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Old 10-31-2005, 08:48 PM   #1
JesusFreak84
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Arrow I just have to decide between these: Debian and Slackware


I'm totally sold on both distros. :P Now, I'm using a laptop, so if there's a hardware issue, it's going to be a real pain. WindowsXP Pro here is just getting sooooo aggrivating that I think I'm going to have to back up and then erase the hard drive to fix it. Still, I do need XP on there to use the program I have to use for programming class (Microsoft Visual Basic) so it will have to be a multi-boot system.

Why should I/shouldn't I choose Debian? Slackware? They both have their aspects that appeal to me. I like all the software that comes with Debian and how easy it is to add new stuff, but I also like the uber-control Slackware can give, besides it being one of the oldest distros in the book, (at least from what I've read.) However, I've had hardware issues with SLAX (except for the "popcorn" edition,) and I don't want to install it only to find I can't use it.

Sorry if this post seems to wander around. I'm really sleepy for some reason, even though I got plenty of sleep.


Anyway, one more thing: given that I basically want a Linux/Windows combination, how would you recommend breaking down an 80GB hard drive, when I partition it? I have 512MB RAM right now but by next summer I want to have it up to at least a GB. The RAM that this laptop uses is so slow that I've used computers with the same chip (Pentium 4,) and half the RAM and run faster. (I hate you, HP... ) So I figure at least 2GB is already accounted for to the Linux swap partition, and right now XP Pro is using about 5.4GBish. That leaves...whatever's left to run stuff. I'd like to keep the Windows partition NTFS, but if I can only use one file sytem, FAT, then I'll bite the bullet and do it.

If a moderator feels it appropriate to move this thread elsewhere, sorry for putting it in the wrong spot.

I understand there's lots of stuff out there to read, but that's the problem. There's so much out there that I'm getting swamped by it all. (This is unfortunaly having to be a side-project besides all my classes and the million things I have to do for those.) I'm reading the Slackbook, but this thing is HUGE.

Yeah...so back to basics: Debian or Slackware?



***************
You have read a post from a
 
Old 11-01-2005, 06:09 AM   #2
masonm
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Both are excellent distros. Each has it's loyal following and each is quite stable.

In my opinion Slack runs faster so that may be a consideration for you. It also tends to have newer versions of a lot of software.

Since you have 80GB to play with, I'd suggest you create a partition for each and try them both to decide which works best for you.

20GB is more than enough for a distro, so maybe a 20GB partition for each, a swap partition of about 1GB, and the rest for your required Xp.

Note: renstall the Xp beofre you install the Linux distros so the boot loader won't be overwritten by Xp.
 
Old 11-01-2005, 06:12 AM   #3
Bruce Hill
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I tried Debian before Slackware, and the apt-get package management system is
basically what drove me away from Debian. Lots of software? With Slackware, if what
you want isn't available from an official Slackware mirror, just compile from source. That
way you can use any software available. I prefer Slackware because it complies with
the published Linux standards, such as the Linux File System Standard.

As for Windoze, you can keep the XP operating system on a NTFS partition, and make a
FAT32 partition if you need to share any data between the two systems. One word of
caution -- if you will ever download anything under Windoze, you must leave room for a
temporary file on your C: drive or you'll never finish a download that would push that
drive over it's capacity. With WinXP systems, I always make that partition 10G. You may
not need that much, but don't leave yourself too short. Of course, why would anyone
go online with Windoze?

SLAX is not Slackware; Knoppix is not Debian. Each is based off those distros, but
that is as far as it goes. SLAX doesn't detect everything on my laptop, and Slackware
does.

There are many opinions about Linux distros, and most guys have pretty strong
opinions after a few years. I really admire Eric S. Raymond for his Linux advocacy,
and he runs Debian. Just pick a distro and stick with it and learn it inside and out.
If you jump around, you'll more than likely stay confused. Persistence is the key.
 
Old 11-01-2005, 06:24 PM   #4
JesusFreak84
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All good points that I will consider. That both distros have a strong following is another reason I'm deciding between the two of them. In the short run, Debian definatly has its pluses, but as far as where I want to be with Linux a year or more from now, Slackware is pulling me in its direction.

As far as what I would need to download under WinXP, updated virus signatures is one, because my dorm network will not allow a computer to connect that is not up-to-date on virus signatures (which is a good precatuion, by all accounts.) I also have to do my stuff for programming class under Windows, so I will definatly want to give Windows at least a big enough partition for that stuff. At home, we use AOL for our DSL service (MUCH better than leaving it to SBC,) so I also need Windows to connect to the net at home.

And mansonn: love the sig.
 
Old 11-01-2005, 06:58 PM   #5
ctkroeker
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As many have said, both are great.
 
Old 11-01-2005, 07:00 PM   #6
JesusFreak84
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And it's because both are great that I'm so indecisive. :P
 
Old 11-02-2005, 02:06 AM   #7
scheidel21
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I like Debian myself apt is great, and you can compile anything else you can't find. With my opinion stated, they are both linux. They will roughly run the same with minor differences like location of some files in your /etc directory. If you want to get down and dirty and have highly optimized system, slackware is likely to be where you want to go. Slackware because of its lack of many built in ncurses and GUI based front ends for various things will mean a deeper understanding of your system.

Now with all that said, there is one drawback you may want to consider regarding Debian. IT does develop slowly, i.e. Debian 3.0 with the 2.4 kernel was considered the stable system until only a few months ago when 3.1 came out, while most distros had moved to the 2.6 kernel.

But this all may be of no use in deciding which to use. SO let's boil it down.

1)Do you want to compile everything for yor system? Great optimization, slower install. --Slackware

2)Do you want ease of use with packages? --Debian

Just remember both are linux they both allow you complete control over your system. Pick one Learn one, become one with your linux distro.

Alex
 
Old 11-02-2005, 03:29 AM   #8
WoofDeF
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I have three distros on a 20GB hd and still have space left over - I have no idea why people need to install gadzillion packages, 5 browsers, gnome AND kde etc - it just slows your system down. One advantage of Debian is that apt-get/aptitude makes it easy to install (and remove) packages and it's generally agreed to be the best of the package managers. I think if you're fairly new to linux, start with Debian. Move to Slackware later.

With 80GB you can knock yourself out with multiple installations, unless you have a special need for huge software. Light software (fluxbox or icewm, dillo, emelfm, scite etc) will run fast and lean in tiny spaces. 5GB is enough for an average Debian3.1/Fedora user even with Gnome + Firefox etc.

I've recently installed Vector - an easy way to get a fast, light "slackware" (some non-slackware packages and some different versions of packages I think). Perhaps a bit dinky (?) but boy is it *fast*.

BTW Congrats scheidel21 on your new son.

Last edited by WoofDeF; 11-02-2005 at 03:39 AM.
 
Old 11-02-2005, 01:56 PM   #9
JesusFreak84
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Quote:
Originally posted by WoofDeF


BTW Congrats scheidel21 on your new son. [/B]
Ditto.
 
Old 11-02-2005, 05:27 PM   #10
masonm
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Quote:
Originally posted by scheidel21
1)Do you want to compile everything for yor system? Great optimization, slower install. --Slackware
Alex
Ummm, dude, Slack is a binary install and most software is available in a Slack package. Only a few apps here and there you might want need to be compiled.

Last edited by masonm; 11-02-2005 at 05:28 PM.
 
Old 11-02-2005, 06:01 PM   #11
XavierP
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I have always found the Slack install to be pretty quick. I can be loaded and on the network (minus a GUI admittedly) an about 30 minutes. updates and KDE take about another 30mins - one hour.

I have tried Debian and it's offshoots, I've tried a variety of other distros, but Slack is the one I return to. If you want package management a la Debian, use Swaret or Slap-Get. If you are happy compiling from source (and we Slackers usually are) then in Slack it's easy. We have binaries and, of course, PackageManager.
 
Old 11-02-2005, 08:42 PM   #12
JesusFreak84
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Hmmm...say I'm moving along, using Slack, lalala, and a new app comes out that I want to install. How long, on average, can I expect that to take? (And versus if I have to compile said new app from source?)

I'm not such a fan of the KDE GUI, and I've tried that in a number of Live CD distros. Used Gnome in one, and I liked it better. Are there any other GUIs out there that anyone recommends? (Definatly need a GUI of some sort because I sometimes let others (friends and siblings,) use this laptop for whatever reason, and for both of our sakes, I don't want to have to reboot and go into Windows just for that.)
 
Old 11-02-2005, 08:53 PM   #13
Bruce Hill
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KDE is probably the easiest GUI for a Windows user, but it's also buggy IMO.

There is Fluxbox, but unless you customize it, a neophyte would be lost. You
must right-click to get a menu. Not a problem for me, but it would be for
someone unfamiliar with Linux.

There are other window manager / desktop environments. Some really like
XFCE, though I don't care for any desktop environments, personally. If you
do a full install of Slackware, after you boot to a prompt (run level 3) you
can issue "xwmconfig" to see the choices. Pick one then enter "startx" to
start the X server with that one. There are other wm/de's to choose from,
you'll just need to install them and try.

As for Slackware and apps, it all depends upon what Pat Volkerding puts in
the Slackware repository. But there are alternatives. Perhaps you'll meet a
few smart Slackers, build some trust, and they'll give you access to d/l their
Slackpacks. Or, better still, you might learn to use Checkinstall or SlackBuild
scripts or makepkg or something and build your own Slackpacks.

And in case you didn't know, Gnome isn't in Slackware any more beginning
with Slackware-10.2.
 
Old 11-02-2005, 08:57 PM   #14
JesusFreak84
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Dang.

I've noticed KDE being buggy, though, but if it must be... :P

And I like your signature.
 
Old 11-03-2005, 04:30 AM   #15
XavierP
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I, OTOH, have had no problems with KDE. But moving along......

A Slackpack (ending in .tgz) can take a few seconds to a couple of minutes to install depending on the package itself - the kernel, for example takes a wjhile to install. Installing from source is the same - MPlayer takes a while to compile.

However, if it stops installing, it tells me why - if it's missing something for example. And I know that it is compiled for my machine and will run well on it.

It really is "horses for courses" - Slack works for me because it works how I work.
 
  


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