Slackware ARM on a Raspberry Pi


Congratulations are in order if you have completed this tutorial and successfully installed a fully working, fully operational, and fully updated, Linux system running Slackware ARM on a Raspberry Pi!

Check that your kernel has been updated

After rebooting you should now login with your normal user account and change to 'root' user, and check the status of your system. If for no other reason than to make sure everything is as it's supposed to be. If you've edited the config.txt file you'll want to check that the new settings are in effect, etc.

Remember back to when you first booted with Slackware ARM on the Raspberry Pi. Did you happen to notice the kernel version you booted with? If a newer version was available and you've ran rpi-update, that should now have been updated. At the command prompt as 'root' user, type the following command:

root@myrasbox:~# uname -a

This command should give you an output similar to the following example and, hopefully, with a more updated kernel:

Now you can be sure that the update process (rpi-update or individual packages) has worked perfectly and the kernel and firmware on your Raspberry Pi has been updated to the latest available version(s).

So, you have a fully working and updated Slackware ARM Linux system on a Raspberry Pi. The possibilities are now endless. You have the tools and means to do whatever you like with it. Use it as a desktop, play Internet radio/movies/clips, play Minecraft, create a webserver, build an inexpensive ntp server, or an IRC server, or simply use it as one of the easiest and most fun ways of learning Linux. Whatever you use your Raspberry Pi for, it's going to be very stable and reliable running Slackware ARM. You can be certain of that.

Now would be a good time to advise you to start Googling towards an education in Slackware Linux, if you have not already undertaken such a task, or planned one. There's an untold amount of help and assistance on the Internet for Slackware, including websites, videos, blogs, forums, ebooks, and much more!

FatDog says ... A great way to start learning Slackware is by reading the Slackware Linux Book (online). There's a huge community of Slackers over at where you will find a dedicated forum for Slackware ARM containing all sorts of useful information and helpful advice. Another valuable resource of collective knowledge and experience is the Slackware Documentation Project.

Below are answers to some common questions for new Slackware users which should help get you started.

Creating a user account

To add a user account use the 'adduser' command followed by the username you want to assign it. Like this:

root@myrasbox:~# adduser <name>

Example: adduser dave

Go through the account creation setup and create a new user account. From now on, always use this newly created username and password for logging in and only use root when it's absolutely necessary. You can break things very easily with the root user and this is why it should never be used as a normal user account on any Linux box. You can have multiple user accounts for different purposes, for family or friends, etc. Or you can have just one. It's entirely up to you and your requirements for your Slackware ARM Linux system.

How do I become 'root' user when logged in as a normal user?

Type 'su -' at the command prompt while logged in as a normal user. You will be prompted for the 'root' user password.

dave@myrasbox:~$ su -

You're now logged in as 'root'.

How do I get from being 'root' to a normal user?

Type 'su - <username>' at the command prompt while logged in as 'root'. The username must already exist on the system. You will NOT be prompted for a username password.

root@myrasbox:~# su - dave

You're now logged in as 'dave'.

How do I change my keyboard layout?

See this keymaps list for supported keyboard layouts and select one which suits your own keyboard configuration. For example, if you want to change your keyboard map to a United Kingdom (UK) layout, you would type the following as 'root' user on the command line:

root@myrasbox:~# /usr/bin/loadkeys

How do I load my desktop?

Type the 'startx' command at the command prompt (and don't forget to attach a USB mouse):

dave@myrasbox:~$ startx

How do I browse the Internet from the command prompt?

There's a program called 'links' which is a text-based browser. To run it, type the following at the command prompt:

dave@myrasbox:~$ links

How do I set the correct time/date using a NTP server?

You have to be 'root' and use the 'ntpdate' command followed by a NTP server address. The following commands should work for you:

dave@myrasbox:~$ su -
root@myrasbox:~# ntpdate

How do I safely shutdown my Raspberry Pi running Slackware ARM?

Type the following as 'root' user on the command line and wait for the green ACT LED on your Raspberry Pi to stop flashing before turning off the power:

root@myrasbox:~# shutdown -h now

Or, even simpler:

root@myrasbox:~# poweroff

Where can I learn more about Slackware?

The Slackware Documentation Project is a *MUST_READ* for anyone using Slackware Linux.

A great gathering place and knowledge base for Slackers is at

Some well recommended reading for new and old users alike...

The Revised Slackware Book Project

FatDog says ... We trust that you have found this SARPi tutorial easy to follow and educational in how to install Slackware ARM on the Raspberry Pi. We hope that you've enjoyed following it as much as we've enjoyed creating it. Thank you for sharing our passion and interest for Slackware. <3

Whatever you choose to do from here, have a wonderful Slackware experience while you're doing it!

All the best,

Aal, Exaga
FatDog.NL SARPi Team

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Updated: 11 Oct 2016 09:39:01