Tag Archives: documentation

Slackware 14 release candidate 3 plus multilib updates

Slackware 14 is getting ever closer upon us. Yesterday, the third release candidate was made public:

Fri Aug 24 20:08:37 UTC 2012
This is Slackware 14.0 release candidate 3, and is hopefully the last stop
on our long road to a stable Slackware release soon.  After hearing that
the 3.4.x kernel series will have long term support, I tested 3.4.9 hoping
that it would prove stable enough to use that as the release kernel, but
there are problems with an oops in kernel/time/clocksource.c every few boots.
Given that the 3.2.x series has been very stable, it seems prudent to stick
with that for release, and 3.2.28 is going to be the release kernel.  So,
one more round of testing.  Let me know if there are any problems.  Thanks!

I had not paid good attention, so it took me a few seconds to realize that a rebuild of the glibc package was mentioned there. So, I proceeded with updating my QEMU virtual machine of slackware64-current and rebuilt my multilib versions of the glibc packages:

Sat Aug 25 07:47:10 UTC 2012
current/glibc-2.15-x86_64-5alien.txz:  Rebuilt.
current/glibc-i18n-2.15-x86_64-5alien.txz:  Rebuilt.
current/glibc-profile-2.15-x86_64-5alien.txz:  Rebuilt.
current/glibc-solibs-2.15-x86_64-5alien.txz:  Rebuilt.
current/glibc-zoneinfo-2012e_2012e-noarch-5alien.txz:  Rebuilt.
  Upgraded to tzcode2012e and tzdata2012e.
current/compat32-tools-2.2-noarch-2alien.tgz:  Improved handling of qt package
  in comvertpkg-compat32 (makes the resulting package a lot smaller by weeding
  out unneeded stuff). Thanks to Sebastien BALLET.

Get them here as usual – I suppose that by now you’re able to find the mirror sites?

I also refreshed the set of converted 32-bit packages in the “slackware64-compat32” subdirectory, so if you are lazy and don’t want to run the “massconvert32.sh” script you can just download and install/upgrade those.

The fact that I was not paying close enough attention was caused largely by the Slackware Documentation Project, which we kick-started a little over a week ago. In that week, there was an enormous amount of activities and judging by the “recent updates” page, people are still enthusiastic about it. I must say, not everybody was happy with the way I crafted the project – but hey! You could have started this project yourself in the last 19 years! Nobody was stopping you!

I did not want to wait for someone else and gave form and direction to my own ideas about a good multi-language documentation site. Enjoy it, contribute to it, make it so extraordinary that even non-Slackers will want to read it. It does not have to be difficult.


SlackDocs logo courtesy of V. T.Eric Layton

Slackware documentation project

In a recently started thread at LinuxQuestions, a discussion is flourishing about what the community can do to provide Slackware users with an up-to-date set of documentation for the distro, much like a community site as slackbuilds.org provides up-to-date and high-quality SlackBuild scripts.

The Slackware documentation we currently have is generally of good quality (lots of it is part of the Slackware DVD) but it is scattered all over the internet in sites like the SlackBookslackbasics-i18n , SlackWiki , the LinuxQuestions wiki, and several small wiki’s and blogs maintained by volunteers. Having a centralized source of documentation much like the ArchWiki would be very beneficial to Slackware and its community.

The idea would be to start implementing a series of first steps (copied from one of my posts in the LQ thread):

  1. the wiki must be hosted somewhere with shell access to at least the admin team and with the possibility of managing a MySQL database as well as the apache webserver
  2. if that hosting costs money, some sponsor would have to be found since a monthly donation model will not work (look at all the sites asking for new money in order to survive)
  3. a team of site admins / editors would have to be assembled. The site admins do not necessarily have to be the editors – but we will need many more site editors than site admins
  4. the site must have a long-term purpose. The admins/editors will decide on that. Will the site be the definitive guide to Slackware? Will it replace the Slack Book? Do you want any affiliation with Slackware developers or will it be a 100% pure community effort? Will spin-off distros be covered and/or encouraged to participate?
  5. A high level structure of the Wiki will have to be erected ASAP. A style guide will have to be written so that the site will have a visual identity which permeates all articles. Think of article templates and a set of example pages as a demonstration of what a good article looks like
  6. decide on a license for the material. ArchWiki uses the GNU Free Documentation License, while I use the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) license for my own Wiki.

A post by Woodsman (an experienced documentalist) added further concepts for keeping the participation barrier low:

Rather than use a style guide approach, consider a simple check list for editorial helpers:

  • Focus on basic grammar, but let people write as they are able.
  • Eliminate slang and colloquialisms that non English readers likely will not understand.
  • Ensure all acronyms and jargon are explained with the first usage.
  • Use a “bite-size” approach: encourage contributors to use subheadings to reduce an article into smaller sections.
  • The goal of an editorial review is to help the writer, not hinder or control the writer.

Kikinovak already reserved the slackdocs.org domain while Patrick Volkerding kindly agreed to the use of docs.slackware.com if the site would want to be affiliated with the distro.

I went ahead and erected a Dokuwiki instance on my taper server – http://taper.alienbase.nl/dokuwiki/ .

That URL is now depracated. The wiki is using the new domain name (since 21 august):


It is open for anyone who registers an account there. After you register an account there (click on the “login” at the top right and follow instructions), you can get a feel of the dokuwiki syntax by creating new pages below the playground namespace, so as not to disturb the real wiki content. Just create a new page by replacing the second “playground” with a name of your own liking, such as http://taper.alienbase.nl/dokuwiki/playground:foo . The wiki will comment that the page does not exist yet and that you can click “create this page”.

A Dokuwiki site may or may not be the end product but it never hurts to start off with a bit of practicing. Note that the Wiki supports multiple languages. So, even though we would start with english articles, these could be translated and become part of the same Wiki.

I also registered the #slackdocs channel at Freenode for those who want to communicate more directly than through blog and forum postings.

Have fun! I really like feedback!


Network configuration

I am at home because I can not work… due to recent surgery (inguinal hernia) I can only “sit” (or rather, lean back) in a soft couch and can not wear other trousers than jogging pants. But this is boring! So I thought of stuff to do – things I had been neglecting.

My Wiki was in dear need of new articles and article updates… voilá I had a goal!

The first fruit of my labour is a new article about Slackware’s network configuration. While the online books like Slackware Linux Essentials (the official Slackbook) and Daniël de Kok’s Slackware Linux Basics are good introductions to ɡettinɡ the network up and running, an in-depth overview of the (im)possibilities and further background information on the format of the configuration file rc.inet1.conf has been lacking in Slackware. I know, maybe I should write a “man rc.inet1.conf” someday. And such a man page may even spring to life in the near future… certainly, the material I wrote for the Wiki will serve as input for that.

Apart from documenting “normal” wired configuration, I spent a lot of time on wireless networking, because that is one of the areas people struggle most. And it really is so simple to setup – but without properly documented parameters it is harder than it should be. I hope the Wiki article will help people and if not, I always welcome questions, advice, hints and corrections. There is a chapter with some historical facts about the advancement of Slackware’s network support because I was involved in it a lot.

Without further ado, I suggest that you take a look at “Configuring your network in Slackware“.

Have fun reading! Eric