About a year and a half ago, I wrote an article for OSNews about my experiences with Slackware 9.1. Today, I am happily using Slackware-current (ISO snapshot from 12-23-04 -current snapshots are out there if you look hard enough) as my server and my normal desktop.
Frst, let me say, AGAIN, that I started out with Slackware back in 1995, tried a bunch of other distros, and always ended up back on Slack. Imagine my horror at Pat’s near-death experiences in November! Pat, I’m glad you pulled through. I would’ve paid your medical bills myself 🙂 Anyway, back to the article… Though I keep trying other distributions just because I’m that kind of geek, I always cuddle up with Slackware at the end of the day. This article will discuss my experiences over the past year, what I’m doing now, and more. As always, these are my opinions.
<pedestal>If you do not like opinion pieces, GO AWAY. If you do not want to read another article about Slackware, GO AWAY. If you are some bored, pasty geek with no life that just likes to post to be a jerk, GO AWAY.</pedestal> There, shall we begin?
While I’ve got your attendion, I would like to clear up a misconception – Slackware has automatic package installations via slapt-get or swaret (swaret toasted my system once and I permanently switched to slapt-get as a result). All those users that brag about Debian and Gentoo’s package management, let me tell you that it’s just as easy on Slackware:
slapt-get --install packagename. You can also stay current:
slapt-get --update && slapt-get --upgrade. Linuxpackages.net has darn near every package you will ever need or want, and the ones it does not have you can easily compile from source with the standard
./configure && make && make install routine. I can tell you, from personal experience, that very few packages do not install. Slackware also works with RPM files, too, and comes with rpm2tgz if you don’t like that. I would, however, like Jason at jaos.org to hurry up with GSlapt-get (or KSlapt-get?) 🙂
Use whichever distribution that makes you happy, but don’t spread lies about others. We simply cannot quarrel with each other; inter-Linux wars accomplish NOTHING. Slackware is not perfect but neither is any other distribution. Please, no “my distro is better than your distro” flames, okay? You just make us all look bad.
My system has changed three times since my last article – due to various hardware failures, nothing of Slackware’s doing. Currently, I have a dual PIII 750 system on an older 440 chipset, running Adaptec SCSI (not hardware RAID) as a software RAID 1. I also have an IDE drive in there that has my SWAP space on it (2 512MB partitions) and some backups. Oh, yeah, the RAID 1 has a hot spare. 384MB PC133 SDRAM. No audio (yet). I am using Quanta+ on this system to write this article.
On a side note, Intel finally fixed their 865G driver, for those that were getting the gdg.ko error. That’s a different story but I thought I’d throw that out there (I had an 865G-based system at one point). Intel also released fixed audio drivers. Check out the motherboard download pages on support.intel.com.
Slackware-current, as of 12-23-04, has kernel 2.4.28, and I am running KDE 3.3.2 (too many problems with Dropline, which I think requires 2.6.x now). I am using this system as my webserver and my normal desktop tinkering system. I would like to get another system to tinker with, but I’m really just hosting my personal web site, an ftp server, and a VNC server for myself, so no real loss if I send my system into oblivion. Have a look at Slackware.com’s /current directory to see what is coming in Slackware 10.1.
I am booting from my software RAID 1, which was actually pretty easy to do. In my research, I found two ways to do this, but I decided on the easiest; essentially, boot to the CD, use
cfdisk to create your partitions as type FD, create your /etc/raidtab file, run
mkraid as appropriate, and then start the Slackware install. I picked the adaptec.s kernel, obviously. The Slackware installer is md-aware so it sees your md devices just like regular drives. I would recommend that you
more /proc/mdstat and let the build finish before installing or it will take a lot longer to run the install. Do not use the installer to install LILO – do it yourself. You can find Slackware RAID installation HOWTOs all over the internet.
On a side note, Linux only supports booting to a software RAID 1. I made the mistake of putting my 3 SCSI drives into a RAID 5 configuration only to find out, after the install, that this is a no-no – it will tell you after you reboot that you can only boot to software RAID 1. D’oh! Learn from my mistakes.
I mentioned that my system is a dual PIII system – Slackware, unfortunately, does not ship with SMP kernels. You can, however, edit your kernel after installation and get that running. I would recommend making an additional entry in LILO just in case you flubbed it so you are not left with a kernel panic. All is not lost if you are, however, because you can always boot to the Slackware CD, chroot, and fix your mistakes.
Check your SMP with
cat /proc/cpuinfo – you should see CPU 0 and 1. Sweet.
About a billion people have “how to install Slackware” HOWTOs out there, so I won’t go into the normal stuff. The Slackware installer is so easy that my brother-in-law, who knows nearly nothing about computers, managed to go through with all defaults and his old Intel 815 system was up and running in no time.
Post-install, however, I make a few tweaks. I change my IP address to a static address and forward all necessary ports from my router. I am using DynDNS with a registered domain name. DynDNS is free, and they offer their own domain names for free, but I splurged on the custom domain name (you can do it all from their site). Then I go to
/etc/rc.d/ and do
chmod -x on anything services/daemons that I do not need or do not want. Some services, like sendmail, I simply
removepkg sendmail and be done with it. I know that sendmail has had most of its flaws worked out but I prefer the modularized postfix over sendmail.
Since I use this system as my webserver AND my desktop (I have a Windows XP system for gaming), I set up X. Slackware-current is using xorg instead of XFree86, and I could not be happier with that decision. I have a cheap PCI GeForce4MX card (this is not a gaming system!), so I need to set up X with Nvidia, which is very simple. Just
links www.nvidia.com/linux and get the Linux driver,
chmod +x on the driver package, and then
./NVIDIA-installer-blah.sh. Accept defaults and let it do its thing, then exit. Personally, I despise
vi, so I use
pico. Use pico to edit
/etc/X11/xorg.conf and make two changes – delete any “dri” references, change the “driver” entry to “nvidia” (the installer probably picked up “nv” or just used “vesa”), and get the scroll wheel working on my mouse: change the
Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2" and then add
Option "Buttons" "5" and
Option "ZAxisMapping "4 5" to the file, set your default color depth (comment out the others), enter 1280×1024 as my default resolution, save and exit. Make sure you are using the right window manager with
xwmconfig and then simply
startx. I have found that the xcompmgr shadows and transparency are too buggy still…use them if you’d like but be warned.
With Apache, I edit
/etc/apache/httpd.conf to my personal preferences, turning on PHP and SSL, since I’ve been getting into PHP more and more (even on my Windows laptop at work :). A quick
apachectl restart and I’m good to go. Well, not quite. For some reason, I have to kill an odd httpd process and then start Apache, but only the first time. Maybe something is broken, maybe it’s me; either way, it has to be done that first time.
Some miscellaneous stuff that I like to install: slapt-get, webmin, firefox, thunderbird, openoffice.org, webalizer, and the gimp. Yeah, I still wish Pat would most of these apps instead, but I understand his desire to stick with defaults (Koffice is okay but not quite good enough). I use slapt-get on the -current packages and I add a link to the Linuxpackages.net repository; slapt-get, like apt-get or Portage, is only as good as its repositories.
I set up my
/etc/fstab to work with my USB pendrive and then make a
/mnt/pendrive directory. I also have a USB card reader for my CompactFlash card, so I set that up similarly. If you care enough, you can make some desktop icons to mount/unmount your devices but I don’t mind using the command prompt for my USB devices. Just use
dmesg on your system after inserting a USB device to see where it is – my pendrive is /dev/sdd1 because I have three SCSI drives. If you don’t have any SCSI drives, you can bet on your pendrive being /dev/sda1.
I have been recently learning more about Samba so I can connect to my Windows shares, even do remote backups, so I built a share on my Windows machine, ran
smbtree to see the shares, then ran
smbmount /share /mnt/network -o username=steve password=password and I could browse my network shares from within Konquerer. I used to use LinNeighborhood about 2 or 3 years ago on Red Hat 9, but I haven’t touched it since – if you want a more graphical experience, like most things in Linux, it’s out there, you just have to look hard enough (or make one yourself – Gambas recently hit version 1.0 and is very easy to use, especially if you’ve done a lot of VB work like me).
I also experimented for a while with a DLink 802.11b USB drive that I picked up at Fry’s for $24. It uses a Prism 3 chipset and I got it working with Linux-wlan-ng with very few problems – though it would sometimes kick offline and wouldn’t come back without a reboot. I was just messing with that to learn about setting up wireless on Linux, so that’s gone now. This is a FAR CRY from a year or so ago when I tried to get a Linksys USB wireless device working…I never got WEP working on that system, and it was flaky besides. Linux wireless has made significant progress in the past year or two.
Slackware is still easy and only getting easier. I am proud to say that I am still a Slacker, and more a Slacker every day. My system is fast, responsive, and after tweaking it to my liking, it just works. Really. Okay, I have to learn something every now and then, and I’ve been known to goof my system into oblivion, but, as my experience grows, my knowledge grows, and my appreciation for Slackware grows.
I tell people that Linux is not necessarily for everybody – you MUST be willing to learn about your system. I built a Slackware system for my brother, for example, and he wiped it and installed XP because he is not interested in learning about his computer. Okay, whatever, I tried 🙂 Anyway, Linux is not for everybody, and, as you can see here, it can take quite a bit on post-install to get it working just the way you want it; but that’s the beauty I find in Linux – it’s MY computer again, and I can do with it what I choose, how I choose; I can run what I want to run, how I want to run it. Slackware happens to be my mode of transport on the long, winding Linux road ahead, but the way I see it, as long as you’re on the road, happy Linux trails.
About the author:
Steve Husted is doing anything but the tech support he
was hired to do in Sacramento, CA. Steve is a long-time computer geek with a not-so-secret love of Slackware Linux. Steve is a web developer, tech support guru, Linux evangelizer, usability expert, and all-around jack of all computer trades. Welcome to the world of today’s IT worker.
If you would like to see your thoughts or experiences with technology published, please consider writing an article for OSNews.
> All those users that brag about Debian and Gentoo’s package management, let me tell you that it’s just as easy on Slackware: slapt-get –install packagename. You can also stay current: slapt-get –update && slapt-get –upgrade. Linuxpackages.net has darn near every package you will ever need or want.
Please, DO NOT compare Debian’s package quality with users submitted packages on LP.net. Too many LP.Net packages are really broken, you only get binary, you do not know how they were build, they are not signed and anyone can easily provide a custom package with its own trojan/backdoor. Really, LP.net packages quality is far from being at least as good than a checkinstall package build “à l’arrache”.
LiNuCe (using slckware since nov.94)
When you install a package via slapt-get, does it do the post-install configuration step like with Debian?
The thing I especially like about Debian package management is being able to do a dpkg-reconfigure and have nice help getting a package configured.
I tried using Slack 10 a while back, but was stopped dead in my tracks when I couldn’t get dialup working. Went to Debian Sarge and pppconfig/pon/poff works great.
“Please, DO NOT compare Debian’s package quality with users submitted packages on LP.net”
Or rather, do not equate them.
Debian strictly enforces their packagaging policy for a reason. Stability, interoperability, quality, upgradability etc..
There’s a reason why it takes forever for Debian to come out with new releases. Every single release-critical bug has to be fixed for a package to be included. This means you’re not gonna trash your system because of one person’s mistake.
That said, normal packages are probably fine 99% of the time. Hell I run Debian Unstable so not like I’m safe either.
Slack comes with the gimp – dunno why that was in his ‘packages I like to add’ list.
I suppose Slackware’s stuff and Debian’s can’t be equated – I dunno because I don’t use slackpkg or swaret. Some people like to slurp down packages – for that, stuff like apt-get, emerge, and maybe slackpkg and all are wonderful. Some people like to go get what they need and do it themselves – for that, stuff like configure, make, and make install (checkinstall, specifically) are wonderful. You can do either on either distro (or most anything on most any distro) and one might be better suited to one than the other – which means one is better suited to one person than another. For me it’s Slack, for thee it’s Debian or whatever. It’s all good.
Different strokes, takes all kinds, variety is.
Thanks for taking the time to write the article. I always enjoy hearing about other people’s success stories, especially fellow Slackers! 🙂
I began my journey into the world of GNU/Linux with Mandrake 8.1 or something like that, then progressed to SuSE 8.0 followed by Red Hat 8.0 and 9. After just short of 2 years of RPM-based distros (and when Red Hat split into Enterprise Linux and Fedora Core) I decided to take the plunge into a more advanced distribution, dabbling a bit with Debian, but finally deciding upon the world of Slackware. I was in my university’s Linux User Group and EVERY single member warned me about Slackware’s “impossible installer” but I decided to proceed anyway. I’ve never even looked back.
Honestly, I think Slackware gets a much undeserved bad rap for its installer. Sure it’s not nearly so pretty as Anaconda or Yast2 or any of the other flashy graphical installers, but if a person isn’t afraid to read (gasp!) the text on the screen and maybe read the installation instructions on the Slackware website beforehand, there’s nothing to the installer. On top of being (in my humble opinion) intuitive, the installer is fast! It’s just a no-nonsense get the job done type of installer, and after being the oldest Linux distribution still in development Patrick really shows that he’s learned a thing or two (thousand) over the years about how to make a functional product.
Though some people complain about the lack of fancy graphical configuration tools, like the article said these tools are available, a person simply needs to go look for them. That said, I consider Slackware’s insistance upon text configuration files is much more true to the heritage of Unix (which is why Slack’s often called the most ‘Unixy’ GNU/Linux distro). Sticking with text files also leaves less margin for some intermediate program (such as Yast or Red Hat’s config programs) to mess up and overwrite your customized configurations. I’ve found that configuration files are generally well commented and give good examples and explanations to follow when one is editing them. Simply fire up VI, Pico, Emacs, Nano, or any text editor of choice and type away. Nothing too difficult, but one does have to be willing to learn and to READ. But once a person’s grasped the concept of what exactly to edit and why, that knowledge can prove to be invaluable and can become almost second nature. In addition, that knowledge can be applied to other ‘Unixy’ operating systems such as the BSDs or Solaris. All in all, I’ve really enjoyed my journey into the GNU/Linux world with Slackware and look forward to many more years with it by my side!
Personally, I like Slack because it’s simple (which translates into “easier to fix/upgrade”), reliable and stable, and it just works.
No offence, but I find Debian overly complex (for some, that can be a good thing), and sometime stuff simply refuses to compile, or borks out in a major while for seemingly no reason at all.
Sure, apt-get is nice if you want to slurp down packages, trying out “cool” new stuff, and install packages by the dozen.
However, trying out Synaptic on Ubuntu, I find that you tend to outgrow that phase after a while – sure, having thousands of packages to choose from is all nice, particulalry for the geeks, but I find after a while I pick say, one or two editors that I use 90% of the time.
nowadays I usually just download the tarball from the author’s webpage, read the REQUIREMENTS/README/INSTALL files *carefully*, skim the mailing lists for any erratta or useful patches (eg performance enhancing patch for libvte/gnome-terminal) build the dependencies, then build the package(s).
The biggest thing I like about Slackware is that stuff *actually* compiles easily – the same can’t be said about *cough* other distros.
Trying out Ubuntu, I liked it for as a desktop OS, and for its idiot-proofness, but trying to compile stuff like VLC, Enlightenment 17, or Gnome 2.9 was a nightmare (yes, I could have changed to Hoary for the last one, but I prefer the vanilla packages). Switching to Slackware, and instantly everything magically seems to work.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’ll stick to Slackware, since it works for me.
BTW, to the Slackers – KDE 3.4 Beta 1 Packages are (or rather, have been for a while) available.
And just to be annoying, Slackware was FIRST!!! Yeah, that’s right, take that you silly Susers….hehehe
(To be truthful, I find I still use WinXP quite a bit when I’m lazy, or can’t be bothered thinking…)
Jordan, I can only agree with what you’re saying. For people with the intention to actually learn stuff Slackware is darn easy to use. The opinion that the installer is hard must be left overs from the past because when I did my first install (9.1) it was a breeze with excellent hardware detection. Just reading the very well commented scripts in /etc/rc.d was a big learning experience. Also if you like the KISS rule Slack is absolutely something for you.
I used to run my web server from Mandrake linux 8.1, I decided for the hec of it to change to Slackware around Slackware 9.1. As a long time linux user Slackware was not really too difficult to master. I was running Slackware 10.0, and am now running current.
Thanks to swaret I can stay updated without hassle. Swaret seems better than slapt-get in some ways, IMHO.
As far as for a server Slackware is great: secure, tight, really nice. Very fast. Compared to Mandrake (don’t get me wrong I REALLY love mandrake, just not as a server).
My Son prefers Slackware as a desktop system on his PC, I had to set it up for him, but he is learning at an amazing rate (Thank g-d he ain’t dumb like his old man, lol).
A good resource that I found for thise new to SlackWare:
This is a great web site for those wanting to get their feet “wet” in the world of Slack.
Since we are on the topic of Slackware, has anyone out there had a chance to try Slackintosh (http://slackintosh.exploits.org/)? I have yet to get access to a Macintosh to try SlackWare on. If someone has could you share your experiences with us fellow Slackers?
I’m a longtime Slackware user… No – let me rectify: i’m a slackware fannatic. i wouldn’t switch slackware for anything else. BUT: i have to admit that – unlike you said – linuxpackages.net does NOT host the most recent TGZ packages. Debian simply beats Slack when it comes to repositories. I’m not starting a flame war here, i’m just stating my mind
linuxpackages.net does NOT host the most recent TGZ packages
That’s just a fact.. And furthermore I feel uneasy using packages which are not official..
99% of the time “./configure [args] && make && checkinstall” works perfectly anyways..
‘Today, I am happily using Slackware-current (ISO snapshot from 12-23-04 -current snapshots are out there if you look hard enough) as my server and my normal desktop’
Well, you couldn’t be that happy. OpenSSL is broken and had to recompile it again. Same applies to QT.
Just a thought, isn’t their an auto ./configure script that could check all the accepted args and generate them so that the checkinstall will place all the libs and config files in the correct places, just like an official slack package (and not just /usr/local/)? This can sometimes be a pain doing it manually.. maybe name it checkconfigure?
I started my linux journey with Red Hat 7.x followed by 8.x and 9.0. By getting smarter about linux and growing ever more fustrated with the “/etc hell” I switched to Slackware and have been happy ever since
I don’t why, but the more I read osnews and the more I feel like most of Linux user only spend their time to try new distro or to read review about new or new version of a distro.
It’d be great to have more technical articles.
One another thing is that I’m more and more pesimistic, nothing to do with this article, but I think that there are too much Linux distros…
“Today, I am happily using Slackware-current (ISO snapshot from 12-23-04 -current snapshots are out there if you look hard enough) as my server and my normal desktop”
Why do you need to install the latest ISO’s if it’s easy to keep up to date with a utility?
(with gentoo, emerge -u world keeps my system at or near the latest mainline release. New ISOs are not needed)
Could be something like emerge or pkg-src, able to create binary packages that could be shared with other users.
This could make a great addiction to a Great distribution
Slack is very different from other distros
I started with Slackware years ago, and it was great
cause it was easy to just do a full install and
had a great pkgtool, but after using many other
distros like Gentoo, Debian, Arch etc, Slackware
really doesn’t compare, even with slapt/swaret.
First of all, the command he listed to install/upgrade
isn’t hard (if you’re not lazy), but could’ve easilly
been replaced with a command which does it all for you
just like every other distro in existance has.
Im a windows user at the moment, but I’m hoping to
switch back as soon as I figure out how to get my
wireless adapter and my new laptop setup w/ linux,
but when I was solely using linux, I crossed slack
off my list a long time ago after realizing there’s so
many other reasons to go w/ Arch if you decide
to stay away from Deb and Gentoo.
I don’t why, but the more I read osnews and the more I feel like most of Linux user only spend their time to try new distro or to read review about new or new version of a distro.
gross over generalisation. its not your call to make. if you dont want to read the reviews feel free to skip those
it just works for me…
simple, straightforward, elegant…
People like you give the otherwise excellent Gentoo community a bad name.
Yeah he wasn’t bashing swaret, but I feel the need to defend it. First off, the latest beta offers support for compiling packages from source. I’ve never had swaret kill my system. If he was using swaret to do a wholesale upgrade of everything, then I can see he might have had a problem. But for individual packages it’s just plane cool. It does automated dependency checking even using stuff you’ve compiled by “./configure;make;make install” and tells you what deps your missing. As of now it’s just a bash script with no other dependencies besides the default slackware tools.
This is huge since I was unable to get slack-get to work cleanly because I couldn’t get all it’s MANY CPAN perl modules to work right with it. It seemed to need specific versions, and the version that they distributed on the site wouldn’t compile on my system. In short I’m sure it’s a very cool program, but I hate messing with dependencies like that, and eventually gave up on slack-get.
is there fixes for the latest kernel exploits? I havent seen any slackware advisories for it? why is it so slow? how can slack be trusted if they cant get these important fixes in weeks after released? not trying to flame, i am just curious ..and would like to be proven wrong about the lack of security fixes going in.
I used the ISO not as an upgrade but as an initial install. I had some hardware problems so I was starting fresh. Why get Slack 10.0 and then spend hours downloading updates when I can get an ISO snapshot and be done with it?
Your comment is more of a plug for Gentoo. If you actually read my article, I made a point that intra-Linux flame wars were counterproductive, then that’s exactly what you do? Your actions reflect poorly on the Gentoo community.
As for the person that asked why I have GIMP on my post-install list, well, I like the very latest version of the GIMP installed, is all. I know that a version of the GIMP comes with Slack.
RE: nice article (nicram): I have no intention of using BSD in any flavor. I’m a Linux geek, not a *BSD geek. Thanks for the suggestion, but with so many Linuxes to play with, BSD isn’t even on my radar.
RE: yet another review: um, yeah, did you read my disclaimer?
RE: Swaret bashing: I didn’t bash swaret, I simply said it toasted my system. I started using slapt-get after that, found it nearly identical *for how I use it*, and Jason, the programmer, is super-responsive and extremely helpful on the forums, and even taught me a few things. It’s not just the product, it’s the support.
Hey, maybe if you actually cared enough to read OSNews’ charter, you’d see this:
The OSNews Goal
Our goal is to inform you about the latest news on a vast range of operating systems, from the well-known mainstream OSes, down to small (but also very interesting technically) hobby or embedded ones. Keep in mind though, OSNews is not just about operating systems, but anything techie/geeky or simply, interesting enough.
Uh, so, like, my opinion piece is definitely within OSNews’ charter.
… I guess it’s a matter of how much time you have.
I’ve installed slack on several boxen, but I never could invest the (considerable) time to get it working properly as a desktop.
That’s why I keep returning to WinXP Pro. As a desktop OS, I find it easier to live with than Slack, or any Linux distro. Before you open fire with your anti-M$ guns, let me say that:
1. I’ve never had a virus on my Xp box.
2. I’ve never had it hacked.
3. It’s pretty dam stable, since I built it myself with quality parts.
So … for me and most folks I know, it’s still easier (if you take the correct precautions and use free software: Sygate PFP, AVG AntiVirus, Spybot, Adaware, defrag, etc.) and more convenient to go with XP.
Although I must give props to Linspire OS. Except for its “run as root” issue, it is much easier to setup and install than just about any Linux distro out there.
But it’s still not as easy as XP. For me, anyway. I just wish MS would do a better job on educating six-pack Joe about how to maintain his PC.
While I realize that it’s somewhat blasphemous to say this in a Slackware thread, if you’re looking for ease of use go with SuSE 9.2 Pro (or Mandrake 10.1 Official, even though it feels a bit less polished to me). Slack is not the biggest ease-of-use distro; that’s not the point of Slackware.
That said, I have a soft spot for Slack. I use it and Debian as my “workhorse” distros and they have never failed me (I will say, though, that so far I’ve been pretty impressed with SuSE 9.2 – it’s not quite as snappy as my Slack and Debian installs, but I haven’t been able to break it yet).
It is so nice to see Slackware acknowledging true greatness by emulating Mac OS X [albeit in an endearingly kludzy way].
Slacker, if you want to use all the cool stuff: Apache, PHP Python, JAVA, GCC, X11, POSIX, you name it… It’s all there, man. No need to hammer together your own tree house, if you want to, you get to live in the mansion.
I know that Apple has basically moved into somebody else’s house, don’t spend electrons trying to point it out please, but now it seems as if you’re trying to invent warm water [and I’m definitely not sneering at your technical knowledge and expertise]. You’re trying to make something that’s already there. If you also want to use the Aqua interface… what is the message you’re trying to convey? “I’m going it alone, ma. If you need me, I’ll be in the basement.”
How about this for an idea: you don’t try to find the driftwood of another UNIX distro to hammer together another shack on the beach. Instead you move into the big house that Apple built and hell yeah, all the furniture is there already anyway. If you want to turn the place into a cathedral to celebrate your talent, by all means. You will build a bigger place faster because you don’t need to try and fit the odd bits and pieces into the boiler room. If you’re good enough to make Slackware work, imagine what you could do if you got to start off with a system that already has everything you need installed. Build something awesome, make it sing!
Good luck, buddy!
/I did not write this to put down anybody or to sneer at any flavor of UNIX, but that will probably not stop poster.name from starting a nice flame war. In order to prevent a sandbox fight that will not add to our collective experience I would like to urge you to resist the temptation. You stand to gain nothing and I do not care in the slightest. Have a great day.
Interesting note, but the reason I don’t use Mac is because I don’t want the “prebuilt house.” I want my own, with my own furniture, etc., to follow the metaphor.
OSX is BSD. This article is about Linux; I’m not interested in BSD. I’m sure Eugenia would gladly accept an OSX article; go ahead and write it up.
I’ve been thinking about using Slackintosh when I get my Powerbook (tomorrow:) but it’s a bit dated (Slack 8.1) so I not sure. Other alternatives I’m considering are CRUX (Slackware style, sourcebased distro) and Debian. Anyhow I probably will spend the first couple of weeks getting familiar with OS X and will make my mind up during that time. One interesting alternative if you got the skills would be to build a Slackintosh 10:)
My *minor* complaint about slackware:
I’ve used probably 25-30 distros and slackware has to have the most obscure default package selection during installation on the planet! The most useless packages are there. Yes I know I can just uncheck them, but how about a small -reasonable- base set of packages. I may have missed something. But don’t get me wrong, I do like slackware, its just difficult to do a quick slackware install and get going with a nice set of base packages.
If I am missing something, please let me know.
slackware 10 stable is the only linux/bsd i have been able to stream video from pbs newshour and ifilm. and out of the box too. I am leaving at stable as i do not want to break anything.
It just seems like when I do something on Slackware, it will work. As an example, I got a new Palm for Christmas. I can sync it in Slackware with no problem. In Debian it kept crashing the pilot daemon, so out of curiosity I tried it in Mandrake, crash, next Ubuntu (I know, still mostly Debian, but what the hell), it crashed. I am going to try FreeBSD next. Although I have to admit as I get older, installing a new distro seems more of a drag than it used to be….
You should try minislack if you just want a basic Slackware installation. They’re open to ideas still, so you have a chance to provide influence.
Some of your highlights about XP are silly. I don’t have an AV on Linux. I don’t have to use Spybot or Adaware. With ReiserFS, I never have to defrag.
My Linux box has also never been hacked (but there are people trying, believe me, because I review my server’s logs!), I’ve never had a virus, and it’s stable.
So far, we’re on par.
But, to continue, I’ve also never had to register a product. I’ve never had to convince Linus Torvalds that just because I changed three pieces of hardware, no, I’m not a criminal. I’ve never had enter an arcane serial number. I’ve never had to live with services I didn’t want on my system. I’ve never had to think twice about passing around copies of my Linux ISOs. I’ve never had my Linux box “phone home” without my permission. I’ve never had to reboot to install a driver. I’ve never had to reboot to start/stop services.
I could go on, but I really didn’t want to start an MS-Linux flamewar; however, I had to set the record straight.
The final reality, however, is if you are too lazy to change your way of thinking, then don’t use Slackware or Linux at all. Trust me, we won’t miss you.
Well I did not really get the point of this article!? It nice to read about someone installing a different Linux distro (we never read that before ) but this would have been a much better blog than an article IMHO – no offence. There was not even a lot of specific info about Slackware which would have made it a good article…samba, http.confs etc. are done on all distros and you might as well read an specific article about that.
No flaming or trolling just my honest oppinion.
Me @ work:
“Hey, can I install Slackware on my machine? It’s better than the RHEL 3 I’m installing/supporting around here.
//The final reality, however, is if you are too lazy to change your way of thinking, then don’t use Slackware or Linux at all. Trust me, we won’t miss you.//
Typical arrogance from a Penguinista. Figures.
Good article Steve. I was a long time slacker, hence the email address, but have moved to a different (leaner) distro. I especially agree with your comments on inter-Linux squabbling: we don’t need it, it’s fuel for the “enemy.” Linux is all about freedom of choice; let’s embrace the choice instead of condemning the chooser.
Just wanted to point out 2 corrections in teh article. First Dropline does not _require_ a 2.6.x kernel, it will run just fine on a 2.4.x but oyu do not get the joy of udev and hald which _do_ require a 2.6.x kernel. The other is that as of 9.1 slackware has a rescuecd. Looks lke Pat need something to do with the extra space on the gnome & KDE CD.
I always liked Slack because you can customize it in order to do less ordinary things, without headaches. A few years ago I had to configure a file server for both Macintosh and Windows workstations. Neither WinNT or MacOS could do the job properly, so we ended up doing this on Linux. Since this required quite a few config hacks (at that time, I have no ideea what is the status now) other distributions either didn’t work or messed up the manual configs when using the graphical config tools. Slackware was the most stable distro for this particular job.
Also when no distro would install on a machine with a very new SCSI card, it took me half a day finding drivers and figuring out how to create a custom boot disk in order to install Slackware.
I like Slack, too, but the one thing missing for a Gentoo or Debian fan is a repository of available Slack packages that has more than a miniscule number of packages. I’m too spoiled by the [ thousands of ] packages availability on Gentoo to be more than an occasional Slack user.
Also, the fact that even the latest Slack is stuck on a 2.4 kernel chaps my #$#.
Also, the fact that even the latest Slack is stuck on a 2.4 kernel chaps my #$#.
What kernel is Pat planning to use in 10.1?
1) Comparing slapt-get to apt-get is like comparing apples to oranges. Debian’s apt-get has tons of automation. True, you could remove that, but that’s not the “debian way”. Nothing wrong with Debian or Slackware, but they’re not the same at all. Slackware has much less automation. Also, I agree with the other person that criticized LP.net, although why they would point out that packages aren’t the same as source is beyond my understanding, especially when harping on apt-get versus slapt-get. Slapt-get is an add-on, and I do not recommend its use (please read that carefully, I am not criticizing slapt-get).
2) The author likes to go off on “rabbit hunts” / “tangeants” / etc. The last article he posted had many abnormalities. I am happy he’s writing about Slackware, but honestly I’d rather see something from someone more professional in terms of writing style.
3) Slackware-current should be used as a reference and should include a disclaimer. I love Slackware-current a lot, and I use it a lot, but it is not for people who want a perfect system. I’ve had no issues, but technically -current is not stable. I’m not downing -current, just making sure no one gets angry when they sync with -current and weren’t told first.
4) Yes, Slackware doesn’t come with an SMP kernel. However, it should be pointed out that it comes with the kernel source for whatever kernel it is using, and that recompiling should be as simple as loading the config and adding SMP support, then recompiling. However, with 2.4.x kernels, for some reason compiling the same version kernel as is loaded on Slackware can cause you to lose your alsa modules in /lib/modules/$KERNEL$, so be warned that you will probably recompile Alsa as well. I know these both from experience. Also, make sure that you understand that booting the Slackware kernel image on such a machine as you have a custom kernel image might cause issues, so I’d recommend building a separate kernel version from the one Slackware comes with, like say using 10 (2.4.26) but compiling 2.4.28 (or whatever) with SMP, etc etc.
5) The author claims that post-install he had to change his network adapter to static. He could have told the installer to use static IP, if I’m not mistaken, so don’t take that comment as if the Slackware installer is incomplete.
6) The author claims that he likes to install The GIMP, but Slackware-Current and all Slackware releases since 9 at the minimum have included The GIMP.
7) The author attempts to compare KOffice with OpenOffice, saying KOffice is not as good as OpenOffice. Without details and such, this is only opinion. Some of us prefer KOffice, quite honestly, but this is still mostly just a preference.
8) The author claims that you can use “dmesg” to find USB devices, which is true. However, you can also, especially after the machine has already booted and you inserted your USB device after boot, to simply do “tail /var/log/messages”.
9) The author claims that most things in Linux are graphical, which is mostly his opinion.
This all being said, at least someone is writing about Slackware. In my opinion, other sites tend to not really review Slackware much.