Linked by David Adams on Thu 11th Dec 2008 00:15 UTC, submitted by Brian
Slackware, Slax Slackware, the grand daddy of Linux distributions, has released a new version: Slackware 12.2. This new version runs the 2.6.27.7 version of the Linux kernel. The other updates include Xfce 4.4.3, KDE 3.5.10, HAL support etc. You can get Slackware 12.2 from one of their mirrors.
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UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

I actually can't recall what my first distro was, and when I was just using Slackware for the first time (several versions ago, a few years back), I failed at getting the distro up and running past the command line. I managed to get a full GUI in most other distros I've tried. Anyway, right from the start, I appreciated Slackware's simplicity (from what I read about it), and have since learned to get past the command line and get a full-blown desktop.

Now, the only thing I'm not really used to (for the most part) is the package management. No central repository and no dependency checking. But the real thing that puzzles me is security updates; surely there's some proper method to apply the latest security updates... right? There's got to be a way other than waiting for a new version to come out and installing over (formatting) your previous / partition. And every OS probably should get security updates every once in a while, even those as robust as Slack itself and Linux in general.

Or is the best way to use Slackware to do just that: format and reinstall every time a new version comes out? I have personally used Zenwalk as a full-time distro at one point and have used KateOS for a few months, and have come to appreciate Slack's clean layout and simplicity. It's really just the package management and security updates that get me confused, which these two derived distros have covered.

So, long story short: What is the "proper" way to do security updates on a Slackware system?

Edited 2008-12-11 14:31 UTC

Reply Score: 4

setec_astronomy Member since:
2007-11-17

The traditional way of doing this is to subscribe to the slackware security mailing list (cf instructions at

http://www.slackware.org/lists/

) or, alternatively you can access the security alerts directly from the homepage:

http://www.slackware.org/security/list.php?l=slackware-security&y=2...

The entries in this list (usually) contain links to locations where you can download the relevant slackware packages.


Alternatively, you can use third party systems that sit ontop of the slackware package system like for example slapt-get to keep your machine secure, e.g.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/6y3bk6

altough I have to admit that I have no experience with these tools and how reliable things work.

Reply Parent Score: 3

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Ah, I see. Looks like the best way (for me) would be to bookmark the page on Slack's site. The main page might take some getting used to (ie. knowing which dependencies are used by a package I use regularly), but each item in the list appears to lead to a well-written description, md5sum and download link... quite clean, yet completely manual. Sounds like Slack alright.

Thanks for the answer. ;)

Edited 2008-12-11 15:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

jackson Member since:
2005-06-29

No, a much better way of managing updates is to use slackpkg which was in /extra for a long time and now is included as part of the base Slackware installation. Slackpkg will let you install extra software from the official Slackware mirrors, including updates in the /patches directory.

For third party software, I encourage you to check out the site mentioned in Patrick's announcement: slackbuilds.org. This site is run by several members of the Slackware team and provides a repository of slackbuild scripts that are vetted by the admins for tons of third party software. You can also use a tool called 'sbopkg' (www.sbopkg.org) that provides a nice dialog-based front-end to slackbuilds.org. Slackbuilds are simply shell scripts that are used to compile third-party software into Slackware packages. As a long time Slackware user, I do not use unknown binary packages from places like linuxpackages.net (those packages often break people's systems) or outside tools like slapt-get etc. that are poorly bolted on to the official Slackware package manager and package tools.

Slackware + slackpkg + slackbuilds.org + sbopkg is all you need. ;-)

Edited 2008-12-11 16:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well, it looks like others have covered most of the easy ways to do slack updates.
You're absolutely correct, no central repository and no dependency checking. And to that I say, thank goodness! I can't count the number of times I've wound up in dependency hell with deb or rpm-based distros due to an error in their central repository. It's probably just me and the packages I use, since it doesn't ever seem to happen to anyone else ;) . Slack doesn't bother me with it, I like the fact that it assumes I know what I'm doing and just lets me do it. To be perfectly honest, I'm heartily sick of most of the package managers around today, and I'd prefer no automatic dependency resolution to getting my installation corrupted, thanks.
And if you want dependency checking on slackware, as others have pointed out, you can have it. It's just not mandatory.

Reply Parent Score: 6