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Old 12-22-2009, 04:55 PM   #1
ThirtySixBelow
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Thinking about slackware, advice


I'm getting tired of using ubuntu and would like to try slackware for the ability to create a lightweight custom system and learn some more about linux. I'm a little worried about the difficulty involved of getting a system up and running.

A few items I consider essential to my linux experience: Gnome or xfce (must have the mine game for the significant other), Chrome, Wireless (Dell latitude with an intel wireless card), Gnome-Do, ability to download pictures from a Canon camera, and Dropbox. I'm not sure how much work would be involved in getting a system up and running with at least this software profile.

Experience level: I've been using various distros on and off for about 5 years just toying around but have switched to using Ubuntu as my primary OS for about the last year.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 04:57 PM   #2
MTK358
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I tried slackware and I thought it was great, but I couldn't tolerate the fact that it did not have a dependency-handling package manager.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 05:17 PM   #3
lupusarcanus
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Hey; I recently encountered the same problem. I wanted to use Slackware because I wanted a more pure Linux distribution and for speed and more CLI-Linux Workings exposure. After reading plenty of documentation for Slackware, I installed it, but I could not connect to the internet; neither my Ethernet and Wireless. It appears that Slackware 13.0 kernel did not have support for my drivers. My drivers needed a "bleeding edge" new distro for the kernel which has suppport. I think you should try Slackware and see what happens for you.

Slackware, although it has a text based installer, it explains mostly what you'll need to do for a working system and guide you through it pretty well. After you install, it will bring you to a CLI, which after you login you can type "startx" to boot up the sleek looking GUI. Slackware is GNU/Linux, so installing the GNOME won't be hard at all. In fact, to run that particular game. all you will need to do is have a GNOME library installed, and then the GNOME games package.

From what I can tell, most of Slackware will have your basics like FF and GUI tools to configure the way you want. best of all, the installer will allow you to choose exactly want you want and nothing more.

I hope you have a better experience than I did; because all-in-all Slack is worth it. In fact, I will probably giving Slack another try tonight.

Good Luck and Best wishes, and Happy Holidays

Last edited by lupusarcanus; 12-22-2009 at 05:18 PM.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 05:45 PM   #4
ThirtySixBelow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
I tried slackware and I thought it was great, but I couldn't tolerate the fact that it did not have a dependency-handling package manager.
How do you go about installing things on slackware? I'm assuming it's going to be less trivial than 'sudo apt-get install *' but I also don't want to be recursively scouring the internet tracking down dependency packages that go 5 levels deep. That doesn't teach me anything and just gets frustrating.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 06:29 PM   #5
MTK358
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Yes, you have to scour the internet searching for dependency packages 5 levels deep, and I doubt that doing it teaches you anything useful about Linux. That's why I quit using Slackware.

Some of the software that comes with it is quite outdated, too.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
lupusarcanus
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Oh So True. Slack uses slackpkg, which installs dependencies, but I don't know how good it is or how deep it's repositories are; if any.

Installing things will be more or less doing it from binary or source, where you go about it doing the old ./configure make && make install method.

If you find that that becomes a problem you may want to try Debian, since it is much less watered-down and more lightweight than its popular counterpart. It will still allow you to use apt-get for anything.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 07:28 PM   #7
ThirtySixBelow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leopard View Post
If you find that that becomes a problem you may want to try Debian, since it is much less watered-down and more lightweight than its popular counterpart. It will still allow you to use apt-get for anything.
Since I'm already using Ubuntu is there really tangible worth in moving to Debian? The thing I like about Linux is the ability to customize my system how I would like it and the thing I don't like about Ubuntu is that it assumes what I want, most of which is false.

I'm looking for something that gives me a bare-bones system and allows me to build it while also not being a huge pain to do so. Would Debian allow this?

I'm flexible on how bare-bones it can be if it will give me some ease of use in terms of installing software. In other words I'll put up with a small amount of garbage as long as I don't have to spend 45 minutes looking for libgtq_1.3.tar.gz so I can install lwgiz_3.4.tar.gz so I can install pygtk++uberpro_0.1.tar.gz so i can install dropbox
 
Old 12-22-2009, 07:48 PM   #8
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Well worth the effort, Try It!

(1) You have to scour the internet searching for dependency packages 5 levels deep, and I doubt that doing it teaches you anything useful about Linux. That's why I quit using Slackware.
Some of the software that comes with it is quite outdated, too.

(2) Oh So True. Slack uses slackpkg, which installs dependencies, but I don't know how good it is or how deep it's repositories are; if any.

Installing things will be more or less doing it from binary or source, where you go about it doing the old ./configure make && make install method.


Let me address the first comment, not flaming anyone just describing a different way of doing things. I have been running Slackware for several years and I have never searched the internet for dependencies. When you install Slackware you will have a far more complete system than with most any other Distro, one example, 39 games comes standard with the full install. Please go to Slackbuilds.org and you will find most anything that you will ever need plus all dependencies, no need to search the internet. If you are not satisfied with that go to aliens repository it is filled with slackbuilds. When you open a slackbuild it will explain what dependencies are needed if any, and you can get them from there. You will never need all of the dependencies that most other Distros need plus you can pick and choose another program that uses fewer or no dependences. Slackware like most other Distros has a very nice knowledgeable forum.

Let me address number 2, Using slackpkg and ./configure make && install is a good method but I choose to do it another way "to me the easy Way" If you want to to install from Slackbuilds.org there are no ./configure && make involved, You just download the slackbuild, then the source code next. When you do a "tar xvzf slackbuild it will make a directory then you go to that directory and it will compile it for you.

I have used most of the top 20 Distros and really like some others but Slackware is my all time favorite.I would suggest that you use version 12.2 because version 13 uses KDE 4 which is still quite buggy.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 07:57 PM   #9
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I, like you, didn't like Ubuntu b/c it assumed I wanted a bunch of things that I didn't. But, don't let that deter you from trying another DEBIAN based distro. Just stay away from anything *buntu based and you'll be ok. I usually recommend sidux, and since you're already familiar with apt, it might be worth trying out.

Don't forget the beauty of multi-booting and livecd's either.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 08:04 PM   #10
ThirtySixBelow
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The difference between a normal source package and a slackbuild is that the slackbuild comes with the source of the dependencies it needs for a slackware install?

I'm not quite sure I follow what you mean about uncompressing the slackbuild and it 'compiles for me'.

How will I know if something is a slackbuild or a regular source package since they are both archived similiarly? Just if it comes from slackbuild.org?

So it will come with a default x environment, being KDE4 in 13? Does 12.2 use KDE3?
 
Old 12-22-2009, 08:05 PM   #11
mark_alfred
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Don't think about, just do it.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 08:08 PM   #12
lamegaptop
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Slackware is great but it can be cumbersome to install and upgrade. If you have the patience go for it!

Might I suggest Arch Linux? Following the beginners guide on the wiki takes one from a core install to a full desktop of your choosing. Pacman the package manager is great (check out powerpill also).

I've tried many, many distros over the years and I keep coming back to Arch. It's clean and simple (KISS), the packages are as the original developers intended, support is great, install as much or as little as you want. I've learned tons using Arch.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 08:17 PM   #13
MTK358
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I tried Debian but I found that the packages were EXTREMELY outdated.

Also I didn't like apt-get's regexes, it's not very intuitive that appending an asterisk to a string should be the equivalent of an asterisk on each end in just about every other program in existence. This is especially annoying because debian's package names are not that intuitive, forcing you to use wildcards.

Other than that I thought it was a pretty good distro.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 08:23 PM   #14
lupusarcanus
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If you want to construct your distribution piece-by-piece with no assumptions, bare bones or however you decide, but yet want an awesome package manager, then doing a Debian Net Install is perfect for you.

And yes, *buntu is Debian based, but thats only the base. They add several of their own things. Debian is far less assuming and simple, it thinks of its users as "they know what they are doing."

A Debian Net Install literally places the entire Debian system and all the repositories you enable in front of you, and you fully customize your system to have whatever you want. If you don't want ANY packages, you can install the Oh So basic system.

You can even configure Debian to have experimental, bleeding-edge repositories, so you have the most up to date system available.

Last edited by lupusarcanus; 12-22-2009 at 08:26 PM.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 08:36 PM   #15
~sHyLoCk~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
Yes, you have to scour the internet searching for dependency packages 5 levels deep, and I doubt that doing it teaches you anything useful about Linux. That's why I quit using Slackware.

Some of the software that comes with it is quite outdated, too.
Hi,

Slackware is built with a different approach than fedora. The software that come with Slack are thoroughly tested stable packages. However in case of fedora or ubuntu, it is not so. Your system may break everyday on every upgrade.
You talked about having no dependency handling. True, that's the way we like it. It teaches us a lot of things like, what constitutes a package. This helps us in being able to figure out and fix our system quite easily. Remember the firefox issue you had? We already knew about firefox' dependencies upgrade since when I upgraded I had to check the changelogs and build packages by editing config files using Slackbuilds and checking the dependencies. This is just an example.
Not only this, using Slackware will mean no fancy GUI tools to get your job done but to manually hand edit files. It wil teach you a lot about internal working of a Linux system. No special techniques required, just the plain traditional methods of doing things,e.g. kernel compiling.

ThirtySixBelow

I started using Linux with Slackware. I have used many other distros but always came back to Slack. I'd only say that Slackware doesn't claim to be for "advanced" users only, but for novices and experts alike. If you think you are ready for Slack go for it. Debian is just ubuntu without the goodies. The same ol' thing. And fedora will teach you nothing. Except for some yum commands.

Last edited by ~sHyLoCk~; 12-22-2009 at 08:38 PM.
 
  


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