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Slackware-based distributions section[edit]

What a mess this was in. I've fixed the list style, checked the links (they were all fine, one had moved, updated it), and removed a particularly spammy mention of LTSP from the Lorma linux part which claimed it was a Slack-based distro:
LTSP is an add-on package for Linux[1]

Also, not all the External Links are external links.

Fixed has added a rather hefty list of Slackware-based distributions. For now I've moved it down the bottom of the page, near the See Also section, because the long list of links belong down there if anywhere. It was just after the History and Name section before, which I think was an inappropriate position.

The list is very long, I reckon something has to be done about it. I think it should either be placed in a List of Slackware-based distributions page, or into the List of Linux distributions page. I don't think that such a long list belongs on the Slackware page. --James Hales 14:13, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I concur, someone who knows their distros needs to cut it down to the more noteworthy items. Also, "Linux Distribution" shouldn't be linked on every line. I haven't decided yet if I can be bothered to fix this personally, since it's clear at least one editor suffers from OCD and will revert it. Chris 17:03, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Opening sentence[edit]

The current opening sentence:

Slackware was one of the earliest Linux distributions (and is still being maintained), created by Patrick Volkerding of Slackware Linux, Inc.

This is a little ambiguous, as well as being an awkward sentence structure. It could be taken to mean:

Slackware was one of the earliest Linux distributions to be created by Patrick Volkerding.

How about this?

Slackware was one of the earliest Linux distributions, and is the oldest distribution still being maintained. It was created by Patrick Volkerding of Slackware Linux Inc.

--Annoying anonymous guy #94804327

By the way, some interesting info from user stats(top distribuições): Slackware is the second most used distro in their community, at 5074 users, beaten only by Conectiva at 5109 users.

Should we use "lilo-slackware" boot screen picture, instead KDE desktop? It's the first slackware logo in 15 years that include in the distro. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:02, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

The KDE desktop picture is somewhat misleading: it could be any distro with a generic KDE install. KDE is packaged with Slackware 12.2, but it is not Slackware-specific. (talk) 16:30, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Dont know if it was a bug or a glitch, but the parser on the server wasn't parsing the links to other articles and dropping the text for the links out of the article completely rendering it unreadable. After changing the first link slightly, all of the subsequent ones were parsed correctly. If this was a temporary glitch, feel free to change the formatting back to the original. (talk) 18:22, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Media error[edit]

Er... Slackware uses packages. See --Stephen Gilbert

Beat me to it... pkgtool is their package tool. Not as fancy as RPMs, but it works, and works reliably, too. --Malcolm Farmer


I've taken this passage out, as it's varying levels of inaccurate, confusing, and seems poorly written to me:

There is a disdain for packages, where related files are grouped together and managed as one entity. For example, even a simple application such as cron would be packaged as a set of files containing the executable, documentation, and configuration files. While this can make installing a new application relatively simple, some Slackware users feel that packages limit their flexibility.

A rewrite and clarification is certainly in order here. The page is left a bit thin, but it's better than distributing inaccurate information. --nknight 03:15 Dec 4, 2002 (UTC)

As per my Summary any thoughts on my shot at describing the package management issue? --Moss Hart 01:23 24 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Looks reasonable to me. Thanks. --nknight 01:47 24 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I took the liberty of fleshing things out, including the package management section. I'm sure it could use a good editor at this point. I tried to keep things neutral despite my personal prefernce for Slackware. I also added a section on init scripts, but my understanding of the issue is limited, so it might be in need of some factual corrections. --Greyweather 03:46, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)

"Slackware's approach to package management is unique." - The reason given is that it lacks a somewhat controversial feature. While it may actually be unique in that no other distribution has this approach (which I am not sure is true), I think labelling it "unique" shows a bias towards it. Or it may just be me; English is not my first language. I was pointed to this wording in this article on a different Linux distribution. --Haakon 20:34, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As old as this comment is, I rather agree with it. Slackware almost does not have a packaging system at all, each package is just a tgz file with some rather basic info for the database. (package name, version & discription) Having a lack of packaging system not really unique, LFS also does not use a packaging system, and many livedisks don't either. How about changing the sentance to read something like this? "Slackware employs a minimal approach to package management."
Live CDs don't generally have package management because they are put onto static, fixed media, which makes packages kinda pointless. And the ones which aren't intended to be static (eg Puppy linux and Knoppix with the UnionFS, both on a RW disc of some sort) do have package management. And LFS doesn't include it because LFS... is a book. --Maru 12:55, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
Say what you want, but if other (rather specialised, I'll admit) distros have it, it's not unique. --Jamesgecko 16:49, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
I think you are misunderstanding me. I was replying to the unsigned comment which claimed that lacking a packaging system is not unique (I think it is very rare), and gave examples of lacking. I was pointing out the examples were flawed for various reasons. --Maru 16:53, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Slackware's packaging system is .txz now for x zip, someone might want to fix that. (talk) 14:07, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Well the .txz format is tarred and compressed with the XZ Utils, so the x does not stand for x zip. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

And, most importantly, what is installed by a Slackware package is almost exactly what you would get by running "tar xvzf source-pkg.tar.gz ; ./configure ; make ; make install".


I added a few changes, including an unofficial version history, more external links, and move the subentry for CollegeLinux, to the subheading for Slackware based distros in the external links. --moorcito 11:58 02 Sept 2004

I've moved the dependency resolution to a separate section rather than a subsection under Package Management. I've also clarified the statement so it does not appear that the source tarball is available at (since they're not). --Ken Roberts 15:14, 21 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alisonken1 (talkcontribs)

I made the following changes:
In Line 33 Patrick Volkerding was mentioned as "Patrick" - I feel this is "buddy talk". There's no encyclopedia where people are mentioned with their first name. I changed this to "Volkerding".
In architecture I added (again) support for IBM' 390 arch. The reasons are: On the Slackware HP it is still listed as official port. Second, the project's HP shows a rather dated current release, but it don't think that it has been sufficiently dated to infer that the port is dead. Maybe I am wrong :-)
Line 226: I removed ALSA as a feature. The predecessor OSS is not supported anymore in any modern distro. So ALSA is not a feature but just plain regular. In exchange I added some other updated programs, mainly in accordance with the release announcement made by Volkerding.
Line 57: the slackpkg sentence was marked <clarification needed>. it was mentioned on the board that this mark is ambiguous, possibly meaning the lack of reference as well as the term "remote" - i hope that I catered for both possibilities. ;-) Germanopratin (talk) 16:25, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
In the 2nd paragraph I added "and a small set of shell scripts" - because the former phrase simply was not correct
I made a quite huge amendment to the DESIGN section. It feel that the section was a stub. You can't explain Slackware's design principles only be saying it adheres to the KISS principle. It does, yes, but thats far from being precise. Slackware is very special in a host of system features, I guess I mentioned only a part.
Addition to RELEASES: Nothing had been said about the general release policy, still this is a vital point.
Added 2 external links (PV audio interview and SW forum)
The whole article has been qualified as "incomplete", which it clearly was and clearly still is. It would be great if we added more content, not for the sake of adding but in order to give a profound and well-balanced picture of Slackware. I feel, it deserves it :-)
Germanopratin (talk) 21:09, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I made changes to some phrases in the section PACKAGE MANAGEMENT.
Paragraph 2 cited "gzip" as a compression method. This is plain wrong. "gzip" is a (de)compression utility not a method, and it uses the compression method "DEFLATE".
One thing that is still not clear to me: are there really packages with ".tbz" and ".tlz" extensions? I only know that there used to be TGZ, and now there is TXZ. Speaking of the official slackware repositories.
Could someone please clarify this? Please give evidence for these (rare?) extensions!
In Paragraph 3 I changed the prose a bit. the phrase "the files that form part of the software being installed" of sentence 1 was 1:1 repeated in sentence 2. This is bad prose, mine is still not good, but at least slightly better.
Anyway, the whole paragraph still sounds unclear and inelegant to me. it would be great if someone could fix this
Germanopratin (talk) 09:57, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Cleared up the package manager section. Adding that is network capable. Moving slackpkg from the alternative packaging tools to the "package management" section, as slackpkg is part of the official package management now. Moved references to dependencies to the appropriate section - before duplicate infos were scattered over many sections.
Germanopratin (talk) 09:50, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I added Sections DEVELOPMENT and POPULARITY/RELEVANCE. In DEV I had not intented to put the nick names there, in the first place. Then I realized that they are of public (or historic or whatever) relevance, since PV often refers to developers using their alias names.
I filed a request for a new rating. A promotion to "B" should be possible ;-) Germanopratin (talk) 21:51, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

BSD vs. SysV init procedures[edit]

Here's an excerpt from the slackware-current ChangeLog:

Fri Feb  9 22:59:51 CST 2007
a/sysvinit-2.86-i486-1.tgz:  Upgraded to sysvinit-2.86.  Split the actual
  init scripts into a new package to avoid needlessly compiling sysvinit
  over and over again.
a/sysvinit-scripts-1.0-noarch-1.tgz:  Added a new package containing the
  system startup scripts.  Thanks to Piter Punk for 2.4 kernel cruft
  removal and other bugfixes and enhancements.

... and the slack-desc for sysvinit:

sysvinit: sysvinit (init, the parent of all processes)
sysvinit: System V style init programs by Miquel van Smoorenburg that control
sysvinit: the booting and shutdown of your system.  These support a number of
sysvinit: system runlevels, each with a specific set of utilities spawned.
sysvinit: For example, the normal system runlevel is 3, which starts agetty
sysvinit: on virtual consoles tty1 - tty6.  Runlevel 4 starts xdm.
sysvinit: Runlevel 0 shuts the system down.

I feel that this proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Slackware uses System V-style init scripts rather than BSD-style scripts. -- H3xx 05:27, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, but you are wrong. Slack uses BSD scripts, the sysV scripts that you mention are there for compatibility reasons only since Slackware 7. If you are a technical enthusiast, you may want to check by yourself in /etc/rc. There is an additional script called /etc/rc.sysvinit that provides the compatibility and is linked to the sysv package, thus its presence on the system. Hope that answers the questions.

Umm you do know there is no /etc/rc right in slackware

You're right that there is no /etc/rc in Slackware, there is however an /etc/rc.d/ and /etc/rc.conf - (talk) 23:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Package Managers[edit]

In the bit about third party package managers, should it be mentioned that those are external outside links, or should they be wikified to stubs which contain the outside links, or what? As it is, it is a bit surprising to click on an apparent wikilink and be somewhere completely else. --maru 15:48, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

IMHO, the different color and the little arrow icon should be enough to indicate that they are external links. --Yath 22:05, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It is true that to an experienced Wikipedian, those indicators are more than sufficient; I noticed it right away. But is Wikipedia designed only for experienced Wikipedians, or is it designed on a basis of 'don't suprise a basic user'? --maru 16:10, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I believe VectorLinux is a Slackware derivative. Could we add that to other derivatives? for more info. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 30 May 2005

Live CD section[edit]

Why do we need a section devoted to Slackware-based live CDs? This is an article about Slackware after all. I think this section should resemble the section on Slackware-based distributions - One link and one line devoted to each live CD, linking to wikipedia stubs as appropriate. Any thoughts? --Grazer 2005-06-09

OK, I've made the change. Hopefully you won't want my head on a plate. --Grazer 2005-06-10

Live CDs introduce users to Slackware and its file organization exerpt "There are many excellent projects build by using these scripts, like Slax, GoblinX, Mutagenix and gNOX"

Not as widely used as it was in the 90's?[edit]

I've been in university for many years now and I've yet to meet a classmate who also uses Slackware. Everyone is "Debian this, RedHat that, Ubuntu this, Gentoo that" -- I feel like I'm the only one on the entire campus who uses Slackware! It used to be in the 1990's that I didn't have such a hard time meeting Slackware users (in the real, physical world I mean, not the Internet), but these days I think I have a better chance of seeing a leprechaun riding a unicorn. --I am not good at running 18:18, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

I hope you've not been there too long... But you are right- I personally think the reason is obvious: one of the major advantages of Linux distros over all the other OSs (I'm excluding *BSD here) is the various packaging systems, which are a unique selling point. MS can't do that, nor can Apple. Slackware does not really have one. --Maru 21:11, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
I'd say that the main reason is that Slackware is still percieved as "old-fashioned". Things like the text-based installation routine put "average" people off of using it. However, for me, design decisions like that are WHY I use Slackware - it's fast, clean, simple, small and runs on ANYTHING (even going back to monochrome monitors and text-only displays)... plus playing with the menus is a cinch. All of the distros you mention are mainly graphical from boot to desktop. Slackware can run a modern Linux desktop no problem but people see that they have to work a little at it ("What? I have to TYPE?") and that will put them off, even if it is just for the first boot. People who grew up on DOS or UNIX won't even question it.
Your average person doesn't want to know as soon as they realise they have to do something in a CLI. Your experienced computer technicians will choose it over the graphical systems because of the flexibility - I have PC's that can't even run X, can't display to screen, don't even have a graphics adaptor installed, run over serial console etc. That's where you need something like Slackware. And then the fact that it can be a graphical desktop too if you want makes it the primary choice of people who use Linux for a wide range of tasks every day.
Fads come and go. But you tend to find that the people who stick to a particular OS, rather than hop to whatever is fashionable, are the ones who are actually using their computers to get stuff done. The others spend most of their lives installing and complaining about every OS that comes out... :-) --ledow 10:55, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
As a proto-hacker aspiring to become truly "L337" with every OS, I wholeheartedly agree with you. It's one of the best comments that I've read in a long time. I'm so annoyed of all those Apple and Ubuntu fanboys, but really looking forward to get my hands on Slackware. :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:48, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I have a couple of thousand machines running FC and Debian, but my desktop is running Slackware, as are all my machines at home (since 1995). Guess which ones have never been brought down by an "update"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:53, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree that it is old-fashioned. But fashion is not always a good reference point. ;-)
The simplicity of the design and the heavy use of the CLI are features to me, that's what slackware is all about.
Clearly, Slackware's popularity will be in further decline. who cares. I never met anyone who uses a BSD, still FreeBSD is a great OS. But if you look for a popular OS you would not want to use linux anyway. Even Ubuntu or Fedora, Debian or Mint make up for a very tiny fraction of installed OSes. The media fuss Linux is still getting blurs the fact that Linux and the BSDs are only used by a minority, 5% on the desktop roughly, if those statistics are correct.
Germanopratin (talk) 15:33, 5 August 2011 (UTC)


Anyone familiar enough with zipslack willing to include a paragraph or two about it? --Unconcerned 10:13, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I think the Zipslack paragraph is in the wrong place; it is right after design philosophy and package management, which IMO are definitely not similar topics. --maru (talk) contribs 02:54, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree completely. I have just moved the Zipslack section to underneath the Releases section, which I believe is more appropriate. James Hales 05:54, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Release History Table[edit]

I do not like the release history table that is aligned to the right hand side of the screen. It leaves a large area of blank space between headings. The only alternative that I could come up with was to use a table like on the Fedora Core page, and place it underneath the text of the section, without aligning , which makes a slight improvement. I had previously tried a few experimentations involving removing the <br clear="all" /> so that proceeding headings would appear to the left of the page, but the release history section was too short and the release history table too long and narrow to make it look attractive.

Has anyone any alternative suggestions? Here is the table I've written up. Hopefully someone can come up with something better. James Hales 05:54, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I just came up with something and tried it. Moved the <br clear="all" /> to underneath the Zipslack section, so that they would sit closer to one another, which I think is proper anyway, but it does not allow the release history table to sink into the design philosophy section, which is a larger and unrelated part of the article. James Hales 11:18, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Slackware x86 Release History
Version Date
1.0 July 16 1993
2.0 July 2 1994
3.0 November 30 1995
3.1 June 3 1996
3.2 February 17 1997
3.3 June 11 1997
3.4 October 14 1997
3.5 June 9 1998
3.6 October 28 1998
3.9 / 4.0 May 17 1999
7.0 October 25 1999
7.1 June 22 2000
8.0 July 1 2001
8.1 June 18 2002
9.0 March 19 2003
9.1 September 26 2003
10.0 June 23 2004
10.1 February 2 2005
10.2 September 14 2005
11.0 October 1 2006

Citing sources[edit]

Someone's tagged this article for not citing its sources, and I've taken a crack at adding some. I mostly made links to various pages of the Slackware web site. Places where it's lacking at the moment are the KISS section and the packages section. I couldn't find a reference for those on the main pages of the web site, so I'll keep looking. Once those two sections are done I'm taking away that tag.

For most of the other sections I've added references, except where there is a link to another article or web site which would serve as the relevant reference.

--James Hales 15:00, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

There are references all over the article now, so I've removed the notice box, as the article is mostly referenced now. There are still a few comments around the article which require citations, and I think that they're mostly the subjective comments, or are about technical details not mentioned on the official website, but I'm looking around the net for reviews or guides related to Slackware which might back these points up. --James Hales 07:31, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

SlackWare Screenshot[edit]

Could somebody get a SlackWare screenshot up? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:52, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

Not much point... Slackware is text-based installation with well-known window managers under XWindows. So a screenshot would consist of a text screen (of which there are only a handful "unique" to Slackware, i.e. the installation dialogs) or a screenshot of XWindows with a particular window manager. --ledow 10:44, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
The screenshots in nearly all distro articles are superfluous. I mean, you got to have them for a proper look of the article's entry, but their info is more or less zero. KDE is a natural choice. I would not use a distro-typical screen, because that is uncommon. using a liloconfig CLI screen would make Slackware appear to be stemming from the stone age to some people. so better leave it as it is :-) Germanopratin (talk) 17:05, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

File Formats[edit]

Does Slackware use RPM files, DEB files or what? Talk User:Fissionfox 12:29, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Slackware#Package management. Chris Cunningham 12:44, 16 April 2007 (UTC)


desktop environment was removed from the pending future release,[5] and turned over to community support and distribution. The removal of GNOME was seen by some in the Linux community as significant because the desktop environment is found in many Linux distributions. In lieu of this, several community-based projects have filled the GNOME void in Slackware, by offering complete GNOME distributions for Slackware.

Is this really worth mentioning? -- Pauric (talk-contributions) 10:45, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Considering the popularity and pervasiveness of GNOME, I would think it is. Dismas|(talk) 11:10, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Slackware dropped Gnome, so I dropped my subscription to Slackware.
It was a significant design decision by Pat, I think it does bear mentioning. At least two dedicated users switched away from Slackware for a more integrated Gnome distribution;) (talk) 13:01, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree that it is significant. It also got a lot of media coverage. It is a very rare event that a distro gets rid of KDE or GNOME. There are many people who use gnome. Some may install it from the SlackBuilds but many will drop a system that doesn't support it. Germanopratin (talk) 21:16, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Slackware's relation to the Church of the SubGenius[edit]

I noticed that here on the Slackware page the claim is made:

There is persistent speculation that it is a reference to the term "Slack" as defined by the Church of the SubGenius[3], but Volkerding is not known to have confirmed this.

Yet on the Patrick Volkerding page there is a link to a Slashdot article where Pat clearly says that it was based on the SubGenius, and even mentions the Dobb's head on the CDs (which I have also read elsewhere).

Anyone want to shed some light on why this page contradicts Pat's (and as it would seem, the evidence)? MS3FGX 12:23, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

You don't even have to look at a slashdot post. The install.end file in early versions (which signals the install scripts that you are on the last floppy) has the name and mailing address of the Church of the Subgenius. Later versions rot-13 obfusated it, but it is still there so theoretically you can still install Slackware off of 950 floppies. 2^127-1 is prime (talk) 05:20, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Another Church of the SubGenius question: I just tried Slackware for the first time, and I'm astonished how little Bulldada is present in the distribution. Bulldada is central to the Church, and other distros generate a culture based on their design philosophy. Why doesn't Slackware? --Moly 18:56, 13 January 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Moly (talkcontribs)

The install.end thing was completely new to me. That's the typical Volkerding humor :-)
Germanopratin (talk) 21:18, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
if [ -r $PACKAGE_DIR/install.end ]; then
That's part of the pkgtool script in my current 13.37 Slackware. All there ;-)
Germanopratin (talk) 20:23, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Unclear sentence[edit]

"The removal of GNOME was seen by some in the Linux community as significant because the desktop environment is found in many Linux distributions." - significant in what way? It might be obvious to Linux geeks, but it isn't to a general reader (me!); please explain this better. 03:29, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Unwarranted advertising[edit]

The Third Party heading was clearly intended to include a list of third party sources of packages for Slackware. However, at the end a superfluous mention of Puppy Linux has been slipped in, with the statement that: "Puppy Linux, as of version 3.00, is now compatible with Slackware 12, as it includes almost all the dependencies needed for the installation of Slackware packages."

Aside from the illogicality of the term "compatible" to mean "contains a subset of the required libraries", this is merely unwarranted advertising. If there are no rational objections within a few days, it should be removed. There is no justification for listing all the distributions that can have Slackware packages installed, which, logically, should be nearly all of them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Marksouth (talkcontribs) 20:12, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Release information[edit]

Can we compile the release history and related information into a table such as this:

Colour Meaning
Red Old release; not supported
Yellow Old release; still supported
Green Current release
Blue Future release
Version Code name Testing name Release date Supported until Features and Changes
4.10 Warty Warthog Sounder 2004-10-20 2006-04-30 Initial release; ShipIt
5.04 Hoary Hedgehog Array 2005-04-08 2006-10-31 Update Manager; Upgrade Notifier; readahead; grepmap; laptop suspend, hibernate and standby; dynamic frequency scaling; Ubuntu hardware database; Kickstart; installation from USB devices; UTF-8 by default; APT authentication
5.10 Breezy Badger Colony 2005-10-13 2007-04-13 Usplash (graphical boot sequence); "Add/Remove..." application tool; easy language selector; logical volume management support; full Hewlett-Packard printer support; OEM installer support; Launchpad integration
6.06 LTS Dapper Drake Flight 2006-06-01 2009-06 (desktops) Long Term Support (LTS) release; Live CD and Install CD merged onto one disc; Ubiquity graphical installer on Live CD; Usplash on shutdowns; Network Manager for easy switching of multiple wired and wireless connections; 'Humanlooks' theme implemented using Tango guidelines, based on Clearlooks and featuring orange colours instead of brown; LAMP installation option; installation to USB devices; GDebi graphical installer for package files
2011-06 (servers)
6.10 Edgy Eft Knot 2006-10-26 2008-04 Ubuntu 'Human' theme heavily modified; Upstart init daemon; automated crash reports (Apport); Tomboy notetaking application; F-spot photo manager; EasyUbuntu merges into Ubuntu via meta-package installs and features
7.04 Feisty Fawn Herd 2007-04-19 2008-10 Migration assistant; Kernel-based Virtual Machine support; easy codec and restricted drivers installation; Compiz desktop effects; Wi-Fi Protected Access support; PowerPC support dropped; Sudoku and chess games added; disk usage analyser (baobab) added; GNOME Control Center; Zeroconf for many devices
7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 2007-10-18 2009-04 Compiz Fusion by default; AppArmor security framework;fast desktop search;fast user switching; some plug-ins for Mozilla Firefox now handled by APT (Ubufox); graphical configuration tool for; a revamped printing system with PDF printing by default; full NTFS support (read/write) via NTFS-3G
8.04 LTS Hardy Heron Alpha 2008-04-24 2011-04 (desktops) Long Term Support (LTS) release; Better Tango compliance; compiz usability improvements; tracker integration; Brasero disk burner, Transmission BitTorrent client and Vinagre VNC client by default; PulseAudio by default
2013-04 (servers)
8.10 Intrepid Ibex Alpha 2008-10-30 2010-04 Complete interface redesign; improvements to mobile computing and desktop scalability; increased flexibility for Internet connectivity

Altonbr (talk) 03:25, 25 February 2008 (UTC) no because Slackware doesn't work the same way as ubuntu does. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:30, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, but making everything before 8.1 (2002) red and it and everything after yellow could be reasonable. Slackware's next version is not pre-announced and the current one would obviously be the latest, so I see no sense in those, but some versions do get updates and some don't. -- (talk) 18:41, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Latest Version Layout[edit]

 I have been working on a Linux Users Group resource page and need some
conformity of all the Wiki Linux versions and distributions. Debian has an
excellent template and I have made an RSS reader to pluck version data from
the wiki page. Would be nice if I could get all of them to follow this method
and my page could keep up to date with all the latest versions.  
RSS source path     
RSS Template.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by Icarusfactor (talkcontribs) 02:44, 23 August 2012 (UTC) 

Support term[edit]

A bit of info that should be part of every article about a Linux distro: how long is a major release typically supported?--Exidor (talk) 17:26, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

They are supported as long as Pat supports it. Slackware 8.1 from 2001 is still getting updates. Just check the changelogs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:09, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I added a paragraph with Support term. I concur with you, Exidor, that this is a vital point, worthwile or even necessary to be included. I thus made an addition. Maybe we should add some info about technical support as well..

Germanopratin (talk) 09:19, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Pre-1.0 timeline[edit]

Donbranson (talk) 20:20, 19 April 2010 (UTC) Does anyone have info on when versions 0.8 and 0.9 were available? I used them, but can't for the life of me come up with release dates for those.


the name es based in Church_of_the_SubGenius my english is bad, so i won't write this.--Vincegeratorix (talk) 14:09, 14 November 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vincegeratorix (talkcontribs) 13:55, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Slackware ports[edit]

The article says:

"Slackware for the IBM S/390 architecture is also still actively developed and maintained in both -current and -stable forms."

I'm not sure it is still true. The latest Slack390 release is 11.0 [1] and according to the Changelog there has been no activity in the project since June 2009 [2]. The project doesn't look actively developed to me, it appears to be dead. What do you think?

[1] See

[2] See —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Slackware 13.37 for x86 and AMD64 was released on 27 April 2011
Slackware 13.37 ARM was released on 10 May 2011.
From this I conclude that there is a high probability that the concurrent development Patrick described a while back (a single set of build scripts creates the X86 and AMD64 version) also creates the ARM version, which then gets a couple of days of extra testing. Could someone who has the ARM version running please post selected file creation dates for both?
Slack390, on the other hand, is clearly not in sync with X86, AMD64 or ARM. The last changelog entry for slack390 stable was on 28 September 2009 (version 10.0) and the last changelog entry for slack390 was on 18 Dec 19 2009 (version 11.0). See and Guy Macon (talk) 19:25, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Default Interface[edit]

Is it really KDE? A fresh install of Slackware dumps the user into console mode. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:37, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

I'd agree with that. The default user interface is the shell (which defaults to bash). KDE is the default GUI, in that it's preselected during installation, though any of the other supplied desktops and window managers can be selected at that point. Regardless, saying 'or XFCE' is nonsensical. -- (talk) 18:34, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I concur. The entry in the info box is just wrong. Someone should change it to "CLI" or something like that.
What does "default UI" mean? Is it the most widely used interface? I don't think so.
Is it the interface best supported? How can you judge whether KDE or XFCE or BASH is better supported? this cannot be a criterion
So the default must be what slackware puts you into - and when you don't change the config you are dropped into a CLI.
Germanopratin (talk) 20:15, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Two 'clarification needed' items[edit]

If people are going to mark that things need clarification, they should really add a note to this talk page describing what is unclear to them, as did in the 'Unclear sentence' section.

I'm not going to make these edits as I'm an interested/theoretically-biased party, but here's some input:

1) Swaret and slackpkg were included as extra packages in the Slackware 9.1 CD #2,[11] but were not installed by default. Swaret was removed from the distribution as of Slackware 10.0 but is still available as a community supported package. As of Slackware 12.2, slackpkg has been added as the official remote package manager[clarification needed].

Maybe "As of Slackware 12.2, slackpkg is now installed by default as part of the base system, making it the official package manager capable of working with Slackware mirrors." I'm not sure if "been added as official" or "remote" is what is perceived as unclear. Point is, it was in the "extra" series and so was not official, and is now in the "ap" series and so is. And pkgtools expect to be working with optical media or otherwise local files, while slackpkg expects to be working with network mirrors (though can work with local files, too).

Sidenote: maybe some part of the community somewhere supports swaret but my understanding is that it's pretty much dead (the official project page indicates no release for the past five years) and none of the community I'm involved with supports it.

2) is a community-supported project for acquiring SlackBuild script of extra software not included within Slackware. A SlackBuild build script contains the build instructions and a source download link for building a particular package for your system. This is identical to the way Slackware's official packages are built and is meant to address possible incompatibilities with community created binary packages while sacrificing the portability of typical binary distribution.[clarification needed]

This is not so much unclear as plain wrong in places.

" is a community-supported project for acquiring SlackBuild scripts ofto build extra software not included within Slackware. A SlackBuild script contains the build instructions and a source download link for building a particular package for your system. This is identical to the way Slackware's official packages are built and is meant to address possible incompatibilities with community created binary packages while sacrificing the portability of typical binary distribution. These scripts are written in a similar style to the scripts which build the official Slackware packages. An additional file, with an .info extension, includes metadata such as the source download link. An advantage of using this method is compatibility with Slackware methodology, a guarantee that the user won't install a binary that won't work on his system due to any peculiarities on the builder's system, configurability, and auditability. A disadvantage is the time and machine usage required to compile the software."

Note: it is "identical" methodology: Slackware uses shell scripts (the SlackBuild, itself, and the of a certain structure and style and a "slack-desc" text file to create Slackware packages. SBo does the same and generally tries to make that "structure and style" Slackware-like, partly for ease of migration from SBo into Slackware (and sometimes vice versa). But I'd hesitate to say "this is identical to the way Slackware packages are built" because "identical" is such a strong word and there are trivial deviations (Slackware scripts almost always use a PKGNAM variable, while SBo scripts almost always use PRGNAM; certain code for dealing with manpages and stripping has gone back and forth; arch detection code went from SBo to Slackware, IIRC; Slackware build files don't include .info files; etc.).


-- (talk) 18:29, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

I agree that this text is wrong in places. And it is unclear as well. the phrase "is meant to address possible incompatibilities with community created binary packages while sacrificing the portability of typical binary distribution" is logically peculiar, since "portability" and "incompatibility" are really the same in this context...
I fixed some errors according to your suggestions. I hope this is clear and correct now. I also tried to incorporate the statement of the SBo site (missing trust of pre-compiled packages). I am not sure if my version is 100% accurate but it is definitely better/clearer now.

Germanopratin (talk) 07:52, 7 August 2011 (UTC)


I deleted these 2 sentences at the beginning of the history section, because they refer to the history of SLS rather than that of Slackware. Furthermore they were misleading as they insinuated that Volkerding created Slackware because of SLS changing to ELF, which simple was not the case. (He did so because the distro stalled and there were no bug fixes. The same reason why Murdoch started Debian)

SLS dominated the market until the developers made a decision to change the executable format from a.out to Executable and Linkable Format (ELF). This was not a popular decision among SLS's user base at the time.

On the whole I tried to supply more contents in this section, hopefully delivering more substantial info Germanopratin (talk) 06:50, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

I made some additions, closing the timeline. Previously, the history section ended in 2005. I am not sure if the stuff I added makes for a great novel, but I wanted to close the gap, as we should't make a halt in 2005. :-) Germanopratin (talk) 15:20, 9 June 2012 (UTC)


This article has been rated with a (pretty poor) 2.0 completeness rate. It would be very helpful if people gave hints on why it's deemed incomplete - in order to add further content. I am always willing to help making this article better, but honestly, I have no clue how to substantially improve it.

Anybody got an idea what is still missing? input would be highly appreciated. Thanks Germanopratin (talk) 08:51, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Heinz Wiesinger?[edit]

In this edit, User:Vorsety posted the following edit comment: "Development team: - Remove Heinz Wiesinger from the list of core members. That'd be me and I'm not a member of the core team."

Of course we don't want the article to list someone as a core member when they say they aren't, but what is to stop some Wikipedia vandal from pretending to be Heinz Wiesinger and deleting his name?

To resolve this, I did what we always do; I went to the cited sources. A search of the history of Slackware development PDF[2] shows no matches for "Heinz" or "Wiesinger". The release notes[3][4] list him, but the heading is "Thanks to the rest of the team (and other contributors)", so any of the names on that list could be "other contributors" or members but not core members of the team.

So, even if User:Vorsety is not Heinz Wiesinger, the deletion was justified as being unsourced. I checked, and the rest of the names are listed on the history of Slackware development PDF list. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:51, 5 May 2012 (UTC)


I deleted the

entry in "regional popularity" section. The OR label was absolutely unjustified, as the text makes no assumptions but cites Google's tool - as well as including a perfect reference. Anybody who is unable to check the statements via this reference will be unable to switch on a computer, anyway - so the ref should be perfectly ok. And it is not evident how more referential substance could be added. The only option being to omit the whole section.

Well, yes, maybe the popularity section is off-Wikipedia, taking into account that such a topic HAS to be non-scientific, yet there's some relevance to it. Anybody interested in this popularity thing should check this page: Germanopratin (talk) 15:10, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

In my opinion, you were right to remove the tag. The popularity section says right at the top what the limitations of such research are, and the research cited is nor original research. It is inexact research, but that is perfectly acceptable on Wikipedia as long as it is clearly noted as such, which this clearly is. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:26, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Sequence of sections[edit]

I moved the section on community supported software upwards to all the other package related stuff. Before it appeared after the architecture section.

The order of sections is crucial, it renders the text legible or else cluttered. It is by no means a trivial task to decide how to order topics. I ve been thinking about proper sequences a lot, I checked other distro pages, and they all have different arrangements.

I hope that this modification makes sense.

Germanopratin (talk) 15:13, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

In a second step I put the section "distribution" after "architecture". This should make some sense, because you want to know first "What does an OS run on" and then "How can I get the distro for the desired platform".

I also made an amendment in the section "architecture", where the original author was referring to "32 bit" or "64 bit" - without specifying the exact platform. It might be obvious - in our INTEL(AMD)-centric environment - what he ment. But the term "32 bit" is not a clear definition for IA-32, as it could mean all platforms that use a 32 bit architecture...

Germanopratin (talk) 15:26, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

ANNOUNCE: Slackware Linux Distribution 1.00[edit]

Every so often, someone "corrects" the release date for Slackware. This is rather understandable, seeing as how various websites give various dates. For example:

"The first version was released on July 13th, 1993."

"Initial release 16 July 1993"
-- Current infobox on Wikipedia.

"it was released as "Slackware 1.0" on July 16th, 1993.":

"First released on July 16, 1993, Slackware has come a long way..."

"Slackware 1.0.0 was released 10 years ago today, on July 17th, 1993!"

"Slackware, started by Patrick Volkerding in late 1992, and initially released to the world on July 17, 1993"

"1993-07-17 [Version] 1.0":

"1993-07-18 Slackware Linux Distribution 1.00"

The above sources mean that we will keep getting people "correcting" the date, but the release date right from Patrick J. Volkerding's mouth, posted on the Slackware website is here:

Another source of confusion is the second announcement two days later:

Our reliable source ( ) gives us a date and time of:

1993-07-16 17:21:20 PST

Now for the interesting question...

If we assume that the above was set to Pacific Standard Time with Daylight Saving on, then the date and time was 17 July 1993 00:21:20 (UTC).

However, it says "PST" not "PDT", which signifies Pacific Standard Time with Daylight Saving off. With that assumption the date and time was 16 July 1993 23:21:20 (UTC).

But wasn't Patrick Volkerding a student at Minnesota State University Moorhead at the time? His sig has a email address. Minnesota is in the Central Time Zone, not the Pacific Time Zone.

BTW, the site with the July 17 date listed above is the official guide to Slackware. Linux. See

So, my fellow Slackwaristas, what is the UTC time and date for the announcement? And what date should we list? --Guy Macon (talk) 02:20, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

WOW! This is a truely sophisticated (and tough) question. Very hard to decide. My modest input:

First step: What's more important, the very truth or a formalistic truth (i.e. official SW sources)? Official sources should prevail: The SW website and the slackbook. All other sources should only overrule official statements if it can be proven, that the official sources are wrong. As I cannot identify a criterion to decide which source is (materially) correct, only the official SW sources should remain relevant - for formal (yet striking) reasons.

Second step: Which official source is "more" official, the slackbook or the website? I would go with the website, because it is most authoritative - the announcement comes straight from the original creator of SW. In the days of SW's inception he must have perfectly known when the project was released. So the announcement in is the key. As it stems from SW's creator and is posted on the official website, it is official twicefold. And it is also most precise. So what more can one expect! Well, a bit more actually, so lets move further.

Third step: BUT a more than minor problem lies - as you already said - in the ambiguity of the two authoritative announcements. They differ in 4 (!) aspects: date, newsgroup (comp.os.linux vs. comp.os.linux.announce), email address (!) and approval (the header of the later announcement has an "approved" entry). Without knowing the technical details of the newsgroup and Volkerding's circumstances I would chose the first announcement, just because it seems to be highly unlikely that Volkerding mixed something up with the announcements. It must have been this way, that he posted another announcement later.

Fourth step: Your reasoning conc. the timezone: I am not familiar with US timezones at all. As far as I know, Pat Volkerding had been at Moorhead univ. at that time, so it should be as you said. I just wonder if the timestamp was given by him or by the newsgroup software. Anyway, I guess that we could settle on this last step as being the decisive one. Only this announcement is relevant. Further analysis should focus on this announcement and clarify the cirumstances.

Germanopratin (talk) 10:54, 22 August 2012 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Here are the original headers from the comp.os.linux post:

  From: bf703@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Patrick J. Volkerding)
  Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
  Subject: ANNOUNCE: Slackware Linux 1.00
  Date: 17 Jul 1993 00:16:36 GMT
  Organization: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (USA)
  Lines: 76
  Message-ID: <227gd4$jtq@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu>
  Reply-To: bf703@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Patrick J. Volkerding)

Everything in the above except Path and NNTP-Posting-Host came from Patrick Volkerding's computer. USENET does not change headers except for those two. In particular, USENET is dateless -- the message may arrive at a node days later with the date unchanged from what the poster set it to. Please note that "Patrick Volkerding's computer" may very well have been a remote computer in another time zone he was logged in to.

And here they are as Google Groups displays them:

  Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
  From: bf703@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Patrick J. Volkerding)
  Date: 17 Jul 1993 00:16:36 GMT
  Local: Sat, Jul 17 1993 12:16 am
  Subject: ANNOUNCE: Slackware Linux 1.00

Notice that Google Groups converts the date to GMT and tacks on a "local" that converts the GMT to my "local" time. (My computer clock is is set to UTC, so they are the same)

Also note that has been modified to show PST instead of GMT.

Here are the original headers from the comp.os.linux.announce post:

  From: (Patrick J. Volkerding)
  Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.announce
  Subject: ANNOUNCE: Slackware Linux Distribution 1.00
  Followup-To: comp.os.linux
  Date: 18 Jul 1993 20:13:55 -0400
  Organization: None
  Lines: 80
  Sender: mdw@TC.Cornell.EDU
  Approved: (Matt Welsh)
  Message-ID: <22cp03$be5@theory.TC.Cornell.EDU>
  Reply-To: (Patrick J. Volkerding)
  Keywords: Slackware, distribution

And here they are as Google Groups displays them:

  Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.announce
  Followup-To: comp.os.linux
  From: (Patrick J. Volkerding)
  Date: 18 Jul 1993 20:13:55 -0400
  Local: Mon, Jul 19 1993 12:13 am
  Subject: ANNOUNCE: Slackware Linux Distribution 1.00

Again, Google Groups converts the date to GMT and tacks on a "local" that converts the GMT to my "local" time (also GMT).

The approved and sender headers are simply telling you that comp.os.linux is an unmoderated newsgroup, while comp.os.linux.announce is a moderated newsgroup. Some of the headers may have been modified by the system that did the approving, but almost certainly not the date.

The two email addresses are the two Patrick lists at the bottom of each post.

My conclusion is that Slackware 1.0 was released on 17 Jul 1993 00:16:36 GMT, and the local time for Patrick Volkerding was 16 July, based upon the following:

Time zone claimed in comp.os.linux USENET post: GMT

Time zone where Patrick Volkerding was living: CDT
Central Standard Time (CST) = GMT-6
Central Daylight Time (CDT) = GMT-5

Time zone claimed by :PST
Pacific Standard Time (PST) = GMT-8
Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) = GMT-7
(It appears that whoever posted that got the info from Google Groups but failed to tell GG to show the original headers, thus they got a version "corrected" for their local time zone (Slackware Inc. is in Brentwood, California -- PST/PDT.))

Time zone claimed in comp.os.linux.announce post: -0400
Eastern Standard Time (EST) = GMT-5
Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) = GMT-4

So the only question is whether we use GMT or local time. I say GMT. That's what was in the original announcement. has been modified to show PST instead of GMT, but Google Groups (formerly DejaNews) has the actual unmodified headers, which show GMT.

Conclusion: Slackware 1.0 was released on 17 Jul 1993 at 00:16:36 GMT. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:58, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Note: All of the references to PST above appear to be an artifact caused by someone at Slackware cutting and pasting from Google Groups but failing to click on the "show original" link. That gave them times that Google "helpfully" converted to their local time. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:36, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

I concur with your conclusion: UTC. That seems rather sensible to me. If anybody objects, he has to come up with a stronger argument. Germanopratin (talk) 09:53, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

As a final note for anyone revisiting this in the future who may wonder why we are using GMT and UTC interchangeably, GMT used to be the world standard for time, but in 1986 we started using UTC (which is identical to GMT for our purposes) as the the world standard for time and GMT as the standard time zone for the Prime Meridian, (Zero Longitude). Back in 1993 there was still a lot of software using GMT, including most USENET newsreaders. --Guy Macon (talk) 12:43, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Development contributions[edit]

I noticed this revision: . I want to remark that the Slackware ChangeLog.txt will usually pay attribution to contributions from non-coreteam members. But the core team members themselves (like Robby Workman, Stuart Winter, Eric Jan Tromp, myself etc) are usually only mentioned nowadays in case of large updates (KDE, XFCE, X.Org) or when we thought of something smart. We use a private communications channel to discuss the development of Slackware around the clock, so basically everybody in the team contributes, even if they are not explicitly mentioned in the ChangeLog.txt.

Eric Hameleers Sat Jul 28 21:07:21 UTC 2012 —Preceding undated comment added 21:10, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for clarifications from the very inside of Slackware. This is a rather hairy subject. Maybe it makes no sense at all to sort of rank (or even find out about) the input of SW contributors. As you clarified, it is hardly possible to do so from the outside. And even if it were possible from the inside: It would remain delicate for many reasons...

After all, it's not important who contributes the most, but it remains relevant to determine who is really part of core. Being informal is part of the SW culture, which is a sympathetic SW "feature" anyway. So trying to find a SW "core team" is quite "non-slackish", yet it matters for this article.

I guess we ought to change the section then - taking your information into account. Can you tell when that Change.log policy changed (pun not intended)? Germanopratin (talk) 16:37, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of omitting the list of names. Is someone who does some work that is only part of the Slackware distribution more important than someone who does an equal amount of work that becomes part of many distributions? Let Slackware Inc. give credit on their web page if they want to, and we can link to that if we feel a need to give credit. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:55, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I think the list of names is important, otherwise this would appear to simply be the efforts of Patrick Volkerding 'and some other guys who contribute occasionally.' The names are all referenced and Slackware's version of "giving credit on their web page" is including them in the changelog. Centerone (talk) 20:36, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
This is such a tough topic with many facets. First of all, it really is crucial to Slackware that it is not a one-man show anymore. This means that we can hope that there will be continuity in SW. Everybody remembers the days when Pat Volkerding had been seriously sick - this caused heavy (rational) concern wether Slackware itself would cease to exist. Knowing that there is a core team around him, means a lot for the future of Slackware. It's far more than simply honoring personal contributions.
For that same reason you cannot put a Slackware contributor on the same level as a "general" contributor. Yes, it's true that a kernel developper is a Slackware developper as well, albeit on an indirect level. Nevertheless, as for the distro proper it only counts who handles the distro itself. If Slackware were only maintained by Pat Volkerding and he decided to drop Slackware, than Slackware stood some chance to simply perish. With the core team this case would be different: The distro would change in style, for sure, but it would stay active. So, it is important and publicly relevant, to know about the size and impact of the core team. Is it 5 guys or just 2? Are they all equally active and important or not? These questions matter, purely for pragmatic reasons.
Well, I understand that there is no official documentation about the core team - apart from Eric Hameleer's former presentation. Remember that the core team itself came up with that notion of a core team :-) But as they operate on an informal and personal level, they will not go and show statistics or assign positions - that would be highly "unslackish". After all, everybody feels that it still is Volkerding's project. So, there's no chance that the core team or PV himself will help us to formalize or draw statists. Maybe we should keep the names but desist from evaluating the importance or number of contributions of the persons involved.
Germanopratin (talk) 07:34, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
After some thinking and re-thinking:
Ok, you are right, Guy Macon. Although I myself included the section with the names, I have to admit, that it makes no sense to list the names, if you can't give substantial evidence. Maybe some of them are core, maybe some are not. It's simply not possible to decide from the outside. And the insiders will not decide. So maybe there's no sufficiently strong basis to list certain names. Let's drop them. After all, it is only important to know that there ARE core members, but it is bold (and arrogant) for outsiders to decide about who is in core and who is not.
Germanopratin (talk) 08:01, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I changed it. I kept Eric Hameleer's article, in order to keep some reference. I hope this is OK. I am not satified with the section, maybe anybody has some ideas how to amend it.
Germanopratin (talk) 08:17, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
How are frequent mentions in the release notes/changelog not substantial evidence?? Centerone (talk) 21:01, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
There is no evidence that being mentioned in the release notes/changelog has any correlation with contributions or importance to the project, and good reason to suspect that no such correlation exists. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:04, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
To be honest: I really would like to have the names in the article. The team is essential to Slackware. And it's interesting to get to know about the development process. But it's simply not possible to infer from the announcements whether a person is considered a team member or not. The statement from Eric Hameleers introduced further doubt into these assumptions. So I cannot see how to draw a picture that is not only colorful but also acurate.
Germanopratin (talk) 12:57, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps we can have a list-of-recent-contributors rather than a list-of-core-team-members. Certainly the recent release notes spelled out very specifically what each contributor was responsible for. Centerone (talk) 20:58, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that the release notes do not claim to be a complete list of recent contributors, and there appears to be no good reason to list the recent contributors and not the core contributors. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:36, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Screenshot updated to Slackware 14.0[edit]

New screenshot for Slackware 14.0. I thought it would be nice to see some Slack-specific tool, so I included pkgtool. --Philip Lacroix (talk) 10:39, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Very nice! That really improves the article. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:32, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! --Philip Lacroix (talk) 08:30, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
I like it, too. The nice things is that the screenshot shows a modern desktop GUI and a console windows with a command line programm. This is a visual symbol of Slackware's typical mixed approach: old school core in a modern frame :-) -- Germanopratin (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 13:11, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Source model[edit]

The source model is described as "Free and open source", which is incorrect. Here is the list of software packages in Slackware 14.0 which are non-free. In particular, the kernel distributed with Slackware contains firmware blobs which are neither free nor open source. I propose we change the source model to "Mostly free and open source, with some non-free components". melikamp (talk) 21:38, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

I moved this section up because the section below eats up the next section's title. melikamp (talk) 21:38, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

There are four basic ways a distribution can handle non-FOSS components. They are:
[1] 100% FOSS, no non-FOSS components made available by the distribution.
[2] 100% FOSS, adding non-FOSS is made easy (may require a recompile).
[3] Some non-FOSS, stripping non-FOSS out is made easy (may require a recompile).
[4] Some non-FOSS, no obvious way to create a 100% FOSS version.
Slackware is [3].
Richard Stallman will tell you that only [1] is real FOSS. Pretty much everyone agrees that [4] needs to be described as non-FOSS or perhaps a mixture of FOSS and non-FOSS (but then again, that describes Microsoft Windows; the TPC/IP code in Windows is BSD-based...)
To my way of thinking, the difference between [2] and [3] is trivial, and I think Slackware was wise to decide on [3]. Anyone who cares about FOSS vs. non-FOSS is likely to have no problem getting the list of non-FOSS components at and purging them -- and in fact are unlikely to trust code that someone else compiled -- but the vast majority of users will be fine with the default OS including some non-FOSS components.
From a Wikipedia standpoint, if properly referenced all of this would be a fine addition to our Free and open-source software page , but I really don't see a point in differentiating between [2] and [3] in the individual OS pages. As I said, the difference is trivial. Some OS's (Android and GNU Hurd spring to mind) are notable for being free or not free, but in general this should be addressed on the Free and open-source software page. You will find many sources talking about mixing in non-FOSS software, but those sources are unlikely to point at Slackware as an example. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:15, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand why you regard the difference between [2] and [3] as trivial. A good example of [2] is Debian: the default install image contains no non-free software, and no suggestions to install non-free software. Slackware, on the other hand, is being shipped with non-free components, and has no option to remove them. Most of the wireless firmware it ships is closed source, so it is likely to include spyware by now, which makes it a highly non-trivial distinction for any user conscious of either security or privacy. (The distinction between firmware and the rest of the kernel is moot: either code runs on your CPU, even it may not be the main one, and has direct access to your RAM. Wireless firmware, obviously, is also capable of reporting to the mothership without ever leaving the wireless card.) You seem to claim it is trivial to deblob [3], but this is actually not true for anyone but the folks who spent years tweaking OSes: computer scientists, programmers, sysadmins, and the top tier power users. For the vast majority of users, deblobbing is an impossible task, and for their sake Wikipedia should call things as they are. melikamp (talk) 12:46, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I am not sure why you believe that Slackware has no option to remove non-free components. The link you yourself provided ( ) clearly says "the purging procedure is relatively straightforward. Simply remove offending packages with removepkg, configure, compile, and install a linux-libre kernel, and finally remove the stock kernel packages (kernel, modules, firmware)." Anyone who cannot do that is unlikely to be happy with Slackware anyway, because that's the standard way of updating Slackware.[5] As the saying goes, Slackware is user-friendly. It's just picky about who its friends are.
I am also not sure why you think that the default install image for Debian containing no non-free software is particularly significant or that Debian makes no suggestions to install non-free software. As the FSF says, [6]
"Debian also provides a repository of nonfree software. According to the project, this software is “not part of the Debian system,” but the repository is hosted on many of the project's main servers, and people can readily learn about these nonfree packages by browsing Debian's online package database. There is also a “contrib” repository; its packages are free, but some of them exist to load separately distributed proprietary programs. This too is not thoroughly separated from the main Debian distribution. Previous releases of Debian included nonfree blobs with Linux, the kernel. With the release of Debian 6.0 (“squeeze”) in February 2011, these blobs have been moved out of the main distribution to separate packages in the nonfree repository. However, the problem partly remains: the installer in some cases recommends these nonfree firmware files for the peripherals on the machine."
The firmware discussion is a good example of something best addressed at a higher level than the Slackware distribution article. Besides, firmware is just the tip of the iceberg: See [7], [8], [9], and [10]. Again, this is all well worth including in Wikipedia, but not here. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:19, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I sabotaged myself by the previous reply, so let me try again. Nothing in this thread so far contradicts a simple fact: Slackware 14.0 in all of its forms, as distributed on, contains non-free software. Slackware itself offers no way, tool, or option to either install a fully free OS or make it free post-install. (Not that an option like that would make much of a difference.) The fact that one can deblob Slackware is irrelevant, since this page is about Slackware as released by PV and team. Comparison with other distributions is also irrelevant: either Slackware contains non-free packages or it doesn't. melikamp (talk) 16:40, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
This is not a trivial issue. Normally I share most of Guy Macon's views, but in this case I see some validity in Melikamp's suggestions. Whether [2] or [3] are nearly identical is totally subjective, depending on a guys's technical skills and on his willingness to change a system. And (!) depending on knowing the real facts about the FOSS "level".
Consider a guy who is about to switch to Linux and has to decide which distro to choose. On one hand, it is true that someone who is not technically skilled and not willing to put some effort into his system, will not go for Slackware in the first place. On the other hand, it might give a "distro chooser" a better factual basis for a preliminary decision if the FOSS statement were precise. Germanopratin (talk) 08:23, 11 August 2013 (UTC)


Consider the following sequence of talk page comments:

Melikamp: "Here is the list of software packages in Slackware 14.0 which are non-free." ... "I propose we change the source model to 'Mostly free and open source, with some non-free components'."

Guy: "Anyone who cares about FOSS vs. non-FOSS is likely to have no problem getting the list of non-FOSS components at and purging them."

Melikamp: "Slackware, on the other hand, is being shipped with non-free components, and has no option to remove them."

Guy: "I am not sure why you believe that Slackware has no option to remove non-free components. The link you yourself provided ( ) clearly says 'the purging procedure is relatively straightforward. Simply remove offending packages with removepkg, configure, compile, and install a linux-libre kernel, and finally remove the stock kernel packages (kernel, modules, firmware).' Anyone who cannot do that is unlikely to be happy with Slackware anyway, because that's the standard way of updating Slackware.[11]"

Melikamp: "Slackware itself offers no way, tool, or option to either install a fully free OS or make it free post-install. (Not that an option like that would make much of a difference.) The fact that one can deblob Slackware is irrelevant, since this page is about Slackware as released by PV and team."

At this point I am at a loss, because Melikamp keeps making a false claim ("no option to remove them", "no way, tool, or option to either install a fully free OS or make it free post-install."), I keep refuting the false claim by explaining exactly how one makes Slackware free post-install using nothing but the standard Slackware package tools and a list of which components to remove, and finally Melikamp says that the fact that there is a way to make Slackware free post install is "irrelevant". How is showing how to make Slackware free post-install not relevant when countering a claim that there is no way to make Slackware free post install? I do not see how we can move forward from here.

I am also a bit frustrated by the fact that Melikamp says "A good example of is Debian" when a comparison with Debian suits his purposes but tells me "Comparison with other distributions is also irrelevant" when I attempt to make a comparison with Debian.

At this point I do not see how any further replies from me on this topic will be productive, so I will finish with this: I oppose Melikamp's proposal for the reasons I have given in the thread above, and I am watching to see what the consensus is (in the discussion here or though an RfC), which of course I will follow whether I agree with it or not. I support there being a paragraph in FOSS that explains the difference between "out of the box" free, "select an option during install" free, "run a tool after install" free, "possible but a lot of hard work to strip out the non-free components" non-free and "nobody has ever successfully stripped out the non-free components" non-free. I think we should write that up, put it in the FOSS article, and link to it from here. -Guy Macon (talk) 16:37, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I am in no way able to provide a solution to this argument. As for free software, I have always considered the RMS point of view too radical. If a software developper decides to make his software non-free, I am completely fine with that. He makes the bytes, he makes the rules. Making a program non-free is a 100% valid market or else personal decision. But I DO care about open source because it provides a possibility to track trojans or spyware or else harmful or unwanted software. But as I said, I am not familiar enough with these topics to throw something worthwhile into this discussion.

Thus, I can only provide some purely formal hints or arguments:

Yes, Melikamp is wrong in stating that there is no way to make Slack free post-install. He himself gives a pointer to such a way. A pointer by the way, that I haven't been aware of. Well, there is no dedicated tool for purging. But it is a major trait of Slackware that there is an abundant lack of dedicated tools. Getting away with a modest bundle of standard tools - compilation, silent levitation of beer bottles and usage of the *pkg* suite - is the (beloved) Slackware way. That's all. That's enough.

Still, there is a difference between Slackware's spartan style and the description of Slackware in a Wikipedia article. Slack's way of making it hard for people who need long descriptions in order to get things done doesn't imply that an article on Slackware be Slackish as well.

What does "free and open source software" mean? Well, it means FOSS as defined by the respective Wikipedia article. The Slackware article points to the Wikipedia FOSS article. Therefore, it's not relevant what X or Y mean or Y thinks that Z means by using the term "FOSS" - it only is relevant what the WP FOSS article means. Thus, if Slackware is not free and open source in terms of the article it points to, the pointer could be considered "weak". Again, I can't judge if it actually is.

If we cannot find a convincing solution to that question, we should resort to other distro articles. This is not a 100% valid approach, because a statement does not become true only by complying to a majority of wrong statements. But if you can't decide on the truth of your statement, it is a plausible and common sense approach to go and check what others do.

How do other distro articles handle this? There is often a difference between the description in the text and the categorization in the info box. I will only go for the info boxes here:

  • Arch: Free and open source software
  • OpenSUSE: Free and open source software
  • Ubuntu: Free and open source software with proprietary components
  • Debian: Free software
  • Fedora: Free and open source software (with exceptions)
  • Mint: Free and open-source software and proprietary software
  • CentOS: Free and open source software
  • Mageia: Open Source
  • Red Hat: Open source
  • Gentoo: Free and open source software

Seems to be a bit messy. Plus: If you look at the info boxes on different Wikipedias (English, German, French, Spanish) - for the same entry you get different variants.

For instance UBUNTU: In the French Ubuntu page they simply omitted the "with proprietary components" clause. The Germans re-phrase it to just "open source". The Italians don't mess with FOSS and plainly state it is "GNU GPL". To the Dutch Ubuntu is "FOSS". In Denmark wikipedians describe the license as "GPL, GFDL".

Yes, RMS himself resp. his foundation, would consider none of the above listed OSes as free software distros, anyway. To be honest, I would appreciate it if the Slackware team could split its repositories in free and non-free etc. repos. But I am sure that they simply haven't got the time/man power or inclination to do so. Which is fine with me. Their task is huge already.

Conclusion: I have no idea what we ought to do. Maybe someone comes up with another perspective. After all, maybe it would be valuable to make a reference to the freeslack site. But I am not sure if the freeslack project is sufficiently complete to merit such a reference. As far as I can see, it only refers to Slackware 14.0 and seems to be work in progress. Anyway, this is a very valuable initiative. Perhaps though a pointer to it would not be justified, due to the project's incompleteness... Germanopratin (talk) 13:08, 15 August 2013 (UTC)


As I said above, your initiative "Freeslack" is a valuable project. But there is one aspect of your effort I would like to bring out, precisely because it correlates to this discussion:

You do not differentiate between free software and open source software. It would be a crucial info if package X is not open source or if X contains parts that are closed source. You only focus on the license but spare this open source aspect which is even more important as it is also a security issue.

Or is it that Slackware 14.0 - as shipped on DVD - is completely open source? Germanopratin (talk) 17:52, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Date Format[edit]

This is just a matter of style, but it could improve the readability of the text. We are using different date formats in the article, e.g.: "17 July 1993" versus " June 18, 2002".

Wikipedia style rules state: (1) both of the formats above are allowed (2) within a text there should be consistent use of just *one* format

So, which one should we use? Germanopratin (talk) 09:19, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

I prefer 17 Jul 1993 or 17 July 1993, because it puts the equivalent of the LSB on one end equivalent of the MSB on the other end, thus making sorting easier. Consider the following dates, which I sorted using a fairly standard word-aware sorting algorithm:
July 17, 1993
July 18, 1993
June 19, 1993
July 20, 1993
June 19, 1994
July 21, 1994
19 June 1993
17 July 1993
18 July 1993
20 July 1993
19 June 1994
21 July 1994
My sorting program (when I pick the RTL and by-word options) simply sorts by the rightmost word, then works its way leftward. To make July 17, 1993 work I would have to make a special right-left-middle version.
Of course I still had to tell the sorting program that June and July are months, because our months are not in alphabetical order. :( 17-07-1993 avoids this but has ambiguity problems if the day is 1-12. 1993-07-17 is the easiest to sort -- even MS-DOS's SORT gets it right -- but has the same ambiguity problem. Besides, those last two are not among the options given. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:24, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

I haven't considered parsing and sorting being an issue, but both are valid concerns. Another concern is readability of the text, which in a sense refers to a text's parsability when the parser is a human. I can concur to the LSB->MSB argument, for the sake of sorting - and of logic, as well.
As for readability: The best format for sorting would be a pure numerical format. But since people simply seem to prefer "June" to "06", a compromise seems to be necessary. The format "June 17, 2003" is bad in both respects. Sorting is difficult. And reading is, too: The comma that separates the year decreases readability, especially when the year is followed by another comma that belongs to the structure of the sentence.
Going along with your statement, which makes sense to me, I would suggest to use only the format DD-"MONTH"-YYYY. E.g: "17 June 2003". It's quite readable, and sorting only takes one extra mile (mapping the strings for the months to integers).
Germanopratin (talk) 11:01, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Minor versions missing in the table of releases[edit]

I think that there is not reason to put them in the table.


======  ==========      ========
1.0.1   04/08/1993      0.99.12
1.0.2   05/09/1993      0.99pl12
1.0.3   15/09/1993      0.99pl12
1.0.4   01/10/1993      ?

1.1.1   12/12/1993      0.99.14
1.1.2   05/021994       0.99.15 01/04/1994      1.0 15/04/1994      1.0.8 21/04/1994      ?

2.0.1   18/09/1994      1.0.9
2.0.2   18/10/1994      1.1.54

8.1.01  19/06/2002      2.4.18

Better logo from the official Slackware site[edit]

Hi folks. The logo that's currently displayed by the article says that it's rendered from the logo on the Slackware website, but I don't think that it could have been as it's not using the correct font. In any case, there's a better SVG version of the logo available from the site from this link:

I'd like to see this replace the logo for this article. I'm a bit of a Wikipedia n00b otherwise I'd make the edit myself, but if anyone can take a look I'd appreciate it. Volkerdi (talk) 04:31, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I just replaced the logo. See
thumb|Slackware logo from the official Slackware site
I have a couple of suggestions. First, assuming from your username that you are Patrick Volkerding (if you aren't, see Wikipedia:Username policy#Misleading usernames) it helps if you release any material that is likely to be used on Wikipedia under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License. I asserted that the image only consists of simple geometric shapes and/or text and does not meet the threshold of originality needed for copyright protection and is therefore in the public domain (but still a trademark), but a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license removes all question.
Second, other Slackware material that we use can be found at
If you have better versions of any of those, I can upload them for you. Likewise, if you wish to assert copyright I can start the ball rolling toward deleting the image. At least one of those images has a possible copyright problem; it says "I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following license" but I don't believe that the Wikipedia user who wrote that is the copyright holder. Can we go through them all and identify any copyright problems?
Third, the image that I replaced has a ® symbol, while the new one doesn't. Again assuming that you are Patrick Volkerding, which way do you want it? Right now the old image is used on the following non-english Wikipedias:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and Once I get a definitive answer to the ® question, I can overwrite the old file and thus update all of the other Wikipedias.
Please feel free to drop me a line on my user talk page at User talk:Guy Macon or send me an email at if there is anything else I can do for you. Slackware literally changed my life. --Guy Macon (talk) 08:59, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I get the impression that at _very_ least the Slackware logo should have a ™ symbol. I don't know if that particular logo is registered, so the R circle symbol may or may not be right. The ™ symbol will always appropriately support the fact that a logo is a trademark. I think some of the graphics on the Slackware site itself may be old, as they seem to occasionally change them up. Centerone (talk) 23:53, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
The ® symbol is correct.[12] I am going to wait a few days for a response from Volkerdi. I don't mind there not being an ® or ™ -- it is that way on the Slackware website -- but I also wouldn't mind if someone fired up a graphics editor and added an ®. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:03, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Hey Guy, thanks for the Slackware logo update on the en article! Yes, I am in fact Patrick J. Volkerding (not sure how would be best to verify that if need be, but you could certainly drop me a line at my usual email, or possibly I could GPG sign something with the Slackware key). Please consider any Slackware logo that came from us to be licensed CC-BY-SA 3.0 (but without giving up any trademark rights). The SVG logo I pointed you to previously never had a ® and doesn't need one (or a ™ in my opinion). We never did register any logos (just the name), and I'm not too paranoid that someone will try to copy our logos anyway. Thanks again! Volkerdi (talk) 01:41, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I sent an email to the usual info address. The subject line is "Wikipedia email from Guy Macon"
I know that you are busy, but any help you could give us in getting the details right would be very much appreciated. This is the right place to do that. (There is a nice guide for how to suggest changes to a page about yourself or your company at Wikipedia:Plain and simple conflict of interest guide.)
For an example of where help would be appreciated, see Talk:Slackware#ANNOUNCE: Slackware Linux Distribution 1.00.
I went to a lot of trouble reconciling the fact that we have two reliable sources ( and your original 1993 posts to comp.os.linux and comp.os.linux.announce) that give us different release dates for Slackware 1.00. My conclusion was that got wrong information from Google groups. It would be very helpful if you either could confirm that and post the correct information on or tell me I am wrong, that the date is correct, and that it is the USENET posts that have bad dates.
Also helpful would be you taking a look at our Patrick Volkerding page, checking it for errors, and posting any suggested changes at Talk:Patrick Volkerding.
Again, I don't want to add to your workload, but I would like this page to be as accurate as possible. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:10, 22 November 2013 (UTC)


This is to document the fact that I got the following email (Email and IP addresses removed; I can supply them if someone has a reason to see them.)

 Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 23:13:38 -0600
 From: "Patrick J. Volkerding"
 > From: Guy Macon [mailto:[deleted]@[deleted]]
 > Hi! I am trying to confirm that the Wikipedia user at
 > is Patrick J. Volkerding.
 > See discussion at
 Hey Guy!
 Yes, it's me.  I'll try to get to some of your questions this weekend if 
 I find a bit of time.
 Take care,

The above email was sent to a new email address that I created just for this, and all of the headers indicate that it was sent from Slackware Inc. Identity confirmed; nobody else could have known what email address to send a spoof email to.

I am going to send a followup message asking Patrick if he could find time to:

  • Take a look at our Slackware and Patrick Volkerding pages, check them for errors, and post any suggested changes on the article talk pages.

--Guy Macon (talk) 14:59, 9 April 2014 (UTC)