Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 16th Jul 2004 20:40 UTC, submitted by Timothy R. Butler
Slackware, Slax "I hope that Part I of the Stealth Desktop series was a good start for our series about using Slackware as a desktop. In Part II we will focus on the hardest part: making sound and video work. Sound is not especially difficult; but video is. Fortunately, after this step, it is an easy ride." Read Eduardo's guide through these tasks at
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I agree
by John Blink on Sat 17th Jul 2004 02:08 UTC

with the following statement made.

Here is an area where Slackware really needs better tools; or perhaps it is the X Window System that needs better configuration tools so that users and administrators would not be so reliant in distro-specific tools.

This would be good to keep such things consistent.

by Cheapskate on Sat 17th Jul 2004 03:08 UTC

it is nice :^)

P.S. did you know went belly up? ( 503 )

Slack10 Video
by Cheapskate on Sat 17th Jul 2004 03:09 UTC


no more xf86config

Re: Slack10 Video
by John Blink on Sat 17th Jul 2004 03:55 UTC

Is xforgconfig a rename of xf86config or is it a new program?

by jmich on Sat 17th Jul 2004 04:39 UTC

I still don't get it. What is stealth about this?

RE: Stealth?
by Richard James on Sat 17th Jul 2004 05:15 UTC

I don't get it either. Normally a stealth machine is one that is used to replace another system already in place without the users knowledge. You could probably switch most peoples operating system these days and they would not notice. Perhaps we should ask the Author what he meant?

RE: Stealth?
by John Blink on Sat 17th Jul 2004 05:36 UTC

The author means that you wouldn't expect that Slackware would make a good desktop distro. Normally one would recommend Mandrake and other distro's listed in Part 1 of the series.

RE: Slack10 Video
by lenrek on Sat 17th Jul 2004 06:07 UTC

> xforgconfig
> no more xf86config

Err... I think is "xorgconfig", not "xforgconfig"...

just install the 1st CD?
by anonymous on Sat 17th Jul 2004 07:42 UTC

hi there
i dun know whether i can install slack10 with the 1st CD, cant i? [skip the 2nd CD] coz i wanna use slack for my home server only//

RE: just install the 1st CD?
by Anonymous on Sat 17th Jul 2004 08:29 UTC

yes you can

NVidia / ATi drivers
by anck on Sat 17th Jul 2004 09:06 UTC

Opening this I was kind of hoping to see a comprehensive guide on setting up NVidia / ATi drivers, I know from experience that especially the latter can be a real pain in the ass to get working...

Running Slackware 10 + linux 2.6.7 on an Asus M6000N laptop, x11 6.7.0 + fglrx 4.3.0-3.9.0 for the ATi M10

Desktop From Scratch
by Anonymous on Sat 17th Jul 2004 09:26 UTC

Slackware can be OK desktop system provided you like endless tweaking and building everything from scratch. But most desktop users want things like sound, 3D graphics, printing etc. to work right out-of-the-box without any extra tweaking. This is why Slackware will never become popular as a desktop solution -- it will always be a "stealth" hobby desktop for the devoted Linux tweakers (who probably use Windows XP to get all the serious desktop work done).

Re: Desktop From Scratch
by Adam on Sat 17th Jul 2004 10:17 UTC

I have to agree. Even the author admits "Sound is not especially difficult; but video is."

Once slack is up, it's great, but it can be a challenge sometimes to get up and running. I say this as a slacker myself :-) As far as Linux distributions go, it's the one that pisses me off the least. But I don't see how anyone could recommend it for a newbie, unless they have a lot of time to spend and have a geniune interest in their computer.

Re: Windows XP serious work
by Richard James on Sat 17th Jul 2004 12:16 UTC

You might be suprised to find that you can do more work in Slackware than you can in Windows XP, but that all depends on your definition of work.

@Anonymous - Re: Windows XP serious work
by Metic on Sat 17th Jul 2004 12:37 UTC

(who probably use Windows XP to get all the serious desktop work done)

I agree that Slackware can be (too?) difficult to setup, especially in the beginning it means lots of configuration work - but not that Slackers were the first people to use WindowsXP for serious work.

Actually, there was even some study/poll somewhere that proved that of the users of big distributions Slackware users need or dual-boot Windows least as an alternative to Linux (or at least didn't admit it..). Maybe they are just better at tweaking Linux to meet their needs..., tweaking and configuring seems to be what being a Slacker is a lot about, anyway.

(On the other hand, I don't know any Mandrakelinux user personally, who wouldn't use Windows a lot too... Yeah, sorry, there probably are such people too though ;-)

Re: Deskop From Scratch
by enloop on Sat 17th Jul 2004 12:51 UTC

If running a shell command is too difficult to handle, I suppose Slackware might disappoint you.

But, I don't see any difference between selecting your soundcard or your video card with a mouse versue selecting it with your keyboard.

To configure you mouse in Slackware 10, you simply run "alsaconf" (as Slackware reminds you at every boot until you do so). It will detect and configure your soundcard. Run alsamixer to tweak the settings and alsactl to store the settings. This is not hard.

Video is no more difficult. As even the ariticle mentioned, Slackware provides 7 different tools you can use to configure the X Window System. Personally, I prefer xorgconfig/xf86config, because I can be certain my video hardware is spec'd correctly. Every "magic" tool I've ever used has gooten that wrong. (Right video card, but wrong refresh rates, wrong card memory, wrong default resolution).

All distributions need to ask the same questions during the installation that Slackware asks: disk partitions, filesystems, package selection, root's password, network configuration. I see no difference between answering those question in a text-based windowing interface versus a framebuffered X display.

Slackware does not do what many other distributions then do: Make default configuration decisions based on hardware detection. Slackware leaves that to the user. As far as I'm concerned, that is a very good thing. I would rather configure my printer myself correctly than have to slog through some other distribution-specific scheme that automagically botched the printer install.

I find all those automagical configuration tools to be confining and limiting. Why should I install something and then worry about finding ways to avoid using it? Why should I instal something and then worry about finding ways to undo the damage it did?

This kind of Slackware install takes me less than one hour:

Boot from CD; repartition with fdisk; run setup; make filesystems on two drives; make detailed individual package selection decisions; wait for setup to install software; configure lilo; configure network; configure mouse; configure time; set root password; reboot; create a user; uncomment a few lines in rc.modules; install firewall; configure soundcard;configure X; download and install new Nvidia driver and make needed edits to xorg.conf; configure printer; reboot; log in as user. Move along...

RE: just install the 1st CD?
by Jack on Sat 17th Jul 2004 14:09 UTC

You can install Slackware 10 with disc one alone, disc two contains GNOME, KDE, and KDEI. Unless you plan on using Slackware 10 as a desktop/workstation, you should be fine with disc one.

Good luck.

Linux users that still use Windows
by Slackster on Sat 17th Jul 2004 14:24 UTC

(who probably use Windows XP to get all the serious desktop work done)

Look to Fedora and Mandrake users when you throw out comments like that. If you are doing 'serious desktop work' then you don't need windows in the first place.

Those who still run Windows are primarily gamers. I have been using slackware for years now (without windows) and every time sound and video has worked 'out of the box'. I don't have 3d acceleration, but that's not something i need when I do my 'serious desktop work'.

"who probably use Windows XP to get all the serious desktop work done"

Define: Serious desktop work in Windows XP for the average windows user.

Some Slack users dual boot
by Anonymous on Sat 17th Jul 2004 18:52 UTC

I wasn't trying to start another "is Linux ready for the desktop" discussion. I expect for many Slackware users Slack is the only desktop they need. But many Linux users DO dual boot between Windows and Linux -- and Slackware users are no exception. Just read some Slackware forums. Maybe you're right and they only want Windows for gaming.

Then again, I really don't believe that Slackware is a viable desktop solution for the masses. ;-)

Slack as small server
by acobar on Sat 17th Jul 2004 19:43 UTC

I'm tweaking one server for an client now and it will run openldap, heimdal (it's like kerberos), postfix, webmin, usermin, samba as a PDC, cyrus-sasl and some other stuffs.

After I finish, I will see how Slack behaves as a server.

For while, when I need to install a server I use FreeBSD. For the corporate desktop Slackware is more than enough.

Eugenia, I wrote an script to make Slackware packages to help me on my projects. It just follow the more used steps done in *.Slackbuild but, for my taste, with some advantages. I'm not improving it anymore (I always prefer standard distro packages whenever possible) and it's not as sophisticated as checkintstall but perhaps, can be useful to you. If you are interested, drop me an email.

it's okay
by painter on Sun 18th Jul 2004 01:41 UTC

I have used slackware 7,9 and 9.1 and they are okay
and stable i have also tried red hat 6.2 7.2 8.0
and suse products again fine products but the truth is
some of us will use windows when i do use linux, i like
knoppix, pclinux, mandrake move or slax, they do what i want and they are very stable, and I like them but windows xp
remains on my hard drive. And as far as comparisions
i prefer knoppix live over slackware, but thats me.

RE: By Anonymous (IP:
by justin on Sun 18th Jul 2004 05:09 UTC

I get sick of hearing people throw around the words "serious desktop work" or "enterprise level". It's a bunch of CRAP. for 90% of the world all they need is a spreadsheet, word processor, email client and maybe something for presentations. THAT'S IT. I don't come from a technical background but have managed to get Slack 10 running just fine. With 3d graphics, sound, kernel upgrade, you name it. I do know that most people are dumb and won't care if it's MS or OSS. Sometimes I think you tech guys think too hard about stuff. Out.

RE: RE: By Anonymous (IP:
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Jul 2004 12:41 UTC

By "serious work" I mean things you do because you get paid for doing them, so you'll get your bills payed. It's not necessarily something you enjoy doing -- unlike hobbies. To get a good overview of the psychological difference between "work" and "hobby", (re)read the fence-painting scene in Mark Twain's novel Tom Sawyer.

If Slackware desktop is for you simply a tool that helps you to do some office work, graphical designing, etc that you get paid for, then I guess that you use Slackware for "serious desktop work".

Even at work all people use are wp, spreadsheet, email and a web browser.