Episode 112 – Slackwear

Posted by Tony on November 30, 2013 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



MP3 format (for Freedom Haters!)
OGG format (for Freedom Lovers!)
Total Running Time: 1:47:11

Un-edited Live session – http://youtu.be/3tkXYgvEMGk

Contact Us:

show (at) smlr.us or the Contact us page


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 11:10
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 16:10
Mary Distro Review
Tech News:
Time: 1:00:15
Is it Alive? – Mary
Time: 1:22:20
Listener Feedback
Time: 1:27:20
Outtro Music
Time: 1:37:30


Tony Bemus, Mat Enders, and Mary Tomich
Sound bites by Mike Tanner

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 11:10

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 16:10


  • 11-22 – OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0
  • 11-23 – Ultimate Edition 3.7
  • 11-23 – Calculate Linux 13.11
  • 11-25 – DragonFly BSD 3.6.0
  • 11-26 – NetSecL OS 5.0
  • 11-26 – SolydXK 201311
  • 11-26 – IPFire 2.13 Core 73
  • 11-27 – Manjaro Linux 0.8.8

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. Fedora – 1815
  2. LuninuX – 1834
  3. Ubuntu – 2534
  4. Mageia – 3194
  5. Mint – 5157

Mary Distro Review – Slackware


This week’s review is of one of the grand-daddies of Linux distros…the venerable Slackware! If I am going to wear a shirt that says Slackware I better be able to walk the walk. So would the elder statesman distro leave me feeling the love or would I be saying Slack Where?

The Vitals:
Name: Slackware
Maintainer: Patrick Vohlkerding
Distro Latest Birthday: 11/7/2013 (14.1)
Derivative: None
Kernel: 3.10.17
Review Desktop: KDE (although XFCE is available as an install option)

Live Environment:

There was no live environment. I went directly to install.

The Defaults
Browser: Firefox, Seamonkey, Konqueror,
Office Suite: Calligra
Mail Client: Thunderbird, KMail
File Manager: Dolphin, Thunar, and a configuration screen for Konqueror as a file manager. Konqueror appeared to be the default. Now that’s old school!

The Install Process:

Spinning up the DVD opened to a text screen with helpful information about kernel parameters. I opted to bypass parameter entry, then pressed Enter and the install was underway. After some text scrolled past the screen I was presented with an option to load support for non-us keyboard, otherwise the US keyboard map would be used, I hit Enter.

A prompt appeared on the screen and the installation started after I typed ‘setup’ . I was presented with a list of steps, a few of which I had already completed, e.g. keyboard, etc. The list was similar to the one I saw in the Arch-basedAntergos (CinnArch).

The next step was partitioning and I’d need one or more partitions of type “Linux” prepared, as well as a swap partition. The laptop I was using already had existing partitions that I was fine using them. I assumed that partition type “Linux” meant a Linux-based file system. I confirmed I planned to use the existing partition scheme. (A quick note is in order: I also installed Slackware in a virtual environment so I could try cfdisk, the non-graphical partitioning tool. I found the tool to be an excellent tool to get the business of partitioning done. Very efficient to use.)

Next up– select my source media: DVD (the download is a 2.3 GB file).

Slackware packages for install are organized into package series and the next screen prompted me to select the package groups to install. The list of 16 items ranged from the base Linux system to games, with a little emacs thrown in for the retro geeks. (Of course, vi is better!) As I understand it, the package series is a leftover from the days when it took multiple floppy disks to contain the entire Slackware distro. Everything was selected by default except International Libraries for KDE. On the laptop, I went for the full monty, in the virtual environment I opted not to install emacs, xfce, and some programming tools.

Next screen asked me to select the types of prompts I wanted to see during install. It ranged from full (recommended) to terse (which is like full but displays one line per package during install.) Menu and expert allows you to choose individual packages from interactive menus. Newbie uses verbose prompting (the X series takes a year). Custom and tagpath uses tag files, which lists the packages in that particular disk set and their status. The status can be:

  • ADD: The package is required for proper system operation
  • SKP: The package will be automatically skipped
  • REC: The package is not required, but recommended
  • OPT: The package is optional

I chose full and hit Enter. The install began. It took 15 minutes or so. I didn’t time it and listened to Door’s podcast so time seem to go quickly.

Next step is making a USB flash boot device. I inserted a 4GB Cruzer usb drive and in a few seconds, it was set up as a boot device.

The boot loader was next. Slackware uses LILO by default. I also recall using LILO on Crux Linux. Lilo must be for serious Linux users…or old ones. I opted for the simple install which intalls Lilo automatically. The next screen didn’t look to automatic. I had to look at the list of console options and select a frame buffer for Lilo to use. Not my idea of automatic. But the “Standard” option was noted as the safe choice, so I chose it.

I was then prompted to note any extra parameters I wanted passed to the kernel. I had none. The key thing in the process is that explanations are provided for each step, as well as a default.

I then had a choice of where to install Lilo. Root (Superblock), Floppy or MBR. I chose MBR…and up came the Installing the Linux Loader note.

I also had to select my mouse, and went with the usb mouse rather than Slackware’s recommendation. It was one of the few times I didn’t choose what they recommended.

Configuring the network was a walk through several screens to confirm name, domain, then how my network is configured – DHCP. There was a couple more screens related to the network that I clicked through. I didn’t choose anything other than what had been recommended to me. (are we done yet?)

During the first install to my laptop, I found that setting up wireless network was problematic due to the Broadcom chip my laptop used. Running lsmod gave the appearance that the wireless module I needed was loaded but after a couple of attempts to get it working, including downloading the drivers from Broadcom and using a package from the Slackbuilds repository (broadcom-sta) I could not get it to go.

Graphics:  ( i915)
Wireless: ✘ (b43)

My second install to a virtual machine, which thought it was a cabled network connection. That process went flawlessly and enabled me to test the package management.

Do I want to try some custom screen fonts? No.
What time is the clock set to? Well I thought local, and the instructions said if not sure, pick local.

At this point, I thought I was done…but not so fast. I have to set the default window manager. I chose initrc.kde.  Other choices included xfce, fluxbox, blackbox, wmaker,fvwm2, twm
Password screen next – I got the typical your password’s too simple. But I went with it anyway. and Slackware accepted it.

After this process, I was greeted with screen saying that system configuration and installation was completed. I could reboot my screen using CTRL ALT DELETE.

Installed Environment:

After I rebooted I was presented with a log-in prompt. I logged in as root and there I sat at the root prompt. On the laptop, I started X (startx) and had a nice KDE desktop as root. Clearly I was not quite done with the install and a quick trip to Slackware’s site provided me with the information I needed: post installation configuration.

One thing to note, Slackware presents a quote of the day which is kind of cool..but not quite as cool as piping it to cowsay, so the cow says it.

When the adduser command is invoked, Slackware runs a script that walks you through the process. For me it was a perfect balance-defaults are noted but you can opt to choose something else.
The steps:
1. Add user
2. Select userID (default is next available)
3. Initial group – users by default but option exists to add user to other groups. I took that option. By clicking the up arrow, a set of groups was presented. I took them
4 Home directory – used default
5. Shell /bin/bash
6 Expiry date – I chose none by hitting Enter.
The next screen presented all of my choices. I created the account and thought I was done. Nope.

Next up, the name, room number, work and home phones, and finally the password.

I wondered if it would boot to the graphical desktop without a startx from me. Time to find out…nope. However there were instructions for starting with a graphical login screen on boot instead of Slackware’s default console. I replaced the default run level to 3 with 4 in the /etc/inittab file (id:4:initdefault:)

The home directory does not have the default folders you typically see in other distros (i.e. Documents, Downloads, etc.)

According to the web site, slackpkg is the best approach for updating and maintaining the software. I updated my system without a problem.


Other interesting Programs:

Slackware14.1 had some interesting programs:
Need a program to test your knowledge? – KwordQuiz flashcard app.
The full KDE games package was installed
Xsane and Scanlite – image scanning programs
Geeqie – an image viewer and manager with complete copy move rename and delete functions, includes a function to find duplicate images


Slackware is a solid distro. Aside from my wireless issue and Lilo, I had no problem getting Slackware up and running. Be prepared to spend more time at the command line configuring your system, but if you’re looking to gain some serious cred, you should give this distro a try. It’s not for beginners but

3.8 cups of a craft brew.

Tech News:

Time: 1:00:15

Amazonian Beer Drinking Networks Revealed by Anthropologists

New Ubuntu Icons for the next release

Your Gift giving guide for the holidays

KDE Korner

Website with a focus on KDE and Kubuntu

Gwenview Plugins! -Next in Kubuntu:On-demand kipi plugin installation for Gwenview. Kipi (KDE Image Plugin Interface) is an effort to develop a common plugin structure for Digikam, KimDaBa, Showimg and Gwenview. Its aim is to share image plugins among graphic applications. Kipi is based on the old digiKam plugins implementation and is maintened by digiKam team.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013: KDE SC 4.12 Release
Final release is released for general consumption. We are having a release party at Atwater Brewery

Linux Convention Scene for December 2013

Enterprise User’s Meeting
Red Brick Warehouse
Yokohama, Japan
December 11, 2013

Enterprise User’s Meeting is a unique conference which aims to promote the use of Linux and other open source software in Japanese market.
The goal of this conference is to educate “Enterprise Users” in Japan in terms of “how to use open source” and “how to work with open source community”, and above all “value of open source”.

Is it Alive? (or is it a Linux File system…)?

Time: 1:22:20

During this segment of the show, I challenge Mat and Tony to identify whether a Linux Distro is alive or dead? Every other week, I twist the concept for our game show and challenge Mat and Tony to decide if the named entity was a Linux distribution or something else.

This week is twist week and I challenge I challenge Mat and Tony to decide whether the named Linux command also is the name of a distro. As is customary during twist week, extra credit will be given if after Mat and Tony correctly identify the distro, they also correctly identify whether it is alive or dead. The items for this week’s show are:

OCFS2 Oracle Corporation 2002 Linux


VERDICT: Yes (Oracle Linux)
Tux3 is an open-source versioning filesystem created by Daniel Phillips. He introduced the filesystem as a public replacement for his Tux2 filesystem

SpadFS – Linux – non-journaling, hashing lookup


NSS – Novell Storage Services. This is a new 64-bit journaling file system using a balanced tree algorithm. Used in NetWare versions 5.0-up and recently ported to Linux.

VxFS Veritas file system, first commercial journaling file system[citation needed]; HP-UX, Solaris, Linux, AIX



Listener Feedback:

show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140
Time: 1:27:20
ICE HAMMER: Intense, Action-Packed Alaska Thriller Series

Outtro Music

Time: 1:37:30
Time to Take out the Trash by Brad Sucks

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