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Old 09-30-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
Didier Spaier
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First review of Slackware 14

Slackware 14.0: An Interview on Robby Pedrica's tech blog is worth reading.
Old 09-30-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
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Wow. I think this review is definitive.
Old 09-30-2012, 09:22 PM   #3
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I still regard Slackware as being one of the best server OS’s available and it doesn’t make a half-bad desktop either.
Quite the concise review. However I found the above quote to be a real understatement.
At work we've used NT then XP 'Professional' desktops, and lost count of how many times our machines gave us the infamous blue screen or froze or had all kinds of explorer crashes. On the other hand, since 2009 and Slackware 13 I've had this distro up and running on 3 successive (personal) desktops and some 6 or 7 laptops, at times running nothing but Slackware-current, it's been simply rock solid as a desktop, not to mention the tons of available software.
Once those few legacy games and software inherited from 98/XP started running under Wine, it was lights out for Windows as far as my machines were concerned
Old 09-30-2012, 10:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dr.s View Post
Quite the concise review. However I found the above quote to be a real understatement.
Indeed. It is not a stretch to contend that Slackware makes an excellent desktop computer. I'm currently running Slackware 14.0 on two PCs and Slackware-current on a third unit.
Overall I thought the review was a very good one.
Old 09-30-2012, 11:26 PM   #5
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I have been using Slackware 14 on my desktop for a day or so and found it charming EXCEPT KDE 4.8. This release of KDE is giving me headache and reminding me of Windows ME. Everything is crashing from KWin to KMix

So, as long as is producing such "stable" releases, I am using my all time favorite Blackbox!

Overall another precious gem from Patrick Volkerding
Old 10-01-2012, 07:12 AM   #6
Alien Bob
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Originally Posted by grave_violin View Post
This release of KDE is giving me headache and reminding me of Windows ME. Everything is crashing from KWin to KMix
Do these kmix crashes fit the description here? ?
If so, the fix is easy, see that same article.

How does the KWin crash manifest itself? What graphics card do you have, and which release of the graphics driver do you use/

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Old 10-01-2012, 02:54 PM   #7
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A nice and enjoyable read. Yes is does make for a suitable desktop. Typing this on the road from my Toshiba Satellite running Slackware-current (14.0 for now).
Old 10-02-2012, 12:56 AM   #8
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Brilliant review.

And about the discussion on the lines
and it doesn’t make a half-bad desktop either.
I don't think he meant otherwise. His term half-bad desktop for Slackware means way_better than other desktop oriented distros. Slackers know this well kept secret and this shouldn't be discussed in public.

Old 10-02-2012, 09:03 PM   #9
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That's a damn good review that's fair and balanced to say the least.
Old 10-03-2012, 05:29 AM   #10
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Thank you Eric, now when Kmix is disabled, it does not crashes any longer

My video card:
Intel Corporation 82Q35 Express Integrated Graphics Controller

What happens when Kwin crashes?
Usually when I login, just after splash screen whole screen turns black, an error message is displayed that KWin has stopped working and after that only white cursor is left on the screen without any thing else. It does not respond to any mouse clicks (Left or Right). The only way I have found to get out is to restart X (Ctrl + Alt + Backspace)

Sometimes, login is good. Everything is just OK but when I try to change “Workspace Appearance”, same error message is displayed with blackening of screen and same non-responsive mouse cursor.

I have a separate /home partition. When reinstalling/updating the OS it is mounted untouched under /home and afterwards each directory is “chowned” to respective user.

A strange thing is that KWin crashes only in previously created users in /home and not if a new user is added. May be this is because of previously created files and directories by KDE 4.5: .kde, .kderc, etc.

But even if these files and directories are renamed/deleted/moved, crashes continue!

I even moved away .dbus, .config and .local directories but still problem persists!
Old 10-03-2012, 11:28 AM   #11
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First thank you to all those who have read and commented ( both positive and critically ) on my article. All comments welcome. Having been a Slackware user for many years, the "Interview" series is my way of contributing back to the Slackware community - of course there is some bias involved here, but I still use a critical eye when going through the components I look for in a distro, so Slackware would not escape unscathed were I to find something wrong. Suffice it say as well that Slackware is not perfect, but it's close enough I think ...

PrinceCruise, you hit it on the head - my phrase "not half-bad" is intended as you might interpret the slang form of 'bad' - meaning good. I.o.w. I think Slackware makes a great desktop and have been using Slackware on my desktops for the last 8 years or so.

Regarding KDE issues that some have had, I don't regard code/release quality in KDE as something that Pat and crew can control, although they could choose to leave it out completely. Saying that, I've had a reasonably good experience with a number of Slackware/KDE installations. Most issues come about as a result of an upgrade of an existing installation ( and .kde profile ) or display driver issues. Removing your .kde folder and starting a fresh KDE profile ( yes I know it's a pain in the arse ) will most times solve any latent issues in a problematic KDE installation.

Regarding KWin crashes specifically, these can be caused by any number of problems ranging from display drivers to faulty user kde profiles and even hardware config/issues. Check your driver installation and start with a fresh profile on a new user, as above. You can even try disabling compositing if you don't need any fancy KWin features.

Regarding the article series itself, I'm starting to run into a lack of things to say after each successive release - each Slackware release is generally of high quality yet with a similar feel. Packages ( and therefore features ) are not typically added or removed at a high rate with each release so the results are incremental. And so the amount of stuff you can say about these releases becomes limited.

One thing I'm aiming for in future articles is to add more details about specific app/packages used in a server environment instead of just running through the feature set eg. I was intending to do some thorough testing on the new Apache 2.4.x/PHP 5.4.x with fpm layout ( a custom config that I failed to get working properly under Apache 2.2/PHP 5.3 ) for this latest article but I ran out of time. The LAMP stack is something I use a lot ( my most common apps are Joomla, Worpress, Mantis and OTRS ) so this kind of testing is valuable.

Thanks to all and happy Slacking!

Last edited by rpedrica; 10-03-2012 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:23 AM   #12
Registered: Aug 2009
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Thank you Robby for your excellent "Interview"! It was a most enjoyable read! Your "Interview" series is a wonderful contribution to the Slackware community, and a great way for users new to Slackware to gain insight into Slackware's workings.
As a side note, I spotted another rather good review a few days ago -


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