Linked by Steve Husted on Mon 12th Apr 2004 09:30 UTC
Slackware, Slax This is an article about my experiences with Slackware 9.1, a distribution of Linux that I find enjoyable, along with programs that I find useful and enjoyable.
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Slack is all that, and a bag of chips, too.
by motub on Tue 13th Apr 2004 10:11 UTC

This was fun to read, as it's always nice to see a relatively inexperienced user discover that Slackware is far from the difficult bogeyman distro that the media often make it out to be. Just goes to show how great Slack is, since one would think the inexperience would have made using Slack even more arduous and unpleasant, but weirdly that doesn't happen. It didn't happen to me when I switched to Slack the first time, either. I guess there's just something loveable about it, even when you don't have the first clue what you're doing (as I didn't, at the time).

I loved using Slackware, but I recently switched to Gentoo because of Slack's almost total lack of cohesive package management. It's quite true that if an install happened to fail due to a missing dependency, I found it very easy under Slack to discover what package was needed, and install it. But what got on my nerves was having to trawl half the world to find packages in the first place. Slackware-current. Linux-Packages. Linux DOT Net. SlackCare. Jay The Obscure's Slackware Packages. Plus, of course, Dropline, which is great, but is not integrated into the package management system very well, so one actually has to check pkgtool to see whether Dropline has installed something before you install it from somewhere else. Swaret was OK, worked better for me than slapt-get, in any case, but didn't solve the essential problem. It got to be a pain, not having a single, consistent, and huge repository... made me miss Mandrake (!)

But I freely admit that I could probably not be using Gentoo now if I hadn't used Slack, that if I couldn't use Gentoo, I'd go back to Slack, and that Slack is quite stupendous.Everything works. Compiles don't fail. You can find out how to do most anything in a fairly short search, because the Slack community is huge, and somebody, somewhere, wrote down how to do what you don't know how to. And you don't have to be afraid of getting your hands dirty, because Slack is 1) simple; and 2) bog standard. So if something goes wrong, you know the answer: read the instructions again, because you mistyped something. Not "the distro has removed this feature,", or "the distro keeps its config files in a non-standard location" or that kind of crap. Everything is where it's supposed to be, and everything works.

It's like a breath of fresh air after the "heavy-GUI" distros (I used Mandrake through 3 versions, also tried SuSE and RH 9), and as long as you know enough to know about tools like Webmin (for the times you need such tools) and enough about the basics of what's going on with your system so that you know where to look for instruction on how to do whatever you're trying to do, you are just golden using Slack (because under Slack, if you follow the instructions, you will succeed).

As long as you don't mind getting down and dirty with it, and aren't "package crazy", that is.