SlackwareThis Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.
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For me, RH9 was my first Linux experience and I got frustrated with the woeful update thingy. I used it for a month and then tried Fedora 1 with the roughly the same results, which is not really surprising.
At that stage I was also wondering why everybody seemed to rave about Slackware so I decided that newb as I was, I'd give it a go.
It is a very refreshing install if you do your homework imho, and as I felt my way around I was in awe of the thought and care that had gone into producing the distro in terms of all the helpful comments in the config files.
The amount of help available on the internets is stunning (especially here ) and I found that it was much easier to install things in Slackware than the other two distros I had tried.
It takes a little while to get used to, but is well worth the effort.
Sorry for the long blog type reply, but you did say "convince me"
Nizman pretty much nailed it in the first reply to your thread!
Community support is a major plus. Most people who use slackware either learn quickly, or already know what they're doing already, but the big reason that they learn quickly is that the other slack users tend to be extremely helpful in at least trying to answer your questions, even if sometimes it's the wrong answer.
As for what's specifically good about Slackware, a very large part of that is Pat still having control over what gets into the distribution. Others could easily do the same, but Pat's got a vision of what he wants Slack to be, and he's been with the distro since day 1.
Slack is also one of the oldest distros around. There was a time when Slack was just called "Linux". Because of that, it's had a long time to mature. The community has had a long time to iron out the major glitches, and Pat isn't afraid to delay release of an updated version if he thinks that something isn't ready.
As has been said, there's a sane package system, too. .tgz packages are extremely easy to install and remove with installpkg and removepkg. There's also a GUI interface through pkgtool, and kpackage. Both of these let you browse through a list of installed packages, and remove the ones you want to get rid of. It also comes with rpm2tgz, a command-line program that'll convert an RPM file into a .tgz package.
One of the first things I noticed when I switched to slack was the structure of /etc/rc.d. I was used to RH-type systems, which had subdirectories for each runlevel, duplicating scripts, etc. Slack, it's all handled by rc.S and rc.M. The only difference between RL 3 and RL 4 is that rc.4 runs at startup in RL4, and all that does is load, in order, gdm, kdm, xdm. If you want to stop a script from running at startup, go to /etc/rc.d, and chmod it isn't executable. rc.M checks if it's executable, and if it isn't, then it ignores the script. If you want to change a startup script, then just go to /etc/rc.d, and edit the script you want to change. That's it. It's changed for all runlevels.
Those are just a few of the reasons why I like Slack. There's a dozen more, and then some. Really, the only way you're going to get all of the reasons is to try it out. Perhaps the best testimony I can give is this: I have always preferred Linux to the alternatives, but before Slackware, I still didn't like Linux.
I use it because I know where everything is. I used RedHat back in the day(7.2, 7.3, 8.0) and I felt like I never knew where everything was. In slackware it's laid out in a pretty logical way in terms of the rc.d files. So as I was learning to do stuff on my own and following tutorials it was easy to find everything. I know this sounds vague but this is really what started me in the beginning. When I installed an rpm it went somewhere and I had no clue where it went, in slack if I compile something and edit the config files, I know where it's going.
Aside from that, other distributions are really easy to use but the general consensus is "if you want to learn linux, use slackware". To a degree I'd say this is true. Using slackware has caused me to learn about my system (i.e. where my hard drive is installed, primary vs. logical partitions, learning the partition naming scheme, etc.) Additionally it taught me how to compile a kernel (I'm probably on my 8th compile of 2.6.7 this week), compile software manually, edit my xorg.conf file, and above all else use the command line.
Some people may think this sounds great, but once they hit their first frustration they switch to something else... which is fine. I however, like to figure stuff out, it's fun for me, and customizing the software to my needs is rewarding. If I wanted easy I could've just stuck with XP which (aside from security holes and service pack stuff) is a pretty good operating system; it's easy to use and everything works. However, linux started out as a hobby, it's a tinkerer's OS and if you enjoy tinkering i'd say slack is good for this because it doesn't auto-magically do stuff for you. There isn't much hand holding, but with a little effort the information is all there in forums, online handbooks, etc. it just takes a little initiative to find it.
so if you're a do-it-yourselfer then give it a spin. If you'd rather not have to bother and want point and click stuff then you might want to use something else. The difference is, after using slack, when stuff breaks I have a good idea of how to fix it because of experience. In a point and click distro, I'd say your chances might not be so good. I feel you learn by working through a problem, not jumping ship to another distro that does it for you... but different people want different things so figure out what you want and choose what's best for you.
Slackware is simple, elegant, straightforward, and has the best dev tools of any distros i ever used...
i started using Linux back when Redhat-7.1 was first released, i thought LInux was great since that first day running, but as Redhat progressed by the time Redhat-7.3 was released i started to hate Redhat's way of doing things for mounting & labeling filesystems, and RPM dependencys was another big turn off like the previous poster said ("RPMs need to die")...
i dont need a lot on the desktop so a simple WM is plenty for me and as long as customizing the menu is simple like Blackbox or WindowMaker i am satisfied, but i do keep KDE for family & friends, i never was a fan of Gnome so when Slackware-11 is released without Gnome i wont even miss it...
Originally posted by uman Everyone who uses slackware turns into a rabid fanatic. (I'm not saying that in a bad way) What is so great about slackware that you love so much? I'm thinking of trying it, convince me
If you've been using Gentoo for a while, you probably already have a lot of the benefits of Slackware that people have mentioned.
I'd be curious to hear from some Slackers who can say why a Gentoo user might like Slackware. Note that I'm *not* inviting people to slam Gentoo in favor of Slackware, but rather just to point out some things about Slackware that a Gentoo devotee might appreciate.
Incidentally, I'm in awe of anyone who successfully installs Gentoo; I managed LFS, but I choked on Gentoo, somehow. Someday I'll take another crack at it.
Personally speaking Slackware gives me the power to do what i need to do. I have this story to share, last week, i broke my box and there was a hardware conflict with the HD and the IDE controllers. and before this i was trying to install every distro and i burnt me a copy of ubuntu just to check and see if it loaded up fine. after i fixed the hardware conflict, the first thing i tried was loading ubuntu, the install went perfectly fine, hardware detection was good and done with a GUI but it didn't give me an option to specify a root password so i was stuck with sudo which really sucks instead of just su-ing to whatever you need to. within 30 minutes i loaded up slack on the system again and i was back in charge of doing what i need to. lesson learnt: slack's the best and as everyone on this board will say, slack is more to linux while redhat is redhat.