Slackware ARM on a Raspberry Pi

Setting up the NIC for (remote) Slackware ARM installation [optional]

You will require access to the network or the Internet (for example: if you wish to perform a remote installation from another computer, or you don't have a USB stick and wish to use a FTP/HTTP server as your source media) so you may want to setup the network interface card (NIC) at this point. If not, you can safely skip this section of the installer tutorial and continue to the Information on available drives section.

Before you can start configuring the NIC, you're going to need 2 pieces of information.
• The IP address of your internet gateway
• The IP address you want to assign to your Raspberry Pi

The default gateway is a device on a network (i.e. your router), through which another device on the network (i.e. your Raspberry Pi) can access or send data packets to another device on a different network (i.e. a web server on the Internet). This may seem mind-boggling but it's relatively easy to setup, as long as you have the correct default gateway IP address. Linux users can type 'route -n' at the command prompt on any system already connected to the Internet to find out their default gateway IP address. Windows users can run the command 'ipconfig' within Windows Command Processor (cmd.exe) to find out their default gateway IP address.

Assuming you have the correct network information required to setup your NIC, you are now going to type the following command:

root@slackware:~# ifconfig eth0 <RPi IP address> netmask up

ifconfig is a command line tool used to configure a network interface in Linux. eth0 (that's a ZERO on the end and not an "O" as in Orange) is the identity of the Ethernet interface on the Raspberry Pi. <RPi IP address> is the IP address you want to assign to your Raspberry Pi. netmask denotes the network mask which decides the potential size of your network. up is the flag which enables the Ethernet card and makes it ready to send and receive data.

Next you need to specify the default gateway IP address and you're going to set this up by typing the following command:

root@slackware:~# route add default gw <Internet gateway IP address>

Next you need to add a Domain Name Server (DNS) which is for managing the names of Web sites. DNS technology allows you to use names (like or and your computer automatically finds that address on the Internet and takes you to the Web site/page/file. Without DNS you would only be able to access Web sites by their IP address and that is something which we're not going to get into here.

You're going to create a file called resolv.conf and edit it by adding a single line of text. This will be done in one easy command using 'echo' and specifying an OpenDNS IP address. Type the following on the command line:

root@slackware:~# echo nameserver > /etc/resolv.conf

Now you should be able to access the Internet and you can test this by typing:
ping -c 3

You should see 3 results of something like "64 bytes from (". If you receive a timeout error then something is wrong and you need to check your settings (IP addresses) and go back to the ifconfig section and do it again. If all is good and you have a ping reply from then your NIC and Internet connection have been setup successfully.

Remote Slackware setup, configuration & install [optional]

Now that you have successfully setup your NIC it is possible to carry on with the setup, configuration and installation of Slackware Arm Linux remotely, using PuTTY for example, or any other SSH client.

In order to start a SSH server on your Raspberry Pi which allows you to login remotely all you have to do is start dropbear, a script already included in the Slackware ARM installer files. To do this type the following at the command prompt:

root@slackware:~# /etc/rc.d/rc.dropbear start

You should now be able to log in via SSH on your Raspberry Pi. Use 'root' as the log-in username and just hit enter when asked for a password. If you're not already familiar with remotely logging in via SSH then it's probably not something you want to get into at this point.

Continue to the next section of this installer tutorial... Information on available drives

Updated: 26 Jun 2019 08:35:13