Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 24th Sep 2003 01:45 UTC
Slackware, Slax For almost a week now, I've been using Slackware 9.1 (RC-1 released today), and I am having a blast. Slackware doesn't have more than 6-8% of the Linux market these days, but it used to be one of the most-used distros back in the day. Today, many think of Slackware as a true classic, a thought that is often accompanied by a feeling that Slackware is not a user-friendly or an uber-modern Linux distribution. There is some truth in that statement, but there is always the big "But". Read on for our very positive experience with Slackware 9.1-pre. Update: In less than 24 hours since the RC-1, Slackware 9.1 RC-2 is out.
Order by: Score:
fdisk
by contrasutra on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:03 UTC

You dont have to use fdisk. CFDISK is also available (at least in 9.0). Its VERY easy to use. I wouldnt see any problems using it.

I have to agree.
by John Blink on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:04 UTC

When I was using Slack 8.1 it was the first linux distro that I found I kept on my partition for a long time. Other distro's I usually formatted.

I also find KDE is rather fast on the latest versions of slackware.

RE: I have to agree.
by Eugenia on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:06 UTC

>I also find KDE is rather fast on the latest versions of slackware.

Indeed, KDE apps launch new windows or load very fast on Slackware. Severn/RH9 on the same machine/partition was never as fast.

Sound issues
by contrasutra on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:08 UTC

Sorry for posting twice, If your sound issue only happen w/ XMMS and other Apps, this is a known XMMS problem.

Type the error into google.com/linux and you'll see many possible solutions.

RE: Sound issues
by Eugenia on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:09 UTC

No, it happened with all apps. No app could share the sound with any other app. It seems to be a limitation of the driver, because the YMF driver did not have the problem.

Slackware, a top distro BUT...
by Matthew Baulch on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:09 UTC

I find the lack of HP's wireless tools a big step in the wrong direction. Each day I need iwconfig to get my work done. Yes, I know it probably compiles perfectly on slack but it means that I have to manage updates. etc. FreeBSDs ports (sorry, I tried to resist) makes me feel much more at home.

RE: Slackware, a top distro BUT...
by Eugenia on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:11 UTC

There are [command line] wireless tools coming with Slackware 9.1 by default. I think they are on ap/ if I am not mistaken.

Spam
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:15 UTC

Wow, those are some nice spam emails in that screenshot of Evolution's inbox! Maybe you should have chosen a different inbox or something? Nothing like seeing porno spam emails in a distro review! ;)

RE: Spam
by Eugenia on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:17 UTC

>Maybe you should have chosen a different inbox or something?

No, that email address is just is just spam really... ;)
I never read it anymore, so please don't send me to that account. ;)

yeah baby
by Cheapskate on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:24 UTC

Good ol' Slackware has got a new one on the way ;)

Slackware compared to Debian?
by dashslap on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:28 UTC

How is Slackware's long-term management and stability compared to Debian for servers? How about for updating/upgrading?
Thanks.

Linux hype
by none on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:28 UTC

Linux is slower and less stable than windows
My windows box uses about 40 megs of ram to boot, Linux uses about 175 (and Linux is a monolithic kernel)
Linux crashes much more often than windows, way more
The few Apache/MySQL vs IIS/MS SQL tests I have seen have been won (sometimes dominated) by Windows
X is a one size fits all poor implementation at a responsive display server (both Apple and MS are moving to hardware accelerated GUI)
KDE is maybe the only thing on earth more integrated than windows explorer, everything under the sun imbedded into konqueror, it makes it clunky as hell, Nautalus is nearly as bad
Ease of use for the newbie is not as important as ergonomics for powerusers, but Linux has yet to bring an environment to the table that I can efficiently get work done it.
WinXP Pro comes with a 480 meg CD, Mandrake is 3 CD's and SuSE is 7
NTFS is much more stable than any Linux file system, hard shut down in Linux and watch it fsck your box
Installing software on a Linux system is badly broken, often you end up fixing make files, chasing dependencies, or in situations where you can't update a library with out breaking other apps, many libraries are not very backwards compatible and someone still has yet to write an installer for Linux. Nullsofts SperPiMP installer for windows is only 498K but such a simple installer has yet to exist for Linux because its design is fundamentally flawed.
Even windows 3.11 had an installer and you can install the 32 bit libraries for it and still run binaries that were compiled on XP, lets see Linux do that
Developers will often use GPL just so they can avoid having to create and test separate packages for the last 3 versions of every major distro, GPL lets someone else do it.
Say what you will of LSB but I can think of no reason to have all 15 or so text editors in seperate directories, where is /apps/texteditors when you need it?

spoiled
by darren on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:31 UTC

I've used slackware in the past (3 yrs. ago or so). Either I'm getting lazy in my old age, don't have enought time or just spoiled by distros with easy hardware setup. I just don't see the point of struggling to get sound cards, printers, X settings correct or whatever wireless or USB hardware you may have working.

That's why I like Knoppix so much. Just plug it in and go.

On the desktop, I want something easy. On the server, I don't mind spending some time. That's why lately I've been using FreeBSD on the server and Windows on the desktop.

Darren

Sound Issues
by Myst on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:31 UTC

The reason you are having issues using the soundcard with multiple applications is due to the hardware.

A lot of soundcards these days don't have multiple channels for output that are multiplexed in hardware. The SB Live is an example of this: I can play something like 32 different sound streams simultaneously.

However, on my T23 with i810 audio, I only have 1 output channel so I need to use ESD or aRTSd or someother userspace tool that applications connect to in order to multiplex the single output channel.

In short, configure XMMS to use ESD output and have Totem do the same if it doesn't by default.

Linux will implode
by none on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:31 UTC

The package thing is a MAJOR hurdle that desktop Linux faces. You can't just keep building all the software for every version of every distro and just adding to the number of CDR's. Usually the reason I upgrade my distros all the time has little to do with the distro itself and more to do with getting the updated packages bundled with it. Lack of backwards compatibility often means updating libraries and breaking other stuff that depends on them. I would love to see a statistic on how many man hours this wastes. All sources seem to point to Linux getting much bigger in size (kernel, KDE, Gnome, packages). Many OSS coders like to add cool features, but going through old code and fixing it is much less a priority for most. In its current state, Linux is heading at becoming a maintenance nightmare. Not to mention that most Linux distros seem to agree that throwing all the crap in a handful of /bin /usr/bin /sbin /usr/sbin style directories is the best place for it.


My Red Hat install uses over 200 megs of RAM just after booting. After using it for a while it climbs over 400. Many would say that the idea of storing more in RAM is smarter for speed reasons. But 200+ megs of RAM just to boot is a hell of allot of code just to boot the system. KDE is slow and k-apps like to crash on my computer (must be hardware!). Linux chokes when it's improperly shut down and there is a long list of bugs. Linux is stuck in perpetual beta.

Many people think Linux will take over the world, I think it will implode.

v Linux Hype
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:32 UTC
RE: Sound Issues
by Eugenia on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:34 UTC

>In short, configure XMMS to use ESD output and have Totem do the same if it doesn't by default.

Did you not read the previous comment? The problem is NOT with XMMS, it is with all sound apps, they just don't share the sound.

RE: Sound Issues
by Myst on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:41 UTC

> Did you not read the previous comment? The problem is NOT with XMMS, it is with all sound apps, they just don't share the sound.


Maybe you didn't read _MY_ comment fully. Your soundcard only has one output channel in hardware.

The first app to get it will have the sound until it closes the device.

If ESD or ARTS isn't the first app then you are out of luck. Similarly, since ESD is configured by default to release the device if no clients are using it then XMMS (which is configured by default to do OSS output I believe) will have control over the device.

This is coming from someone using Slackware 9.1 on his T23 with a cheap soundcard with one output channel using ALSA drivers, XMMS using ALSA output because ESD has synchronization issues with the video card and ESD for everything else.

v Nothing beats Windows XP
by Arkady on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:44 UTC
RE: Sound Issues
by Eugenia on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:45 UTC

>In short, configure XMMS to use ESD

It did not work with ESD, it was producing no sound. As I wrote in the article, I tried ALL combinations, it just doesn't work with anything else other than ALSA or OSS (and in both cases won't release the device).

Right now I can not go test it anymore, as I said I installed a Yamaha PCI card and I am all fine.

RE: Sound Issues
by Myst on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:48 UTC

> The first app to get it will have the sound until it closes the device.

The VIA8233C does support multiple pcm streams/multi-channel output but as is stated in the review it's not working hence ESD and ARTS will somewhat fix that.

RE: Sound Issues
by Eugenia on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:49 UTC

> it's not working hence ESD and ARTS will somewhat fix that.

It didn't. As I said in the article, I DID try all combinations.

re: gentoo vs slackware
by 2501 on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:51 UTC

i have heard that gentoo is like slackware in steroids.
what do they have in common? is gentoo better than slackware?

thank you for your comments...

- 2501

ps: i used to run ydl 3.0 and it was great. what about gentoo running in my ibook???

RE: Slackware, a top distro BUT...
by Matthew Baulch on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:53 UTC

> There are [command line] wireless tools coming with Slackware 9.1 by
> default. I think they are on ap/ if I am not mistaken.

I'm just on ftp.slackware.com right now in ap and I assume you mean the ifhp package. If that's wireless tools, I might just give slackware another try ;)

RE: Eugenia
by contrasutra on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:55 UTC

Were you sure ESD was running? You may have to start it manually, I doubt XMMS (or other player) would initialize it.


Also, have you used ALSA or just the default OSS? I use to have those problems with my Audigy(emu10k1) until I switched to ALSA and everything's been peachy.

Multiple Sound
by nifotc on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:56 UTC

I also had the problem of not being able to have 2 sounds being played at the same time on Slackware. I think i fixied it but changing the permissions of /dev/dsp and /dev/dsp1 to something like 777. Hopefully that works.

RE: Sound Issues
by Myst on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:57 UTC

> It didn't. As I said in the article, I DID try all combinations.

I believe you did, but you've run in to a driver problem not a Slackware problem which isn't clear in the review.

I don't recall if you checked your /etc/modules.conf to make sure that OSS compatibility was enabled.. but as a user you shouldn't have to do that. That's a Slackware problem, but it is also another factor in the soundcard's correct use.

Finally, did you know that GNOME 2.4 includes ALSA Mixer Control in the Multimedia menu? Try that to see if you have advanced mixer information as the default volume control applet doesn't do all that nifty stuff.

I liked your review, very accurate and honest. I've been using Slackware since 94-95 and things are getting much better.

RE:Multiple Sound
by nifotc on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:58 UTC

Sorry, ignore the post above. I was thinking of something else. hehe

ISOs
by Michael on Wed 24th Sep 2003 02:58 UTC

Does anybody know where I can download Slackware 9.1 (RC or current) CD-ROM images? I need to do a clean install, don't have a floppy disk drive, and Slackware 9.0 doesn't support my hard disk controller.

RE: Sound Issues
by Eugenia on Wed 24th Sep 2003 03:01 UTC

>Were you sure ESD was running?

What do you think? I was running GNome with all sounds ON.
And yes, permissions were just fine.

>Finally, did you know that GNOME 2.4 includes ALSA Mixer Control in the Multimedia menu?

Argh! Of course!

People, please stop replying on this issue and giving me such advices, I even discussed the problem with Patrick from Slackware. Rest assured, we did our homework.

v hahaha
by Cheapskate on Wed 24th Sep 2003 03:08 UTC
The best distro ever.
by felar on Wed 24th Sep 2003 03:32 UTC

I use linux for only about 2 years. I started with mandrake, then headed on to redhat. Neither of them was so convenient to use as Slackware. Mandrake and redhat are so overloaded with it's utilities and X system trying to make it more user-friendly... While Slackware uses classic (true) linux structure, with no WM selector screen on boot (it's only an example). Only with tris distro I got to now linux as a respective OS. f.e. now I at least know where all my config files are, I don't have to use no stupid configuration tool which usualy hides a few options from me...
Looking forward to 9.1 final version.

If nothing changed you are talking about tool for hp jetdirect card.

RE:Multiple Sound & Linux will implode
by Edward on Wed 24th Sep 2003 03:40 UTC

nifotc is Correct - The VIA sound chips do not support multiple input streams. When I looked at this a couple of months ago (on the very same chip) there was an argument raging on the lists as to if channel mixing should be handled at the driver or user space level.

Since I've got an SB Live! which handles multiple channels in hardware, I stopped caring.

My feeling is that it should be handled at the driver level. ESD/Arts do nothing for me (unless I'm running a remote client), yet KDE / GNOME wanting to run them by default. So with a default setup, this means that userspace level software is emulating hardware. Stupid. It would be much better for the driver to handle mixing. This would mean that h/w mix cards could do it in hardware, and software mix card
can do it in software, without having more complexity added to the system. For those who, for whatever reason, don't like software mixing on single channel cards, this could be turned off during compiling.

This is however, an ALSA issue, not a Slackware issue. ESD and Arts sound like their broken - this is the beta after all.

RE Linux will implode by none:
It sounds like your major issue is with Redhat and it's package system. Try something debian based or source (gentoo maybe) based? Things should work a lot cleaner. I've been running Debian unstable with large amounts of upgrading for the past couple of years off the same installation - and apart from the occasional problem with unstable packages (my bad), things have been pretty clean.

As for memory usage, Linux will use whats avaliable. This isn't an issue. You may also discover on closer inspection that the '200 MB' is shared. Example: Five programs use 5 MB each, plus 15 MB of shared memory. The total used is 40 NB. The total reported is 100 MB.

As for KDE - I've heard reports that it is essentially broken under Redhat. If you prefer KDE to GNOME, Redhat is probably the wrong distrobution to be using.

RE: mp (IP: ---.knology.net)
by Matthew Baulch on Wed 24th Sep 2003 03:47 UTC

> If nothing changed you are talking about tool for hp jetdirect card.

If that's the case, I wonder which package in "ap" was the wireless tools Eugenia was talking about. I guess I'll just wait until the official 9.1 release and do a complete installation. If iwconfig works at the command line, I'll be one happy man.

RE: Sound Issues
by dashslap on Wed 24th Sep 2003 03:49 UTC

Eugenia,

Have you tried updating your drivers? Is your filesystem intact?

@Eugenia
by Marc on Wed 24th Sep 2003 03:56 UTC

Well, I'm running RC1 on to machines. Slackware RC1 was released on the 22, and during the last week slackware did go trough changes (btw, I saw your name on the changelog).
The review is cool and very to the point and objective.
Yestarday I got my hands on a SuSE 8.2 copy and I've installed it. After 3 hours of pain I've removed it. I don't wanna write a review about how bad it sux because SuSE would sue me:)
Btw: SuSE is the biggest distro that was forked from Slackware, but its a bad fork, nothing from Slacks simplicity and structure has been maintained in it, and its also totaly nonstandard (if you compare it to other rpm based distros).

Sorry about all the confusion. HP's wireless tools (iwconfig... etc) is located in the slackware/n directory in a package named wireless-tools-26. Looks like slackware is in fact on the ball.

Swaret and Slackware Package management + Dropline Gnome
by Kingnubian on Wed 24th Sep 2003 04:12 UTC

I have slack 9 installed on a box here and after all I've heard about Slackware's "weak" package management I have to say this is not the case at all. Swaret takes Slack package management to new levels. The latest version of swaret have real dependency checking and is a real easy app to use. Now keeping your Slackware up to date is almost too easy. I urge everyone interested in Slackware to check out swaret.

Dropline Gnome is another wicked slack oriented project. If you are used to using the Gnome that comes with Slackware or even if you are a KDE user try the latest dropline Gnome release. It has actually, in the latest release, move me to being a Gnome user. With Dropline Gnome keeping up to dat is almost too easy as the dropline-installer does it all for you.

I've used so many distros I can't count, but now finally found one I can live with. it just works.

re: None and kudos Slackers!
by Dekkard on Wed 24th Sep 2003 04:17 UTC

None?? Linux implode?? I guess the city of Munich, the u.s.navy, the recently announced other cities in germany, the alliance of japan china and korea, and Ford Motor Company pushing into linux adoption and development is a sure sign of imminent OS implosion. NOT. As for stability.. my junkbox running slack9+dropline gnome is rock steady. And when an app crashes it has NEVER taken the system down with it. Remember that when you reach for the power button after a bsod leaves yer machine a humming power drain in your home.
I also started with Mdk, than moved to RH.. and than at the urgings of a friend I overcame all the negative hype that i had heard about slack and installed 9. It was an absolute breeze. After doing a bit of googling I had my hp printer up and running with CUPS flawlessly. So kudos to the slack team and mr.volkering. I love your work and slack will always be my fave..for its ease of install, speed and panache. And also because running slack has taught me more about Linux in 4 months than a year with the rpm based distros(no flame intended).

 re: None and kudos Slackers!
by Eugenia on Wed 24th Sep 2003 04:21 UTC

>None?? Linux implode??

I suggest you do not reply to flamebaiters, but ignore them.

RE: Eugenia - Sound Trouble
by dashslap on Wed 24th Sep 2003 04:39 UTC

Did you try updating your drivers? Is your filesystem intact? You may want to have a backup of your kernel, if you do a make with any newer drivers.

v holy shit
by burntash on Wed 24th Sep 2003 04:44 UTC
Is that easy to configure a LVM / slack?
by Ken on Wed 24th Sep 2003 04:47 UTC

Using rh quite long but so now, some problems s comming up and I like to switch to slack. I like to set up and use LVM but not sure how to configure on slack. Any ideas please.

RE:Multiple Sound & Linux will implode
by Chris Cheney on Wed 24th Sep 2003 04:50 UTC

"nifotc is Correct - The VIA sound chips do not support multiple input streams. When I looked at this a couple of months ago (on the very same chip) there was an argument raging on the lists as to if channel mixing should be handled at the driver or user space level."

I used to have a Via KT400/8235 based system, it used the southbridge 8235 onboard sound with an AC97 ALC650 chip. It was able to do 4 sound channels at once so perhaps it is either the older 8233 or AC97 200 chipset that is at fault. Certainly not all Via chips are limited to only one channel.

BTW - Software mixing is not done at the driver level for any card (afaik) due to a general decree that no extra unnecessary processing be done in kernel space. However, alsa does have new software mixing support in libasound, which is called dmix. I don't know if anything actually uses it yet though.

@Eugenia
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 04:57 UTC

If you don't want us to reply to them.. mod them down.

ooh 9.1RC1
by DaMouse on Wed 24th Sep 2003 05:48 UTC

I'm sitting here typing this from my wonderful slackware box smiling and waiting for 9.1 ;)

RE: Sound Issues
by John Blink on Wed 24th Sep 2003 07:02 UTC

Eugenia,

Does the issue you have experienced with Slackware occur with say redhat 9?

slackware
by Luka182 on Wed 24th Sep 2003 07:07 UTC

Debian uber alles!

OpenOffice.org
by follerec on Wed 24th Sep 2003 07:15 UTC

just wondering.... it came with OO.o 1.1? final? coz I didn't see that in the changelogs, and don't see 1.1 final yet anywhere.

RE: OpenOffice.org
by Eugenia on Wed 24th Sep 2003 07:16 UTC

No, I installed the RC-2 myself, it was painless.

RE:Multiple Sound
by Edward on Wed 24th Sep 2003 07:48 UTC

Chris Cheney - I hadn't considered that. A libary based thing is probably the next best thing. The reason I don't like userspace things is due to the tendancy for xyz or abc lib to things slightly differently, and this screw everything else up.

On the VIA chip level - the board I have/had with the VIA chip is a bit older than yours - KT133 of some vintage.
lspci reports a VT82C686 AC97, on a VT8363/8365 bridge.

I'll have do a bit more looking into this dmix thing. I know there are several other people with single chan cards who would appreciate this.

literally
by Anonymous Coward on Wed 24th Sep 2003 07:50 UTC

"I am literally having a blast"

I've noticed that people (especially Americans and the US media) use the word "literally" to emphasize something, and unless the definition has changed in America, it means just the opposite.

It really annoys me when words are used incorrectly, but I'm not too sure why. Other people have mentioned it to me as well.

Literally: "actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy: The city was literally destroyed."

Setting up XFree86 in Slackware
by windflower on Wed 24th Sep 2003 07:54 UTC

Setting up XFree86 is extremely easy in Slackware. When you boot into a freshly installed system, just run
xfree86setup
from the shell prompt.

I agree that Slackware's attraction is in stability and simplicity. Swaret and Checkinstall are nice new additions. However, I disagree with the opinion that Debian has outdated software. I installed Debian Sid through Morphix and it has very up-to-date software.

I love it
by Daniel de Kok on Wed 24th Sep 2003 08:01 UTC

I have been running 9.1Beta for a while, and it runs really great! I bought the last few releases, last week I decided to take a subscription to support Patrick V. and Slackware Inc.

Happy Slacking :-)

The fastest consumer distro along with Gentoo ?
by Mark on Wed 24th Sep 2003 08:19 UTC

Last time distros were compared according to their speed, Gentoo finished dead last behind Mandrake and Debian.

RE: Setting up XFree86 in Slackware
by Matthew Baulch on Wed 24th Sep 2003 08:36 UTC

> Setting up XFree86 is extremely easy in Slackware. When you boot into
> a freshly installed system, just run
> xfree86setup
> from the shell prompt.

I'd recommend setting up X with /usr/X11R6/bin/xf86config -textmode as this presents you with an easy ncurses driven setup without the need for graphics mode, hence autodetection.

> However, I disagree with the opinion that Debian has outdated
> software. I installed Debian Sid through Morphix and it has very up
> to-date software.

If you're prepared to run a system with horendous (for lack of a better word) instability problems, debian sid is one possible solution. Stable is the only viable solution for the real world IMHO and the 'HOs of many others. As far as distros based on the 2.2 kernel go, debian comes at the top of the list. In some server and embedded systems, debian is top notch. It's just a shame that it isn't a little more with the times (in stable). I would be willing to tolerate old development/productivity software if it came with up to date drivers.

Just my two Australian cents.

@ Marc
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 08:37 UTC

SuSE is and never was a fork of slackware. In the early nineties SuSE sold translated slackware disc's. After that, they used Jurix as the base for their distro and pretty soon they had their own non-forked distro.

To "Linux hype"
by John on Wed 24th Sep 2003 08:47 UTC

Windows is not more stable than Linux, when people like you say "Linux krashed", I bet it's not Linux(=the kernel of your GNU-system) that krash, it's more likly XFree, your WM or another application. Just kill the app that krashed and you see it's not Linux.

....
by gumby on Wed 24th Sep 2003 09:08 UTC

hmmm a blast eh? hope it's not msblast lol thanks I'll be here all week ;)

Slack Times - Performance
by Rhyotte on Wed 24th Sep 2003 10:01 UTC

I Have dabbled with Linux for a few years on and off. Tried most of the larger Distro's, and also FreeBSD. Of them all (not bashing the others) Slackware and FreeBSD were alot easier for me to "grasp". To clarify a couple points: when you use a full journaled file system e.g. JFS if you walk up to the running system and hit the power off switch, powering it back up is no more likely to cause a the dreaded "fsck-go take a coffee break boot time" than a Win2k machine is likely to give you a "scandisk" (assuming NTFS). JFS has a method and mode of disk checking that is Extremely Fast. Not saying others dont, only that I run my Slack 9 box on JFS and have been VERY pleased with its boot speed, overall speed, and rock solid stability. I even dual booted Win2k / Slack 9 and ran the game Never Winter Nights: system has 896 ram and is a P3-933 with GF 2 video and SBLive sound. Believe it or not in actual gaming play with ALOT of spells going off and sound on full the Slack box was Notably smoother. Scenes that turned Win2k into a slide show, only made Slack 9 hiccup a bit and merrily march along. Disk access was nearly non existant with Slack, windows disk access was constant. Hope this gives a few small insights into Performace.

Re: Linux Hype
by Edward on Wed 24th Sep 2003 10:43 UTC

Migod. I've never seen such an obvious troll.

I could go through everything, and explain why your points are wrong, or invalid, but I really can't be bothered, since it's unlikely you'll take any notice anyway.


So I'll some it up in a few simple words.

You are Wrong. Now Go Away.
(Capitalization intentional)

RE: I have to agree
by Rintek on Wed 24th Sep 2003 10:50 UTC

Eugenia wrote:


Indeed, KDE apps launch new windows or load very fast on Slackware. Severn/RH9 on the same machine/partition was never as fast.

Hoi Eugenia,

Download kernel-2.6.0-test5 and patch it with 2.6.0-test5-mm4.bz2 and you will have a TURBO desktop :-)

groetjes,

Rintek

RE: To "Linux hype"
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 10:54 UTC

"Just kill the app that krashed and you see it's not Linux."

That's right but usually suits don't care (and rightly so!) if it's the kernel or the application which crashes. Productivity is the victim in both cases, and it's something which can be measured in dollars. What matters is the stability of the whole system.

Can't decide...
by Jago on Wed 24th Sep 2003 11:10 UTC

I am very interested in giving Slackware a try. I tried it briefly during 7.x, but that was ages ago and I got scared and went back to RedHat. Now after having used Gentoo, Debian and FreeBSD for a long time, I thing it's time to give Slack another go. I just can't decide whether to do it *NOW* with 9.1 RC2 or wait until the final release...

If I go ahead now, will I be able to painlessly update to the final 9.1 release ?

@eugenia: with Evolution?
by anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 11:10 UTC

I see Evolution in your screenshot's. Do you installed the packages from 9.0 package or are there any native 9.1 packages avaible?

re: Matthew Baulch
by samb on Wed 24th Sep 2003 11:19 UTC

If you're prepared to run a system with horendous (for lack of a better word) instability problems, debian sid is one possible solution.

This is rubbish. What Debian calls unstable is what most other systems calls 'up to date'. By Debian's standards, a system that hasn't undergone a prolonged freeze with thorough testing and bugfixing just isn't 'stable'. So when you point your finger at Debian Unstable and claim that it has 'horendous instability problems' whereas other systems that are just as up-to-date if not more so (for instance Debian's unstable branch still hasn't upgraded to OpenSSH 3.7 because "3.7 includes a complete replacement PAM implementation and isn't appropriate for a hurried release into Debian.", but has instead backported fixes. Within hours, of course.) are somehow magically stable, you're being fooled by semantics. In fact, Debian's mandatory system and packaging policy http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ makes the system far more stable than most things out there. And I'm also pretty sure that there are more desktop users of Debian Unstable than there are of Slackware or FreeBSD.

That said, there are two issues that give rise to 'instability' in Debian Unstable. The first is when a package depends another package that is in the pipeline but but has not yet entered the Debian repository. This can render a package uninstallable for a few hours or perhaps a few days.

The other is when important pieces of the system infrastructure is being upgraded to a new major version, like the libc or GCC. When this happens, a note is sent out on the Debian announce mailing list advising people who value stability to not do an 'apt-get upgrade' for a few days. For those who are caught unaware, such a transition might cause some pain, for most of us it causes no problems at all.

I've been running Debian 'unstable' since late '99, and I strongly suspect that most people who have been using Debian for a long period of time are doing the same.


As far as distros based on the 2.2 kernel go, debian comes at the top of the list.

Based on the 2.2 kernel? You can easily boot and install a 2.4 kernel with Debian Woody. It is one of several kernels on the boot-cd. The 2.2 kernel is just the default.

RE: Setting up XFree86 in Slackware
by John Blink on Wed 24th Sep 2003 11:35 UTC

I have a Matrox Millenium 4MB PCI graphics card and I didn't have to configure anything, slackware autodetected it and set up my Xserver.

The only thing was that the refresh rate was 75Hz and I changed it to 85Hz with a program that Slack has in the KDE Control Center that I haven't seen in other distro's.

My hardware is a bit old, but slack 9.0 detects and sets up everything. To show how old here is a hardware list.

AMD k6-2 450Mhz
ASUS P5A-B Mobo (ALi M5229)
Graphics card as mentioned above.
40GB Seagate Barracuda ATA III
Microsoft Intellimouse 2 button wheelmouse(USB or PS/2 adapter)
SB Vibra 16

As you can see nothing exotic but all gets automatically detected. Something I use to complain about with 8.1 was that it would automatically detect my hardware. But now with hotplug, and whatever Patrick have done with 9.x it all works.

Thanks Patrick.

fonts and assorted wonders
by D'Arcy on Wed 24th Sep 2003 11:44 UTC

I've tried Slackware 9, and really tried to like it. However, has font support in 9.1 been improved? I suspect that post-RH8/9 has spoiled me with regards to fonts in Linux, but Slack9 just seemed a bit on the ugly side. Any improvements? Oh, and has anyone noticed if the Audigy is supported in a fresh install, or do you have to use Alsa, or compile the sourceforge module into a fresh kernel? Slack seems to be one of the few (thankfully) major distros left that you have to tinker with to get that card to work with.

Anyhow, looks nifty, must say I've for a while admired the whole philosophy behind Slack...on the Unix end of things that is, what the heck is that Church of the Sub-genius stuff??! Patrick's not into that is he?

Regarding the review
by samb on Wed 24th Sep 2003 11:56 UTC

Plenty of things to pick on here, but I'll just touch on a couple of points.

A tip: to avoid problems later, select the "full installation," it will save you some headaches along the way.

Really? So you installed it, got into problems because you didn't do a full install, decided to start over and do a full installation and then ignore the part that gave you headaches in the review?


Speed: 8.5/10 (throughput, UI responsiveness, latency)

Uhu. And this is with the vanilla no-preempt no-lowlatency kernel from kernel.org, right?

I find a lot of your writing on this site to be very coloured by how you wish things were, as opposed to how things really are, and this 'review' is a good example.

Moderation..
by . on Wed 24th Sep 2003 12:13 UTC

Hey, no doubt I'll be the one to get modded down, but the moderation system here still needs some work.

Trolls are still slipping through. I know about "alternate opinions" and such, but flamebait like "linux imploding" should be shot down with a mod stick.

My congratulations, Eugenia!
by slack boogie on Wed 24th Sep 2003 12:16 UTC

I am very glad to see that Slackware is _not_
"for geeks and developers" any more ;-)

@ Anonymous (IP: ---.upc-a.chello.nl)
by marc on Wed 24th Sep 2003 12:21 UTC

I bet that's what you've been reading when you googled for suse's history. Jurix is like a goost, butI've googled for it and it sounds like slackware. In fact Jurix was a slackware distro with rpm as a package manager. I've been using slackware for years, and I saw many things that are still there. Take a look into /etc/rc.d...Its SysV but then again, look closer...
On the other hand, the way SuSE is made and giving the fact that its an rpm based distro its not compatible at all with RedHat... SuSE has its merits I agree, but the way they are distributing it, I would expect more qualitty. I think they confuse the Linux cround with the Windows croud.

Re: fonts and assorted wonders
by Daniel de Kok on Wed 24th Sep 2003 12:26 UTC

what the heck is that Church of the Sub-genius stuff??! Patrick's not into that is he?

Seriously, it is a joke ;) .

v This is most likely a troll, but I'll give it ago...
by CooCooCaChoo on Wed 24th Sep 2003 12:48 UTC
send me good spam
by Cheapskate on Wed 24th Sep 2003 13:02 UTC

i finally got around to looking at your screenshots, Eugunia you sure get plenty of spam, you know there are filters for that...

You're right.

My cleanly installed Gentoo, running X and Fluxbox, takes up about 24megs.

At the minute, I'm running Gaim (with 2 chat windows), Mozilla (with 4 windows open), Sylpheed-Claws, X, Eterm (running irssi), 4 aterms (3 bittorrent downloads, and mp3blaster), Fluxbox and Fluxter (pager), and consuming 217megs RAM.

Just running a freshly booted XP takes up about 250megs on my machine.

I have 1024megs RAM anyway, so it doesn't really matter in the end, but the troll that posted the original artical is either mis-informed, has a crappy setup, or is just flamebaiting.

RE: This is most likely a troll, but I'll give it ago...
by Damo on Wed 24th Sep 2003 13:10 UTC

Just a note...
My Debian stable (Woody) box boots up to spot-on 30MB ram used (as reported by free -m), with a Gnome 1.4 desktop. That's with several server daemons running: apache, samba, jabber, CUPS and webmin. That leaves me 994 MB RAM to use for MY purposes.

Debian stable - fast, clean, secure, small and ultra-stable. I've used a lot of distros, and settled on Debian for it's software/security management.

RE: Damo (IP: ---.ucc.usyd.edu.au) - Posted on 2003-09-24 13:10:46
by CooCooCaChoo on Wed 24th Sep 2003 13:31 UTC

I FreeBSD is pretty much the same as the Debian box you mentioned. KDE 3.1.2 with all the bells and whistles going doesn't consume as much as Windows XP. I always find it funny how there was ment to be a review process to stop this, however, now we have the reviewers in on this whole "lets incite a holy war between the two communities".

couldn't have said it better my self....
by skaeight on Wed 24th Sep 2003 13:39 UTC

" I have tried more than 10+ different Linux distributions in the past 4 years but I never stuck with any. Red Hat/Mandrake/SuSE are too bloated and slow with complex internal structures (however Red Hat evolves faster of the three). Gentoo is way too involved and got bored easily of its long compilation times while Debian is way out of date in many ways (not just packages) for my taste."

I have been searching high and low for "the distro." The other day I stumbled across a slackware 9.0 disk that I burned right after it came out, but had never used. I was always kind of intimidated by slackware. It just seemed so archaic, and there didn't seem to be enough "packages" for it. However after giving it a try, all I can say is WOW! This is what I've been looking for. I've been very close to giving up on linux, and have tried a few times, but as Eugenia said, I get the urge to use linux sometimes, so I keep coming back.

My experiences with all of the distros she listed are exactly the same as hers. Redhat/Suse/Mandrake all suck (redhat is the best out of all of them though). Debian is good in theory. If there could a more up to date "stable" version I would use it, but you either make the choice of running old crusty software, or running unstable. And please no one chime in with, "I've been running debian unstable since 1967 and I've never had a crash." I've tried it out, had it running great for around a month and one day did an apt-get upgrade and gaim wouldn't work. After spending 2 hours trying to figure it out, I decided I'd had enough of debian unstable.

Another thing about debian is I've never really been successful in compiling my own kernel for some reason. I haven't had any trouble in any other distro.

Gentoo isn't much better. Portage is also good in theory. The problem is, first off to get a working system it takes at least two days. (NO I WON'T USE STAGE 3 W/ GRP!!! THE ATHLON XP VERSION CHOKES EVERYTIME I TRY TO INSTALL GNOME). So I decided I was going to give it one more shot starting from stage 1. Two days later I had gnome and everything up. However, I go to try install XMMS, and it tells me it needs to uninstall gnome panel 2.2 and install 1.4. I'm just like whatever, and I booted into XP because I didn't want to deal with it.

Later on I think, "lets give slack a try." Dropline Gnome 2.4 just came out, and I've been itching to try 2.4 out. 2 hours later (yes hours not days). I have the most amazing desktop I've ever laid eyes on. Dropline is the rolls royce of gnome distributions. And wow rc scripts, they make life so much simpler.

I really think that all of the rpm distros and even debian are guilty of creating FUD about compiling your own software. They kind of make it sound like you can't install anything unless its already built into a nice neat rpm that depends on fifty other rpms. Yesterday I compiled and installed galeon 1.3.9, gnucash 1.87, rhythmbox, ogle, and mplayer. It was so freaking EASY! I had never really compiled software on my own before because I was afraid I'd break something. OH, and checkinstall is your friend! Instead of running "make install", you run checkinstall and it installs a nice neat slackpack and gives you a copy of it. All I can say is my reliance on package management is over. Even the best of the best are not as good as doing things your self.

Do yourself a faver and give Slack a try! If you're new to linux and don't feel you have what it takes to run slackware, great! Don't waste your time with other toy distros. Go to the slackware store, preorder slack 9.1 and also get the slackware essentials. You'll be glad you did. (sorry that sounded like a commercial, honestly I'm not getting paid by Patrick Volkerding.)

RE: skaeight (IP: 208.4.67.---) - Posted on 2003-09-24 13:39:46
by CooCooCaChoo on Wed 24th Sep 2003 13:49 UTC

I completely agree. I've always tried Linux but kept going back to FreeBSD because I couldn't stand the crappy package management. The ports system on FreeBSD is bloody awsome. Clean, concise and to the point. No unneed frills, just the operating system.

Slackware is the same thing. Its an operating system, plain and simple. It is there to work and not to try and thrill end users with frills and nice flashy, unworkable graphical installers and tweakers.

Slackware ISOs?
by Justin on Wed 24th Sep 2003 14:07 UTC

Anybody have an unoffical ISO of RC2 yet?

w00t!
by stunji on Wed 24th Sep 2003 14:07 UTC

I used RedHat 7.x for a long time, but I always had X configuration problems, when I switched to 7.3, those problems became unmanageable (snow on my screen no matter what resolution / refresh I chose.) I switched to Slack and it worked right out of the box. I'm glad to see Slack get its props here.

Slackware rocks
by The Master Geo on Wed 24th Sep 2003 14:15 UTC

I recently upgraded to 9.1 and was impressed and disappointed at the same time. Impressed at how much it has progressed since I first used 4.0. Disappointed because it is getting too easy to use. Seems to be fairly stable.

Slackware reviewed by biased.
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 14:18 UTC

What you're saying here just defies all logic to the non-slack-initiated reader.

1) Installation and configuration
I don't really care that it's a text based intaller, but some previous note pointed out how easy it was to setup X, just run xfree86setup from bash? If you have to find each and every seperate setup tool for each software, the dist has done NOTHING to simplify for the user. If you have to bloat the system by installing everything, you come down with 0 points in this category.

2) Software up to date?
Here, it seems slack scores a full pot.

3) Software management.
If there is something a dist should do it is to bundle software from developers and make it easy to install for the user. Without dependancy resolvers you obviously have to install everything. Well, what if I don't have the space? If you want to remake that old 486 to a firewall, you need a simple way to install just the packages you need and no other.
0 out of 5 again.

(Having to install all packages? How much more bloated than that does it get?!)

5) Stability.
Well, there is no way that one can say anything about stability in 2 days. You say that every other linux version you've tried has crashed within 2 days? How did you do that?! I havn't been able to crash even mdk cooker (which is supposed to be unstable of the unstable) in that short a time.
3 out of 5.

6) Hardware detection and support.
From your review Id place it at about 2 out of 5.

It feels like I could go on for ever. What I read your review it feels like watching a kid talking about their favourite pet. The downsides are not that important, and the pros are all that matter, and they matter ALOT! Had it been mandrake you reviewed, you would have put two pages of agony upon the problem you had with XMMS.

You end your review with stating that this is your new favorite distro? Personally I think you've never had any other, and with the attitude in the article, you never will.

From the notes posted here, I don't think anyone will see the post. It feels like some sect working their way to a frenzy. This distribution is a small step from doing everything by hand together with an installer, and if that's what you want, fine. If you want to be able to install the system in 15 mins and already have most things configured the way you want them, look elsewhere.

RE: Slackware ISOs?
by Jago on Wed 24th Sep 2003 14:18 UTC

You can make your own ISOs quite easily... check /slackware-current/isolinux/README on your Slack mirror of choice.

First off you really don't know what you're talking about. If you've ever visited this site before you would know that Eugiena has run just about every distro there is, including the *BSD's.

The point of slackware is to give control to the user. If you don't want to worry about configuring things, by all means use mandrake or redhat, heck just use windows xp.

However, when you use a redhat ar a mandrake or similar, you start to see that there are obvious limitations. They want you to confine yourself to using packages from whatever package manager they have chosen. Sometimes packages break things, sometimes your RPM database gets corrupted.

With slackware you don't have to worry about these things. Let me tell you something.... dependencies are not as big of a problem as many people think. RPM's require other rpms becuase thats what they were built against, but if you build your own software on a system like slack, most likely you aren't going to have to worry about that. When you do your ./configure, it will tell you if you are missing anything.

I'll give you an example. One reason why I was hesitant to use slack was it didn't have gnucash. I hunted around for a package for 9.0, and I couldn't find any. What did I end up doing? I built it my self. The only problem was slack 9 did away with gnome 1.4 /gtk1 libraryies which gnucash requires (hopefully they update to gtk2 soon). I just pulled them off of the slack 8.1 install and I was fine. Try doing that with an rpm distro. I guarentee it would have puked. It's just too easy to make an rpm distro break. If you break slack, you will most likely know how to fix it, because you've done everything yourself, so you know the system.

Just give it a try, you will like it. It takes a little bit of reading, but in the end it's worth it.

Various
by Tedy Ander on Wed 24th Sep 2003 14:57 UTC

1) Whereis iso ??!!! www.linuxiso.org
2) Not for geeks ??!!! I donīt think any Linux is only for geeks. I have used Slack for a long time, but now I had to say Debian is my choice, no matter why. For any ComputerInTheBox buyer, even WindowsXp is anoying to install and configure. Try install a Win98 in a new FloppyLess PC !
3) Kernel compile/patch/update/customize, is so simple that thereisnt any computer in my home with a same one, even the Notebook has his own customized.
4) For those wants install and use without any customize action: Yes! Slack could be more chosen. Its is perfect.
5) apt-get with unstable debian is not perfect, but is so cool aways have the latest KDE and other stuff 1st than everybody.

A whole bunch of crap.
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 15:00 UTC

When it really gets down to it, there's really little to know difference among the Linux distros. No, slackware isn't any faster than SUSE, and Red Hat isn't any slower than Lindows, neither is Mandrake slickier than Knoppix, or whatever.

So, what makes them different. Well, just two features

i). An easy init system and
ii). A great package management system.

Based on my above criteria, you can't go wrong with two and only two distros. On the part of binary distros, debian comes out at the pinnacle. On behalf the source distros, please put your hands together for gentoo.

Please rethink using any distro that forces you upgrade or update only through biannual and annual CDs. The idea alone is repugnant. Having said that, and based on the above mentioned criteria, 95% of all other Linux distros are a bunch of crap.

Undoubtedly, this comment will generate avalanche of flames. But I'm pleased the internet is an avenue where opinions are shared, analyzed and critized, no matter how silly they may be. Does slackware provide me with my pertinent features? Ummm...no.

RE: Slackware reviewed by biased.
by Adi Wibowo on Wed 24th Sep 2003 15:08 UTC

1) Installation and configuration
I don't really care that it's a text based intaller, but some previous note pointed out how easy it was to setup X, just run xfree86setup from bash? If you have to find each and every seperate setup tool for each software, the dist has done NOTHING to simplify for the user. If you have to bloat the system by installing everything, you come down with 0 points in this category.

3) Software management.
If there is something a dist should do it is to bundle software from developers and make it easy to install for the user. Without dependancy resolvers you obviously have to install everything. Well, what if I don't have the space? If you want to remake that old 486 to a firewall, you need a simple way to install just the packages you need and no other.
0 out of 5 again.



That will happen if you don't know what packages needed to build a firewall server, or desktop system, or web server, or mail server and so on.
If we know packages we need we will install those and forget about the rest. No need to install everything.

I think this is why administrator is needed.

Slackware is never intended to become next generation desktop system. New user to linux that don't know everything will not install firewall, don't you think?

try "free" command
by Uman on Wed 24th Sep 2003 15:20 UTC

2 -.manc.broadband.ntl.com
You really donot know what you are talking about.
Most of this 200 Mb used for page cashe and disk buffer cache.
Just run "free" command and you will see. You even can
paste here output and people will explain that digits mean.

RE: A whole bunch of crap.
by Adi Wibowo on Wed 24th Sep 2003 15:23 UTC

Please rethink using any distro that forces you upgrade or update only through biannual and annual CDs. The idea alone is repugnant. Having said that, and based on the above mentioned criteria, 95% of all other Linux distros are a bunch of crap.


I don't think I know distro that forced its users to upgrade only once or twice a year? Name it please?

And about claim about good distro, please explain what kind of :
- easy init system, and
- great package management system
you think is good.
There are several flavour of distros, because there are several kind of taste about "good" and "bad". And we can pick one the most fitted with us.

smooth partial install?
by johnG on Wed 24th Sep 2003 15:32 UTC

In the review:
A tip: to avoid problems later, select the "full installation," it will save you some headaches along the way.

| | 3) Software management.
| | If there is something a dist should do it is to bundle
| | software from developers and make it easy to install for
| | the user. Without dependancy resolvers you obviously have
| | to install everything. Well, what if I don't have the
| | space? If you want to remake that old 486 to a firewall,
| | you need a simple way to install just the packages you
| | need and no other.
| | 0 out of 5 again.
|
|
| That will happen if you don't know what packages needed to
| build a firewall server, or desktop system, or web server,
| or mail server and so on.
| If we know packages we need we will install those and
| forget about the rest. No need to install everything.
|

Exactly how difficult is it to *not* do the "full installation"? I don't want Gnome/KDE, just icewm. Will the installer provide that smoothly?

Slack reviewed by biased, cont.
by Algol on Wed 24th Sep 2003 15:47 UTC

About dependancies:
skaeight, you know that ./configure is a way of handling dependancies, right? Even though it is at a development level, looking for header files and the like, it still checks if you have the packages needed to build the software.

When you build software, you link the binary to libraries to use functions within them. You don't distribute all libraries that you've linked your software against because it would be reduntant, it would mean that every gnome software would have to be bundeled with the gnome libraries, glibc, etc. Instead you have packages that contain these libraries, so that you only have to install them once.

These dependancies doesn't have much to do with RPM or deb but they are inherent in the way one makes software on the linux platform. The differance is that mandrake and debian lets a piece of software work out what other packages needed to install, while slack lets the user fetch whatever is necessary.

About locked within the rpm database.
One is not locked with the pre-packaged system with an rpm or deb based distro anymore than a slack user is. I can download and compile gnucash on my mandrake system if I wanted, now urpmi gnucash is all i need to do.

There are also simple commands that let you rebuild you database incase you have destroyed it.


As for configuration, you cannot deny the fact that sometimes software is needed to configure software, like the XFree config that slack uses. If you were against that, then you would always write every configuration file from scratch in vi. Many distros have improved upon these configuration software and put in autodetection etc. This is not a BAD (tm) thing. This is mainly because after this software has terminated, you can edit the configuration file it has made anyway you like. Hence, you don't lose control with good configuration software, you just make a better config file to start working upon (if you even need to work on it).

As for knowing what you're building:
I agree with you. If you can substitute for the dependancy-resolving software, good for you. My question is merely that how can the lack of such features make it the best distro on the face of the earth? Reviews like this makes friends of mine, who have very little linux experience, call me when they have problems installing gaim. If you know exactly what you want to do, and you want to do it by hand, then slack is maybe the best distro, but for most other things, mandrake and debian are legues ahead of slack.

As for the need of administrators:
Yes, they are needed, but to what extent they should be needed is another issue. Should one need a certified admin just to install a piece of software? Sure it is fun to say that you have done it the hard way, and that you've mastered linux, but is it really necessary? By the same logic it would be a good thing to write the whole system by yourself.

swaret and dropline
by mjmam on Wed 24th Sep 2003 16:04 UTC

Did any one use Dropline and swaret?
I use Slack 9.0 updated with dropline and recently by swaret, I think itīs amazing the work dropline and swaret do, but after all the updates, my system is almost as unstable as windows98 :-( Nautilus 2.4 itīs crashing after a drag an drop gnumeric 2 sometime crash just after open it, Evolution 1.4 canīt send my mails (maybe is my account I donīt now), abiword 2 crash after a I paste a word, copy from a "Msdoc file"

Did I made a mistake mixing dropline and swaret?
Did anyone do that (mix dropline-swaret)?

Eugenia thanks for all your reviews and point of views!

Install now (and what) or later?
by someone247356 on Wed 24th Sep 2003 16:12 UTC

First off,
Anonymous Coward (IP: ---.vic.bigpond.net.au) wrote:

""I am literally having a blast"

I've noticed that people (especially Americans and the US media) use the word "literally" to emphasize something, and unless the definition has changed in America, it means just the opposite.

It really annoys me when words are used incorrectly, but I'm not too sure why. Other people have mentioned it to me as well.

Literally: "actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy: The city was literally destroyed.""

As an American I have to ask, Did you read what you wrote?

"I am literally having a blast" means (to this American);
"I am really, without exaggeration, having a blast, no really, I'm not kidding, exaggerating, or making this up, I really am having a blast."

So how exactly does that mean exactly the opposite? The next time you hear someone use the word "literally", as the person you quoted did, substitute your definition "actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy" in its place. That's what they meant.

Now, having said that, I burned the Slackware 9.0 ISO meaning to replace my RedHat install, but got tied up in Windows land for the last couple of months (VB/VBA/Access development, don't ask ;) . Now that I finally have the time to install Slack, I hear about 9.1 rc. *sigh* Should I install 9.0 anyway and then upgrade, install a rc, or wait until 9.1 goes gold? Suggestions anyone?

Thanks in advance,

someone247356

Just my $0.02 (Canadian, before taxes)

re: Algol
by skaeight on Wed 24th Sep 2003 16:34 UTC

I completely understand that ./configure checks for dependencies. My point is that ./configure; make && make install is not hard to do and does all of the dependency checking that is required. Why do I need another layer of complexity added into the mix? I've always had some stupid problem with every distro I've used up until slack, and it usually came down to package management getting in my way. Whe even bother with it?

As for as configuring X, no you don't have to write the whole configuration by hand in vi (i prefer vim). What I do is run XFree86 -configure as root. It plops a XFree86Config file in /root. All you have to do is add the refresh rates of your monitor and your preferred resoltuions. OH and "ZAxisMapping" "4 5" if you have scroll mouse. Yes I know not everyone wants to do this, or knows how. My point is, just because slack doesn't have a gui interface built into the installer to configure x, doesn't mean you shouldn't use it. Just RTFM as some might say.

Learn about your XFree86Config file, learn about your entire /etc folder. From my experience at least, changing one value in a text file in vim is a lot easier than trying to work with mandrakes half assed control center. Once again not everyone cares to do so and that's fine. But I dont know how you can say debian and mandrake are light years ahead of slack.

You are missing some things
by Michiel on Wed 24th Sep 2003 16:43 UTC

To start with, nice review BUT, are you getting paid by Slack ?

Somewhere you say: "2. Speed. Together with Gentoo, I think we are looking into the two fastest consumer distros on the planet."
There was a good test on osnews before that proved that even Debian is faster then Gentoo.

Then the point about Debian being too outdated.
This is crap too. Of course it is true when comparing Debian stable standard install with Slack unstable.
Debian woody(stable) can be installed with bf24 (2.4.20 last time I tried). Now let's be honest and compare unstable with unstable.
Debian unstable comes with latest kernel, heck even a STANDARD package for 2.6.0-test4 and stuff.
And let's not forget about the other stuff you need to source-upgrade in 99% of the distro's out there before you can even run latest kernel/apps.

And last, please tell me how to crash your linux distro in less then 2 days cause even RedHat runs longer here.

For me, Slack is just another one out there that's just not it.
Not that there is ANY os that's it, all os-es sux in a way, just choose the one that sux in the places you never go to but when reviewing stay honest and don't tell things that are not true.

just my 2 euro-cent

Slack != userfriendly, Slack == poweruserfirendly
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 16:46 UTC

Slack is defenitely not a distro to please everyone. But once you started to like it, you will probably stick to it.

xf86cfg anyone?
by Luckett on Wed 24th Sep 2003 16:55 UTC

xf86cfg is graphical X config, lets all cry cuz we are n00bs!

Modding...
by Aesiamun on Wed 24th Sep 2003 16:55 UTC

Why are you modding down responses to comments that aren't?

CooCooCaChoo shouldn't have been modded down unless the parent of the post was too. The original post was ridden with inaccuracies and was obviously meant to be a troll. But it was moderated as the opposite.

Sorry, but this is really wrong and therefore should be rectified.

re: skaeight
by Algol on Wed 24th Sep 2003 17:02 UTC

Ok, if ./configure is all you want, so be it; I've spent hours looking at ./configure output and guessing what packages contain the libraries mentioned, and I prefer apt-get or urpmi to install packages, but if you want to do it by hand your free to do so. Just keep in mind that apt-get is a BONUS, even on debian you can compile software from source and resolv dependancies by hand if you feel like it.

Pretty much the same goes for configuration files, I only pointed out that software to configure software is sometimes needed; and prefered. You mention that you use software to do the foundation of the XF86Config, and then continue to edit it by hand. What it comes down to is how well the software that creates the foundation can predict what you want in your config file. Personally I think XFdrake does this by far better than XFree86 -configure, but it doesn't really matter. In any case you can always edit the config file by hand afterwards.
That slack doesn't have a graphical installer for XFree isn't a reason not to use it, but it is a disadvantage to other distros, which can do what slack can and then some more.

Finally, I know about XFree, I know about /etc, and I still have to edit XF86Config-4 to get nvidia support, but the foundation Im working needs less hard work and less Reading of The Fucking Manual which is a good thing (tm).

"literally having a blast" would more likely mean they were blowing something up, or they themselves were blowing up. Thus, literally was misused. "Figure of speech" is derived from things spoken Figuratively... "having a blast" is speaking figuratively to begin with, thus saying you're literally doing something figurative you remove the exaggeration and come out with exactly what the statement says. So once again, "literally having a blast" would mean either they were blowing someting up, they themselves were blowing up, or maybe they were eating someting which was blowing up... like "having a piece of cake"... to be honest, "literally having a blast" doesn't make much sense at all.

On to slack.

I've been using slack since 3.1 if I remember correctly. Between 3.1 and 7 I dogged around a bit, and tried Slackware 4 aswell. Hands down no other distro seems to cut it... and I've tried plenty. One I've not tried that I'm tempted to is Gentoo, but I see no need for it, and I'm not a fan of ports like systems. I prefer doing most of the work of retrieving software, figuring it's dependencies, and installing myself. I just feel it keeps my system cleaner if I know where everything is. Slack is just a great distro, it's clean and to the point. It's lack of a truly good built-in package management system is one of the things I adore about it, because despite what others think, package management systems become a pain in the ass.

To answer someone's question earlier. There are several modes for installing slackware. The best way to go is the expert route where you choose each package singularly. Since all of the major libraries you'll most likely need for dependencies are all stuck in one package set, if you enable everything in the "l" package set, you shouldn't have any problems. Installing everything in the L and select packages from other sets means you're not installing the whole thing, only problem then is you may not need some things in the L set. It's best just to know or have an idea what packages use what and what you're more likely to need for your system. I personally install only several common packages from the L set, and I leave out both Gnome and KDE without any problems. I leave out the majority of extra X apps too. I'm very selecting about which applications I use and I'm not a big fan of what any desktop environment bundles with it. So in short, the installation is easily and massively configurable if you know what you need. If not you'll be more prone to installing just entire sets, or the whole thing. Mind whoever say having to install the whole thing makes bloat... one great thing about slack is Volkerding likes to keep it all on one CD. So installing everything slack comes with and installing Half of what some other distros come with tends to be the same thing. Bloat isn't just a matter of how much of a distro you install... it's how much that distro offers you to install compared with how much you do.

re: Algol
by skaeight on Wed 24th Sep 2003 17:09 UTC

I guess if you're either willing to sacrifice a modern base distro or stability apt-get is a bonus. To me it's not worth messing with it, because when you run debian your system seems to be on auto-pilot, it will change your configuration files when you upgrade, which I really don't like.

Also Debian doesn't have rc scripts...end of argument.

re: Agol
by skaeight on Wed 24th Sep 2003 17:16 UTC

Read two posts up, he knows what's up.

BTW, have you actually tried slack?

RE: A whole bunch of crap
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 17:26 UTC

I don't think I know distro that forced its users to upgrade only once or twice a year? Name it please?

Any distro that makes you upgrade only and only from a CD only every few weeks, months, or years should be avioded. There, I think I phrased it better now. I'm not hear to mention names, I might offend others in the process.

And about claim about good distro, please explain what kind of :
- easy init system, and
- great package management system
you think is good.
There are several flavour of distros, because there are several kind of taste about "good" and "bad". And we can pick one the most fitted with us.


Very good inquisition. A good init system is one in which services are easy to start, stop, add permanently or temporarily, remove permanently or temporarily at different runlevels (i.e. boot default, nonetwork, etc).

A good package management system will be one that those the following;

1). provides you with tools to look up information about a package or search for it.
2). provide one with tools to list the dependencies of a package.
3). provide one with tools to determine or manipulate which dependencies should be installed based on how critical the dependency is.
4). provide one with tools to list or search for packages installed on your system, where the the packages' files are installed and other relevant information about the packages.
5). provide one with tools to easily uninstall the packages and it's dependencies if necessary.
6). provide tools that will seamlessly and automatically download, search and install packages and their dependencies without error at your biding.
7). provide one with a repository or ports of all packages known to man.
8). enables a user update their system anytime, most especially during security updates to important packages openssh comes to mind. (e.g. I update my system daily, not when gentoo releases it's next CD)
9). provides update to official stable packages in a timely manner. When KDe-3.2 pops out, I'll probably be using it the next day on gentoo.
10). Provide stable, testing, and unstable branches for their packages. This is particularly important for user who intend to run servers.
11). It's so easy to use, my grandma uses it while eating dorritos.
12). Has a logical file system layout.

My criteria sounds quite stringent, but a distro with a package management system that scores 5/5 on each point I've listed above will earn my usage and respect. So far, only debian, for binary, and gentoo, for source, have even come close. They'll easily achieve 3/5 on each characteristic I listed above.

I hope I answered your queries satisfactorily

RE: skaeight
by TLy on Wed 24th Sep 2003 17:28 UTC

> Also Debian doesn't have rc scripts...end of argument.

Can you elaborate by what you mean "Debian doesn't have rc scripts"? I'm sorry for going on a tangent. I installed Debian last night via Morphix liveCD and I used "update-rc.d <script-name> remove" to remove services/daemons from the default run level, <script-name> is any one of the scripts found in /etc/init.d

Is that not the same as the rc scripts you're talking about?

Gent, Gent,

Thanks for your more in depth explanation of the whole "literally" thing. I guess that literally has developed an alternative application of the same definition. "Literaly", is now commonly used to mean "actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy" as per Anon's post. Which I guess was where my confusion stemmed from. You are correct in that "literally" has traditionally meant "not figuratively, as written or stated" As in "When he heard the news he literally dropped dead." To mean that he actually did die, that the speaker wasn't using a figure of speach. Today it is also used to mean without exageration, to emphasize that the speaker wasn't kidding when he applied that figure of speech. i.e. "It literally was the best time I've every had" or as the original poster has stated, "I literally had a blast." (previously explained in my previous post ;) American English is a rather fluid language. idioms, and popular, if not proper, usage tends to quickly "become" proper usage. I guess that can be confusing for more traditionalistic (aka non American) English speakers.

Enough of that though, on to Slackware. I realize that there are several ways to install Slackware. My question was should I;

1) Install Slackware 9.0 and then upgrade when 9.1 final is out.
2) Install Slackware 9.1 rc (something)
3) Wait until Slackware 9.1 final is out and install that

Thanks again for any help that anyone can provide.

someone247356

Just my $0.02(Canadian, before taxes)

rc scripts
by johnG on Wed 24th Sep 2003 18:31 UTC

TLy wrote:
I installed Debian last night via Morphix liveCD and I used "update-rc.d <script-name> remove" to remove services/daemons from the default run level, <script-name> is any one of the scripts found in /etc/init.d

I just discovered rcconf which is even easier. ;)

Also, Gent, thanks for answering the installation question.

Also also -- misuse of the word literally is almost as annoying as folks consistently mispelling separate, and also folks using "begs the question" when they mean "suggests the question". ;) Now, lessee, where's my copy of Strunk & White...

eugenia: do you compile all programs yourself
by anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 18:33 UTC

... that are not included? Evolution, Totem etc... I know OpenOffice is fine to install. But the other Programs?

Yes, I compiled the rest (about 20 more apps that I wanted)

As for Evolution, I just downloaded the 4-5 packages needed for it from Dropline Gnome's sourceforge page (I didn't install dropline gnome, I just got a few packages from them and installed them manually)

Can you read?
by Justin on Wed 24th Sep 2003 18:47 UTC

Then you can get past the slack installer. Really, that simple. In fact, one of the first Linux distro's I tried was Slack, and I didn't see any major issues.

When the installer prompts you to configure xfree, you do it. No biggie. Okay, yes, it would be nice to have xfree automatically configured, with graphics accelereated, but hey-what do you want Patrick to focus on: creating a new installer, or keeping Slack up to date and stable? Seems like an easy decision to me.

You want a hard install, try FreeBSD, Debian, or Plan9. That's difficult.

re: Can you read?
by skaeight on Wed 24th Sep 2003 19:00 UTC

Agreed.

And

Why RPM Distro's aren't any good:

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Software-Building-HOWTO-4.html


Here's an excerpt from the page:

"4.2 Problems with rpms: an example

Jan Hubicka wrote a very nice fractal package called xaos. At his home page, both .tar.gz and rpm packages are available. For the sake of convenience, let us try the rpm version, rather than the "tarball".

Unfortunately, the rpm of xaos fails to install. Two separate rpm versions misbehave.

rpm -i --test XaoS-3.0-1.i386.rpm

error: failed dependencies:
libslang.so.0 is needed by XaoS-3.0-1
libpng.so.0 is needed by XaoS-3.0-1
libaa.so.1 is needed by XaoS-3.0-1

rpm -i --test xaos-3.0-8.i386.rpm

error: failed dependencies:
libaa.so.1 is needed by xaos-3.0-8

The strange thing is that libslang.so.0, libpng.so.0, and libaa.so.1 are all present in /usr/lib on the system tested. The rpms of xaos must have been built with slightly different versions of those libraries, even if the release numbers are identical.

As a test, let us try installing xaos-3.0-8.i386.rpm with the --nodeps option to force the install. A trial run of xaos crashes.

xaos: error in loading shared libraries: xaos: undefined symbol: __fabsl

Let us stubbornly try to get to the bottom of this. Running ldd on the xaos binary to find its library dependencies shows all the necessary shared libraries present. Running nm on the /usr/lib/libaa.so.1 library to list its symbolic references shows that it is indeed missing __fabsl. Of course, the absent reference could be missing from one of the other libraries... There is nothing to be done about that, short of replacing one or more libraries.

Enough! Download the "tarball", XaoS-3.0.tar.gz, available from the ftp site, as well as from the home page. Try building it. Running ./configure, make, and finally (as root) make install, works flawlessly.

This is one of an number of examples of prepackaged binaries being more trouble than they are worth. "

RE:couldn't have said it better my self....
by jhboricua on Wed 24th Sep 2003 19:23 UTC

"Gentoo isn't much better. Portage is also good in theory. The problem is, first off to get a working system it takes at least two days. (NO I WON'T USE STAGE 3 W/ GRP!!! THE ATHLON XP VERSION CHOKES EVERYTIME I TRY TO INSTALL GNOME). So I decided I was going to give it one more shot starting from stage 1. Two days later I had gnome and everything up. However, I go to try install XMMS, and it tells me it needs to uninstall gnome panel 2.2 and install 1.4. I'm just like whatever, and I booted into XP because I didn't want to deal with it."

First of all, gentoo is a source based distro, therefore I don't see why you complain about how long it might take to have a full desktop system built. Source distros compile everything FROM source. If you don't like waiting for it to finish, then don't use it, go for a binary based one. And what does Portage has to do with compile times?

Second, I don't see how in hell it took you two days to get a working system. On my XP 1900, starting from stage 1, I had mine built WITH GNOME in less than a day. Unless you're installing countless apps I don't see how you hit the 2 day mark.

Third, as far as your statement of XMMS wanting to uninstall the 2.2 version of Gnome panel in favor of the 1.4, again you're wrong. Portage features a slot feature, therefore Gnome panel 1.4 and 2.2 can both be installed and coexist. So yes, it would install gnome panel 1.4, but it WONT uninstall the 2.2 version. Perhaps you should have investigated more or check the forums at gentoo.org, but you said it yourself, "I'm just like whatever, and I booted into XP because I didn't want to deal with it." This is why you fail. Gentoo is not a newbie distro.

That said, I do plan on giving slack a try.

re: Cdrdao
by skaeight on Wed 24th Sep 2003 19:37 UTC

Ok ,now I'm a newbie I guess. Well think what you want, but I'm pretty sure I have a pretty good handle on linux/unix. Basically the boot to xp thing was my girlfriend was bugging me to check her email and to go on aim, and I needed to step away from the computer for a little bit because I was about to pull my hair out, so went and watched the rest of the giants / skins game. The only reason I have xp on my computer is becuase I have to work from home sometimes, and we are M$ office.

Honestly though, slack just works. Its nice and elegant and seems like it will be on my computer for a long time to come. I keep learning new things and that's why I use linux, I like to learn about computers.

That being said I had been checking out the gentoo forums for a solution to the xmms/gnome panel issue. Basically, they said take out the gnome use flag when emerging xmms. By that point I just didn't want to deal with it. Slack came in and I'm very happy now. Give it a try. I think you will like it better than gentoo. I just feel like I'm more in control, and I'm not spending half my time learning how to use a package manager. If that makes me a newbie, than I'm a newbie.

whoops *re: jhboricua
by skaeight on Wed 24th Sep 2003 19:38 UTC

that was supposed to be re: jhboricua

I'm on windows at work, and I just highlighted the text to copy like i would on xwindows....whoops

RE None
by Clinton on Wed 24th Sep 2003 19:39 UTC

I was going to comment on this earlier, but I figured it would be moderated down, so I didn't. Since it wasn't moderated, I will reply (question for OSNews: Why is it that hyperbolic remarks regarding Linux are usually moderated down, but more often than not, ignorant, trollish remarks like those by NONE are left up as "alternative points of view"? Personally, I would appreciate a less-biased standard of moderation.)

Now, on to None's remarks:
Linux is slower and less stable than windows.

That's interesting. The longest I have gone without having Windows either die, or its performance degrade to that of frozen treacle, is about one month. The longest I have gone without a reboot on Linux was 2.5 years; and I only shut the system down then because I was leaving that job. I'm sorry, but my personal experience and a lot of other real-world evidence refutes your claims.

My windows box uses about 40 megs of ram to boot, Linux uses about 175 (and Linux is a monolithic kernel)

What version of Windows? XP certainly doesn't boot into 40M of RAM. What version of Linux? Mine doesn't boot into 175M of memory.

Linux crashes much more often than windows, way more
The few Apache/MySQL vs IIS/MS SQL tests I have seen have been won (sometimes dominated) by Windows


That cracks me up. Part of my job is to run both Windows/IIS/Exchange and Linux/Apache/Postfix servers. Guess which ones I NEVER get emergency calls for? Windows/IIS/Exchange suck, plain and simple. Anybody skilled person who has to administer them will tell you that.

I'm going to skip a bunch of the other nonsense because I really don't care.

Ease of use for the newbie is not as important as ergonomics for powerusers, but Linux has yet to bring an environment to the table that I can efficiently get work done it.

So now we see the real point of your post. You personally don't know how to make Linux work for you, therefore, it must be a stupid OS.

WinXP Pro comes with a 480 meg CD, Mandrake is 3 CD's and SuSE is 7

And WinXP Pro comes with almost no useful applications. The distributions you mentioned, on the other hand, come with development languages, debuggers, IDEs, and other tools, office programs, drawing programs, multimedia utilities, games, etc.

NTFS is much more stable than any Linux file system, hard shut down in Linux and watch it fsck your box

Or, hard shut down your Windows machine and watch it CHKDSK /F your box. Duh! Are you saying you want a filesystem that doesn't keep anything in memory and doesn't self-repair when it detects a problem? Interesting.

Installing software on a Linux system is badly broken, often you end up fixing make files, chasing dependencies, or in situations where you can't update a library with out breaking other apps

Or, you can install apps in Windows with the fancy InstallShield interfaces and take comfort as tons of junk gets inserted into your registry, bogging down your system. Have you ever tried to get all that crap out of there when you want to upgrade or uninstall something? Now THAT is a design that is badly broken.

, many libraries are not very backwards compatible and someone still has yet to write an installer for Linux.

apt, urpmi, portage, etc.

Developers will often use GPL just so they can avoid having to create and test separate packages for the last 3 versions of every major distro, GPL lets someone else do it.

Oh come on! The GPL has nothing to do with testing!

You know nothing about Windows development do you? I have worked for Microsoft itself and many other Windows-centric development companies and ALL of them beta test their stuff on their users, AND, as a user, you get the privilage of paying for it. Geez!

Say what you will of LSB but I can think of no reason to have all 15 or so text editors in seperate directories, where is /apps/texteditors when you need it?

They aren't in separate directories. They are usually in /usr/bin, Just like all of Microsoft's editors are in C:Windows

None, basically it appears to come down to the fact that you don't know how to use Linux. Fine. Why can't you be a big man/woman and say that you don't like Linux because you don't know how to use it and are therefore more comfortable with Windows? The truth is a lot better for everyone involved, rather than shoveling a bunch of inaccurate embellishments regarding both operating systems onto the OSNews forums.

I for one would wait until 9.1 is out. It shouldn't take too long now and if there are some small bugs, they'll be ironed out by then.

Installing Slackware RC
by McDaeMonD on Wed 24th Sep 2003 20:27 UTC

someone247356 :
1) Install Slackware 9.0 and then upgrade when 9.1 final is out.
2) Install Slackware 9.1 rc (something)
3) Wait until Slackware 9.1 final is out and install that
===========
you better don't use the iso from distro but make your own iso

To Make iso Read
http://..where_is_your_mirror../slackware-*****/isolinux/README.TXT

if you want to try slackware-9.0 just try and patche with packages from ..bla-bla-bla/slackware-9.0/patches/

and if you want upgrade your box just add swaret from /slackware-current/extra/ and upgrade or just download all packages with swaret or else and do
# /var/swaret/upgradepkg --install-new *tgz

WARNING" after upgradding lilo update your lilo by type /sbin/lilo or your boxs wont running and blamed slackware or linux for that :-)
and explore the gnome n kde find the crash if you can find :-) but if you don't like, you can remove GNOME or KDE packages from your slack, "the eazy way and clean ways".... just do

put your right finger on your nose and put the iso slackware on the cdrom drive than do

# mount /dev/cdrom
# removepkg /mnt/cdrom/slackware/GNOME/*tgz (or KDE)

than download dropline-gnome than you know what to do next to ordering the pizza :-)
---------
my strory:
upgrade 8.1 to 9.0 current that 9.0-final with this way, as fresh as slack-final from the oven (bonus+++ my enlightenment-slackpack just run fast than ever and more) (no enlighment at slack-9* :-( hick
but.... if i install fresh from 9.0-final my wireless-device got error (bug on slackware-9.0-kernel) because there no error i use kernel from 8.1 or compile kernel by my self
---------
problem with slackware .... hemmmm there's no suport or reserved firewall, advance routing, QOS or HTB,CBQ on the slackware kernel and no problem at wireless-tool or wireless device, not in 8.1 but 9.0 and 9.1 current with 2.4.22 kernel the problem is hemmm :'-( hick-hick

my point
x-desktop-default : 3.75/5
as server-default : 4/5
as router-default : 1.75/5
(no zebra,djbdns,cbq/htb,rc.firewall,snmp,qmail,no pam(is good :-))

RE: A whole bunch of crap
by Adi Wibowo on Wed 24th Sep 2003 20:52 UTC

Any distro that makes you upgrade only and only from a CD only every few weeks, months, or years should be avioded. There, I think I phrased it better now. I'm not hear to mention names, I might offend others in the process.

Still, I don't know any major distro that doesn't provide update / upgrade freely from their website. RH, Mdrk, Suse, Debian, Slackware, etc they are all provide this kind of upgrade. So I don't know what point you want to show with that statement.


7). provide one with a repository or ports of all packages known to man.

I don't want my distro maker put ALL text editor found in sourceforge. all media player found in internet, etc.
Sorry I really want my distro maker to concentrate on few good and selected choice, not all apps known to man.


9). provides update to official stable packages in a timely manner. When KDe-3.2 pops out, I'll probably be using it the next day on gentoo.

There is a reason why not all stable release needs to be packed in time they are released. Wise guy will wait for a couple of time (days, weeks, months) to make sure no bug sliped. Remember kernel 2.4.0?

That is not my kind of good package management system too.


11). It's so easy to use, my grandma uses it while eating dorritos.

Heh, that won't happen. I work at software development division and have experience guiding people from almost 40 institutions, and I KNOW how hard people understand about installing software.

RE: Slack reviewed by biased, cont.
by Adi Wibowo on Wed 24th Sep 2003 21:10 UTC

My question is merely that how can the lack of such features make it the best distro on the face of the earth? .... If you know exactly what you want to do, and you want to do it by hand, then slack is maybe the best distro, but for most other things, mandrake and debian are legues ahead of slack.

As you already said by yourself.
Slack may be the best distro ... for Eugenia (who are willing to do it by hand may be?), and Mandrake or Debian are the best distros for you.

So why you need to ask Eugenia about it?
She wrote about the best distro for her, right?


As for the need of administrators:
Yes, they are needed, but to what extent they should be needed is another issue. Should one need a certified admin just to install a piece of software? Sure it is fun to say that you have done it the hard way, and that you've mastered linux, but is it really necessary? By the same logic it would be a good thing to write the whole system by yourself.



As I already said. The purpose of Slackware is not to become next generation of desktop system.
So yes, everyone using slackware need to know how a system works or willing to know how a system works.

RE: smooth partial install?
by Adi Wibowo on Wed 24th Sep 2003 21:30 UTC

Exactly how difficult is it to *not* do the "full installation"? I don't want Gnome/KDE, just icewm. Will the installer provide that smoothly?

What you need to install are apps under directory A for base install, N for network apps.
Then you can choose which packages to install to your need.

Install apps under directory X for X server.
Install apps undex directory XAP for window manager such as fluxbox, xfce, etc., and apps that run under X server like mozilla, xmms, etc.

Now about method of installation :
I suggest you choose "Menu" when asked how you want to install. By this kind of installation, all required apps (marked with "required") at every directories you choose above will be installed automatically, And you will be provided with a menu to choose which "optional" packages you want to install for that directory.

icon theme in screenshot6.png
by pantz on Wed 24th Sep 2003 22:42 UTC

hey Eugenia,

gotta let us know what that icon theme is that you are using in screenshot6.png.

looks monkey/jungle -ish ...

very cool

Re: skaeight & Ali
by Algol on Wed 24th Sep 2003 22:44 UTC

skaeight:
About that "why rpm sucks" post, it is just silly. It has nothing to do with rpms but with packaging of binary packages (which slack also does), it also totaly sidesteps the dependancy handling by using no-deps. If I was to force in a package in slack that depended on libraries that were different from the ones present, but was named the same I would have the same problem.

And no, I have never tried slack, but I'm always on the hunt for reasons to try new distros. Slack however, fails completely to impress me. It has up to date software, sure, but it is archaic in it's setup and configuration.

If you feel that an apt-get managed system gets out of your hands, then fine. Why didn't you just say so? Just keep in mind that apt-get is an OPTION, and that you can handle debian in the same way as you seem to manage slack, downloading tar.gz source files and then compiling them on your own. To me, the availability of graphical configuration and dependancy-resolving software, when I want them (noone is forcing them upon you, even when using mandrake you can still do it the hard way) is added value, which brings other distros lightyears ahead of slack.

Ali, I have no problem that Eugenia favours this distro, it's her choise, however the review seems to state that this is a suiting distro for the desktop workstation and server, generally and not only for her. We seem to be on the same page about this, slackware is for people who know what they want to do and know exactly how to do it, but that is not what the review states. This, I have a problem with.

Wow, Slackware getting more wonderful...
by anonymous on Wed 24th Sep 2003 22:48 UTC

... than I ever thought at Slack 7.0 times :-)

I'm *VERY* happy with Slackware all the time. At work, I use Suse and hate it. At home, I tested RH&Mandrake to see anything could be better.
Nothing. Forget it. Every other distro a bit overloaded and overpatched.
Slackware rule the Linux world. 9.1 is a big step what I want, what everyone needs to use, to administrate, to work with an easy Unix/Linux System!

Get it, I'm very happy :-))

RE:icon theme in screenshot6.png
by Eugenia on Wed 24th Sep 2003 23:07 UTC

QNX icon theme, get it from art.gnome.org

RE:RE:couldn't have said it better my self....
by . on Wed 24th Sep 2003 23:31 UTC

"However, I go to try install XMMS, and it tells me it needs to uninstall gnome panel 2.2 and install 1.4. I'm just like whatever, and I booted into XP because I didn't want to deal with it."

God, look. I know this is wrong, but RTFM. The Gentoo docs are awesome, try reading them.

USE="-gnome" emerge xmms

Late to this one but...
by Mephisto on Thu 25th Sep 2003 01:15 UTC

Euginia: How are the default fonts in 9.1? in 8.1 and 9.0 the default fonts in X were not that great.


Additionally, I would like to see more graphical administration tools to be included on Slackware, e.g. the Gnome System Tools, Gnome-DB, Bluetooth and Wireless utils, phpMyAdmin and PostgreSQL in addition to the existing mySQL package.

I agree with you there though only in the extras folder (which has a number of gems). It is sort of a devil's bargain though. How much can a one man operation keep up with?

On your tip to do a full install. I also agree here for a desktop, though be sure to go through your /etc/rc.d directory and /etc/inetd.conf and shutdown any sevices you don't need. Ironically I only recently came to his conclusion, I used to always use menu config, but then I inevitably had to edit my X config by hand to get it right. With a full it works without any intervention. It is more a convenience at the cost of hd space and possible security issues. For a desktop it is an acceptable compromise for me. For a server I would usualy recommend the opposite, install only the absolute essentials for the servers intended purpose and install other packages as you need them.


Someone was asking about dropline and swaret at the same time. I had them both installed on one of my boxes for a while without problems, but I was not really doing much on that system (browsing, email, ssh).

Also for a new install, I would wait for 9.1 final. If you were to install 9.0 you would need to apply all the security patches and would be on an older version of Gnome, KDE, kernel, etc. You could go with an RC but I suppose I am fairly conservative with my production systems. I have one scrap box I have RC1 and a 2.6 test 4 kernel and it is fast but I would not trust anything important to be on it.

Slack is my mainstay and has been for quite a while now. I have issues periodically with a configuration or an app, but Slackware never seems to get in my way like other distros do while troubleshooting. Once it is installed I have always found slack easier to administer as well.

Meph

Email
by Dj on Thu 25th Sep 2003 01:18 UTC

Maybe its just me, but I would have deleted the porn out of my inbox before posting a screencap on OSnews...

replies
by Eugenia on Thu 25th Sep 2003 01:25 UTC

> I would have deleted the porn out of my inbox before posting a screencap on OSnews...

There was no porn shown, just goold ol' spam headers that _everyone_ gets. Besides, that email account _only_ gets spam...

>How are the default fonts in 9.1?

Just the same as in Red Hat or Mandrake. In the shots I use the free Vera fonts.

RE: replies
by Mephisto on Thu 25th Sep 2003 01:53 UTC

Just the same as in Red Hat or Mandrake. In the shots I use the free Vera fonts.

Thanks, if the screenshots are an indication they are a big improvement.

And another note for those who don't like swaret or want to resolve dependencies on non-standard packages... ldd is your friend. ldd is not as friendly as package managed depependency checking perhaps, but it is fairly easy to resolve the dependencies once you get a hang of using it plus grep against the slack CD/tree. As near as I can tell swaret basically uses the same procedure for it's dependency checking btw.

...
by Dj on Thu 25th Sep 2003 01:56 UTC

>just goold ol' spam headers that _everyone_ gets. Besides, that email account _only_ gets spam...

Yah, we all get those spams, but we dont all read them then keep them for a period of nearly a year.

RE: Dj
by Eugenia on Thu 25th Sep 2003 02:00 UTC

I don't read them either. I just created that account on Evolution just to fetch the email from there (I knew that it was full of spam, as I don't get anything more on that account anymore), so I can get the screenshot. These 133 messages you read there, is the product of only 10 hours of having setuped Evolution with that account!!
The fact that some emails are showing as "read", is because I was trying to find an email that is less offending, so I can get the screenshot.

Another question
by Mephisto on Thu 25th Sep 2003 02:11 UTC

I was thinking about the review of Slack (8.1?) you did a while back. One of your main issues was the inability for the system to work at a fairly high resolution (1600x1920 at 75 Hz if memory serves). What resolution did you use for the review? Do you know if the issue issue has been resolved?

Also do you feel that the new release is a large improvement over the previous version, or is it your use or reviewing habits that have changed? Please don't take this as a flame, I always have respected your opinion, though did not necessarily agree with it. This is the most positive review I have seen from you on a Linux OS. Generally you are critical (rightly for a "average joe") on usability or difficulties in the install...

RE: Another question
by Eugenia on Thu 25th Sep 2003 02:43 UTC

>I was thinking about the review of Slack (8.1?) you did a while back

I have never done a Slackware review before, that was my first.

>One of your main issues was the inability for the system to work at a fairly high resolution

That was for my Red Hat review, last year.

>What resolution did you use for the review?

1280x1024

>Do you know if the issue issue has been resolved?

I don't have that monitor anymore you are reffering to.

>This is the most positive review I have seen from you on a Linux OS.

This is because it deserved it. I review an OS with an eye of what is meant for. For example, Slackware is not a desktop OS, not even close to the market Red Hat or Mandrake is. Had I reviewed it with that point of view, I would be as critisizing it more as well.

>Generally you are critical (rightly for a "average joe") on usability or difficulties in the install...

Yes, I remain as such.
However, Slackware is not for everyone, it was not meant to be for everyone. Therefore, it is reviewed from a different angle.

RE: RE: Another question
by Mephisto on Thu 25th Sep 2003 02:46 UTC

That was for my Red Hat review, last year.

Ah, my mistake, should know better than to trust my memory. Thanks.

Just can't wait to see my new toy ;>
by Sonyk on Thu 25th Sep 2003 02:47 UTC

I'm a happy Slack 9.0 user, been with slackware since I was a noob, many years ago.
Remember kernel 2.0.28? What slack was it then? We've been together ever since, it never failed me, never crashed on me, never betrayed me.
In the beginning it took some time learning into it, and having some more experienced friends around really did help, I must admit.

As for now, I have over 20 boxen installed by my hand (mostly ranging now from 8.0 to 9.0) currently up and running, smoothly.
(LAN bridges, brouters and routers -- a good many of them are Pentium I / 32MB ram, but still, they barely use any swap -- huh, what was your memory usage, again?)

Web servers with out of the box Apache + PHP + Mysql worked great for me as well. (only one glitch! you have to manually chown -R mysql.mysql /var/lib/mysql after running mysql_installdb. Or maybe I do something wrong repeatedly ;P)
IMHO it's a small but important !FIXME! for 9.1

And as a reply to a previous post, advanced routing and traffic control works GREAT. (iptables, fwmark, htb with u32 hash tables, iproute2 & tc, and my own compiled kernel) And it simply works by installing the iproute2 package found in the Slack 9.0 extras, no extra hassle.
(well maybe besides writing your own first HTB script ;P)

I haven't used the graphic interface too much all these years, had a try on X here and there (last time on Slack 7.x maybe?) -- managed to make it work fine eventually, with an acceptable dose of effort.
Still, I've never thought of the desktop environment as the strong side of Slackware. For me, the strongest and the most important side were the simple yet powerful little servers I could set up and toy along with.

With Slackware 9.0 I've once again installed a fresh desktop box, just to see what XF86, KDE and Gnome have become lately. To my great surprise, it was a RADICAL CHANGE in both look and feel. it just worked, from all points of view. Easy to install, out-of-the-box (go figure, and it's the Slackware you've all feared of ;) ). Not too heavy on resources either, even though the box was just a PII@400 with 128MB.
To paraphrase some controversed phrase, it literally blew me away ;^)

During these years I've set up lots of sound cards, ISA network adapters, be they Plug'n Pray or not. Even helped many newbies "makin' that damn sound work", and after some pilfering, they worked like a charm. I can't recall any case to have failed this except for problems with faulty hardware.
Had two different on-board AC97 chips this far, (one on SiS, one on VIA) they both worked flawlessly. (Well as good as that on-board thing could sound ;>) Anyway, AFAIK there's a vast variety of some over 40 chips out there, all dubbed AC97 under one hat, so there may be a few causing problems here and there, and maybe I'm a lucky guy after all. (Hell, why not?)

I really do appreciate Patrick's work, Slackware is getting _visibly_ better with each release. THANK YOU.
I've never posted a thank you note, nor did I write about my Slackware experience until today. So here it is. Thanks Patrick ;)
(as a sidenote: noone paid me for this ;P)
As a question raised from a statement in a previous post, I've always wondered: Is this Patrick Volkerding guy rolling out all this thing on his own, or does he have a small team there helping out?
Either way, it looks like he's doing a great job!

I won't rush for a Release Candidate for now, as I figure that a final version is just a matter of couple of weeks now, hopefully. So I will just wait that out, although I just can't wait to see my new toy installed.
Hope it won't be long ;)

Sorry for the long note. Too much caffeine tonight, maybe. And thank you, stranger, for reading this far. ;)
Try it out. It's well worth it.

It's NOT the Driver.
by Z on Thu 25th Sep 2003 03:29 UTC

EUGENIA. It's not a limitation of ALSA or the sound driver. It's the sound chip. Those crappy VIA chips do real-time mixing through DirectX under Windows. It mixes in SOFTWARE, as do most cheapo-crap sound chips these days. A Yamaha, Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, SB Live, or Envy 24 (not the HT) can do mixing in harware. Other chips can as well. If you must have R/T mixing on a crappy chip like the VIA, then buy 4-Front's drivers from www.opensound.com. They have a real-time software mixer that works pretty well with all cards.

RE: cfdisk
by Bilange on Thu 25th Sep 2003 04:35 UTC

someone mentionned that "CFDISK is also available (at least in 9.0)".

I just wanted to mention that cfdisk was here in the 4.0 days, maybe even in 3.x (not sure)

Memory Usage....
by Rhyotte on Thu 25th Sep 2003 07:53 UTC

Gotta admit, that post about linux having such heavy memory usage is way out of line. I have 3 boxen here networked. 2) P-3's, and 1) Pentium 120. I installed KDE 3.1.1 and Gnome 2.2 under Slack 9. Ill use KDE as the example this time. Kde, Openoffice 1.0.3, Mozilla 1.2.1, and sylpheed mail opened I was usin the whole 96 megs ram And swapping about 20 some megs if I remeber correctly. Thats a far cry from booting with 200 used and spiking to 400... Now ill admit that setup did not last too long on that machine. I wound up using Fluxbox instead of KDE ;) That way opening those same programs resulted in only about 93 megs ram utilized. Not too shabby really. Win2k uses more than that: as i type this in Win2k im using 160megs ram with Mozilla-Firebird open (not freshly booted).
As for package management Regsitry in Windows = Evil (but very cool), Linux *hell* = No Registry Nightmares... Any of you sys Admins had XP registry Freeze up on you?....yeah you know you have. Now how about Linux *registry freeze*...im talking about was working a minute ago..now BSOD!!! Look Im not bashing MS, nor am i raving about Linux Superiority. Different Os's for different jobs. HOWEVER: Linux Can be a viable option on The Desktop. Not to say optimal, but very workable. Linux really is not for the faint of heart, nor the very very impatient. For those folks perhaps Windows XP is best. I ran XP on an extracted promise for 365 days, on the 366th day i installed Slackware on that system again ;) Im a confirmed Slackware / Windows 2000 Os type of person. Minimalist usable by nature. As i said...different OS for different jobs when "it just needs to get done". Some days Linux other days Win2k... maybe one day I will honestly be able to boot only linux.
Cheers

Slack Has been my #1
by Assassin_for Atari on Thu 25th Sep 2003 08:57 UTC

I have been using slack since I got into linux. I had Caldera installed for a week then moved on. Actually the install went eaiser with slack then caldera. I have never had a problem with sound, wireless or anything like that, well that is if the project itself doesn't support it. In the case of the Avance Logic Drivers I know that ALSA is the only one that supports it as of now. My sb live works out the box and so does anything with the crystal audio. The only thing I had beef with with Slack is its package system which....IMHO, you should compile that form source anyho and it should much better. I agree that Gentoo ran a bit faster but 2 days of compiling a system is a bit much for me. I figure this way, if you got the space...do the newbie install and you shoudl be set. If not you shoudl know enough about linux to sift through the packages and find what you need then install them. Why people don't use Slack is beyond me cause I can't ask much more from a 1 cd distro. (at least 9.0 was :-D)

Long life for Slackware
by Marcelo V. F. Menezes on Thu 25th Sep 2003 12:08 UTC

Hello 2 all...
Just a bit comment..."Slackware is a very good distro. I think all people use Slackware in your brain..."

just for fun!!!

RE: duukc
by cybrjackle on Thu 25th Sep 2003 14:25 UTC

Sounds like a hyped up punk?

RE: Sound issues
by Matheus on Thu 25th Sep 2003 16:03 UTC

well ... i know i didnt read everything ... but dont blame Slackware for you sound card ;) i have a onboard sound card ( Epox 8k5a2+ ) and together with alsa i play multiple sounds running Slackware 9.0 ...

thats the only thing i dont agree there ... not a slack fault ;)

Slackware
by Namaseit on Thu 25th Sep 2003 20:07 UTC

Ive used maybe 40 distros, from little unknowns to the big 3(Redhat, Mandrake, Suse). I hated them all, sometimes i would find a distro that had a nice and refreshing feature, like gentoo's portage, SoL's default install of no services running. But they always fell short in one way or another. I finally tried slackware and now its on my desktop, laptop, theatre box, all servers. I run linux exclusively, and i will never use another distro.
As for the package management system, i havent found one better, there arent tons of pkg's for every program, but the core ones are always there and always up to date, i have kde 3.1.4 installed with pkg's. I have no problem compiling things. I almost prefer it. But slackware's rpm2tgz utility is great for turning rpm's into slack packages if I want to.

Slackware is very nice, but...
by Aeonsfx on Fri 26th Sep 2003 02:53 UTC

... I wish that Pat would opt for a full-blown BSD userland like Mastodon does. Crux is also nice in this respect, with an makefile based ports system. Maybe I'm just a *BSD guy, but I would really like an complete BSD userland (that means no GNU tar!) with a Linux kernel for better hardware compatability. I used Slack for a year, and I was impressed, but also like many of the previous users, I found its hardware suppport a little difficult, and its over-simplified tarballs to be insufficient compared to FreeBSD tgz packages. I also wish that it had an official ports system. Nonetheless, it is a very clean OS with an excellent feel. Definitely better than say, Redhat.

Slackware is very nice.. period
by Felix on Fri 26th Sep 2003 18:14 UTC

I think Slackware is the distro out there, overall. Adding Dropline Gnome helps alot too. Now with automatic dependency checks.. I can use this time to take up more constructive things.. like making novelty tux pluffs.

Gray
by Anonymous on Sat 27th Sep 2003 02:32 UTC

Eugenia, you really like gray don't you? Every review I've read from you has gray as the primary color (ugh). No wonder you like GNOME where everything is gray.

I also don't know what to think about someone's judgment who listens to Christina Augulera. :-]

A bit personal opinion
by DJ_SA on Sat 27th Sep 2003 08:40 UTC

Well, nice thread everybody, looks like the war has just begun...

Me, has used quite few OS out there, feels like there are something for anything. e.g. you wouldn't use a limo to carry lawn, you will use a pick-up.

My feeling abt OS is, it is good, if it fits your purpose.
Gaming, I would say Windows has far more commercial games available.
Server-ing: no doubt Linux/BSD r more popular, but Windows r catching up.
Scientific calculation: Solaris with multi-cpus r the one to use.

final words: I had never bought any books or read any manuals for daily usage of windows. While I bought my first slackware book when I was 12 in 1992.

Re: Post 144
by DJ_SA on Sat 27th Sep 2003 08:42 UTC

After I submitted the post, I immidiately realised that for gaming, PS2, XBOX, GameCube and DreamCast r much better choices... LOL

bluecurve maybe? :)
by hirisov on Sun 28th Sep 2003 01:02 UTC

Hi!

I'm installed my slack 9.0 cd and currently doing a 'swaret --upgrade -' to get the newest (hope it'll work, it's my first attempt to use slack:). I'd like to ask if anybody knows a working solution for getting Bluecurve things (everything if possible, from gtk/gtk2/qt engines+themes to icons) work under slack? Either slack tgz's or pure tarballs would be nice. Unfortunatelly i couldn't get them from redhat's packages, that was complicated for me. Seems now it's the only thing i miss from here ;)

thx, hirisov

Debian
by Maceto on Sun 28th Sep 2003 09:29 UTC

Just wanna make a point to debian users here: xfree86 is way old!!! the rest is ok about the distro- but what I can`t understand is why not do a "new beta" distro like redhat/suse/mandrake/slack do and have a stable- well debian trie, but pakages uses like weeeeeeks to go into testing/unstable..

Fix that and fix the package selection, use the slack installer maby? This is why I use slack on my home computer/laptop and debian on my servers.

I'd prefer to keep the automation out.
by A Slacker on Tue 30th Sep 2003 04:08 UTC

I can see your point about wanting a more automated system with gui's etc., but I don't think that's the direction Slackware really wants' to go. At least that's not the direction many Slackers want to go. Most of us like to get our hands dirty and in the process learn some things that you don't get the chance to learn by having some auto tool do it for you. Even if I just ignore the autoconfig stuff, I wouldn't want the automation put in to avoid starting down the bloat road. There are plenty of other distros that do many things for you. I think in the long haul doing it yourself pays off.

ranting
by Namaseit on Tue 30th Sep 2003 07:12 UTC

I agree with A Slacker above, while for the "user" it seems like a good idea. Slackware users are not your typical users. I started linux with the strong belief that terminal configuration is always better then gui conf. Kind of like math, sure you can use a calculator easily, but if you dont know what the tool is doing how does it help you? I use terminal for all my configuration. If you added redhat style configuration utilities what makes slackware different from redhat then? Sure you make things easier for some people, but as the philosopy of slackware says, "aimed at producing the most "UNIX-like" Linux distribution". Part of slackware is the experience of learning about your OS.
You say, "well not everyone wants to learn about their OS.". Thats fine they dont have to, there are plenty of alternatives. Slackware isnt for you. You can choose redhat, mandrake, suse, debian, or windows for all i care. But slackware is good because it sticks to what its users have come to like for so long, simplicity. Sure adding options to a config file in a terminal doesnt sound simple to you, but thats why slackware isnt for you. I like slackware cause it doesnt change radically. I dont like massive changes in direction from a distribution. Look at RedHat.
So i think Slackware is just fine. Change is overrated. Slackware doesnt have to be the #1 distro or catch up to user demands. It meets mine and many other peoples demands efficiently and effectively. Who else do we need to please? It does what it does, and it does it exceptionally well.