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Old 02-08-2011, 02:42 PM   #1
UNIXSOLDIER187
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What do so many techs like about Slackware?


I wanna try it it seems to have a lot of buzz.

is it faster than ubuntu n mint?

is it more terminal based?
 
Old 02-08-2011, 03:05 PM   #2
MS3FGX
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It will certainly be faster than any version of Ubuntu. Slackware is about simplicity, while Ubuntu is about making the system as user-friendly as possible (which almost always means a bunch of helper tools and automatic configuration that takes up system resources).

That same design ideal also makes Slackware an excellent distribution to learn Linux on. Very little in Slackware will be configured or setup for you, most of the time you will be manually editing configuration files. So you could say in that sense that it is more focused on terminal use, since there really aren't any X-based configuration tools for Slackware.
 
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:34 PM   #3
reed9
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I would dispute that it's categorically faster. If you setup Slackware to run the same services and DE as Ubuntu, I would wager performance would be comparable. And Ubuntu has done a lot of work on boot time. The last time I took it for a spin, the boot speed was impressive. This appears primarily to do with Ubuntu's upstart boot system. Slackware is still doing a Sys V thing, right? I don't particular care for upstart - I think it adds too much complexity, I like a simple BSD style init - but it is fast.

Also, are Slackware packages still i486 by default? Theoretically, you're losing some performance gain on systems with i586 or i686 processors, which is almost all of them these days.

None of this is meant to disparage Slackware, mind you. I prefer it to Ubuntu.
 
Old 02-08-2011, 04:00 PM   #4
Stephen Morgan
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Slackware is designed to be stable, simple and boots to the command line, not a GUI login. That might put off new users, as will the installation, although it's nowhere near as bad as it looks. I notice the FAQ on their website still contains the question "Is it Y2K compliant?", which might not be relevant to some newer users. I like it though, dual boot with standard buntu.
 
Old 02-08-2011, 04:12 PM   #5
MS3FGX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reed9 View Post
Slackware is still doing a Sys V thing, right? I don't particular care for upstart - I think it adds too much complexity, I like a simple BSD style init - but it is fast.

Also, are Slackware packages still i486 by default? Theoretically, you're losing some performance gain on systems with i586 or i686 processors, which is almost all of them these days.
Slackware has always used BSD style init, never Sys V. In fact, it is the only one of the major Linux distributions to use BSD style boot scripts (some smaller distros also use BSD).

As for packages, Slackware has included i686 packages for quite some time now, though the base packages are generally still i486 (and some i386). However, the performance increase for i686 over i486 is essentially zero, you don't see any real performance improvement until you start doing processor specific optimizations, the i486/i586/i686 are more about compatibility between the instruction sets than trying to squeeze more performance out of the chip.
 
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:28 PM   #6
GazL
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@reed9,

Yes, Slackware is still compiled for i486, but anyone with an interest in performance will have probably already made the jump to x86_64 with Slackware64 so it's not so much of an issue. There was some talk about optimising x86 for 586 or better a while back, but the consensus was that only a very few packages would really see any significant benefit from it, so it wasn't worth cutting loose those hanging on to the bottom rung of the hardware ladder.

Slackware's init system is a bit of a hybrid between BSD and SYSV. Saying it's a BSD style init is somewhat misleading. It uses individual scripts to start/stop subsystems just like SYSV, but it calls them from a BSD style rc.M rather than the SYSV style Snnaaaaaa/Knnaaaaaa symlinks in their per runlevel directories. Personally I think it offers the best of both worlds, but I'd like to see the BSD style rc.conf mechanism added into the mix as I really like that.

I really don't care for 'upstart' either.

Last edited by GazL; 02-08-2011 at 04:29 PM.
 
Old 02-08-2011, 04:46 PM   #7
the86d
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On sub $800 machines Slackware would always win, even on Phenoms it is quicker. 1st boot, custom partition, and install is faster on every machine I have tried. Granted, I have only installed *buntu like 6 times because it is quite a task for me every time. Slackware boots and installs every time (aside from a RAID/Lilo issue I just started running into with mixed IDE/SATA drives).

Last time I tried to install Ubuntu I did it 2x (and still couldn't log in and the second time is because I thought I typed the initial password too fast). The interface for creating partitions to my spec was troublesome, and full of lag.

Slackware faux life. Once you go Slack...

Slackware is GREAT for being a one-trick-pony too, as it is one of the leanest full distros that I have tried.

Last edited by the86d; 02-08-2011 at 05:46 PM.
 
Old 02-08-2011, 04:51 PM   #8
H_TeXMeX_H
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Make sure to look through the slackbook before installing, the installer is ncurses based, and after install you are taken to CLI login. This scares some people, so look at the install instructions and you will feel more comfortable.

Definitely, Slackware is unique, fast, secure, and worth trying.
 
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:59 PM   #9
Noway2
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One of the big differences between Slackware and most other distributions is the package management system. Particularly, that the primary package manager does not automatically resolve dependencies for you, which is in keeping with the philosophy of the user knows better than the system. There are package tools in Slackware what will resolve dependencies, but even without these, it is generally a simple task to manually resolve them by installing a package or two prior to the main one. Also, the primary package system consists of source downloads and a slackbuilds script to assist with compiling and installing the package. This is different in that the packages are primarily source that you compile rather than pre-compiled binaries. This addes a small amount of complexity, but facilitates great flexibility in chosing which options to include.

Personally, my experience has been that Slackware makes a, hands down, excellent server distribution.
 
  


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