SlackwareThis Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.
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Slackware makes you do everything by hand, where debian is more automated. With debian, you rely on other people building good packages for APT. Where as on slackware, you usally build your own software, ensuring that there is no serious flaw that will kill your system (where using apt-get can sometimes causes serious problems if the packages aren't good).
Slackware has a much, much better installer than Debian.
(I have NEVER been able to install Debian, but Slackware works for me every time).
Debian has got apt-get. In Slackware, the easiest way to install a program is to compile it. This makes you learn the system pretty fast.
Slackware is very similar to Debian in that it is very stable -- stability is one goal both ditro share. On the other hand, Slackware is usually more up-to-date than Debian, and has a more sensible upgrade path/timing.
I am not so sure about Debian, but Slackware also aims to be as close to the UNIX standards as possible. This makes it ideal for learning.
I think, overall, that Debian makes a better workstation (easier to download/install/upgrade software) but that Slackware is a better for servers... but your mileage may vary.
I have attempted to be a Slack user longer than I have been a Debian user. I have been interested in Slackware since my first year of using Linux.
I would suggest that the real test for you would be to install Slackware with any current running distros and see if you feel you should switch.
I consider Debian and Slackware as almost two sides of the same coin, compared to other Linux distributions. Although not the same by any means.
What Slackware is, i have to attribute to the vision that Patrick Volkerding has for it. My Slackware 7.1 Cds are not that different from my Slackware 9.0 Cds. They include what is really needed to get a really good Linux system going, but does not include the kitchen sink. There has been a Slackware "Live CD" since at least 7.1, Zipslack has always been included, both Gnome and KDE. It is what you need to be able to do what you want. It includes what is needed to build from source anything that someone may offer. Linux Packages (Linuxmafia) has a lot of the odds and ends you may want. Slackware offers for Linux what Windows offers for Windows, only much better. The basic building blocks on which anything developed for the platform can be added.
I use Debian for the simple reason that it helps me to do the things I would want Slackware for.
I want to install to a low end system. A basic Debian install=Slackware A and N sets. I want to add to it, apt-get serves my needs much better here.
Debian offers the thousands of (sometimes obscure) packages I may want to add to my system, simply. Updated if needed.
I have Debian running on 2 "workstations', and one "server" (minimal install) at home, and connected to 4 VT420s at work to do some inventory control. I would not have been able to do this, this soon, with Slackware and it is because of my own shortcomings that I cannot.
Debian (with it's larger package inventory and apt-get (dependicies added automatically)) has supported my Linux experimentations better so far.
I continue to see what is really offered by "the oldest running Linux distribution (Slackware)" and am very impressed with it.
I would really suggest that if you are serious about your question that you run both and use the one that fits your needs.
I run a Debian machine at work (Woody with old 2.2.19 kernel; it works), while my desktop at home and my notebook are both presently Slackware 9.0. Debian offers many times more premade packages. It is very easy to install new software, as long as the Debian sources have what you want. Slackware is more up to date while still running what is considered a stable release. Slackware is much more "standard" in its configuration (except perhaps for the BSD style initialization), so it is more friendly to compiling from source.
My thoughts are these:
Debian makes a very good server because stability and security are top priorities for its development, and a server doesn't usually need the most cutting edge software. It is extremely easy to keep up to date with security patches. It is easy to manage remotely, and it runs until you shut it down or the power goes out. As a workstation Debian can certainly do a good job for you (and it can be excellent for workstations that you have to manage for others). However, you have a choice of having possible quirks involved in testing or unstable, or having out of date applications. You can install programs from source, but sometimes you have to deal with odd file locations and the possibility of breaking existing packages. The problems with packages can be dealt with by building your own Debian packages, manually or with checkinstall, but you will still encounter conflicts and the packages you build will not always mesh very well with the existing system.
Slackware makes a very good workstation for tech types. It is the very best distribution I have used for installing applications from source (although this has been complicated slightly in Slack 9 by the fact that not all source has been debugged to compile under the new gcc 3.2 compiler). Checkinstall works great for managing source installations on Slackware. This way source installs can be managed right along with the rest of your software. Source installations generally mesh very well with your existing system because everything is where it is expected to be and the existing software is made up of very standard versions. Slackware is also a good server. It is extremely stable and Patrick does a good job of keeping on top of new packages for security updates. Swaret now allows you to keep your system up to date in a similar manner to apt-get. However, Patrick does not backport security patches to older versions of software like the Debian team does. New versions of software contain new features and new bugs as well as security patches. Installing new software is less automatic and more time consuming because you often have to compile from source, and you have to figure out your own dependencies, since even Swaret does not keep track of them for you.
I guess the bottom line for me is that if it's a machine I'm on all the time and I want it to have the latest and greatest software for what I'm doing and I want to be in total control, I use Slackware. If it's a machine I want to sit in the corner and have it practically manage its own updates and installations, I use Debian. Either way I get great performance and stability.
Originally posted by naflan Ok slackware users - tell me why I should choose Slack 9.0 over Debian. I am interested in learning more about Slackware and have heard good things about it, but I love Debian.
You shouldn't choose Slackware over Debian. Nor should you choose Debian over Slackware. You should use both, and use the one best suited to the task at hand.
At work, I use Debian on some, Slackware on others. The majority are Slackware.
So much of the choice between these two distributions hinges on subjective criteria that the only person who can answer the question of which is more suited is YOU. The only way you can answer that, is to become familiar with both.
If you are only looking for an OS for one PC, you should probably dual boot between Slackware and Debian while you compare them. That's assuming you don't have some older machines you can set up on a network to compare and experiment with.
For what it's worth, I use Linux for the following services at the office:
* Internet SMTP and POP3 mail servers (Slackware)
* Intranet web based cgi bin mail gateway (Debian)
* Print servers (Slackware)
* Samba (Debian)
* Internet web and download server (Slackware)
* Specialized intranet cgi bin order entry web server (Debian)
* Accounting server (Slackware)
* XDMCP application/terminal server (Slackware)
* X terminal workstations (Slackware)
* NFS server (Both Debian and Slackware)
I'm in the process of deciding whether the new MySQL server is going to be Debian or Slack. I'm leaning towards Slack.
Of these, the only REAL problem I might encounter using Debian, would be the XDMCP server. Because it provides applications to desktop users, and because some of these apps have to be near, but not quite at, the bleeding edge in order to do what we need to do with them, Debian's more conservative approach to including packages means more custom compiling, or a mix of stable and testing packages. This doesn't lead to as reliable a system as I get with a more or less stock Slackware system, and pretty well precludes using apt-get to keep the system updated -- which is one of the major "selling points" of Debian.
The only REAL problem using Slackware would have been encountered on the specialized intranet web servers. There, I would have had to nursemaid the machines through a bunch of compile jobs (and temporarily devote disk space to development packages), whereas I found precompiled .debs that worked just fine out of the 4000+ packages available at the Debian site.
However, in NO CASE, would there have been a "show stopper," had I decided to run exclusively Debian or Slackware. But I have to assign some value to time during the work week, and I prefer to use whichever distribution that lets me set everything up and turn it over to the users in the least amount of time. For me that is, more often than not, Slackware.
As far as learning is concerned, I dispute the idea that one necessarily learns more by using Slackware. I know too many experts who work with Debian to buy that. In fact, I contend that you will learn more quickly by having both at your disposal to compare how the two distributions accomplish the same ends by different means. For that matter, it is useful to take a look at RedHat now and then, even though I have never used it as a production platform.
But in the final analysis, while there are roughly 6 billion people on Earth, there is only one person who is qualified to tell you which distribution is most suited to your needs. Capeesh?
Ok, I'm up and running - dual boot with suse 8.1. I'm going to get it working like I want and kick suse. Got NFS working - need to get samba, web server, mysql server working. I'm concerned about mysql. I get errror:
ERROR 2002: Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/run/mysql/mysql.sock' (2)
I haven't looked it up yet - it may be nothing. I'm going to learn linux by configuring this system without wizards and webmin