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mario8723 03-21-2005 09:57 PM

Arch or Slack?
Alright, first things first. Nobody tell the guys in the Slackware forum that I'm here:)

I just downloaded the Slack 10.1 ISOs last night and was preparing to install them tonight. I'm a noob to Linux and have been running Ubuntu Hoary for the last 2 weeks but want a bit of a change. Seems to me that Ubuntu is a great distro but, for me at least, it's too easy if that makes any sense.

I want to LEARN Linux and want little hand-holding through the aid of gui's etc. Which is what brought me to Slack....err, sort of.

As I mentioned, I haven't installed it yet. Today I saw a review of Arch Linux on OSNews and it piqued my interest.

So, Arch users, what distro would you install? Slack or Arch?

cs-cam 03-21-2005 10:12 PM

Probably get a biased opinion in here but yeah, Arch ;) But now for the reasoning:

I've personally never used Slackware, a couple of other distros Gentoo being the most but never Slack. I've heard it said many times though that Arch takes the best from Slackware (couldn't say what) and the best from gentoo (package management) and rolls it into one distro. That said, Arch linux is loosely based on the idea of Crux Linux whatever that is so yeah. For me, the reason I like Arch is because I was already a reasonably fluent linux user from Gentoo, and Arch is just so much faster. Want to install OpenOffice? No need to compile, Arch will provide me with an i686 (close enough to my arch) -optimised binary which runs almost as quick as my Gentoo install did with well and truly less than half the time to do things. And should you run across something that you want to install and Arch doesn't have a package? No worries, it's easy to write a PKGBUILD (it'll make sense at some point in time) and then you compile it, install it via Arch's package management software and then just submit it to the devs to see if it can be included.

Nice distro.. go Arch :)

mario8723 03-21-2005 10:17 PM

I intend to install either Slack or Arch on a PIII 650 machine with, I believe 256KRAM, and a Voodoo3 video card. I know I should be golden with Slack, but can the same be said for the Arch installation?

cs-cam 03-21-2005 10:30 PM

Yeah, linux is linux. Be it Ubuntu, Mandrake, Arch or Slackware. The actual OS itself will run on a machine with much lower specs than yours. Much much much lower :) The difference is some distrobutions come with a lot of software preinstalled, it's that software that may have higher resource requirements, not linux.

Arch installed very minimal software in a base install - and this is what's recommended by the devs. From there, you can use pacman to install an X server, a window manager or desktop environment. Something like KDE wouldn't play nice with those specs but something like XFCE would or my personal fav, Fluxbox :)

mario8723 03-21-2005 10:57 PM

I have heard of Fluxbox. Do tell what you feel separates it from other Desktop Managers...

mario8723 03-22-2005 12:24 AM

Forget it, I just checked out the Fluxbox homepage and they only have partial support for Gnome...:confused:

mario8723 03-22-2005 08:31 PM

Anybody else with helpful suggestions before I try to install Arch tonight?

cs-cam 03-23-2005 12:36 AM

What kind of GNOME support do you want? Fluxbox is very basic but very configurable. If a desktop environment is what you're after then flux isn't for you but if you want something lightweight that works and can do some pretty cool stuff then it's definitely worth a look.

dcdbutler 03-23-2005 07:33 AM

If you have hardware problems, cross-check your modules from "lsmod" with those from Knoppix or another Linux OS on the same box to make sure it loads the correct ones - (especially ethernet if you find you can't get an ethernet connection) - it probably will load the correct ones by the way.

Check your log files at /var/log (esp kernel.log) to make sure everything's ok.

I found a little program called hwd - it's in pacman's extra repo - to be helpful when setting up xorg.conf.

If you want to try out fluxbox while having gnome installed, it's easy to do - simply edit the home /.xinitrc file to execute fluxbox instead of gnome at "startx".

Spend a lot of time on the Wiki at - they have a great forum there too, though hopefully this one will rival their's before long.

mario8723 03-24-2005 03:10 AM

Well, I have good news and bad news:

The good:I installed Arch with little-to-no problems
The bad:I can't start x

My xorg.conf file is all screwed up. Basically what I think it's telling me is that it doesn't recognize my Radeon 9800 Pro AIW

WW Radeon: No matching device...

I'm also getting:
EE: Xf86OpenSerial:Cannot Open Device /dev/mouse
EE: Mouse0:Cannot Open Input Device
No core pointer
Failed to initialize core devices
etc etc etc

SO, whenever I try to startx I get dumped right back into the shell with nothing to show for it

PLEASE somebody give me answers! I hopped back onto Ubuntu and made my way over to the #fluxbox channel. They gave me some help as far as setting my xinintrc file. Apparently, though, it doesn't matter what's in that, because x isn't working

I'm in the #xorg channel now, but it seems everybody is either sleeping or could care less that I'm there:newbie:

HELP ME! I am begging for some help! I want to use Arch but I can't make any headway banging my head against the monitor...


mario8723 03-24-2005 03:16 AM

Well, I just travelled over to the Arch Wiki and it seems that maybe running xorgconfig may solve my problems. I will try that first thing in the morning....

ANY other advice is welcome!:eek:

Skyline 03-24-2005 04:33 AM


I'm also getting:
EE: Xf86OpenSerial:Cannot Open Device /dev/mouse
EE: Mouse0:Cannot Open Input Device
No core pointer
Failed to initialize core devices
For the core devices error, you need to change the Option "Device" line under # Core Pointer's InputDevice section in your xorg.conf file to:

Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"

dcdbutler 03-24-2005 07:16 AM

yea, don't worry too much, xorg.conf just requires some minor editing. Pointing xorg at the correct mouse device will help. Don't bother with xorgconfig though, unless you happen not to have the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf and need to create it.
You can always recheck the warnings (WW) and errors (EE) from xorg by looking at its logfile, found in the usual place, /var/log

cs-cam 03-24-2005 05:10 PM

pacman -S hwd

It can generate a better xorg.conf than xorgconfig if you need a new one :)

mario8723 03-25-2005 02:31 AM

I took your advice and ran hwd -s to generate my xorg.conf file. Worked like a charm! Thanks!

Unfortunately, I had some beacoup problems with my xinitrc file. Basically, every time I ran startx from the shell I would get dumped into twm. Ugh.

Anyway, I was able to make my way over to the #archlinux IRC channel and the wonderful gentlemen over there were able to ease my pain and get me, eventually, into fluxbox. Thanks to dadexter especially for that!

At this point I am simply adding packages etc via Pacman to get myself a full running system, but otherwise all is well! Welcome to Archlinux indeed!:D

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