LinuxQuestions.org
Review your favorite Linux distribution.
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 07-08-2013, 03:49 PM   #16
chess
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: 127.0.0.1
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD, FreeBSD
Posts: 728

Rep: Reputation: 168Reputation: 168

I love FreeBSD and OpenBSD and I use them at home along with Slackware. Slackware is still better on the desktop for me overall and in fact, what's great about Slackware, (and using SlackBuilds.org) is how it's almost like getting the best of both worlds. Stability, sane defaults, while giving me complete control over the system and how my third-party software is built. I like that I build and maintain my third-party software (since SBo is like FreeBSD ports) but I don't to rebuild /everything/ like Xorg.
 
Old 07-08-2013, 03:58 PM   #17
thirdm
Member
 
Registered: May 2013
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD
Posts: 110

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Personally, I like OpenBSD best of free unixes, but I have to admit that now that I have the Arch port of cwm going, I sometimes forget I'm on Slackware on my laptop (which can't yet run OpenBSD). Mind you, this weekend was not one of those times, because cdrecord and/or Linux generic scsi drivers were conspiring to annoy me to no end. In the end I gave up trying to blank and record the 9front iso (my fantasy final destination for free OSes is plan9) on my laptop and did it on my old OpenBSD powermac with cdio which never gives me headaches. That and needing to scout around other than in bash's /etc/profile to find out how colour got enabled in ls left me a little cold. But I'll update firefox to a pretty new version (security update) in seconds tonight and feel love for slackware again.

But yeah, it should be fairly obvious this is something you have to decide by doing (continuing to do?). No one should be able to tell you that going to FreeBSD is a particularly bad idea, since it works fine for lots of people and supports most of the same software as GNU/Linux does. I've tried it myself and it ran everything I found essential. If you were trying for a more dramatic quest for simplicity and cleanliness and going to plan9, people could warn you that you'll have to make some serious adjustments (e.g. no C++ compiler, no complete web browser), but between GNU/Linux and a BSD, the adjustments are relatively trivial in general. Both are large projects with a lot of good work done in them, so maybe it will be a matter of taste. e.g. does having a number less than a hundred come back from ls /etc | wc -l give you the warm and fuzzies or not? Do you like man pages (when they're well written) or would you rather deal in html and info (this is probably completely unfair to the Linux man page maintainers, but I think BSD does a much better job here)? Will you feel you're missing out if you don't get to run wayland when or if it becomes pervasive? Just some examples off the top of my head. BSD's concept of a base system is really nice. I like to play around with stuff with the security that if I fowl things up I can at least expect a basic Unix system to still be there (with OpenBSD, I even get X in base).

One warning about FreeBSD from my limited experience there: You can use binary packages and stay with stable releases and that works pretty well, I think. But it seemed to me like the common or maybe even sanctioned way to install 3rd party packages is the ports system. When I tried that I discovered the way to work out the dependencies to do upgrade builds was to choose from a couple of programs (portmaster, portupgrade, ...?) that try to work out the dependency trees from whatever your starting point is, which I'm guessing is impossible to do perfectly, but it left me very frustrated at times. Had a similar problem with pkgsrc with trying to do use pkg_rolling_replace or whatever it's called. Dealing with this kind of tool is a kind of accidental knowledge I wish I never accumulated. Completely unfair criticism, possibly, since there are other ways of doing things that are more guaranteed to work without headaches, but it's a trap for the unwary IMO. I only realized it recently, but I always thought OpenBSD was infinitely superior here, but in fact its ports system doesn't even attempt what portmaster and friends do, unless I'm mistaken, so it was only superior in not leading me unto temptation or else kept my expectations for effortless source upgrades of 3rd party stuff low. Oh, so now FreeBSD (and DragonFly?) has a new binary package manager called pkgng. Try using that if you can, at least til you get the swing of things. That may keep you from unfairly judging the system based on the labour and the not always perfectly determinate upgrade behaviour involved in dealing with ports upgrades.

Last edited by thirdm; 07-08-2013 at 04:08 PM. Reason: missed the part where he describe already using FreeBSD
 
Old 07-08-2013, 04:31 PM   #18
Woodsman
Senior Member
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 3,482

Rep: Reputation: 534Reputation: 534Reputation: 534Reputation: 534Reputation: 534Reputation: 534
I have used computers for more than three decades. In all that time I have not changed my mind that computers remain user hostile rather than user friendly.

There once was a common joke about all of the blinking clocks on VCRs because few people could figure out how to configure the clock. Computers remain much like that. Yes, geeks learn to adapt but not the non techies. Computers are pretty much designed by geeks, used by geeks, yet seldom tested by non geeks.

I too dislike the direction certain upstream maintainers are moving. One thing I have learned, and now grudgingly accept, is in the free software world something is always broken. Always. No exceptions.

Since upstream maintainers are out of my control or influence, and something is always broken in free software, my attitude then is to find the path of least disruption and pain. I can't eliminate the disruptions or pain, only limit. I've tried other distros and they frustrate me. Not the hand-holding but the presumptions used in designing the system. Too restrictive. Too much pain.

Through the years I've shared opinions about how I thought Slackware could be improved. Some of those suggestions succeeded, many did not. Yet I continue using Slackware because Slackware gets in my way the least.

Slackware is a computer operating system and requires elbow grease to customize. I customize Slackware extensively. Slackware is no exception to my belief that computers remain user hostile, but Slackware causes me the least pain. I did not write no pain. I wrote the least pain.

I can't change the direction of upstream maintainers. I gave up thinking free software would one day not be broken somewhere. At least Slackware is designed to stay out of my way.

My crystal ball is always foggy. I don't know what the future holds. I have no idea what is inevitable or even what might seem to be inevitable. All any of us can do is decide what works best for each of us and what provides the least disruption and pain.
 
3 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-08-2013, 04:50 PM   #19
jtsn
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2011
Location: Europe
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 908

Rep: Reputation: 447Reputation: 447Reputation: 447Reputation: 447Reputation: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdm View Post
One warning about FreeBSD from my limited experience there: You can use binary packages and stay with stable releases and that works pretty well, I think. But it seemed to me like the common or maybe even sanctioned way to install 3rd party packages is the ports system. When I tried that I discovered the way to work out the dependencies to do upgrade builds was to choose from a couple of programs (portmaster, portupgrade, ...?) that try to work out the dependency trees from whatever your starting point is, which I'm guessing is impossible to do perfectly, but it left me very frustrated at times. Had a similar problem with pkgsrc with trying to do use pkg_rolling_replace or whatever it's called. Dealing with this kind of tool is a kind of accidental knowledge I wish I never accumulated.
These port* tools try automatic dependency resolution and package upgrades by automatically rebuilding them from source. And fail. There is a reason why Slackware explicitly refrains from doing such things, despite being criticized all the time for this decision.

Ports and pkgsrc are great tools to build a complete customized package set from scratch using a frozen (and tested) release tree. You can then install this set into a clean BSD base system. Or use pre-built packages. For security patches you are on your own.

Upgrades work best by rebuilding everything, removing the old packages completely (this is impossible on Linux, but the self-contained BSD base system actually survives this) and installing a new set. Then never touch a running system...
 
Old 07-08-2013, 05:00 PM   #20
ReaperX7
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2011
Location: California
Distribution: LFS-7.6, Slackware 14.1, FreeBSD 10.1
Posts: 3,849
Blog Entries: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1189Reputation: 1189Reputation: 1189Reputation: 1189Reputation: 1189Reputation: 1189Reputation: 1189Reputation: 1189Reputation: 1189
I've had only a few pitfalls with FreeBSD in the past but 9.1 seems to have everything I need supported even through 3rd party drivers on my workstation which I now run FreeBSD 9.1 and require OSSv4 for my audio device and the Nvidia proprietary driver for my graphics, but otherwise everything works. I'm actually on the FreeBSD mailing list and many of the developers and users have helped me in the past three years I've been experimenting with FreeBSD get well informed about what does and doesn't work (which mind you for me has all been ironed out hardware-wise), while the software portion is taking it's time slowly but surely and methodically. As far as our servers, they've been chugging away without so much a fart, hiccup, or burp for as long as we've had them (several years now).

I've been told that often the pre-built packages like X.Org and various others tend to work best over the system-built ports collection, but at times, you may want to use both as ports can get upgraded whereas a binary package might not.

As far as creating my own distribution, well I have LFS to thank for that, but to be honest, it's a lot of work and time I simply do not have. I love LFS, don't get me wrong, but it takes a lot of time to get even the base core installed and setup, and even longer for the Beyond LFS sections where everything else comes into play.

As for why I chose FreeBSD? I've worked with just about all the BSDs minus DragonFly, and other variants of UNIX like Solaris and OpenIndiana. To me FreeBSD had what I needed without all the hub-bub and hoop-la of various factors that we all know about regarding the other UNIX and BSD variants. It was simple, it worked, and it was a smoother transition with the best support. Solaris and OpenIndiana were being considered and we've been testing them out with mixed favoring, but FreeBSD won out as to what we were looking for.

As far as Slackware is concerned, Slackware is what brought me to UNIX and kept me using a UNIX-like system for so long, and it taught me well for what I needed, however it's what I mentioned about the upstream goings-on that have me worried for what direction Linux is taking and what is being done with all these toolkits to minimize administration and introduce more and more automation taking away the power of the admin of a system and limiting down what nearly can be done through administration. Don't get me wrong, Slackware is the best and it's the Platinum standard, not just the Gold Standard of what a SysV UNIX-like system should be, but so much effort is being made to isolate Linux from the rest of the UNIX world that eventually I worry about what will become of Linux based operating systems, how they relate to UNIX, and how much of a minimal system that's admin friendly will be left behind even in Slackware. I won't speculate, but I'm fairly certain Pat, Eric, and the other people who contribute to Slackware and maintain it are worried as well with a watchful eye, trying to minimize the impact as best they can, smooth the transitions, and iron out as much of the flaws and wrinkles as possible so that if any changes are done they are next to transparent, but at the rate at what's being done, is being done, that transition is seemingly getting more obvious and less transparent as the upstream meddles more and more.

This decision has been something that's been an ongoing process with me for at least a few years now as to deciding what's best for our interests and sustainability as well as our clients and keeping them happy. With so much being pushed out from the upstream in terms of untested, unstable, and variably unnecessary changes to a system that was perfectly fine to begin with, it makes you wonder who is in charge of GNU/Linux's direction of development and progression as a complete operating system, and really how much change is acceptable to the goals of the whole and sum of it's parts. With BSDs and Solaris systems, it's a complete system built in and of itself by it's developers with a single goal of what the OS should be, not competing idealisms and egos worried about who can change what to further their own personal goals.

But that's my point-of-view of the long-term of why.

Last edited by ReaperX7; 07-08-2013 at 05:05 PM.
 
Old 07-08-2013, 06:13 PM   #21
thirdm
Member
 
Registered: May 2013
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD
Posts: 110

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsn View Post
Upgrades work best by rebuilding everything, removing the old packages completely (this is impossible on Linux, but the self-contained BSD base system actually survives this) and installing a new set. Then never touch a running system...
Good sysadmin advice no doubt, but for me at home having an interval where I cannot run emacs, except perhaps during the make install phase, is tantamount to a denial of service attack. And as a hobbiest I have no concept of running vs. non-running, nor do I often find very long periods over which I don't want to mess with my machine. Tinkering and using must happen more or less simultaneously. So personally I never go that remove and reinstall route, though I can appreciate the justification. This makes the relatively instantaneous nature of slackware's approach and OpenBSD's pkg_add -ui nearly essential to me. And when pkg_add -ui from prebuilt binaries is not available (as seems to be happening for now with macppc package snapshots where they lag the base snapshots -- I guess they asked for hardware to alleviate this, but perhaps none of us pitched in) some kind of rolling replace port build functionality is a desirable feature.
 
Old 07-08-2013, 06:23 PM   #22
hitest
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD
Posts: 4,281

Rep: Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588
Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by chess View Post
I love FreeBSD and OpenBSD and I use them at home along with Slackware. Slackware is still better on the desktop for me overall and in fact, what's great about Slackware, (and using SlackBuilds.org) is how it's almost like getting the best of both worlds. Stability, sane defaults, while giving me complete control over the system and how my third-party software is built. I like that I build and maintain my third-party software (since SBo is like FreeBSD ports) but I don't to rebuild /everything/ like Xorg.
This thread has sparked my interest again in the BSDs. I am spending a pleasant afternoon setting up a Slackware-current/OpenBSD dual boot system. Open source software is a wonderful thing.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-08-2013, 11:35 PM   #23
Z038
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 805

Rep: Reputation: 158Reputation: 158
I last tried FreeBSD version 6.0 back in 2005. It didn't support the video hardware I had at the time on a system I'd just built, so I replaced it with Slackware, which worked perfectly. But this thread has got me to thinking about giving one of the BSD's another go, more or less just for fun and diversity. I've got a very old 2003 era Win XP system that has been sitting in the closet since I retired it five years ago. It was fully functional when I retired it, and hopefully it still is. I hope all of its hardware will be supported on a BSD by now. It'll have to be a headless system, once I get it set up, as I don't have a spare monitor for it. But that'll just add to the fun, I suppose.
 
Old 07-08-2013, 11:45 PM   #24
hitest
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD
Posts: 4,281

Rep: Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z038 View Post
It was fully functional when I retired it, and hopefully it still is. I hope all of its hardware will be supported on a BSD by now.
I predict a BSD will run well on it. I think OpenBSD 5.3 or FreeBSD 8.x will run just fine on that unit. I'm running pfSense (modified version of FreeBSD) on an old PIII 667 MHz 300 PL IBM unit that has 512 MB RAM and a 20 GB HD. It is a nice router/firewall. What specs does the box have?
 
Old 07-09-2013, 12:16 AM   #25
Z038
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 805

Rep: Reputation: 158Reputation: 158
hitest, the old box has a K7 series AMD Athlon 3200+ XP Barton core processor (socket A, aka 462), maxed out at 2 GB of RAM (it originally had 512MB, but I upgraded somewhere along the way), and a 200GB hard drive (seemed really huge at the time). I don't recall the video specs off hand, but it was nothing exotic.
 
Old 07-09-2013, 12:31 AM   #26
Kallaste
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2011
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 344

Rep: Reputation: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperX7 View Post
For me Slackware has been the best example of what a dive into the Linux side of the UNIX spectrum should be. You the user and admin learning about the system, not just at the fundamental levels, but the key core levels as well. This being only mirrored in projects like Gentoo and LFS which teach nearly the same aspects, but not on the same simple terms as Slackware.

. . .

So, now I'm having to make a hard choice, stick it out with Linux and Slackware until the possible inevitable comes barring a remote chance of total revolt against this one need not be mentioned project by developers and distribution maintainers alike, or jump ship to FreeBSD and see where the wind and currents take me out into the UNIX ocean that is free from this project that has caused enough turmoil and controversy to last a lifetime.
"Possible inevitable" is an oxymoron. Nothing has happened to Slackware. It is still exactly what you have described and what you claim to love about Linux, and there is no reason to believe that it is going to fundamentally change in any way. In fact, given the faith you have expressed in the project and the maintainers, you have every reason to believe that it will not. So I don't actually see the problem.

If you want to use FreeBSD, then use FreeBSD. It isn't really a big decision. Throw it on a spare computer and fiddle with it in your spare time, or dual boot. What's the harm? I've been meaning to do it myself when I have the time (of course I see no sign of that coming!), since everyone in our field probably should, just for the experience.

Or better yet, as STDOUBT said, create your own distro. I think that's a great idea. Maybe you'll get it right (as far as you're concerned anyway), and you will not have to spend any more time debating the controversy of decisions others have made. That's the beauty of Linux and open source: you can do whatever you want!

Good luck to you.

Last edited by Kallaste; 07-09-2013 at 12:54 AM. Reason: spelling
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-09-2013, 01:07 AM   #27
jtsn
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2011
Location: Europe
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 908

Rep: Reputation: 447Reputation: 447Reputation: 447Reputation: 447Reputation: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z038 View Post
I last tried FreeBSD version 6.0 back in 2005. It didn't support the video hardware I had at the time on a system I'd just built, so I replaced it with Slackware, which worked perfectly.
That shows one of the issues of the current ecosystem. The support of video hardware should not be in the scope of FreeBSD, it's actually Xorg which provides the drivers. While predecessor XFree86 put effort into making their distribution compatible with every OS, the Xorg maintainers are only interested in Linux. Funnily enough, with a nVidia GPU you get a commercially supported closed-source driver, which is currently the best option for a FreeBSD desktop. So much for having choices with free and open source software...

Well, XFree86 is dead now, I wonder what will happen to Xorg once Wayland gets adopted by major players...

Last edited by jtsn; 07-09-2013 at 01:11 AM.
 
Old 07-09-2013, 06:53 AM   #28
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Hanover, Germany
Distribution: Main: Gentoo Others: What fits the task
Posts: 15,653
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4095Reputation: 4095Reputation: 4095Reputation: 4095Reputation: 4095Reputation: 4095Reputation: 4095Reputation: 4095Reputation: 4095Reputation: 4095Reputation: 4095
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsn View Post
That shows one of the issues of the current ecosystem. The support of video hardware should not be in the scope of FreeBSD, it's actually Xorg which provides the drivers. While predecessor XFree86 put effort into making their distribution compatible with every OS, the Xorg maintainers are only interested in Linux. Funnily enough, with a nVidia GPU you get a commercially supported closed-source driver, which is currently the best option for a FreeBSD desktop. So much for having choices with free and open source software...

Well, XFree86 is dead now, I wonder what will happen to Xorg once Wayland gets adopted by major players...
Video drivers have a kernel and a userspace component. Xorg, in the form of Mesa, only provides the userspace part of the drivers, the kernel part is up to the manufacturers or volunteers. So providing video drivers is very well in the scope of FreeBSD.
 
Old 07-09-2013, 06:58 AM   #29
jtsn
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2011
Location: Europe
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 908

Rep: Reputation: 447Reputation: 447Reputation: 447Reputation: 447Reputation: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Video drivers have a kernel and a userspace component.
Not every video driver has or needs a kernel component.
 
Old 07-09-2013, 09:01 AM   #30
hitest
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD
Posts: 4,281

Rep: Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588Reputation: 588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z038 View Post
hitest, the old box has a K7 series AMD Athlon 3200+ XP Barton core processor (socket A, aka 462), maxed out at 2 GB of RAM (it originally had 512MB, but I upgraded somewhere along the way), and a 200GB hard drive (seemed really huge at the time). I don't recall the video specs off hand, but it was nothing exotic.
That unit certainly has enough RAM and disk space to run a BSD. You could try installing Virtualbox on the unit and test run FreeBSD and see how your video card does. Xorg ships with a lot of video drivers.
 
  


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
LXer: The Future of Unix Standards: Unix 10? LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 12-30-2009 04:30 AM
Would you consider FreeBSD 7.0 a good choice for a sever? x3kyu510n Linux - Server 3 03-17-2008 02:04 PM
Is FreeBSD the right choice? LOL *BSD 11 09-28-2007 07:26 PM
LXer: Desktop FreeBSD: 64-bit Future LXer Syndicated Linux News 1 10-06-2006 12:14 PM
Thinking of Installing FreeBSD brokenflea *BSD 1 10-28-2004 12:28 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:00 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
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