Absurd: Slackware Current

20201028

Slackware Current usage isn't really explained anywhere, but it's somewhat necessary if you have hardware with which Slackware 14.2 doesn't work. Given that most hardware made within the last year or two isn't going to work much on 14.2, I will attempt to provide some guidance on using Current.

GETTING CURRENT

The easiest way to get current is like this:

lftp -c "open https://mirrors.kernel.org/slackware/ ; mirror -c -e 'slackware64-current'"

Cd to that directory, and then you want to do something like this to make an ISO:

mkisofs -o $HOME/slackware64-current.iso -R -J -V "Slackware64 Current" -hide-rr-moved -hide-joliet-trans-tbl -V -d -N -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -sort isolinux/iso.sort -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/isolinux.boot -A "Slackware64 Current 20201028" -x ./pasture -x ./testing -x ./source -x ./extra/source -eltorito-alt-boot -no-emul-boot -efi-boot isolinux/efiboot.img .

The command to construct the ISO will provide an image that can be dd'd to a USB stick. You may need to enable various odd USB UEFI boot options in your UEFI system though. For me, it showed up as USB CD/DVD but also with name of the USB stick's manufacturer.

As soon as you boot up, it will be more or less just like 14.2 though there are some new options for filesystems and the like.

POST INSTALL

You won't be able to use the slackbuilds website for most packages, but you can still use Slackbuilds. For me, I prefer to use sbopkg. Grab the latest package, install it with installpkg, and then we need to edit the config. Within the config make sure you have:

REPO_BRANCH=${REPO_BRANCH:-current}
REPO_NAME=${REPO_NAME:-SBo-git}

Once that is complete, you need to sync. To do so, just issue:

sbopkg -r

The only thing that gets annoying is that you will need to check deps via the git repo. So you find the slackbuild, and then pull up the info file, or via sbopkg itself you can do:

sbopkg -Rs pkgnamehere

At the bottom of that output you will see the info file, which will list the dependencies of the package in the REQUIRES variable assignment.

Now, the whole dependency management thing... we can actually skip it if you would really really like to. You can do:

sqg -p pkgnamehere

After that, you can can install it via:

sbopkg -i pkgnamehere

You should be prompted to either use the package or the queue file, and should you select the queue file, it will automatically do all the things.

If this really annoys you, you can just use:

sqg -a

That will generate queue files for everything, and then when you choose to install stuff, you don't have to do both steps.

Periodically, you will want to resync, and rebuild your queue files.

WARNINGS

Slackware Current is certainly more stable than Arch, but it isn't bullet proof and stuff does get broken from time to time.

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