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Sanitizing Slackware

The steps to deblob an existing Slackware installation would be quite easy if not for the necessity to replace the non-free kernel. While the task of rebuilding the kernel is arguably easier in Slackware than in many other GNU/Linux distributions, it is not for beginners. If you don't feel like learning to build the kernel, feel welcome to use our free repository to obtain binary kernel packages. As a middle ground, you can use our kernel build script to make your own packages from Linux-libre source.

That being said, you can de-blob Slackware in a completely manual fashion by doing this:

  1. Use the licensing information we collected to make a list of non-free packages in your version of Slackware.
  2. Regardless of its status, keep using the stock kernel headers package kernel-headers as if it was free. It is in fact free, and replacing it manually is a pain.
  3. Blacklist the offending Slackware packages in /etc/slackpkg/blacklist. Make sure package names occupy separate lines, and avoid white space.
  4. Build and install a free kernel together with modules (for example, Linux-libre). The official documentation provides a description of this process. Do not uninstall the stock kernel yet, in case the new kernel throws a fit.
  5. Boot into the free kernel and remove the non-free Slackware packages with removepkg.


We haven't tried this, but we don't know of a reason why it wouldn't work. Make a local copy of the Slackware repository, remove all non-free packages, and then upgrade as usual.


Please be aware that as long as you keep using the official repository, non-free packages may still creep in during updates, unlikely as it is. We see no easy cure for this, short of switching to a free repository.

sanitizing_slackware.txt · Last modified: 2018/04/09 16:49 by connie