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-   -   Why use Slackware? (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/slackware-14/why-use-slackware-685738/)

Ian2503 11-24-2008 10:05 AM

Why use Slackware?
 
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking/reading for a while now - recently just plucked up the courage to wipe my windows laptop and start using Slackware as my main OS... GULP. I love it but it was big step for me :-)

So my question is this, I chose to use Slackware because backtrack, apparently, is very similar to it and I wanted to learn a distro that was similart to backtrack as I am a security consultant with very little linux experience, it's like an oxymoron isn't it :-P But I am getting exhausted with it because there are very little Slackware packages out there. I have managed to get my laptop going - with widescreen nvidia drivers n all.. go me :-) But.. for example, I just went to find Nessus for it and again, no Slackware version.

Why does everyone persist with it if there isn't any packages? Is it just the stability of it? I'm not complaining because I do like it, I especially like the fact that it boots to CLI by default as I prefer running tools from that because a) they're quicker and b) well, it's just cooler. lol

Could someone possible give me an explaination of how we get round this? Can I just use rpm2targz for everything?

Thanks in advance for this and thanks also for all your other posts that have got my system up and running.

Ian

ErV 11-24-2008 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian2503 (Post 3352764)
But.. for example, I just went to find Nessus for it and again, no Slackware version.

If it has source code, you can compile it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian2503 (Post 3352764)
it boots to CLI by default

Can be easily changed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian2503 (Post 3352764)
Could someone possible give me an explaination of how we get round this? Can I just use rpm2targz for everything?

No. Learn how to make slackware packages from source. It is easy, and there are many ways to do that.

mcnalu 11-24-2008 10:18 AM

I like slackware because it's the most "understandable" of the distros I've tried.

Most packages I need can be built using the slackbuild scripts from http://www.slackbuilds.org.

When there isn't a slackbuild there I download the source and compile and install it myself, usually by creating a slackbuild script for the purpose.

hitest 11-24-2008 10:35 AM

Why use Slackware? I've found that Slackware is stable, secure, and easy-to-understand. Nothing is hidden from the user with shiny GUIs. All system functions are controlled by logical easy to configure text files.
Slackware does the job for me. :)

adriv 11-24-2008 10:53 AM

When you want ready-to-go-Slackware-packages, you can always go to Slacky-eu or LinuxPackages.net.
Nessus for example can be found at Slacky-eu: http://www.slacky.eu/index.php?searc...search&Itemid=

Personally, I prefer SlackbuildScript from SlackBuilds.org, or when compiling from source (and there are no SlackBuild scripts available), src2pkg usually does a fine job. :)

Ian2503 11-24-2008 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ErV (Post 3352783)
No. Learn how to make slackware packages from source. It is easy, and there are many ways to do that.

I am trying to learn how now but unfortunately Rome wasn't built in a day. I was just looking for a little guidance that's all - I'm certainly not looking for a step-by-step guide or to have my hand held.

Looks like I need to learn how to compile the programs and then life will be easier. For now I'll try out the sites adriv and mcnalu suggested to get me up and running - thanks for that, I appreciate it.

Ian

ErV 11-24-2008 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian2503 (Post 3352837)
I am trying to learn how now but unfortunately Rome wasn't built in a day. I was just looking for a little guidance that's all - I'm certainly not looking for a step-by-step guide or to have my hand held.

Looks like I need to learn how to compile the programs and then life will be easier. For now I'll try out the sites adriv and mcnalu suggested to get me up and running - thanks for that, I appreciate it.

Ian

This should explain it. It's not the guide from which I learned "make DESTDIR=pkg install" but it looks like it explains same thing.

Ian2503 11-24-2008 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ErV (Post 3352841)
This should explain it. It's not the guide from which I learned "make DESTDIR=pkg install" but it looks like it explains same thing.

Super, thanks for that. I guess the more I use it the easier it will get.

Thanks,

Ian

ahmed gamal 11-24-2008 11:54 AM

look i tried slackware
it is fast , stable and u will find a very powerful team who will help u here

phantom_cyph 11-24-2008 12:06 PM

Another tool you can use is alien. You don't want to install everything with it because you'll end up with "dependency hell" like you would if you were installing software in Ubuntu package by package as opposed to having apt-get or aptitude find it's dependencies for you. If you try and start a program and you're missing a library or something, go find a deb or rpm (rpm.pbone is a good place) that has the library you need. Download it, and run the following command as root.
Quote:

alien -t nameoffile.rpm
It will turn out a Slackware package for you. But, like I said, use this with caution, it can form a bad habit and make you very mad if you want to install something that has a lot of dependencies. Always look for a Slackware package or SlackBuild first.

dugan 11-24-2008 12:16 PM

IT's true that Slackware doesn't have a lot of official packages. However, you can easily find, install and even make unofficial packages, or install directly from the source tarballs. Slackware's freedom from dependency tracking means no headaches over how packages work together. You install them, use them, and don't worry. Here are your options:
  • Install from the source tarball (untar, then read the README and INSTALL files in the package for instructions)
  • Use a build script from SlackBuilds.org (just like the previous option, except automated).
  • Find a prebuilt package on Slacky.eu
  • Use the third party tool "src2pkg" (it's as simple as src2pkg source-archive.tar.bz2)
  • Use RPM (which is part of Slackware)

T3slider 11-24-2008 12:26 PM

Stolen from another thread (also by me and mostly relevant. I don't feel like typing it again):

Building from source is highly recommended in Slackware. Since there is no official repository containing tons of apps, and since Slackware does not have automatic dependency resolution from within the package manager, you will probably have to compile something from source at some point. Slackware includes all of the development tools you will need by default, and packages are not split in two packages like most other distros (for example, there is no -devel package for any application -- the development libraries and headers are included with the application itself in Slackware).

I would encourage the use of SlackBuilds to build your applications. Slackbuilds.org is a great resource containing SlackBuilds for many applications. To learn how to use SlackBuilds to compile an application, see here. If an application is not available from slackbuilds.org, I would also suggest Alien Bob's and rworkman's repositories, which include both SlackBuilds AND prebuilt Slackware packages (.tgz files).

If you still can't find a SlackBuild, I would suggest slacky.eu, which maintains a large repository of packages and SlackBuilds. I would trust this resource less than the others, but it's still a great resource and I've never had any problems with it. I would stay away from linuxpackages.net though -- although there are some reputable packagers there, finding them takes experience. Some of their packages are built on unclean systems with questionable dependencies, and many of the packages don't include a SlackBuild, so you're basically going on blind faith that the application was built properly.

You could also try gnashley's src2pkg application, which I admittedly haven't tried but have heard nothing but praise about. It tries to automatically compile the application and build a package for you. You can also pass parameters to it if it doesn't build successfully (or if you want to customize the build). If you want to learn more about src2pkg, the wiki is a good place to start.

SqdnGuns 11-24-2008 12:44 PM

I use Slackware because I want total control over my OS and don't want the OS telling me what to do. Using Slackware you WILL learn Linux, using most other distros, you will learn that distro.

Alien_Hominid 11-24-2008 12:44 PM

Oh no... Not again... please. There were tens or maybe even hundreds of such threads. IIRC, I even made link list for them somewhere.

EDIT: and btw sorting by post count does not work, neither reaching threads more than month old.

Lufbery 11-24-2008 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian2503 (Post 3352764)
I especially like the fact that it boots to CLI by default as I prefer running tools from that because a) they're quicker and b) well, it's just cooler. lol
Ian

Hi Ian.

Yes, I like booting to the CLI too.

About packages, check out these two articles from Linux.com:

Slackware's "magic package maker"

and

Sbopkg provides seamless package repository integration for Slackware

These are reviews I wrote about two utilities that make creating packages easier with Slackware. I prefer them because they work "the Slackware way" -- in that they facilitate building Slackware packages from source and then working with Slackware's native package tools to manage them.

Regards,

-Drew


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