LWDW 384: 30 Years Of Slacking!

Slackware turns 30! AlmaLinux OS drops “bug-for-bug compatibility” with Red Hat, a Pi 2040 powered ergonomic keyboard with balls, and Windows-like resource monitoring with Mission Center.


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00:00 Intro
00:43 A bossy shirt MKII
02:09 Windows-like monitoring with Mission Center
05:06 Why cloned apps are important
06:02 30 years of Slackware
11:24 Bothering to learn Linux
14:01 Alma drops “bug-for-bug compatibility” with Red Hat
17:01 Pi 2040 powered ergonomic keyboard
21:54 Come play classic Trackmania with us

Colour Key: Venn Jill 

Linux mission center


  • I heard you all like Windows!
  • This looks real windowsy, something that was confirmed in Discord by our resident Windows user. 
  • Monitor CPU, RAM, Disk, GPU, Ethernet. 
  • And you know it’s written in, wait for it, Rust! 
  • So it doesn’t build OOTB on Debian. 
  • Bonus points for having a dark mode. 
  • This is the swiss army knife for monitoring system resource usage!
  • I love the nice big graphs that are easy to read.
  • I installed Mission Center as a Flatpak in the Pop!_OS software shop.
  • The only monitor I can think of that could be added is CPU temperature, which I like to monitor frequently.
  • The GPU monitor does have temperature readout which is great.


Slackware turns 30!


  • Slackware Linux, the world’s oldest surviving Linux distribution, has turned 30 years old!
  • Slackware remains actively maintained and is highly regarded for its exceptional stability.
  • Once thought dead, last year Slackware released version 15.0 after a six-year gap.
  • I still run Slackware on one of my main machines with the xfce desktop.
  • Slackware is a lot of peoples first introduction to Linux, including mine :-)
  • I started with Slackware in 1993, and because it was my first Linux distro, it has a special place in my heart!
  • And getting twenty-four 3½” floppy disk images installed and working correctly!
  • And not blowing up my CRT in the process with the XF86Config file.
  • It is extremely fast, nibble and stable.
  • And its goal is to be the most “Unix-like” Linux distribution.
    • There are no official repositories for Slackware. The only official packages Slackware provides are available on the installation media.
    • However, there are many third-party repositories for Slackware.
    • Slackware’s package management system is called pkgtools.
    • Slapt-get, and Gslapt you can use to resolve dependencies like Debian’s apt.
  • Slackware includes all my favorite classic multimedia apps, including: mplayer, XMMS and xine.
  • I have been a Patreon of Slackware for quite some time, and happily support Patrick Volkerding and his small team of developers.
  • Slackware’s first release predates the Linux kernel reaching version 1 and was an introduction to the operating system for many of us. 
  • Almost six years passed between version 14.2 and the current release. 
  • Patrick takes the it’s done when it’s done approach. 
  • That said, 15.1 incremental update after a far shorter development cycle.
  • Slack still aims to be the most “UNIX-like” Linux distribution and nobody wants to fight them over the title. 


The future of AlmaLinux OS


  • Alma is the first announced casualty of the RH decision to shut down RHEL clones. 
  • Unlike Rocky who plans to rube goldberg their way around the new restations Alma is doing their own thing. 
  • It’s still going to be Red hat compatible’ish but no longer maintaining the bug-for-bug compatibility.   
  • Being able to accept patches for bugs outside of Red Hat is great, unless you need a RHEL clone.
  • Congratulations AlmaLinux!  This is awesome!
  • In many ways this will progress the AlmaLinux ecosystem as a whole.
  • They have always been great when it comes to giving back to the community, filing bugs and contributing upstream in Fedora and CentOS Stream.  And this will not change.
  • If you would like to help them out you can join the AlmaLinux OS Foundation, or become a sponsor on GitHub or OpenCollective, and report bugs!

Slice of Pi

Punch Pi 


  • That looks really nice. 
  • I don’t know about practical. 
  • Using two of the wee RP2040 chips. 
  • You still need the key caps, switches, LEDs,  
  • This is really unique use for a Raspberry Pi, a split keyboard PCB that uses an RP2040 processor in each half.
  • It is known as the Ximi, and you can grab one on Fingerpunch for $79.00.
  • This PCB serves as a base for those who want to build their own split keyboard.
  • This purchase includes two separate PCBs—one for the left side and one for the right.
  • Each board has an RP2040 and 16MB of storage.
  • Breakout pins are accessible for three extra GPIO pins as well as SPI, I2C, LED support and USB-C.
  • The Ximi has support for choc v1 or MX switches, per key leds, rotary encoders, 34mm trackball, cirque trackpad, 3 way thumb switch, haptic feedback, and a pre-soldered audio buzzer!
  • This PCB is a starting point for creating a fun and unique customizable keyboard.

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