of rosegarden

            Maybe you meant jack_capture instead of jack _connect and ladspa_sdk instead of ldaspa_sdk?

          • alienbob

            Didier, typos indeed.

  13. G√ľnther

    Hello Alien BOB, thank you for your immense contributions to Slackware, sane computing and beyond. Thank you also for the much appreciated DAW Live based on stable Slackware 15.

    I need to build kernel modules (zfs) and while this is no problem on standard Slackware, I faced unexpected problems under DAW Live edition. I unpacked the 5.15.80 kernel source under /usr/src, installed a symbolic link /usr/src/linux pointing to the source tree with no success. I then tried to rebuild the kernel with your original config available under /proc/config.gz for testing the kernel building but that didn’t work also. I can post the orignal error messages (have no access at the moment) later but thought, you probably know already how one can get your live system to (re)build kernel stuff.

    With kind regards,

    • G√ľnther

      Should have mentioned, that the system is already installed and not live running.

    • alienbob

      Well, the DAW ISO is of course a partial installation of Slackware. I do add a set of packages ( related to compiling sources into binaries, but perhaps there is a package that I missed or which has become a recent dependency.
      If you have access to these error messages, please copy these errors in an online pastebin like or and share the link with me in a reply.

      FYI I always compile Slackware stuff only on full installations of the OS.

      • G√ľnther

        Hello Alien BOB, thank you for your fast and kind reply. As I looked again on the error messages I realised that in them it was already quite directly mentioned what was missing and that this was nothing to bother you with. So I grabbed the Slackware64 15.0 install DVD and installed

        autoconf-2.69, automake-1.16.2, gettext-0.21, libtool-2.4.6 and m4-1.4.19.

        Then I could rebuild the kernel with your original /proc/config.gz (in my case “make menuconfig” and then “make -jN”, N=amount of desired threads), which I’m quite certain of can’t be the real solution to get the requirements for zfs module compiling but is a “quick fix” I chose without understanding the underlying problem / connections yet. After that I could indeed run the openzfs.SlackBuild without error messages and complaints and installed successfully the so produced openzfs package. Now your DAW works and runs stable and fine with full zfs support and access.

        This topic overlaps probably a bit with your “the best of both worlds” reply and hint to Antoine just before my entry.

        In any case, thank you again and happy Slackware computing.

        With kind regards and best wishes to you and your family,

        • alienbob

          Thanks G√ľnther for sharing what packages you had to add for a successful compilation.
          I will add autoconf, automake, gettext, libtool and m4 to my DAW package set.

  14. Fred Myra

    Thanks for SlackLive 15.0 and for SlackLive 15.0 DAW.

    I have now installed Slack Live 15.0 stable and followed with the daw-template and everything seems to work fine. I have even managed to have Jack working for the first time in my life although I still have to try to duplicate it – I don’t need it very often.

    In the process of getting used to KDE, which I never used on a daily basis before, I have been reading a bit about it and I would like to know whether my assumption that KDE (Plasma) should be a better choice for music production in Slackkware with the daw package is correct or whether I should be able to use XFCE without additional difficulties.

    • alienbob

      Years ago, this article showed that the Plasma5 desktop is actually less resource hungry than XFCE:
      A more recent article showed that XFCE and Plasma5 are roughly equal when it comes to resource usage:
      You will also find articles online that show XFCE being the most light-weight. I would say, both desktop environments are good choices.

      It is also important to read those two articles to understand other aspects of choosing between XFCE and KDE Plasma. There’s the whole ecosystem of developers and applications to consider.

      That is why I chose KDE Plasma as the ideal desktop for my DAW Live environment.
      If you want to use XFCE instead, I will not stop you from doing that of course.

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