LinuxQuestions.org
Support LQ: Use code LQ3 and save $3 on Domain Registration
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Slackware
User Name
Password
Slackware This Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 04-02-2009, 08:24 PM   #1
caustic386
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 15

Rep: Reputation: 0
Slackware = "most unix-like" distribution ?


I keep reading that Slackware strives to be the "most unix-like" distribution. What does that actually mean? I've tried searching, but it's sort of a tough one. Most searches result in the phrase "Slackware strives to be the most UNIX-like", which obviously doesn't get me too far.

Is it about configurations or directory structures? For instance, Arch stores network config in rc.conf (I think) and Debian has /etc/network/interfaces (I think). Obviously I'm a bit new to all this.

Or maybe directory structure? I understand some distributions re-organize things like /usr in both structure and purpose?

Just trying to get my head around the whole "Linux thing" - trying to understand why some distros thrive and some crash, etc.

Thanks!
 
Old 04-02-2009, 08:49 PM   #2
Takla
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2006
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 188

Rep: Reputation: 33
There have been many, many different implementations of Unix. Mac OS X is UNIX. Solaris is UNIX. AIX is UNIX. Xenix was UNIX.

If one day, eventually, perhaps, maybe, one of these people who claims "most UNIX like" for Slackware or any other distro actually defines which UNIX they refer to then I'll probably fall off my chair.

btw there is not one Linux based OS which complies to the UNIX specification as defined by Single UNIX Specification, so the whole business of asserting UNIXness is doubly bogus.

Best just to leave them to their fantasies and use the one you like the best. If it's Slackware then good for you. If it's something else....good for you too.
 
Old 04-02-2009, 09:59 PM   #3
Choucete
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2007
Location: Buenos Aires
Distribution: Slackware 12.0
Posts: 83

Rep: Reputation: 16
I don't know if it is or not, I actually never got my hands on a "pure/true" Unix, but it is my perception that it is a somehow "hardcore" distribution. You can tell just by reviewing some posts you see on this forum, where people coming from other distros would find it very difficult to achieve certain things that seemed easy on theirs. See this for an example of what I mean, posting #10 is the most interesting IMO.

And from my personal experience, I can tell you that I turned to Slackware exactly because of the statement that says that Slackware is the most Unix-like distro. I started with Mandriva back in October of 2006, installed it with a graphical partitioning tool it has (don't remember the name) and then I used it for a couple of months, thinking "wow, I'm using Linux". Then when I first tried to compile something from source, I found out I didn't had any development tools available, so I knew it was time to get a real distro. I spent around month and a half researching, and everywhere I read that Slackware was the most Unix-like, and since that was what I wanted, I went for it, ignoring the warning coming with it, that it was too "difficult".

With Slackware I had to learn to choose a partitioning scheme as well as to partition a disk, to install the whole system, to choose what I want or not, what kernel to use and a lot of other things that have given me understanding of how things work. Some things were not a walk in the park, and you can see my actual postings, I still have a lot of things I don't understand or I'm not able to fix without asking for help, but it has been/is a great constant learning experience.
 
Old 04-02-2009, 10:14 PM   #4
hitest
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD
Posts: 4,191

Rep: Reputation: 548Reputation: 548Reputation: 548Reputation: 548Reputation: 548Reputation: 548
Slackware has a simliar installer to the BSDs (FreeBSD, NetBSD); it is definitely Unix-like.
I am a Unix user, but, I choose Slackware for my primary OS.
Slackware rules.
 
Old 04-02-2009, 10:23 PM   #5
Drakeo
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: Urbana IL
Distribution: Slackware, Slacko,
Posts: 2,621
Blog Entries: 3

Rep: Reputation: 220Reputation: 220Reputation: 220
I am inspired every day with the time and work the Slackware team does. I laugh everyday about slackware being a NOT on the bleeding edge well trust me it runs a vanilla kernel and that means alot. Because I run Slackware I work and trouble shoot every thing new I can find on Slackware it runs KISS O/S
Keep It Simple
 
Old 04-03-2009, 03:44 AM   #6
tommcd
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Philadelphia PA USA
Distribution: Lubuntu, Slackware
Posts: 2,230

Rep: Reputation: 287Reputation: 287Reputation: 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by caustic386 View Post
I keep reading that Slackware strives to be the "most unix-like" distribution. What does that actually mean?
From what I have read, the unix-like thing usually refers to the structure of the rc.d directory. See the "sidebar" on the right hand side at the top of this page:
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/li...lack.html#side
 
Old 04-03-2009, 07:40 AM   #7
tronayne
Senior Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Northeastern Michigan, where Carhartt is a Designer Label
Distribution: Slackware 32- & 64-bit Stable
Posts: 3,079

Rep: Reputation: 791Reputation: 791Reputation: 791Reputation: 791Reputation: 791Reputation: 791Reputation: 791
I come from a Unix background (if you can call it that), working up from GECOS (on Honeywell mainframes -- not strictly "UNIX" but pretty similar and born from early collaborations), to System 3 (running on Cromemco MC68000 boxes in a couple of megabytes of memory on 50M disk drives; go figure), to "pure" System V, Release 4 (I have a source license and a bunch of 9-track tapes), to Solaris (which is pretty much SVR4), to SCO (also SVR4) to Slackware Linux. What I have always liked about Unix is that SVR4 is, for all practical purposes, the same irrespective of platform -- you can walk out of one development shop into another and you're immediately comfortable -- and what I've always like about Slackware is that it is the most un-fooled-around-with version of Linux I've found; Slackware doesn't do things "for" you (or, more accurately, "to" you) like other distributions seem to insist upon. And I can, generally without twiddling, develop software on a Slackware box and port it to a Solaris box without changing anything; i.e., compile and go, and vice-versa.

There are, to be sure, a couple of subtle differences in the way a few standard utilities are invoked (there are GNU extensions in some utilities that make them behave differently) but once burned twice shy and you learn quickly to use what you've got instead of what might be nice (though it usually doesn't matter). I have more trouble going from Slackware to, say, Ubuntu than I have ever had going from Unix to Slackware (bear in mind that I'm primarily a developer, so I'm more interested in building applications than I am in using applications).

Bottom line is that Slackware adheres to M. Douglas McIlroy's Unix Philosophy: A Program or Function Should Do One Thing and Do It Well.
 
Old 04-03-2009, 07:47 AM   #8
onebuck
Moderator
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Midwest USA, Central Illinois
Distribution: SlackwareŽ
Posts: 11,281
Blog Entries: 3

Rep: Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446Reputation: 1446
Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takla View Post
There have been many, many different implementations of Unix. Mac OS X is UNIX. Solaris is UNIX. AIX is UNIX. Xenix was UNIX.

If one day, eventually, perhaps, maybe, one of these people who claims "most UNIX like" for Slackware or any other distro actually defines which UNIX they refer to then I'll probably fall off my chair.
UNIX is UNIX! MAC OS X is not UNIX. Solaris is not UNIX, but a single certified UNIX that was released as a propriety OS for SPARC. AIX is Not UNIX but a propriety IBM release. Xenix is not UNIX, M$ attempt to release a UNIX like OS. UNIX is UNIX. A UNIX based OS is not necessarily a UNIX OS.

Each of the indicated OS are the Vendors attempt to be a UNIX like OS or a variant of UNIX. It may be semantics to you but UNIX is the only UNIX. Others are variants of the UNIX OS. Sure there are attempts to be defined by the 'Single UNIX specifications' but a lot of vendors take privileges. So you should already be on the floor from your own statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takla View Post
btw there is not one Linux based OS which complies to the UNIX specification as defined by Single UNIX Specification, so the whole business of asserting UNIXness is doubly bogus.

Best just to leave them to their fantasies and use the one you like the best. If it's Slackware then good for you. If it's something else....good for you too.
Breath in slowly and breathe out slowly! That should stop the laughing.

I'm laughing all the way to the bank since I don't have to pay the UNIX license for my GNU/Linux.
 
Old 04-03-2009, 08:16 AM   #9
Takla
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2006
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 188

Rep: Reputation: 33
Actually Mac OS X is UNIX, as is Solaris. Xenix was UNIX (licensed from At&T). UNIX has a specification, a definition. It's not defined by the act of asserting one's opinion and level of amusement on LQ. Operating systems such as OS X and Solaris are UNIX and can legally describe themselves as such, while GNU/Linux may not. That's why it is described as UNIX-like. UNIX is a trademarked name and those operating systems which decribe themselves as UNIX do so because they meet the Single UNIX Specification and are certified to be UNIX.

You can very easily check these things for yourself, as can anyone else who wants to.

You can visit http://www.apple.com/macosx/technology/unix.html and read
Quote:
UNIX certification.

Leopard is an Open Brand UNIX 03 Registered Product, conforming to the SUSv3 and POSIX 1003.1 specifications for the C API, Shell Utilities, and Threads. Since Leopard can compile and run all your existing UNIX code, you can deploy it in environments that demand full conformance — complete with hooks to maintain compatibility with existing software.
and so on.

I'm not advocating or using OS X or any other UNIX btw. I use GNU/Linux.

Your assertion that OS X, Solaris etc are not UNIX is plainly and demonstrably erroneous. These are not UNIX-like. They are UNIX, while GNU/Linux is UNIX-like.

GNU's Not UNIX....does that phrase ring any bells?

Isn't it awful when facts get in the way of dearly held religious belief? Keep on laughing

Last edited by Takla; 04-03-2009 at 06:13 PM. Reason: typo assering becomes asserting
 
Old 04-03-2009, 01:42 PM   #10
caustic386
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Seems I stirred up a hornet's nest; that's good right?

I'm starting to get the point of why so many people who have been using UNIX for so long prefer Slackware. Seems like a good starting point, with a steep learning curve, for someone new to this whole thing. We've been looking over different distributions for various server apps, and it really seems like Slackware and Debian are the main contenders unless you're willing to pay.

We don't develop any apps here, just looking for a few simple things like DHCP, DNS, and then maybe a few desktops migrated from Windows so our team can get used to the idea. Tried Ubuntu, openSuSE, Arch (liked this one the most so far), and Fedora. It's a tough job pulling people away from Windows after 10+ years, though.

Thanks everybody, that was way more informative than any google search.
 
Old 04-04-2009, 11:37 AM   #11
caustic386
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
So I started thinking a little bit more about this, and I realized that a few people mentioned Slackware "only does what you tell it to". How does that relate to the fact that Slack has become full DVD install? Granted, you can select what packages you want installed, but there's so many with such vague descriptions I can't imagine anyone actually sits through that whole process? Doesn't that leave you open to a bit of randomness just having all that stuff float around?
 
Old 04-04-2009, 12:01 PM   #12
hitest
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD
Posts: 4,191

Rep: Reputation: 548Reputation: 548Reputation: 548Reputation: 548Reputation: 548Reputation: 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by caustic386 View Post
We've been looking over different distributions for various server apps, and it really seems like Slackware and Debian are the main contenders unless you're willing to pay.
The free community version of RHEL would be another distro to consider for server side software. CentOS 5.3 was just released.
 
Old 04-04-2009, 12:03 PM   #13
Takla
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2006
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 188

Rep: Reputation: 33
Quote:
Slackware "only does what you tell it to"*
Another of those vague expressions of woolly thinking, apparently conducted in the style of an introvert engaged in deep navel gazing (or maybe someone on tranquilisers or religion). For this to be a unique virtue a person would have to demonstrate that all other distros have mysterious processes that run without being instructed to do so. A few have spiffy update notifiers and whizzy media players with discovery services and so on. But plenty don't. Please remember these GNU/Linux operating systems are entirely open to the user. Nothing is forbidden. Regardless of your choice of distro you can enable or disable or remove any service as you like. You can uninstall the kernel while it's loaded in RAM if you like.

Are there really people out there who deconstruct every action and command into its component parts? Booting would take all day. Can a person (fantastically and bizarrely) simultaneously claim to use and understand a computer and OS while regarding automation with suspicion?

But why not attempt to make the least automated computer operating system? It might be fun. Here's my offering:

http://img.zdnet.com/techDirectory/ABACUS.GIF

It only does exactly what it's told but I'm worried the frame is superfluous.


*so does a good dog.
 
Old 04-04-2009, 12:47 PM   #14
schotzy
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 10

Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
So I started thinking a little bit more about this, and I realized that a few people mentioned Slackware "only does what you tell it to". How does that relate to the fact that Slack has become full DVD install?
It doesn't really relate. Most likely they're referring to the fact that Slackware doesn't do things like package dependency tracking, doesn't do much to customize the software that's included, and doesn't enable many things by default. Also the install assumes very little about how you want to configure things like disk partitioning, LVM, etc., at least as compared to many other distributions.
No matter how much software you install off the DVD, your system will still be relatively vanilla to start.

Quote:
Granted, you can select what packages you want installed, but there's so many with such vague descriptions I can't imagine anyone actually sits through that whole process?
I can't speak for anyone else, but during a new install at the very least I remove the packages I obviously don't need/want. Yes, there are *alot* of things to sift through, and there's no doubt I miss something every time, but I also check installed packages after the fact and remove things I missed. My guess is alot of people do the same.

Quote:
Doesn't that leave you open to a bit of randomness just having all that stuff float around?
Even if you don't pick + choose what you're installing, there aren't many things running by default. So while the package selection will be as random as what the maintainer(s) decided to includ on the DVD, what the system is actually doing/running is not much different than if you chose things very carefully.

As to the original question, I think you're going to have a hard time getting a simple answer. Since there are/were so many different "flavors" of Unix, and so much difference between them, even defining "Unix" is hard enough. AIX is a type of Unix. But I really don't think you could say Slackware is like AIX. The same applies to HPUX and any number of other Unixes.

IMHO it doesn't much matter anyway. Slackware is Slackware. Some things are similar to other systems, some things aren't.
 
Old 04-04-2009, 07:53 PM   #15
eerok
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Canada
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 167

Rep: Reputation: 32
I coded C for a few years on a PDP-11/34 running Unix version 7. I don't see any real meaning in the phrase "most Unix-like" -- GNU/Linux offers the functionality of Unix, pretty much, with a huge number of improvements. What more do you want?

As mentioned above, there is a legal meaning to "Unix" but apart from that, I don't see the point in belaboring it. Slack is a nice hands-on distro that's pretty solid as long as you don't have cutting edge or exotic software needs. It's not Unix, just like no other Linux distro is Unix.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Slackware Essentials" or "Slackware Linux Basics" ? alMubarmij Slackware 3 03-14-2009 07:51 PM
LXer: A Unix/Linux "Where's Waldo?" Or "Who Wants Some PI?" LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 01-23-2009 01:00 PM
"Could not init font path element""Unix /: 7100 removing from list/ zameer_india Linux - Networking 7 07-03-2006 06:11 AM
the best "unix like" or "unix" operating system melinda_sayang General 12 12-03-2004 02:50 AM
How is Slackware more "Unix-like" than other distros? simsjr Slackware 1 04-27-2004 11:29 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:27 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration