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Old 02-14-2005, 12:31 AM   #1
vharishankar
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Slackware for a Debian user


I've got a new hard disk and I want to install Slackware 10.1 without removing my current Debian installation. I also want some info on how Slackware compares to Debian in terms of:

1. Ease of installation.
2. Ease of use.
3. Package Management.
4. Hardware detection.

And other issues you can think of.

I'm current downloading the second ISO of Slackware so I can hardly wait, I'm so excited.

Also tips on installing Slackware without modifying my MBR will be useful. I don't want to mess up my GRUB (installed by Debian Sarge) and so I would like to know if this is possible.
 
Old 02-14-2005, 12:41 AM   #2
__J
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Re: Slackware for a Debian user

Quote:
Originally posted by Harishankar


1. Ease of installation.
2. Ease of use.
3. Package Management.
4. Hardware detection.



Also tips on installing Slackware without modifying my MBR will be useful. I don't want to mess up my GRUB (installed by Debian Sarge) and so I would like to know if this is possible.
1 - about the same, both are pretty straight forward.

2 - a little more configuring, but again about the same.

3 - alot different here. there is a port of apt-get name slapt-get, but I don't know the status of the project. There is also swaret, which isn't too bad as long as you don't get too aggressive. Sorry I can't give too much of an opinion here as I've always installed most things by source.

4 - Slack uses hotplug, which in my experienct works very well. If you know exactly what drivers you need, this shouldn't be much of an issue.

One thing I should mention (as far as other issues) is that slack won't have as much software available as in the debian repositories. It doesn't have a bad selection, just not the amount that debian would have. Also, everything comes with each package (they are not split like in other distro's, like a lib package, a devel package, etc..) with the exception of Xorg.

for the MBR, you could install lilo on a floppy ( it is an option during the setup ) or boot slack from the install cd.
 
Old 02-14-2005, 12:43 AM   #3
vharishankar
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Can I add the boot entry in menu.lst from my Debian installation? Is this possible? The thing is, I don't have a floppy drive in my PC -- I consider them obsolete

Last edited by vharishankar; 02-14-2005 at 12:44 AM.
 
Old 02-14-2005, 12:45 AM   #4
Smokey
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2. Dont use slapt-get or swaret.

slackpkg is included in /extra of 10.0 and 10.1 stick with that
 
Old 02-14-2005, 12:47 AM   #5
vharishankar
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I am not that big on installing from source. I can do it though, but I consider it messy and unnecessary -- leaves a lot of useless .o files on my disk.

I think I'll install swaret or slackpkg and give it a try.

And yes. I don't want to change the MBR at all. I will manually edit the GRUB config file but I don't want the installation to mess up my current GRUB installation.
 
Old 02-14-2005, 12:49 AM   #6
Shade
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1) The install:
Text based/ncuses menus. Start by logging in as root, partitioning the drive with fdisk or cfdisk (i prefer the latter).
enter the command setup, and follow the menus. You can define the install down to the very package, or install it all, and several intermediate steps in-between, like installing collections of similar packages... Watch out though, there's no dependancy resolution -- so if you don't install a certain package required by another you want, you'll have to chase it down later. Most do a full install and remove what they don't want, or just take care with what they don't install.

It's a relative snap, though.

2) Setting up Slackware is all through the text configuation, with a couple of exceptions:
netconfig -- to setup eth0 and your hostname
xwmconfig -- switch the default WM when using 'startx'
pkgtool -- other install scripts related to configuration

Ease of use will be just like any other distro -- except that you have the incredible benefit of not having any configuration tools. I'm not being sarcastic here, because once you set it up by hand, you don't have to worry about losing your settings when some wizard comes along and changes something you didn't mean to. Everything just seems to "work". Hand editing an auto-configured text file will confuse you way more than the nicely commented config files included with Slack.

3) Package management is with standard .tgz -- those are precompiled tar archives compressed with gzip. You could install them on any distro with a simple 'tar -xzvf package.tgz' from the / directory. It just uncompressed the files into their proper locations. No dependancy resolution. I find this easier, because you don't encounter dependancy hell simply trying to install something simple, and there is no central database of installed packages to corrupt or confuse with "--force or --nodeps" flags.

4) Hardware detection is handled by hotplug. If there's a driver in the kernel for it, chances are the driver will load for it on boot. You can also take a look through /etc/rc.d/rc.modules (though that's mostly deprecated by hotplug) if something you have isn't working to see if there's a module for it.
Otherwise, nothing is auto-setup. Your xorg.conf file will come with a mostly usable generic "vesa" setup that should get you at least a color screen and moust support. Everything else is up to you

Slackware is really a bare bones, no frills, "just frickin' works" distro. If you know Slack, you'll know how to do it the down and dirty way in any other distro.

I love it.

--Shade

PS -- edit to add that yes, you can just add a grub.conf entry to load slackware.

Last edited by Shade; 02-14-2005 at 12:51 AM.
 
Old 02-14-2005, 12:53 AM   #7
vharishankar
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Thanks Shade. Yes. I want a new challenge. Debian is fine and well configured right now and I really like it.

Slackware will reside alongside and I'll keep testing, tweaking and playing with it with the luxury of having a fully configured working Linux distribution.

Only thing, I am worried about messing up GRUB. Does Slackware have an option of not installing any bootloaders during installation?
 
Old 02-14-2005, 01:00 AM   #8
__J
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harishankar
I am not that big on installing from source. I can do it though, but I consider it messy and unnecessary -- leaves a lot of useless .o files on my disk.

go to a slackware mirror, in the /extra directory there is a package called checkinstall. To use it, do the usual:

./configure <options>
make

but instead of running make install run checkinstall. it will create a slackware package for you and install it making it easy to remove and you can safely remove the source directory from your harddrive. If you go the the checkinstall homepage and use that version, it can make a .deb package for you also ( The one out of the slackware mirror has been modified a bit).
 
Old 02-14-2005, 01:01 AM   #9
Shade
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It sure does. It gives you 4 choices I believe -- (not necessarily in this order)

root superblock
MBR
floppy
none


--Shade
 
Old 02-14-2005, 01:08 AM   #10
vharishankar
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Thanks Shade.

So do I put it in the root superblock or none if I want to use my already existing GRUB config?

I won't be able to ask these questions while I am doing the installation, so I guess I'd better be sure of everything before I start.

Thanks again for all your help!
 
  


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