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My time to 'play' with linux varies, and as such I am still very much a noob. (see my question on how to modify the kdm drop down list in this forum, for example). I'm very grateful for this forum. My newness shows when I think of the reasons I have settled on Slackware for my laptop, after trying out multiple distros:
1. Community Support, thanks to this site. I've seriously not been in a linux distro forum that is both friendly to newbies, and also very prompt with replies. This alone is a reason for me to stay with Slackware. I know of no other forums as helpful and kind.
2. The fact that its stated that Slack is the 'closest to Unix' has helped with books that I read on Unix mostly applying here.
OK, so those are my reasons. Notice I didn't list "stability," b/c as far as I know, all the others that I installed (w/exception of EvilEntity) were stable.
And as far as I can tell, 8.1 is stable. But from my perspective, I'm unsure what that exactly qualifies as. Hell, win2k is stable.
OK, on to the question:
I'm pretty sure that almost all the linux guides I skimmed, and the noob articles I read basically said to never upgrade unless its for a security reason, or for some feature you just "have to have."
But in the linux world today the releases of most distributions are coming out so fast and often, its difficult to keep up with. I know some boast better gui tools, e.t.c.
But does the "don't upgrade a stable, secure system unless you have to" rule apply? Or no?
So, if I'm happy w/8.1, is there a security reason for me to upgrade? Remember, its a laptop, and no DVD player or anything, so no webserver, no SQL server, e.t.c.
Just curious as to if I'm missing out on something great in 9. In terms of wm's, KDE, and gnome run too slow on the 500 mhz laptop for me, so improvements to wm's don't count.
sorry for the ramble, just wondering if I'm being too new, or if I just shuttup and wipe everything and put 9 on it.
As far as I am concerned I'd certainly
stick with the rule "never change a running
system" ... the only modifications I did to
my Slack 8.1 install so far were ones that
I found to be necessary (ie OpenSSH/SSL
for reasons of security) and Kernel from
2.4.18 to 2.4.20 (for better ACPI support).
Other than that: why upgrade? ;) It's time
spent on things that bring me no advantage
and that I could/ can spend in a better way
otherwise (like hanging out on LQ answering
Maybe I'm just a rusty old fart who's very
conservative, but then I would have been a
rusty old fart since I'm 16 ;) ...
I don't believe in the modern legend that
change is good in itself, and I certainly don't
think that I have to keep up with every
modification that can be found :)
1 Thes 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
I think I can agree with Tink. For I am still running Slack 8.1 on my production equipment. I have a test box with Slack 9.0 on it. And I have been able to compile most of my software on it. At least one package comes to mind that fails, and I know there are others with the same requirements, that are based on Gnome 1 libs. Slack 9 is Gnome 2 based. Anything that is highly desirable can certainly be upgraded on the 8.1 platform. And on top of that it has only been 9 months since I upgraded my primary workstation to 8.1.
Conclusion: If you have limited equipment available and you are happy with 8.1 then stick with it. If you have extra equipment available, computer or hard disk, then install a copy of Slack 9.0 and evaluate the newer packages. You might find something that you really would like to have. But I haven't seen anything that compelling.
I like Slack 9 for a couple of reasons -- First, I'm a tinkerer, so I liked reinstalling -- I was also running out of hard drive space, and realized I really didn't need any of the junk anyway, so I just wiped it.
So, I installed Slack 9. First thing I noticed was that I love checkinstall. It allows you to compile a program or library from source, and it then makes a .tgz package out of it. This makes it REALLY easy to uninstall it or reinstall it later. I also feel that it cleans things up rather well when you can do this.
Other than that, I don't think much has really changed - still just the reliable, old Slackware. Well, it does have the new gcc, so code compiles more efficiently... Oh, and it does also have the new version of X that has good looking antialiased fonts, faster loadup, and new mouse pointers (using dropline Gnome).
At least one package comes to mind that fails, and I know there
are others with the same requirements, that are based on Gnome 1
i run slackware 9 too, and when i for instance tried to install
evolution 1.2.3 on dropline gnome, i ran into the lack of gtk1
libs too. but that was easily fixed by installing those libs
after downloading them from the slackware 8.1 / gnome dir
on a slackware mirror.
here is a list of the packages needed to be able to get gtk1
apps compiling and working:
Neenee, thank you for the list and I am sure others also appreciate it. I thought something like that might be possible, but I was concerned about breaking the Gnome 2 system. The only program I had the experience with was Grip. But I didn't know it would be that many libs required. I use KDE almost all the time, but I do use Gnome sometimes to test different apps with. I will give it a try. I would have them all available except the dropline packages. After all that it is what a test box is for, right.
the only drawback to slack 9 is gcc 3.2 in my opinion, and the lack of Eterm and enlightenment, which really bugged me, so i installed them from the 8.1 cd. . kde is stables (so are the programs, which are the only thing i use), unlike the previous version, and we get a new gnome, which looks better at least.