Slackware Needs Your Help

The times have been difficult for many of us this past few years.

For Slackware, it’s been no exception. Some of you faithful Slackers may have noticed lately that the Slackware home page has been offline. I posted about this at Jeremy’s Linux Questions forums. Alien Bob (Eric Hameleers) replied stating that it was an old hardware/lack of funds issue. This is sad. 😦

I am in no way associated with the Slackware Linux project other than being a loyal user of the distribution and a frequent commenter/blogger on the subject of Slackware. I want to say that up front here. That being said, I would like to ask a favor… Please, stop on by the Slackware Store and click on that Donate button (top left side of page). I just did a few minutes ago. I didn’t give much. I don’t have much to spare, but I did give something.

For many of us, Slackware has brought joy to our lives, increased our productivity, and provided us with secure and stable computing environment. It’s also taught us a helluva lot about GNU/Linux. Pat V. has never, to my knowledge, stood on his soap box and asked for money from any of us to help defray costs of maintaining Slackware. It’s about time that we showed Slackware a little love. Slackware has always been there for us; it’s our turn.

A buck, two, twenty… every little bit adds up. Buy a cool T-Shirt or the Slackware Essentials book while you’re there.

Slackware needs to be around for many, many more years. Let’s do our part to see that it is.

Thank you,


Addenda to follow:

Addendum I

I’m beginning to regret writing this article and starting that thread at For crissakes, people! This wasn’t meant to set off a shit storm. Initially, I was only concerned that the Slackware website had been down for a few days. Eric Hameleers (Alien Bob) responded to my query regarding the outage with a comment that, I must admit, did get me worrying a bit. Eric has explained the situation further in the comments on this article. Please read what he had to say.

I don’t worry about Slackware going anywhere anytime soon. There are too many of us loyal to this venerable GNU/Linux distribution to let that happen, I believe. My article here was written only for the purpose of possibly assisting the Slackware Project and Patrick Volkerding in continuing to do what’s been done for 19 years… keeping us all Slacking, baby! 🙂

This article wasn’t meant to incite rock and bottle throwing. GNU/Linux is ALL of us. I don’t care if you run Gentoo, Debian, Mandriva, or some barely known distribution on your systems. The fact is we are ALL GNU/Linux users. We ALL are part of this vast community that pulls together in times of need and helps out one another. GNU/Linux, FOSS, OpenRespect, etc.; that is US, folks.

I see that a few folks have dropped a buck or two in the Slackware tip jar. That’s excellent. Many of us have been using Slackware for years or have benefited from something that came about because of Patrick Volkerding and the Slackware Project. I have NO REGRETS if that tip jar fills some as a result of this article. I will have many regrets should the current shit storms at or Distrowatch continue.



Addendum II

Member ruario at made the following comment on the thread linked above regarding the Slackware server being down:

AlienBOB has stated that he and the other contributors don’t get any money from the Slackware donations. That said, he does a great to maintaining Slackware64, offering non-official binary packages, giving advice to users, and teaching us all how to make zoervleis . So if after donating to Slackware you have a little more money burning a hole in your pocket I noticed he has a PayPal donate button on his blog. If might be that Roberto F. Batista (aka PiterPunk), Robby Workman, Stuart Winter and the rest of the contributors take donations as well but I didn’t notice any PayPal links on their respective pages. Ah well, never mind and also I’m not made of money! 😛

I post this here as an addendum because I also feel strongly that the people mentioned by ruario, and many others, are very deserving of some sort of recognition and gratitude from the every day users of Slackware. I’ve used some of Robby’s and Eric’s resources on my own systems before. I’ve learned much from them and the others mentioned; and many not mentioned, like Willy Sudiarto Raharjo, for instance.

If you feel the same, open that wallet again. These people spend a lot of their personal time to benefit assist and improve Slackware and to assist you.



Addendum III

Read this excellent article by Tom Nardi at The PowerbaseSOS: Save Our Slackware?



Addendum Penultimate

In light of the fact that conversations regarding this topic have, in my opinion, gone in negative and non-constructive directions at the original thread and elsewhere, and in light of the fact that I was aiming more for support and assistance rather than rock and bottle slinging; I have come to regret starting that thread and writing this article. It was not my intention to stir shit and create strife for Pat V., Eric Hameleers, or anyone in the Slackware community. For this, I apologize.

To those of you who did offer non-critical assistance and support, thanks. The GNU/LInux community is enriched by your participation in it.



Addendum Final, Maybe 😉

Man! What a ride! Anyway, is BACK UP! YAY! 🙂

44 Comments on “Slackware Needs Your Help”

  1. chekkizhar says:

    man, its seriously a very sad news. ordering some clothes and donating upto I can right now.
    thanks for let me to know this.

    • Well, regardless of any financial hardships the Slackware Project may or may not be experiencing, many of us have been using and learning from Slackware Linux for many years without ever having contributed a dime monetarily speaking. Hard core Slack users should be donating something every so often as a sign of gratitude for this most excellent operating system that didn’t cost us $150+ in licensing fees to purchase and use on our systems.

      Thanks chekkizhar! Good to see you, by the way. 🙂


  2. comhack says:

    Off to donate some funds….

    Thanks Eric!!

  3. Barnabyh says:

    I suspect that in the last few years a lot of people have cancelled their DVD subscriptions. The store is probably a major avenue of funding for Slackware.

    • I wouldn’t know, B. I do know many folks are hurting financially. I doubt that Pat V. has ever even come close to making a living off Slackware. However, he sure has spent some time and effort on it. A few bucks in the tip jar is long overdue, I think.

  4. ichase70 says:

    Thanks for the update and reminder. As I do not have the education to offer my time to development, when I can I always like to give a financial donation to offset the long hours and commitment to the GNU/Linux community. Especially when I benifit from it. Even though I am not a Slackware user, I just went in and gave a donation because even though I don’t have Slackware on my computers I know for a fact that I have benifited from all of their hard work. I do hope that they do get an influx of donations that will help them offset all of their hard work.


    • Now that’s the spirit! Two hard-core Archers (Arch Linux users) have responded here today. That is what makes the GNU/Linux community so wonderful. We all know the importance of helping when needed, regardless of our favorites/loyalties. Very COOL! 🙂

      Thanks, Ian!

  5. Placed my order … Thanks Pat!

  6. alienbob says:

    Hi Eric, nice initiative. I hope it is obvious that my remark on was not born out of some twisted form of “greed”… but out of concern.

    The revenues from the Slackware store have been the _only_ source of income for Pat and familiy for many years.
    And since the “Store” is a 3rd party, a substantial part of that revenue does _not_ go to Pat.

    The sad thing is, the more people cancel their DVD subscriptions (in part due because the people behind the store are not very good at customer relation management) the harder it will be to keep Slackware on the rails in its current form.

    Note that the people in the “core team” are helping Pat as a (time-consuming) hobby, we are not getting one penny out of the Slackware sales. In fact, we all pay for a Slackware DVD subscription ourselves.


    • Eric,

      I assure you I did not misconstrue your motives. You and I have bumped into each other often over the years. Believe me, I know that you and others like Robby W. are dedicated to Slackware.

      I was not aware of the arrangement that Pat has with the Slackware store. If there is an alternative means to more directly assist the Slackware Project, please let us know.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading/commenting, Eric.


      ~Nocturnal Slacker 🙂

    • Thomas Mueller says:

      I became aware of the bad customer relations management at Slackware when I inquired about switching a 32-bit CD subscription to 64-bit or terminating a subscription. It was horribly difficult to get a response. Eventually I terminated and see no going back. I thought I was going to have to get a new debit/credit card number!

      I noticed how NetBSD pkgsrc (also ported to other (quasi-)Unix OSes, and FreeBSD ports framework provide a package tracking and building system that tracks dependencies, something woefully lacking in Slackware.

      • I think this is the most important problem in Slackware and if you want to keep this distro alive, this (package management and dependencies) is the first to solve. I was using Slackware for a few years but now I use Debian. APT is very powerful, yet I am missing simplicity of Slackware.

  7. iphigenie says:

    Been making a donation twice a year for the last 2 years, but will do the next one in advance. Still, perhaps it would have been nice of them to ask the community before going offline, if people knew what was needed perhaps they would have given earlier 🙂

  8. R Moy says:

    Placed my order as well to give support. Although it’s the one distribution that I’ve never really tried, I wanted to give something back knowing that Slack’s contributions helped shape the distros I come to rely on.

    Now I have an excuse to learn more about Slackware and perhaps take a step up from my comfortable noob user position.

    • R Moy says:

      Thanks, Pat.

    • Thanks R Moy!

      If you need assistance with your Slackware adventure, give a holler here or catch me at Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux (see my ls linkage on main page here). Also, definitely stop in at Jeremy’s There is a large Slackware community there.



  9. josh says:

    I wondered what was going on regarding the slackware site. Well I have just made my little contribution as it would be bad/sad to see this distro vanish.

  10. Is a paypal donation the best or only way to help ?

  11. […] it is "Old hardware, lack of funds…", then people panic and V. T. Eric Layton makes a blog post, which is read by Caitlyn Martin who immediately assumes that Slackware is going to die very soon […]

  12. Leonardo says:

    I used slackware for many years. This is probably the best distro out there. Everything I know about linux I learned with slack (and it was my first distro). I will donate U$ 20.00 to help. Isn’t much, but is what I can do for now. I hope that in the future I can give more.

    Long live to Slack !!!!

  13. Jayman says:

    I learned Linux on Slackware. My first laptop was a Slackware based system that I tuned for raw performance (Take that P133 with 64MB of RAM.) Off to donate some money right now.

  14. Mauro S. says:

    Using (in Italy) Slackware since 2001 (or 2002 ?). I made some donations in the past, not so often as I had to do … sorry Pat and crew … done right now . Hope it helps.

  15. […] Slackware Needs Your Help For Slackware, it’s been no exception. Some of you faithful Slackers may have noticed lately that the Slackware home page has been offline. I posted about this at Jeremy’s Linux Questions forums. Alien Bob (Eric Hameleers) replied stating that it was an old hardware/lack of funds issue. This is sad. […]

  16. […] This single line had a strong effect on the forum, and the topic was soon crowded with members asking how they could donate money to aid Patrick, and keep Slackware going. The creator of the thread, Eric Layton then decided to take to his blog and write up something of a plea for help on Slackware’s behalf. […]

  17. […] This single line had a strong effect on the forum, and the topic was soon crowded with members asking how they could donate money to aid Patrick, and keep Slackware going. The creator of the thread, Eric Layton then decided to take to his blog and write up something of a plea for help on Slackware’s behalf. […]

  18. ichase70 says:

    Maybe I am naive or something. Can’t figure out why this has caused a shit storm. I am blessed with the fact that after a 21 year military career and a follow on job with the military as a civilian that I can donate to the hard work that benifits me. I donate because I respect more than words can describe the hard work and dedication that goes into so many of the different GNU/Linux OSs, Packages, Programs etc that I use every day or benifited from in one form or another. I know times are tough, donations are not always in the form of $$$. Contributions can come in many different forms. Donate by patiently helping others on your favorite Linux forum, donate by contributing to documentation, If you are savy in software development, donate some time.
    FrankBell said it best on

    but, given how much I use Slackware and how much Slackware has taught me, no donations I make will even the score.

    This quote applies to me for Slackware (because I know Pat V’s years of dedication have gone into something I have used) Arch Linux, Parted Magic, FF, TB, etc etc Not to mention the users of these tools so patiently helping me to learn more and more about GNU/Linux.

    So with that being said, donate in some form. It will make you feel better and it will make the GNU/Linux community even stronger.


  19. Darrell says:

    Just threw in my 2 cents (not literally) into the tip jar. Slackware was my first linux distro in the 90’s an I have tried to help out when I can. Much love to Pat and all of the contributors of Slackware!

  20. mercuryshadow says:

    I learned Linux on Slackware 4, and bought several releases on CD-ROM. I’ve since moved on and now use Arch, but I owe a great deal of my Linux knowledge to Pat and all the people who make Slackware happen. Bought myself a shirt and will wear it proudly.

  21. nIc says:

    Hello slack_ers,
    I’m a happy slack user/admin since … ever; remember downloading 30+ floppies back in ’93 or ’94 … Yesss, those days linux-sys-admin was quite an hard job but that helped me build great experience with linux/unix.

    I too would like to support Slackware project (did a couple of times in the past, I admit should have done more often) but I’d like that all of the pennies go to the project and not some % to Paypal or other …

    Is “free of charge” for Slackware? Then, what’s wrong? As of today no more slack articles can be bought there…?? just “donate”?

    Do non-profit organizations pay the same % to paypal as commercial ones? If yes, somebody should organize a way to have every cent go to Pat and Team.

    A penny here and a penny there could easily buy a new server… and the rest for the team.

    Did anybody ask some $upport to Google, HP, Intel, Thawte, Networksolutions, …?? All the BIG-BUCKS companies got benefits from the linux’s growth and for sure Slackware has been a great actor in that scene.

    Come on people, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” ;^)

    Bye nIc

    • Nic, as I stated in my article, I’m not associated with the Slackware Project or the Slackware Store in any way, so I can’t answer your queries regarding these things. I’m not at all sure what’s going on at the store today. Sorry. 😦

    • The Slackware Store is working again. Their servers may have gotten a bit more use the past couple days than they’re used to. 🙂

  22. Neil says:

    This globe needs more folks like you, bro….count me in.

  23. […] veranlasste Eric Layton, einen Spendenaufruf für Slackware zu veröffentlichen. Layton gehört allerdings nicht zum Slackware-Team, sondern spricht hier […]

  24. David says:

    … if Slackware used Gnome as default desktop and a package manager as apt-get, I immediately will buy official Slackware DVDs! The worst choice made by Patrick was to remove Gnome inside Slackware, without looking at the modern Linux distributions.

    • Hi David…

      I’m pretty sure the vast majority of Slackware users, myself included, would NOT care to have a Slackware that used Apt or Gnome as default applications. To each their own, though. I run my Slackware installations on all my systems with Xfce. I also have no problems with Slackware’s current package management (pkgtool, slackpkg, etc.), but that’s just me talking here. If you really are enamored with Apt and Gnome, I would recommend Debian to you. Your preferences for Apt and Gnome are commendable as they are both outstanding tools in the GNU/Linux tool box. I just don’t agree that they would be needed or wanted by most Slackers.

      Regards, and thanks for reading/commenting. 🙂


  25. […] no pude entrar por unos cuatro o cinco días. Hubo gente que empezó a escribir al respecto como el blog de Nocturnal Slacker, en el sitio de The Powerbase y uno que en mi opinión es bastante radical el de […]

  26. […] (…e-down-939712/) But he did not convince me when he posted:…eeds-your-help more specifically in the "Addendum I". I have heard a lot of bad noise on several […]

  27. Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the
    little changes which will make the greatest changes. Many thanks for sharing!

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