SlackwareThis Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.
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I'm very new to Linux, although I've been using UNIX on Solaris for many years. Anyway, I installed Fedora Core 2 over the weekend. The install was a snap, but the boot sequence failed as soon as I updated the kernel with yum. So I zapped the install and installed Mandrake 10.1. That install was too easy, and KDE is phat. It's all good, but I wanted to know why Slackware is so popular. What's so great about it?
Some reasons I use Slackware:
1.Fast, secure and more importantly to me the most UNIX like. Look on the pages listing Linux vulnerabilities and Slackware is often the least mentioned, and if mentioned patches are more than likely already in place. I have a DOS / UNIX background and for me the transition was relatively simple.
2. The Slackware team takes a deliberate approach to adding/upgrading packages and is not in a rush to be "the latest" in everything, thus avoiding a lot of problems.
3. I see a trend in distros becoming bloated
(I recently installed RH9 for a friend and it was 4 cds!!) You can easily avoid the bloat in Slackware by installing from just the first cd and have a solid system.
4. Lastly I like the package selection. A lot of good networking tools are included.
Other distros have their strengths and weaknesses and it is ultimately an individual decision as to which one to use. I would suggest trying several, noting what you like or dislike and choose according to your needs and preferences.
well, I want to say, that slackware something special is ...
every distro is trying to have dependecies checking, slackware doesn't, because Pat and slackware users believe that this option is not needful
every distro is making patches for applications, kernel, and when you try to install official release of the application, you never know what kind of problems you are going to have
when you install SuSe (home version or whetever is called) you don't have "make" on it !!!
but you have KDE, and when you ever try to use some other Linux distro or BSD, many of the SuSe (SuSe is not the only one) users will not know what to do ...
yes, I think that slackware is for more experinced users ...
but it was my 1st distro ... i started with slackware (FreeBSD and AIX much before) and it's probably not so easy but when you know how to use slackware, you will know to use allmost any linux distro ...
i say try it ... but be prepared for some work ...
Last edited by malo_umoran; 10-11-2004 at 10:30 AM.
3. when you install one application, you don't install 20 dependencies, but just this one ...
Wrong, you can success installing application but it would be broken. Try to install gnucash...... you may install gnucash by "installpkg gnucash-blabla.pkg" but it would not load up.
However Slackware is good. Really. If you don't mind to install software / application manually. There is a tool like swaret. I never use it when I was Slacker. If you want to use Swaret, you better use Debian with apt-get or Gentoo with portage. You will get all vanilla taste like kernel, gnome, kde...... That means you will get no bootsplash, or whatever......
A lot of it is package management. Want to know what is in a package?
Just use "tar tzf" to view a file list, or "tar xzf" to extract it. Want to
know in what package a certain file is found? Just go to /var/log/packages
and use "grep". "ls /var/log/packages" gives you a list of all software packages
installed. So you can use standard Unix tools instead of having to
learn custom "rpm" or "dpkg" command syntaxes.
Of course you could try to do the same thing with a GUI tool and a lot of
mouse clicks. But, believe me, that will take you a lot more time.
Want to create you own software package? In Slackware you can compile
the software normally, then instead of running "make install" your just
run "checkinstall" instead (assuming, of course, you have installed checkinstall).
In contrast, creating an RPM file is very complex. Just check out this howto:
Even the lack of dependency checking can be a plus. I was just experimenting
with a Debian-based distro and decided I wanted to uninstall the Firefox web
browser. The GUI tool I was using (Synaptic) told me that along with Firefox
I would be uninstalling the Gnome Desktop Environment, would I like to proceed?
All of Gnome depends on Firefox? I have always run into these kinds of strange
interdependencies when using rpm or deb systems.
Re: Why is this distribution (Slackware) so popular?
Originally posted by SAFX I'm very new to Linux, although I've been using UNIX on Solaris for many years. Anyway, I installed Fedora Core 2 over the weekend. The install was a snap, but the boot sequence failed as soon as I updated the kernel with yum. So I zapped the install and installed Mandrake 10.1. That install was too easy, and KDE is phat. It's all good, but I wanted to know why Slackware is so popular. What's so great about it?
I think the question needs more info from you.
What do you want out of linux? If you want just another desktoip OS to browse the web, slackware can do this, but it was not designed for this. You'd probably be happier with Fedora or Mandrake. Actualy I'd suggest trying a knoppix CD distro first, but...
Slackware is simply linux without all the fancy bells and whistles people have decided are a good idea. Some like it, some do not.
The dependencies issue mentioned here is confusing, I know. I will try to clarify.
Most applications depend on certain libraries and in some cases other applications being present.
A lot of installers will check for these dependencies for you and install them automatically.
For a new user this is beautiful, he clicks, walks away comes back later and runs the application [sometimes at least it works this way].
For the linux guru, he just installed 50 libs/apps he has no real use for and does not want, now he must figure out how to uninstall them. This is not always easy, sometimes the package manager will just uninstall the app and leave the dependencies there in case you need them later. Sometimes they willl ask, and sometimes they will uninstall them, even though another package needs them, thus breaking that app.
Also each distro has to package apps for thier specific delivery system, which can be highly annoying, as you might find an RPM for redhat but not mandrake, sometimes the redhat RPM will work for mandrake, sometimes it will force you to scream obsceneties and people ensuring Santa Claus brings you a lump of coal this year.
There is a lot of unorganization in the Open source community, and a lack of some standardization/approval processes for projects. Then again how would you sucessfully say no you can't develope that to someone in an environment meant to promote freedom in development?
It is just the way it is, browse sourceforge.net sometime, you'll see 8 projects doing the exact same thing, half of those will never get completed, the others will bompete with each other, rather than working on one app and standardizing it. Kind of like Instant Messaging these days. Anyway, this is what the problem is, slackware kind of gets past that with its system.
One day things will work better, maybe, but for now, this is my suggestions.
If you just want to browse the web and run openoffice.org, then go get Mandrake.
If you want to get a little deeper into Linux, programming, etc..., mayube even one day become a unix master, go for slackware.
If you want to build a custom OS designed specifically for your rig from the ground up, try gentoo, but be ready to do a lot of waiting.
That does not mean you cannot, run mandrake, and build the entire thing yourself, becasue you can. However, it was not designed with this in mind.
just try Slack, when you've taken the first hill ( ....so it boots and all hw. works ), then you will be an experienced user.( level depends on your hw-set ... ).
and for prob.-solving there's this site and the web.
You're right WhiteChedda, perhaps I should have mentioned what my intentions are as far as Linux is concerned.
Being a Java software developer by profession, I am always running app servers, web servers, database servers, etc, on my system when developing web-based apps and server-side software. So I will defiinitely need to use shell windows and perform a lot of command line stuff, but most of this I already understand from UNIX. Additionally, I like to have a pretty-looking desktop that I can customize, like KDE.
So I guess I answered my own question. I think I'll stick to Mandrake for now as it seems suitable for my purposes, but I may try Slackware just for the hell of it.
I've used Mandrake for 2 years now and recently installed Slackware 10 on my laptop. What's so great about Slackware? It MAKES you learn the nuts and bolts. In Mandrake, the ability to get down and dirty with the system is there, but it's very easy to say the heck with it and go back to the GUI tools. If you're going to get anything set up in Slack you're going to HAVE to learn some console tools, how to edit config scripts, etc. I've not had any showstoppers, but I've had to do some browsing for answers. I would not recommend Slackware for someone brand new unless you've got a lot of patience.
If you want just another desktoip OS to browse the web, slackware can do this, but it was not designed for this. You'd probably be happier with Fedora or Mandrake.
I could not disagree more. Fedora and Mandrake might be easier to set up as desktop machines, but to say that slackware was not designed for that is ridiculous. I think a major comparison between fedora/mandrake/suse and slackware is the amount of software installed. If you do the default install of mandrake, and all you want is a desktop to surf the web and make docs in openoffice.org, then you will have WAY too much software installed: newsreaders, email clients, four or five different window managers, 3 or four browsers, koffice, abiword, openoffice.org, and the list goes on and on. With Slackware, this is partially true but not to the same extent. You can get a simpler, faster desktop with slackware because there just aren't as many processes running.
I don't know how useful my response will be , probably fairly useless :-P , but I've decided to post anyways. For me , the reason why Slackware seems popular to me, is because it was the only distribution that I was exposed to, and have worked in , but thats not to say I haven't tried at least one other distribution , I have tried Mandrake, but because of my first experience with Slackware, I decided to go back to that... :-P