SlackwareThis Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.
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I just downloaded the current slack, and tried it out for a bit and am wondering what is so good about Slackware? I am by no means saying it isn't a good distribution but I just don't understand why so many people use it. I installed what I suppose could be called 8.1 beta 2 on ReiserFS and it just seemed unresponsive and not as quick as I would have liked. I know people use Mandrake for ease of use, and RedHat for maximum "compatibility", and Debian for such frequent security updates and such, so I guess all I am asking is for you slack users to perhaps shed some light on what makes it "Slackware" your preferred distro because it seems I missed something while testing it
1) it is the most unix-like distribution out there, so the knowlege aquired will be more easily transferrable if I ever need to deal with Solaris or other 'nixes.
2) Slackware has always favoured stability and security over the latest features (such as the time RedHad included the unstable gcc2.96 so they could claim IA64 support). While Slackware is not FreeBSD, it is frequently regarded as the most secure distro out of the box.
3) Slackware is not RPM based. RPM makes installation of sofware really easy, but this ease of use comes at a cost. Maybe I am just a bad administrator, but I find that RedHat systems are more difficult to manage in the long term, especially if you add and remove packages all the time as things tend to become cluttered. Also because RPM does not support overlapping packages - removing a package can break things you didn't intend it to break (slack's TGZ package system does not check for dependencies, but using it is always safe). Also some RPM dependent features of the OS tend to break if you compile packages from source, and don't install them from RPM.
There are other reasons I can't think of right now that should become evident after you use slack for a while.
You may not want to use slack if you want GUI admin tools, or want a Windows replacement, and although I have had a problem with adding functionality, this distro needs some patience. That being said, I love slackware and beleive any serious Linux user would benefit from is immensely
P.S.: at no point was this meant to be an anti-RedHat rant.
P.P.S.: if my information is outdated/wrong please correct me. Wouldn't want to misrepresent anything now would we
P.P.P.S: where exactly did you say your system was slow @responding? More than likely this is a configuration error on your part. That or you are using Nautilus (1.0.3 is extremely slow).
Thanks for your very adequate response, it was helpful and well worded. I at no time plan to be a SysAdmin or use BSD for any purpose as I am a Linux user through and through, as for response time I was not using Gnome or Nautilus as the environment of choice was KDE 3 which I know is in fact faster than KDE 2.X.X in most all aspects. But you are correct of assuming it could have been "configuration error on your part" being that I have never used Slack and was basically just a default install where I chose what packages to install.
Well I guess I have used BSD before, I tested NetBSD for awhile and it seemed to be an extremely nice distribution that behaved like one would expect.
I like Slack (although I don't use it too often) because it offers me a challange greater than my other distro (Mandy) does. It allows me to get in and tweak 'til my heart's content, and really see what is going on, without the need to do an LFS.
I chose Slack for my first shot at Linux because, like frig_neutron said, it's the most UNIX like w/o being UNIX. I have some background in AIX, so I figured that would help while working with Slack.
I haven't noticed any slowness in my system (specs below) except when I run anything KDE (not 3 - haven't tried it). I stick with Blackbox/Fluxbox for my window manager and rarely use more than 1/2 of my physical memory (under load).
Fuel - you should be able to find some info on console commands by checking for Bash HOWTO's at linxdoc.org
As far as Slack books/pdf's go, the online book at Slack's site is pretty much all that's out there that is Slack-specific.
Thanks for the link to the pdf. It looks like it's the same as what is on the Slackware site (in HTML format). If there are any discrepancies between the two, I'd guess that the website has the most current info.
Nice to have the doc in a different format though.
1) Often those fancy install and administrations tools don't work correctly. Although this situation has improved, I found that it was a lot easier to fix a configuration problem with the much simpler Slackware then with Redhat and Mandrake. Since in both of these cases you have to get down to manually editing config files anyway.
2) The default installation of Redhat, and especially Mandrake loads up a lot of stuff on bootup that tends to use a lot of memory and slows the whole machine down. Although this is not a big difference, when installing on antiquated hardware, this little bit of performance hit really adds up.
3) I also never got along well with RPM. It seems I just had to upgrade the whole distro to get updated software working. With Slackware, I often install updated software in the simple .tgz format and usually have very little trouble getting it to run.
4) Slackware seems to have a reasonable development cycle. Not so fast that it leads to buggy distro's (like SuSe and Mandrake) but not too slow (like Debian). It seems just right for me.
As far as response problems, I agree that Nautilis and KDE will really slow things down. I havn't used newer versions of Nautilis or KDE yet. Are they really that much improved? I currently use lighter weight WMs like Enlightenment, and IceWM on my slower machines. I use Gnome without Nautilis (using older gmc instead) or KDE2 on faster machines.
This all said, I don't think I would recommend Slackware to Newbies unless they have a high aptitude for doing manual configurations. Mandrake, SuSe, or Caldera might be better choices.
well this is how i became a slacker.
I wanted to try linux so i loaded Mandrake 8. It was a while back on a laptop i got from school i had it for about 3 days then i formated it to load win98. I thought linux was cool so when i got a extra hd i loaded red hat because some guy that came in my job said it was cool. I loaded it and i thought this isnt so bad. I found this fourm and talkd with people about RD and they said that its really going to limit what i can do later on down the line. So i thought well try Man again i loaded it and it was liked RD all over i got the same issues. Then i saw RD 7.3 beta i loaded it and it wasnt anything speical so i saw this guy on the forum saying that slack is the way to be. I downloaded it and ran it and never went back to the other stuff. I will admit slack is a whole lot harder than RD and Man but i fell as if i am learning more about the OS. Also things like Mplayer, seem to love Slack more than RD and MAN. Also in downloading other apps for linux i saw that many of the installs said "if your running man or rd dont send any bug reports we know that it doesnt work well in those distos" So i guess you can say the apps made me do it. LOL
The simple answer is; of all of the distros out there (and I haven't tried them all by no means) slack is the most powerful, secure (check http://www.linuxsecurity.com/advisories), and stable. I like grabbing source code and compiling it for my machine, RH, Mandrake, and Suse are good for replacing windoze but I think I'll always use slack as long as it's available. I've administered firewalls, file servers, web servers, dns, and email servers on both slack and solaris; slack is more robust.
Originally posted by hojoloco The simple answer is; of all of the distros out there (and I haven't tried them all by no means) slack is the most powerful, secure (check http://www.linuxsecurity.com/advisories), and stable. I like grabbing source code and compiling it for my machine, RH, Mandrake, and Suse are good for replacing windoze but I think I'll always use slack as long as it's available. I've administered firewalls, file servers, web servers, dns, and email servers on both slack and solaris; slack is more robust.
another good reason, didnt know slack could do all of that thou.
Well i've used FreeBSD which i heard is very close to slack in the way packages are installed (through .gz's). I say its very good for someone needing a good stable distro to work with. I also try to stay away from GUI Config utils as they never work right..like someone said before.