SlackwareThis Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.
Welcome to LinuxQuestions.org, a friendly and active Linux Community.
You are currently viewing LQ as a guest. By joining our community you will have the ability to post topics, receive our newsletter, use the advanced search, subscribe to threads and access many other special features. Registration is quick, simple and absolutely free. Join our community today!
Note that registered members see fewer ads, and ContentLink is completely disabled once you log in.
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you need to reset your password, click here.
Having a problem logging in? Please visit this page to clear all LQ-related cookies.
Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
actually i'm new to linux and i want to start with a distribution which will let me learn really how linux works from the the bottom to the top,
but i really questioned myself several time should i learn Slackware or Gentoo to be Linux Expert??
P.S. the only reason i post this in slackware forum because slackware users are by far more than Gentoo users,
We are quite biased on this forum and we prefer Slackware above other distros. Welcome to the LQ Slackware forum. Preparation is the key to being successful with your first Slackware installation. Read all of the available documentation, release notes, and the slackbook.
They both have strengths and weaknesses. Slackware has a large default installation but no large official repository of packages or build scripts, and certainly no native way to automate any of it. Gentoo has portage (a very nice system) to automate compiling, along with dependency resolution. Slackware has neither. Slackware is a 'simpler' distribution but neither are 'easy'. Slackware has unofficial third-party SlackBuild repositories (which help to automate compiling as well -- though without dependency resolution) and third-party package repositories (which may or may not have the capability to support dependency resolution via third-party package management tools). Basically, with Slackware you get a working base with little additional software -- though the community has done wonders in providing a means to obtain additional software without having to compile manually (ie you can automate the build process). With Gentoo you get a system that, although requires more compilation (note that Slackware also involves much compilation for any third-party packages -- just not the core system), has more officially supported packages and/or ebuild scripts to automate compilation (*and dependency resolution*).
From that above paragraph it would appear that I prefer gentoo. This is not the case because I myself prefer simplicity so I can better understand my system, and thus prefer Slackware. However, Gentoo is a very nice distribution as well and has as close as you can get to BSD's ports, for Linux. They each have their benefits and drawbacks, so I would say just try one. Do a little research if you wish but you'll never know until you just go for it. It is always possible to install multiple Linux distributions in a Virtual Machine and see which one you like best before installing it on your system.
I'm not a linux Guru but I have used a good portion of the major distros. I have installed and used Fedora 11, Ubuntu 9.8, Ubuntu 9.10, Arch linux 2009, Gentoo and now Slackware.
As for the Gentoo and Slackware question: Gentoo is nice (with the dependency resolution and automated compiling) but it tends to cause a lot of bugs that you are always working to fix. On top of that, Slackware is closer to standard unscripted linux than Gentoo is because of things like USE flags and other such Gentoo specific things.
It's been a long while, but I did at one time try Gentoo, and I did like it once it was completely installed (back then it took almost a full two days of compiling.) And, as T3Slider said, the Portage package manager was very nice. But, speaking as one who has been on a 10 year learning curve because I am not a coder and do not work in the IT business, so therefore I simply use my computer as a desktop and a hobby, I prefer Slackware for a number of reasons, but these are the two significant ones for me:
1. The support community here is second to none...I am sure I have asked many "stupid" questions here, but I have NEVER been made to feel stupid for asking them.
2. Slackware just feels "cleaner". Nothing is hidden, EVERYTHING is configurable, Gentoo did not give me that feeling of "clean" in my system. But, I have to admit I did not use it long enough to learn as much about it as I have Slackware.
A huge appealing factor with slackware is the closeness packages are to the original source.
This means for me that everything is very modular and if an app/package is not working or not to my preference that I can easily remove the package and install with a different version (either downgrade or upgrade version).
I find 'repository.slacky.eu' is a good 3rd party link for pre-packaged slackbuilds for different slackware versions.
This helps to keep slackware close to what I think is a one of GNU/Linux strong points - modular.
I have used many distros and simple 'Editable Text Configuration' (etc) files are a much more reliable way to manage my slack boxes. Sure, GUI's are great sometimes but on every distro I have ever tried GUI's have caused more headaches for me than a simple tweak of a an 'etc'.
Slack critics may use this as an argument against using slack and how off-putting this can be - I say nonsense to that - every file I have ever had to tweak has been sooo easy because pat and the slackteam comment heavily in the 'etc' - if you can read one sentence then you can slack'.
I agree that due to poorly written README's, non-articulate and other badly written guides most people may be familiar with (I don't just mean within linux/windows/computing) but a Slackware README is very articulate, to the point relevant, easy to understand and even example guidance is often found - v easy in short.
Both Slackware and Gentoo are good systems and both will teach you a great deal about how linux works. Gentoo will probably teach you more in my opinion, however if you are going to install Gentoo, be prepared to spend a very long time to get a full desktop system working. My Gentoo build took about 2 days of compiling to get it going and that was just a base desktop system. If you are married, I would stick with Slackware! (My wife was not happy about the time I invested in getting Gentoo up and running)
I've run FreeBSD and Arch, I haven't run Gentoo yet. FreeBSD has the ports system which is similar to portage in Gentoo. In Gentoo you need to compile all applications; in FreeBSD and Slackware you can compile programs or you can install pre-built packages.
I prefer the flexibility and freedom that Slackware gives me, I can customize my Slackware system to fit my needs.
Unless you have a high performance system I would avoid Gentoo as compiling things like KDE can take days on slower systems. I compiled KDE from source in FreeBSD on a PIII and it took days to complete.