Linked by Mikhail Zotov on Mon 21st Apr 2003 04:08 UTC
Slackware, Slax For three months now, I have been a Slackware user. I am also an OSNews reader. Being so, I see that there are a lot of myths about Slackware. Some of them seem to be misleading. I'd like to comment on a number of them basing on my (not so long) experience using Slackware.
Order by: Score:
Great Points
by Dans on Mon 21st Apr 2003 04:27 UTC

Great points about slackware linux from a newbie user's persepective. I still remember mine frustration of trying to get a copy of slackware 7 (bought from a sale) to work in 2001.

I agree with all BUT
by debman on Mon 21st Apr 2003 04:32 UTC

you can have all this and more in Debian ;-)

no realy, I tend to think of debian as the lazy man's slack because it is fast to boot and lean but at the same time package management is much more simple.

Newbie?
by smurf975 on Mon 21st Apr 2003 04:45 UTC

He has four years of Linux experience. I wouldn't call him a newbie. Ok only since end 2002 he is using Linux at home but he sais he started using Linux in 1999.

If thats a newbie it must be very hard to call your self an expert.

smurf

slackware
by akira on Mon 21st Apr 2003 05:13 UTC

i tried slack 8.1, in fact it was my first distro. in comparison to suse/mdk/rh, slack is alot harder. but the other made his points in saying it's very well documented. i almost want to recommend a newbie to slack. the skills i learned in configuring slack made my life on suse/mdk alot easier. i had my xf86config looking better then yast2/sax2 script could make. i love slack. i'm a huge fan of it. who says computer should be easy anyways, afterall, isn't that what microsoft/mac are good for?

v Oprah Moments
by Joe Schmuck on Mon 21st Apr 2003 05:17 UTC
Question ...
by Darius on Mon 21st Apr 2003 05:24 UTC

In the article, the author mentions that there is a Slackware newsgroup, which is supposedly a great source of info on Slackware and also, Linuxpackages.net, which is basically to Slackware what Freshrpms.net is to Redhat.
So, my question is .. why the HELL aren't these two linked on the 'Other Sites' page on the Slackware website? I mean, these are probably two of the most important links for a budding Slackware user, so you would think they would be there, especially since they went through the trouble of adding freshmeat.net.
Also, though I haven't looked at the book listed on the website yet, at least some of the stuff listed in the Configuration section of the website is for Slackware 7/XFree 3.x and thus horribly out of date. Basically by having that on there, it tells me that the developers don't care enough about the distro or website to at least remove the stuff that is out of date. I mean, there's not even a disclaimer that says "Uhhh, hey ... this stuff is out of date and may not work anymore ... "

Do NOT edit this file
by Richard James on Mon 21st Apr 2003 05:25 UTC

You will never see the above line in Slackware. Everything can be configured by hand. i hate it when you are using one of these so called easy to use systems and it goes and overwrites your carefully typed settings.

Slackware only alters the MOTD file and you can stop it from doing that.

Slackware is for when you want to use the computer and not the other way around.

THANK YOU!!
by Billy G is not My Lover on Mon 21st Apr 2003 05:29 UTC

After reading all the articles on this site about how difficult Linux is to install, its refreshing to finally read an article telling how it really is. And to think that most people consider RedHat and Mandrake even easier than Slack, well then they must be REALLY easy.

Also, this guy probably is right in calling himself a newb. I consider myself a newb to Linux after 4 years of hands on experience, because even after 4 years, there is still much I WANT to learn about. If you don't want to learn more about it, and just want to use it as a tool to get your job done, then Linux is great too. You have the option.

This is what makes Linux such a wonderful thing. If you want to use linux for web, email, and word processing, its a snap. But if you want to learn more, you ALWAYS can learn more. Linux is so open and expansive that you can always learn new things about it. This is where Windows becomes dull and boring IMHO, because of it's closed nature, you are stuck using what they provide you.

re: Billy G is...
by dwilson on Mon 21st Apr 2003 05:34 UTC

Also, this guy probably is right in calling himself a newb. I consider myself a newb to Linux after 4 years of hands on experience, because even after 4 years, there is still much I WANT to learn about.

I think that is ridiculous. Newbie mean, and always has meant, someone who is new. I am still learning things about the English language every day. I don't call myself a noob.

This guy has been using linux for four years. To call him a noob is misleading, ridiculous, and unjustifiable. Now, he may be new to Slackware, but I think most people thought the implication was that he is new to linux, which completely untrue.

dwilson
by Billy G is not My Lover on Mon 21st Apr 2003 05:45 UTC

Well, in Windows, you become an expert, because you know everything there is to know. There is a limit to what you can really learn in a closed-source system. You can only learn what they want you to learn. With Linux sure maybe he knows certain things about it, but that by no means makes you an expert. My dad has been using Windows for about 2 years now, when he finally got a computer. He is my NO MEANS AN EXPERT. All he does is go on the web, check email, and type papers. Perhaps the author was in a similar situation at work, where he only had time to use his computer to GET WORK DONE.

RE: I agree with all BUT
by Matthew Baulch on Mon 21st Apr 2003 05:47 UTC

> you can have all this and more in Debian ;-)
>
> no realy, I tend to think of debian as the lazy man's slack
> because it is fast to boot and lean but at the same time
> package management is much more simple.

I really wish I could like debian, I really do. Linux is an __reasonable__ kernel and the debian is well tested. I like my packages to be well tested but come on! KDE 2.2? Kernel 2.2.x? I said tested not archaeological. The installer is utilitarian, thus good IMHO but it asks __way__ too many questions. All I want to tell it is my partition configuration, base utils and X for installation and nothing else. I don't want to set up networking, updating, sendmail or anything during the install. This is first-boot stuff.

I'm aware that the 2.4.x series kernel is available but the default compiled one won't boot on this pc whereas the lastest RedHat, Mandrake, Suse, Gentoo, Slackware, XXX will.

I don't have a problem with people using Debian, it isn't that. It just frustrates the way everything works... but __. I want to like it, I really do.

Debian
by Elijah Buck on Mon 21st Apr 2003 05:52 UTC

Only stable is outdated. Testing and Current are up to date.

RE: Debian
by Matthew Baulch on Mon 21st Apr 2003 06:05 UTC

> Only stable is outdated. Testing and Current are up to date.

Testing/Current don't provide security fixes AFAIK. In a production environment, these are a must. I prefer them on my pc at home too.

Re: Question...
by rootrider on Mon 21st Apr 2003 06:07 UTC

Also, though I haven't looked at the book listed on the website yet, at least some of the stuff listed in the Configuration section of the website is for Slackware 7/XFree 3.x and thus horribly out of date.

In actuality, this is not horribly out of date. Yeah... XF86 3.x is old. But Slackware 7 in itself is not that 'outdated'. Slackware 9.0 is still very similar to Slack 8.x and 7.x. Things have only been improved upon since then, with a few packages added, etc. Otherwise, the system is largely the same. I've got an old 'Slackware Unleashed' book which discusses Slackware 7 (iirc). However, as long as you ignore the software versions they refer to, the book is still largely relevant, even to the newly released Slack9.

First distro
by Anonymous on Mon 21st Apr 2003 07:03 UTC

Slack 3 was the first distribution that I managed to installed and successfully configure -- after trying several other distros. It's a good package of software.

BSDs are faster
by Anonymous on Mon 21st Apr 2003 07:10 UTC

I have never used the BSDs until recently but decided to take the plunge. FreeBSD is a good deal faster than Linux, IMHO. It loads up KDE from scratch in 12 seconds on an Athlon 1Ghz w/512 RAM. This takes ~25-30 seconds on any Linux distro I've used (most, but not Slackware or Gentoo).

I have no idea why things run so much faster with FreeBSD. Are there any specific BSD hacks they've made to KDE?

YEs
by Alex on Mon 21st Apr 2003 07:31 UTC

I too wish linux were/felt a lot faster,a t least as fast as BeOS, FreeBSD or Windows.

Anyway, which is faster, normal Gentoo box or Slackware with the same hardware.

RE: BSDs are faster
by Matthew Baulch on Mon 21st Apr 2003 08:59 UTC

>I have no idea why things run so much faster with FreeBSD.
> Are there any specific BSD hacks they've made to KDE?

The FreeBSD KDE team (http://freebsd.kde.org/) make modifications to help it run on FreeBSD but they don't tend to focus on performance, rather stability.

Yes, FreeBSD does tend to run a lot faster than linux. There are many reasons for this like FreeBSDs more rigid TCP/IP stack, quicker filesystem, more fluid asynchronous I/O support. More than you can poke a stick at. It does have its shortcomings too. Many of these to be addressed in 5.0 (SMP related stuff mainly).

As it happens, Linux does produce a superior KDE product as KDE is written primarily with Linux in mind. This is no reflection on the FreeBSD KDE team though, they do an excellent job.

Another reason why you might have encountered faster start up times with KDE on FreeBSD is the lack of services enabled by default. As you mentioned, Slackware and Gentoo tend not to have this problem so performance is not affected to the same extend. Most Linux distros however will always have the disadvantage (except the source based ones) of binaries optimised for old architectures to retain compatibility.

With the BSDs (and Linux source based distros), you can set up the ports to compile with optimisations targeted for your specific CPU architecture. Thus, the performance increase in KDE.

RE: Debian
by Anonymous on Mon 21st Apr 2003 09:44 UTC

"Testing/Current don't provide security fixes AFAIK. In a production environment, these are a must. I prefer them on my pc at home too."
Unstable (Current?) provides - packages are updated for security fixes. Testing is worst in this sense, because it gets fixed packages from unstable after a quite long wait, when they are decided be "good enough" for testing.

slackware vs. source based distros
by rootrider on Mon 21st Apr 2003 10:22 UTC

Most Linux distros however will always have the disadvantage (except the source based ones)

Hopefully you aren't implying that Slackware is a source based distribution (like Gentoo has been). I see Slack labeled as a "source based distro" all too often. The only thing that would make Slackware even close to a source based distribution would be to install the base packages and then install everything else from source. Slackware is a binary based distribution, just like most of the other distros. What makes slackware different is its simplicity. To be honest, I don't know what makes it faster. I also don't have much to compare it with as I've been using Slackware exclusively for a couple years now.

From what I've seen, Linux in itself can be just as fast as the *BSD's. It's that wonderful bloat that the other mainstream distros add that slow the system down.

At least he enjoys linux...
by vincent on Mon 21st Apr 2003 10:35 UTC

I'm not into all the nature stuff. I'm more of a house pet.

IMHO Gentoo would be faster
by Kobold on Mon 21st Apr 2003 11:37 UTC

It looks like the Slack packages are mostly precompiled for i386, and so (unless you recompile everything) Slack would be slower then Gentoo with its machine-specific optimizations. Please correct me if I am wrong.

RE: Newbie?
by lenrekash on Mon 21st Apr 2003 11:37 UTC

> He has four years of Linux experience. I wouldn't call him
> a newbie. Ok only since end 2002 he is using Linux at home
> but he sais he started using Linux in 1999.
>
> If thats a newbie it must be very hard to call your self
> an expert.
>
> smurf

Years of experience does not equal with a person's understanding and knowlegde.

At least he is truthful about his knowlegde, not like some who claim: 'I had X number of years in experience, therefore I am an expert...'

Slackware is only for geeks/developers
by danlu on Mon 21st Apr 2003 11:48 UTC

1a. Slackware is user-unfriendly.

The two assumpions may be valid but Slackware is still not user friendly. Users may be trained to open Mozilla and use the Internet and such but when something breaks, it's the end. The user has to have a personal Linux geek in the closet to fix things (ie an invisible hanged mozilla). They will probably discover cool stuff in the KDE/Gnome menus but that's it. You can't assume that people are interested in the internal works of the OS and reading man-pages and stuff. Those man pages could be written in latin. No difference. No ordinary user should come in contact with those documents.

1b. Slackware is difficult to install.

What type of users are you talking about this article exactly? Are users supposed to install their own operating system? Computer geeks, like those who read this site, sure they install operating systems all the time. Users, like my (Windows using) mother does not and should not until operating systems learn to install on their own. The slackware installer is far from usable to such users. It isn't nessessary to analyze it in more depth until it is completely redesigned with a different user base in mind. (I'm not saying that should happen. It's better to chose a different OS)

1c. Slackware is difficult to configure.

Your aim was to investigate if Slackware is only for geeks/developers and yet you compare with yourself; a longtime Linux using geek, and certainly no newbie. You are not reaching your aim with that discussion.

Init scripts, linuxconf(!), XF86Config, monitor tuning dosn't mean anything to the average user. They should not be exposed to such internal components. (Insert usual car analogy here) It's not because users are stupid but becuase they are not OS developers. They don't care how the OS works and if they need to know the inner workings to be able to configure their computer, it's the OS fault (or they are using the wrong OS).

The bit about Nature and the system closer to you does only apply to geeks/developers. (And certainly not all of them. The wonderful feeling I get after spending days configuring a Linux system is the urge to throw my computer out of the window and get a life instead.)


Ultimately, you don't answer the question if Slackware is [only] for geeks/developers or not and you can't really do that with that discussion. You compare with yourself and not the average user. You are deeply in love with Linux, the average user has no interest in Linux, only it's services.

This first part of the article is only valid for fellow Linux geeks and not ordinary people.

Thanks a lot for your friendly comments!
by Mikhail Zotov on Mon 21st Apr 2003 11:56 UTC

And I agree that calling myself a newbie after 4 years
of running Linux sounds ridiculous. I've used this word
in the sense that I didn't have time to look at Linux in
depth until very recently. Maybe "a hobbyist" or
"an amateur" are more appropriate words. (Blame me for my
poor English :-))
Anyway, thanks a lot for your friendly and stimulating
comments!

Newbie was an insult
by LPH on Mon 21st Apr 2003 12:02 UTC

I think that is ridiculous. Newbie mean, and always has meant, someone who is new.

Nope. In the early days (1985), Newbie was a pejorative - an insult. The label `newbie' was a serious insult to a person who had been around Usenet for a long time but who carefully hid all evidence of having a clue.  Bluntly, it was a way to call someone a childish idiot. It wasn't until idiots who didn't understand that it was an insult used the word over and over again -- and kept using it over and over again until it became common for everyone to just call themselves a newbie when they first started with something new.

RE: Newbie
by N.N. on Mon 21st Apr 2003 12:04 UTC

"Years of experience does not equal with a person's understanding and knowlegde. "

You can't use Linux for 4 years without learning something. He's installed packages, probably compiled programs from source and has general experience with typing in commands.

Someone like him will be more comfortable during installation than a person that has not used Linux before.

RE: IMHO Gentoo would be faster
by chidrob on Mon 21st Apr 2003 12:08 UTC

You are absolute right.

As a user of both Slack and Gentoo, I can say by sure that Slack is nearly a nanosecond slower than Gentoo.

Speaking seriously, there are some very good points that make Gentoo different/better than Slack (and viceversa) but for sure that the machine-specific optimizations are between the less important.

If someone sees a "big" difference between two diferent systems, I'm pretty sure the problem is in another place (configuration, installed programs, options, etc).

.
by Kobold on Mon 21st Apr 2003 12:08 UTC

Danlu, you can't expect a system to be friendly to users if the users don't want to be friendly to the system and learn the few pieces of information that are needed to configure it in a way that is most fit for them (as opposed to "one size fits all" way of Windows, OS X and all the desktop distros that fall apart as card houses as soon as the user changes something serious inside). Yes, using Slack or Gentoo requires learning. As does any other human activity (except maybe sucking on a nipple).

Is a bicycle user-friendly? For some stupid reason, it requires its user to learn its way of steering that is substantially different from the one used during walking. You can't assume that people are interested in the internal works of all those gears and pedals and stuff. They just want to be able to go somewhere.
;-]

The day is not far...
by Anonymous on Mon 21st Apr 2003 12:19 UTC

when osnews.com finally gets renamed to osnewbies.com ...

I'm gonna try a Mac, just to be sure
by Yves on Mon 21st Apr 2003 12:20 UTC

Hi all,

I've been using Slackware some time now, it is indeed a very good distro. My servers are running on it, I don't have X installed on them, but with vi and the scripts you can easily do the administration on them. Once you know how the scripts work, you don't need a system anymore like Yast.

On my desktop, I've also been using Slack, with nice results, but with far less satisfaction as on my servers. I would like to see my (desktop) distro come with Mozilla configured for Flash, Shockwave, Quick Time, Pdf, and so on. You can do it on a slackbox, but it just takes too much time IMHO.

I bought a portable last week, just one day after my new CD of 9.0 arrived (yes, I bought version 8.0, 8.1 and 9.0, in order to support Slackware), put it in my portable, and ... it hangs. I can't install 9.0 on my standard Compaq Presario 2100. I put in 8.1 which did install. I was a bit disappointed by that.

Anyway, I was looking in an automated setup for installing Linux in an Office environment (one do-it-all server, 15 workstations, router/firewall, backup system, CD burner, OpenOffice on the machine, KDE (no Gnome or other GUI), Mozilla, ... a standard software environment...). I met several other requirements in finding out a system to install that easily. E.g. the system must be installed over the network (for system crashes: you re-install the system over the network and configuration is done by means of a single floppy with some scripts), the portables must have their email "off-line, on the road", the user's profile must be kept safe at the server (backups), updates for software should be installed "automatically" (e.g. an security update must be sent to all 15 clients and installed without user or administrator interference).

Slackware wasn't into that league out-of-the-box. I therefore bought a box of Suse 8.2 Professional. The box comes with things like "AutoYast", ... Stuff I wanted to test. I installed it on my portable, to see how that would work out, given the problems with Slack. It installed nicely, but, fiiiiewww, what a waste of diskspace, compared to a slack. And if you're used to a simple system like Slack, it's a hell to retreive your settings and software (e.g. Tomcat is installed under /opt/jakarta/tomcat instead of /usr/local/tomcat, postgres database files are splattered all over your disk, like my data in /var/lib/pgsql/data). I don't feel at home on my system anymore. It's like I moved into a new house and cupboards have been rearranged !

Anyway, Suse comes with some nice features, which I miss on a Slackware. I might be able to install them manually, but I like certain things out of the box. (I like InterMezzo, which I would like to test for software installations and off-line files). It is not fast, IMHO, certainly not when you're used to Slack's speed. And it gave me some twitches on KDE. My keyboard needed reconfiguration twice, after I altered something in Yast. I had lost the "<" character (whole key actually), which is very unlucky for a webdeveloper ;-)). Fonts on Suse are not okay by default. I had to do some configuring to get decent fonts on Mozilla, on Microsoft style sites especially, even with the Verdana font that came along during the installation (it's a YOU - Yast Online Update feature)

I was reasonably happy with my new system, until one of my students showed up with his new Macintosh (I teach some evenning classes on webdevelopment and XML). I know a Mac is easy, I know a Mac looks nice, but hey ... this was extremely easy and nice. It took me 10 seconds to open the shell to browse around a bit, and I must say, with the Mac running (OS X) on a FreeBSD box, I felt at home almost right away. I quickly setup his Apache, tried to compile postgres (which didn't work because of some missing software on his machine, compilers and stuff aren't installed by default, I guess).

So, I downloaded OpenDarwin. That's a mess ... I can't get it installed on any of my machines. My Compaq deskpro's all hang at CD boot, which is a problem with the chipset, according to the newsgroups, my old Prolinea compaqs don't boot either, ...). Bye bye OpenDarwin.

So, I'm stuck now.
Slackware needs to move to a new level for use on the desktop, it needs to much configuring now. Some packages, like Intermezzo, are not there yet. Compiling everything from scratch is not what you want to do in a business environment.

Suse looks great, but ... it's not "simple" enough. I mean, I don't want my files to be splattered into several directories. I want the easy system of Slackware. I'm not gonna give Suse my servers for the moment. I'm afraid they'll be to sluggish and to hard to maintain.

FreeBSD itself. Well, that's a possibility. I read here that it's even faster than a Slackbox. Hmm, would like to see that. KDE seems to be on FreeBSD now. That's great. But again, some packages are not there yet. The availability of software is not so great on FreeBSD, IMHO.

Leaves me with the Mac. It's rock solid, they say, and I believe it, it's a FreeBSD. They have a nice interface, easy system to maintain, but ... I might miss out some software. And a Mac is expensive.

But, on the other hand, configuring a **X machine has never been that easy, they write. And the tools they show seem to prove their point.

My standard (desktop) environment is:
A desktop GUI (like KDE)
A decently configured webbrowser (with Flash, Javascript, shockwave, pdf support, ...)
A PIM (like Evolution)
A HTML-XML-XSL editor (hah, nothing yet on **X, not even Eclipse, certainly not compared with XMLSpy)
An Office environment (OpenOffice, but with the Microsoft fonts like Verdana)
A web development environment, with tools to edit photo's, pictures, flash scripts, ...

On the server:
A webserver, with Tomcat and Cocoon on it.
A database (postgresql), with a decent interface to write queries and functions (now I use Kate, combined with psql)
A tool to install software remotely, do the system administration without having to run around with CDs.

To be honest, it looks that the Mac is getting closer to that, than my Linux environment now. Therefore, I'm going to give a Mac a try for a month. I enjoy the Open Source software a lot, so I think that with the current ports towards FreeBSD, I could combine both. The ease of a Mac, with the possibilities of a Linux Open Source box. Wouldn't that be great ??

At the end of the first page you have written this
QUOTE
If you want to have an automated procedure for making updates, install autoslack, available at http://www.linuxpackages.net/

Well I went and has a look, I even used the Search for the package "autoslack" I could not find it ? Are you sure it is really there ???

Offered as a Constructive Comment - please check it out, I could be just plain dumb but I could not find "autoslack" ?

Yours John (once used Zipslack on a real Iomega-Zipdisk)

Slackware optimisation
by Richard James on Mon 21st Apr 2003 13:05 UTC

I think slackware 9.0 is compiled with march=i686 mcpu=i386 so it will run on a 386 but is opomised for 686 architecture chips.

Slackware stuff
by Luckett on Mon 21st Apr 2003 13:19 UTC

http://www.linuxtux.org/downloads/slackware-9.0-custom-packages/
ftp://ftp.linuxpackages.net

on the linuxtux site is a phoenix build with flash and java and mplayer plugin already working.
and the linuxpackages ftp site seems to have a lot more than on the www.linuxpackages.net

slackware network configuration
by KOMPRESSOR on Mon 21st Apr 2003 13:23 UTC

Something that was not mentioned in the article (possibly because the submitter did not encounter it?) was that the network configuration utility for slackware is TERRIBLE. It only lets you configure the first eth* device it finds...my Slack8.1 box had 3 ethernet cards in it and I ended up having to manually edit rc.inet1 and rc.inet2 to get them all running! I realize that this is a somewhat uncommon need, but many people build linux boxes to act as routers, which usually means at least 2 ethernet cards; and especially since slack has a reputation as fast (which it is) it's a natural choice for that task. This issue needs fixed!

KOMPRESSOR

RE: RE: Newbie
by lenrekash on Mon 21st Apr 2003 13:44 UTC

> You can't use Linux for 4 years without learning something.
> He's installed packages, probably compiled programs from
> source and has general experience with typing in commands.
>
> Someone like him will be more comfortable during
> installation than a person that has not used Linux before.

True... but to label a person as _expert_ just becoz' he had some "years" of experience is really a blunt statement. Infact, I know of people who had "years" of experience, but what the person knows is still very superficial. I can only say is really a skin deep understanding...

One of the misconception about Slackware is a very difficult distro to learn. Only people that is crazy/expert who will really use it. From the article, it shows that it does not have to be so.


RE: Yves
by Matthew Baulch on Mon 21st Apr 2003 13:48 UTC

> FreeBSD itself. Well, that's a possibility. I read here that
> it's even faster than a Slackbox. Hmm, would like to see that.
> KDE seems to be on FreeBSD now. That's great. But again, some
> packages are not there yet. The availability of software is
> not so great on FreeBSD, IMHO.

Actually, FreeBSD has at least as many packages available as Linux. It is able to emulate 99% of linux binaries out of the box, faster than Linux in some cases. Also, the ports collection provides in excess of 5000 pieces of software that can be installed as easily as cd /usr/ports/name/of/software, make && make install. How easy is that?

> Leaves me with the Mac. It's rock solid, they say, and I
> believe it, it's a FreeBSD. They have a nice interface, easy
> system to maintain, but ... I might miss out some software.
> And a Mac is expensive.

No, Macs aren't FreeBSD. Lots of the networking code from BSD is used but the kernel is based on Mach.

Kobold
by danlu on Mon 21st Apr 2003 13:51 UTC

As you have noticed, I focus on the average/casual user and not developers and geeks like myself. We spend (too) much time configuring and playing with the OS (and like it!) ;)

I realise people must learn stuff to be able to do things in their lives. We humans are experts on that.

Why don't those people want to learn about how computers/operating systems works? Why is so hard for them? That because computers and operating systems are hard to understand. It has it's own area of science. To design and build operating systems, of course you have to know all those things. The users (defined above) of the systems should not be required to have the same knowledge. That would be very unrealistic because everyone can't be computer scientists.

We agree that they must learn some things, but those things should be different from the internal workings of the OS. Users should have a different representation of how the computer/OS works, adapted to peoples general knowledge about computers. The level of abstraction should be much higher.

I don't think operating systems do a good job of incapsulating the internals yet. I don't claim that all systems should have that goal, just those with ordinary users as userbase. I still think that the Slackware userbase is geeks/developers, despite the article, and I think it's doing a good job catering for it's intended users.

re: newbie
by revrus on Mon 21st Apr 2003 13:54 UTC

Well my wife has used Linux since 1998 she has browsed the net and read email using Slack, MDK, Redhat, Peanut, Vector, Freebsd 4.4 to name a few. In that time she has installed no programs and ran no scripts. I set them up and she runs them.
With this time in service I guess from what most are saying she is now a linux guru. Guess she'll be telling Linus how to fix the kernel next.

autoslack
by danlu on Mon 21st Apr 2003 13:57 UTC

Autoslack is here:

http://www.slackware.com/~david/zuul/

but it doesn't seem to work anymore. The last entry in the changelog is over two years old and the FTP structure and the distribution have changed since then.

Changing window managers
by Luckett on Mon 21st Apr 2003 14:27 UTC

slackware has its own xwmconfig to change your wms.

Just another ghost around...
by DBarros on Mon 21st Apr 2003 14:29 UTC

Slackware is just another ghost left behind. Suppose you don't speak english at all, how are you going to read the installer messages? Call that obsolete US-oriented only!

As Linux gets weaker and its boom goes down after the 1999 Linux popularity fever, Slackware is ready to enter the museum history. It is quite true to affirm that just a few folks using computers have a Slackware box installed. But then again, you don't use a computer running Slackware because of what others should use right? Right.

The only thing that fascinates me about Slackware is the darn boring ability to never revolutionate. It is there, the same thing, for the next hundred years.

Everyone Post your SlackPack FTPs
by Luckett on Mon 21st Apr 2003 14:35 UTC

http://slackpacks.tchelinux.com.br/
http://www.linuxtux.org/downloads/slackware-9.0-custom-packages/
http://kreiger.linuxgods.com/slackpack/
ftp://ftp.linuxpackages.net/pub (slackware-?.0 and stuff in pcxz and robert)

Here is the best Update/package tool as of now. swaret.xbone.be/
However...this program REALLY need to allow packages that are not in the standard slackware ftp format.. i.e. packages all in one directory rather than in a/ x/ and xap/ etc.

ALSO
www.dropline.net and
http://heanet.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/dropline-gnome/
^^ assloads of packages there
if you decide to install dropline, its great, but i had problems with PAM so i remove the dropline PAM and shadow packages (removepkg /var/log/packages/pam* /var/log/packages/shadow*) and replaced them with the ones on the slackware site (swaret --install shadow)

when using swaret you might as well change your version to current in swaret.conf...so you get all the yummy official updates too.

RE: Just another ghost around...
by Jago on Mon 21st Apr 2003 14:38 UTC

"Slackware is just another ghost left behind. Suppose you don't speak english at all, how are you going to read the installer messages? Call that obsolete US-oriented only!"

To that user, I'll say: "Too damn bad, learn English". I was born in Russia, live in Finland, yet I prefer my computer to speak English to me. I don't want and will not learn all computer terms in 3 languages. This might sound strange to you, but if I sit next to a box running Windows in finnish or russian languages, I am lost. Yet, I am perfectly capable of using them when Windows is in english.

"The only thing that fascinates me about Slackware is the darn boring ability to never revolutionate. It is there, the same thing, for the next hundred years."

Some people don't want / like a lot of change.

Speed of SLack 9
by Justin on Mon 21st Apr 2003 14:39 UTC

Can anyone give me a comparison of the feel of speed of Slack 9 compared to the Big 3??

Slack vs. any other distro
by Maciek on Mon 21st Apr 2003 14:44 UTC

Slack means simple scripts, simple package format and good quality, but somewhat limited packages. You like it take it. You think that RedHat meets your needs better, fine. You still benefit from having linux.

The beauty of Linux is that you choose a distro that suits you better. There is no single distro, so you choose the one YOU like better. You even can change your distro after a while, but 90% of the time you will not feel much difference between them.

Mac is FreeBSD
by Yves on Mon 21st Apr 2003 14:49 UTC

>No, Macs aren't FreeBSD. Lots of the networking code from BSD >is used but the kernel is based on Mach.

Not anymore, I guess. I went into the shell, and I found a real unix there. They based their OS X system on FreeBSD.



> It is quite true to affirm that just a few folks using µ
> computers have a Slackware box installed. But then again,
> you don't use a computer running Slackware because of what
> others should use right? Right.

I'm running several here, but I only registered once. I installed some other slackboxes too, but I don't think all those people I did it for, took the time to register themselves as Slack users.

@Joe Schmuck
by Luckett on Mon 21st Apr 2003 14:50 UTC

hmm video drivers in linux. nvidia-installer --update

so hard?

the beauty of linux is that once you get over pointing and clicking and bumbling around with the mouse you can do stuff much more easily...and if most computer "users" cannot remember like 5 commands then i want earth to be hit by a comet today. People used dos fine, GUI spoils and dumbs people down anyway

ease of use
by nic on Mon 21st Apr 2003 15:20 UTC

ok, this is offtopic(as its not about Slackware), but...

I've been using Linux(SuSE, Mandrake, Storm, Red Hat, Shorewall, etc...) since late 1998, but Ive yet to EVER compile anything from source. chalk this up to fear of messing up my systems or fear of the girfriend/fiance getting irate when she cant connect to the net because the gateway/router machine is down...whateva. in this sense, I would call myself a newbie/amateur.
I looked at downloading Gentoo the other month to set up but you would think they would make the documentation/iso's just a bit easier to understand; why label the iso's esoterically as stage 1, etc... instead of disc1.iso, disc2.iso, etc...?
frankly, it's this type of confusion which scares people off of trying to run/learn Linux.
a couple months ago I got so frustrated just trying to get Mandrake 8 to set up internet connection sharing(it never would work more than 5 mins at a time), I just went back to Win2000 and everything was set up in 45 mins(from initial install/boot to all programs installed/configured/working). sorry to all the linux fans out there, but that is EASE OF USE.
well, this past weekend, I got the bug to load Linux again. whipped out Red Hat8 and started loading. you would think Red Hat would install a firewall/gateway services wouldnt ya? it's not even a option during install. yes, it does load a half-assed firewall but doesnt supply any ip-tables o ip-chains, so it might as well not have even been installed anyways.
search Red Hats documentation and they go into this BS about setting up a firewall and editing /etc/rc.d/rc.blah blah blah, and running this script after which you have to edit yet another rc.blah blah file, only to find out that the machines on my internal network STILL can't get it onto the net.(why doesnt Red Hat 8 ship with ANY DHCPD?!)
luckily I remembered in a Mandrake 9 review from here the other week someone mentioned Firestarter as a firewall/gateway that was easy to set up/configure. searched for it, downloaded and installed and within 5 minutes it just worked and every machine behind it could access the net.
now why couldnt Red Hat or Mandrake just include this SMALL app into their distribution?
at first I was so elated I finally got it working I was overjoyed. now to set up the dev webserver for my PHP/MySQL servers....drat. RH8 only properly displays certain PHP pages even though they were all written inthe same version of PHP and MySQL...this doesnt make sense....it wont even display phpinfo.php....AT ALL(just a blank white page), but yet it properly renders/displays phpMyAdmin.
WHAT GIVES? is this necessarily so hard?! I even copied these files from a webserver running Red Hat 8.

sorry for the rant, but hopefully someone can explain this or is even helped out by the likes of Firestarter(assuming they were having the same problems I was having).
pulled down the RH9 iso's last night so I'll try a upgrade tonight when I get home...hopefully this will fix the PHP bug and not ruin my other configs/settings.

am I just missing something obvious?

.
by Kobold on Mon 21st Apr 2003 15:22 UTC

Danlu, users of "DIY" Linux distros do not need to have the same amount of knowledge as their programmers. Understanding the very basics of shell scripting, editing text files, following manuals and compiling kernels is *easy*. The only reason why regular users think it is hard because the other users, who never did this, are telling that this is hard. I used to think like that, too. Then I just tried this stuff (by installing Gentoo) and I was really surprised how simple all that is. IMHO, any person with some computer experience and interested in "how things work" is able to use Debian, Slackware or Gentoo. One doesn't need to learn C++ or get a degree in CS for that. Of course, people that cannot comprehend the concept of directory tree or difference between single and double click probably won't be able to install one of these distros, but then would they ever be able to install Windows?

re: N.N.
by dwilson on Mon 21st Apr 2003 15:23 UTC

The label `newbie' was a serious insult to a person who had been around Usenet for a long time but who carefully hid all evidence of having a clue.

Well, I can't claim to have been around in 1985, because I was four years old. However, I do know that when I started mudding (I was around ten or eleven, so 1990-1991-ish) newbie meant a person who is new. I also know that in all of the faqs I read about MUDs, Usenet, and the internet in general, they said newbie meant someone new.

My thoughts
by Erwos on Mon 21st Apr 2003 15:30 UTC

To begin, the first part of this article was just trash. I'm sorry, but "user-friendly" generally means presenting something to the user in a "friendly" format. There's nothing wrong with the command-line, but you'd have a hard time convincing me that Slack's text (curses, I assume) interface is inherently more friendly than the standard GUI interface we see with the "big 3". This may not be true of _everyone_, but if you went up to the average man on the street with a screenshot of Slack's installer, and a screenshot of RedHat's GUI installer, I think we know which he would point to as being "more friendly".

"The user needs to be smarter because we're not presenting him something intuitive", in other words, is an absolutely stupid defense.

Once we got past that, things improved. I do think that Slack's boot speed is so much faster than RedHat's because of RH using anaconda and running depmod -a (why they do depmod, no idea) on every boot. With a little tweaking (in RH's _really nice_ service configuration app), and you'll get something which boots damned fast.

Otherwise, quite a good read. I'm not really fascinated with the inner working of conf files or my Linux distro, so I'll take RedHat and my GUI configuration utilities, though. I'd prefer to click a few buttons and have things "just work".

-Erwos

@ Yves
by Anonymous on Mon 21st Apr 2003 16:15 UTC

"Not anymore, I guess. I went into the shell, and I found a real unix there. They based their OS X system on FreeBSD."

No, they didn't. And a couple of month ago there has been linked and interview (I believe even here ?) where the devs stated as to which portion, which wasn't exactly much compared to the "real thing". Only because you find a shell doesn't mean it's a fully blown FreeBSD. Sheesh, I got a shell on my DOS-floppy...

Re: Speed of SLack 9
by Adi Wibowo on Mon 21st Apr 2003 16:25 UTC

I recently install Redhat 9, Mandrake 9.1 and Slackware 9.0 on the same computer at the same day just to know the development progress at them.

Comp. system :
- Pentium IV 1.6 GHz
- 9GB IDE disk
- 128MB RAM
- NVidia TNT2 32MB

Harddisk divided into 4 partitions : swap, RH partition, Mandrake partition and Slackware partition. Every distro has been put into single partition to keep instalation simple. Using mandrake's lilo as a boot loader for the three.

I installed them using default install with desktop computer as my intention in my mind.

Installation : RedHat is the easiest to install I think, anaconda detects all peripheral correctly, and I don't have to touch configuration files. It also happened to Mandrake's installer, but I like anaconda better because its gui seems simpler and not confusing.
Slackware installer is still the same as before. And I have to configure XFree86 configuration manually. Sound support also has to be enabled manually.

Speed : I was surprised that Mandrake and Slackware are more responsive than RH. Maximizing and minimizing windows more snappier at both, but RH makes it like has to read swap partition first. Also loading applications seems faster at both than RH.

Then I turned off several services that were turned on by default by RH. RH became more responsive, but still seem slower compared Mandrake and RH.

User interface : although I like plain looking of bluecurve, I like Mandrake Galaxy better. It's simple because bluecurve at RH's KDE is not as good as RH's Gnome. I think it's a matter of personal preference because I use KDE daily.

RH and Mandrake prove themselves as a good desktop distro in my eyes. Slackware sill lag behind, because home user still need to configure manually some of peripherall and firewall.

BTW, I still use slackware as my main server and desktop because of its simplicity and stability.

Optimizations for i686
by Anonymous on Mon 21st Apr 2003 17:18 UTC

Actually, FreeBSD 4.x series is optimized for i386 yet it still runs light years faster than my Debian systems (which have _very_ few services enabled)

re: nic
by Foo on Mon 21st Apr 2003 17:47 UTC

"I looked at downloading Gentoo the other month to set up but you would think they would make the documentation/iso's just a bit easier to understand; why label the iso's esoterically as stage 1, etc... instead of disc1.iso, disc2.iso, etc...? frankly, it's this type of confusion which scares people off of trying to run/learn Linux."

Just started using Gentoo, btw, the reason they don't use the discX.iso format is because the stages are _literally_ just stages of building an OS. And all three only take up little over 200 MB on the latest release any way...

However, you are right about at least one thing: docs and howtos _have_ to become easier to follow, and/or better written in the first place. And it's enough to scare off most of the users I know in the state it's in...I'm seriously thinking about rewriting some of them to make more sense, but half the time I couldn't accomplish what the guide was about because the instructions didn't help...it's a viscious cycle ;-) *shrugs*

Re: slackware network configuration
by Jesper Juhl on Mon 21st Apr 2003 20:34 UTC

"... the network configuration utility for slackware is TERRIBLE. It only lets you configure the first eth* device it finds...my Slack8.1 box had 3 ethernet cards in it and I ended up having to manually edit rc.inet1 and rc.inet2 to get them all running!"

And what is so terrible about having to do that?

KILL ALL NEWBIE ARTICLE AUTHORS
by nubee killer on Mon 21st Apr 2003 21:00 UTC

PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NO MORE ARTICLES BY NUBEES!!!!!!!!!!!


THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kobold
by danlu on Mon 21st Apr 2003 21:13 UTC

Those things you mention (scripting, compiling) may be easy for a technical, computer interested person but not for most. Many people can of course learn but what if they don't like doing technical stuff? I know few people interested in such things and that includes my CS friends at my university! Very few of the users are interested in "how things works" and if you remember, I focused on users in general.

I lumped together scripting, reading techical docs, compiling and such with C/C++ programming, OS design and so on because to the user, there isn't much difference.

Installing Windows? No, for example, my mother could never install Windows on her own because she doesn't know much about partitions and stuff like that and she, like many others, is not so good at following technical instructions on the screen. I don't claim that Windows is perfect in any sense but it is constantly improving.

This is soon off topic so... No hard feelings I hope ;)

Why Slackware
by Dano on Mon 21st Apr 2003 23:05 UTC

I see no reason at all why anybody would get slackware. Sure slackware is faster and more stable than RPM distros but so are Gentoo, Debian and *BSD and they are all easier to use than Slackware.

In *BSD al you have to do is cd to the port dir and type make install clean

In Debian you just need to type apt-get package name

in gentoo you type emerge package

in slackware you go on the internet, hunt for the package, unzip it, run ./configure look for dependencies, ./configure and make those and eventaully make and make install your package. Why would i want to do all that myself when I could just get apt-get or ports to do it all for me.

Slackware is just for old Linux dudes who had it as thier first distro and are used to it and for newbies looking to prove themselves.

Keep on trolling
by eeno on Mon 21st Apr 2003 23:32 UTC

"...in slackware you go on the internet, hunt for the package, unzip it, run ./configure look for dependencies, ./configure and make those and eventaully make and make install your package. Why would i want to do all that myself when I could just get apt-get or ports to do it all for me."

Well on my slack box i just do 'installpkg package.tgz' but nice troll though.

If you feel that way with slack you should get in to debian, the GNULinux that's let you really feal the strenght of Linux OS, and the one wich will make you learn things you never could learn using other distro. I'm not a debian 'advocat' but since 1997 using linux i try almost every distro and none of them let me take away deb of the box... ;) Greet's and you really made a nice article for others understand linux is so much more than they can supose at first ...

reason to use slackware?
by rootrider on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 01:30 UTC

control... it's as simple as that. Slackware is simply Linux. It's not done RH's way, or in a way that the Mandrake or SuSE crew thinks is better, but just simply done how it is. No realy changes are made. The software is simply installed and left up to you. You are allowed as much control as you want without any problems. It is correct that Debian also shares many of these qualities, but some people just see no need for that kind of package management. Even then, you end up doing a lot of things the 'Debian way'. With Slackware, you simply do things your way.

alt.os.linux.slackware is useless
by Anonymous on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 03:00 UTC

If you ask questions there, they will rape you. Pat V ought to ask them to behave themselves, as he is the only one they will listen to. They say slackware is "the distro where you get no help", and they make sure that is the case. They say, "I got abused, so you will too!'. They relish the stories of Pat V being mean to people, and do their best to carry on "the tradition". It's a waste of a perfectly good distro.

2 different internet articles on Slackware today, BOTH mentioned how nasty the newsgroup is....

alt.os.linux.slackware is useless
by Anonymous on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 03:05 UTC

If you ask questions there, they will rape you. Pat V ought to ask them to behave themselves, as he is the only one they will listen to. They say slackware is "the distro where you get no help", and they make sure that is the case. They say, "I got abused, so you will too!'. They relish the stories of Pat V being mean to people, and do their best to carry on "the tradition". It's a waste of a perfectly good distro.

2 different internet articles on Slackware today, BOTH mentioned how nasty the newsgroup is....

alt.os.linux.slackware is useless
by Bill on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 03:44 UTC

Slackware 9.0 is easy to install and fast. I like the way they did the menu with all the text editors grouped together kde,gnome, and x, but kernel modules has alot of modules used for cdrecord, usb, and scsi are just not there. I downloaded the kernel_modules package again just make sure and reinstalled it and they are not there. If you don't plan on using a burner or intel usb hub then I guess you could live with Slackware 9.0

This is ridiculous
by Henry on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 04:12 UTC


This article has the worst rationale for "easy." I mean, saying that it is easy because you can spend countless hours reading docs to get X going? If you needs docs, then it ain't easy!! If you use this rationale, then it is easy to be a mechanic....I mean I bought one of those books at Auto-zone to help me change the head on my engine. Was it is because I had the docs?

Ridiculous. It is easy because it doesn't do anything for you!?!?!? Lack of software?? No problem...just compile. Yeah.... right....I don't want to spend hours and hours compiling crap!! I just need to open up KDE...fire up my text editor....download my assembly through the serial port...and done.

mmmh
by Funcod on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 05:01 UTC

u should really try windows 2000
the only experience you have with m$ product is win95...
so sad :/
i mean i was gonna switch to linux ...tried a distro...
then came out win2k
its stable. bsod dont exist , never crash
ok slackware must be faster for booting and gpl/free thing is a good thing
but still u should just try it...
btw tried windows 2003 server enterprise , its even better than win2k im amazed ;)
u shouldnt judge m$ on win95 really thats all im saying

Hey is there *any* interest in an article which talks about the very trivial case -- "I am three months on slackware with a computer and a half"?

If he'd been so kind of managing some half a dozen systems for some couple years, I'm afraid the slackware fankind would lose some glow.

It doesn't make big difference whether to run down nails with microscope or with a hammer, but hammer just won't do with looking at the smaller things.

Package mgmt (and higher-level deps tracking like APT) is good at home but *a must* in production. Bah, it's banality. Strange that there are folks out there who still don't understand that.

Another Very, Very Helpful site for new Slack users.
by m32 on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 11:47 UTC

I've been running Slack for a few months, and I do understand the "newb" feeling not leaving. If you don't have to change your configuration very often, you can forget how to do even simple things.

This site is listed on Slackware.com's other sites links, but its worth mentioning. <a href="http://www.linuxquestions.org">LinuxQuestions.org is a really good forum for newbies.

It has an entire forum dedicated to Slack with plenty of friendly people willing to help.

Just an fyi.

I won't argue, but...
by Pavel Lunin on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 13:26 UTC

What can I say. I've been using Slackware for about 4.5 years. My first distro was Slack 3.5. It was really... have no words to describe ;-)). In compare with Windows at that time, it was just like heaven and earth. But... After was 7.0 and 7.1 -- much better :-)) After 7.1 I was taking experiments. Red Hat 7.0 (I could use it just for 5-6 days, no anymore), Gentus Linux (just a couple days, as it was almost the same), Mandrake 8.0... it's very similar (RH based, what can I say else), but I'd used it until Slackware 8.0 released. It was like a mix of Win and Lin, but I used it, nevertheless it's really fat and untransparent FOR ME. I couldn't understand well how all its startup scrips work. I know, it's nothing wrong, if you use something like linuxconf, don't want to mind about all this scrips mash and just hope that it works properly. But this way is not my.
On saturday I installed Slackware 9.0. Cann't say that it's really exellent (as I feel after installing of 8.1), but not bad... Gnome2... loks good... we shall see what we shall see if it will work ;-)).

What I want to say. If you want to use Linux just instead Windows and do all the same way as you did, it's better to still using windows, but if you want to change a style of your computing, to understand what Linux is and how it works, Slackware (or maybe Debian) is a good choice. It's not true that it's unfriendly. If you see no pictures just when you put an installation CD into you CD-ROM, it's better to still using windows and don't mind.

I'm agree, that there are some problems with packets dependences, there is some discrepancy between GNOME, KDE and other menus, but what I hear that it has difficult installer... I don't know, but I thought, that presence of pictures isn't a sign of easy program. Is it?


Newbie he is, sayeth the yoda amongst you.
by mmmna on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 15:51 UTC

Anyone that used RedHat and Mandrake for 2 years is not any kind of Slackware expert, not at all; he was not being modest in claiming newbie-ness, just honest.

Me, I'd like to see more than 20% of current Mandrake users get Slackware 9.0 properly configured for a non-root user to have KDE 3.1 up and running - all on the first try. Mandrake can do that, without much trouble. Now add modem configuration to that Slackware 9.0. I'd say that even the 20% that succeeded in getting a user into Slackware would likely fail the modem test. But Mandrake 8.2 gets this work done without any troubles for the user to intervene into.

I know about what I post: I just bought Slackware 9.0 and I have dropped mdk 8.2 for Slack 9.0; I needed to re-discover the world of the command line. I'm fairly certain that exWindows users won't be able to get Slack 9.0 up and running anywhere near as quick as they can get Mandrake 9.0 running....

I am a hard-core fan of Slackware because
by terminator on Wed 23rd Apr 2003 05:35 UTC

It's SIMPLE! SIMPLE is beautiful.

simplicity
by bozzletoot on Thu 24th Apr 2003 01:03 UTC

simplicity will always prevail.

Very easy to configure XF86 in Slackware 9
by devil on Thu 24th Apr 2003 09:33 UTC

My oppinion about the configuration of Xwin in Slackware 8.0/9.0 is much much easier than any other distribution.
The only thing one needs to do is to start the LILO by buffer frame mode during the installation of LILO. Then everything about XF86 is ready.
However, I only did it one a few machine. maybe it doesn't work for some special Hi-Tech box.
:))


if you want easy.......
by savage on Thu 24th Apr 2003 14:36 UTC

If you are looking for easy to use and easy to install, micro$oft make an os you should look into. If, however, you wish to learn how and why things work (like the original linux users/hackers), get away from the m$ wannabe's, and try slack or bsd. SAMBA server has over 4000 pages on how to configure it, do you have a pretty point and click interface that covers all of the otions available? Linux started with the nerds and geeks that wanted to know everything about a computer. How will you carry on the tradition they left us, by continuing to innovate and push the bounderies, or by trying to make a free copy of m$?

Nice comments
by Flegmatik on Thu 24th Apr 2003 17:58 UTC

I started using Linux with Slackware 3.0. I turned to RedHat when 6.0 came out, I just like V style of configuration more then BSD.

same as I am
by Adjie on Fri 25th Apr 2003 09:06 UTC

I have been a Slackware user since about 4 months ago. I totally agree with you, ... before this, I used to using RH coz, I think Slackware is very difficult, just like the first version ;) But, the scenario will be changed ... coz, now I enjoy with Slackware 9.0

What a stupid article
by itsbruce on Fri 25th Apr 2003 12:30 UTC

This article doesn't debunk any of the "myths". In fact, it confirms them.
The author simply reveals his contempt for anyone whose skills and preferences
differ from his own.

For the record, I'm a Debian user and longtime Linux user who's had no problem using
Slackware, but I don't share the author's contempt for people with different skills and preferences.

Slackware install is a non sequitur
by Jason on Sat 26th Apr 2003 02:10 UTC

I don't mind non-linear installs (e.g. FreeBSD) but I found Slackware just plain stupid...

At one point I was asked to set root password, then was thrown some error like: "Could not get lock on file, try again later" and then proceeded on to selecting packages!

WTF!

Cheers

My first distro
by Noah Roberts on Sat 26th Apr 2003 15:43 UTC

Slackware 3.1 was my first Linux distribution. After owning a PC for 2 months I found sites describing Linux and decided to install it. RedHat and debian where really the only other choices at the time and the two of those where too complicated to download; Slackware always had a nice "disk set" structure and you could easily decide what you needed to download and what you didn't, but the other two just put everything in one directory. Another reason for choosing Slackware is that people had told me I would learn more about Linux if I started with that one.

Anyway I downloaded the "Howto" (called INSTALL.TXT at the time) and read it through twice. I then installed Linux and had it running in a dual boot setup on my first attempt. It took me a while to figure out how to get online, but eventually I downloaded this thing called "pppsetup" (which is now included in Slack) and got online just fine. As a newb I found many of the HOWTO documents (Including the PPP-HOWTO) where a little over my head, but within a couple of months I found them very simplistic.

Eventually I decided to try the other two distros and boy did I regret that! After getting used to the underlying nature of Linux I found the GUI's just got in my way - I didn't even understand most of them ;) Everything was moved to strange places and I couldn't figure any of it out. I still run Slackware at home though now I am quite a bit more versitile and have succesfully administered a wide variety of distributions on more than just the PC...in fact other Unix variants as well.

I would consider this TRUE newbie experience, I hadn't even been using a PC very long. I had owned computers when I was a kid, but they where things like the Apple 2 and Atari 800...nothing like a PC actually. So it has been about 7-8 years now, and I can consider myself an "expert" in linux even though there is a whole lot of shit still I don't know. I have always been glad I made the decision to use Slackware and actually learn how Linux operates.

NR

Slackware is Rocking Fast
by Preston St. Pierre on Sat 26th Apr 2003 21:43 UTC

Slackware bootup time on my machine (from Grub to prompt) is 8 seconds. Machine stats:
AMD Athlon XP 1600+
512 meg DDR Ram @ 400
80 gig 7200 RPM HD
20 gig 5400 RPM HD
Radeon 7500LE

Granted, I have fiddled with it a bit... but orignal boot time was only 13 seconds.

And yes, I am running grub. It is for personal reasons. I like grub.

Speed: Slackware vs Debian?
by SomeGuyFromSomewhere on Sun 27th Apr 2003 05:52 UTC

I run Slackware at work and Debian on my laptop at home. Reading through the comments over here, some of you said that Slackware was more "responsive" than RH. I was wondering about whether anyone who has tested Slackware and Debian on the same machine.. which is faster?

My workstation at work and my laptop are different machines so I can't test it. I've been contemplating about replacing Debian with Slackware on my laptop for quite a while now, but before that, I thought I'd just ask you all for advice about the speed.

Slack: it may fit, it may not.
by Sapper on Sun 27th Apr 2003 07:00 UTC

Well, I've read all 83 posts and now I feel inclined to punch in my $0.02!

I've done a number of different things with Linux, from commercial ventures to scientific projects, and IMHO, one comment out of those 83 posts bears repeating(roughly): choose the right tool(distro/OS) for the job.

That said, I do use Slack at home. It does what I need it to do. As far as package management, or lack thereof, the Slack way doesn't bother me one bit; however, in a production environment(100's of machines), I would have grown old doing package upgrades without an automated system like apt or rpm. So again, I stress: one must choose the right tool for the job.

On the whole, I believe that Slack is a good distro for i.)those who are curious about the OS, ii) old hacks who want a more Unix feel to their Linux distro and finally, iii) those who have tried other distros and prefer the way things are done in Slack, myself for instance. For the uninitiated, it will force you to do things that other distros obviate with their automated package tools: like using ldd find dependencies or sifting through makefiles trying to figure out why stuff won't compile.

Slack is a good stepping-stone and a nice destination after several years and a dozen distros. For myself at least...

:)

slackware is the only distro i use
by cccccc on Mon 28th Apr 2003 14:23 UTC

i've been a slackware user since release 2. i tried rh once, cancelled the install midway through and threw the cds out. patrick volkerding & crew know what they're doing, and i trust them more than i'd trust the corporate hogs that run rh.

keep up the good work, fellows.

Speed
by n0dez on Mon 28th Apr 2003 23:41 UTC

I've used several distroes (RedHat, Slackware, Debian) on the same computer and Slackware was undoubtly the fastest.

n0dez

palhaçada
by Avangerx on Tue 29th Apr 2003 19:34 UTC

O cara que escreveu esse artigo não passa de um lammer chorão!

slackware experience
by brandon on Tue 29th Apr 2003 20:37 UTC

I first was introduced to linux about five years ago about the time that windows 98 was popular. i used a distrobution that worked along side a fat partition that was based on the slackware packages. i then braved it up and installed slackware directly to it's on ext2fs partition and i remember having a heck of a time doing it. it was the first real distro that i used. then i tired all the major ones, mandrake, caldera, red hat, etc, and sure enough...i found myself going back to slackware and to this date i have had slackware installed successfully on a laptop, a home machine, and soon, a whole office will run em! ~brandon