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This is a semi-random collection of posts on nearly all things Slackware and Linux-related -- at least as I see it.
Rating: 3 votes, 3.67 average.

"Slackware Linux assumes you're smart."

Posted 11-05-2009 at 02:56 PM by Lufbery

I use Slackware Linux at home, where I play systems administrator for my wife and me -- and eventually our child(ren, after the next one is born in December). I'm going to quote an interview with Alien Bob to explain why I use Slackware:

To me, Slackware’s philosophy has a different angle that sets it apart from all the others. To this day, Slackware has an extremely lean design, intended to make you experience Linux the way the software authors intended. This is accomplished by applying patches as little as possible - preferably for stability or compatibility reasons only. Slackware’s package manager (yes, it has one, pkgtools!) stays out of your way by not forcing dependency resolution. And the clean, well-documented system scripts (written in bash instead of ruby) allow for a large degree of control over how your system functions. Slackware does not try to assume or anticipate. The installer is still console-based, but it uses dialogs, menus and buttons nevertheless. Not depending on X during installation, Slackware’s installer is rock-solid, a statement which I can not repeat for the other distros I use. When you login for the first time after a fresh install you will end in the console instead of X. No assumptions are being made about what your intended use for Slackware is. This comes as a shock to many unsuspecting users, but it is the start of a learning experience.

I am well aware that the above statements are often perceived as negative, but in fact they make Slackware into a versatile tool that is adaptable to many needs. And yet, like any modern-day Linux distro, it fully recognizes and utilizes your hardware by virtue of the same kernel, Hal, D-Bus, X.Org and a truckload of other applications that the big distros ship as well. Slackware does not live in the stone age of computing. It is strong and thrives. It is lean and speedy.

The testimonials of ‘converted’ Slackware users at and other forums show that Slackware’s philosophy of giving full trust to the system admin is an eye-opener to people who struggled with the other distros before. This continuous influx of ‘converts’ is one of the reasons that Slackware has not disappeared into oblivion. Slackware assumes you are smart! This appeals to people.
Eric put it much better than I have in the past. Saying that "Slackware stays out of my way," or "There's no dependency hell" really doesn't say much. Rather, it is a relief that all the systems maintenance and administration tasks are transparent. I check the changelog and download updates when I need to do so. I seldom update versions of programs (like Open Office) unless there is a security fix or I really want to update.

This approach gives Slackware users a lot of freedom and the responsibility to go with it. In contrast, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu (the two other Linux distributions I've tried) both have tools that automate updating the system and other software, but sacrifice freedom for ease of use. For example, it seemed that every time I started up my laptop with OpenSUSE, it pointed out updates (including kernel updates!) that were available. What it didn't readily show was why I would want to apply those updates.

So, now I have the freedom and the responsibility to update my system on my own schedule, and you know what? I don't always update it. Sometimes good enough is good enough. I'll get into my reasons in another blog post, but for right now I'll end with the observation that I would rather have configuration and maintenance be transparent but require some learning, than easy but opaque.
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  1. Old Comment
    i'll tell how i came to know that system.
    one day, back in 2008 i got back home after a day i spent watching my friend configuring router on slackware. i thought i can manage it that easy myself, lol!
    i got slackware 12.1 that day(it was latest back then) and tried to install. i was totally confused =) i decided to wait. then one my buddies brought me ubuntu 7.10 and that was trashed as well. i tried ubuntu 8 later and with the same feelings it was thrown away but i never really thrown away that slackware DVD knowing that one day i will beat that system. at that moment i was working in windows(yes, since 2005 i was by the summer of 2009).
    then i got to know all the real destruction power of windows that was killing my PC and moved to linux, to debian lenny. since i work on it. in august 2009 i installed it to a very old PC (PI, 200mhz, 64M SIMM RAM 2.1G hdd) and made a router from it with debian lenny and iptables(i failed to do that with router-distros are meant to be user-friendly but it came out they are hardware unfriendly requiring either too much ram or space or doing some things i don't want to). i felt like im skilled with linux enough so i tried gentoo. when i built it and run from a first try(o_0 i thought it can't be) i thought it's a good time to challenge slackware ;)
    so i did. fetched 13.0 release and started installing. at the point of installing LILO it failed to install it automatically(12.x won't fail at that step). it was trying to install boot loader or find kernel(don't remember now what) on /dev/hdc which simply not existed in my system(NO IDEA where it has taken it from, perhaps some bug, my cdrom was /dev/hda and hard drive was /dev/hdd ) i configured it by googling and manually editing lilo config booting from slackware DVD and mounting my newly created partitions.
    i really love this system but right now im using gentoo and debian.
    i see gentoo as a half-way to creating my LFS in a nearest future(yes i will make lfs, for ARM PC when i will get one here in Russia).
    planning to move entirely on gentoo and move secondary server from gentoo to slackware =) i found these two distros as most "transparent" and since that, they seem easy for me to manage.
    <3 slackware <3 gentoo
    Posted 11-26-2009 at 12:39 AM by Web31337 Web31337 is offline


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