Slackware ARM on a Raspberry Pi


Download Slackware ARM source media

FatDog says ... Note: Downloading the Slackware ARM source to a USB stick is not essential because you can use a FTP/HTTP server as the location of your source media instead. However, you will need to configure your network and Internet connection if you want to install by this method. Instructions on how to achieve this are featured later in this tutorial.

If you're intending to use a FTP/HTTP server, or the network, as the location of your Slackware source media then you can skip this page and continue to the Notes for Pre-installation section.

In this section of the SARPi tutorial, you're going to download the Slackware ARM source media and store it on a USB memory stick. You can choose to install Slackware ARM 14.2, or Slackware ARM -current. The main difference between 14.2 and current is that Slackware ARM current is a hardware floating point port and 14.2 is a software floating point emulation port. If you're installing Slackware ARM on a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 then you can choose either version. On a Raspberry Pi 1 only Slackware ARM 14.2 soft float port is available to install. Slackware ARM -current hard float port requires a minimum CPU of ARMv7-a and the Raspberry Pi 1 features ARMv6 architecture.

FatDog says ... Important: Slackware ARM -current is a hard float port and Slackware ARM 14.2 is a soft float port. DO NOT try to install Slackware ARM -current using a 14.2 installer (and vice versa) or you will encounter problems. The application binary interface (ABI) uses different flags for soft float and hard float versions and, as such, are incompatible with each other!

NB: Slackware ARM -current has a minimum CPU requirement of ARMv7-a architecture and cannot be installed on a Raspberry Pi (1) which features ARMv6 architecture. Slackware ARM -current can only be installed on a Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3.


Windows users: Download Slackware ARM 14.2 or -current from ftp://ftp.arm.slackware.com/slackwarearm/ via FTP, or any of the mirrors provided on the Slackware ARM: Get Slack page (at the bottom). Use BINARY mode to download the files and not ASCII! Once downloaded, transfer the Slackware ARM source files (retaining their original directory structure) onto the root of your USB memory stick. If not in the root, a directory where you will remember the location.


Linux users: Download Slackware ARM 14.2 or -current from ftp://ftp.arm.slackware.com/slackwarearm/ via FTP, or any of the mirrors provided on the Slackware ARM: Get Slack page (at the bottom). Use BINARY mode to download the files and not ASCII! Or download by a much easier method, using 'rsync'.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we have given the name 'mynixbox' to our Linux system. We're actually running Slackware64 14.1 but you can just about use any flavour of Linux to do this. We are using a 16GB USB memory stick. You need approx. 3GB of free space to download and store Slackware ARM Linux.

Plug the USB memory stick into your Linux system. Now, as root user, type the following on the command line in a terminal:

root@mynixbox:/tmp# fdisk -l

You should see something similar to the following output:

Disk /dev/sdc: 16.0 GB, 16005464064 bytes
74 heads, 10 sectors/track, 42244 cylinders, total 31260672 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xc3072e18

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 8064 31260671 15626304 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
root@mynixbox:/tmp#

On our Slackware system it tells us that the FAT32 partition on our USB memory stick (16Gb) is /dev/sdc1 which is exactly the information we're looking for. Remember, yours might be different on your own Linux system. (e.g. /dev/sdb1, etc.)

Next, you're going to create a directory and mount the USB memory pen into it so you can download the Slackware ARM files directly. Your mount directory will be '/slackarm'. Type the following at the command prompt:

root@mynixbox:/tmp# mkdir /slackarm
root@mynixbox:/tmp# mount /dev/sdc1 /slackarm
root@mynixbox:/tmp# cd /slackarm
root@mynixbox:/slackarm#

You should now have successfully mounted your USB memory stick and changed to the /slackarm directory ready to download the Slackware ARM source media.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we will be downloading and installing Slackware ARM -current. You do not have to do the same and can just as well install 14.2. Just remember, with different versions of Slackware ARM, the installation procedure may differ slighty from the instructions found in this tutorial.

To download Slackware ARM -current, type the following at the command prompt:

root@mynixbox:/slackarm# rsync -Pavv --delete ftp.slackware.uk::slackwarearm/slackwarearm-current/ .

To download Slackware ARM 14.2, type the following at the command prompt:

root@mynixbox:/slackarm# rsync -Pavv --delete ftp.slackware.uk::slackwarearm/slackwarearm-14.2/ .

** DON'T forget the period "." at the end of the rsync command or it won't work!

Depending on the speed of your Internet, this could take a while.

Once the download has completed you should check that the source files are all present and correct. Then you need to unmount your USB memory stick. Do this by typing the following command:

root@mynixbox:/slackarm# cd ../
root@mynixbox:/# umount /slackarm

To delete the /slackarm directory, after you've finished with it, type:

root@mynixbox:/# rm -rf /slackarm

Now you can remove the USB memory stick from your Linux system.

Continue to the next section of this tutorial... Notes for Pre-installation



Updated: 25 Jan 2017 23:25:44