[note: this is a repost of a living document that I keep updated as I see fit. It has lived on several websites. now it lives here.]

Downloading (64-bit only, latest version 14.2):



md5sum: 09e6891f4d3c139ba56c74dc414d1155

gpg-sig

gpg-key



Installation and Usage notes:


On the Lenovo ThinkPad X200, there is a bug in the Network Manager that prevents connecting to a wireless network reliably.


This thread explains exactly what I encountered and the simple fix that worked.


You may first want to check in /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/00-dhcp-client.conf

Code:

  [main]
  # Choose a DHCP client below.  Upstream recommends dhclient, but results may vary.
  # dhcpcd is the DHCP client usually used by Slackware:
  #dhcp=dhcpcd
  # dhclient is the ISC reference DHCP client, part of the dhcp package:
  dhcp=dhclient
  # This is a simple DHCP client that is built into NetworkManager:
  #dhcp=internal

On 3 laptops here with Atheros chipsets, dhcp=dhcpcd does not work (disconnedcts, reconnects), dhcp=dhclient works, dhcp=internal works sometimes. Also, make sure you do not have any left over configuration settings in /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf as these can interfere. Sometimes the error messages from the network utilities can send you down the wrong path.



Update: I have switched out my x200 for an Asus EEEPC 1025C for reasons that are explained in detail on the SpectMelt notes, which also features an Atheros Wi-Fi card (model number AR9485). In this case, I have had to switch to the “dhcp=internal” option to avoid the same sort of issue mentioned above.


Package Considerations:


Be sure to check your system for the following packages to keep a fully free system (if that’s your goal):


  • font-bh-ttf-1.0.3-noarch-1.txz
  • font-bh-type1-1.0.3-noarch-1.txz
  • font-misc-meltho-1.0.3-noarch-1.txz


More info can be found on this thread.



Deep Thoughts (a.k.a. my personal opinions):


Slackware itself has a certain charm about it. Once you get past the K.I.S.S. wall of simplicity (especially if cut your teeth on a GUI-driven OS such as Windows, OS X, or Ubuntu, for example), then the bare-bones nature of the config files becomes very liberating after you get the hang of it. Suddenly, all you need is a terminal, your keyboard, nerves of steel, lots of documentation, and even more spare time, and you can figure out almost anything.


Then you add in the extra cool factor of running a fully free/libre system (if you’re into that sort of thing), and FreeSlack stands out as something of a rarity in field of choices that all seem the same. Suppose, just for a second, that your goal is to run an operating system that is both devoid entirely of non-free software as well as not relying on systemd at all. Of course, you may not care about either of these things. If that is the case, then there is a plethora of other operating systems (GNU/Linux and otherwise) for you to choose from. However, if you really do want to run as free as possible while also avoiding the ever growing systemd, then your choices are few and far between. Let’s list the options (comparing this list with this one, plus a bit of what I’ve read here and there) :


  • FreeSlack (64-bit only, Slackware based)
  • ConnochaetOS (32-bit only, Slackware based)
  • Devuan (seems free , very interesting)
  • Dragora (found it hard to use, personally)
  • gNewSense (seems outdated, but functional)
  • GuixSD (haven’t gotten it nor the standalone package manager to work yet, but will keep trying)
  • Hyperbola (A blend of the best parts of Debian’s security patches plus a stable (non-rolling?!?!) Arch/Parabola with OpenRC init system. I’m using it as a secondary back-up system. So far, so good! I would not hesitate to use this as a daily driver if FreeSlack vanished from the face of the Earth.)


Of course you can cobble together your own flavor of GNU/Linux-Libre based on any number of distributions or even from scratch while avoiding non-free packages and systemd the entire time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, if you have the time and resources. However, why go through all of that trouble when a reliable distribution (actually, several) already exists and might just need a tiny bit of tweaking to get working smoothly? As a matter of fact, I am interested in a number of different distros that I don’t use daily as I do with FreeSlack. Here is a brief list of distros that I find interesting enough to keep on my radar (and a few words on why for each):


  • Alpine (small, secure, a totally different approach, might be nice for a striped down server)
  • KolibriOS (super light and fast OS written in assembly language. “Thanks to its small size, scientists announced that they were able to store KolibriOS on a tiny drop of water using synthetic DNA molecules and infer a functional copy without a single error.”)
  • MX (Debian-based with Xfce and no systemd)
  • QubesOS (The idea of security by VM isolation shows much promise)
  • Linux From Scratch (one day when I have a LOT of spare time, I might try to roll my own from scratch)
  • libreCMC (awesome OpenWRT / LEDE fork, I use it on my NetGear WNDR3800’s)
  • heads (similar to Tails in concept, but based on Devuan)


When it’s all said and done, though, I always come back to FreeSlack. They say when you go Slack, you never go back, and I personally find that to be true. There are several points where FreeSlack just wins out in the end, for my personal needs at least:



This list is not exhaustive by any means. There are many that I either tried and didn’t like, have not tried yet, or have not even heard of yet. When all is said and done, it doesn’t really matter all that much which OS you are running, when everything we do has become a web app of some sort and our devices are just dumb terminals running web browsers and not much else. But, at least I can rest in the fact that my operating system is infused with Slack in a way that is as free as possible unlike any other OS. Hail Connie!





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Sundry Documents


https://freeslack.space/stuff/




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