Tag Archives: slackware

Slackware 13.37… I Couldn’t Wait

I spent the last day or so wiping/reformatting/reinstalling… SLACKWARE!

I’ve done this so many times since v9.x, that I’ve got it down to the proverbial art form. I initially tried for a tandem upgrade –> 13.0 to 13.1 and then on to 13.37. It sorta’ almost worked. I was having Nouveau/Nvidia issues with 13.1 and again with 13.37; I could boot both to the command line, though. I really borked up 13.37 when I made a error somewhere compiling my kernel. Oh well…

I wiped it all away with a few commands and installed nice and fresh… the way it’s meant to be done. It took me the better part of yesterday and today to get it all up and running the way I like it. All’s well, though. I’m in 13.37. Weeeeee!

Photobucket

Now, I just have to sit and wait for it to go final. That ought to just take a few more days. Once that happens, a little modification of my mirrors file and I should be good to go.

Thank YOU, Pat V… and ALL the acolytes!

Have fun!

~Eric

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Patiently Waiting for 13.37

The new version of Slackware Linux is the talk of the Slackers all ’round the Net this past week. Version 13.37 has hit the Testing repos.


It should be released very soon as a stable update. I can hardly wait. I’m still running 13.0 on my desktop system. I am running 13.1 on my lappy. I’m going to plow them both under and install 13.37. I won’t format my /home partitions, though. That way most of my configs and preferences should remain intact. I will have to reinstall quite a bit of software, but that’s OK.

Most of what I need is in the Slack repos. What isn’t, I have Slackbuilds. I may have to upgrade the build scripts, though, or see how fast the 13.37 stuff pops up on SlackBuild‘s server. Either way, shouldn’t be that big of an issue thanks to the simplicity of Slackware. It’s a joy.

*thrumming fingers on desk*

I’m patiently waiting…

~Eric

P.S. Thank you, Pat V. and the rest of the team. Pssst… and Robby, I might give your Xfce 4.8 a tryout in 13.37.

Arch Steps Up – Debian Takes a Backseat

I recently did some soul searching regarding my GNU/Linux philosophy. I found that I wasn’t being true to myself.

For years now, I’ve run Slackware Linux as my primary operating system and a second, fully updated version of Debian as my  secondary OS. I’m a firm believer in simplicity and stability. I enjoyed both of those qualities in Slack and Deb, of course. They are both rocks when it comes to stability. I’ve never had a crash in either operating system that was due to the OS itself. Any crashes were usually caused by something stupid that I had done.

All that being said, while contemplating upgrading from Debian Lenny to Squeeze, I had an epiphany. Slackware and Debian are not very much alike, other than their common quality of stability. Where Slack has a relatively small application set; Debian’s repos are huge. Where Slack uses close to the newest versions of its software; Debian uses versions that are typically three to four releases old (VERY stable and proven stuff).

It was always difficult for me to sync Slack’s apps with Debian’s in my primary and secondary operating systems because of the discrepancy in releases; especially so with Mozilla apps like FF and TB. This got me thinking… maybe Debian, even though it had always been my fall-back operating system, might not be serving my purposes that well after all. Is there something better out there for what I want to do?

As most of you know, I have five tester slots on a dedicated drive just for trying out and learning other distributions of GNU/Linux. No, I don’t do virtual. I like to REALLY install and set up operating systems. Virtual computing is like virtual sex. It works, but it’s not nearly as much fun (or as messy). In one of my tester slots there is almost always an installation of Arch Linux. Why Arch? Well, it’s a cool distribution. That’s why.

Seriously, Arch is a very stable, very robust distribution of GNU/Linux. It’s been around about ten years now. It’s a fork of the old Crux branch of the Linux Tree. I started playing around with Arch about three years ago, I think. I was impressed right off the bat. One of the greatest things about Arch is its outstanding support community, particularly the wiki. There is an abundance of information for Arch users of all sizes and shapes. Support is a good thing!

As a result of all this deep thinking and philosophizing, I decided to install Arch as my official secondary operating system. I spent the past three days installing and setting it up. I’m using it now to post this article. I have everything set up to closely match my Slackware installation. I keep both sync’d (manually) and updated. If my Slack craps out, I can always boot Arch and seamlessly carry on until I fix my Slack. Odds of Slack crapping out? Null. You never know, though.

Give Arch a try. You might be impressed. For a very good tutorial on installing Arch, see securitybreach’s tutorial at Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux.

My Arch w/ Xfce Desktop Environment

Later…

~Eric

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to startx

I got up bright and early on Wednesday last in anticipation of performing some computer projects that I had set aside to do.

I sat here at the computer desk with my hot cup of coffee steaming on the desk next to me. I reached out and clicked that ON button on the face of my tower. The buzzing and whirring began just as it always does. My Slackware boots in a relatively short time, so I scratched at myself and picked my nose while waiting. When I glanced up, the monitor was black. Hmm… that’s not good.

To make a long nightmare more enjoyable to read about, it turned out that I had some sort of dirty contact issue with my PCIe graphics card socket. Ain’t that a bitch? Well, I tried a little brush with alcohol. Nope. That didn’t work. I tried some compressed air. Nope. That didn’t fix it either. OK. I disassembled the system and removed my mobo completely. I took it outside to my shop (that’s when you know something’s serious).

I re-soldered all the pins on the socket, in case there was a cold/cracked solder joint. Not to worry, folks. I’m a professional. I spent the better part of my life servicing electronic products to component level. I have the tools and the skills. I don’t recommend you try this at home, though. Those boards are machine soldered (by Chinese machines that run on rice) and can easily be boogered up, if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So, while I had the mobo on the bench, I got a piece of emery paper and folded it and inserted it into the slot on the socket. I ran it back and forth, cleaning those little metal contacts as I went. I sprayed tuner cleaner in healthy amounts and blew the socket out with compressed air again. I took it back inside the house.

I reassembled the system and booted. YAY! It worked! Let’s hope it continues to do so because I have some more good stuff to tell you about in the next few days. I had a mini-installfest again. I installed Arch Linux (again) and installed Foresight Linux (also, again). I’ll post a bit about my adventures with that project and why it happened in a couple days.

Later…

~Eric

Xfce 4.8 – The Little Mouse That Roared

It’s here, folks. We’ve been patiently waiting for this one… version 4.8 of everyone’s (mine, anyway) favorite desktop environment –> Xfce!

There have been many improvements, judging by the release notes. Read more about it here –> http://www.xfce.org/about/news/?post=1295136000 It may be a bit before you start seeing this in your distribution’s repositories, but you can always attempt an install from source, if you know what you’re doing.

For you Slackers (users of Slackware Linux) out there, Robby Workman has a Slackware Package of 4.8 on his server. Don’t forget to read his NOTES and install the dependencies (which he also provides for you) in the order he suggests. Of course, install at your own risk. If you have an experimental installation of Slack, as I do, it might be better to play with it in that installation rather than your primary OS… just in case, you know.

Ever since KDE4 became a fat, over-bloated MS Windows-like clone, Xfce has been my primary desktop environment. Aww, shucks! I’m just kidding about KDE. It’s fine too, as long as you have 12Gig of RAM and a water-cooled, over-clocked quad-core processor… and don’t mind the occasional system crashes.

Anyway, watch a repository near you or take the bold approach and install from source. Either way, you’ll come to love that little mouse.

Later…

~Eric

Image credits: Xfce logo Copyright 2003-2011 Xfce Development Team

More Clouds On the Horizon?

We were talking here a little while ago about the Slacker’s cloudy furure.

Well, folks… it has taken a turn for the cloudier. I officially fired up my very own Dropbox this morning. I’ve been running images and Mozilla profiles back and forth between my lappy and my desktop using a thumb drive. Well, that’s just so 2008. Know what I mean? It was time for a newer more efficient method of sharing between my systems.

Dropbox is the slickest damned things since stuffed-crust pizza. I like it! I’m still a bit paranoid about this cloud stuff. I even encrypt my .mozilla profiles before uploading to Dropbox. I don’t want Yuri and his friends to hack into my saved passwords and form data, you know. 😉

This was a breeze to install in Slackware. There was a SlackBuild already available on the SlackBuilds.org servers. Also, Alien Bob has an older version on his SlackBuilds server. Note: there is only a 13.1 version at SlackBuilds.org, but it compiles and runs fine on 13.0.

Once you’ve installed it, you’ll get a neat little Dropbox folder in your /home directory (or wherever you choose to put it). Here’s a screenie of mine:

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Anything you put into your Dropbox folder is then uploaded to the cloud and accessible by you via the website or any of your Dropbox sych’d systems. In other words, I can see what’s in that Dropbox directory from my desktop or my laptop. Furthermore, if I went to my brother’s house and logged into Dropbox’s web page on his computer, I could also access my Dropbox files. It’s COOL!

Drop me an email an I’ll send you a Dropbox invitation. Yeah… you earn stuff (more space) if you get folks to sign up.

Have FUN… and learn something. It won’t hurt you none.

Until next time…

~Eric

I Love Thunderbird 3.x

Wow! What a difference 24 hours makes, huh?

See yesterday’s article HERE to read the back history of all this.

I did it! I did it! I got T-bird 3.x set up and working in my Slack64 13.0 installation. I was even able to get Lightning to work! YAY! What happened between yesterday and today? Well, I was snooping around the Mozilla Calendar Project website, reading the blog and the release notes, etc. At the very bottom of Lightning’s Release Notes page, I found THIS link to a server with a 1.0b2 x86_64 Lightning version! COOL, huh? I’d swear that link wasn’t there yesterday.

Anyway, this version of Lightning works like a champ. I did have to modify the install.rdf to allow for a minimum version of TB 3.0, because that’s the version in my Slackware repos right now. I’m happy now! I use Lightning to plan my life. I would have been seriously disappointed if I couldn’t have gotten it to work eventually. I pretty much got T-bird 3 to behave the way I wanted it to, also. I think I’ll be able to get used to it. It’s a bit different from T-bird 2, but not that much. Check out figure 1 for a screenie of my T-bird 3 on Slackware.

Figure 1

Click for bigger pic

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print, folks. I’m off to go watch Criminal Minds from my recliner and do some stuff on my laptop.

Later…

~Eric

I Hate Thunderbird 3.x

I knew I’d regret it when I started it. I just knew it.

Since the Slack 13.0 repos were updated to the newer T-bird 3.x recently, I thought it was about time that I gave it another go. I say “another” because I already tried it out on my laptop, which has Slack 13.1 installed on it. It was not a fun experience then or now. Many of my favorite extensions in 2.x don’t work or break altogether in 3.x. It SUCKS!

I managed to modify a few of the older extensions to get them to work in 3.x. I even managed to get my most important extension working… Lightning. Of course, I had to use an older version because the current 1.0b2 is only available for x86. The older version of Lightning (1.0b1) has an x86_64 version, though. Sadly, I could not get it to work properly. It would not import or even see my backed-up calendar data from my older Lightning.

Sad… very sad. I have a lot of data on that older Lightning calendar. If the Lightning folks can’t come up with a decent x86_64 release candidate for their extension, I’m screwed. I’ll have to start all over with some other calendar/personal mgr. app or I’ll just have to stick with good old T-bird 2.x for a while longer.

I guess I could just install MS Win 7 and use Windows Mail, huh? Yeah… I’m just kidding about that one.

/rant

Later…

~Eric

Attn: Slackware 13.0 | Thunderbird Users

Recent updates could affect your system.

Slackware 13.0 users who use Thunderbird email client need to make sure they understand what’s happening when they do their updates. Slackware has now added the newer Thunderbird 3.0 version to the Slack 13.0 repositories. This is being done because the older Thunderbird 2.X is not being supported any longer by Mozilla.

Thunderbird 3.0 is VERY different from your 2.X version. Be careful. A lot of your extensions and customizations may not work with the newer version. Read the actual security update regarding this:

[slackware-security] mozilla-thunderbird (SSA:2010-317-01)

New mozilla-thunderbird packages are available for Slackware 13.0,
13.1, and -current to fix security issues.

Here are the details from the Slackware 13.1 ChangeLog:
+————————–+
patches/packages/mozilla-thunderbird-3.0.10-i686-1.txz: Upgraded.
This upgrade fixes some more security bugs.
For more information, see:
http://www.mozilla.org/security/known-vuln…nderbird30.html
(* Security fix *)
+————————–+

As noted in the Slackware 13.0 ChangeLog, this is a major update there:
+————————–+
patches/packages/mozilla-thunderbird-3.0.10-i686-1.txz: Upgraded.
With Thunderbird 2.x unmaintained, it seems like a good idea to provide a
upgrade to Thunderbird 3.x for security reasons. This will bring with it
quite a bit of changed functionality, so be prepared… one hint is that
it will now make local copies of remote mailboxes by default, so you will
need to have enough disk space to handle that.
For more information, see:
http://www.mozilla.org/security/known-vuln…nderbird30.html
(* Security fix *)
+————————–+

This posting here on Nocturnal Slacker is just an alert, in case you don’t actually read the release notes before updating. 😉

Have fun!

Later…

~Eric

Future Cloudy for the Slacker?

OK… call me a hypocrite, but I had to do it. I had to stick my head in the clouds.

My first foray into cloud computing… well, sort of… is my new favorite tool, Xmarks. What is Xmarks, you ask. Well, grasshopper… let me tell you all about it.

As many of you know, I run numerous distributions of GNU/Linux on my desktop system and I also run Slackware/MS Win 7 on my laptop. Keeping bookmarks and other browser-related baloney synchronized between platforms and operating systems is becoming problematic for me these days.

The solution? Online storage and auto-synchronizing of my browser stuff. COOL idea, huh? You may not see it for what it is, but it’s a form of that dreaded “cloud computing” that I’ve been ranting about here and there. My biggest worry about cloud computing is security. In this case, though, I’m not too worried.

I’m only using the service for bookmarks storage and synchronizing. I’m not using the saved passwords or browsing history options; mainly because I don’t need them. However, that bookmark synchronizing is slicker ‘n snot on a glass doorknob. I’m here ta tell ya’! It works between FF and IE like a charm.

I went this route because I found recently that IE is not capable of importing my FF bookmarks because of some silly-assed ancient name length restriction. Oh well, I got around that issue by using Xmarks. It’s easy-peasy to download, install, and set up. Figure 1 shows the Xmarks settings window that you access via Addons –> Xmarks Preferences in FF and by using the icon in the system tray in MS Windows.

Figure 1

Click for bigger pic

In Figure 2 below you can see how I added a couple buttons to my Firefox tool bar to access my bookmarks at Xmarks online or to synchronize manually.

Figure 2

What made me choose Xmarks over Google Bookmarks or Yahoo Bookmarks was the fact that both of those services want you to install their browser toolbar to manipulate your bookmarks. I didn’t want another damned toolbar on my FF at the moment, so Xmarks was the way to go for me.

I read the TOS and the Privacy stuff. There was nothing to scare me off in there. I was impressed with Xmarks dedication to protecting your data and keeping it private. I’m sure that Yahoo or Google would be just as good at husbanding your stuff, but Xmarks just seemed more sincere for some reason. Maybe it’s my ingrained aversion to mega-corps. 😉 Speaking of corporate stuff… if you’re interested, you can read more about Xmarks here.

It took me about 30 minutes all told to install and set up Xmarks in Slackware (primary OS) and Debian (secondary OS) on my desktop machine; and Slackware (primary OS) and MS Win 7 (experimental OS) on my laptop. Easy-peasy… like I said. 🙂 Hey! It even works in Ice Skunk… er, I mean Ice Weasel in Debian. Whaddya’ know?

And that’s how the ol’ Slacker ended up with his head in the clouds for the first time. I’m lovin’ it! Next up: I’m transferring all my tinfoil hat designs to Megaputer, Inc’s super-servers in the sky. I sure hope Steve from New Delhi is available to walk me through that one.

Have fun no matter what you do.

Later…

~Eric

Image credit: Xmarks logo –> Xmarks.com

Note: This article cross-posted on Nocturnal Slacker v2.0.