Like Debian, Slackware doesn't rely on GUI configuration tools, although you can install tools such as Linuxconf or Webmin after the fact, just as with Debian. Some of Slackware's startup and configuration files are unusual compared to those of other Linux distributions, which can make moving from Slackware to another distribution or vice-versa a bit disorienting. Important Slackware configuration files include:

System Startup Procedure Slackware's /etc/inittab calls/etc/rc.d/rc.S as the system initialization script, followed by /etc/rc.d/rc.M to initialize multiuser features. (When booting to single-user mode, Debian runs /etc/rc.d/rc.K.) Debian's init then switches to the runlevel specified in /etc/inittab, but unlike other distributions, Slackware's runlevels are controlled through single startup scripts called /etc/rc.d/rc.?, where ? is the runlevel number. In practice, the only runlevel of consequence is 4, as described next. (The rc.6 script reboots the system. A link to it, called rc.O, shuts down the system.)

Runlevels and Starting X The standard Slackware startup scripts boot the system into text mode. If you want to start X and use an XDMCP login screen, change the runlevel to 4 in /etc/inittab. This action causes init to run /etc/rc.d/rc.4 on its next boot, which starts an XDMCP server. The script tries gdm first, followed by kdm and then xdm.

cron Unlike most distributions, Slackware doesn't place a crontab file in /etc; instead, it relies on the root file in /var/spool/cron/crontabs. This file runs scripts in the /etc/cron .interval directories, where interval is hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. Except for the hourly scripts, these run between 4:20 a.m. and 4:40 a.m.

Super Server Slackware uses inetd by default, and it does not ship xinetd as an option. If you want to use xinetd, you must obtain it from another source, such as the xinetd home page (

Mail Server Slackware uses sendmail as its default mail server. The configuration files are in /etc/mail.

Network Configuration Slackware uses the rc.inetl and rc.inet2 files, both in /etc/rc.d, to initialize networking functions. The rc.inetl file initializes network interfaces and includes information such as your IP address (if you use a static IP address), so you must edit this file to permanently change your network settings. The rc.inet2 file starts common network servers.

Local Startup Files If you want to change something about the system configuration that doesn't fit well in the default script set, you can add commands to the /etc/rc.d/rc.local script, which is designed for system-specific configuration changes. This script is run from the end of the /etc/rc.d/rc.M script.

As a general rule, adding servers or other automatically run programs to Slackware entails adding entries to /etc/inetd.conf or/etc/rc.d/rc.local, rather than adding SysV startup scripts, as is common with other Linux distributions. In principle, you could edit other startup scripts, but it's usually cleaner to keep most startup scripts as they are and make changes to rc.local. One important exception to this rule is /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1, which holds local network configuration information.

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