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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
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Slackware. Because I, the sysadmin, remain in control. Who else should be?
There are so other many reasons as well why Slackware is the best server distro (of the year, of all time? Who cares about the distinction here). It's stable. It doesn't just add random new packages into the mix every two seconds that I haven't heard of and/or don't need. It doesn't patch the hell out of everything to the point that regressions and security/stability issues are created. It doesn't mess with my config files and keeps everything where I expect it to be (buh-bye Debian). The team keeps on top of security issues and release patches in a timely fashion. It has fixed releases so I don't have to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of everything under the sun just to keep on top of security issues (this is probably one of the main reasons Slack is the clear winner over Arch). It includes a sane development environment on a default install, so I don't have to go around hunting for stupid headers and installing a zillion development packages that are 1KB each. There is a sane upgrade path from release to release with instructions in UPGRADE.TXT and CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT that allow you to keep on top of upgrades while remaining in control. Its package management is simple and stays out of my way; I know when I don't have the right libraries installed because when I try to run an application--by gosh--the system will tell me which library the binary is linked to that is missing! What a concept!
Anyway, that's probably enough for now. Words cannot describe how much I love this distribution. It lets me use Linux, a system I know how to use, thank you very much, without you (the hypothetical distributor) adding a whole bunch of hand-holdy crap I don't need and just gets in my way.