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Old 05-31-2005, 06:48 PM   #1
cheater1034
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Basic slackware questions.


Hi, I am currently using debian unstable/mepis, I have previously used gentoo stage 1, but I have stopped because it was slow, debian is getting old for me, I love gentoo's portage, but the stage1 install was surprisingly slow on 1.2 ghz, and mepis is fairly fast, could be better, on my amd 64 3000+ socket 754.

I was wondering...
1. Is slackware faster than debian <debian unstable, from debians website, is fairly fast>

2. What is it's package management system

I know it has tgz's, andfor installing, but I don't know, how many packages does it have? Can you use has some easy tool it like apt, or emerge, where it downloads all packages, and dependencies, and installs them in order?

The main concerns for me, is the pkg management of a distro, and the speed, because I can always update packages later.

I would just try it, but I have a fairly nice Mepis system, and would hate to destroy it <in case slackware isnt what I want>

Thanks
 
Old 05-31-2005, 07:02 PM   #2
MS3FGX
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I can't comment on speed, because I have never run both Debian and Slackware on the same machine, but I can tell you that Slackware is a lean distro, so speed shouldn't be too much of a concern.

Now, by default there is no automatic package management, or even a way to download packages automatically. You have to download them from a mirror, then install them from the local file system. There is also no dependency checking.

However, there are unofficial programs that will do what you are talking about.

Personally, I use slapt-get, which is a clone of Debian's apt-get for Slackware. In my experience, it works very well, and I have no complaints about it (none that are the fault of the program itself anyway). Updating, installing, searching packages work just as well as in apt-get (if not better, since the slapt-get client can search the package list, instead of having to use apt-cache to search on Debian).

The only problem is that the official Slackware packages to not contain any dependency data. So while slapt-get can handle dependencies on unofficial packages, it cannot do so with the official packages.
 
Old 05-31-2005, 07:10 PM   #3
cheater1034
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Ok, it sounds pretty good using slapt-get, but just to make sure, it installs all the dependencies, and does it have near the same amount or more packages than debian's apt-get?
 
Old 05-31-2005, 07:15 PM   #4
DaWallace
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nowhere near, sorry, the popularity isn't there and contributed packages are rare in slackware, you'll have to compile stuff yourself, usually not too big of a deal.
 
Old 05-31-2005, 07:24 PM   #5
cheater1034
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alright, well thanks a lot for the help, I would however like to try slackware, I'm downloading it now, because, it has a lot of cds <4? or 2, or whatever> but I'm just getting all of them.

Slackware sounds good from what I supposibly hear, I am really amazed by the fast help you guys were able to give, I really appreciate it, I'm downloading it because, I definitely have the experience, and I like to mess around with different distros
 
Old 05-31-2005, 07:25 PM   #6
MS3FGX
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If you want to know how many packages you will have access to with slapt-get, just check out this site

http://www.linuxpackages.net/

That is the main repository that slapt-get uses.

Last edited by MS3FGX; 06-01-2005 at 11:20 PM.
 
Old 05-31-2005, 07:30 PM   #7
MS3FGX
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I would say while there are not as many packages as Debian, but there are certainly enough packages to keep the average user happy.

Most if not all of the software packages I wanted for my system were available through slapt-get, if not in the Slackware 10.1 feeds, then they were in the 10.0 feeds (10.1 is fairly new, after all).
 
Old 05-31-2005, 10:50 PM   #8
vharishankar
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As a Debian user who tried Slackware and then went back to Debian, I can tell you a few things:

Somehow the fuzzy Debian feel will be missing in Slackware. It's a very good distro but for whatever reasons it's hard to describe why a Debian user will never feel the same with any other distro. I suppose it's the same for long-time Slackware users who go to other distros.

I cannot describe it, but somehow Slackware was uncomfortable for me. Couldn't say why. Maybe the missing apt package management or something, but definitely I could "feel" something missing in Slackware. Cannot put my finger on it. Ultimately it's how you relate to the distro. Slackware is great, but it didn't appear to be "for me" if you get my meaning. You cannot always give plausible reasons why a particular distro feels right for you.

In my personal experience, Debian just "feels right for me" and that's all that mattered for me. Otherwise you'll not find a great deal of difference, though Debian and Slackware have varying philosophies, priorities and sometimes different ways of doing things at the system level (Config files for example may be located in different places for one).

Slackware is definitely worth trying. Not for nothing was it the distro of the year here at LQ.
 
Old 06-01-2005, 06:03 PM   #9
mjjzf
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Slackware has always been faster on my boxes.
It is funny that Harishankar uses the word "fuzzy" about Debian. I have used Debian for long periods before, and it struck me as - exactly, fuzzy, though not necessarily in the way Harishankar means it. Using Debian, there is a tendency to just pull in packages and deps, because it is easy. With Slack, one is not seduced into power-bloating the system, because that'll be hard work!
In my desktop PC, which is fairly powerful, there is a 160 GB disk. I have put every Distrowatch top 15 distro except Gentoo on that. I just load almost everything on it.
Not too long ago, I was given my wife's old laptop. 600 MHz, 32 MB RAM. I upgraded the RAM to 160 MB, but still: It is not that powerful. And I had to consider 6 GB HD instead of the usual 160. I tried a couple of distributions on it - and eventually, Slackware with XFCE. Now, I don't use the desktop PC anymore, since - I don't really need it. And Slackware gives me total clarity, not the fuzzy feel; I know where my libs are, I know which packages are there, and it works. Sometimes there is an issue, but so far I have been able to hammer these out myself.
Slackware may be old school, but I am not leaving. I am going to be a Slacker for a very long time.
 
Old 06-01-2005, 06:33 PM   #10
chess
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Quote:
Originally posted by OSourceDiplomat
And Slackware gives me total clarity, not the fuzzy feel; I know where my libs are, I know which packages are there, and it works.
I agree with this totally. Slackware is just so ... SMOOTH. I don't know how else to describe it. Everything is neat and orderly and exactly where it's supposed to be. Everything just _works_. Compiling apps is a breeze and so it's a piece of cake to install stuff. I like to use checkinstall to make it easy to remove as well.

Slackware is just so freakin' cool.
 
Old 06-01-2005, 07:49 PM   #11
cheater1034
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I just installed it on my amd64 3000+

And I must say, I haven't had it for long at all, but so far, it is precisely what I was looking for.
compiling software = no big deal, it already has enough on the cds.

It is very fast as well, I don't think I've ever seen another distro run kde this fast. I was also shocked at the easy installation, I liked the way you set it all up first, then ran the setup.

It has pretty up-to-date versions of things, all I needed to do was install the 2.6.11 kernel, nvidia graphics driver, and firefox.

Now it's time to get a theme on this thing, but I must say, I am impressed, I don't mind the "tweaking" in fact, I enjoy it, I like customizing and getting it all to work myself.

Thanks for advice

-me
 
Old 06-01-2005, 10:36 PM   #12
ringwraith
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Re: Basic slackware questions.

Quote:
Originally posted by cheater1034

The main concerns for me, is the pkg management of a distro, and the speed, because I can always update packages later.

I would just try it, but I have a fairly nice Mepis system, and would hate to destroy it <in case slackware isnt what I want>

Thanks
Going by what you state here, you are best off staying with Mepis. I don't think you are going to see speed difference with Slackware, at least nothing that I have ever noticed. And Slackware really has no package management, nor do most of us want one. There is no huge official repository that Debian has. There is no true dependency checking that Debian has. If that is important to you, I wouldn't waste your time. If however you would like something simple and stable then try Slackware.
 
Old 06-02-2005, 12:49 AM   #13
vharishankar
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Ok, I've decided to give SLackware another go. I've installed it on my second hard disk. Let's see...

I'm now posting this from Slackware. This time around, I've been careful to enable hotplug so that all the modules are loaded by default and I don't have any problems with hardware. Last time I made a mistake by disabling hotplug and then recompiling a 2.6 kernel which made things more difficult than it should be. I'm going to leave kernel 2.4.26 alone for some time and not recompile till my system is configured properly.

I'll keep you people informed on how I progress with Slackware.
 
Old 06-02-2005, 02:06 PM   #14
cheater1034
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harishankar
Ok, I've decided to give SLackware another go. I've installed it on my second hard disk. Let's see...

I'm now posting this from Slackware. This time around, I've been careful to enable hotplug so that all the modules are loaded by default and I don't have any problems with hardware. Last time I made a mistake by disabling hotplug and then recompiling a 2.6 kernel which made things more difficult than it should be. I'm going to leave kernel 2.4.26 alone for some time and not recompile till my system is configured properly.

I'll keep you people informed on how I progress with Slackware.

you should do the kernel first, you can set it in lilo config to have 2 options, one with 2.4 kernel, and one with 2.6, if 2.6 doesnt work, use 2.4 and try redoing 2.6.
 
Old 06-02-2005, 09:21 PM   #15
vharishankar
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How reliable is slapt-get by the way? In any case I've read the upgrade instructions to 10.1.

I read in the slapt-get FAQ that it's possible to upgrade using it but I must only be careful of the new configuration files in /etc.

Is this correct?
 
  


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