parasurv's webspace

Slackware Linux Day 1
my first Slackware day since 2007…

May 28th 2020

I spent yesterday evening and night to install Slackware and make it work. I have to say that having an nvidia card is a pain in the ass sometimes, but in my experience it's still gives you the best experience later, when you want to play games, or enjoy desktop effects.

These are my notes on day 1 returning to Slackware.

Install

Just as a remember, pretty painless. I just selected the default install, mounted my partitions and a few minutes later I had a working system.

What was amazing, that the installer - which is text based btw, I think it uses ncurses - recognized the EFI partition, and I didn't had to do anything about it. The only thing that was different that if you have EFI, you need to use elilo, not lilo, but that's a simple switch.

Let me tell you, installing Slackware is very simple. You might need a wiki for some special cases, but honestly, you don't. Just follow the installer and you will be fine.

*But if you are a total beginner, I wouldn't recommend Slackware to try on your work machine. If you have a machine to experiment with, go ahead and have fun learning!*

Nvidia

So the trick was to blacklist the free driver. Create a file in etc/modprobe.d, named it disablenouveau.conf, and put these lines there:

blacklist nouveau
options nouveau modeset=0

I downloaded the proprietary shit thanks to an Ubuntu MATE live DVD. Yeah I don't USB - don't even have one - I am old fashioned. If I had a floppy drive I would probably used that, haha. Although I don't think it's possible now.

nvidia prop


So I downloaded the driver, blacklist noevouasdi, install driver from cli and reboot! I also run level from 3 (multiuser, which boots you into terminal), to 4 which gives you the graphical display manager. I might change it back later on.

Network

So I logged in, and I immidiately noticed a red X over the network icon. Shit! So I used the liveDVD to check what I can do. Apparently I accidently skipped some network config during install, so I just used netconfig, and after a reboot, voila let there be internet!

Packages

I am using mainly SlackBuilds. Wonderful place, sort of a temple right now. Followed the howto, and it was relatively easy. It's extra fun if you love dependency hunting!

KeePassXC

This is my most important software outside of Emacs, since it has all my passwords. Unlucky for me the newest version, which you can get from SlackBuilds, needs Qt5. It took me a night to compile that stuff.

However I've found a KeepassXC binary version from slackware.pkgs.com, and it worked. It's a much earlier version, but still works with my database. Well in the morning I installed the new Qt5 and new KeePassXC anyway, and that works too!

i3 and other stuff

While I was working on Qt5, I started to download and install i3-gaps from SB. It has a nice dependency hunting, but at about 2 a.m. I finished it. Qt5 was still compiling, so I went to bed. I also installed ncmpcpp and mpd for my music listening needs. Unlike amarok, this actually works.

I also want to try dwm, but first I will get my i3 in order.

Emacs

Default it comes with version 24, and it doesn't like my config since it comes from 26.3. I just removed 24, and compiled it myself. Luckily I didn't need any dependency, so it was painless.

NSS

I needed a newer version for Brave browser to work. I found one on pkgs.org.

Slackware so far…

Unless I count the nvidia stuff, and my mistake about network configuration, I think the first few hours were pretty OK. I am looking forward to use i3 again, and experimenting with dwm.

I will write about other stuff later…

This was day 20 of #100DaysToOffload.