Friday, 1 November 2013

Notes on Slackware 14.0 upgrade

I upgraded from version 13.37 to 14.0 of Slackware, bringing me up-to-date. This time I used the slackpkg program, and it went quite smoothly. I followed the instructions at

In short,

  • Edit /etc/slackpkg/mirrors to add the address of a mirror of 14.0
  • Blacklist kernel packages in /etc/slackpkg/blacklist
  • Run "slackpkg update" to download new package list
  • Then it was running "slackpkg upgrade slackpkg", "slackpkg upgrade glibc-solibs", "slackpkg install-new", and "slackpkg upgrade-all".
  • "slackpkg clean-system" to delete old packages, making sure not to delete any packages I've installed separately from the Slackware distribution. This is done in conjunction with reading "CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT".
Then I needed to check new configuration files under /etc. "slackpkg new-config" can be used to move these files across. I needed to keep the Internet connection settings in /etc/rc.d/{rc.inet1.conf,rc.wireless.conf} and /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf. Also /etc/inittab for the behaviour of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

I downloaded and installed kernel packages manually and rerun lilo after adding lines to /etc/lilo.conf:

image = /boot/vmlinuz-huge-smp-3.2.29-smp
  root = /dev/sda3
  label = Linux_slack14
  append = "acpi_osi=Linux"

The last line is needed on my craptop for the screen dimming keys to work.

I previously used ndiswrapper to get my wireless card to work, but I thought I would try the Linux drivers instead. I had several modules blacklisted in "/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf", and running "modprobe b43" made the wlan0 interface show up. I've used wireless since then with few problems. [1]

Next steps are to carefully remove files in /etc/modprobe.d according to CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT, use the generic kernel with an initrd instead of the huge kernel, and look through old configuration files (saved as "*.orig") to see what has changed and if I want to keep anything else.

Biggest change has been the upgrade to fvwm 2.6.5. When I tried this before I would get random crashes, but I haven't had any so far.

[1] I don't know why I couldn't get this working before - I suspect it would have worked but I was doing something else wrong, e.g. with ifconfig, wpa_supplicant or dhcpcd. I spent so long trying to get wireless to work that I stopped playing with it as soon as I got it to work with ndiswrapper.

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