Note: If you do not agree, then great! Go ahead and try something else; this is on of the great aspects of Linux. Please do not flame me for expressing my opinions; thoughtful retorts are most definitely welcome. I do not provide screenshots – each product has their own screenshots so I will not waste bandwidth here.
In the Beginning
In 1995, I purchased my first Linux book, ‘Linux Unleashed’, complete with a Linux CD that just happened to include Slackware 1.0x. I had a 486 system that, at the time, was a decent machine. I had become disillusioned with Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 was again delayed. I dabbled in OS/2 for a short time but always ended up back with Windows. Seeking an alternative, I ventured into the world of Linux.
I was impressed with Linux but at the same time very confused; this was not anything at all like DOS or Windows and my entire computing paradigm had just been shattered right before my eyes. Installation was long and difficult on my 2X CD-ROM drive. I struggled with using Slackware for a while but I was never really able to switch my mindset over to Linux, and I could not play any good games or get on the internet. Having only one computer and one wife (who wanted to play games and get on the internet), it was back to Windows once again where I could play games and surf the ‘net. I really enjoyed my short time with Slackware but it was time to move on.
Fast forward to 2003. I upgraded to a blazing fast 2.4GHz hyperthreaded P4 system with an Intel 865PE chipset-based motherboard and a Radeon 9700 Pro; I had hopes of using Linux on this system and finally dumping Microsoft for good. No such luck.
Slackware 9.1 was hot off the presses so I decided to give it a go. I downloaded the Slackware ISOs from LinuxISO.org and burned them. Unfortunately, the kernel in Slackware 9.1 was too old and my new hardware was not detected properly – notably my onboard ICH6 LAN and AC’97 audio. The final nail in the coffin, though, was the lack of drivers for my Radeon 9700 Pro – ATi was VERY slow in getting Linux drivers out for Xfree86 4.3.0 (and I had given up before they finally released drivers – which they only released as an RPM, and I did not yet know about rpm2tgz). I put Windows XP back on the system so I could fire up Battlefield 1942, Unreal Tournament 2003, and Medal of Honor. I cannot tell a lie: I’m a gaming junkie and I need my fix. Slackware, however, impressed me quite a bit, despite not finding my new hardware (and I did not realistically expect it to find my new hardware, an issue that has plagued Linux in general for a long time).
I had an old PIII/800 system laying around and decided to experiment with Linux again. I tried Red Hat 9.0 (which I actually have running on another system that is my web server), Debian (which was way too much work), Mandrake, Knoppix, Slax, Yoper, and even Lindows (see DistroWatch if you are unfamiliar with any of these). None of them quite met my needs for one reason or another; it is worth noting that I was absolutely underwhelmed by Mandrake after all that I had heard about it (please, no flames, just accept the fact that not everybody likes Mandrake). I was going to try Gentoo but I was worried that it would take a dreadfully long time to install on an 800MHz machine. Also, I always get confused as to exactly which CDs to use to install the operating system.
I kept looking at those Slackware 9.1 CDs that I had burned, sitting on my desk, taunting me. “What the heck,” I thought, “let’s give it a go.” Slackware installed quickly on my PIII; I told it to install the full 2GB, or “everything.” To my surprise, the installation went perfectly and all my hardware was found. Using Slackware is a vastly different experience than my many years with Red Hat (7.0 -> 9.0), as it does not have the fancy GUI utilities to administer the system. Having played with all those other distributions left me “broken” in that I had become totally dependent upon graphical management tools. For shame! Head hanging low, I resolved to get up to speed on managing a Linux system properly. More on that later.
A quick jump to my old buddy, Google, and I was finding out that the Slackware community was alive and thriving. I learned about installpkg, xwmconfig, Linuxpackages.net, swaret, and more. Wow, Slackware is nothing like my experience back in 1995! Immediately impressed, I tried my hand at upgrading: kernel 2.6.0-testx and KDE 3.2 beta..
The upgrades were easy and went well, but I had a few issues that I was unable to resolve (like getting the mouse wheel to work, despite properly adding ‘ZAxisMapping’ and ‘Buttons’ options to XF86Config). Wine never worked quite right, so I could not play games on this system. I tried getting into better games like Unreal Tournament 2003 (this system has a GeForce2 Ti200 in it) but it unexpectedly failed (OpenGL errors) after playing a few times and I could never get the game to work again (or any 3D other than the Mesa3D applications/games) I never quite figured it out. The nVidia message boards were quite unresponsive to anything but the easy questions; I never received any replies to my posts. OpenOffice.org will not do the “CTRL-SHIFT-ENTER” equations that I need for some custom Excel files I created. I never did get MySQL working. Slowly, sadly, the system faded into disuse, and the PIII system was converted into my MP3 server, running Windows XP, because I had a need to do it NOW, and not mess with it for hours on end trying to figure it out in Linux. Which brings up a point – Linux needs to be easy to use without treating advanced users like idiots. Microsoft failed here, please don’t let Linux follow suit.
A few months passed and it is now 2004. I inherited a system as part of my standard computer upgrade fee: I get your old stuff. The system is a PIII/750 on an Intel 810 (or i810, as it is sometimes called). I have been running Slackware 9.1 on this system for about 6 weeks now and I think I’ve finally found my home in Linux.
On to the good stuff. Slackware 9.1 comes with mostly current versions of everything, but, ever the geek, I need to be on the bleeding technological edge. I upgraded to KDE 3.2.1, Dropline Gnome 2.4.3, XFree86 4.4.0, and XFCE 4.04. Not everything about Slackware 9.1 was great, and I still had some problems, but, overall, I really like my system with Slackware 9.1.
My favorite feature of Slackware is its package management system, or should I say its lack of one. I can’t tell you how many times I installed an RPM package on Red Hat only to say, okay, now what? Where is my application? Or how many times apt-get wanted to uninstall things I was still using when I was trying to get rid of just certain packages (better yet, when apt-get got corrupted and became difficult or impossible to use). Synaptic, for all its ease of use, brings my system to a crawl even though it is just open, sitting there unused on a Red Hat desktop. Most every major application has .tgz files for Slackware 9.1 available for download (check out Linux Packages for a huge list of downloads in .tgz), which you just download and type “installpkg *.tgz.” Voila! You’re done. Run updatedb and then “locate mypackage” to find your application. By the way, .tgz files have no dependency checking, they are just compressed files (you can even extract them using tar -zxvf) that are copied to the appropriate locations. Very simple but very effective.
Those of you out there that are keen to Slackware already might point out that you actually can do some package management on Slackware with RPM, rpm2tgz, alien, etc. I know, and I tried these things, but they never seemed to work for me if they worked at all. Additionally, swaret can do some dependency checking; more on swaret later.
I am not a fan of package management systems because every one that I have used I have not entirely enjoyed, except that I do like to the concept of apt-get, but I would prefer it would be more than a dependence on repositories and that it would do everything from source. This would make it more universal for Linux package management, not distribution-centric package management. Perhaps “apt-get + BitTorrent” with a script that finds your dependencies, does all the downloading from the Torrent, does extraction (tar -jxvf packagename.tar.bz2) and then installation (./configure && make && make install). The source, once extracted, would have a file listing dependencies (or, better yet, there should be a way for a script to probe the source files to determine dependencies). Perhaps Gentoo’s “Portage” system works like this but I haven’t had the gumption to tackle Gentoo (yet).
I found myself really taking to XFCE, and I would probably use it exclusively for a while if I could have icons on my desktop. XFCE, for those that do not know, is a good desktop that is fast and attractive, and if you are seeking a fast alternative to KDE and Gnome, I would recommend staying away from the spartan desktops like BlackBox (and derivatives) and giving XFCE a try.
I upgraded to XFCE 4.04 while I was running KDE and then switched desktops (which was very easy: xwmconfig, select XFCE, shutdown KDE, startx). XFCE 4 started up, upgrades and all. That easy! XFCE starts up extremely quickly – so quickly, in fact, that my first impression was that something was wrong, but that’s just how fast XFCE is, even on my old system. I downloaded all of the available extensions and they all worked properly with no tweaking. The interface is clean and easy to use, especially if you are a Gnome fan (XFCE uses GTK2+), but it is difficult to find where your applications are hiding on your hard drive; I do not like cluttering up my taskbar with too many icons, and I do not have all the obscure application executable names and locations memorized (and never will). Speaking of the taskbar, it was difficult to set it up so that it was not “always on top” or always behind maximized windows; Dropline and KDE both hava an easy option for this and XFCE should really fix this.
No mention of XFCE would be complete without mentioning its most excellent file manager – it is an all-in-one utility, the concept of which I would like to see used in other desktops. Careful, though, I don’t mean as “all in one” as Konquerer has become. The file manager has integrated network browsing, favorites, Samba shares, and more. Visit the XFCE site for screenshots, information, and downloads.
Dropline Gnome 2.4.3
Dropline Gnome is a great change from the standard Gnome that ships with Slackware. Upgrading Gnome is normally very difficult (gargnome has never worked for me) but Dropline makes it easy with their installer that downloads and installs packages that you select, has an auto-update feature, an “upgrade” feature, and more. I downloaded the installer and told it to go – ~180 package downloads and installations later, all without any user intervention – and it was done. I switched desktops to Gnome and I was presented with a better-looking Gnome desktop than standard Gnome, clean and polished.
Gnome does not have as many configuration options as KDE, but it is still a decent desktop. I have never been a big fan of Gnome and I had really only intended to install Dropline to see what the fuss was all about. I have to say that while I have never preferred Gnome, Dropline is very nice and I have found myself going back to it more than I expected.
I wanted to play around a little in Dropline. I inserted my John Lee Hooker CD and it did not autolaunch. Okay, well, Linux rarely does autorun very well in my experience, and I have not had the time to Google it yet, so I picked a CD player from Gnome’s multimedia menu and it looked up the CD in CDDB and started to play. Something caught my eye on the Gnome multimedia menu – Sound Juicer. I opened it and told it to rip my CD, which it dutifully started to do. No advanced options for quality, bit rates, etc., just a simple rip to Ogg format. Oh, did I mention that my CD was still playing while I was ripping it? Very nice.
KDE 3.2.1 has many improvements, and KDE seems to be advancing much faster than any other desktop. The sheer customizability of this desktop really excites me. Not to mention the community support and the amazing things you can find on KDE-look. KDE is fast, stable, and easy to use. Some people criticize KDE for too much customizability but I like to have it my way, and KDE lets me do it. In fact, the introduction of KDE is what kept me with Linux after using Gnome on the early versions of Red Hat.
KDE 3.2.1 has a bug where SuperKaramba themes are always on top. Okay, maybe it is a problem with SuperKaramba, I don’t know, and I shouldn’t have to know. Please fix this! That said, perfection is in the details and KDE has a lot of the details right. For example, launch feedback with the bouncy icon by the cursor is a nice touch. The addition of alpha-blended cursors and shadows (though I think that this is from XFree86, not KDE in particular) is really nice, too. The kicker panel has been improved, with improved transparency and the ability to remove those ugly handles.
KDE is very Slackware-friendly, as you can always find pre-built .tgz files of the latest release of KDE. You download each file from the ftp site and then installpkg *.tgz as root. The upgrade is fast and easy and the boot time is improving. Bloatware? Hardly.
I did have some problems that I managed to fix after the first couple of weeks (I do not get a chance to play with Linux every day, mind you). My i810 onboard video hardware acceleration was not working, though I added the appropriate DRM and DRI sections to the XF86Config file. I finally figured out that there is an xf86config program that asks you questions and writes an XF86Config file, which did actually correct my DRI problem and suddenly my OpenGL screensavers were working (except the Star Wars scrolling/distance fading text screensaver – that one crashes my system after a certain amount of time), and glxgears was up to 400 fps from 150 fps (which is still slow by today’s standards, but keep in mind that this system is 4 years old). The i810 graphics are substandard but that was always the point of onboard video – if you want performance, shell out the extra bucks for a discreet graphics solution. Even so, I get a lot of graphics glitches on my i810 from time to time, mostly in KDE in the title bars and scroll bars. Has anyone else experienced and/or fixed this issue? I do not know if this is KDE or the i810 driver. Even though the Linux driver is supposed to get around the BIOS video memory option (1MB pre-allocated), it does not seem like I can get to 1024×768 at a decent color depth. I set the video memory to 16MB in the XF86Config file but this has not fixed anything.
Another problem that I experienced was that MySQL was not working properly. As it turns out, MySQL does not get installed completely in Slackware like it does in other distributions. A quick search on LinuxISO got me the answer I needed. Please fix this, Slackware team, as many utilities depend on MySQL or PostGreSQL (I do not have a preference but I would like one or the other to be working after the operating system is installed).
My third problem involved the onboard audio with the i810 chipset. KDE kept giving me a hard time about audio failures and I even recompiled the kernel to be sure that i810_audio was compiled in. It turns out that I just needed to modprobe i810_audio and then add this statement to /etc/modules.conf in order to load the module at every boot. Why didn’t this happen automatically? My Soundblaster Live! Value was detected and loaded properly on that old PIII machine and I expected the same behavior. Perhaps Slackware’s hardware detection is broken for this old chipset and nobody noticed. Another one for the Slackware team.
Getting my printer working in Slackware was a chore. I know, there are probably a few thousand high school kids out there that could do it in their sleep, but not me. My setup was very easy in Red Hat 9.0 and I had hoped it was as easy with Slackware. I have a Samsung ML-1210 laser printer running on a Hawking Technologies print server. I tried using various methods and eventually worked my way backwards far enough and had just enough help from linuxprinting.org to get it working. Here’s the short of it: Slackware does not use the typical SysV init scripts, it uses rc.sysinit (BSD-style). rc.sysinit, in turn, checks to see if the files in the /etc/rc.d folder are executable and, if they are, runs them. My rc.cups file was not executable, so I did chmod +x rc.cups, then ./rc.cups start and CUPS was then running. Hooray! I pointed my browser to the CUPS web administration tool (http://localhost:631) and added my printer, pointing to the .PPD file I downloaded from Samsung, and set it to use “ipp://192.168.1.102/lp1” instead of “http://192.168.1.102/lp1,” which did the trick. I had tried apsfilter, foomatic, editing /etc/printcap manually, and using the KDE print manager to add a printer, all to no avail. That was too much work! If Linux is going to make headway onto the desktop, something as simple as printing cannot continue to be this difficult.
I had one heck of a time figuring out how to get mod_php installed. It turns out that I just had to add a few lines to my httpd.conf. Shame on Slackware; this worked out of the box in my Red Hat 9.0 system. Why would the majority of people install PHP without wanting mod_php installed at the same time? This should be done by default or the user should be provided with an easy way to get it done.
My onboard 3Com ethernet adapter does not want to work in kernel 2.6.3. I looked and, for some reason, my /usr/lib/modules directory for the 2.6 kernel was empty – no wonder dmesg had all kinds of messages about not finding modules. I think I’ll have to reinvestigate this; for now, I’ll stick with the Slackware-current kernel (2.4.25).
I have a general gripe about Linux – standards! I would like to see some standards, or at least have all of the desktops agree to let you “opt-in” to their products. Perhaps this is an issue that the Slackware installer could address. Let’s take browsers, for example. Konquerer is a great browser, but it works just like Mozilla (but I do not believe that it is based on Mozilla); further, why is it a web browser? This is like Microsoft integrating Internet Explorer into their file manager, Explorer. Dropline Gnome ships with Epiphany as the default browser, which is just a fork of Mozilla. I did not really check to see what the default Gnome installation used as the default browser, but I am sure it was probably Mozilla or Netscape (which is Mozilla). XFCE also uses a Mozilla derivative. Drum roll, please…if all these browsers are either clones of Mozilla, act like Mozilla, or are derivatives of Mozilla, then why not just use Mozilla as the ONE browser for all Linux desktops? I would like to see Mozilla Firefox used as the defacto standard browser for Linux, with the ability to easily install your favorite browser if, for some reason, you are the .0005% of the population that does not like Firefox. While it is easy to download and install Firefox, you must manually switch the default desktop/taskbar launchers to open Firefox instead then change the MIME type in EACH desktop or you will have another browser open up when there is a system request for a URL. I suppose this lends itself to another opportunity – make a unified place to store user settings across desktops. I’m not saying to come up with a Windows Registry clone – I am just saying that there should be ONE place for MIME type definitions. I switch to new Desktop Environments all the time – help me make the transition easier.
Speaking of Mozilla – why include Kmail, Balsa, etc. when there is a cross-platform, open source solution called Mozilla Thunderbird? I have been using this application for months and it is very stable (though it is listed as a 0.5 version). I find Ximian Evolution to be very mature but, in the end, just a clone of Outlook, which I never liked in the first place; Evolution even cloned how slowly Outlook opens. Further, Evolution is just way too much for my home computing needs; why buy the Hummer if the most off-roading you see is a speed bump? Again, make it easy to get your favorite email application but install one by default.
Another standard – PLEASE – is the office environment. KDE and Gnome both ship with their own office applications. Why? Slackware 9.1 also ships with OpenOffice.org which is much better (in my opinion) than all of the KOffice or Gnome Office applications. Here’s the secret – OpenOffice.org works across platforms where the KDE and Gnome office applications do not (the OSX version is on the way). I have moved on to OpenOffice.org as much as possible at work and at home and the only drawbacks I have discovered so far: OpenOffice.org does not open PowerPoint 95 files (apparently, Microsoft totally changed the format in PowerPoint 96) and OpenOffice.org does not import your Excel macros (you can rewrite them in the OOo macro language, though).
A big benefit of OOo is that your techno-phobe family and friends can start using OOo on their Windows systems today (and their Mac systems in the near future), making a future migration to Linux that much easier. If you are forced to use Windows at work and are able to install your own office application, install OOo and you can use the same applications at home, all for free. Oh, and this ties me back into Firefox and Thunderbird – they also work across platforms and can help to ease the transition to Linux.
Okay, I thought I was done with my standards rant but I’m not: system administration. I said earlier that I chastised myself because I got into the GUIs and never really learned how to properly administer my Linux system. I would like to extend that statement by saying that Linux administration is different on nearly every distribution I have used. A unifying tool does, however, exist, and it is called Webmin. This is not an abstracted GUI that takes control away from you; rather, it is an all-in-one portal for administering your system. You can edit your httpd.conf directly in Webmin and also restart the service right from your browser (http://localhost:10000) – ANY browser (that’s right, no dependence on Qt or GTK). Heck, you can administer darn near anything with Webmin by using a third-party module (see the Webmin web site for more details). Webmin is not on the Slackware CDs, though I really wish it was (Patrick Volkerding
One thing that I mentioned that I like about Linux is choice. That being said, there is such a thing as too much choice! For example, why does Slackware come with WindowMaker, FVWM, FVWM-95, etc? How much market is there for these older window managers? Really? I know that there are the die-hard WindowMaker fans out there, but the space on the Slackware CD could be better spent. I would like the “opt-in” concept applied as much as possible without shoving it down your throat at install time AND without having to babysit the installation. For all its faults, Lindows got this right and Slackware should offer an Express Install option on the existing installer that gets a good system up and running with no user intervention at all, and all from the first CD.
Here is some feedback for Patrick and the gang over at Slackware for what I would like to see in Slackware 10.0. First, follow the lead from the ex-Slackware employees creating GenThree Linux on this one item: ONE and only ONE of each type of application installed by default. This would make Linux so much better if this became standard. Again, make it easy to install alternatives, just do not install them by default. The Slackware installer has two real options: pick all your own stuff or get everything. How about an “express” install that installs ONE of each kind of application? Would that be too much to ask? Slackware could go back to being one CD for 90% of the users.
I would like to take this opportunity to outline what I would like to see that would make an ideal express installation. Firefox browser and links to get other browsers installed. Thunderbird email client and links to get other mail clients. OpenOffice.org installed with links to get Koffice and Gnome Office. Kernel 2.6.x (this should be in the works, anyway). CUPS as the only printing system, and enabled by default, but other print systems on the “second” CD. An updated tutorial/book on the Slackware site (the book that’s there is outdated). Better: a Lindows-style introduction on the desktop (more on this later). ALSA not muted by default. Get rid of OSS/eSound/aRts altogether. Updated KDE to 3.2.1. Switch to Dropline Gnome as the only Gnome. Updated XFCE. Get rid of at least FVWM and FVWM95, and consider removing WindowMaker. Offer GRUB along with Lilo – GRUB is much prettier and you don’t have to run “grub” after modifying the .conf file (KISS, right?). Offer swaret on the first CD and NOT in the “extras” directory, and install it by default. I REALLY like swaret a lot and I highly recommend that anyone new to Slackware at least give swaret a try. It just takes a few minutes to learn and the latest versions have fixed some lingering issues you might see posted on the forums.
I think Slackware, in its self-professed “KISS” mentality, needs to provide some information or tutorials available on the desktop or right on the menu under each particular category. For example, under “multimedia,” have a link to an HTML file explaining how to configure audio. This could even be a “deep link” into the appropriate section of the *updated* Slackware manual (that SHOULD be on the hard drive after installation). Alternately, make a “Using Slackware” folder on each installed desktop that is symlinked to one common location. In this folder, place configuration help information. Included in this help system should be a tutorial covering how to configure printing, MySQL, mod_php, inserting modules, the differences in the Slackware (BSD-style) startup scripts and the SysV startup scripts, how to start your own programs at startup, links to any/all known web-based administration utilities installed (SWAT, Webmin, CUPS, etc.), and any common problems, common issues, common applications, etc. Perhaps a quick tutorial on installing the top two or three graphics adapters/drivers – nVidia, ATI, and Intel onboard graphics (yes, Intel is #1 in graphics market share, believe it or not).
Another idea for the Slackware gang: a post-install utility that offers to install extra stuff. It can be command-line driven like the regular Slackware installer. It could even BE the regular Slackware installer. This could make the install go more quickly and would lend itself to my “Express Install” idea, with the post-install available to add in all the extras, and perhaps all the other versions of browsers, email clients, media players, etc. could be “extras” and important stuff like swaret and Webmin would be default. Installation would be so much faster, and on one CD, too! Not only that, but you could pop open Firefox while your extras were installing, instead of sitting around twiddling your thumbs (or whatever you do with your thumbs) during installation. Dropline Gnome got this right – a simple, ncurses-based utility that goes out and downloads the required files and then installs them for you. Lickety split. I think Slackware could team up with the people over at Swaret and make an Ncurses Swaret GUI. I checked out Kswaret and it was kind of not useful at all. How about getting the Synaptic code and changing the underlying engine to use swaret instead of apt-get? THAT’s what Slackware needs, and would help to unify system upgrades under the Synaptic flag, a la my standards rant above.
I have been using Swaret for a couple of weeks now. I took a stab at modifying the /etc/swaret.conf file to NOT exlude kernel updates and I switched the repository from 9.1 to “current.” I ran swaret –update && swaret –upgrade kernel-source* && swaret –upgrade kernel-ide* && swaret –upgrade kernel-headers* && swaret –upgrade kernel-modules-ide*. My kernel was updated but lilo was not! Oops – perhaps swaret should provide some sort of notice that they took the liberty of copying files around and killing your old kernel files, but not in updating lilo. Luckily, my system booted with just a bunch of module loading errors and let me edit lilo to fix the problem. I re-ran lilo and did another reboot and I was up and running 2.4.25. Phew, that was too close to toasting my system.
Another “gotcha” with Swaret is that it has a repository of what it THINKS you have installed, not what you really have installed. As I mentioned, I upgraded KDE to 3.2.1; when I did “swaret –upgrade” it “upgraded” me down to KDE 3.1.x! I still had my .tgz files so I went back and did installpkg *.tgz in the directory where my KDE files were. Swaret team, please do an idiot check to see what is REALLY installed. In the meantime, I have added KDE to my #exclude list in the swaret.conf file to prevent this from happening again, but I shouldn’t have to.
I am now using this system as my web server, retiring my old K6-III/350 that was running Red Hat 9.0. Slackware is now my web server, my FTP server, and it is running SSH and VNC so I can remotely administer my system (I am forwarding the ports from my Linksys router). After sorting out the minor issues noted above, this system makes a MUCH faster web server than Red Hat 9.0. Okay, so the hardware is twice as fast as that old K6-III system I had running – still, it is much faster and much easier to use and more stable. Red Hat 9.0’s Apache GUI configuration utility kept toasting my setup and I had to go in manually and change my server name and remember to not use that GUI utility again. The Slackware system is also easily usable as a desktop system while still being the web server, while Red Hat 9.0 on a 350MHz processor was not really what I would call “usable” in X.
I am very happy with my Slackware 9.1 system. It took me a long time to get to where I am today, but the journey has been full of learning and geeking and general fun computer stuff. Slackware 9.1 is a perfect desktop system for my current needs (I have that P4 system for gaming) and is also a great web server. The problems I had were almost all resolved quickly and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with the Slackware community. I have a lot of suggestions that I hope the Slackware team will take seriously (if not them, then perhaps someone has been searching for a niche to fill with their own Linux distribution?). If you are searching for that perfect Linux distribution, I would suggest you spend a month or two with Slackware and really take the time to learn it – I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
About the author
Steve Husted is a long time computer geek, currently doing anything but the technical support he was hired to do in Sacramento, CA. He tries to sneak in some Slack time between work, a bachelor’s degree, and family.