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Old 08-24-2012, 07:49 PM   #16
fogpipe
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Instead of listening to hearsay, listen to what the people who actually use slackware are saying. Slackware is the most solid dependable maintainence free distro i have found. It has an efficient, no brainer package management system, provided you install everything you dont have to worry about dependencies at all in my experience.
One of the real assets that comes with slackware is a knowledgeable, helpful and experienced user base, in case you do have difficulties.
I have been using linux for a while, but i am by no stretch of the imagination the sharpest knife in the drawer and i have had much less trouble with slack than i have with other distros that are supposedly more user friendly.
 
Old 08-24-2012, 11:18 PM   #17
suicidaleggroll
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It's pretty simple. Take your existing computer, be it Windows or Linux, doesn't matter. Install VirtualBox on it. Download the ISO files for both Slackware and OpenSUSE. Set up a VM for OpenSUSE. Start a timer. Install the OS, set up a user account, boot to X, get your network running, install google chrome and get it running, install vlc and get it running, stop the timer. Set up a VM for Slackware. Start a timer. Install the OS, set up a user account, boot to X, get your network running, install google chrome and get it running, install vlc and get it running, stop the timer.

The results will speak for themselves.

I'm an experienced Linux user. I am VERY comfortable in the command line. I have built and set up about 15 Linux boxes in the last 5 years (yes other people here have done many more...this isn't a competition, I'm just saying that I have some experience). I daily maintain 10 different headless Linux boxes through the command line only, no X. I can set up and configure any generic Linux distro (Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, RHEL, CentOS, Fedora, etc) within 30 min (plus the time it takes to extract and install the OS itself).

I will be honest and say that I have never used Slackware before. After reading this thread I decided to give it a try. It has been the most frustrating ordeal I have ever experienced. I learned Linux on Redhat 7.3. There was no/bad dependency checking, horrible X stability, horrible graphics card support, and yet I believe that 10 year old OS is still more usable than Slack. I am SURE I will get hell for this, but it's just the way it is. If it takes somebody who has been building, using, and maintaining many different Linux distributions daily for the last 10 years two full hours to get google chrome installed and running on Slack, how on earth could a new user to Linux get it running in any reasonable amount of time?

I agree wholeheartedly with DavidMcCann. It's not that Slack is unusable. Far from it. I knew exactly how to partition a drive, I knew how to use VI, I knew how to edit the startup script to boot into X. Fluxbox failed completely out of the box, so I switched to XFCE, and I was at a running X environment within about 5 min (plus the time it took to extract and install the OS itself). However, this is only the beginning of the issues. As David said, if you're looking to learn about Linux, Slack is a great choice because it FORCES you to learn everything about everything in order to get anything to work. Meanwhile, if you just want to get up and running so you can actually DO anything, Slack is a terrible choice. In that case, you need an OS that can actually handle the low-level maintenance itself and let you deal with actual work.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 08-24-2012 at 11:30 PM.
 
Old 08-25-2012, 12:25 AM   #18
EDDY1
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I myself have installed slackware in VB & am quite a newbie, I've gotten to the desktop, but, because I'm a Debian user with a stable system, I haven't gone any further.
Now that I have my new HDD I will setup a slack system.
All I want to say is that you can do it also, but it's not like installing Ubuntu where you just fill in the blanks.
The only difference is the fact that you have to partition your disk manually.
 
Old 08-25-2012, 01:47 AM   #19
konsolebox
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Anyone running a Slackware in a real partition with VirtualBox? It's my best choice for running a quick clean emulated Linux for a distro so far. I set it up with VirtualBox but now I could run it directly from boot.
 
Old 08-25-2012, 01:51 AM   #20
EDDY1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konsolebox View Post
Anyone running a Slackware in a real partition with VirtualBox? It's my best choice for running a quick clean emulated Linux for a distro so far. I set it up with VirtualBox but now I could run it directly from boot.
Sounds good
 
Old 08-25-2012, 02:48 AM   #21
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
Install the OS,
Depends on your hardware, the installation media (DVD, USB, harddisk, network, ...), the type of installation (normal, LVM, LVM+Crypto, ...) and how familiar you are with the installer. For me this about 10-15 minutes, a newbie will of course need more time.
http://www.slackbook.org/beta/#ch_install
Quote:
set up a user account,
Even if you are a slow typer it shouldn't take more than 2 minutes to answer the questions from the adduser command.
http://www.slackbook.org/beta/#users_managing
Quote:
boot to X,
Change the default runlevel in inittab from 3 to 4, reboot. 2 minutes.
http://www.slackbook.org/beta/#id316238
Quote:
get your network running,
If you use a wired connection with DHCP the network will be up and running automatically. If you use wired with static IPs just run netconfig and answer the questions (this can be done during installation). If you use wireless just install wicd from /extra (there will also be Network Manager in the upcoming Slackware 14). Should also not be more than 2-3 minutes.
http://www.slackbook.org/beta/#ch_network and http://www.slackbook.org/beta/#ch_wireless
Quote:
install google chrome and get it running,
Go to the Chrome directory in /extra, read the README file, download the Debian package for Chrome, use the provided SlackBuild script to repackage it and install it. If you are unfamiliar with this process and a slow reader maybe 10-15 minutes, if you know it already 5 minutes.
http://mirrors.slackware.com/slackwa...-chrome/README
Quote:
install vlc and get it running,
Download the package from AlienBob, install it, done.
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-slackware.html

The question from the OP is:
Quote:
What is it specifically that makes Slackware for advanced users only? Is it just one aspect or is it several that combine to make it particularly unsuitable for beginners?
There is nothing that makes Slackware for advanced users only or unsuitable for beginners. If you are willing to take the time to read the documentation (and you should do that for any OS you use) you will be able to install and run Slackware, regardless if you are an experienced user without Slackware knowledge or a newbie. And in the process you may become an advanced user automatically, since Slackware doesn't hide the OS behind GUI dialogs.
It is all about the users readiness to take some time to read the documentation.
If you are not willing to do that Slackware isn't for you (no matter if you are a newbie or an experienced user), you are not the target audience, in that case Ubuntu/Mint/openSuse/whatever will be better for you.

A generalizing "Slackware is too hard for newbies" is simply wrong.
 
Old 08-25-2012, 05:55 AM   #22
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
Take Brian's remark about not knowing what keyboard layout you want. It's not obvious. There was an enquirer here earlier in the year (a Slacker) who'd tried to add a Hebrew driver, but had assumed it was called 'he' rather than 'il'. Similarly, for Britain the console driver is called 'uk', but the xorg one is 'gb'. And for LibreOffice, the uk version is Ukrainian.
Yeah, I meant choosing it from the ncurses interface during installation. I agree with you about possible later confusion, but is that Slackware's fault?
 
Old 08-25-2012, 02:55 PM   #23
guyonearth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
Alright, guyonearth, tell us your definition of "out-of-the-box functionality".
My definition is being able to browse the web, including viewing flash and mpeg video, listen to mp3s, watch dvds, edit documents, edit code in a decent ide, edit photos, create graphics, and manage the system without having to resort to terminal commands...because that's what any reasonable computer user would expect today. I would also, though this is less of an issue, expect a graphical install that configures all the basics of the system without specialized knowledge about things like partition file types, package groups, bootloaders, etc.

Last edited by guyonearth; 08-25-2012 at 09:37 PM.
 
Old 08-25-2012, 03:36 PM   #24
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I would say Slackware is only for newbies who are patient. Little things like the 'gb' and 'uk' may not be Slackware's fault but I've not come across the same problem installing Fedora, Linux Mint or Windows 8 (and others).
Similarly, it may not be that difficult to edit the runlevel to get a GUI by default but to know to do so one has to read through a manual.
At every stage of the Slackware install there's something that a newbie would need to check the Slackbook for. That severely slows an install and if something goes wrong then "game over" and start again because, guess what, a newbie won'[t know how to fix what they've broken.
Slackware seems good for someone who wants to learn how to install Linux and how to use it, but not for someone who wants to just install Linux then learn how to use it.
One of the reasons I still haven't got around to using Slackware day-to-day is that every step in configuration and every install of a program requires reading of documentation and the uncertainty of how the system will be left when something is done wrong. This means that it would take me a weekend to work out whether everything I want to do can be done on Slackware, whereas other distros I can install and set up in an hour.
 
Old 08-25-2012, 04:00 PM   #25
Ser Olmy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyonearth View Post
My definition is being able to browse the web, including viewing flash and mpeg video, listen to mp3s, watch dvds, edit documents, edit code in a decent ide, edit photos, create graphics, and manage the system without having to resort to terminal commands...because that's what any reasonable computer use would expect today.
You seem to be describing a pure desktop-centric OS for consumers, and you're right, that's not what Slackware is.

I disagree with your assertion that such an OS is what "any reasonable computer user would expect today". I'm sure that's what most non-computer-literate Windows or Mac users would expect, but to claim that this group is equal to or a superset of "any reasonable computer user[s]" it a bit extreme, wouldn't you say?

For instance, I wouldn't expect any given Linux distributions to include IDEs for programmers or graphics editing software, and in fact I suspect neither would most users from the Windows world.

Users with any F/OSS experience at all would certainly not expect a random Linux distribution to include DVD codecs covered by patents.

As a sysadmin, I would neither expect nor want a distribution to include GUI tools for system management. Using the command line is really the only way to have full access to all aspects of system management, regardless of OS. (Yes, that includes Windows; Microsoft expects you to use the shell to manage the latest server OSes, and are actively removing existing GUI tools to force the transition.)

I'm sorry your experience with Slackware was not a pleasant one. I guess you're just not the kind of user Slackware was made for. Fortunately, there are plenty of other distributions out there.
 
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:40 PM   #26
guyonearth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ser Olmy View Post
(Yes, that includes Windows; Microsoft expects you to use the shell to manage the latest server OSes, and are actively removing existing GUI tools to force the transition.)
You've never had to set up Windows SBS, apparently. You MUST use the GUI wizards or it will NOT work correctly.
 
Old 08-25-2012, 09:51 PM   #27
guyonearth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ser Olmy View Post
For instance, I wouldn't expect any given Linux distributions to include IDEs for programmers or graphics editing software, and in fact I suspect neither would most users from the Windows world.

Users with any F/OSS experience at all would certainly not expect a random Linux distribution to include DVD codecs covered by patents.

As a sysadmin, I would neither expect nor want a distribution to include GUI tools for system management. Using the command line is really the only way to have full access to all aspects of system management, regardless of OS. (Yes, that includes Windows; Microsoft expects you to use the shell to manage the latest server OSes, and are actively removing existing GUI tools to force the transition.)
When I hear the word "beginner", I assume a desktop-centric OS is what is wanted. I'm not sure why a heavily do-it-yourself system, a server-oriented system, or a heavily stripped-down minimalist system would be considered appropriate, since it's only going to lead to an overall bad experience. I assume (foolishly, apparently) that someone "new" to Linux is wanting a desktop system that can replace or at least augment Windows or MacOS, and that they are interested in trying out the huge assortment of desktop software available in Linux to learn about alternatives to sometimes expensive proprietary software, not that they are interested in compiling source, hacking the kernel, or becoming proficient in bash scripting, and I state my opinion accordingly.

Linux needs to grow, it needs more desktop users, if there is ever going to be a market for software that can stand up to what's available for Win/Mac, it's that simple. I've seen so many people try out Linux and have a totally bad experience, and it bothers me that so many "advanced" users don't seem to care one way or the other. They seem to want to be part of a small and exclusive club, not a real community.
 
Old 08-25-2012, 10:03 PM   #28
Ser Olmy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyonearth View Post
You've never had to set up Windows SBS, apparently. You MUST use the GUI wizards or it will NOT work correctly.
My first experience with SBS was version 4.0 (NT4 + Exchange 5.0). Apart from licensing, there were few differences between the standalone products and the SBS bundle. Same with version 4.5. You had to edit text files on one of the boot floppies to customize the install.

Versions 2000 and 2003 (and R2) were a great improvement. The best thing about the 2003 version was that you absolutely didn't have to use any of the wizards to configure the system. You didn't have to do that with the 2000 version either, but if you chose to use the SBS wizards after doing some manual configuration, the wizard might actually mess things up. Not so in SBS 2003. The system was quite robust.

The 2008 version was a radical departure from the philosophy in SBS 2003. There was no way to customize the installation at all, and you were left with a monolithic system with everything installed to the C: volume. There were a few wizards that could help you move stuff to other volumes, but you still didn't have to use any of them. Moving stuff manually and updating AD directly still worked.

The current version is SBS 2011. I haven't looked at it at all.

SBS is Windows Server, Exchange and MSSQL (optional) with a "Windows Server for dummies" set of wizards on top. It's not at all representative of Microsoft's offerings. It's unclear how long this product will be developed, as Microsoft shifts its focus to cloud offerings. The sister product "Essential Business Server" has been discontinued.

The future of Windows Server management involves heavy use of PowerShell.

Last edited by Ser Olmy; 08-25-2012 at 10:05 PM.
 
Old 08-25-2012, 10:51 PM   #29
fogpipe
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Actually i think something crucial is being overlooked in this thread. Slackware is what the cool kids run and some people just arent cool or smart enough to hang with it.
 
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:23 PM   #30
konsolebox
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Problem with some quick out-of-the-box distros is that they just hang for some unknown reasons during boot in some machines. And most easy-to-install distros aren't easy to fix when that happens. Some can't be configured or at least you can't easily know how to choose a different kernel from boot, if there is. Well that's more like trying to hack it, and is somehow a stumbling block for new users, and could give bad impression or hope.

So in these kinds of situations how could anyone say that distros like Slack are just meant for newbies. What if it's just really the only best starting thing for new users. Trying to give an easy one might somehow just make things more difficult, perhaps at least in the long run.

Well the situation doesn't apply all the time, but at least those examples could tell that no one could still give an assumptive statement that Slack is only for advanced users, or the likely another way to put it that Slack is not for new or average users.
 
  


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