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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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.