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Old 08-03-2005, 03:49 PM   #1
Cinematography
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Why do you like Slackware?


I'm having a problem understanding why Slackware is so loved. What makes it better than an OS like Mepis? I guess it really depends on what the user wants. I want automation, an easy way to install programs, and java, flash, and mp3 and mpeg playback already installed so I can focus on doing my work and not have to bother too much with setting up the OS. Does Slackware have any of this?
 
Old 08-03-2005, 03:50 PM   #2
trickykid
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Moved: More suitable in our Slackware forum.
 
Old 08-03-2005, 04:12 PM   #3
chess
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Re: Why do you like Slackware?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cinematography
I want automation, an easy way to install programs, and java, flash, and mp3 and mpeg playback already installed so I can focus on doing my work and not have to bother too much with setting up the OS. Does Slackware have any of this?
Nope, and that's exactly why I like Slackware. I like to have my OS clean and simple. I like to learn, and I have learned more about linux in the 6-8 months I've been using Slackware than in all the previous 3 years combined.

Truth be told, Slackware does have an easy way to install programs: download a slackware package and type "installpkg whatever" and that's it. If slackware doesn't include a package, check out linuxpackages.net, which is a large repository of slackware packages. Or, compiling from source is easy and actually works in Slackware. Or use swaret or slapt-get, two third-party package management tools.

But I know what you mean. And no, Slackware is not like Mepis or Mandriva or SuSE or whatever in that Slackware does not install a bunch of stuff like nvidia drivers, flash, realplayer, etc. It does not hold your hand. You will need to do those things yourself, but that's exactly why I like it.

It might not be some people's cup of tea, but I am done distro-shopping.
 
Old 08-03-2005, 04:20 PM   #4
phil.d.g
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Have you used it?

Once you have based the basic concepts of unix type systems and how they work and once you have learned how to configure programs by editing text files then you will find no distro simpler and easier to configure than slackware.

An install provides you with a basic but fully functional OS and more importantly most of the developing libaries you are ever likely to need. This makes compiling very easy as you don't need to go and hunt down required libaries.

Slackware is one of the oldest disros and the most unix like out of all the Linux's, It doesn't ship with the latest and maybe not so greatest software but airs on the side of caution to ensure stability.

I think you will find all slackware users are not interested in fancy guis to configure everything and a million and one processes running to make the system more 'user friendly' they'd rather configure the system themselves and have a lean and fast computer.

Slackware also doesn't attempt to hide the system from the user, rather lets you jump straight in and get your hands dirty.


Well, just a few points here.

I think you need to install slackware and give it a serious go before you can fully understand why its so great

EDIT: just to make myself clear, when I said 'fully functional OS' I mean the actual core system, for user apps like firefox or openoffice whats on the slackware CD choice is pretty limited, many apps will need to be downloaded, compiled and installed to make it a functional desktop computer

Last edited by phil.d.g; 08-03-2005 at 04:23 PM.
 
Old 08-03-2005, 04:23 PM   #5
tuxdev
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The automation is not there, but you can still use the hardware detection automagic.
#alsaconf //configures sound
#xorgsetup //detects and configures X
#xorgcfg -textmode //fine tunes or creates configuration for X
localhost:631 in a browser brings up the printer adminstration

For an easy way to install programs, you can use slapt-get or swaret, along with the linuxpackages.net unofficial package repository.

Java and flash is can be installed into firefox easily by visiting the firefox website or by creating a link in /usr/lib/(firefox-directory)/plugins.

xmms(music) and Xine(video) are on the CDs and are usually installed.

Installing and configuring slackware takes about one day, and can be sped up by saving your configs in mepis.
 
Old 08-03-2005, 04:26 PM   #6
win32sux
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Re: Why do you like Slackware?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cinematography
What makes it better than an OS like Mepis?
absoloutely nothing... if someone told you slackware is better than mepis they were simply giving you their opinion... don't take it as anything factual or anything like that...

Quote:
I want automation, an easy way to install programs, and java, flash, and mp3 and mpeg playback already installed so I can focus on doing my work
slackware's administration isn't as automated as other distros... the most obvious example is the package system, which doesn't take care of (or complain about) dependancies... slackware expects you to know what you are doing... having said that, installing slackware packages is really simple:
Code:
installpkg example-1.0.tgz
yes, slackware comes with java and mp3/mpeg support out of the box... the main media player included is xine but you can easily install or compile (for example) mplayer or any other one if you want...

i think it doesn't come with the flash plugin (i'm not sure) as i'd imagine there would be a license issue... either way, installing the flash plugin is only a matter of copying one or two files into the plugins directory of your browser...

if you want an automated package manager for slackware there's several third-party ones, like swaret, slapt-get, etc...

Quote:
and not have to bother too much with setting up the OS. Does Slackware have any of this?
well, like i said, slackware expects you to use the CLI to configure your system, if that's an issue for you then you might have problems... but even so, i think there's slackware-based distros out there that are aimed at keeping things more GUI-oriented... maybe vector?? i'm not sure... keep in mind that on slackware (or any other decent distro) you'll basically only need to setup once and after that you can focus on actually USING the system... also consider that slackware, because of it's CLI-oriented administration, when compared to other distros almost always proves to be a much more educational experience...

the main reason i like slackware so much is because of it's simplicity and straight-forward no-frills design... another reason is the slackware community itself (specially this slackware forum here at LQ)...


Last edited by win32sux; 08-03-2005 at 07:22 PM.
 
Old 08-03-2005, 05:42 PM   #7
D4ve G
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I use Slackware, the speed is awesome and the install is a lot quicker and maybe even simpler then gentoo. The only thing I miss is gentoo's portage system but compiling yourself is not all that bad.
 
Old 08-03-2005, 05:55 PM   #8
WilliamS
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It bugs me not.
Everything works, and keeps on working.
 
Old 08-03-2005, 06:49 PM   #9
Gold Yo
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Also, despite what most reviews here on LQ say... Slackware's installer is simple, provided you're able to read. It's a straightforward curses-based installer. You do have to do your partitioning before running the installer though, but it's not much of a setback.
Slackware's setup process can be simplified to:
1) Partition drive.
2) Run setup from the CD.
3) Follow instructions.
4) Congratulations, you have Slackware!
 
Old 08-03-2005, 06:59 PM   #10
Murdock1979
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Hello,

I personally think what the above Slackware users mentioned are the major points to be made.

I just want to add that if you know what you want with your system, Slackware is the quickest way to get there. But if you want to rest on the mighty current of IT trends, you've got to go for another distro.

I mean, what major Y2K distro still fits almost on one CD (besides Slackware, of course)?

However, at the end of the day, Linux is Linux, so even Slackware is essentially the same as any other distro. Slackware just cuts away all the excess fat and gets down to the meat of the system. Diehard Slackware fans are not irrantionally passionately in love with Slackware (at least initially), but just simply feel that that's how an OS should be done.

Also, Slackware is loved is because the Linux community is made up of people who are more computer literate that the average computer user today. They do not view a computer as just a console to play games or write book reports. The notion of love only applies to comptuer literate users. I never heard of anyone saying they are in love with Windows XP (although it is a decent OS). That's simply because one who likes Windows by definition cannot love it.

Take a simple computer course in Basic or C if you really want to know why it is loved so much. You'll begin to see that there is just something majestically beautiful about the CLI...really, I'm not kidding (ok, I'll admit you won't go that far and turn your screen back to a monochrone green screen)

If all you used besides Linux is Windows, then you probably will have a hard time appreciating Linux altogether. A basic philosophy of Windows is that it's ok to overload the system with useless OS subroutines, modules and drivers, because you're going to be buying a new computer that's faster and has more memory anyways. It's like it's ok to eat and get fat, because all you need to do is buy larger size clothing. Linux is about eating right and staying healthy and slim. In fact, IMHO, if Windows would not be around and Linux would be the leading OS, Intel's chip would perhaps still be back in the Pentium 2 (or Pentium 3 for graphics routinues) era. Only because Windows demands so much from the operating system, we needed to accomodate it with better hardware.

Later, fellow Linuxonian!

Best regards!
Mords

Last edited by Murdock1979; 08-03-2005 at 08:04 PM.
 
Old 08-03-2005, 07:00 PM   #11
zhy2111314
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I Like SlackWare ... just for it's kiss principle.
 
Old 08-03-2005, 07:01 PM   #12
Cinematography
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Re: Re: Why do you like Slackware?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jackson1995
But I know what you mean. And no, Slackware is not like Mepis or Mandriva or SuSE or whatever in that Slackware does not install a bunch of stuff like nvidia drivers, flash, realplayer, etc. It does not hold your hand. You will need to do those things yourself, but that's exactly why I like it.
I still don't understand why someone would actually want to install all of this stuff on their own and not have it already there for them. It's like getting a car without seats. I guess Slackware is for people who like building. Slackware might not be an option I would want to consider.

Quote:
Originally posted by phil.d.g
Have you used it?
I tried to but I couldn't even get pass the login window. Just recently I found out I had to type in 'xconf' and 'startx' just to get it going.

Quote:
Originally posted by win32sux
whomever told you slackware is better than MEPIS was simply giving you their opinion... don't take it as anything factual...
I didn't. Mepis is my current favorite. I'm using Xandros right now for the sake of my roommates who need something even easier to use.
 
Old 08-03-2005, 07:12 PM   #13
tuxdev
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Slackware's aim is to be as basic and as stable as possible. Therefore, they do not have anything you would not be able to find if you compiled everything yourself.
Vector is a Slackware derivative that has made the automagic stuff easier to find and use. You don't need it if you know the commands already though.
 
Old 08-03-2005, 07:34 PM   #14
Franklin
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When you first try slackware, particularly when you have been using an rpm based distro or one that has a more "automagical" package management system, it seems intimidating, non-intuitive, or even backward. Often, permissions are set more strictly out of the box making things appear to not work when in reality, you just never had to deal with permissions properly before. Setting up services involves uncommenting lines in scripts which is simple, but not intuitive for those that are used to GUI front-ends like YaST etc.

Just about everything I need comes with slackware and the other 10% I can compile from source or build my own package for. This also seem like "more work", but I have been f'd over by third party rpm's, deb's and even tgz's enough in the past to know that the time spent here learning is time well spent if you like a stable system.

If you run -current, you have cutting edge versions of programs built to work - period. Debian Sarge is as stable as slackware-current, but slackware is several versions ahead on many things (I run both).

I use rsync and upgrade/installpkg to ugrade and have to spend maybe 5- 10 extra minutes depending on the size of the update - actually that's not really true - slackware is just a little more "manual" not more time consuming. The changelog is well documented. There are third party solutions like slapt-get and swaret, but I like using rsync. I have my tree on my server on a NFS share so installs are quick and easy - just plug in to the network, boot with the install disk and choose NFS install.

On the one hand, I can see the benefits of something like apt-get when you want to install something new. It's nice to have a program that finds and installs all the dependencies. On the other hand, I don't see the benefit of this once you have everything set up the way you want. If you aren't making changes to your system all the time, the benefits of something like apt-get fall off pretty quick. An analogy might be that of people who work hard to create a system that boots fast. This might be nice in the case of a laptop, but unless you spend all day rebooting your box, what's the benefit? Plus, installing and removing things all the time is just asking for trouble in my opinion.

In the end, regardless of what distro you use, you are left with a GNU/Linux system. If you just want everything to work out of the box with little or no effort or learning curve, then slackware may not be for you. Actually, GNU/Linux may not be for you. But once everything is installed and configured, regardless of what you choose as a distro, you need to be content. Slackware is what I use 95% of the time and I have Debian, SuSE, and Ubuntu to choose from. Slackware works well for me and now that I know how it works, I find it as easy to configure and administer as any other distro regardless of package managment system. You may disagree. Such is life.

Also, I find lack of dependency checking to be a good thing. It has never gotten in the way of my installing software and has helped in cases where I needed more than one version of a lib/program installed etc.

I guess I just felt like using alot of words to say that what most people find easiest/best is what they have been using and what they are used to. This is as true for linux as it is for windows. After using slackware I find that I stick with it - even after trying other distros. It may be because Slackware is the best or it may be because Slackware is what I am used to. Your guess is as good as mine. All distros have fanboys and zealots and slack is no exception. If you try it, you will find it a little difficult at first. If you spend the time learning it, you may end up staying with it. If not, you will at least learn a few things about a differnt distro and about linux in general which is always a good thing.

Cheers
 
Old 08-03-2005, 07:37 PM   #15
win32sux
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Re: Re: Re: Why do you like Slackware?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cinematography
I still don't understand why someone would actually want to install all of this stuff on their own and not have it already there for them. It's like getting a car without seats.
what stuff?? the nvidia (3D) drivers?? the real player?? i'm not exactly sure there's ANY free OS that includes stuff like that...


Quote:
I guess Slackware is for people who like building.
LOL...yeah, maybe...

Quote:
Slackware might not be an option I would want to consider.
this is true... slackware isn't for everyone, and some people will simply be more productive using a distro with a GUI-oriented administration scheme... honestly, when i first tried slackware (coming from mandrake and red hat) i didn't really expect to get sucked into it like i did, i think i just installed it "to see if i could" because i had been fed the "slackware is difficult" myth over and over again and wanted to see what all the fuss was about... at first it was a horrible experience but eventually i "got slack" and i never went back to red hat or mandrake again...


Quote:
I tried to but I couldn't even get pass the login window. Just recently I found out I had to type in 'xconf' and 'startx' just to get it going.
i've never used xconf, but as for the startx: slackware boots into runlevel 3 by default... if you want it to boot into the GUI (runlevel 4) instead, simply edit your /etc/inittab and change this:
Code:
# Default runlevel. (Do not set to 0 or 6)
id:3:initdefault:
to this:
Code:
# Default runlevel. (Do not set to 0 or 6)
id:4:initdefault:
you wouldn't have to startx anymore, as your GUI session manager will be started...


Last edited by win32sux; 08-03-2005 at 08:00 PM.
 
  


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