Software projects/OS/Slackware-14.0

From Pandora Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Slackware logo


Hi, this is Linux-SWAT.

Welcome to the SL4P, Slackware for Pandora, Wiki pages.

SL4P is a Slackware ARM overlay. Slackware ARM is the official ARM Slackware port.
Slackware ARM was formerly known as ARMedslack.

The 14.0 release forum page is located here:

The technical and -current forum page is located here:

I'm the maintainer of this Slackware port, and you can find me here:

If you have questions, i suggest you to share it on the boards, not asking me privately.

Important notes: SL4P is not affiliated in any way with Slackware or Slackware ARM.
Please DO NOT contact any of them if you have problems with it. Contact ME.

SL4P is not affiliated in any way with Open Pandora GmbH or Open Pandora Ltd.
Please DO NOT contact any of them if you have problems with it. Contact ME.

This software is distributed as is. You are on your own responsibility when using it.

I distribute this documentation under the GPL 3 license.

Helping this project

  • Please consider making a donation.
  • This will help the SL4P project, and also the whole Pandora community, as part of it funds pre-orders.
  • To do so, go to PayPal, log in and click on "Send Money". Donate to and indicate in the PayPal comment field that you are donating for the Slackware project. Then PM me, so i will include you in my thx list ;^).

Older releases Wiki pages

  • To keep this front page clean for the most recent release - 14.0 -, i moved previous versions elsewhere.
  • The old page for the 13.37 release is located here.

OS architecture

  • ARMv5te, little endian, software float ("soft-float", "armel"), EABI.

Stable or -current ?

  • Stable is for production use, ie. for work, as a server etc..
  • -current is a work in progress. Although it's pretty usable, some things may be broken/unstable.
  • I won't rebuild the 14.0 if there's no big bad bug, i'll just add important features as packages. Of course, official Slackware updates are included.
  • -current rootfs may be smaller or bigger from build to build, as i can include or remove KDE, amongst other things.
  • If you want to help the development, i prefer that you use -current.
  • And finally, -current repository may be empty. It's because a new stable release is out.

Media choice


Note: if you're a Linux noob, and you're scared by this Wiki page, check this simple tutorial from F_Slim. Thanks to him.
Note: if you are one of the last windows users, you can install SL4P using the method nicely provided by ingoreis. Check this thread.

  • Format a 8G or more SD card with the Ext2 filesystem. To make explanations clear, name it SLACK.
  • If you don't know how to format a drive, use GParted under Linux, or run their Live-CD. Here's the manual.
  • It's highly recommended to have a second partition formated as a swap. 256M or more is a good choice. 512M is wiser is you plan to compile some stuff, or for server use.
  • If you don't plan to use this partition configuration (OS followed by swap), you'll have to edit the /media/SLACK/etc/fstab after having uncompressed the rootfs.
  • If you're cleaning up a previous SL4P installation for a fresh new one, proceed like this:
rm -rf /media/SLACK/*
rm -rf /media/SLACK/.cache/
rm -rf /media/SLACK/.keepdir/
rm -rf /media/SLACK/.splash/
rm -rf /media/SLACK/.subversion/
rm -rf /media/SLACK/.Trash-0/

then unmount, fsck and sync before plugging back the card.

  • To do this, get the SD device name:
cat /proc/mounts

You will see something like:

/dev/sdc1 /media/SLACK ext2
  • Unmount the partition:
umount /media/SLACK/

then check the partition with fsck

fsck -y /dev/sdc1

and sync:

  • Grab the latest 14.0 rootfs here.


  • Grab the latest -current (unstable) rootfs here. The -current repository may be empty. It's because a new stable release is out.
  • Plug back the SD card to remount it.
  • Uncompress the rootfs on your SD. Be root, using su -, or sudo:
sudo tar jxvfp SL4P-[version]-[build].tar.bz2 -C /media/SLACK/ --numeric-owner

First run

  • Be sure your Pandora's clock is set. Otherwise, your filesystem will be checked.
  • Power down your Pandora, insert the SD card in the left slot (also called slot 1), and power on your unit.
  • If you're prompted to enter the root password for maintenance or to type Ctrl-D, just wait, the unit will restart and check the filesystem automatically.
  • You will be prompted to choose a password for the root user.
  • You will be prompted to create an user. At some explicit point, push [up] to put this user in adequate groups.
  • Then you'll be driven to the log in screen. Do not log in as the root user
Bug: very unlikely to happen, but when using startx (not the SL4P default setup), you can be blocked at a black screen.
Use pandora button + power to reboot.


  • The Slim login manager, which is SL4P's default, can automatically log in an user. You're asked about it at the first login. Else, see /etc/slim.conf .
  • KDM works, but is too heavy. You have to edit /etc/rc.d/rc.4 in order to use it.

Basic usage

  • In order to type commands as root, you have to type su -. You can use just su, but i don't recommend it because you won't have the full root environment.
  • When using adduser, at some explicit point, push [up] to put this user in adequate groups.
  • To choose a window manager, type xwmconfig.
  • I ship those ones:
  • In some -current or -RC builds, i ship KDE. Avoid selecting it as full desktop on 256M Pandora.
  • To power off, or reboot your Pandora when not in Xfce and it's user-friendly menus, become root with:
su -

and type:




Setting up your language

  • You can set your locale pretty easily. First, you have to know which languages are available, type:
locale -a
  • Choose the one that suits best your need. I highly recommend to use the versions with .utf8 .
  • Then be root and edit /etc/profile.d/ .
su -
emacs /etc/profile.d/
  • You'll have to change this variable with the one you need:

export LANG=en_US.UTF-8

  • Save the file, make it executable:
chmod +x /etc/profile.d/
  • Reboot.

Services started at boot

  • To enable or disable services at boot, become root, then type pkgtool, then go in setup -> services, check the option with space then push enter.
  • Some services are not listed here. For example, to activate the NFS server permanently, tweak /etc/exports and /etc/hosts.allow, then:
 chmod +x /etc/rc.d/rc.nfsd
 /etc/rc.d/rc.nfsd start (not needed after a reboot)

Installing a program - Tools

  • Slackware archives are .tgz or .txz .
  • Slackware uses three powerful tools: installpkg, removepkg and upgradepkg.
  • A fourth tool named makepkg build packages from compiled sources.

Installing a program from source

sbopkg -r
  • The sync will take a long time. Once you've done that, run
sh /root/

to optimize the builds for the Pandora.

  • You have to run this script after every sync. A fistful of programs (like ilbc or lua, which need -fPIC) will still need a bit of tweaking.
  • Then all is set up, you just have to use

and choose "Local SlackBuild" when prompted.

  • When the job is done, remove useless files to save disk space:
rm -rf /tmp/SBo/*
rm -rf /var/cache/sbopkg/*
  • Note that Slackware does not check dependencies, so you have to get the right build orders looking here:
  • To check if some of the dependencies are already installed in your system, look in /var/log/packages/ . For example, libgnomecanvas:
ls /var/log/packages/libgnomecanvas*
  • Also note that gnome libraries must be compiled in a certain order. I already did the job, and shipped them in the rootfs.
  • If you don't use a SlackBuild script, then the procedure almost always ends like:
make install DESTDIR=/tmp/whatever/
cd /tmp/whatever/
makepkg /tmp/whatever-1.0.0-arm-1.tgz
installpkg /tmp/whatever-1.0.0-arm-1.tgz

Installing a program with a precompiled archive

  • I compiled a lot (300+) of packages from
  • I shipped a graphical install tool named GSlapt. Launch it with its icon, update the package list, then install what you need, checking the dependencies of your programs here:
  • You can also proceed manually. Find 14.0 packages here, and -current ones here.
  • Download what you need, checking the dependencies of your programs here:
  • Put all needed .tgz or .txz in a folder, go root using su -, then type:
installpkg /path/to/your/folder/*.t?z
  • Please report any non-working package.

About SL4P precompiled archives

  • All shipped and extra archives are compiled with sbopkg with Pandora-optimized flags.
-DPANDORA -O2 -pipe -mcpu=cortex-a8 -mfpu=neon -mfloat-abi=softfp
  • The links to the sources are located here:
  • The building order is fixed in queue files, kind of build playlist.
  • The queues are located in /var/lib/sbopkg/queues/
  • About shipped archives, you don't need to download them as they're already in the rootfs, see this.
  • Some archives won't work, like Kompozer, because it's a repackaging of x86 binaries. As i'm not yet in the process of fine-tuning, i left them for now.

Installing KDE 4

  • Plug the net, become root using su -, then type:
slackpkg update
slackpkg install kde
  • Note that although i already slimmed down KDE configuration files for less eye-candy, a 512M Pandora is recommended to run the full desktop.
  • Anyway, you can run any KDE application (konqueror, kwrite...) flawlessly with the 256M version.
  • Type xwmconfig to select KDE.


slackpkg update
slackpkg upgrade-all
  • Do not use slackpkg when using a -current. Instead, look at the changelog, download packages from here, become root using su -, then type:
upgradepkg /path/to/the/updates/*.t?z

Note that some packages like a/aaa_elflibs are not supposed to be upgraded in -current. A new rootfs is needed.

  • You can also set up a cronjob. In this case, check /etc/slackpkg/blacklist to ensure some critical packages (ie., kernel) will not be updated.
  • Slackware usually provides updates during 10+ years, but it seems to be less with Slackware ARM. See the news for more details.

SL4P-specific updates

  • I provide Pandora fixes, available as Slackware archives.
  • 14.0 fixes are located here.
  • Grab them, become root using su -, then type:
upgradepkg --install-new /path/to/the/updates/*.t?z
  • You don't need to install those updates when using a rootfs build more recent than the update.

Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey and Java-OpenJRE/JDK updates

  • Slackware ARM 14.0 doesn't provide anymore updates for Firefox, Thunderbird and SeaMonkey because of a build problem.
  • You have to download the unsupported -current archives and update them manually, using the method mentioned above.
  • Get them here.
  • About Java-OpenJRE/JDK, it's not possible to update them through slackpkg because it was added on-the-fly to Slackware ARM.
  • Check and get the updates here.
  • Be sure to download and update both as the jre is not included in the jdk.

Kernel updates

  • I provide kernel updates, and also a real time kernel.
  • You don't need to install those updates when using a rootfs build more recent than the update.
  • To know which kernel currently runs, type:
uname -r
  • Grab the latest kernel pack from here.
  • Install it with:
su -
upgradepkg --install-new kernels-[yyyymmdd]-arm-1.tgz
  • To enable a new kernel, for example 3.2.30-szfinal or the 3.2.26-rt, do:
cd /boot
rm uImage
cp uImage-3.2.30-szfinal uImage


cd /boot
rm uImage
cp uImage-3.2.26-rt uImage
  • Then link the right modules for the right kernel.
cd /lib/modules
  • Get the current kernel name:
uname -r
  • Remove the current kernel modules link, for example 3.2.30:
rm -rf 3.2.30
  • Now link to the new modules. If the target kernel name contains "dirty", i.e. 3.2.30-dirty-displaylink, keep it in the modules folder name:
ln -s 3.2.30-dirty-displaylink 3.2.30-dirty

And reboot.

  • If lsmod reports that no modules are loaded (that means, eg., no touchscreen), then run as root:
depmod -a

And reboot again.

Automounting a SD card or an USB drive

  • No system-wide automounter is enabled for now. It's still a work in progress and not perfect so i don't include this for now.
  • Only Xfce automounts.
  • As Xfce mounts devices at insertion, if you booted with a second SD card or an USB drive plugged in, you have to click on the device icon.
  • If you plan to use Minimenu, you currently have to automount under Xfce, run xwmconfig, then log out to run Minimenu. This is the best method to save RAM.
  • You can also launch Minimenu under Xfce. Open a terminal and type:
mmwrapper -fmmenu

USB at boot, suspend and powersaving

  • Usually, you have to click on the Xfce "Toggle USB Host" icon whenever you need USB support.
  • I disabled the USB support by default. As said Notaz, it "Uses around 3x more power when idle, fails to suspend properly.".
  • If you want to enable USB host and USB networking support at boot, be root and edit /etc/rc.d/rc.local .

Near the top, change

#modprobe ehci-hcd
#modprobe g_cdc


modprobe ehci-hcd
modprobe g_cdc

Fixing the endless reboot

  • Be sure your Pandora's clock is set. Boot Official Pandora OS on the NAND, and check/set time.
  • Boot SL4P, when prompted to enter the root password for maintenance, do it, then type:
fsck -y /dev/mmcblk0p1

Changing the Hostname

Fast boot tweak

  • I moved some of the boot stuff (ldconfig, font cache, mime database) in /etc/rc.d/rc.local_shutdown.
  • The reboot/power off process is slowered, but the OS integrity is safe.

PND compatibility list

  • SL4P supports .pnd files.
  • PNDs used to be recognized automatically. It's not the case anymore, and i don't know why.
  • So here's the workaround: after the insertion of your SD or USB drive, you have to push the green button near the Xfce menu.
  • Due to 3.2 kernel and dynamically linked libraries, not all .pnd are compatible.
  • View the PND compatibility list here.

Advanced usage

  • I wrote some tutorials to do interesting things.
  • All those guides are applicable to any version of Slackware, ie. x86, x86_64, IBM mainframe, etc.
  • Follow this link.

Xfce layout chooser

  • This is a beta work and may or may not be included in a release.
  • The icon is located in "System".
  • I'm developing it, it's currently in beta stage.
  • You can save your own Xfce configuration, and load others.
  • If you want to use it, please use the save feature prior to anything else.
  • Only one custom layout is available right now.


Build system

  • I distribute it under the GPL 3 license.
  • It may look a bit messy for now (and indeed, some part have to be cleaned), but it's versatile, as i intended from the start.
  • It's mainly three bash scripts.
  • You need a Pandora to run the third one.
  • Depending on what you comment/uncomment, you can produce an alpha build, very minimal, or a full build.
  • Depending on what you edit, you can use it to port any *NIX to Open Pandora, and maintain your build very easily.
  • Get it here, along the more detailed instructions.


Ask a question/Report a bug

  • You're welcome, and please post here or here.