Slackware 12 upgrade

OK, I’ve done it. I’ve started the upgrade from Slackware 10.2.0 to Slackware 12.

I’ve been avoiding this for a while, but my backup hard drives don’t have room for all my work stuff anymore, so I decided I needed a new drive. Ordered up a Seagate ST3500320AS, 500GB and 32MB of cache from New Egg last week.

Slackware 12 installed easily enough on the new drive, but I’ve had a few difficulties. Here is a summary of my status and the problems I’ve had.


  • Installed Slackware 12 on new drive
  • Configured network connections
  • Configured firewall
  • Configured Sound

To Do

  • Configure CUPS for printer
  • Move existing files from current drive (did this once, but I keep having to roll back to my current drive for work)
  • Configure SSH server
  • Install latest versions of software (Opera, Firefox, anything else I use)
  • Configure camera software to download photos
  • Configure X to run in 1680×1050


lilo – When I attempted to install lilo through the slackware setup it just didn’t take. Tried both the root superblock and the mbr, but no success. Finally just went back to a command line from the boot disk, chrooted and ran lilo manually. Works fine now.

X11 – Every time I start X it crashes. It will run for two or three minutes, and then the whole machine will just lockup. I have been running my current configuration with a 2.6.15 kernel for some time without any problems at all. Slackware 12 defaults to the kernel build. It defaults to the generic-smp kernel and my system is running a single core Athlon 64 processor, not sure if it’s that, some incompatibility with the video hardware when running Xorg, or what. I can’t find any error messages in the system log or any kind of record of a kernel panic, so I’m at a loss.

That’s about as far as I’ve gotten for now. I think Slackware is a great distro, but some of these things could definitely be easier. I might go out and see what’s in Slackware current and pull down the latest stuff. Wish Slackware 12.0.1 was available.

Reboot on kernel panic

Anyone who runs Linux servers remotely knows that you can do almost ANYTHING from the CLI. One of the more tricky things to do is install a new kernel. Too often, if there is an error in the new kernel build the machine will kernel panic and lock up.

The only way around that is to manually power cycle the machine – unless you pass a panic parameter to the kernel on boot up.

Just add a line like this to your lilo config


After 15 seconds the machine will reboot. If lilo was run with the -R parameter, the server will come back up with the old kernel.