My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

End of the week, end of the cycle?

Most of you will have seen the latest comment in the slackware-current ChangeLog:

Wed Sep 19 23:52:16 UTC 2012
Here we go one more time with Slackware 14.0 release candidate 5.
Really, this time it is not a drill!Β  Everything is in place and
ready to release at this point, and unless there’s some kind of
showstopper found (which doesn’t seem too likely after all the
testing that’s happened), the release can be expected soon.

It means that we could see a Slackware 14 release very soon. As always, it’s ready when it is ready… but it is not going to take weeks.

I took the opportunity to implement some ideas which I had been thinking about for my multilib packages. These are the results:

  • In the compat32-tools package, the “convertpkg-compat32” script will now by default add a “compat32” build tag to the converted package name. For instance, when the package “e2fsprogs-1.42.5-x86_64-1.txz” is converted, it becomes “e2fsprogs-compat32-1.42.5-x86_64-1compat32.txz”.
  • Also in the compat32-tools package, the “” script will now check the Slackware patches directory to see if there is an update for any package it needs to convert. For instance, when you run the script against a Slackware 13.37 package tree you would get the converted package “openssl-solibs-compat32-0.9.8x-i486-1_slack13.37compat32.txz” instead of “openssl-solibs-compat32-0.9.8r-i486-3compat32.txz” (which is part of the original 13.37 release).
  • The reason for adding a “compat32” build tag to all converted packages is to make system upgrades of a multilib Slackware easier. Up to now, if you were using slackpkg for the upgrades, you had to manually deselect all compat32 packages in the list which is produced by the command “slackpkg clean-system”. With the new scripts, you are able to blacklist all my multilib packages by just adding one line to the file “/etc/slackpkg/blacklist”:

# Blacklist all multilib ‘compat32’ packages:


  • During the slackware-current development cycle there were several upgrades of the gcc packages. At one time I had to fix my multilib rebuild of gcc. I want to keep my package build numbers in sync with Slackware’s original 64-bit packages to avoid confusion of the kind “do I have the correct multilib package installed“, so I decided to give the fixed gcc packages a build number of “1fix1_alien” instead of “1alien”. Unfortunately this broke the slackpkg blacklist line for my “alien” tag. The expression “[0-9]+alien” will not match packages with a “1fix1_alien” build number. So I decided to rename the multilib gcc packages and use the “1alien” build tag. This will be much friendlier for people who upgrade from Slackware 13.37 to 14.0. If you have been running -current all the time, you should be smart enough to understand my reasoning πŸ™‚

If you are currently running Slackware 13.37 and want to profit from these enhancements, you can of course upgrade to my new compat32-tools package – even though I make it avalable in the “current” (and later on “14.0“) directory of my multilib repository. I took care not to break the compatibility with Slackware 13.37 when I updated the package during the past development cycle of slackware-current.

A note about the Slackware Documentation Project

WeΒ  (the editors) are steadily working on expanding the documentation wiki. I recently added an article about how to perform a Slackware system upgrade, to help people who are running Slackware 13.37 and want to upgrade to 14.0 when that is released. Check out “Upgrade Slackware to a New Release“.

We would like to welcome your contributions as well! If you had a problem in Slackware and found the solution, or if you have some particular knowledge which your fellow Slackers could profit from, feel free to visit the Wiki’s HOWTO’s page and create your own article there. Check the existing HOWTO articles to get a feel for what is possible.

If you do not want to write a new article, we still value your feedback. If you have any comments or suggestions about improvements for the site, we would like to hear from you.

Cheers, Eric


  1. Widya Walesa

    nice howto. it would be nice if we have it in other language too.

  2. alienbob

    Hi Widya

    It is published on the Wiki which is multi-lingual. I hope and expect that there will be translators who step up to create localized versions of the article.

    Cheers, Eric

  3. Widya Walesa

    So, is it possible for us to make a contribution for the wiki? If so, I’ll tell Indonesian slackware community. Maybe we can help to translate it.

  4. Gabriel Yong

    How can i help to translate it into Chinese?

  5. alienbob

    Hi Widya and Gabriel.

    It is possible tor anyone to contribute to the Slackware Documentation Project. In fact, the Wiki had Indonesian language translation support from the beginning, and today I added “zh” to that list. You can have a look at if you want to know how to start.

    Look in the left sidebar. You will see a language dropdown menu there. If a translation exists of any page, then that language will be “black”. Otherwise it will be greyed out.

    We would welcome very much your contributions. I realize that there is a big cultural and language barrier between the “west” and the “east” but I do believe that the passion we share for Slackware will be a driving force to unite us as one community in this documentation Wiki.

    I also realize that most members of the current editor team will not be able to judge the content of whatever is getting added in the Indonesian and Chinese translation sections. Therefore it would be good to have at least one person in the editor team who speaks and writes such language fluently. Perhaps you can generate enthousiasm in your local communities, so that more people will be interested in translating parts of the Wiki. And then one from the community (looking at the both of you now πŸ˜‰ could step up and volunteer to becoming part of our editor staff?

    Editors are like page authors, with a crucial difference. The editors get more access rights to certain parts of the Wiki and they are asked to be “guides” and “proofreaders” for the contributions of others. Basically, the editor is charged with watching over the quality of the text and layout of the Wiki pages.

    Sounds like fun? It is!

    Also worth reading: and

    Cheers, Eric

  6. Gabriel Yong

    Always my pleasure to contribute: ) Got myself jump started to have the feel of translations works. I am willing to take up the role.

  7. alienbob

    Hi Gabriel

    I noticed πŸ™‚
    What I also noticed is that the dokuwiki software seems to be unable to translate the ** ** markup to bold-face chinese characters. The ** are still visible in the rendered text.

    Perhaps worth submitting a bug fix for this at

    Cheers, Eric

  8. toudi

    I hope we’ll get S14 on thursday so it’s nice and even 17months from the last release πŸ™‚

  9. Gabriel Yong

    Hi Eric, request by sword in Slackware Documentation Project to add another Chinese translation: Traditional Chinese? Currently is Zh-Simplified Chinese.

  10. alienbob

    Hi Gabriel

    No problem at all πŸ™‚ I have updated the Wiki and now it will also accept traditional Chinese (zh-tw) translations.
    I hope I wrote ?? correctly… I did a copy/paste on a google translation.

    Cheers, Eric

  11. Gabriel Yong

    Yes, that’s correct. TQ

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