My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Patreon account for Patrick Volkerding’s Slackware

Hi Slackware supporters, fans and users.

Patrick Volkerding has confirmed on that the Patreon account “slackwarelinux” is actually his.

Everybody who wanted to support Slackware after it became clear that the Slackware Store had not been paying Patrick and family for a long time, but was not prepared to create a PayPal account in order to donate money: there is now an alternative.
Patreon is a community site where “Patrons support the creators they love in exchange for exclusive membership benefits“.
I don’t know whether Pat will do stuff like “exclusive benefits” considering the fact that he already gives away Slackware Linux for free since 26 years… anyway, he created a page there where you can setup a monthly recurring payment of one dollar or more – whatever you can spare. Payment methods are either PayPal or credit cards.

if you do not have a credit card and do not want to use PayPal either, you can still send money through regular postal mail. Pat’s address can be found in the initial post here:

So, check out and consider helping Patrick and family to keep Slackware alive.


  1. Antoine

    Thanks for this info Eric.
    Now, what is *your* Patreon?

  2. DaveP

    Thanks for posting this Eric

  3. alienbob

    Hi Antoine,

    I have a day job and do not need a Patreon account. I use whatever donations I receive to pay the for local (build-) and online server hardware, domainnames and electricity bills, but it remains a hobby 🙂
    Serious money should all go to Patrick.

  4. miltonsj

    Thanks for this Eric. Patrick deserves all the help we can give. I will be setting up my donation very soon.

  5. Jim

    I don’t care if they are exclusive updates or not but I’d really like it if Pat communicated more about the roadmap for Slackware.

  6. tallship

    Hi Eric,

    I believe that the problem lies much deeper than this.

    For example, at lists companies for Slackware support, about half of which are no longer extant:

    Multi User Solutions in Georgia’s Website is non-existent, and their phone number is ‘disconnected and no longer in service’.

    Red Access Corporation in Boston does not have a link to a website at all, and the voice phone number is answered by a fax machine.

    Bill Schaub’s site, “Steuben Technologies”, has been taken down, with links to the old site for archival purposes, and a couple of blogs. redirects right back to

    Under “Get Slack”, the link is still prominently displayed, although it’s a dead link.

    Nowhere on the site can I find any reference to the Patreon link or any mention of how to support the continued development of Slackware with donations.

    I don’t want to bother going into the history of the site makeover, which amounted to simply updating it from cgi to PHP and cloning the look (IIRC), but seriously, it’s way more than long overdue. At the very least, links to support the Slackware Linux project NEED to be on that page. Your blog here, as much readership as it has, in reality, only actually reaches Slackware folks that subscribe already and know where everything is already. When someone stumbles across the project’s page, it does indeed look like an historical record/placekeeper of something that used to be.

    Ian Murdoch, Mark Ewing, Mark Shuttleworth, and many more – “What’s in their wallet?” Even Salix has a prominently displayed ‘Donate’ link on their home page.

    This is quite simply a result of an extremely poor marketing philosophy that needs to be changed yesterday. All of my clients were always required to purchase one CD set or DVD for each one of the Slackware machines that I deployed and maintained for them, at the very least, but now, even that (what we thought was) tangible revenue channel has vaporized.

    A search on “donate Slackware” returned links to LQ, Robby’s blog, Reddit, etc…

    With all of the tiny FOSS projects enabling their devs to make a comfortable living with LiberaPay, PayPal, and Patreon donations, and now even GitHub creating a channel for that, Why is it that we’re still insisting on living in the floppy disk days of presence?

  7. Daniel

    Originally Posted by volkerdi View Post
    Yes it is. I was going to wait to announce it until I had a few more planned updates done in -current that would be getting things closer to an initial 15.0 beta release, but since it’s been spotted in the wild I’ll confirm it.

    That means KDE5 will not be part of Slackware 15?, or still there is a possibility for its inclusion?

  8. alienbob

    All questions about Patrick’s motivations and/or roadmaps should be directed at Patrick. I will not involve myself in these discussions, it’s Pat’s call to make.
    I do have my own opinion about it all and will keep that to myself.

  9. KG Hammarlund

    Quoting Eric:
    “I don’t know whether Pat will do stuff like “exclusive benefits” considering the fact that he already gives away Slackware Linux for free since 26 years… ”
    Brilliantly put, having access to the Slackware repo is a benefit exclusive enough for me. Will set up a monthly contribution.

  10. Geoff

    Thanks for posting this. Somehow this popped up on my news feeds. I didn’t know the situation till now and realized I needed to contribute something for the past years I couldn’t afford to. I haven’t really used Slackware for a while now or follow linuxquestions, but I do check the homepage a few times a year for any word on updates. This project has been so invaluable to many people. Thanks for your contributions as well.

    • Chris

      Id like to see some Slackware merchandise for sale.
      I know this isn’t as profitable as a direct donation but then again a lot of donation sites take a hefty percentage for themselves.
      Slackware has a logo, who wouldn’t want a branded doo-hicky in return for money?

      Even just a sticker set would be cool. The unix-sticker people already do quality stickers, and I even found a tiny Slackware sticker on eBay. So they are already being produced.

      Kinda late to the party on this thread, but maybe someone will see this.

  11. Slackweary

    Slackware is an important distro, that is why I must say that I am not happy with the delay of Slackware iterations. 14.2 was years ago and much has happened in the software landscape since then. I understand, Volkerding had health/financial/whatever issues. FreeBSDMall was not paying him, got it, Vokerding had a full time job he had to deal with, understood. In that case, he needed to pass the leadership role to someone who could manage Slackware the way it needs to be so it can come out at least once a year. When Volkerding is ready to take the reins, give it back to him right away. But Slackware users had to wait until this mess had to be cleared up before we can get moving again. Slackware must march on regardless and we should be on version 17 or whatever by now. If the Slackware model is dependent on Volkerding and no meaningful progress can be made without him, then the model must be re-examined. If I had built something like Slackware that many depended on, I would want the same thing. The users come first. From what I can see, the users do care about Volkerding, and that must also be built into the model, but steady iterations must be a priority.

    • Daniel

      He is 52…. maybe he will retire in 10 years…

      • Slackweary

        I would prefer Patrick Volkerding continue for as long as he breathes, but a more regular release schedule please and thank you.

    • KG Hammarlund

      What ‘mess’ is it that you find so irritating? Had Patrick abandoned maintenance competely I could understand your rant, but there has been about 75 upgrades/patches to 14.2 so far during 2019, and if you want to move faster, there’s -current with over 50 upgrades (not counting kernel upgrades) in August only.
      As far as I can see, Slackware is managed exactly the way it needs to be.
      I wouldn’t mind seeing a stable Slackware 15 arriving, but I’m confident that it will when ready.
      Your words “When Volkerding is ready to take the reins, give it back to him right away” puzzles me (to be honest, I also find them impudent). Who, in your opinion, has a mandate to remove the reins from his hands and give them back to him?

      • Slackweary

        KG Hammarlund, that is your opinion and you can do as you like. For you, Slackware is about Volkerding, and that is fine. For me, it about the user and serving the user. I understand that Slackware takes-its-time, but if you review the historical release schedule and see the last two years, the gap is inexcusable. You think it is impudent to be serve the user first, that’s fine. Enjoy your cult of personality.

        • KG Hammarlund

          Slackweary, you don’t know anything about what slackware is for me and your attempts at secondguessing are embarrasingly erroneous. End of.
          My apologies to Eric for taking up blogspace with this pointless exchange.

          • Slackweary

            @KG Hammarlund

            Bit of a cult thinker, aren’t you? How dare anyone question or voice concern! Sacrilege!

    • alienbob

      Your post is abrasive on several levels but I still want to give you a short answer.
      Patrick does not have a daytime job which pays the bills. Slackware is his full-time occupation. If no money is made through Slackware, then Pat needs to live off his reserves, and those are finite.
      You think that “users come first” in Slackware country… Well bud, how long have you been using Slackware? That is some big fat misconception that this would be as simple as the users determining the course of Slackware’s development. You are missing all kinds of layers of truth and relevance here.
      Have you donated to Slackware or bought DVD’s in the past? Good on you! Will you donate now? Even better. In the meantime, Patrick will continue developing Slackware the way he sees fit.

      • Slackweary

        @alienbob I can be abrasive when people are abrasive to me as the Hammarlund person was. When it comes to Slackware, going the ad hominem route does not address the issue. Again, it becomes something of a cult when you dare question the leader and suggest they put the project consideration foremost and then get backlash. If Volkerding, or Torvalds, or Chef Boyardee has hardships that affects the quality and/or frequency of the output, then I am sure there are qualified people to look after things until the situation is sorted. That’s the whole point being made. Focus on that.

        • Slackweary

          The core issue here is ‘Volkerding does Slackware full time, but does not receive enough money for this to be viable, hence the delays.” In this case, Volkerding could pass the mantle over to someone like Alienbob, for example, while he drums up funds for the project. Perhaps Volkerding spends his energy on building a site like Ardour, where the software is still free, but you have to pay one-time or a subscription to continue to get access to the software. Another option, Volkerding apply for a grant or an endowment, like what Blender does (in addition to donations). Yet another option is that Volkderding make the software proprietary, like Red Hat, but charge a fraction of what they do. Those are some ideas. I am not knocking down Volkerding, I am showing that there is a problem and that he address it so we all (including him) get the Slackware we want. Once this is sorted, then he can resume his position of Dictator, CEO, whatever.

      • tallship

        I see this banter every so often, over the past couple of decades too. Pretty much everyone I can think of has a gmail account, whether they use it or not. People complained about the version of gplus going away, as if it were something they were entitled to, well… it’s still there, as well as the Slackware community, the only hitch is, that you have to be GSuite subscriber (which is also free, if you’re one of us fortunate one’s to have been grandfathered in from the beta days).

        People complain about Faceplant, and ‘being the product’, or privacy violations, when what? That’s right, it’s free to use.

        Point being, there’s also, “Or NOT”. and that means two things:

        1.) You don’t have to use a free thing that someone else offers on their own deserved terms – that’s up to you.

        2.) The provider of something free doesn’t have to continue to provide you with something for free – it’s their choice. When I would complain about something I felt should be different, my dad would often ask, “Who’s robbing this train?” Again, meaning, it’s not your call, you’re not the one making the decisions.

        The differences between monolithic silos like FacePlant and Google, and the FOSS community is such that you are free to rob your own train, go ahead, fork if you like – visit LQ and search for “cooking up some slack”, for a brief guide on making your very own special brand of a Slackware based distro.

        It really perturbs me when someone gets some free product or service, and then talks shit about it – like one of my long time friends on disability who likes to trash talk the service and features he enjoys for free on his Obama phone. REALLY? A phone is 20 bucks on eBay and service is 20 bucks a month if you don’t like your free service – Exercise your, “Or NOT”, if you don’t like it!

        You (the proverbial you, or perhaps in New York speak that’s, you’ze?) don’t get to decide how your friend decorates the chocolate they give you at Christmas as a present, and similarly, when Google decides to start charging you for your currently free GoogleVoice services you actually get to do something…. And that is to thank them for all those years of FREE that they gave you! They’re not your toys, it isn’t your toybox, and you should be gracious, thankful, and play nice in the sandbox when someone shares their toys with you – because they don’t have to.

        Moving along, my problem with Slackware has NEVER been with the distro. I can use it, or NOT, that’s my decision. I can customize it any way I want, and I do. I haven’t considered Slackware Linux as a point based distribution since at least Slackware 10, when we still had to use root/boot/SCSI disks to bootstrap the installation, There’s nothing stagnant or behind the times about Slackware, and there hasn’t been – Slackware to me for about twenty years as a production enterprise server platform has been a rolling distribution, and it remains to this day just about as bleeding edge as it’s renowned stability is possible of achieving. I only see this level of contemporary integration in a handful of distros. i.e., Gentoo, Arch, and um…. Yeah, not many. I can’t even say that for Sid, which no one should run in production.

        And let’s not forget about the people running bastioned purpose built Slackware servers who haven’t moved from their point based version of Slackware in several years – I challenge you to find a Linux distro with a longer maintenance life than Slackware – Even Patrick had to be urged to EOL Slackware 9 a while back because it just didn’t make sense to keep supporting such an old version… but he did… for years… for free… for you.

        Here’s yesterday’s changelog:

        Thu Aug 22 18:57:26 UTC 2019
        a/kernel-firmware-20190821_c0fb3d9-noarch-1.txz: Upgraded.
        a/xfsprogs-5.2.1-x86_64-1.txz: Upgraded.
        ap/cups-filters-1.25.3-x86_64-1.txz: Upgraded.
        d/python-setuptools-41.2.0-x86_64-1.txz: Upgraded.
        d/swig-4.0.1-x86_64-1.txz: Upgraded.
        n/bind-9.14.5-x86_64-1.txz: Upgraded.
        n/dhcpcd-8.0.3-x86_64-1.txz: Upgraded.
        n/samba-4.10.7-x86_64-1.txz: Upgraded.
        xap/geeqie-1.5.1-x86_64-1.txz: Upgraded.

        Right now Slackware runs the 4.19.67 kernel (as of one week ago today), but you can run any version you like and the step by step instructions are right there in your installation (not to mention slackdocs).

        You wanna see the most bleeding edge in stable UNIX computing? visit the Arch Linux site or here:

        People like Robby and Eric and Willy and all of my collegues that volunteer our time to bring you the plethora of SBos have already done the heavy lifting for you, people like Piterpunk made your life a dream with Slackpkg and there’s at least three other quite remarkable tools that automate your package management – What? you need something more current? adjust your SBo’s or ask the SBo maintainer to update the SlackBuild they maintain to the latest version of that software. Or just d/l a package from Robby or Eric – it’s kinda just that simple brah.

        PHP is v7.3.8 and GCC is v9.2.0

        That’s pretty current and relative if you ask me.

        You won’t find a bundled distro more bleeding edge and dazzling than Eric’s Slackwarelive repos, or you can just install Slackware -current and go to the aforementioned URL and use pkgtools to install the latest in stable Plasma, LibreOffice, there’s Mate maintained by Willy, Xfce, the list goes on and on…. Bleeding edge with no heavy lifting.

        Now, where I’ve had an issue with Slackware for many years is in two places:

        1.) Patrick taking effective advantage of monetization for himself. I think we’re all, or at least most of us, very concerned and at a loss to understand how to urge him to improve his deserved cash flow predicament.

        2.) Public facing brand/marketing/public relations – whatev you wanna call it, because he and the brand, IMO, are indeed suffering.

        Again, these are Patrick’s choices as to how to proceed – Not yours, not mine, not anyone else’s. Perhaps a donation with a couple of friendly and affable suggestions, or even wireframes or dev examples to suggest what the website, or some form of additional financial channelization for Patrick that would be beneficial, but you gotta understand that you’re not the one robbing the train, and your getting the booty from the mail pouch for fricken’ FREE, so you don’t get to call the shots or complain that your stupid Obama phone sucks the big one!

        • Slackweary

          @tallship notice that with all your banter you are not addressing the problems? Comparing Slackware with your Google and Facebook is apples and bowling balls ball bearings. The three are not the same thing. Slackware has a problem, a gap in releases. This, apparently has to do with the lead developer not getting enough money to develop. So we have a problem and Volkerding cannot both work on the project and find funding. The previous reasons are that the money that is spent his way are not reaching him (ie BSD Mall fiasco). So apparently if Volkerding did receive the money he needed, he could release with a more regular schedule, like annually or maybe even twice a year like he did before. So, if you do claim to care about Slackware, you would be concerned and figure, ‘what are some viable ways to make this project sustainable for both Patrick and the software?’ I came up with three possibilities, follow Ardour’s model, Blender’s model, or Red Hat’s model. Or come up with something else. Saying, “Don’t complain, it’s free!” Is not very constructive and does not help. Also, keep in mind, like all of us, Volkerding will pass away. There was a scare some years back where he briefly pondered his mortality and what will happen to Slackware without him. Thinking that is not being disrespectful towards Volkerding or Slackware, it’s the opposite. It is letting his project live and thrive no matter the circumstance.

          • Ricardo

            Well, there’s Pareon now so stop talking you all please, and go fund Patrick.

          • Ricardo

            And I can’t find a reference ATM, but in case something happens to Patrick Volkerding, there’s a core group of developers who will continue with Slackware.
            IIRC, this was decided a few years ago when Patrick was having some serious health problems.

  12. Oberoid

    Donation made. Happily working with Freenix and Libreboot.

  13. Gold Orchid

    As a long-time Slack user, I have to agree that @tallship is totally correct. The website is a nonsensical MESS from another era that needs a total restart. We\’ve also been waiting far too long for 15.0. I used to be proud to tell people I used Slackware but now I\’m too embarrassed to mention it. I\’m personally in the \”slow and stable\” mentality but Slack is moving SO slow that even -current (which I\’m on) feels like riding a snail. If it wasn\’t for Eric\’s contributions (mostly KTown & SBo) I\’d have switched already.

    Pat and Eric both have said they have health issues and I think it\’s time they let more of the community who have resources offer to be involved and turn Slack in to a team effort that will leave a lasting legacy that won\’t disappear when their wheels totally come off. Not even Linus runs the show on his own any more; it can be done. The project needs more than just money to survive!

    At the moment Slackware is on a slow march towards total irrelevancy and this makes me very sad.

    • Oberoid

      Hi Gold Orchid
      >the website is a nonsensical MESS from another era that needs a total restart.
      I do not agree. For me the information is accurate.
      >We\’ve also been waiting far too long for 15.0.
      Could you explain what you would like see in the new version of Slackware?
      Myself, ‘m happy with things they are now.
      Security updates are done regularly. Kernels are easily updated. Software outside the distribution are easily installed (and removed) by using scripts from Installation scripts are transparant and can be adjusted for newer versions.
      So community involvement is done through installation scripts. A uthors of these scripts can be contacted personally.
      That one person can maintain the distro is a good thing. If a distribution depends on a whole community for keeping the internal processes working it becomes vulnerable.I prefer micro distributions instead of huge all inclusive distributions.

      • Gold Orchid

        @Oberoid, I never said the website was not accurate, I said it was a MESS. It needs bringing in to the 21st Century; with donation links and at least an update from Pat more recent than 2 years ago. It is not mobile friendly and has lots of outdated links on (which actually are not accurate). The best resources for Slackware come from other unofficial sources which is somewhat silly that the main website has gathered dust.

        We have clearly been waiting far too long for a release. Tracking the changelogs shows some versions of a package have been updated several times since the last official release, so I am unsure what Pat is wasting his time on constantly rebuilding packages he does not ship rather than just making a release. 15.0 will never be perfect as upstream is a moving goal post, reaching perfection is a failed cause before it has even started. This makes me think of Eric S. Raymond and his seminal book on open source: The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Pat is building a cathedral (all on his own) and the community needs more of the bazaar (with more people involved).

        If I had made a distro and had thousands of people relying on it I would be MORTIFIED if it was in the state it is in where everybody relies just on me and have been leaving in droves since the last few years because I was unable/unwilling to push a release. Something Slackware needs is proper UEFI installation support because the last 3 laptops I have installed it on have required extensive GPT/UEFI/BootMgr configuration by hand. I haven\’t used a stock Slack kernel for years since they\’re quite outdated. I run 5 series as my daily driver now.

        If Slackware is Patricks full time job I have to wonder what he is spending all his time doing? There are distros made in occasional evenings and weekends that move at a much faster pace.

        Patrick – please – step it up or let others be involved to help as we really want Slackware to thrive but 15.0 is turning in vaporware.

    • oberoid

      Slackware mentioned on Devuan conference
      Paul Torfs at Wageningen University introduced me to Slackware in the 90’s
      I have some evo 610c laptops running devuan at my school
      Coming year I will introduce Slackware to my first year students on some newer machine,s 11x HP 530, 6x HP/Compaq nx7300.
      I expect easier system maintenance in class, handing out a stick of tgz files in case of updates. I have only 52 kbs available at my network at school. I’m excited to try slackware out in class. Probably will result in some posts in Linuxquestions soon. Grts F.P..

      • tallship

        Hi @oberoid,

        Try using AlienBOB’s slackware mirror script, or the simpler, shorter one over at, then making an NFS mount available in your classroom’s LAN.

        If you do that, then you won’t have to go around with a USB stick and you can just teach all the kids how to run Slackpkg 🙂

  14. George Nielsen

    Many thanks for getting the word out about Pat’s Patreon account. I am a Slackware Patreon member.


  15. Kornelis

    Thanks for this post.

    I’m number 348 😉

    I’ve skimmed through the other posts. I think the website is fine. Just the store link needs to be removed and Patreon and donation links need to be added.

    I don’t understand everything that’s going on with Slackware and Patrick, but I hope the Patreon approach will help.

  16. Slackweary

    Patreon seems more of a short-term solution. Relying on third-party services will always be a dodgy situation and I am sure Patreon’s services are not free. It is preferable less percentages are in the hands of others. The best solution is if 1) the Slackware site has a donation tab people can pay directly. 2) Mimic where users can access Slackware if they donate or subscribe 3) Something else. Once Slackware has it’s own homegrown payment solution, power and control will be more in Volkerding’s hands.

  17. Aaron

    Thanks, Alienbob for letting me know. I have signed up to support Slackware now.
    Appreciate everything that Pat and you do. Best wishes, Aaron

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