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64-Bit Slackware Is Alive 164

Posted by timothy
from the needs-a-really-good-version-number dept.
t0mg writes with this news from the top of Slackware.org "from the Slackware64-current changelog: [tap tap tap]... Is this thing on? ;-) Ready or not, Slackware has now gone 64-bit with an official x86_64 port being maintained in-sync with the regular x86 -current branch. DVDs will be available for purchase from the Slackware store when Slackware 13.0 is released. Many thanks go out to the Slackware team for their help with this branch and a special thank you to Eric Hameleers who did the real heavy lifting re-compiling everything for this architecture, testing, re-testing, and staying in-sync with -current. We've been developing and testing Slackware64 for quite a while. Most of the team is already using Slackware64 on their personal machines, and things are working well enough that it is time to let the community check our work. We'd like to thank the unofficial 64 bit projects for taking up the slack for us for so long so that we could take our time getting everything just right. Without those alternatives, we would have been pressured to get things out before they were really ready."
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64-Bit Slackware Is Alive

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  • I guess some folk like to stick with the first version of anything they ever try... kinda like the Amiga crowd?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by stoolpigeon (454276) *

      You're not just lookin' - you've found it.

    • by IAR80 (598046) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @02:34PM (#28029001) Homepage
      If you want a linux engineer to fix things up for you pick a Slackware user not an Ubuntu one.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Yeah, unless it's Ubuntu which needs fixing. Slackware is being very conservative, and it's core system hasn't changed a lot in recent years - which is much different from Ubuntu or Fedora. Things like booting process, sound subsystem or package management are totally different now.

        I loved slackware but got sick and tired of compiling everything myself... and switched to gentoo where ebuilds were. Then switched to OpenSuse... and finally I am Ubuntu user, quite happy one (not too but still).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by IAR80 (598046)
          From Gentoo to Suse! Ouch. My path was Slackware -> FreeBSD -> Gentoo and never got tired of compiling. Such is Unix.
          • by neurovish (315867)

            I gave opensuse a shot since I used sles a lot at work...it was quite I relief when I went back to gentoo...

            Slackware -> LFS -> Slackware -> Gentoo -> OpenSuSE -> Gentoo/Fedora (moved from SLES to RHEL at work).

            The brief stint with LFS was just pure masochism on my part really.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by BrokenHalo (565198)
          I loved slackware but got sick and tired of compiling everything myself...

          Ah, but you're missing the fun. The whole point is that Slackware is perfect for people who like compiling their own software. It just gives them a world to stand on while they do so.
          • by Amouth (879122)

            I remember my first time using Slack.. also first time using Linux..

            it was many years ago.. and they had just added the wizard for selecting what you wanted to compile kernel wise for install.. i remember just "going with the defaults" and saying next/ok.. damn did it compile fast.. and zero bytes too.. second time i decided to actually read the screens and realized that their default is nothing..

            that is something i love about slack.. you only get exactly what you want.. there is no default that has t

        • by FreonTrip (694097)
          I dunno about that. My experience with Slackware has been diverse enough that my Ubuntu-using friends usually call me first when they have a problem. It definitely teaches you how to read the documentation...
      • by joib (70841) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @03:56PM (#28030213)

        Really?

        Putting my sysadmin cap on, the first thing that comes to mind when seeing a Slackware, or for that matter Gentoo, box is "Oh God no, a tweaker".

      • "When you know Slack', you know Linux."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MaskedSlacker (911878)

      First linux I tried was Fedora. Second was Slackware. I never went back.

      Slackware is for two kinds of people: those allergic to rebooting, and those who like to play with their operating system. I learned more about Slackware in the first two days than I knew about computers from the previous 17 years of my life at the time.

      As it has always been said: If you use Red Hat, you learn Red Hat. If you use Ubuntu, you learn Ubuntu. If you use Slackware, you learn linux.

      • by IAR80 (598046)
        I found in 2004 a slackware 3.6 mail server which I instaled back in 1998. It hasn't been rebooted since. Almost 6 years uptime and over the 2000 day mark.
      • by IAR80 (598046)
        Yep! Best learning distro ever. Actualy the first linux distro.
        • by 0racle (667029)
          No it wasn't. Slackware is the longest surviving distro, but at least two came before it, SLS and Yggdrasil. Slackware grew out of SLS if memory serves.
      • by EkriirkE (1075937)
        I had the reverse. I couldn't go on with slack as I wanted 64bit, and wasn't on AMD arch anymore. So now I'm on fedora on my laptop and in the middle of installing it on my desktop. Maybe now I'll cancel the desktop install and go back to slack for that
      • by Daimanta (1140543)

        "As it has always been said: If you use Red Hat, you learn Red Hat. If you use Ubuntu, you learn Ubuntu. If you use Slackware, you learn linux."

        That's ok. I just want a functional OS. I do not like messing with config files if a simple checkbox works the same way. I'm willing to whatever is neccesairy to make my box run smoothly but if I can do it in an easy, simple way with a GUI-enviroment I won't take the hard way and mess with text-files in bash with vim/emacs/nano/ed/I'msorryIforgotyourtexteditor.

        That'

        • by schon (31600)

          I just want a functional OS. I do not like messing with config files if a simple checkbox works the same way.

          That's pretty much his point. When a "simple checkbox" doesn't work, you need someone who knows how this stuff works.

        • I'm not advocating Slackware for everyone. I'm not knocking Ubuntu (or even Red Hat). But if you like playing with your operating system, and want to really understand how all the parts fit together Slackware is THE choice because it forces you to do that. This is by design, it isn't meant for luddite grandmothers. It's not for everyone.

    • by Kristoph (242780) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @02:52PM (#28029273)

      Your point appears to imply that Slackware is somehow archaic. Why is that? It cannot be the kernel or the applications as these are as up to date as any other.

      If the lack of a GUI installer or package dependency management is the basis for your criticism then that's really a reflection on your particular skill set, not on Slackware.

      There are many fine Linux distributions out there (and BSD's too). The more of these you are comfortable using the more effective you are when choosing a platform for your particular needs at any given time.

      ]{

      • If the lack of a GUI installer or package dependency management

        Not being funny but, what exactly DOES it do then?

    • Unfortunately Soft Landing and Yggdrasil aren't around these days.

      • by IAR80 (598046)
        SLS was not arround that long and it was rather buggy. Actualy both Debian and Slackware got born because their creators got fedup with SLS.
        • That whooshing sound you may have heard was a joke. I'd explain it, but then it wouldn't be funny to anyone else, either.

    • by petrus4 (213815)

      I guess some folk like to stick with the first version of anything they ever try... kinda like the Amiga crowd?

      Is there any real need to troll like this?

      Not all of us like Ubuntu. Some of us care about stability and security...and some of us also have brains in our heads.

  • by 0racle (667029) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @02:28PM (#28028933)
    I wonder if it's too much to ask that the DVD have both i386 and x86_64 on them. I also wonder if they'll support upgrading from i386 to x86_64. I wonder when 13 will be released.

    I wonder a lot of things really.
    • by isama (1537121)

      keep on wondering, it makes life worth living!
      i don't really like slack, but i like the "Want to get everything right" attitude!

      Go slack!

    • by IAR80 (598046)
      First one I installed it was 40 something floppy drives and it took me quite a few hours. That was back in 93. Nowadays you install everything off a usb stick in minutes. Sort of spoils the whole adventure.
    • 1. Slack 12 was on 6 CDs, kitchen sink included, or a single DVD. How do you propose they'll squeeze basically twice the content on the same media?

      2. Slack does not support upgrades even between major versions - the procedure is admittedly rather invasive and not for the faint of heart. I had no problems personally, though, but YMMV. In fact, this is the first time I've heard for upgrading from x86 to x86-64 for any OS.

      3. It will be released when it's ready, as is the long-standing Slack policy. Slackwa
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by 0racle (667029)
        Point 1 - I don't know how much room is on the DVD, so I can't speak to that. Slackware packages only take up 4 CD's though, the last two are source. A SlackBuild script for i386 and x86_64 could be provided with all the source still fitting on 2 CD's. You would probably then have to add 2 more CD's to hold the rest as I don't believe the rest of disks were full, I believe CD 5 or 6 is just KDE. The current filesystem layout that existed since Slackware 3's floppies might need to be revamped to make more ef
    • Shouldn't oracle know beforehand of all things he wants to know?

  • by IAR80 (598046) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @02:44PM (#28029145) Homepage
    • by IAR80 (598046)
      I used to run that on a 386DX33 with 4MB of RAM. And I was fortunate I had a friend who had to run it on 2MB. Try that nowadays. When I got money for 8MB Xwindows started flying even using Openlook.
  • Cool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pak9rabid (1011935) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @02:47PM (#28029205)
    I havn't used Slackware in years, but I owe my knowledge of the nitty-gritty workings on Linux to it. It's a great environment for learning how to compile your own kernel.
    • by rthille (8526)

      Really? I'm trying to do that for work, and I'm having a hell of a time. Our product is based on RHEL4/5 (depending on version) and I wanted iptables -m random or -m statistic, so I could do some network failure testing... Cue decent into hell.

      The 2.6.18 kernel we have in our RHEL5 version has the right iptables in the kernel to support -m statistic, but the iptables RPM at 1.3.5 doesn't have the module, I need 1.3.6. I figure, no problem I'll just grab the newer RPM from somewhere on the net. No such l

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Compiling the Linux kernel has become more and more arduous over the years. When I got started with Linux (Slackware 2.0) the latest kernel in general use was 1.1.47. Building the kernel then was tricky, but not that bad if you didn't enable too many features at once. The huge increases in complexity since have made it a hell of a lot harder to write a kernel config that will actually compile. Someday we're supposed to get a new config system that handles deps but I'm not holding my breath.

      • by rthille (8526)

        Finally managed to get it to work:
        edit ipfilter.spec to require 'kernel-devel' instead of 'kernel-source'
        build the kernel source rpm and symlink /usr/src/linux > /usr/src/redhat/BUILD/...
        rpmbuild -bb ipfilter.

        The build and symlink step was necessary because the building of the 'libipt_statistic.so' module I wanted (for dropping packets at a random probibility or interval) was conditionally built based on finding a couple of files: $KERNEL_DIR/net/netfilter/xt_statistic.c $KERNEL_DIR/include/linux/netfilt

      • by petrus4 (213815)

        Really? I'm trying to do that for work, and I'm having a hell of a time. Our product is based on RHEL4/5 (depending on version) and I wanted iptables -m random or -m statistic, so I could do some network failure testing... Cue decent into hell.

        I can't speak for the rest of the kernel's current state, but Linux's module framework in particular is an unmitigated disaster.

        If you want to test that assertion, download FreeBSD sometime, and compile a custom kernel for that with the handbook close at hand. There'

      • by Nevyn (5505) *

        The 2.6.18 kernel we have in our RHEL5 version [...] doesn't have the module, I need 1.3.6. I figure, no problem I'll just grab the newer RPM from somewhere on the net.

        Let me convert that for you: "I tried fooBSD-2, and it didn't have the right version of pf/libc/whatever ... so I figure, no problem I'll just grab some newer versions of whatever files from barBSD-8 from some random place on the 'net, and stick them in my cvs checkout and do a build. Too my shock it didn't work perfectly, this BSD crack is

        • by rthille (8526)

          No, it was more about the oddness that the kernel supported the 'statistic' module, but the RPM for the userland and the module for iptables didn't supply it. And no one elsewhere on the net had rebuilt 1.3.6 for RHEL5 and made it available. Both of those I found odd.

          Then, trying to get the stuff to build I thought was much more difficult than it needed to be. Perhaps that's because I come from a BSD background, where "the system" is largely maintained by a core group and all available in one spot: *bsd.

  • by Fantom42 (174630) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @02:51PM (#28029265)

    I'm not a Slackware user. It has been many years. I think 2004 was when my server finally stopped running Slack. It was a time thing. I wanted to have the same distro on my desktop and server so I only had to keep track of one way of doin things. That said, I really do like that Slackware is still around. Slackware is basically a story about one guy and his distro. And its nice to know something like that still exists in the Linux world. Its a statement of individualism and simplicity that is sometimes lost in a world of sophisticated integrated products.

    And to be honest, the simplicity of Slackware has its definite payouts. It means the system you end up with has a simple and relatively easy to maintain architecture, without much fluff. If you want a machine to do one thing, and do it well... I think Slack is a very excellent choice and still worth considering. Congrats on going 64 bit!

  • That's just typical. Slackware, being my primary (and most often only) OS since I began using Linux, didn't fully support my new 64 bit machine.
    So I switch to Gentoo (those extra cores had to have a reason..), and when I finally get
    settled with Gentoo, Slackware goes 64 bit.

  • Well enough? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @03:01PM (#28029417)

    Most of the team is already using Slackware64 on their personal machines, and things are working well enough

    From personal experience "well enough" for the Slackware folks is far beyond anything others consider "fabulous."

  • DVD? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    When did they stop using floppies?

    • Re:DVD? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Linker3000 (626634) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @03:22PM (#28029713) Journal

      From the distro notes:

      "IMPORTANT: People making their own copies of the CDs for redistribution to colleagues etc. are reminded that cDs can not be made double-sided with a hole punch"

      • Well, of course. The CD is too tough for the hole punch. If you do press hard enough on the hole punch, you could break the CD.

        What you need to do is use a drill. Set low RPM and use low pressure. It may take a while, but you'll get a nice clean hole.

  • I've been running a 64-bit Slackware port for over a year. SlAMD64 [slamd64.com] latest at 12.2 from February this year. Runs fine.

    IIRC it is maintained by Fred Emmott. Why no credit/cooperation??? Lacking expanation, I'm unhappy.

  • Just now? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @03:12PM (#28029571) Journal

    It's getting hard to buy a new machine that ISN'T 64 bit, and Slackware's just now releasing for x86_64? Why does Debian get all the shit for slow release cycles?

    • by IAR80 (598046)
      Slackware was always famous for slow release cycles and stability as well. As for 64bit distros it is still hard to find a real use for them. At least in my environment.
      • by Rantastic (583764)

        As for 64bit distros it is still hard to find a real use for them. At least in my environment.

        I don't know what you do in your "environment" but I don't have a single server in the data center with less than 16g of ram and that right there requires a 64bit distro to use effectively.

        • by Khue (625846)
          64-bit isn't a mandatory requirement to sport volumes of RAM 16gigs and greater. MS = /PAE w/Enterprise and VMware's ESX 3.5 can support 64 gigs. And just FYI, not everyone works for Cray and Pixar.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by bol (152634)

            The amount of memory an OS or architecture can support is rather meaningless if the maximum amount of addressable memory of a process is still too small. Even with PAE a process can only fit inside of 32bit memory space.

            It's incredibly easy these days to get a single process over 3GB of memory allocated, which is the largest process size on a 32bit linux. The only way around that is with hugepages, shared memory or other creative memory assignments.

            Try working on data sets larger than your personal address

          • by Carnildo (712617)

            PAE only allows 4GB per process, and you take a performance hit (I've heard numbers around 30%) when you do so.

      • by EkriirkE (1075937)
        For me, 64b for more memory per core and possible speed enhancements w/ 64b functions
      • by thsths (31372)

        > As for 64bit distros it is still hard to find a real use for them. At least in my environment.

        That is odd, because I am running it on a bog standard Athlon X2 4800 with 2*2GB of RAM. It may not be essential, but it gives me access to the last 0.5 GB of RAM, and slightly faster execution of most programs. Is that not a good use?

    • by Steve Baker (3504)

      The unofficial 64bit ports have been out for years now and released fairly quickly with slackware releases, thus there was much less incentive for Pat to place much effort towards supporting 64 bit himself. I myself have been using slamd64 since slackware 10.1 which was released in 2005 and never minded the couple month delay between slackware and slamd releases. An official port will be nice though.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      EVERYONE is falling on their ass about 64 bit platforms. I have a winmodem supported under 32 bit linux but not 64, google gears has been out for HOW long now with no 64 bit release, etc etc. I've even run into 3D java programs with 32 bit linux support but no 64 bit. This is seriously pathetic because if you want a single process to have more than 3GB on most systems, or for that matter to have the full performance of your system (some benchmarks show a 10% improvement in running 64 bit apps on a 64 bit pl

      • by thsths (31372)

        > I have a winmodem supported under 32 bit linux but not 64

        Winmodems blow - and that is just one of the reasons.

        > google gears has been out for HOW long now with no 64 bit release

        True, but you can always install a 32bit version of firefox, and it works. That's what Windows does, BTW.

        > I've even run into 3D java programs with 32 bit linux support but no 64 bit.

        Java has been incredibly late to the 64bit party - even Flash was faster, and it worked fine with ndiswrapper before. How they can still clai

    • by massysett (910130)

      It's getting hard to buy a new machine that ISN'T 64 bit,

      Netbook Atom chips are 32-bit.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Atom_microprocessors [wikipedia.org]

      There's a lot of life left in 32-bit.

    • by rayvd (155635)

      Because Debian has a LOT more manpower than Slackware does?

  • I rememember my first distro, Slackware 3.0. The fustrations, the joys, ah, the memories. When 13 ships with 64-bit support, I'll have to take a look.

  • He doesn't get credited at www.slackware.com.

    Slamd64 [slamd64.com] provided us with a good Slackware port to AMD64 while Pat was busy with IBM/390 ports.

  • No, I didn't. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fred87 (720738) <mail@f r e d e m m o t t . co.uk> on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @05:14PM (#28031465) Homepage
    Hi,

    I'm in the ChangeLog/copyright notices where appropriate. All my published work on Slamd64 is free software; I don't care what's done as long as the licenses are followed.

    This is probably a good time to say why I made slamd64 again:

    I wanted a 64-bit Slackware. I didn't want to be a distro lead, or anything like that. I like Slackware, and I needed a 64-bit distro. I made it for my own use, and uploaded it in case anyone else wanted to use it. Now there's a 64-bit Slackware, that reason's gone.

    Slamd64 will be continued in some form for the foreseeable future, but possibly as something slightly different.

    A true Slackware64 is better for you too:

    • Security updates shouldn't lag behind "real" Slackware
    • you won't miss out on nearly two months of security updates (like you are right now) due to tendon issues on my part
    • All my home machines run slamd64. Its was great to get back to slack, with a totaly painless install even on the laptop (ooo-baan-toooo would even boot the install DVD/CD). I even have the wife and daughter using it. It has the best part of the Slackware experience. Its just works and keeps working.

      Its all good.

      Thank you!
  • Thank Kali for Slackware. It was the first Linux distribution I ever used, and also has the distinction of being the Linux distro that bears the most resemblance to BSD.

    I pray that Slack is able to survive for a long time to come, yet; it is the sole Linux distribution in existence that I consider genuinely well designed. The single main thing which bothers me so much about Debian in particular is not simply the fact that Debian is so horrible, but that its' developers and fanboys are also so adamant in t

  • The official 64 bit Slackware comes just in time because the 32 bit OS will die in 2008. reference: http://catb.org/esr/writings/world-domination/world-domination-201.html [catb.org]

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra

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