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Old 06-15-2007, 06:55 PM   #1
imnah
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Registered: Feb 2007
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on slackware in general.


Hi.
I'm a mediocre and slow-learning student of Linux, and I've started using FC6 a few months ago - and I have some questions about Slackware in general.

I've noticed on the members choice awards page that Slackware is by far the most popular distribution. Yet I don't understand why anyone would want to use Slackware when it lacks easy-to-use package tracking tools like yum and when you also have to install your hardware by hand (i'm guessing from intro stuff i've read somewhere else that in slackware you must do things from scratch... I haven't tried slackware myself yet :P)

I understand that some people prefer the hands-on approach, but is it really worth the while? I mean if you must update your software regularly for each package, looking over the dependencies all the while, wouldn't it be just a waste of effort? Would you be drowning in everyday maintenance work of your computer that you couldn't concentrate on the "purpose" of your using the computer in the first place (eg science, engineering, programming..) I mean even if Linux was for "computer experts"... just because someone is an expert in a certain area of computing does not mean he will have to know every bit of his OS, right?

I'm asking this since I DO want to eventually move on to slackware and I would like some advice on whether it would be worth the effort.
 
Old 06-15-2007, 07:11 PM   #2
Okie
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Slackware is not for everybody...

but...

for those that go Slack never go back...

if not for Slackware i would probably take my PC out in to the street so a passing truck could run it over for me, (i wont use anything else)...

if Pat V. retired and decided to quit developing Slackware i am sure Pat has some fellow developers to take the lead and continue, but if all else fails i would keep the latest release and keep it maintained myself the best i could...

just my $00.02
 
Old 06-15-2007, 07:42 PM   #3
mobilemonkey
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I too am a 'mediocre and slow-learning student of Linux'. i used fedora core 4 for a year or so, and now slackware for a year, and i like slackware thousands of times more than FC. why? because i like to know how the system works, and i enjoy getting it to work the way *I* want it to , and i like to have a minimal install, only the things i need and want, i dont like clutter or needless eye candy. i much prefer commandline tools to GUI's too, since few GUI's are actually designed well enough to make them user friendly (which is the whole point of a GUI!). about the slackware package manager, i think its pretty good, what else do you need? dependancie checking? check them yourself i dont like things happening behind my back that i dont know of, computers connecting to the internet for software just worries me, and what if they arnt there one day? what if they just disappear? well no problem, i got the source of the program and the dependancies too on backup disk, and i have created packages that are easy to install, what could be simpler

i love just watching the slackware forum every few days to see if there are any interesting things i can try on my system

slackware & fluxbox <3

Last edited by mobilemonkey; 06-15-2007 at 07:54 PM.
 
Old 06-15-2007, 08:34 PM   #4
Tinkster
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Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imnah
Hi.
I understand that some people prefer the hands-on approach, but is it really worth the while? I mean if you must update your software regularly for each package, looking over the dependencies all the while, wouldn't it be just a waste of effort? Would you be drowning in everyday maintenance work of your computer that you couldn't concentrate on the "purpose" of your using the computer in the first place (eg science, engineering, programming..) I mean even if Linux was for "computer experts"... just because someone is an expert in a certain area of computing does not mean he will have to know every bit of his OS, right?
I don't spend as much time on maintaining Slackware
as I do trying to work around the artificially introduced
dependencies in distros like SuSE or Ubuntu (I don't use
Fedora because I've never had any luck with RH or Mandrake),
where you often find that to get one newer version of one
program you'll have to upgrade pretty much all of your system.
And while there's theoretically no problem with that (except
for the humongous download) in reality I've seen lots of
broken installations, specially with the bleating (not a typo)
edge stuff.


It's not like every version of a program you want
to upgrade will always require all of the libraries
or other programs it uses to be on a newer level as
well, so most of the time you get away with a simple
recompile; if you use Slack-buildscripts for other
programs as a template it becomes as easy as editing
the build-script, run the file and installpkg the result.


Cheers,
Tink

Last edited by Tinkster; 06-15-2007 at 08:35 PM.
 
Old 06-15-2007, 10:03 PM   #5
imnah
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Registered: Feb 2007
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Book suggestions for Slackware

Thanks for all the reply.

Well reading the enthusiastic posts from you all made me realize that this question is meaningless ; I'm going to have to try Slackware out myself.

So if I am to successfully manage a Slackware machine, what books do you think I need to read? I mean if I should reorient myself to command-line equivalents of FC GUI, I think I will need more indepth understanding. I'm sure I will be able to find out some stuff on my own just by messing around, but often I desperately need tips. (as I said, mediocre.)

I'm looking into a couple of books right now.

Brian Ward, How Linux Works
Mark G Sobell, A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming

Many thanks in advance.
 
Old 06-15-2007, 10:41 PM   #6
Okie
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http://slackbook.org/

http://www.slackbasics.org/
 
Old 06-15-2007, 10:49 PM   #7
davimint
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imnah
If I'm reading the changelog correctly it may not be much longer before you can try out version 12. Pat's and others have gotten 12-r1 done.
It's going to be great I've been trying to keeping current and I really do like version 12.

Last edited by davimint; 06-15-2007 at 10:58 PM.
 
Old 06-16-2007, 08:35 AM   #8
imnah
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Great, I guess I'll switch to Slackware some time soon then. I have a feeling that I'll become an Slackware enthusiast myself

Thanks for all the help.
 
Old 06-16-2007, 08:57 AM   #9
Okie
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http://www.slackersbible.org/
 
Old 06-16-2007, 09:53 AM   #10
Gethyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okie
for those that go Slack never go back...
I have to disagree with that popular statement, while I still use Slackware on my server and it does have plenty of good features, personally I just find it too annoying to keep up to date. As things currently stand I doubt I'd bother installing Slackware on another computer.

Not wanting to start a flame-war, as I said Slackware has many good points, but so far all the posts in this thread seem to have be unequivocably in support of Slackware and I wanted to present the opposite point of view.

I found package management to be a real problem with Slackware. First there's the fact that much fewer things tend to be pre-packaged for Slackware, and while installing from source isn't too difficult, it's more time consuming and takes more care with dependencies than a package management system. Second, whenever a program gets updated, the update process is a little laborious compared to systems with yum or apt.

As for wanting to "learn how the system works", other distros are also suitable for this task, I learnt a lot from Gentoo, and I've heard good things about Linux From Scratch in this regard too. No doubt there are others.

The best thing to do is probably just to try running it for a while and see what you think.
 
Old 06-16-2007, 10:28 AM   #11
Okie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gethyn
I have to disagree with that popular statement, (& etc...)
I did say Slackware is not for everybody ;p
 
Old 06-16-2007, 10:54 AM   #12
Emerson
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Another day I tried to help a Slackware user here. Today I went to Slackware website and realized my help was probably useless because Slack 11 still runs Xorg 6.9. Lagging behind in this case seems to be clear disadvantage.
 
Old 06-16-2007, 11:41 AM   #13
Okie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson
Another day I tried to help a Slackware user. Today I went to Slackware website and realized my help was probably useless because Slack 11 still runs Xorg 6.9. Lagging behind in this case seems to be clear disadvantage.
Slackware does lean towards stability rather than towards bleeding edge new software releases...
 
Old 06-16-2007, 02:13 PM   #14
Valkyrie_of_valhalla
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Here's my experience with slackware, both from a newbie's and from an advanced newbie's perspective...

First try... about 2.5 years ago. I had been using Mandrake for a few months, when a friend suggested I tried Slackware... He installed it for me (it has a much more complicated - aka less point click next - installer). Then came the fun... I didn't manage to install the nvidia driver, the refresh rate was horrible, and my eyes hurt just after an hour. After numerous tries, I gave up on Slackware and switched to Suse, which was much more easier to use, and stood with it for about 2 years.

Second try... after I got a bit more experience. I am currently on Slackware. Now that I know a bit more about Linux, it seems quite simple to use, and I don't do much maintenance work on it, I installed what I needed and it runs perfectly, with the nvidia driver, with a good refresh rate, and it seems to run faster than Suse, and I compiled the kernel myself, so it even takes up less space.

So, my advice: don't try Slackware if you are a newbie...
Get a good book, I would recommend: http://rute.2038bug.com/rute.html.gz
Read it, and learn on a more point-and-clicky distro, such as Fedora Core, Mandriva, Suse, Ubuntu, and then, if you want to learn more, switch to Slackware.

Now that I am using Slackware and beginning to understand how Linux works, I wouldn't switch to another distro (well maybe I will give gentoo a try too...)
 
Old 06-16-2007, 02:31 PM   #15
Tux-Slack
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Why I love Slack, because it's extremely flexible, I can adapt just about everything to the way I want, because of the "hands-on" approach. It teaches you about your system, kind of forcing you to think. Now if you're just a regular day-to-day computer user who uses some OOo tools and browses the 'net every now and than this is not going to be so much important to you. But when you start doing some "serious" stuff, like programing, configuration of XYZ software this knowledge will be god-damn important to you. Specially when you have to understand how your system or instead the whole UNIX-Like systems work and where is something or everything.
I've tried many distros before Slack and some after Slack, but I think I'll never go away from Slack. And Slackware is for the ease-of-use, because it follows KISS(Keep It Simple Stupid). It's not even that hard to compile everything, sure you stump across a dep and you have to hunt the dep down after spending some time on google, but most you can find pretty quickly.
I am still not an experienced Linux user, I've been using Linux for about a year, (+/-1 month) and I started on Slack as a complete newbie, those distros that I've tried before, they were on for like 3-4 months total before Slackware.
I'll never go back...
 
  


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