LinuxQuestions.org

LinuxQuestions.org (/questions/)
-   Slackware (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/slackware-14/)
-   -   Confessions of a newborn Slacker (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/slackware-14/confessions-of-a-newborn-slacker-4175452997/)

JWJones 03-06-2013 01:00 PM

Confessions of a newborn Slacker
 
I have been dabbling in Linux since about 1999-2000. I believe the first distro I encountered was Red Hat, which, out of curiosity, I actually picked up from a brick-and-mortar software store. It came with CDs and a book. I work in a profession that blesses me with a bounty of new, used, and obsolete PC hardware to play around with. I'm a prepress technician in the commercial printing business. My primary workstations for daily production are Macs running OSX. I have been using Macs since 1986, and at home we have an iMac for family use.

After some struggle and learning curve, I successfully installed Red Hat on a decommissioned PC, and began playing around with it. I was fascinated by the world of Linux, having come from the point-and-click, closed environment of the Macintosh. It was around this time that I also read "In the Beginning was the Command Line" by Neal Stephenson.

From Red Hat, I began trying out a long string of distros, for both Intel/AMD and PPC hardware, including Corel Linux (anyone remember that?), Yellow Dog Linux, openSUSE, and Mandriva. I believe I discovered Ubuntu at 6.06. I began using Ubuntu for a while, and continued to play around with other distros as they came along. I was having fun and learning a lot, but frustrations with Ubuntu, and the feeling that I just wasn't getting the "true" Linux experience, eventually led me to Debian. Ahhh, so this is what speed and stability was all about! Eventually, I purchased a used Thinkpad T42, in addition to continuing to play around with work hardware, and installed Debian 5 (Lenny) on it. I configured it just the way I wanted it, experimenting with various DEs and WMs. Surely this was the pinnacle of the Linux experience, the package management was so easy! And yet, I still enjoyed trying out other distros on live CDs, and on old work hardware. The quest for a more challenging, deeper Linux experience eventually led me to Arch and Slackware. I successfully installed both Arch and Slackware 12 on old desktop PCs, but I would often fall short when it came to after-installation configuration, and so I would eventually go back to Debian and other "distro-hopping."

Although Debian is by no means considered a newbie distro, I was still getting that nagging feeling that I just wasn't going deep enough into the Linux experience. Using apt-get was all too easy, and I began to be troubled by automatic dependency resolution, and the often massive amount of packages that came along with it. Sometimes things would break, and I would figure out how to fix them. Sometimes I didn't fix them, and would end up doing an entire reinstall.

I realized that the things I valued about Debian—the speed, stability, quality control, were things that were also embodied in another distro—Slackware. Since I had first began toying with Slackware, there was always something that drew me to it: maybe it was its status as the oldest surviving distro, the total lack of logos and branding, the fact that Patrick did little to no changing of the packages, the hacker ("1337") ethos that seemed more genuine, the lack of hand-holding. It was probably all of these things that would continue to keep me interested, always paying attention to and silently cheering each new Slackware release. And yet, I was still apprehensive. I have been "toying" with Linux now for over a decade, and although I have learned a lot, I have still relied primarily on graphical configuration tools, package managers, and the like. I don't make a living using Linux, I am merely an "end user," enthusiast, and hobbyist. What if I had to REALLY learn the command-line, the Linux directory structure, installing packages from scratch and resolving dependencies on my own, and possibly even compiling from source?

And so, this is where I am today. I have decided "no more excuses," and I have fully thrown myself into the world of Slackware, and (for now, at least) I have forsaken all other Linux distros, so that I may truly LEARN Linux, rather than just USING it. Maybe someday, after I feel really comfortable with Slackware, I'll try my hand at Gentoo or LFS!

hitest 03-06-2013 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eyeofliberty (Post 4906150)
And so, this is where I am today. I have decided "no more excuses," and I have fully thrown myself into the world of Slackware, and (for now, at least) I have forsaken all other Linux distros, so that I may truly LEARN Linux, rather than just USING it.

Awesome. Welcome to the official Slackware forum here on LQ. Once you Slack, you never go back. I've been Slacking since 2004 (version 10.0). :)

Bindestreck 03-06-2013 01:21 PM

Welcome :D. Maybe you will be satisfied with Slackware and be stucked with it, i.e. no more distro hopping :).

I've started with GNU/Linux in 2011 and of course, because I like challenges, I started directly with Slackware. I had the same thought as you, after being comfortable with Slackware I wanted to move on with something more hardcore, like LSF. I reached the point where I felt comfortable, however, I like Slackware so much, especially the philosophy behind the Slackware system, that I became proudly stucked with it.

I've tried several distros for a couple of months ago but always uninstalled it. So, no more distro hopping for my part :)

JWJones 03-06-2013 01:56 PM

Thanks, guys! Yeah, I sense that I will probably just delve deeply into and stick with Slack. There's just something about it that really resonates with me, and the community surrounding it is top-notch, friendly and helpful.

kikinovak 03-06-2013 04:37 PM

Slackaholics Anonymous.

"Hi, my name is [...] and the first time I gave Slackware a spin, I was instantly hooked. [...]"

michaelslack 03-06-2013 10:24 PM

Hi eyeofliberty,

I can relate to you a lot. I started university in 1987 and...I'm still there! In a math dept, lecturing. We were a unix network at first, then linux and we had a grumpy support guy who would snarl back at you if it seemed you asked him a question without ``reading the manual'' first. So I got used to looking up man pages and then fiddling with .Xresources files etc, i.e. configuring via editing plain text files. A lot of other people complained but I was happy, at least as an ordinary user (as opposed to a sysadmin).

Then at around 1995 a technician cousin of mine put linux on an old PC I had lying around...and yep, you guessed it, the hostname was darkstar! I used this mainly to write a blackjack simulator in C, then my life got a little turbulent and that machine got left at one of the many sharehouses I inhabited in that period...

Fast-forward 10 years: shortly after the Mac OS ``went unix'', several colleagues who I respected turned out to have Macs and so I got an iBook G4 and was reasonably happy with it -- I didn't really understand the inner workings (i.e. the BSD legacy) of the Mac OS, I just was comfortable opening a terminal and doing stuff.

But then iPhones started getting popular (I bought one), then iPads (where there was a slot for a forward-facing camera, but no camera, etc -- I DIDN'T buy one of those) and Apple started to get more and more arrogant, holding back functionality that I might have expected that you either had to wait for in a later version and/or pay more for. And there were no Mac netbooks either, that pissed me off. Mac OS upgrades were expensive and quickly my iBook couldn't handle the extra bloat (in later years it ran slackintosh for a while, now debian, the only supported linux distro I could get to install on it).

I thus jumped ship, got hold of slackware (version 12.0 I think it was) and struggled a bit at first. I tried ubuntu for a while too (much easier for beginners) but after a while the control-freak in me grew unhappy and so I persisted with slackware and have been happily in the fold ever since.

There is an adage somewhere that finishes with: ``..., but if you want to learn *linux*, install slackware''. I've managed over the past 3 or 4 years to compile software and even build slackware packages, at first manually building, installing to /tmp and then using makepkg. Now I'm finally feeling brave enough to try writing a slackbuild. By the way, looking at the slackbuilds.org templates is very helpful for learning how to write a *good* slackbuild, it was for me anyway: http://slackbuilds.org/templates.

Enjoy!

Michael

JWJones 03-06-2013 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by michaelslack (Post 4906399)
Fast-forward 10 years: shortly after the Mac OS ``went unix'', several colleagues who I respected turned out to have Macs and so I got an iBook G4 and was reasonably happy with it -- I didn't really understand the inner workings (i.e. the BSD legacy) of the Mac OS, I just was comfortable opening a terminal and doing stuff.

Yeah, I was really excited when OSX came out. Finally, a robust, *nix-based, truly multi-user operating system from Apple! But like you, I have become really disappointed in Apple. I have frozen my iMac and PowerMac workstations at work at OSX 10.6.8, what I consider to be the last good release. I will never again purchase Apple products for home use, and I use an Android phone.

michaelslack 03-06-2013 11:33 PM

At around about the time iPads came out, I got an android phone too. Unfortunately I still need one machine running Mac OS because I foolishly bought a Mac-only (eyeTV hybrid, Australian version, actually also works with windows) TV tuner on the recommendation of a colleague and as far as I can tell there are no linux drivers etc available for it, so to continue using it I've still got an old mac mini attached to the tv, running 10.5.8 I think it is. I may just splurge on a nice slack-friendly tv tuner and then cut the cord completely, but I'm too busy on other things at present.

Cheers,

Michael

kooru 03-07-2013 01:50 AM

Welcome :)

kikinovak 03-07-2013 02:03 AM

I just stumbled over this thread dating from 2011:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...lacker-886274/

Welcome to Slackware, mate.

elesmod 03-07-2013 05:45 AM

The thing which made me switch to Slackware (from Ubuntu) was what I had read somewhere: "If you need help with your linux distribution, ask a Slackware user". I wanted to become such a guy :) (I'm still way off though :P )

JWJones 03-07-2013 06:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kikinovak (Post 4906495)
I just stumbled over this thread dating from 2011:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...lacker-886274/

Whoa, that's too funny! :hattip:

JWJones 03-07-2013 06:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elesmod (Post 4906599)
The thing which made me switch to Slackware (from Ubuntu) was what I had read somewhere: "If you need help with your linux distribution, ask a Slackware user". I wanted to become such a guy :) (I'm still way off though :P )

Yeah, there does seem to me to be a high percentage of [SOLVED] on threads in the Slackware forum, compared to others. I want to be that guy, too.

kikinovak 03-07-2013 08:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elesmod (Post 4906599)
The thing which made me switch to Slackware (from Ubuntu) was what I had read somewhere: "If you need help with your linux distribution, ask a Slackware user". I wanted to become such a guy :) (I'm still way off though :P )

Best thing you can do: take some time to read everything you can find on http://docs.slackware.com

Enjoy

stormtracknole 03-07-2013 09:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kikinovak (Post 4906495)
I just stumbled over this thread dating from 2011:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...lacker-886274/

Welcome to Slackware, mate.

Awesome! Slackware was my second Linux distro that I tried after Red Hat, more than 10 years ago. I got my first taste of Unix back in 1998 in school. Slackware has tought me a great deal. I can safely say that it has play an important role in me getting promoted at work.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:31 PM.