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Slackware Introduction


Slackware Linux

Slackware is one of the Grandfathers of the Linux/Open Source ecosystem and is one of the oldest distributions that is actively developed. It's a unique distribution in many ways: Slackware presents a modern Linux/GNU software package set, yet retains its heritage of a classic Unix-style Operating System environment.

The distribution itself is easy to understand, as the entire OS management suite and boot process is written in Unix shell code with good inline documentation. This also is a testament to the power of the Unix shell!

It's rare in the Open Source ecosystem to have the entire OS design and development be chiefly the work of an individual - the project's creator, Patrick Volkerding. This provides a level of consistency and stability in the user experience that is not seen in other distributions, and means that there are no politics involved (which is great for Slackers!).

There is also a video introduction to Slackware's history.

Slackware ARM / AArch64

Slackware ARM was created, is developed and maintained by Stuart Winter - Slackware's ARM Platform Architect and Developer.

Brent Earl in the Slackware Core Team helps with the R&D/testing and maintains the Raspberry Pi support.

Project Goals

The Slackware ARM / AArch64 project's goals are those of its creator and naturally evolve over time.

Personal Goals
  • Provide interesting and fun technical challenges to work on as a hobby project, that also keeps this author's hands on technology and on a Unix-style Operating System
  • Develop and maintain the ARM port of Slackware with like-minded individuals
  • As an education tool (served through the channels of documentation and the YouTube content)
Technical Goals
Some of these goals also pose as requirements, but given the nature of the Open Source Ecosystem and the state of the mainline/upstream support of the ARM and AArch64 platforms generally, combined with support for particular Hardware Models, they are stated as goals.
  • Have the experience of using the Slackware Operating System as close as possible to that on the x86
  • The installation of the Slackware Operating System is via the regular Slackware Installer
  • Use the mainline Linux Kernel (with limited patching)
  • Add only software packages that are necessary to support the Platform generally, or to support specific Hardware Models. Packages will additionally be added if they are required as part of the process of building the Operating System itself on the Platform (which is standard Slackware practice).
  • The absence of software packages is because they either cannot be made to build, or because they are exclusively for the x86/64 platforms (the most common example are boot loaders, or drivers for the X11 window system that support hardware that doesn't exist on the ARM/AArch64 platforms.)
  • Follow the industry and community standards for the boot process across all supported Hardware Models