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Old 06-28-2003, 03:34 AM   #1
fireal
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Slackware vs. College Linux?


I tried searching for this and didn't see it anywhere so here goes... if I missed it I apologize and feel free to delete my post.

I was just wondering the differences if any between college linux 2.3 and slack 9. I recently burned and installed college linux and I had a few beefs that I wonder if maybe are not issues with slackware. First, it forces you to make a root partition of at least 2.5gb of space. Second, the installer won't let you set FS types or mount points. All you get is cfdisk. Third, the kernel source doesn't get installed. Fourth, when I did download and install the latest kernel, just for the experience, I booted about 10 trillion times faster. Last, support for ext3 wasn't installed (am I saying that correctly? My point is that I couldn't designate ext3 for my partitions, because mkfs.ext3 wasn't installed.) I had to download the latest e2fsprogs and install it in order to do that.

I guess all my problems are with the installer. Does slackware 9 avoid any of that, or is it virtually the same? anyone used both?

On the plus side X was configured and installed (college linux uses redhat's X installer?) with no problem, and I was playing with KDE immediately. That was a relief too, especially after not being able to get into X from a mandrake install. That was embarrassing.

I'm a newb to be sure so if I'm inappropriate in anyway I'm sorry, and please let me know.

Thanks
 
Old 06-28-2003, 01:30 PM   #2
contrasutra
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College Linux is a desktop distro. It purposely gives you very little choice. Slackware is the exact opposite. It lets you choose everything that College Linux wouldn't.

But, The kernel source doesnt come w/ the Slackware install disc.

#Kernel Source for Slackware 9:
install using "#installpkg kernel-source-2.4.20-noarch-5.tgz"

ftp://ftp.slackware.com/pub/slackwar...0-noarch-5.tgz


and it doesnt configure X for you. Just run "xf86config" after installation.

It will let you choose your partition size, file system type, and packages.

Be careful though, as slackware doesn't check for dependancies in package selection.
 
Old 06-28-2003, 01:35 PM   #3
tigerflag
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Slackware 9.0 and College Linux 2.3 use different versions of gcc. CL2.3 can use packages from Slack 8.1, but not from Slack 9.0.

IMO, Slackware has the best installer of any distro. Mandrake's installer may be easier for a total newbie who doesn't know much about partitioning a harddrive, but the Mandrake 9.1 installer was pretty buggy compared to their earlier version installers.

The Slackware installer talks you through every step, but gives you total control. It uses cfdisk and lets you partition and set mount points to your heart's content. You can let it install all the packages, or select the ones you want.

I was very, very disappointed with Slackware 9.0. With my hardware it was actually slower than 8.1, the fonts looked worse than on 8.1, and for some reason I cannot fathom, my harddrive was seeking _constantly_. It still didn't have a driver for my Epson Stylus C82 printer, either.

College Linux 2.3 didn't offer me choices in the install and I didn't like the way it wouldn't let me select mount points for /home and /usr. It wouldn't configure my printer, and when I did manage to get it to print, it was awful.

If I had to choose between College Linux 2.3, or Slackware 9.0, I'd choose Slackware 8.1 ;-)
 
Old 06-28-2003, 01:43 PM   #4
tigerflag
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PS:
Like Contrasutra said, all you do in Slack to configure X is type xf86config as Root when you first boot up after the installation. It's a text-based program to configure your keyboard, mouse, monitor, screen resolution, etc.
It will ask for your video card and your monitor's vertical and horizontal refresh rates, so it's good to have that written down before starting. Just read the prompts carefully and take your time. It's not that hard.
 
Old 06-28-2003, 05:17 PM   #5
fireal
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Thanks for the help. I guess the consensus is that slack 8.1 is superior then? It definitely sounds like what I want. I've got no control over anything now. I'd rather go through the extra effort to learn in order to have my system set up properly and hand configure it.
 
Old 06-28-2003, 07:02 PM   #6
contrasutra
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Slackware 8.1 is completly out of date, you'd do better to get 9. Especially considering all Slack Packs are made for 9 now, and 8.1 uses GCC 2.95

That guy was one in a few that had problems. "Slack 9 is slower" is a ridiculous statement. If he didn't spend the time to stop unneeded services, thats not Slackware fault. The fonts are also controllable. A quick trip the the "KDE or Gnome Control Center" and he could have solved that problem. For a slackware user, he seemed to want everything done for him.

Why do you think thats the consensus? Doesnt seem that way by my count.
 
Old 06-28-2003, 08:20 PM   #7
fireal
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My fault. Thank you for your help. *cancels his 3 day 8.1 download and starts a 3 day 9.0 download* heh.

I just thought I had read some threads where a number of people complained about problems but I see what you're talking about it being too out of date. Besides, if I do have problems it'll be a good chance to get my hands dirty.
 
Old 06-28-2003, 08:48 PM   #8
contrasutra
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You have dialup, right? I feel your pain. It might be easier to just buy a disc. Slackwares cheap, usually $2-3.

almostfreelinux.com
cheapbytes.com

there are others as well.,

You'd also do good to download the kernel source right away. As you may need to recompile for your hardware.
 
Old 06-30-2003, 10:22 AM   #9
tigerflag
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Contrasutra, I'd like to respectfully respond to your post.

That guy is a gal ;-) and I've seen quite a few people report the same problems.

I _always_ turn off unneeded services, and I run very few services at all. I'm not talking about "normal" slow from too many services running, I'm talking about "hanging" slow.

Looking at 8.1 and looking at 9.0 with the _same_ font configuration, 9.0 looked worse.

The constant noise from my "silent" Seagate harddrive was quite alarming. It has _only_ happened with Slackware 9.0 .

I LIKE Slackware, and I know how for the most part how to use it. I didn't expect it to do everything for me. I just found it was not as good on _my_ box as 8.1 . Your mileage may vary. He asked for an opinion, and I gave him my experience. Please don't invalidate someone's experience just because yours is different.

Peace,

Siri Amrit
 
Old 06-30-2003, 01:48 PM   #10
contrasutra
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You blame slackware for something that isn't "Slackware's" fault. Patrick uses generic packages for everything, so any problem would most likely occur with the newer version of that software.

Do you understand what draws the fonts? Slackware can't possibly make the fonts look bad. Maybe the default settings turn AntiAliasing off, but it takes literally 2 minutes to turn it back on.

The noise is probobly coming from some service that is scanning the harddrive. Did you investigate at all to what could be the problem?

But here's what I think it is. Did you use a journaling file system in 8.1? If you didn't, you're probobly not use to the journal being written to all the time, but thats a good thing.

Any new distro you use will have the exact same software on it, so any "slowness" you see the newer version will appear in every distro.


I just don't like people blaming a distro for the software makers fault. The only thing Patrick really controls is the 1. Installation, 2. Package selection 3. Default setup.

It sounds like you don't like the default setup, but all the things you describe can easily be solved.

If you're problem is not with those items, then there's no reason to blame the distro.
 
Old 06-30-2003, 04:19 PM   #11
fireal
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I have a questions that's slightly off the topic. But since we're talking about upgrading distros from one version to another... (it's a newbie question I know, but it's about slack)

I was wondering, how exactly do you upgrade your distro, say from slack 8.1 to 9.0, without losing your settings and files and whatnot? I mean, if I had slack 8.1 installed and configured and set up just the way I wanted it, and had all my files on it, etc, how could I upgrade to ver 9.0 without losing all of that? At this point I can't even compile the newest kernel without losing my mouse and X... and the differences seem enough that upgrading is kind of necessary.

thanks
 
Old 06-30-2003, 05:09 PM   #12
contrasutra
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There is a UPGRADE.TXT file on the Slackware 9 disc, it will guide you step by step through upgrading from 8.1 -> 9 .

You can do it, but its not recommended.

Keep in mind though, upgrading to a newer version of GCC will break all of your already compiled programs.
 
Old 06-30-2003, 08:31 PM   #13
jpauls104
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I find slack 9 to be much better. Its all about the packages. I love dropline gnome. You will appreciate the latest packages. It is the equivalent of going from win98 to xp. (yes I have used windows before) gcc will probably be the biggest +.

There was a problem installing opera. It had something to do with QT though. Apparently it was too new, and it didn't include some header file. Thats a software issue though, not slack.
 
Old 06-30-2003, 08:49 PM   #14
contrasutra
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Try the statically linked version of Opera (not the shared). It works fine for me in Slack9.
 
Old 06-30-2003, 09:25 PM   #15
DaOne
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Quote:
I find slack 9 to be much better.
I agree...although 8.1 was very nice, contrasutra is right...it is outdated, which is why I made the switch to 9.0.

now on the other hand...tigerflag does have a point...I had some minor performance issues at first also. And...I agree that the fonts seemed worse. After upgrading the kernel, and ALL of the packages in the current tree, all seems BEAUTIFUL again.

Although I noticed the above issues, I wasn't really worried too much knowing that I hadn't taken the time to optimize my installation at that point. I like to keep my system up to date, so upon upgrading the packages, when things seemed to have improved, I almost forgot about it (and of course I finally took the time to optimize also). I guess the bottom line is that as the packages improve, so does certain areas of performance. If I were comparing just the bare essentials, the differences would be null.

Last edited by DaOne; 06-30-2003 at 09:26 PM.
 
  


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