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A new Slackware users first impressions

Posted 11-26-2008 at 04:42 AM by linuxpokernut

I recently installed Slackware 12.1 on my machine and I would like to share my first impressions. Ill have to share my past experience with *nix a bit here.

Unix/Unix shell at work in a factory.
Fedora 4, 5, 7, 8
Ubuntu/Kubuntu 7.04 and on
Slax 4+ (popcorn is my favorite poket OS.), knoppix 4+, Live Ubuntu, Gentoo live.

The first task was making my machine dual bootable. I wanted to keep Slackware "invisible" to my wife. She supports me and I have showed her a bit but she's not really interested. Ubuntu where I have installed all the basics already is as far as she is willing to go. I read the slackbook but the section on booting/boot discs said nothing about usb. However when I got to that stage in the install the installer asked if I wanted to make a usb boot stick, and I was quite pleased. I created a boot stick and skipped LILO. Mission accomplished. With a quick BIOS setting I have a 'key' to my slackware install. No usb stick and it boots into windows, I throw the stick in and I get my own custom boot screen. I edited the .txt file a bit for fun.

The first attempt did not go through the way I wanted it to, so I re-installed "full". This guided me all the way to my desktop pretty much parallel to the slackbook. When I got to the desktop I had chosen the default "tab" background thats pretty much just tabs. It was similar to fluxbox/blackbox but even more barren. If I had not used linux in the past and was not familiar with the command line I would have been lost at this point.

I got out the old notebook and looked up some commands. I have always preferred KDE to gnome and of course I had seen KDE being installed so I went right online with Kopete and Konqueror. The DHCP had needed virtually no configuration.

This is where I ran into my first problem. I was root. I needed to be a user, and have root access when I needed it, and sudo when I needed that. Time for google and man. Read about vi and visudo. It took me quite some time but I was able to get the script up and running. The part where I was confused was I wasn't setting vi to input mode. Once I got that squared away I was quite happy. I was also quite pleased I was able to do this without creating a thread.

On to the second problem, no write access to my mounted drives from the newly created user. Only root could write to the storage drives, this is no good. I had a similar problem with fedora about a year and a half ago and I looked up that thread. I figured there was a startup script I could issue the command in. I asked here and got a propmt answer. I edited my fstab and viola. RWX access for me without loggin in as root.

On to the internets that Al Gore so graciously invented for me and you. Now with full access to my drives I download flash for x86 linix in a tarball and get to unpacking and installing. Smooth and stable, runs out of the box. I google 'slackware java' and find a repository with the fix for 12.1 in a package. I read the instructions and with a single command java is installed.

Now, I had remembered from my fedora days that Konqueror liked to be a pain and not automatically recognize plugins. I did a search for new to get it to see flash and had to change one setting in the java console (in Konqueror) to get it to run. I now have all of the basics.

What's the point of having a stable OS if you're not going to ruin it by running M$ stuff on it? I don't know either, so I went to rworkman's Slackware Packages. Of course I found that link here too, and it installed without a hitch. I downloaded utorrent and pokerstars.net's client and 'emulated' them in wine. I had to put the pseudoquotes up, because I noticed you might get jumped by nerds if you call wine an emulator here.

One of the other nice things is Konqueror that shipped with this build, unlike ubuntu, has terminal emulator. I love me some terminal emulator with BitchX, konqueror in full screen mode. It makes me feel like fat, middle aged Neo who took the blue pill because he liked pizza too much.
Posted in Slackware 12.1
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