Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd May 2008 05:47 UTC, submitted by ZacharyM
Slackware, Slax One of the oldest Linux distributions, Slackware, has pushed out another release. "Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release again. So, without further ado, announcing Slackware version 12.1! Since we've moved to supporting the 2.6 kernel series exclusively (and fine-tuned the system to get the most out of it), we feel that Slackware 12.1 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.0) and is a must-have upgrade for any Slackware user."
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Broken link
by Johann Chua on Sat 3rd May 2008 06:14 UTC
Johann Chua
Member since:
2005-07-22

Mirrors link should be:

http://slackware.com/getslack/

Reply Score: 3

Downloading
by jollyx on Sat 3rd May 2008 08:26 UTC
jollyx
Member since:
2007-03-24

Could not find the ISO images in various mirrors and now I'm downloading via torrent but the speed is very low and unstable. Changes from 1 to 50 KBps.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Downloading
by Oliver on Sat 3rd May 2008 11:29 UTC in reply to "Downloading"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15
RE[2]: Downloading
by jollyx on Sat 3rd May 2008 14:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Downloading"
jollyx Member since:
2007-03-24

Thanks, right now downloading from there.

Reply Score: 1

One of the oldest Linux distributions?
by bogomipz on Sat 3rd May 2008 09:23 UTC
bogomipz
Member since:
2005-07-11

I thought Slackware was the oldest distribution?

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I thought Slackware was the oldest distribution?


Oldest one still going, I believe.

Slackware itself is a fork of the Softlanding Linux System, founded by Peter MacDonald in mid-1992.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Softlanding_Linux_System

"SLS was the first release to offer a comprehensive Linux distribution containing more than the Linux kernel and basic utilities"

"Patrick Volkerding decided to modify SLS by tweaking and cleaning it up. He called his finished work Slackware."

"Similarly Ian Murdock's frustration with SLS led him to create the Debian project."

So SLS was the progenitor of both Slackware and Debian.

Reply Score: 10

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

So SLS was the progenitor of both Slackware and Debian.

Following a reference link in that Wikipedia page reveals that Debian wasn't just a fork of SLS. Ian Murdock writes:
"This is a release that I have put together basically from scratch; in other words, I didn't simply make some changes to SLS and call it a new release. I was inspired to put together this release after running SLS and generally being dissatisfied with much of it, and after much altering of SLS I decided that it would be easier to start from scratch."
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.linux.development/msg/a32d4e...

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Oliver
by Oliver on Sat 3rd May 2008 09:29 UTC
Oliver
Member since:
2006-07-15

One of the best distros ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Oliver
by Parry Hotter on Sat 3rd May 2008 10:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by Oliver"
Parry Hotter Member since:
2007-07-20

Yup, that's what my mom always says.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Oliver
by Xaero_Vincent on Sat 3rd May 2008 10:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by Oliver"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

<cliche>
If you're single and have no friends...
</cliche>

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Oliver
by Oliver on Sat 3rd May 2008 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Oliver"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Nerd and married and I'm not twenty anymore.

Reply Score: 4

hands down
by 2501 on Sat 3rd May 2008 12:55 UTC
2501
Member since:
2005-07-14

The best...hands down!

If you love Slackware, also try Zenwalk which I see it as a Mini version of Slack and Arch if you like the KISS principle.

-2501

Reply Score: 1

RE: hands down
by tubatodd on Sat 3rd May 2008 17:09 UTC in reply to "hands down"
tubatodd Member since:
2007-07-03

I used to be a Slack guy when I had a really old laptop that I wanted to breathe life into. Now that I have a more modern laptop, I've switched to Ubuntu for simplicity. I recently took an old Pentium 2 laptop I had sitting in the closet and turned it into a CLI only fileserver in about an hour with Zenwalk. To me, Zenwalk is Slackware with more user friendliness. They even have Gnome in the main repositories.

With Slack 12.1....this may be the version that gets me back to using Slack on my main machine. Kudos!!!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: hands down
by 2501 on Sat 3rd May 2008 22:24 UTC in reply to "RE: hands down"
2501 Member since:
2005-07-14

For me Zenwalk is a light version of Slackware and still very powerful. I did not want to do a full Slackware install because it takes 3 cds. I really liked the Zenwalk philosophy which is 1 app per task + xfce. It just works beautiful and when I work on it I think that I am using Slackware.

P.Volkerding is the master.

-2501

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: hands down
by B12 Simon on Mon 5th May 2008 10:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hands down"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

Could not agree more. Zenwalk is a superb distro - an excellent member of the Slack stable.

Congratulations to Pat on another release!

Reply Score: 1

RE: hands down
by zombie process on Tue 6th May 2008 12:36 UTC in reply to "hands down"
zombie process Member since:
2005-07-08

I'm not getting the arch reference.

Reply Score: 2

Major Upgrade
by jackson on Sat 3rd May 2008 16:49 UTC
jackson
Member since:
2005-06-29

For lots of detail about the changes since 12.0, check out the 'CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT' file on the mirrors. Here is a link:

http://slackware.oregonstate.edu/slackware-12.1/CHANGES_AND_HINTS.T...

This is a _major_ ugprade over 12.0.

Reply Score: 2

Podcast with uptodate information
by ratna_vis on Sat 3rd May 2008 18:42 UTC
ratna_vis
Member since:
2008-05-03

Since Slackware is old, there are many myths floating around. This podcast brings you uptodate http://www.linuxreality.com/podcast/episode-99-slackware-revisited/...

Reply Score: 0

man my Linux teeth on slackware
by Robocoastie on Sat 3rd May 2008 18:55 UTC
Robocoastie
Member since:
2005-09-15

Slackware 7 was my first experience with Linux and I'm still thankful it was. I learned how to use the command line, set up xfree86 by hand, install different GUI's, (of which the slackware custom Gnome was my favorite), and to compile programs.

Today I'm an Ubuntu convert simply because I prefer easier setup and the awesome software repo package system but Slackware retains a special place in my heart. For live lite distro's I like Slax which is slackware based.

Reply Score: 2

mind!dagger Member since:
2007-06-26

"Slackware 7 was my first experience with Linux and I'm still thankful it was."

Same here. I started with Slackware. I've since moved into Debian since I find it to my liking. Slackware, as is Debian, a rock-solid and understandable Linux distro. Keep rocking on Patrick and all Slackware users!

You can, as is my method, start from a basic Debian install, read that as CLI, and then install anything else you want.

Reply Score: 2

For servers
by dimosd on Sat 3rd May 2008 19:12 UTC
dimosd
Member since:
2006-02-10

Slackware is good for (some kind of) servers. Also good if you intend to tear a Linux distribution apart and make something else out of it (there's very little you can break and it's straightforward to tweak).

The world doesn't revolve around Linux desktop, you know.

Reply Score: 2

Packages, packages...
by garymax on Sun 4th May 2008 04:03 UTC
garymax
Member since:
2006-01-23

I see several users have left Slackware for Debian or Ubuntu because of the "massive repos".

I don't know of any individual who uses all 25000+ packages in the Debian/Ubuntu repositories. Therefore, the only advantage is an easier method of resolving dependencies. But to a Slacker, that is no problem because most dependencies are already handled by the system and what few remain are easily built.

The result: a clean, well-manicured system that does not get in your way.

I know people who use Ubuntu/Debian, but, really, unless you constantly install and uninstall applications, dependency handling is not that big of a deal.

Edited 2008-05-04 04:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Packages, packages...
by sbergman27 on Sun 4th May 2008 05:04 UTC in reply to "Packages, packages..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I see several users have left Slackware for Debian or Ubuntu because of the "massive repos".
I don't know of any individual who uses all 25000+ packages in the Debian/Ubuntu repositories. Therefore, the only advantage is an easier method of resolving dependencies.

You are not making any sense. What matters not what percentage of the packages one uses, but how many are *not* available in the standard repos, and thus require a lot of manual attention to obtain and maintain. Between the main repo, Universe, and Multiverse, pretty much anything that is available anywhere is available there. I use CentOS, Fedora, and Ubuntu regularly. And there is really no comparison regarding completeness of the repos. (I'm sure Debian package availability is at least as good.) I'm not sure what the availability status of Slack is these days, since I left it in 1997 due to its... lack of proper package management. But I have seen nothing to indicate that the situation has changed much.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Packages, packages...
by gavin.mccord on Sun 4th May 2008 12:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Packages, packages..."
gavin.mccord Member since:
2005-09-07

[flame]
No doubt those who don't like Slackware's package management also drive automatic transmission cars.

Real men drive stick shift and work out their own dependencies :-)
[/flame]

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Packages, packages...
by bradley on Sun 4th May 2008 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Packages, packages..."
bradley Member since:
2007-03-02

Strange... Slack does not need to be defended, she definitely speaks for herself. Dependencies - I've always put dependencies for the programs that I use on a flash drive and when there is a new or updated package I simply replace it so I'm always current. If dependencies are soley the reason for people walking away from Slack... then let them walk.

If you know what programs you need for day to day tasks, it just makes sense to keep up with what dependencies are need.

Opensource... For the people, by the people.

Peace.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Packages, packages...
by sbergman27 on Sun 4th May 2008 16:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Packages, packages..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Dependencies - I've always put dependencies for the programs that I use on a flash drive and when there is a new or updated package I simply replace it so I'm always current.

Yeah, who needs that stuff? My car doesn't have an automatic choke. But there is a knob on the dashboard I can push and pull. I just pull it out before I start the car and remember to push it back in after it's warmed up. The ignition timing does not adjust automatically, but I have a lever for that. I just have to be careful to remember to push it all the way up before I turn the crank, or I get a nasty back-kick. The fuel pump is out, but I just run a hose and a squeeze bulb into the passenger compartment and give it a sqeeze a few times a minute. (More when I'm at speed. Less at idle. Just when it seems like it needs it.) If you know what you need to get around town every day, it just makes sense to keep up with that stuff.

I don't understand why people feel like they need all the new-fangled stuff. It's just needless bloat.

Edited 2008-05-04 16:08 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Packages, packages...
by bradley on Sun 4th May 2008 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Packages, packages..."
bradley Member since:
2007-03-02

What does this have to do with Slack? A mechanic and not a user...why'd you bother?

Peace nonetheless.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Packages, packages...
by garymax on Sun 4th May 2008 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Packages, packages..."
garymax Member since:
2006-01-23

You are not making any sense.


Nice try at polemics but I made perfect sense. My point was and is the fact that unless you are installing massive amounts of apps, resolving dependencies is not that big of a deal.

When you have source code ANY application is available.

I left it in 1997 due to its... lack of proper package management. But I have seen nothing to indicate that the situation has changed much.


This further proves my point. You're looking for something easy. It's not a matter of whether apps are available or not. It's whether you can get them onto your system in a perceived "easy" fashion.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing but it underscores the crux of the issue.

Also, it appears your idea of a "proper" package manager is one that resolves dependencies or, in other words, is easy...

I still say the cleanliness of the system and the relative ease with which dependencies are resolved in Slackware are well worth the minimal extra effort to get a great system that performs well with no bloat.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Packages, packages...
by sbergman27 on Sun 4th May 2008 17:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Packages, packages..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I would agree that for very simple systems with well defined requirements, Slackware's lack of package management might not make much difference. Ditto for embedded use.

For my own personal and professional needs, I require something which handles software installation and dependencies more efficiently than does Slackware. I support some 60 or so machines in various configurations, and that "small amount of effort" you refer to adds up fast. What you somewhat disparagingly refer to as wanting something "easy", I refer to as wanting something scalable, managable, and face it, modern.

Edited 2008-05-04 17:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Packages, packages...
by garymax on Mon 5th May 2008 04:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Packages, packages..."
garymax Member since:
2006-01-23

I did not mean to disparage your user needs by the word "easy"; I meant to point out that those who want dependency resolution want that convenience and that is not necessarily a bad thing as I stated.

But the extra effort a Slackware system requires yields far greater benefits than having pre-compiled packages.

Any automatic dependency resolution will almost always create bloat. Convenience? Yes. But also bloat.

There are other systems like Gentoo which are used as build servers to custom build packages and then roll them out to the other systems when ready.

Your needs will vary from others to be sure. But the amount of time you want to spend on your configuration efforts and the resulting system will determine your choice of distribution and your choice of package manager.

As to your comment about wanting a "modern" package manager, it's not really worth commenting much on.

Convenient != modern. It's simply a choice of package manager made by the administrator of a system.

Since others have used the car metaphor I'll do the same.

A manual transmission does not make a car a "classic" or outdated. It is usually a sign of sportiness and class. More work? Maybe. More fun? You betcha. Shift when you want, how you want.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Packages, packages...
by psychicist on Mon 5th May 2008 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Packages, packages..."
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

I'm really bothered with the "convenient == modern" view of a distribution. For instance Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSUSE are pretty convenient for installation, but they're also slow and more bleeding-edge and buggy than Slackware.

I installed Ubuntu 8.04 on one of the Powermacs G4 I bought a few days ago just to see what it's like before I erased it to install Slackintosh. The speed difference for both the installation and running the system is enormous, making the difference between useable and unuseable.

Ubuntu was even slower than the instance of Mac OS X 10.3 running on it a few hours earlier. I don't want to detract from the ease of use that Ubuntu claims to have but I found it anything but easy to get OpenJDK and Gnash running on there, something which is arguably easier on x86 and x86_64 by using Sun's JDK and Adobe's Flash.

I've also used and lived with OpenSUSE in the recent past and in a distant past Fedora Core 1 and you can't portray them as being ultimately convenient and Slackware as something ancient which isn't worth bothering with, because that's just not true.

I'd say it's the other way around. Slackware has considerably fewer problems after you've done initial configuration, to the point of not having to muck around with it at all either because of bugs or dependency resolution issues.

The point about package managers doesn't sit very well with me either. Slackware does have a package manager, it's called pkgtool. One may be right that it doesn't bother with dependencies but it does a good job of installation, removal and upgrading of packages.

If you want a convenient dependency resolving update manager such as apt or yum, there are tools such as slapt-get, which work well if you've created the necessary package metadata. It's like the difference between dpkg and apt or rpm and yum, but pkgtool and slapt-get have a much cleaner separation of responsibilities.

Rpm (yum) and dpkg (apt) may be more modern and convenient, but who is to say that these are the last word on package management? Both have bugs (see the ugly story on rpm leading to the rpm5 fork and the occasional failure to install or update packages on apt-get managed systems).

Maybe it's time for another more modern and up-to-date package manager like Conary that learns from these mistakes and offers a compelling advantage over both. In the meantime I'm glad that Slackware hasn't wandered into these territories yet. Also Solaris is also only now adopting a new package management facility.

It could be that eventually Slackware adopts something superior to both dpkg and apt, its ways aren't cast in stone. Moreover, if someone comes up with something better than the current tgz scheme, who knows if Slackware's maintainer might adopt it if it turns out to be good enough of a replacement, even though I admit that is not very likely.

If one is talking about Slackware in the enterprise I agree that it lacks some tools for remote management, graphical configuration utilities and overall integration (such as LDAP/AD), but these could be added over time. No distribution was ready for this kind of deployment from day one, enterprise features were created and refined over time. Also 24x7 and multi-year support seems to be more important than technical superiority, otherwise we'd all be using Slackware, Solaris or FreeBSD for our desktops and servers.

To show that I'm not biased I'll say that I've created and maintain MIPS and SPARC ports of my distribution that is derived from Slackware so I'll take suggestions to improve upon standard Slackware behaviour at heart to create a better user experience, since no distribution is perfect, not even Debian and Ubuntu.

What I don't appreciate is detracting from Slackware without saying what aspects could be be improved and offering suggestions in which ways this could be done.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Packages, packages...
by garymax on Mon 5th May 2008 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Packages, packages..."
garymax Member since:
2006-01-23

I would agree that for very simple systems with well defined requirements, Slackware's lack of package management might not make much difference.


You have made the classic mistake of equating dependency resolution with package management. Your statement that Slackware lacks a package manager is just not true. It has one. It's name is pkgtool.

pkgtool performs flawlessly with the installation, upgrading and removal of Slackware packages. The one thing it does not do that you seem to always emphasize is "dependency resolution".

Please do not confuse "ease of use" with package management. Or, in other words, if it isn't easy, if it doesn't resolve dependencies, or if it doesn't "scale", then it doesn't have a package manager.

This is flawed thinking.

But that's OK. Those who use Slackware are the only ones who need to know.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Packages, packages...
by OddFox on Mon 5th May 2008 20:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Packages, packages..."
OddFox Member since:
2005-10-05

As much as I love Slackware, it's an incredible pain in the arse to maintain (read: keep up to date) and expand beyond the original scope of Patrick's vision for a distro. slapt-get and swaret help to minimize these issues but I'm left wondering why in all these years since I started using Linux (Mandrake 8.1, Slackware 8.0. I stuck with Slackware until around the time you started having to use Dropline GNOME unless you wanted to build/install it yourself) Patrick and apparently the Slackware community see no need to step up to the plate and create a solution that at least tries to make life easier for the people who want things to be simple.

My case in point is that the upgrade process for Slackware 12.0 to 12.1 (found at http://slackware.oregonstate.edu/slackware-12.1/UPGRADE.TXT ) is 8 steps long. Not only 8 steps long, but two of them require delving into other files/documents and one of them requires that you manually (read: needlessly tedious) migrate all of your previous config files in /etc. Contrast this to the upgrade process on Fedora, Debian or Gentoo: yum/apt-get/emerge upgrade. Last time I checked Fedora seems to automagically handle updating /etc config files, which I am usually distrustful of. Debian will prompt you during the upgrade process for any input as to config file changes. Gentoo provides etc-update which is an intelligent interface to comparing the differences of the files and easily merging the two.

Using Slackware requires that you utilize a third-party utility. Swaret hasn't seen a new release since June of 2005, almost three years ago. slapt-get is still quite active apparently, and the way it handles dependencies according to the Wikipedia article leaves me a little confused, but ultimately with the same idea that for some odd reason dependency resolution is some kind of evil vile thing, kind of like how Patrick used to always be so up in arms about PAM for some stupid reason.

Slackware is an interesting distribution, one that I personally feel is antiquated in methodology for the time being. It is so reluctant to change that it makes Debian look like Fedora, IMHO. I would hope Patrick makes an effort in the near future to make his distribution more accessible to people who don't take pride in doing things by hand and "the hard way" just because. Your final comment, "But that's OK. Those who use Slackware are the only ones who need to know." reveals just how conceited the majority of Slackware users are. There's nothing impressive in what you do managing the system, but it is greatly impressive when people get together to make things easier on everyone, and why I hope slapt-get makes it official soon and extends its support for true library dependency resolution. I'm about to install this beast myself and see how I like it compared to my Gentoo, which I've started to shy away from because more and more I'm more interested in things working than polishing my Propellerhead title.

Edited 2008-05-05 20:51 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Packages, packages...
by garymax on Mon 5th May 2008 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Packages, packages..."
garymax Member since:
2006-01-23

Your final comment, "But that's OK. Those who use Slackware are the only ones who need to know." reveals just how conceited the majority of Slackware users are.


No conceit, here. Just an appreciation for the distro and a statement of fact.

While I take umbrage to the statement "Slackware lacks a package manager" this lack of knowledge by those outside the Slackware community really doesn't affect Slackware users who know better. We just like to set the record straight every once in a while.

As for making things "easy", it's not about ease of use, per se. It's about efficiency and a clean system under the hood.

One reason why Pat Volkerding doesn't try to "make things easy" isn't because he has this thing against usability; he knows that the more layers of abstraction that are added to a system the more that system gets bloated and more prone to bugs and errors. Case in point: Ubuntu. It releases every six months--ready or not--and the community is left picking up the pieces, having to place bug reports at Launchpad. And the bugs that do get reported may not even be fixed until the next release because of their release/upgrade policy.

I'll take Slackware as it is. It's fast, efficient, reliable and secure. I'll take that over a bloated distro any day.

For what it's worth, I ran Kubuntu 7.10 and 8.04 along side of Slackware over the last several months leading up to the release of the latest versions of both distributions (Slackware and Kubuntu). I much prefer the stability of Slackware.

I took time to make the assessment rather than base it on community opinion.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Packages, packages...
by OddFox on Mon 5th May 2008 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Packages, packages..."
OddFox Member since:
2005-10-05

You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and the pioneering distros who are on the forefront with technologies that actually improve the user experience are going to have more bugs than something like Slackware that as a rule doesn't touch upstream. I can appreciate that Slackware is a great distribution for specific purposes; however, it has far more potential and that potential has always been explored morseo by derivative systems such as Vector. Your case in point with bugs on Ubuntu paint a grim picture of users banging their heads against the wall due to show-stopping bugs. Personally, I haven't had any issues with the latest Ubuntu release, even during the alpha test stage. Were there bugs? Sure. My hardware/software configuration simply didn't bring them to my attention.

I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on what makes a distribution good for end users. A fast, efficient, reliable and secure base system, which Slackware is, is all well and good, but it has the polish of a chunk of Pumice newly discovered from the ground. I also don't really notice anything of a speed hit going between Slackware, Ubuntu, Gentoo and Fedora. OpenSuSE I haven't gotten to test too much lately in terms of speed, but SuSE has traditionally been the more sluggish and polished distro. I haven't had any problems with performance on a Linux desktop since I first got 512MB of RAM and a 1GHz processor, that might sound like outlandish expectations for a desktop system that will be responsive and useful, but a system like that costs beans now and has for a long time.

I guess one of my biggest problems with Slackware is that it simply is so boring, it's what you would get if you went and did a LFS build and threw a tag onto what you have just created, and that's not a bad thing, it's just not something I look for in a distro for my desktop and the desktops of friends. Slackware has always just, to me, seemed like Debian without the philosophy and the package management with proper full dependency resolution support. Your arguments against layers of abstraction don't really stand up to intense scrutiny. How much are you willing to give up in your crusade against ewwwwbloated software that actually has features and advanced capabilities? Are you going to start advocating that everyone write in assembly code because it's so much less accident-prone?

I'll take Ubuntu/Fedora/Debian/Gentoo as it is. It's fast, efficient, reliable and secure. I'll take that over a hobbled distro any day.

Disclaimer: I have a machine that you'd be hard pressed to stress to the point of poor performance and responsiveness, but I haven't always and I regularly introduce newbies to Linux via Ubuntu (Gentoo if they really want it). Oh, and why oh why is Slackware still stuck using LILO by default?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Packages, packages...
by psychicist on Mon 5th May 2008 22:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Packages, packages..."
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

As much as I love Slackware, it's an incredible pain in the arse to maintain (read: keep up to date) and expand beyond the original scope of Patrick's vision for a distro


I can't say I don't agree with that sentiment. I ended up with Slackware after using SUSE, Mandrake and Red Hat probably about the same time as you did and it isn't as if I was really looking for it.

It actually found me, since whatever I tried with the other distributions to make them run stable and complete I ended up fighting them to make things work. Slackware was both fast and went out of its way to enable customisations without breaking everything.

The lack of dependency resolution makes things hard for upgrading but on other distributions it's already hard enough to make things work in the first place.

Not only 8 steps long, but two of them require delving into other files/documents and one of them requires that you manually (read: needlessly tedious) migrate all of your previous config files in /etc.


I agree that there is no excuse for not automating the process as much as possible. One point is the nature of the text configuration files themselves. You have to parse them and look for changed data.

It would be much better if each config file had a stock read-only one and a writeable one with additional options so you could blow the stock ones away with an upgrade. Or change to XML configuration files with settings.

Slackware is an interesting distribution, one that I personally feel is antiquated in methodology for the time being. It is so reluctant to change that it makes Debian look like Fedora, IMHO. I would hope Patrick makes an effort in the near future to make his distribution more accessible to people who don't take pride in doing things by hand and "the hard way" just because.


It sure is interesting but some concepts could use updating. You don't even want to know what I had to endure on irc even suggesting some things could be improved upon or changed for the sake of useability or ease without giving up the core values of the distribution.

Every attempt at doing things differently is seen as an attempt to fork when I just want to get changes merged upstream for everyone to benefit from. I consider forking a last resort, but perhaps it's ultimately necessary for the project to evolve into the 21st century.

Your final comment, "But that's OK. Those who use Slackware are the only ones who need to know." reveals just how conceited the majority of Slackware users are.


I would like to remind you that not all Slackware users and developers are like that. I have used all kinds of operating systems from the aforementioned GNU/Linux distributions to Solaris (Express) and the BSDs, two Macs (one running OS X 10.4 and one Slackintosh current) since a few days (and am also pretty familiar with that other operating system). I can see the benefits and drawbacks of each of these and what could be integrated to make Slackware a better and more easily handled operating system.

I'm open to and welcome suggestions for improvement that I can try on my MIPS (running on Loongson 2E/2F) and SPARC (developed on UltraSPARC, but almost exclusively built with V8 compatibility) ports. If several changes prove to be genuine improvements it's always possible to get them to be applied upstream if PV wants them to.

You can send me a PM if you've got a suggestion or other kind of improvement that you're willing to share with me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Packages, packages...
by Oliver on Mon 5th May 2008 08:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Packages, packages..."
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Most of these so-called 25.000 packages are the userland itself. And if I use something like pkgsrc with Slack I will find lot _additional_ of software. So what? It's about quality not quantity.

Reply Score: 2

packages dependancies
by agrouf on Mon 5th May 2008 14:10 UTC
agrouf
Member since:
2006-11-17

What's the problem? Install swaret and be happy!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swaret
[flaming]
Anyway, the best package manager is portage, hands down. Portage pwns apt-get. All your bases are belong to us. It's portage or nothing.
[/flaming]

Reply Score: 1