Slackware [ slækweə ( ɹ )] is the oldest active Linux distribution and the first found major global distribution. Due to this early success and the consequent abandonment of unnecessary ballast according to the KISS principle formed the basis for Slackware other known distributions such as SuSE Linux. Slackware is intended for use with i486 -compatible (originally i386 -compatible ) and x86 64 architectures as well as Alpha and SPARC architectures. With ARMedslack an official port exists on the ARM architecture. With Slack/390 an official port to the S/390 architecture and the successor architecture system exists for Slackware finds its main application in the professional environment.


Slackware is designed for maximum Unix similarity. All settings on the system can be made by the user by editing the configuration files. There are no official distribution-specific tools with graphical user interface for system configuration. This would be contrary to the KISS principle.

There are virtually no distribution-specific changes to the available packages, which facilitates the building and installing their own software as opposed to other distributions. Slackware uses compressed tar archives as packet format; since version 13.0 they are using Lempel -Ziv - Markov algorithm ( TXZ *. instead of *. tgz ) instead of gzip compressed. Because of the simple packet setup package dependencies are not checked by the system nor the overwriting of files is prevented already installed packages. This is an important difference to the package managers contained in many other Linux distributions. These properties allow the advanced user to make use of parts of more extensive software and to refrain from unnecessarily appearing software or make adjustments to the system, without having to anticipate side effects caused by inconsistencies in the package management. In the directory / var / log / packages you will find a list of installed packages with descriptions which files were which package installed. The command ldd (List Dynamic Dependencies ) Dependencies of dynamic libraries are displayed, resulting in the need for which can be derived.

For easy installation and configuration of the system is Slackware scripts. The import date, safety-related software updates can be made slackpkg since version 12.2 with the program. Since Slackware with a fairly minimalist package selection comes along, there are several unofficial programs to install on a simple way additional software. Sbopkg under these additional programs that are currently popular. It uses build scripts to compile software from their source code and create a package for it. Moreover programs exist as swaret and slapt -get, which can be used for software installations with dependency resolution, where such repositories and packages are available.

The management of repositories is designed more conservative. It is possible that throughout several versions is no upgrade certain software. The release of new Slackware version is always realized then, " when it is finished ." That is, there are no set deadlines and no notice. Slackware uses Linux Loader ( LILO) as the boot manager, and has a BSD -style init process.


From the end of 1992, Patrick Volkerding tried to bug fixes for Soft Landing Linux System ( SLS), the first comprehensive Linux distribution ever. After the results of this work were popular in his environment, he published on 17 July 1993 under the name of your distribution Slackware Linux 1:00. A month later, Ian Murdock did like him, with its developed from the same motives first version of Debian. The first part of the name, Slack, derives from a principle of faith of the Church of the SubGenius parody religion and stands for freedom, independence and original ideas that lead to the achievement of personal goals.

The first official version of Slackware consists of 13 11 3.5 "floppy disks. The first 13 disks contain a DOS emulator, the Linux kernel 0.99pl11 in an alpha version, GNU Compiler Collection (GCC ), version 2.4.5 and the two Unix shells ( pd) ksh and tcsh. the other eleven disks contain drivers for video cards, a system in XFree86 version 1.3 and some graphical applications.

Slackware 1.1.1 consists of 51 discs and includes, inter alia, XFree86 2.0 and a TeX installation. In Slackware 1.2 Linux kernel version 1.0 is included. For the full installation 200 MB hard disk space are required.

Version 2.1 of the distribution already comes with 65 disks and a root and a boot disk. Slackware includes XFree86 to version 3.1.1.

Slackware 3.0 was released on 30 September 1995 for the first time in the Executable and Linking Format and could at Walnut Creek (now the FreeBSD Mall) be obtained on CD -ROM. Published in July 1996 Version 3.1 is also called Slackware 96 ( as an allusion to Windows 95) and contains the Linux kernel in version 2.0. For Slackware 3.6 500 MB hard -disk space for full installation is necessary.

Together with Slackware 3.9 was released in May 1999, version 4.0, which occupies 1 GB on the hard disk and, inter alia, XFree86, and contains the first available KDE version 1.1.1.

After version 4.0 was made in 1999, a jump to version 7.0. Was reason after giving Volkerding inflationary marketing reasons they use new version numbers with other distributions and the ever ensuing inquiries " from people who know nothing about Linux, " when you would for upgrade or whether the components contained in Slackware 3 versions older were than elsewhere. For Slackware 7.0, a 2 GB partition installation is recommended. With Slackware 7.1 and GNOME was part of the distribution.

In the Release 8.x series of Slackware KDE versions 2.1.1 or 3.0.1 use XFree86 4.1.0 or 4.2.0 and the Mozilla Application Suite were added.

The Slackware 9.x series is ready for the 2.6 Linux kernel, but uses kernel 2.4.20 and 2.4.22 and KDE 3.2.3 to 2.6.2 and Gnome. Slackware 9.0 is the last version that can be installed on an i386 -compatible architecture, version 9.1, at least one i486 - compatible architecture provided.

With Slackware 10.0 in 2004 XFree86 replaced by the X.Org server. Version 10.1 Gnome away again from the distribution, and it began migrating to Linux kernel 2.6 series, which is optionally available from Slackware 10.2.

As of Slackware 12.0 a 2.6 kernel to use, from version 12.1 comes standard even exclusively.

As of Slackware 13.0 distribution is under the name " Slackware64 " for x86 - 64 architectures. The 32 -bit version is still called " Slackware ". Furthermore, the compression algorithm used by default Slackware packages is changed from gzip to xz.

Slackware 13.1 away with use of the kernel series 2.6.33, support for the old IDE subsystem; From now on, all disks are accessed through the devices / dev / sd *. Furthermore, the PolicyKit authorization service and the attendance management system ConsoleKit is inserted into special and adjusted on Slackware versions with KDE 4.4.3. This is particularly noteworthy because Slackware traditionally much emphasis on performing the least possible adjustments to the supplied software. The adjustments were needed to support the used of Slackware shadow password method of protection for passwords. Moreover, in particular improves support for laptops: A tickless kernel without regular timer interrupts used; how often this is awakened, can be set with powertop. It was also usb_modeswitch integrated, simplifying the temporary use of USB devices.

Slackware 13:37 contains a comprehensive update of the packages included major new features in the installation routine. Their hardware initialization is now done by udev. One advantage of this is that when installing over a network protocol, the configuration of the network card on older helper scripts omitted. As a further innovation support Slackware now GPT partition tables during installation. Utilities for managing the Btrfs file system is now also belong to the distribution. Due to the update of HAL is no longer used for the detection and initialization of input devices. Instead, here is udev use. Other new features are the inclusion of ddrescue, rfkill and lxc, a system similar to chroot to isolate system processes and resources. Ultimately, however, it is much more powerful which thus can be run virtual machines.


Slackware64 is the official port of Slackware to the 64 -bit processor architecture. The port was officially launched with the release of Slackware 13. Changes to Slackware and Slackware64 occur simultaneously, because both projects are managed by the same team. The release of a new version of Slackware64 occurs simultaneously with that of Slackware. The development of Slackware64 was favored mainly by the now no longer evolved Slamd64 and Bluewhite64. Slackware64 is a pure 64 -bit distribution, but for the establishment of simultaneous support for 32 - be prepared and 64-bit processor architectures ( multilib environment). However, the tools for setting up the multilib environment are not part of Slackware64.


ARMedslack was founded in 2002 and is an officially recognized port of Slackware to the ARM processor architecture. The current version is 14.1. Currently, the ARM Versatile platform and Marvell SheevaPlug are supported. By supporting the ARM Versatile platform can ARMedslack on emulated hardware, run eg using QEMU, which simplifies the development for this platform.


Slack/390 was founded in 2004 and is an officially recognized port of Slackware to the S/390 architecture. The current version is 10.0. After the introduction of Slackware64 also a 64- bit version for the S/390-Nachfolgearchitektur, the System z has been created.