Forum FAQ

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Forum FAQ

Post by Borromini » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:31 pm

General Zenwalk Forum FAQ

Time given this should grow to a sizeable FAQ for everything related to Zenwalk; a centralised refuge for people desperately looking for answers on their basic Zenwalk questions ;D.

We'll start out with one of the most important issues: installing extra packages.

1. Installing packages on Zenwalk
Zenwalk uses netpkg (and pkgtool) to manage packages. Netpkg can be configured to grab stuff from other than the default repos. The 3.x netpkg branch can also remove packages (older versions only install & upgrade). Netpkg has an X frontend (xnetpkg) and a ncurses one (netpkg). It handles dependencies, however, thanks to our Slack ancestry, you can switch dep checking off in the configuration file ;D. An alternative is available in the form of gslapt (which you can grab using netpkg :P).
For more info on Netpkg consult the manual. Zenwalk uses XFCE as its one and only DE, however, people can install KDE, GNOME or Fluxbox if they want - using netpkg. There are no official isos being distributed with those other environments, and there never will be.

With Zenwalk having moved to Xorg 7 before Slack, some Slackware tgz's won't work on Zenwalk (however, this should rarely be the case). Zenwalk offers some extra stuff on its own, but you can also get Zenwalk-tailored packages from other places.

A quick overview, in order of preference:
- Official Zenwalk mirrors (using netpkg)
- Zenwalk community packages
- ZenCommunity (Zenwalk approved packages; centralised repo with user-contributed packages - being phased out in favour of the dedicated subforum above)
- Unofficial user packages (Zenwalk packages built by users, often tested by other users before you ;D)
- Official Slackware mirrors (already available in netpkg at the time of writing)
- (Italian Slackware package site, quality stuff)
- (Widely known Slackware packages site, quality may vary however)

Unwanted packages
Packages to stay away from: any KDE and GNOME package using the /opt/$DE prefix (since e.g. we put KDE in /usr, while Slack puts it in /opt/kde). This only goes if you installed GNOME or KDE with netpkg.

Decentralised package repositories
Packages in the Unofficial user packages forum are supposed to be built according the Zenwalk packaging rules rules. However this is completely up to the poster of the packages. People providing packages at their own repo will not be linked in this FAQ unless their packages are compliant.

Users wanting to provide multiple packages can submit their packages for public testing in the Testing board for community packages. After being tested and approved they can be moved to the FIFO board, where they are which means they are ready for public use. From their on the admins will move them to the /extra repository.
Packagers can be granted a 'Zenwalk packager' status by the admins, in reward for their work for the community.

Zenwalk repository structure
Zenwalk's repo is divided into three main parts:
  • a mounted image of the latest installation cd (/zenwalk-$VERSION)
  • /current
  • /snapshot

The first dir will not receive any updates. The second can be more or less compared to Slack's stable tree, however, /current doesn't strictly get security updates only, also normal (minor) package upgrades are performed. To quote our benevolent dictator ;D: "[current] contains only stable and tested security updates and software updates. We guarantee that upgrading from "current" is 100% safe!" For those living on the edge there is /snapshot, which comes with the promise to break your box several times a week ;D.

Performing system-wide updates (especially when X or DE-related packages are involved)
  • Check the changelog to see if you need to undertake additional steps apart from running netpkg
  • switch to text mode by switching to a tty (Ctrl+Alt+F2), logging in as root and issuing 'init 3'
  • if not done before, choose a mirror : netpkg mirror
  • netpkg netpkg
  • netpkg dotnew (just to be sure )
  • netpkg upgrade
  • netpkg dotnew (to update config files - do this with caution and don't update unless needed, you can check the differences between updates yourself!)
  • switch back to init 4 to restart the X server and desktop, if needed/wanted

2. Useful links (official, affiliated & localised Zenwalk sites and forums)
Official sites:
- Zenwalk homepage
- Zenwalk support forum
- Zenwalk manual - available in French and English, at your discretion
- Zenwalk wiki

- Zenwalk user community packages
- Zenwalk game packages
- Zenwalk Server edition
- ZenLive (Zenwalk Live CD)
- Zenwalk Educational Edition
- French Zenwalk community
- German Zenwalk site

Localised sites:
- Spanish Zenwalk site
- Finnish Zenwalk site
- Swedish Zenwalk site
- Swedish Zenwalk wiki

User package repos
- Zeqadious' packages (netpkg-compatible)
- Lontronics' packages

- Fred's Zenwalk artwork
- Zenwalk artwork subforum
- XFCE artwork site

Miscellaneous sites
- BullGates' Zenwalk-specific Google search engine
- Zenwalk entry at Wikipedia

3. Hardware issues
Check the linked FAQ in the dedicated forum

4. Problem with official Zenwalk packages
Check the ISO package maintenance list or the Extra package maintenance list to find out who maintains what, and notify the maintainer and/or post a bug report in the appropriate section.

Edit: additions are always welcome, you can post them below and i'll merge them into this post.
Last edited by Borromini on Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Forum FAQ

Post by Auronandace » Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:13 pm

I realise you have a link to the wiki.

I thought it might help first-timers if you include a link to the zenwalk companion. Very helpful in finding out what's in the extras repo. On that note, a link to the newsletter wouldn't go amiss.

I know they are both in the wiki, but I thought they deserve a special mention because people who don't visit the wiki wouldn't necessarily know about them.
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