posted by Matthew Trow on Thu 17th Feb 2005 22:22 UTC

"Slackware, Page 2/2"
Kernel / Applications

Slackware 10.1 ships with Kernel 2.4.29 and supports the 2.6 kernel, which can easily be installed from the second CD.

The Applications are a very standard selection, as is always the case with Slackware.
There are some notable ommissions, such as Firefox and Open Office, but they are so readily available, it really isn't an issue at all. From a multimedia perspective, divx, xvid, DVD and mp3 are supported from default install, which I find great. I've spent a lot of wasted time messing around with Fedora in the past trying to get my multimedia needs sorted out, so it's always a pleasure to have it all ready as default.

KOffice suite 3.3.2 and abiword 2.0.12 are included for your Office documentation needs.
If you need Open Office and can't find a copy to install, then you've been living in a cupboard for the past 5 years. I think I've got 5 copies of various versions from first release to latest lying around my office.

Browsers include Konqueror 3.3.2, Netscape 7.2, Mozilla 1.7.5. I'm not sure why both Netscape and Mozilla are required, but I'm sure the reasoning behind that is sound.

Day to day use

I'm not fully qualified to comment extensively on the day to day use of Linux on the desktop without going completely of the subject of Slackware 10.1

What I can say is that I use a lot of graphics applications and do a large amount of website maintenance, my clients and design skills require me to use applications not yet natively available for Linux.

For my Desktop Linux purposes, which include browsing the internet, listening to music, watching movies and typing the occassional document, I've found Slackware to be my Linux distribution of choice. I don't use Desktop Linux for heavy production work.

It's my opinion that an experienced Linux user cannot go wrong with Slackware 10.1.

It's also my opinion that a cheap PC, correctly configured with Slackware 10.1, would work perfectly as an office desktop solution for your Gran, Mom or Auntie Sally, providing they had a kind geek to set everything up for them !

Conclusion

I love Slackware. It may stem from the fact that it was the very first Linux distribution I got my hands dirty with, albiet for purely terminal use basis, but I don't think that's the main reason. I think the main reason behind it is the elegance of it's simplicity and no-bloat approach.

While so many other popular distributions are shipping with bucket loads of software, Slackware has a simple 2 CD release that results in a rock solid Linux distribution. You get the sense that great care has been taken to ensure that everything just works, the feeling that the package choices were made not for the 'latest greatest bleeding edge', but for stability and merit.

Review PC Specications

MSI KM4M-L Micro ATX mainboard
32Mb TNT2 Video Card
256Mb DDR266 RAM
40Gb IDE HD

About the authour

I've dabbled with Linux on and off since 1997. The vast majority of that time has been terminal based - maintaining websites, email accounts, DNS entries and the like. Linux is the only platform I'll consider for my server uses, which are currently web & email hosting, firewall and file server. My main platform for producing content is MS-Windows. I'm a web and multimedia designer with my own small one-man-show company. I currently dabble with Linux on the Desktop with the hope that the applications I use to produce my content will either see native Linux equivalents, native Linux versions or will run in an emulation mode at acceptable speed with 100% guaranteed performance. I currently use Linux on the Desktop for 20% of my spare time. This review was written in gedit using the KDE 3.3.2 window manager on Slackware 10.1 running a custom compiled 2.8.6.1 kernel. (I'm proud of my custom kernel).


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