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Old 05-22-2011, 02:42 AM   #1
Randicus Draco Albus
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Question Can I use Slackware if I do not know how to use the terminal?


I have been using Linux for three years. I was using Ubuntu and stopped after they changed to their new Unity system. I am currently trying other distributions to see which one I like the best. Although I am familiar with Linux in general, I rarely use the terminal, and only if someone gives me specific instructions. I have not tried Slackware until now, because the reseach I have done suggests Slackware is only for people who know how to use the terminal. Before trying the system, I would like to solicite opinions on whether or not a person who does not know how to use the terminal could use the OS.
The only special needs I have are the ability to add a few founts that are essential for the work I do on my computer (Believe it or not, this has been a problem with two other distributions.) and the ability to enter Chinese via the keyboard. Other than that, is installing printers and setting up scim, ibus, or something similar, as easy with Slackware as other Linux systems, or must the terminal be used for everything?
Slackware has a good reputation for reliability, but also a bad reputation for being user unfriendly. So, can someone who cannot use the terminal without instruction from others use Slackware?

Last edited by Randicus Draco Albus; 05-22-2011 at 02:47 AM.
 
Old 05-22-2011, 03:46 AM   #2
SkyerSK
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Hello,
there's a possibility you could do it somehow, but I really don't recommend it. Linux is for people who like to use terminal in general, GUIs are just new year's invention.
I am not a Slackware user, but as far as I know, you'll have to be with console during installation, and also before you set up X server.

Maybe, you can check other similar distributions, like openSUSE, Fedora (the one you seem to be running now), Mint, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, and others. (Choose the one with Gnome).

There's a good page for information about Linux distributions, it's accessible via URL distrowatch.com

Last edited by SkyerSK; 05-22-2011 at 03:49 AM.
 
Old 05-22-2011, 03:57 AM   #3
tommcd
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Slackware does require a knowledge of basic linux terminal commands in order to install and configure the system. If you want to know what is involved in installing Slackware, read the Slack Book to get started: http://www.slackbook.org/ Since you are unfamilir with the terminal, I would recommend reading the entire Slack Book. There are discussions of basic terminal commands toward the end of the book.
Also read the Changes and Hints.txt, and the Slackware How To, which you can read at any Slackware mirror.

If you want a Slackware based distro that is more beginner friendly, I would recommend Salix: http://www.salixos.org/ Salix is essentially Slackware with some GUI configuration tools added to make it easier for novices to use. Salix also uses slapt-get anf gslapt package managers, which resolve dependencies when installing packages. This is similar to apt-get and synaptic on Ubuntu.
Salix packages are fully compatible with Slackware.

I am not familiar with using Chinese on Slackware / Salix, but I am sure it can easily be done. Setting up your printer will likely be easier for you with Salix as well.

It will serve you well to learn basic linux terminal commands no matter what distro you use. This is especially true, and is essential, for Slackware.

If you want a Ubuntu based distro without Unity, try Lubuntu. Lubuntu is Ubuntu with the LXDE desktop. Lubuntu is faster and lighter than the increasingly bloated Ubuntu.
Write back if you need more help.

And welcome to the LQ forums!

Last edited by tommcd; 05-22-2011 at 09:40 AM. Reason: fix my careless typos!
 
Old 05-22-2011, 04:03 AM   #4
0men
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Give salix a go !! I installed it on my gf laptop and was really impressed.
Just like slackware but easy (graphical update mainly).
Slackware requires some knowledge of the command line. But if you go with salix
you can learn it while still being comfortable. Grab a copy of the slackbook
and go through some basic commands. Then you'll really appreciate Linux and
hopefully you'll jump ship and come over to slackware.

Have fun and good luck !!
(sorry about the spelling mistakes, on a train with my iPhone !!! )
 
Old 05-22-2011, 05:26 AM   #5
Randicus Draco Albus
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Thanks for the responses, they are helpful. I shall visit the Salix web-site.
Mandriva is wonderfully easy to use, but is beset with bugs. They recently changed part of the system and now there are bugs everywhere from printer drivers to shut-down. OpenSuse is just as bad as the new Ubuntu. Debian and Fedora are pretty good, but I want to try others as well. There may be something better. I also want to learn more about the terminal. Until now I have simply entered commands others have given me.
I shall also read the Slack book when I have time. Who knows. Perhaps I shall you in the future.
Thanks again.
 
Old 05-22-2011, 06:44 AM   #6
SkyerSK
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Well,
sorry for misleading you with ones you stated to be bad - I don't use them, just know that they are popular. If you want learn something about terminal and Linux generally, I suggest you take a look on The Linux Documentation Project - TLDP (tldp.org).
 
Old 05-22-2011, 09:37 AM   #7
MTK358
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If you really want to use Linux, you have to learn the terminal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post
I also want to learn more about the terminal.
Here's a nice, gentle introduction: http://linuxcommand.org/
 
Old 05-22-2011, 10:00 AM   #8
tommcd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
If you really want to use Linux, you have to learn the terminal.
Here's a nice, gentle introduction: http://linuxcommand.org/
I was just about to post that very same link. The "learning the shell" section of http://linuxcommand.org/learning_the_shell.php was how I first began learning basic linux terminal commands. I would suggest working through each section of that tutorial as a good place to get started. That is exactly what I did when I first started with linux.
 
Old 05-23-2011, 06:26 AM   #9
Randicus Draco Albus
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I already downloaded the Slackware "Book." I only gave it a cursory glance, but it looks informative. Better than more so-called user manuals that tell people how to turn on the computer and how to insert a disc. I am at the awkward stage where I am familiar with Linux general, but do not know terminal commands. In other words, I am knowledgable about theory, but hopeless at practice. The Slack book looks like something useful.
And thanks thommcd for http://linuxcommand.org/learning_the_shell.php.
And I agree. Useing Linux to its true potential requires much more knowledge than I have. Hopefully I can acquire competence of the command line before I die of old age.
 
Old 05-23-2011, 06:31 AM   #10
brianL
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Nobody knows everything. I still regard myself as a newbie, but I'm picking it up, bit by bit, day by day.
 
Old 05-23-2011, 09:57 PM   #11
frankbell
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To answer your original question, yes, you can use Slackware without becoming proficient at the terminal, if by "use" you mean surf the web, read and send email, and create documents.

If by "use" you mean configure networking, set up an rc.firewall script, and the like, no, not easily, though you could do a lot of that stuff in a text editor from inside KDE.

I gave my daughter a computer with Slack v. 10 on it and she used it for years. She never "learned Linux," but she could do her personal computing.
 
Old 05-24-2011, 05:55 AM   #12
fotoguy
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Slackware can seem a little bit overwhelming at first, I thinks it's mainly because of it's installation screen which tends to make people a bit nervous. people seem to be more at home with a nice installation GUI not a text based one. I started using linux as my main desktop just over 10 years now, moved to Slackware about 6 or 7 years ago, found it to be great, like the simplicity of Slackware, no bloat like the others, but I must admit I'm pretty much at home on the console as I am using a GUI.
 
Old 05-24-2011, 06:01 AM   #13
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
If by "use" you mean configure networking, set up an rc.firewall script, and the like, no, not easily, though you could do a lot of that stuff in a text editor from inside KDE.
I want to do basic onfiguration, such as add founts and set up multiple language input. You might be surprised how difficult it is to find a system that will let me do that and still have working printer. Not to mention other bugs.
 
Old 05-24-2011, 07:26 AM   #14
MTK358
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Again, what's wrong with learning the terminal?
 
Old 05-24-2011, 08:27 AM   #15
Mr. Bill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
Again, what's wrong with learning the terminal?
Not everyone wants to learn auto mechanics just to drive their car to work.

Honestly though, I think at some point most people start to realize that it's much faster, easier, and even less problematic to issue one or two terminal commands than to open this, click here, find that, click there, search for something else, etc, etc.
 
  


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