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.
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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.