SlackwareThis Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.
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The biggest problem I had with debian's package manager was a brownout during an update. Since I didn't research what dependencies were being added I had great difficulty correcting the problem. With slackware I usually do them one at a time (yes I know that is slow) but helps with recovery in such cases. Found a few instances where things went awry installing using debians installer that gave un-neccessarily diffucult time repairing damaged packages because i didn't know which package installed was corrupt.
Debian does have a great package manager. But I have found that correction of potential problems have been easier in Slackware in my experience. ( But again this is only my opinion .
If you rate the distros based on how easy to use they are for inexperienced users switching from Windows then yes, Slackware wouldn't rank very high for an average user. Most users want to be able to set up their boxes with minimal effort and they don't care about having full control or getting the most out of their boxes. That's why they like Ubuntu-type distros. Slack is more on the geeks' side.
i must be the exception, because when i first started using linux, i tried a bunch of rpm distros, a bunch of debian distros, etc. nothing seemed quite "right," and a lot of it was overwhelming with different gui ways of doing everything, etc. then after a couple of weeks i tried slackware and suddenly everything seemed to make sense. all i had heard about was how "hard" it was for n00bs, but somehow i found it a lot simpler. you could find out easily where everything was, and then edit it how you wanted. and once you had it that way, that was it. easy. i never really cared that there wasn't a package manager per se, what's so hard about configure make make install? in most cases it went without a flaw, *unlike* the touted package managers of the other distros (*cough* rpm *cough*). slack may be considered a little "old in the tooth" when compared to a lot of more "modern" developments in configuration and package mgmt., but when you value stability it's still probably the top distro, imho (until maybe you go to the *BSDs i guess, never tried those yet).
You wouldn't be the only exception... I imagine not by a long shot.
Slackware is, in my opinion, perfectly suitable for an 'average' user, but I think a lot of people are just scared off by all the people who say that it isn't.
While I agree that Slackware may not be suitable for everyone, no distribution is and I don't think any distribution can be, I think it often gets misrepresented as an "advanced" or "expert" OS. I think with any operating system the 'Skill level' of new users is a non-issue, the important factor is the mindset of the potential user. I forget where I was going with this statement, but I'll continue anyways. An inexperienced user switching from Windows can quite easily have the correct mindset to use Slackware just as easily as a person with years of experience working intimately with multiple similar OS's and detailed knowledge regarding Linux administration could have the right mindset to want to run one of the so-called "newbie" distros like Linspire or Ubuntu.