“VectorLinux has been one of my favorite projects since my first test of the distribution almost 18 months ago. I like VectorLinux because its roots are firmly planted in the stability and simplicity of Slackware, yet it comes with an extensive software base and lots of out-of-the-box great looks; in other words, a rock solid foundation with eye candy and useful functionality. While standard VectorLinux comes with the Xfce desktop environment and a variety of general-purpose applications, VectorLinux 5.8 SOHO offers the KDE desktop and a host of applications for small and home office users.”
‘VectorLinux SOHO: a Better Slackware Than Slackware’
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2007-05-22 12:51 amthebin
As for longevity, I’ve been using VL since 2003 and I have no idea what you mean when you say that it “fade(s) as time goes on only to reappear…” It’s had more releases since Slackware in this time period.
Forking? One of VL’s strengths is its commitment (to date) to supporting Slackware packages. Has it improved on Slackware’s package management? Absolutely. But you can still go to slackware.com or linuxpackages.net to get packages that work without any problems if you can’t find what you need in their repository. Other than improved package management, VL has introduced tlz packages which are ultra-compressed. This is the secret in fitting so much into a 699MB CD.
Now don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with Slackware itself and I feel that Patrick Volkerding does an incredible job. It’s just that I don’t have to waste as much time setting things up with VL (on the other hand, Slackware has more packages in their repository). VL is not dumbed down. It’s just more finished – and for me, at least, this is what makes the difference.
[Edit] – I forgot, you can look at Slackware vs. VL statistics at distrowatch.com. Currently Slackware is rated 14th (566 hits per day) whereas VL is rated 17th (460 hits per day).
Edited 2007-05-22 00:57
2007-05-22 10:20 amAnonymous Penguin
“One last thought: whenever a derivative appears, it always seems to do less and provide less than the parent distro.”
Personally I don’t believe that is always the case.
Take Debian, for instance: till Woody, it was difficult to install and had virtually no tools. Libranet, a derivative, made installing and mantaining Debian a breeze, while retaining 100% compatibility.
Then Kanotix came, another Debian derivative: very easy to install, great hardware detection, very useful scripts.
To tell the entire truth, since the release of Etch, Debian doesn’t need derivatives any longer.
Edited 2007-05-22 10:35
Slackware is a category itself. Nothing gives the same taste which a user can get while using.
Vector Linux has always been a good distro to this chronically long-term Linux newbie. Along with Sabayon and Yoper it is one of the great temptations to go back to Windows-less x86 from PPC OS X.
If I imagine the combined talents of the devs behind these three names – boy, you’d have both Joe User and Power User lapping up such a distro.
OK, it’s early in the morning and I am being a bit hormonally-manic in my enthusiasm but a boy can still dream while waking, can’t he…?
(and no disrespect to the individual teams behind the above – as far as I can see and tell they are each achieving a heck of a lot in their own right).
I’ve been using VectorLinux-5.8-standard-GOLD ( xfce 4.4 default GUI ) for more than six months on my poor old Dell Pentium III 500 MHz Optiplex mainly because of great support for multimedia I found in VL. That computer is my juke-box machine with thousands of mp3 and ogg files as well as hundreds of hours of recorded radio streams (Streamtuner) and movie trailers downloaded from http://www.apple.com/trailers.
Try to do that with Windows! No way.
As for its stability/reliability what else I could say:
month or so ago I forgot to turn Streamtuner off just to find out after seven days I have 2400 recorded mp3 from my favorite radio station ( approx. 6 Gigabytes of music files).
I found VL SOHO even more usable package since I,m KDE guy so I can move my email, calendar, diary and documents back and forth between my home computer and one at my work-office ( all Pentium II machines)
Although I like Slackware I have lot more fun with Vector-Linux and I hope more and more people will discover all advantages of running this distro.
The article could have been more to the point as to why Vector is a “better Slackware than Slackware.”
That said, I found the review to be pretty good but my questions have more to do with Vector Linux itself.
With the next version–version 6.0–the developers or Vectelopers as they are known, plan to fork even further away from Slackware. How much forking is not known at this time but this may not be a good thing for Vector.
Secondly, this is a distribution that seems to fade as time goes on only to reappear when they deliver a new release. Does Vector have the resources to support their distro for the long haul? How committed are the developers to continuing the distro? Is there enough community interest to even continue with this distro? How many users does it actually have?
Finally, I have found that except for the eye candy Slackware can be made to do just as much if not more than other distros in its class. And believe me, there aren’t that many distros that can compete with the simplicity, stability, speed and security that is inherent to Slackware.
Personally, I will probably stay with Slack as my main distro and “play” around with Vector on a spare machine.
One last thought: whenever a derivative appears, it always seems to do less and provide less than the parent distro.
I think Vector is fine for simple tasks but whenever a distro “dumbs down” or makes things easier they always seem to leave off some of the tools and resources that made the parent distro so great to begin with. This paring down of features usually happens while making the distro easier for the masses and prettier to the eye.
Personally, I’d rather have the tools and resources than a pretty face with missing ingredients under the hood.