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I started with Linux a year and a half ago with SuSE 7.1, then SuSE 8.0, then
RH8 and RH9.
At that point the following dawned on me:
1. Keeping SuSE and RH updated is first, tedious because the updating process
used to take, at a minimum, three hours (full install distros) over the relatively fast university network, and second, the way RH was giving me their update was too conditional to accept: every now and then I had to fill out the survey and if I missed one, I was "punished." No
thank you! I thought that the whole Linux idea was a community of honest and
hard-working people devoted to each other and helping each other. If I had mustered
the courage to completely stop using Windows, I was not going to fall into the
trap of distros (SuSE and RH) which were slowly but surely going the age-old
path of proprietariness, profit, and paying-customers-only operating systems.
SuSE's move to stop putting their ISOs for download convinced me that money was
now the priority. Thank you for the time when you were true Linux distros, but
now you're not.
2. Too many programs coming with SuSE simply did not work, and gave me the
impression that they were included just to fill the many cds and hence the rather high prices they commanded. And were they all tested first? I doubt it.
3. While most programs coming with RH worked, the overall performance and speed
were below par. With a P4, 512 memory, and 64 Mb VGA, this was simply not
acceptable. Opening OpenOffice 1.1 used to take, with RH9, about 45
seconds. I almost decided to stop using OpenOffice just because of the
intolerable waiting time.
And then I heard of Slackware (remember, I'm a newbie to Linux). Despite the
stories saying that it was "difficult" to live with, I nonetheless gave it a
try. After being a user of Slackware 9.1 for about three months, I can say the
1. Slackware is NOT "difficult" at all! On the contrary, everything is crystal
clear, provided one is ready to set aside a few minutes a day to READ what is
written in the numerous help files. The very few difficulties I had and which I
couldn't solve myself were solved by the many nice and friendly users at this
forum (thank you all!). Networking was a piece of cake, dial-up setting took 2 minutes,
and setting up the printer took 5 minutes.
2. I've never had a crash on Slack 9.1, which is something I can't say about RH. Put a defective cd in RH, try to read it, and see what happens. With me, the whole system froze, and "nothing" could defreeze it (not even the extra consoles thing). Maybe my ignorance, but hey, that's what
happened! Not only did Slack as a whole OS never crashed on me, but NOT ONE of
the applications/programs shipping with it ever crashed or refused to run either.
3. All that I needed came on two cds, and I'm the type who likes to tinker with
things and explore new apps. Why would SuSE come on 7 cds (ok, the last one or
two are the source, I know), and Slack on 2, and I wouldn't miss anything?
4. Slack is super-fast: it boots faster, it runs faster (OpenOffice takes
exactly 12 seconds to open as opposed to 45 on RH. A big difference, no? Now I'm
using OOffice again!), and it shuts down much faster (about 5 secs).
5. Maintaining it with Swaret is a pure pleasure: it is fast (full distro
install update: less than 1 hour), simple (just ONE command to type and
everything is magically done), complete (it checks dependencies and all that
stuff), and hassle-free (no threats, no subscriptions, nothing of that sort).
Compiling from source, if no .tgz files are available, is easy, universal, and
never crashed on me. I can also take the folder where the updates were stored
and transfer them from my laptop at work to my home desktop (Slack too).
Updating was never so easy!
6. Security-wise, Slack ships with very secure default settings (services are
off until you decide to turn them on) and the permission setting, though
slightly annoying at first (can't mount/unmount) can be adjusted later. So the
design is, I think: let's lock it as tightly as we can first, loosen it if you
7. GUI-wise, it's slick, updated, and beautiful to look at.
Bottom line: It's super-fast, easy if one puts the required intellectual effort
at trying to understand how things work (and isn't it why we have moved from
Windows to Linux?), stable, secure, easy to maintain, REALLY FREE, and nice
What can I ask more? Thumbs up, Patrick! I think I will BUY the cds next time (rather than download the ISOs) not because I am forced to but because I value your effort and your integrity!
Don't worry about it. Welcome to Slackware Country.
I remember SuSE having software that didn't work either. Like it was slapped together to fill the CD...
Mandrake 9.2 is not looking too bad so far. It's not going to replace Slackware as my main distro since I love the freakin' simplicity too much.
I agree with almost everything you said. I used to run Mandrake but switched for pretty much the same reasons...bloatware, bugs, performance etc.
Mandrake took forever and then another couple of minutes just to boot. They've plastered Mandrake logos, Mandrake Store links, Mandrake Club links etc. throughout the GUI and there are freaking ADS during the installation What's next? Spyware?
Even when you exit X and boot into a command line, the numbers "9.2" are written all over the screen by default.
I KNOW I'm running Mandrake without the bloody logo in my face all day thank you very much. It's like the OS is trying to scream at me: "HEY, YOU'RE RUNNING MANDRAKE!!!" "THIS IS MANDRAKE LINUX!!! APPLY FOR CLUB MEMBERSHIP NOW!!!" loud enough for my neighbours to hear it.
The configuration programs are screwed up and they've locked me out of X more than a few times by writing incorrect config files.
I don't want to pay up to $100/month for free software just to get a "club" membership. If I gave Mandrake the amount of money they want me to give them, it would be cheaper to buy MS Office and Windows every time a new version comes out. Also, the boxed sets are overpriced. They need to realize that while Windows comes out in a new version every 2-4 years, new versions of most linux distro's (including Mandrake) are typically released at least twice/year. You just can't pay $60 for each new version, that is worse than Windows because of the release cycle.
Slacware is the perfect newbie Linux. It's clean and quick to set up, and from there, you can learn at your own pace. It doesn't have all sorts of weird programs running that cause problems, and since it follows standards so well, even compiling from source works fine most of the time, where as that would usually just fail with some odd error message on Mandrake.
Distribution: Slackware 10.1 and Gentoo 2005.1 from Stage 1
I'm installing Slackware 9.0 and it is only detecting one of my nics. This just so happens to be the one that is connected to my LAN. I need both detected since I'm setting up a NAT DHCP SERVER. How do I tell Slackware that I have anothe NIC?