Saturday, April 30, 2011

Slackware Leet in Virtualbox

v 0.2


With the release of Slackware v 13.37 (Leet) I thought it was about time to get an installation up and running again.  I've always loved Slackware, even though I use Debian as my base install for the desktops in my house.  I have one desktop with Windows 7 installed - simply because it is needed for a Flight Simulator - but I have Debian 6.0 64 bit installed in Virutalbox for my other stuff.

I keep hearing how difficult Slackware is to install which I personally think is rubbish, provided you have taken the minor trouble to read the readily available information from the revised Slackbook project, or a simple Google search.  Anyone who hasn't done even the basic searches to help themselves deserves what they get.  Of course, here is where I admit to cheating a little - instead of using the tools in Slackware to partition and format, I use the Linux distro "Parted Magic".

Here we go.
  • Download the Slackware DVD iso image
  • Download the Parted Magic iso image
  • Use the Virtualbox "wizard" to create a new Slackware machine.  (I used v 4.04 of VB)
I should note here, that I modified the settings to allow a machine that was 20 gig, that expanded as required so as to not take up space, 1.5 gig memory, 64 meg video memory.
  • Mount the Parted Magic ISO on the VM DVD drive and boot the machine.
  • Create at least one partition on the VM and format.  I used ext4.
  • Unmount the Parted Magic ISO and mount the Slackware ISO
  • Reboot.
  • You will eventually be invited to log in as root with no password required
  • "setup"
  • I re-formatted the partition as I chose for the install disk - this sets up fstab
  • Had the installer find the Slackware install DVD
  • Chose to install everything
  • Selected KDE as the window manager
  • Set up the networking - nominated a hostname and a simple domain name and defaults.
After all this was done, I unmounted the Slackware DVD and rebooted.  I ended up at the log-in prompt again, logged in as root and typed "startx".  KDE crashed half way through starting.

Bother.  Google.  Solution found.

From the changelog, Nov 16, 2010:
...
If X crashes at start, try disabling compositing. Create a file
named /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/disable-composite.conf with this in it:
Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "Disable"
EndSection
...

Here is where you get a payoff for being even basically proficient in a standard Linux editor, such as "vi".  This was done, and just because I could, I restarted and "startx".   Worked like a charm.

Now, I found the resolution limited to 800x600.  Google again.  Found out how to install the VB Guest additions, which I suspected would fix this.  Easy again.  I chose the menu selection to install the guest additions, and I found the iso mounted under /media.  Even if this does not happen, you can mount the guest additions iso (found in the VirtualBox directory).  In this ISO is a "VboxLinuxAdditions.run" file.  Simply move to the ISO as root and run " ./VboxLinuxAdditions.run ".

Reboot.

When you restart KDE you will find your resolution is now 1024x768 as the max.  All you need to do to enlarge it is to drag the window larger and it will resize.

Done.

I will admit to writing parts of this from memory the next day, however with some care, it is really not that difficult to sort out.


Later ....


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