Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 8th Oct 2008 20:12 UTC
Slackware, Slax "Slackware remains Slackware. It's been around for a very long time and it has a very loyal following. It's an excellent choice for the Linux hobbyist who wants to build, configure, and tweak their system to the nth degree. Slackware certainly gives you absolute control over your system. Nothing is made to be easy or user friendly", writes Caitlyn Martin.
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Slackware forever !
by Nephelim on Wed 8th Oct 2008 20:44 UTC
Nephelim
Member since:
2006-07-26

I knew GNU/Linux in its Slackware 1.0 incarnation, and though I've used Redhat, SuSE (now Novell and OpenSuSE), Debian, Mandrake (now Mandriva), Knoppix, CentOS, Fedora and Trustix, my home machine remains using Slackware (12.1 by now). It is the distribution that I am able to run more stable and faster. It's clean and simple, just KISS applied to the GNU/Linux distributions ... oh, I almost forget about it, I love the Slackware installer too !!

Reply Score: 5

Slackware
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 8th Oct 2008 20:45 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have always had an extreme respect and love for Slackware, but I have always been more of "a Debian type", easy package management and everything you might desire available as a binary.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Slackware
by DeadFishMan on Thu 9th Oct 2008 02:49 UTC in reply to "Slackware"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

I have always had an extreme respect and love for Slackware, but I have always been more of "a Debian type", easy package management and everything you might desire available as a binary.


Funny, it is the same thing for me but I always had fond memories of the brief time that I ran Slackware (as a server AND as a desktop).

Slack has a strong community here in Brazil and sites like LinuxQuestions.org and LinuxPackages.net make it a breeze to run it. Although tough, it is not nearly as bad as Caitlyn make it sounds on TFA.

But I'm done with distro hopping and one would have to take Debian away from my cold dead fingers these days. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Slackware
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 9th Oct 2008 03:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Slackware"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06



Funny, it is the same thing for me but I always had fond memories of the brief time that I ran Slackware (as a server AND as a desktop).



Indeed, me too. I should have said that ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Slackware
by bradley on Thu 9th Oct 2008 10:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Slackware"
bradley Member since:
2007-03-02

"But I'm done with distro hopping and one would have to take Debian away from my cold dead fingers these days."

Bud... this is how I feel about Slackware to the letter. I've tried to think about would I feel if the Slackware ceased to exist... I would go with Arch to savor the memories of Slack. As for Debian... she's my second favorite distro to use.

I'm rockin 4 pc's running - Slack, Debian, Arch, FreeBSD and they all get along so well I could not imagine life without the them. My wife recently got frustrated with Windows and ask me for an os to install without the hassels that MS users deal with a while back.

I set her up on Slackware 12 and taught her some commands as far as maintaining it, now she goes to work bragging how she doesn't have to deal with the plagues of Windows.

Strange ... Give it a name.

Thank you guys especially for the operating systems I've aforementioned for all the hard work and dedication that you put into making this possible.

-Bradley

Reply Score: 1

8 years
by Budd on Wed 8th Oct 2008 21:13 UTC
Budd
Member since:
2005-07-08

8 years soon since I use Slackware. Best in my book.Pat,thanks for all,man!

Reply Score: 2

Comment by sevrage
by sevrage on Wed 8th Oct 2008 22:16 UTC
sevrage
Member since:
2006-06-29

"It may also be the least user friendly major Linux distribution on the planet short of building Linux From Scratch."

any true slackware user knows this is a lie.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by sevrage
by Morgan on Wed 8th Oct 2008 22:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by sevrage"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

"It may also be the least user friendly major Linux distribution on the planet short of building Linux From Scratch."

any true slackware user knows this is a lie.


It is a lie, or at least a very gross exaggeration. Compared to any of the source-based distros, including LFS, Gentoo, Sorcerer Linux etc., Slackware is child's play. The greatest things about Slackware are that it is package-based but also very source-friendly, it is configurable almost exclusively through shell scripts, and the kernel is vanilla which makes compiling easy. You can compile all your software on Slackware yourself, but you don't have to as there are thousands of .tgz packages available. There's even a few complete GNOME meta-packages for those who miss it (myself included).

Slackware 8.0 is where I truly learned the ins and outs of UNIX computing. I took that knowledge and ran with it and I'm at home on the command line now. As for Slackware 12.1, it's only a heartbeat away from being as user-friendly as Debian. All it needs is a user account setup screen in the installer and perhaps a script to change init levels (with an explanation for the newbies of course) and it's there. I know I know, the package manager doesn't have dependency resolution. That's not an issue for most Slackware users though, as they are smart enough to read the package description and download the requirements along with the desired package. Yes it's an extra step but to me it's worth having a system as robust and bloat-free as Slackware.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by sevrage
by B12 Simon on Thu 9th Oct 2008 10:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by sevrage"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

Absolutely. Slackware is easy once you know how and the help on linuxquestions, etc. is invaluable if not.

Once installed all I need to do is tweak a few of the (excellently-commented) config files install a few packages and then enjoy 8-9 months of rock-solid linux joy.

This might seem a PITA if you're a reviewer or distro-hopper but users who config their PC once then just use it Slack's a breeze!

Reply Score: 2

*slackware*
by sevrage on Thu 9th Oct 2008 00:20 UTC
sevrage
Member since:
2006-06-29

i think its pretty much more simply best to edit the scripts than to use some conf tool (console confs included...for example xorg.conf.. i mean.. isnt it faster to edit the script rather to loose all that time with those questions..) slackware is so easy, because editing the files in a way means that you know exactly what your doing and if thats true.. then its simple...

now.. im not that dumb as to.. "i only use console mode hooo im so eleet" i use whatever gets the job done fast, allows me to be aware and in control, for example i like to select every single package that i install on slackware and to do that i like to use some "visual aid".

slackware is so much simple because you know where things are (scripts... dirs...) and u know that things are as they look, slackware is like standard, default,"unix like", without clowning.. (i remember using suse a long time ago.. and it was a nightmare that yast thing simple made it impossible to edit scripts files manually).


and packages!! beautiful packages.. i mean.. any slackware user that as used another distro has to know how to really apreciate slackware packages.. and the package system... on some distros packages are like striped down, compiled without some features.. and then to install something u got to compile everything (not happening).. on other systems you got to compile every single package.. i mean.. i dont live for the OS... other systems with dependencies.. just fail, its prety funny wanting to install something just to see i have to remove another thing that is needed by something else, or simply failing without any reason.. i mean.. is it not simpler not to have dependencies at all... and not to be hassled with the system being it... and other systems are like package X is devided into 1.X 2.X 3.X.. i mean slackware package X is in-itself 1.X 2.X 3.X... and ppl talk about dependencies...

i see myself using more and more the console as i go along using linux.. why? faster.. simpler.. and thats that. user friendly? whats that? i dont think the words slackware and "user friendly" should be put together because with slackware u get what u get to get it done without the calories and dead brain cells figuring out why did someone made a puzzle and a labyrinth out of something simple that requires you to want some friendly user friendly kind of stuff.

Reply Score: 2

Slackware and Zenwalk
by 2501 on Thu 9th Oct 2008 00:43 UTC
2501
Member since:
2005-07-14

I have my laptop running Zenwalk and Slackware on my server. They both work to perfection. I haven't had any complains about my favorite distros. They run all day and night without crashes. Even my wife loves it after having a bad experience with MS.

I use Zenwalk to run Fortran programs to work on my research (Computational biology) and it is so rock stable that I can't use anything different. My Slackware server take care of the rest just beatiful.

Thanks Patrick! You are the man.

-2501

Reply Score: 1

*slackware*
by sevrage on Thu 9th Oct 2008 00:46 UTC
sevrage
Member since:
2006-06-29

EDIT to my precious post: did i forgot to say that slackware is also about freedom of choice.. if something is not implemented its because its the admin that has to choose what he wants/likes/best for him.. i usually see ppl crying about slackware not having this or that... but if it had that or this it would stop being slackware....

Reply Score: 1

I'm pretty sure that she's wrong.
by frank on Thu 9th Oct 2008 04:00 UTC
frank
Member since:
2005-07-08

I honestly can't disagree more with Caitlyn.
"Even advanced users will find Slackware time consuming to install and configure properly. "

I recently spent an entire day installing various linux distributions on one of my systems. Fedora 9, Suse 12... The only one that would install was Slackware. Every other distribution crashed after the installer grinded away for an hour. It wasn't for a lack of effort, at first, I thought that my drive had bad sectors, bad install disk. Slackware I only ran once -the last time.

Plus, I could swear that we could boot into runlevel 5. I really think that she's wrong there.

Reply Score: 1

fsckit Member since:
2006-09-24

I pretty much disagree with her on all accounts myself.

And yes you can boot directly into a desktop manager. The runlevel is 4 on Slackware though. Not 5, as is usual with other distros. You just have to change the initdefault line in /etc/inittab.

Couple other major screw ups in the article are the statement that KDM is the only desktop manager that can be used and that xorgconfig is necessary for working X11.

1) If KDM was all that was going I would trash Slack in a heartbeat. Thankfully xdm is available and you can change the WM/DE by changing the symlink in /etc/X11/xinit, or by creating a proper .xinitrc

2) Who in the heck uses the xorg configure scripts these days? "Xorg -configure" hasn't failed to detect my hardware and serve up a working config automagically in at least 3 years now.

Reply Score: 2

nonesuch Member since:
2007-11-13

Actually changing window managers is even easier than that. Slackware includes a cool tool called "xwmconfig" that has, in my experience, always discovered and listed every installed WM and lets you select a different one in about 2 seconds.

Also, to people comparing Slackware to Debian: yes, apt-get pretty much rules, but there are tools available to automatically download and install binary packages on Slackware, and even handle simple dependency issues. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slapt-get is available, which automates built-in Slackware features. Swaret doesn't appear to be updated anymore, I don't know if it still works because I haven't used Slackware in some time. I'll have to try this release though!

I guess Dropline Gnome is dead/dormant? What's the current easy way to install Gnome?

Reply Score: 2

fsckit Member since:
2006-09-24

I think this http://gnomeslackbuild.org/ is what the kids are usin these days. It used to be called FreeRock I believe. I'm not a Gnome user so this is from bits and pieces of mail list posts I've picked up.

Edit: hah. I wasn't even aware of xwmconfig. I just opened it up in vi and it's a shell script that either changes the symlink in xinit or creates a .xinitrc depending on whether it's a user or root that runs it. Patrick really has thought of everything eh.

Edited 2008-10-09 12:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

justinc Member since:
2006-07-24

http://gnomeslackbuild.org/ works great on slackware and slamd64.

Reply Score: 1

used to use
by urho on Thu 9th Oct 2008 05:37 UTC
urho
Member since:
2008-04-30

I find Slackware one of the best distros. It's actually easy to configure and use. The only reason I'm using Arch is that I'm lazy and want to use GNOME without any hassle.

Reply Score: 2

RE: used to use
by dekernel on Thu 9th Oct 2008 14:35 UTC in reply to "used to use"
dekernel Member since:
2005-07-07

Actually I kinda think of Arch as Slack with a nice package manager.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: used to use
by boofar on Thu 9th Oct 2008 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE: used to use"
boofar Member since:
2008-04-23

Actually I kinda think of Arch as Slack with a nice package manager.

I couldn't agree more. I used to run Linux From Scratch some years back, then moved to Slack and finally to Arch. To me it goes like this:
LFS - pure linux
Slack - pure linux, precompiled
Arch - pure linux with good package management

Reply Score: 1

Slackware is Still the Best
by pantheraleo on Thu 9th Oct 2008 06:59 UTC
pantheraleo
Member since:
2007-03-07

Slackware is the distro I grew up on. And it's still my favorite one. It's amazing how little it has changed since the Slackware 1.1 days.

Slackware still maintains that "hacker" spirit. It's inviting and fun and still has this sense of "nostalgic coolness frontier spirit about it". Slackware says to you "Come on, lets have some fun! Tinker with me!". Most other Linux distributions have either lost that spirit of "fun" or never had it to begin with. Because they started to take business productivity too seriously. There's a place for that. But I hope Slackware never goes down that road. And I'm sure it won't, cause it's in very good hands.

Long live Slackware!

Reply Score: 1

Dependency Hell
by B12 Simon on Thu 9th Oct 2008 10:42 UTC
B12 Simon
Member since:
2006-11-08

The article says of Slackware's package management:

It's a recipe for dependency hell that's rarely seen on other major distributions in 2008.


Slackware's dependency checker (i.e. a human administrator) is the best defence against dependency hell. It might take a bit longer in some cases but it makes it a lot harder to wreck your system in the way RPM-based (or whatever) systems can.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Dependency Hell
by Jimbo on Fri 10th Oct 2008 03:13 UTC in reply to "Dependency Hell"
Jimbo Member since:
2005-07-22

Slackware's dependency checker (i.e. a human administrator) is the best defence against dependency hell.


I doubt even a human can compete with gentoo's revdep-rebuild.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Dependency Hell
by porcel on Fri 10th Oct 2008 08:41 UTC in reply to "Dependency Hell"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

The dependencies on a modern linux system are so complex that a human check is not enough. The packages have to be built carefully and with an awareness of how they fit with the rest of the system and complete binary rebuilds of the entire system are needed to make sure that the system remains in a consistent state.

Why do you think that Suse keeps their Build Service around? You can have a complete distribution rebuilt when you introduce a change into a package so that if there are any potential repercussions throughout the whole software stack, they will be caught.

No human "checker" can do that. This is not to say that a good admin should not keep a very watchful eye on a server and a good log of what he installs and why. But there is a role for automated dependency checking.

The mindset that everything an admin's head is the only sound repository for all knowledge about a server is a recipe for disaster at a datacenter.

The needs of a small home server cannot be compared to the needs of larger organizations.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Dependency Hell
by B12 Simon on Fri 10th Oct 2008 09:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Dependency Hell"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

My remark was about dependency hell, not ease of administration in the data centre.

Reply Score: 1

Late review
by wigry on Thu 9th Oct 2008 13:04 UTC
wigry
Member since:
2008-10-09

Slack is cool and I like the distro myself, but why the heck is the review posten in OSNews now if the review itself was made on June 8, 2008?

Reply Score: 3

Slackware 12.1
by hitest on Thu 9th Oct 2008 17:17 UTC
hitest
Member since:
2006-10-28

Slackware is and always will be my main work station. If you can read the manual, you can install, set-up Slackware. Slackware is not only a distro for advanced users. That is a silly statement.
Heh, the lack of a package manager is a plus for me. Installing software in Slackware is simple.

# installpkg packagename.tgz

Reply Score: 1

Vote Slackware in 08'
by factotum218 on Thu 9th Oct 2008 19:19 UTC
factotum218
Member since:
2007-03-20

This reads like a insecure Vector Linux user trying to justify they're choice.

Just more of the usual "oh no, ncurses!".

It's what I love second most about Slackware, watching it put people in their place and knock them down a notch.

Reply Score: 1