Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 03:03 UTC, submitted by Timothy R. Butler
Slackware, Slax The issue of GNU/Linux as a desktop operating system is hot these days. You can hear here and there about someone switching their proprietary desktops, or considering doing such a thing, to GNU/Linux. Most of these stories refer to some desktop-oriented or mainstream distribution, such as Mandrake, Red Hat/Fedora, or SUSE. However, there is one distribution you would seldom hear about and yet, it is uniquely qualified for heavy-duty desktop usage, Slackware.
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Okay Article
by Duncan Domingue on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 03:21 UTC

Well, I read the article up until the point he said "You need KDE to run some of the setup blah blah blah blah blah". You "NEED" KDE? I couldn't agree less! (or whatever the phrase is) I've used Slackware for a while now, and I find that KDE isn't really necessary. You don't need a graphical frontend (I don't think ncurses really counts) to install a simple application. Just use pkgtool or installpkg. Setting up your network is done when you install Slackware, and you can run the script at any time you want afterwards. Slackware doesn't burden you with all these wizards and frontends, they supply you with the toolset to get what you need done with the least amount of interference. But I do agree that Slackware is one of the best Desktop Linux OS'es because of its speed, simplicity, and ease of use. Not to mention you get to call yourself a Slacker ;)

How's the community?
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 03:28 UTC

I've neglected the Slackware community for some time, ever since I realized how unfriendly they were back then. Have they grown any friendlier?

OK
by Anand on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 03:29 UTC

The screenshot reminds me of FREEBSD install. I'm using gentoo right now and pretty happy with it. My only gripe with Linux has been the amount of time it takes to make it useful. Why cant there be an option for installation where things like

1. Configuring Kernel( User Friendly way) so that I dont have 1000 modules that take forever boot the system.
2. Fonts well had to tinker with BCI every time. I guess the distros should have an option of " Do you want to break the Patent Law (Yes/No) and get BCI compiled.
3. ACPI or APM has been a bottleneck I have changed 3 laptops by the time Linux kernel catches up with the new technology the Laptop is obsolete.

XFree86
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 03:33 UTC

"A solid XFree86 with excellent support for antialiased fonts;"


I thought Slackware switched to X.org recently. I'm sure XFree86 is available and all, but still... I thought Slackware made it clear that they were changing over to X.org.

http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=7210

answers
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 03:35 UTC

. Configuring Kernel( User Friendly way) so that I dont have 1000 modules that take forever boot the system.

every distribution can include the modules as a runtime option. regardless of how many modules are being loaded it doesnt have a significant effect in speed to be bothered.

2. Fonts well had to tinker with BCI every time. I guess the distros should have an option of " Do you want to break the Patent Law (Yes/No) and get BCI compiled.


not possible. patent law doesnt work that way.

3. ACPI or APM has been a bottleneck I have changed 3 laptops by the time Linux kernel catches up with the new technology the Laptop is obsolete


acpi is complex and in general linux is behind is this area. things are improved now. i agree it could be better

RE: XFree86
by Richard James on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 03:36 UTC

Slack 9.1 Xfree86
Slack 10 X.org
His article is based on the review of slackware 9.1.

Comunities differ
by Bernd Meyer on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 03:36 UTC

> I realized how unfriendly they were back then. Have they
> grown any friendlier?

Unfriendlyness you find in many other communities too such as GNOME which I count for one of the most hateful and most unfriendly communities there is. But I assume that's because of all the bad reputation and criticism they earn from users, customers and participants even from their own community members.

For me as user it's impressive to see how communities differ, how people differ. When you open up an IRC client and you go in the KDE irc channel then you see a happy helpful and sometimes funny community where you laugh, talk and have funny times, then you open the GNOME irc channel and you permanently see someone saying something bad about others as if they own the exclusive right to be perfect, then you open another IRC channel e.g. the one from QNX, AROS or another one then you see how the people truly help themselves, even developers spent minutes to help others and the overall communication and conversation is friendly, nice, helpful and respectful.

It really matters from community to community.

My affair with Slack
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 03:40 UTC

Slackware was the first distro I ever used, way back in 1995. I had read about Linux in a small InfoWorld article, back when InfoWorld was tabloid size instead of regular magazine size. The article said you could run an entire operating system on a single floppy disk. Of course, I had to try this on my 386SX with 4M RAM. I downloaded Slack over a 14.4 modem and then copying it all to a set of floppy disks. I wish I could remember the name of that tool. Anyway, I ended up installing Slackware using UMSDOS so I could keep my DOS/Windows data.

I remember I had to completely reinstall Slackware any time I wanted to add a new piece of software because I didn't know how it all worked. The very first question I asked on a Linux newsgroup was, "What's darkstar?" It, of course, was the default hostname for a new Slackware install. Heh. Starting X would dump you into fvwm with only an xterm and a pager; not much has changed there. ;)

Ultimately I used that Slackware machine to learn about Unix and make the move from client-focused to enterprise-focused. Those were fun times.
Switch!

Xorg and it's problems
by Bernd Meyer on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 03:45 UTC

I thought Slackware switched to X.org recently. I'm sure XFree86 is available and all, but still... I thought Slackware made it clear that they were changing over to X.org.

I wish the X.org team would start fixing the Console <-> Xorg switching lockup issue. I have been asking about this issue in freedesktop IRC channel and it has been confirmed to be a bug which hasn't been fixed for months.

The point here is that many things are more a political decision rather than one that is technical. Xorg fork has been done because of the license change (which I somehow can understand) following the Xorg development for a while I saw that the developers caused quite some damage to the code such as non properly working or unexpected working things. One of them is the entire lockup when switching from Console back to Xorg. I think this was one of the decisions for XFree people to change license to avoid or protect their code from sparetime developers messing things up totally. Another reason why XFree changed the license was that some of the people who now work on Xorg or KDrive used to break plenty of stuff in XFree some months back which caused the maintainer to drive mad. What people need is a working solution, something that seriously work which is known to be stable and reliable even if the process of improvement is slow but what benefits do you have if the development process goes on quickly but the resulting program at the end is nearly not usable, crashes, locks system up and other stuff. I did a cvs checkout of Xorg some weeks ago and encountered that plenty files were missing. Well it was no problem because Xorg was ok when downloaded but the CVS repository warned me about plenty missing files (e.g. file not known to CVS) this happened because of big merging of different branches. What should I as developer or user think about this ? For me this is clearly a sign that things are quite carelessly taken. Another thing is that one of their developers made Motif an requirement within Xorg and another developer had to open a Bugreport about it and sent in a patch to disable it again. As you see it's a bit difficult and I don't know if having switched to Xorg myself was such a great idea.

Sometimes it's good to not break things that are known to work.

v Re: GNOME difficulties
by <i>Gn</i>u <i>Aa</i>rdvark on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 03:48 UTC
re: Comunities differ
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 04:02 UTC

That is weird. Perhaps it is just our perceptions that differ, because I spend a great deal of time in #gnome on gimpnet, and they have always been very friendly, outside of a few people.. One particular who is always bouncing back and forth between hating KDE or hating Gnome.. I'm sure a few of us know exactly who in this galaxy that person is...

Anyhow, yeah it was probably just my perception, but back in those days, if you asked someone how to fix something, they'd often times go out of their way to make you feel pretty small about it.

Slack vs Debian
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 04:07 UTC

I currently run Debian and I was wondering what Slackware would offer me. Would I get better package management than apt-get? Something else? This isn't sarcastic. It's just that the install and package management are the only two things that I have found to really vary greatly in Linux distros. All the other stuff is configurable/installable.

Is there a reason for me to switch to Slackware?

re: Xorg and it's problems
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 04:08 UTC

"One of them is the entire lockup when switching from Console back to Xorg."

Odd, I've been using Xorg for some time now, and I've _never_ had this problem. Believe me, I have to use console very often, and if I had run into this big of a problem, I'd be back to XFree86 in a heartbeat, no matter what anybody said.

So far, Xorg's differences, if any at all, have been intirely transparent to me. I didn't have to do much at all to make the switch over to Xorg, just the removal, the install, and the startx! Our differences may be in our dist, actually..

re: re: Xorg and it's problems
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 04:17 UTC

> Odd, I've been using Xorg for some time now, and I've
> _never_ had this problem.

You missed the part which clearly says that this HAS BEEN CONFIRMED. And how can you be so sure that because you __NEVER__ had such a problem that others shouldn't have either ? I clearly believe that this is a driver related issue or an issue with the bus chipset used by the graphiccard. All I can say is that I can confirm that I __NEVER__ had such a problem with XFree86.

Xorg
by Russell Jackson on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 04:27 UTC

The X.org release has no changes there weren't in the XFree86 CVS repo immediately before the license changes.

You can't expect X.org's HEAD branch to be stable. They are merging in Xdamage and Xcomposite. These extentions change the way the server works in fundemental ways. In order for change to happen, things are known to work must be broken. These changes are long overdue.

If you need something that just works, stick with the release. Why would you track CVS unless you intend to deal with problems.

Gentoo as a desktop
by Erik on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 04:30 UTC

Truthfully, I've found Gentoo to be the best desktop for me. With the latest love-patches to the kernel, along with the Nick Piggin scheduler patch (making the desktop use very smooth by reducing latency between ordinarily prioritized tasks -- not just real-time tasks), it's ideal. I use it for web-browsing, coding, simple work with making business cards and creating web pages, playing mp3's and dvd's, syncing my ipod with my collection, writing papers for university and so on. Even under a small load (for example, an emerge (compiling software), ripping a CD and playing a DVD, for example) it behaves rather well (although under any greater load it starts to behave very badly). I don't suspect that most desktops are likely to be under loads greater than this. Up to this it's very smooth.

I realize I'm not an ordinary user (joe user) but so what? I'm still a user and I still have desktop needs. Gentoo fills them. With some GUI's here and there wrapping the complex stuff, I could see Gentoo as a very stable distro well suited for common desktop users. Perhaps let porthole mature a bit, add a nice installer as an option, and have more of the common packages avaliable as both bin and source (already web browsers and openoffice are avaliable) and you're set.

Erik

Ease of Install
by Chris on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 04:36 UTC

My amazement with Slack was how smooth my install went. But hey, FC2 went equally smooth on the same hardware (except for the NIC).

Slack Spin-offs
by emagius on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 04:51 UTC

Slack is a great base to derive your own distro from. I particularly like Buffalo Linux, which offers new (cutting-edge) packages, extra packaging systems, extra configuration tools, and an excellent default desktop/workstation installation with great software pre-selected and pre-configured.

re: re: re: Xorg and it's problems
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 05:05 UTC

" And how can you be so sure that because you __NEVER__ had such a problem that others shouldn't have either ?"

Um, which part of what I said implied that you were lying about your problems? I didn't say that! I said that I'm not having that problem. I wouldn't lie about that. Calm down a little. ;)

re: re: re: re: Xorg and it's problems
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 05:53 UTC

> Um, which part of what I said implied that you were lying
> about your problems? I didn't say that! I said that I'm not
> having that problem. I wouldn't lie about that. Calm down a
> little.

You didn't spoke it out but you meant it. I heard a lot of people saying that everything __works__ for them while it was clearly known it doesn't or even proven that it won't work. They say that just for the sake of it for demonstrating the other side how l337 they are. It's not about whether the other could be right or wrong, it's more about switching to defensive mode and defending the hell out of something they believe in to be the right thing to go. Not asking whether there __really__ could be a problem or not. If you look above with the 'communities' stuff which I have replied to someone else then you by now must understand what is wrong in __your__ community it's always the same stuff. Ignorance, claiming the right to be right regardless if it's true or not, it's always the fault of others, everything __works__ for me so it has to work for you as well, only my and my communities opinion are right and valid and yours not. It's the bad mans attitude.

cheers.. hafto play with busybox now..

re: Xorg and it's problems
by my_name on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 06:09 UTC

FC2 here and no problem.
*But* i was faced with this issue in FC2 Test 2.

RE: Okay Article
by lenrek on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 06:24 UTC

Well, I read the article up until the point he said "You need KDE to run some of the setup blah blah blah blah blah". You "NEED" KDE? I couldn't agree less! (or whatever the phrase is) I've used Slackware for a while now, and I find that KDE isn't really necessary. You don't need a graphical frontend (I don't think ncurses really counts) to install a simple application...

This is an article regarding using Slackware as base for a desktop system. Thus, I guess the reviewer intended a more GUI approach in setting up the system. So, I think is fairly expected he will have a preferred desktop environment, and use it as the focus of his article.

Not many would be like the idea of command line, even if it is really very simple...

PS: I prefer Dropline-Gnome in Slack then KDE...

Config
by Warren on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 07:04 UTC

In quite a few distro reviews, the authors mention that they have a pentium 4 (2 to 3 GHz), with a big hard drive (40 to 120 GB) and sufficient RAM (256 MB to 1 GB). Then they list Linux and Windows 98 as their operating systems. I don't get it : why would anybody waste their time using Windows 98 on a computer built circa 2003 ? Why care about such an outdated, buggy, wrecked piece of software ? Windows 2000, I can understand but not its wimpy younger brother.

Stealth desktop?
by Roman Pretenderle on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 07:12 UTC

What good is a desktop that you can't see, one which sneaks up on you, mugs you or worse?
Or am I misinterpretating?

v Moronic
by Voidmain on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 07:40 UTC
OK, but where's the "stealth" bit?
by Azmeen Afandi on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 07:55 UTC

I've been using Slackware only for the past two years. I've used Red Hat (regrettably), Mandrake (which really made me use Linux more frequently, and tried some of the so-called Desktop Linux distros (Lycoris is one that I remembered).

Switched from Mandrake to Slackware because I wanted to learn more about Linux. Not that Mandrake is not suitable for such purposes, but it faces similar problems with Red Hat, ie. too many distro-specific commands (mandrakeconf, linuxconf, diskdrake, etc.), and my pet peeve: uses RPMs.

Slackware has thought me not to be afraid of editing the various config files used by Linux and its apps. It thought me that a GUI frontend to these files are just that... a frontend. I actually learnt a lot by directly reading and modifying these files.

I've been using Slackware as a workstation, thus, most of my time using it is under X (XFCE is my DE of choice). However, my question regarding this article is... where's the "stealth" part?

Desktop
by Bas on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 07:58 UTC


I used Slackware often on my workstation but since i installed Mandrake 10 i fiond myself booting into Mandrake more and more.
I got sick and tired of all (Redhat)Mandrake rpms out there
and no Slackware packages. Alien does not work very well either. Slackware is a very nice distro, its stable, tree very well laid out (like linux should be), is easy to maintain and things are where they should be but for the desktop i prefer RedHat/Mandrake or Lindows/Xandros(depend on what kind of desktop). That said my debian server runs almost 4 years now without any disturbence or reboot(a part from kernel upgrades)...it simply rocks!

An excellent desktop distro
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 07:59 UTC

IMO, Slackware is an excellent desktop distro for any newbie who really enjoys reading man pages and howtos and tweaking lots of config files.

re: re: re: re: re: Xorg and it's problems
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 08:38 UTC


You didn't spoke it out but you meant it. I heard a lot of people saying that everything __works__ for them while it was clearly known it doesn't or even proven that it won't work. They say that just for the sake of it for demonstrating the other side how l337 they are. It's not about whether the other could be right or wrong, it's more about switching to defensive mode and defending the hell out of something they believe in to be the right thing to go. Not asking whether there __really__ could be a problem or not. If you look above with the 'communities' stuff which I have replied to someone else then you by now must understand what is wrong in __your__ community it's always the same stuff. Ignorance, claiming the right to be right regardless if it's true or not, it's always the fault of others, everything __works__ for me so it has to work for you as well, only my and my communities opinion are right and valid and yours not. It's the bad mans attitude.


I'm not sure where you got your source (where's the source, btw.. I missed that I think), but the problem is not effecting me. I can switch between console and X without a problem. Like I said, I wouldn't use Xorg if it was like that, because my daily work requires me to do so! I am not, as you said, 1337 because of my good fortune. I'm really sorry that you are having that problem, and if I knew how to fix it for you, I would.

If it helps in the least, I simply did:

emerge -Cv xfree86
ACCEPT_KEYWORDS=~x86 emerge -v xorg-x11
etc-update
-5
startx

...from my Gentoo box, and everything has been working well, except that when I rebooted I had to go in and change a few of my font server settings. That wasn't too bad.

v ummmmmm...
by ulrich on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 09:08 UTC
again - compare to debian
by kevin bailey on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 09:36 UTC

somone asked already but i thought i'd have another bash...

how does the package management compare with debian's - i know its based on tar.gz files and compiles as required but how does it stand up after several months use?

kev

How can someone honestly complain...
by Maynard on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 10:00 UTC

...about finding a serious bug in FC2 Test 2

Why were you Beta testing if not to find bugs?

RE: Config
by lenrek on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 10:23 UTC

In quite a few distro reviews, the authors mention that they have a pentium 4 (2 to 3 GHz), with a big hard drive (40 to 120 GB) and sufficient RAM (256 MB to 1 GB). Then they list Linux and Windows 98 as their operating systems. I don't get it : why would anybody waste their time using Windows 98 on a computer built circa 2003 ? Why care about such an outdated, buggy, wrecked piece of software ? Windows 2000, I can understand but not its wimpy younger brother.

I am not sure what are you trying to say about this article. Maybe he is trying to show us how to interface between Linux and Win98 system (via samba?).

Anyway, if they need to run some application that is available under Win98 and they already have all the valid licenses, why should they spend the extra money to upgrade to another OS? Actually, this situation is quite common in many organisation...



debain is better, period.
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 10:45 UTC

Slackware is one of my favorites but debian is better, period. aptitude, better documentation, things that really counts. slackware on the other hand updates its webpage 2-3 times a year with another 10 sentence message while debian has an ongoing webpage that is updated frequently and lots of documentation.

RE: debain is better, period.
by Matthew Baulch on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 10:51 UTC

> Slackware is one of my favorites but debian is better,
> period. aptitude, better documentation, things that really
> counts. slackware on the other hand updates its webpage 2-3
> times a year with another 10 sentence message while debian
> has an ongoing webpage that is updated frequently and lots
> of documentation.

Debian may have an up-to-date webpage but slackware has up-to-date software. Slackware is also extremely stable. I personally find a distribution's software more important than it's webpage. BTW, I'm referring to releases, not debian-testing. Now, back on topic!

im really curious about slackware and thought that i would read some interesting comments about that distro. after all this section should dicuss slackware?
but all i see is blah blah about x.org and mostly pointless and useless comments.

you guys just turned 13?

I don't know about the guys, but I just turned 12 last Tuesday. Oh, and I can already spell better than you.

RE: again - compare to debian
by Richard James on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 11:07 UTC

how does the package management compare with debian's - i know its based on tar.gz files and compiles as required but how does it stand up after several months use?

First of all it doesn't hold your hand if there is a dependancy missing. But it is simple to use. It is more reliant on the user to know what they are doing but I have never once had it screw up on me.

The package format is very simple. Each package ends in tgz and is basically a tar.gz with a script thrown in for creating symbolic links if need be. It is not a source based system where the packages are compiled.

As for degredation over time, well the only real problems are when you don't use the packaging system and install from source without using something like (checkinstall) then you might have to go in by hand and remove some uneccesary stuff. But if you reinstall the origional libraries (this normally occurs with libraries) package then it will reset your system back to default almost every time. I have had my system used for over two years without a fresh install. I eventually learned that a fresh install is only really good if you totally totally screw up your system.

I think my current slackware system is based on 8.x but next week it will be upgraded to 10 just as it was upgraded to 9.0 and 9.1 before it. And I don't have any problems.

There may of course be a few stray useless files laying around but they cause no crashes.

In /var/log/removed_packages the oldest file is
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2198 Dec 14 2002 aaa_base-8.9.9-i386-1-upgraded-2003-03-16,21:50:01

Which means it is based at least on Slack 8.1

Tue Jun 18 10:47:47 PDT 2002
Slackware 8.1-stable is released! :-)


If you consider that my machine is a Desktop not a server and I install and/or remove hundreds of pieces of software each year. The software is always upgraded and the hardware has been too. Then Slackware appears very stable for almost three years usage.

Of course cleaner people than me might have a few less packages and files hanging around the system, but I like trying out new programs.

Guys from 12 and 13 running Slackware
by Hagarke on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 11:08 UTC

Hehe, these *kids* from 12 and 13 are using slackware. No wonder that:

1) Linux is so good and stable. They learn from early ages on good software. By the age of 16 they'll be better programmers than Microsoft's programmers who only read three books: "this is what we tell the public"-manual, "this is what we think it should be"-manual, "this is what we made of it"-manual

2) Only people who don't use slack find it unfriendly and difficult to use. Jeeeee, everybody can use vi and read english, so why need a fancy tool like yast.

BTW: Somebody asked a replacement for apt-get: look at swaret. Excellent tool.

On Slack's site, I agree, somebody should update it more frequently. Showing the security advisories on the homepage would already help. Or the new packages from linuxpackages.net.

v Re: Desktop
by Helder Postiga on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 11:19 UTC
RE: win98
by Richard James on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 11:20 UTC

Windows 2000 will not install or run some 75% of games that work for windows 98 at least in my collection. WineX does better than that (not that WineX is that great). I have triple boot Slackware, Win98 and Win2000 best of those worlds. Mind you win98 at bootup on my motherboard says it cannot load EMM386 then it asks you to press a key and then does load it, so win98 is getting old, because hardware developers hardly support it anymore.

On Slackware Community, Etc.
by enloop on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 12:20 UTC

Some of the folks on alt.os.linux.slackware remain territorial and intolerant. Thread often immediately move off the point and degenerate into flames. And then these guys do post a real answer to a query, it's often wrong.

Slack fora elsewhere is generally well-behaved, if not floating in technical expertise.Many of the discussions seem to be prompted by people migrating from things like Mandrake and Knoppix: Where's the point-and-click tool to configure X?... that sort of thing.

I've used Slack on the desktop for a long time. So far, I'm very happy with Slack 10. To my eyes, Slack's desktop looks better and moves faster than in any other distribution I've used on this same hardware.

Of course, Slackware would be more appealing to novices if it offered an alternative install more akin to the framebuffered, hardware-detecting installs used by Fedora, Mandrake, SUSE, Knoppix and all the rest. I'm kinda surprise that no one has grabbed one of these and cobbled it onto Slackware. In particular, anyone who has never used fdisk or cfdisk will be in deep water if they need to build partitions. The traditional curses-based install is fine and moves quite quickly if you know what you're doing (by definition, novices don't)

One of the core strengths of Slackware is that it delivers software as its developers released it, without a lot of distribution specific customization gumming things up. This can make life much easier when you need to tweak something: You only need to learn how that software works; you don't also need to figure out what Slackware's customizations are doing ('cause they aren't any.)

Linux Desktop Hot?
by foljs on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 12:30 UTC

The issue of GNU/Linux as a desktop operating system is hot these days.

It is hot only for 1-2 million geeks. The rest of the world, including the rest of the computer-using world could not care less.

@ Slack vs Debian
by enloop on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 12:31 UTC

It's a misnomer to argue that Slackware lacks package management tools, It has them. It doesn't have an automatic dependency resolver. If you spend a lot of time installing and removing new software, Debian's tools probably do have an advantage (because you are the dependency resolver in Slackware.

That said, if you don't insist on installing things just to play with them, you'll likely have no problems with Slackware. If you prefer to install from source, you'll be happy, happy, happy.

And, if you follow Slackware's -current tree, you'll stay uptodate. You won't need to run something called "Unstable" or wait for magic to happen and things to move to "Stable". (Does anyone really know what happens with all that code that Debian labels unstable? Are they doing anything to actually test it? Are they just tracking bug reports and fixes?)

Slack Security Notices On Home Page
by enloop on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 12:41 UTC

To whoever it was who said Slack ought to post security notices on its site, try looking: they're there: top link on the home page. You can also subscribe to the security mailing list.

slackware package management
by jijoy on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 13:23 UTC

i am interested in switching to slackware because of its simplicity and lack of too many customisations and inconsistent vendor-added tools.

however, something that is important to me use package management ... i am familiar with rpm and mandrake's urpmi. is this possible with slackware (online repositiroes, uninstall, install incl dependencies, update to new online indices, what packages does this file belong for rpm -qf , and what about reverse dependencies which i think debian can do)?

Re: How's the community?
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 14:09 UTC

>>Have they grown any friendlier?

die.


ok, ok, just kidding. i really couldn't tell ya "how's the community".

i'm an island. i've used linux for 4 years, freebsd for 1.5.

lots of redhat, a little suse, and 3 or 4 months of debian.

slackware rocks.

what is this thing "community" of which you speak?

i've got a life to live, work to get done, a family to take care of, clients, and i occasionally like to see the sun.

i hear "miracles" about the gentoo community.

you should go hang out with them if you are in need of socialization in an online format.

RE: @ Slack vs Debian
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 14:11 UTC

"Does anyone really know what happens with all that code that Debian labels unstable? Are they doing anything to actually test it? Are they just tracking bug reports and fixes?"

Hope this helps:

http://www.debian.org/doc/packaging-manuals/developers-reference/ch...

BTW, there's also an "Experimental" branch in Debian:

http://www.debian.org/doc/packaging-manuals/developers-reference/ch...

re: Config
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 14:15 UTC

>>Windows 2000, I can understand but not its wimpy younger brother [Win 98].

Windows 2000 younger brother is Windows XP. It's older brother is Windows NT, and it's distant, long lost great great cousin is VMS.

Some people like Windows 98 because it's light on resources and quite snappy.

If you knew what you were doing, it did not break much.

Sounded like you didn't know what you were doing.

XP, the OS with training wheels.

"don't let the end user hurt themselves"

~

a slack user for the last 6 months.

re: debain is better, period.
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 14:24 UTC

>>debian has an ongoing webpage that is updated frequently

if any other distro's package manager was as BIG as debian's you'd see their website updated as frequently as well.

the truth of the matter is that debian's entire package management system is huge.

i had two buddies that were debian fans. after 3 months, they could do apt-pinning, used aptitude to handle removing of dependencies that were no longer needed, knew every option of dpkg, dselect and could even build their own deb packages.

when asked to setup a printer with a postscript filter...they were stumped.

when asked to create a simple shell script to modify permissions...they were stumped.

with slackware or redhat, you'll be spending time learning core unix skills that translate across many other *nixes.

with debian you'll be learning a lot of debianisms and the "famous" package manager.

re: debain is better, period.
by Torsten Marek on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 14:56 UTC

That is why you only switch *TO* Debian from another Linux distro, never start with it.

BTW, the package handling and dependency stuff is not the only thing that is good about Debian packaging. If there's something packaged for Debian, you can expect it to be well-behaved (err, mostly), binaries here, libraries there, arch-independent stuff split off in another package, if necessary, docs in /usr/share/doc/<package>, clean install & uninstall, fine-grained packages & dependencies, a proper build system for packages (not to be compared to the rpm building mess), configs where you expect them etc, just the Debian Way(tm). And most people use testing/unstable, the more adventurous unstable/experimental (which is sometimes, sadly to say, less flawed than a SuSE release (can only speak for 7.x/8.x, but there were some major PITAs).

@ satx.rr.com
by Lumbergh on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 17:53 UTC

with slackware or redhat, you'll be spending time learning core unix skills that translate across many other *nixes.

What peace pipe have you been smoking? RedHat is just as much click-n-drool as Mandrake or Suse. Gentoo has the same gentooisms. So does every distro. That's why there isn't a linux OS. There's a RedHat OS, a Gentoo OS, a Debian OS, etc...

Slackware is the best Desktop-Distro
by anonymous on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 18:18 UTC

very easy to maintain, fast and not bloated with kerberos, pam...

With Slackware you go the other way, it's like a barebone and YOU can choose how to build parts together and what YOU really NEED!

Suse/Fedora is like a Walmart-PC (with cheap, great looking parts)
First it look's like complete, then after a couple of days/hours you see and feel what's wrong with it.

When you don't feel anything it's wrong, than Suse is just enough for you.

Debian is a apt, stable, unstable, testing dependency hell like Gentoo with it's "emerge destroy all configs"

If you want really control, learn all about Linux and build a LFS with your own package management (this is what Pat do for us)

just my 2cents
by A Slacker on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 18:35 UTC

I have used about a dozen different distro's and I like Slack.
I recently got a co-worker interested in Linux, so like a good boy I gave him the "easy-newbie" distro - Mandrake. He loaded it up and liked it, but wanted to know about some of the "others". So I gave him a SuSe dvd and a RedHat cd set. He liked them too. He asked me what I used. I told him Slackware, but slackware is suppossed to be too hard for newbies. He wanted to try it so I gave him a Slack 9.1 cd set. He didn't have a problem setting it up at all. He said "All I did was read each screen and answer the questions and it worked". He likes Slack now too.
I have had the X lockup trying to use Slack 10.0. It is a real problem. X will start loading up, but when the WM starts it is freeze up time. Oh well I will stay with 9.1 until it (or me) is upgraded.

@Lumbergh
by enloop on Fri 2nd Jul 2004 23:20 UTC

I think if I was trying to make a living out of Linux, I'd spend some time learning RedHat. There's a lot of RedHat around. Snobby auto mechanics might not like Fords and Toyotas, but if they don't know how to repair them, they lose.

package management
by captainmellow on Sat 3rd Jul 2004 02:52 UTC

1) I use pkgtool to install/remove any slack tgz packages I'm curious about. It's menu-driven and easy as pie.

2) If necessary, I use rpm2tgz to convert any rpm's to tgz packages, then I use pkgtool as usual. I was very pleased when I successfully installed my first converted rpm this way.

3) Slack also has the rpm package manager, but I have not used it, b/c I'm afraid it will somehow contaminate things (I'm sure it's an irrational fear).

4) For the apt-get level of convenience, I use swaret. I used it to upgrade my slack 9.1 to current when 10 came out. It upgraded the kernel as well, and all went very smoothly. There is also slapt-get, but I haven't used it. People who have personal objections to swaret's author (they're out there) would probably recommend slapt-get.

5) I like how Slack is a very 'stock' distro. There's no customization of any packages, and everything's very plain and straightforward.

6) I can't comment on the community, b/c I usually just google for my answers. The extent of my exposure has been reading the various package detail comments at http://www.linuxpackages.net/ .

Slackware id g00d :)
by NixerX on Sat 3rd Jul 2004 10:39 UTC

Nothing like a true to the name LINUX distro like Slackware. Im dating myself here but I've been a Slacker since the 3.0 series and never looked back. of course back then if you couldn't build from source you went back to windows with your tail between your legs.
Sure Ive tried the "BIG" three. Mind that I use BIG to cover multiple dimension here and always get the same results: RPM databases corrupt, Deps will be unmet and building from soure is ALWAYS ended in ERROR! Topping it all off stability took a second seat stability. Cutting edge, insecure, and buggish. Not with the mighty slack.

Some secrets to slackware happiness

./configure;make;make install
checkinstall ( a BRILLIANT package!)
installpkg package.tgz
swaret --install package
( especially if you make your own repository using checkinstall..very nice indeed!)
ldconfig
depmod -qa
slocate -u


Finally drop the GUI and kick open xterm. The CLI is the MOST powerful wepon in your arsenal.

-nX

@enloop
by Hagarke on Sat 3rd Jul 2004 12:37 UTC

Slack home page:

They should put it right on the home page, not a link to it, but really on it. At least the page will look different sometimes.

RE: Slackware id g00d :)
by captainmellow on Sat 3rd Jul 2004 17:15 UTC

nX, thanks for the tips. I am still very much a beginner, so those notes are appreciated. checkinstall sounds like something I'll look into.

v hmm
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jul 2004 03:35 UTC
by Anonymous on Fri 9th Jul 2004 17:50 UTC

voodoo