Slackware 15 — 3

I have not been restless or eager about updating my Slackware 14.2 systems to 15.0. These days I expect any software update to introduce regressions and breakage. For users the result is draining. Such has been the case with testing Slackware 15.0, which has produced a litany of hiccups, head scratching, and four letter words. The paper cut breakage in 15.0 has been annoying.

The problem is not Slackware but upstream tomfoolery.

A significant irritant is the loss of the console scrollback in framebuffer mode. With 14.2 I have been backporting my own patch to restore that feature, but I have not yet tried to do the same with newer kernels. To overcome that loss the Ctrl+s and Ctrl+q keyboard shortcuts to pause and resume the stdout spew still function. Console scrollback is available when using the nomodeset boot option. Scrollback is possible using screen.

Yet fundamentally seems few people want to admit the emperor is wearing no clothes. Or there is an elephant in the room. That this code was ripped with no replacement is a travesty.

I think the loss of scrollback in the console framebuffer mode is a casualty of systemd. With systemd there is no meaningful stdout spew during boot. Many people these days install a desktop environment on servers because, well, point-clicky. In a desktop environment a terminal window is available that supports scrollback. Because so many people now drink the systemd Kool-Aid, they did not consider the loss of scrollback to be a problem. Everybody can now use journalctl to debug boot issues, right?

When I have time I need to look into backporting a patch to the 15.0 kernel. The loss of console scrollback is beyond frustrating. The loss is not a paper cut but a gash.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Slackware

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