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-   -   Slackware And Arch, Whitch One For Me (

Zssfssz 02-05-2012 11:48 PM

Slackware And Arch, Whitch One For Me
I have always seen slackware as old and basically a Linux-From-Scratch system prebuilt. Arch always looked like the same thing but with a package management system and a um well... Slackware seems less bloted (we are compareing two VERY light distros here) than arch...
Well could anyone help me see if it meets the fallowing requirements before I partition an image file:
Has yacc, On Debian based distros it comes with the bison package
Has flex,
Has lua
Has GCC, I dought any of these don't support it
Supports elf format executables
Can install in 10GB of space
Can run with 512-1024M of RAM
Will both of these do that?
And whitch one would be better for unix education?
Whitch one is closer to a plain kernel with coreutils and bash?

John VV 02-06-2012 12:44 AM

learn both
then decide for your self

Zssfssz 02-06-2012 08:26 AM

Well then whitch should I go with first?
And Do I look like I have that much bandwidth?

Janus_Hyperion 02-06-2012 08:31 AM

Which one first? If you want GUI installed by default, go for slack. Otherwise, Arch. :)

dugan 02-06-2012 08:32 AM


Originally Posted by Zssfssz (Post 4595033)
And Do I look like I have that much bandwidth?

How would we know?


Well then whitch should I go with first?
Hard to say. Slackware gives you a stable and well-tested default install that you can always fall back on. Arch has better support for a minimal install. It sounds like both factors are important.

RockDoctor 02-06-2012 08:42 AM


Originally Posted by Zssfssz (Post 4595033)
And Do I look like I have that much bandwidth?

Yes, you do. After all, you're in Las Vegas, a modern American city well-connected to the rest of the country.

As for which distro you should try first, I suggest Slack.

H_TeXMeX_H 02-06-2012 09:08 AM

I think Slackware is what you want. I don't know who told you Slackware is old. Slackware focuses on stability and so is not bleeding edge, but is definitely not old. Everything is kept up to date with security patches as needed.

Arch is good too, but for education purposes I recommend Slackware.

JimBrewster 02-06-2012 09:26 AM

I can only speak for Slackware to say it meets your criteria. It strives to be a vanilla Unix-like interface, with minimal changes to upstream code. Slackware is a little different from other distros in that the entire set of official packages including source code fits on one ~4 Gig DVD. For new users it is recommended to do a full install, but then it is possible to run a console-based system, a very light wm like fluxbox, or a more full-featured XFCE or KDE desktop.

Included are a full development suite and internet server software. You will have to do some configuring to get servers working, which is a Good Thing from security, performance and learning standpoints.

Additional software is available as third-party packages or source code through slackbuilds. Doing the full install makes it easier to manage dependencies for any additional software you decide to add, since the default package management doesn't do automatic dependency checking. There are pros and cons to this, but it does encourage you to be more hands-on.

I'm not too familiar with Arch, but get the sense that it has a lot in common with Slackware, at least as far as keeping things simple and encouraging a hands-on approach to system management. The biggest difference I'm aware of is that Arch is a rolling release and Slack is a point release (though I'm running slack-current which is more like a rolling release). Slackware also has a reputation for staying a little behind the cutting edge for stability's sake. This is fine unless you have cutting-edge hardware or need the latest software features. Slackers in that category do a lot of custom compiling.

I'd also recommend giving each a spin. I'm happy with Slackware, but Arch is one I have been meaning to explore.

TobiSGD 02-06-2012 10:40 AM

For learning purposes both are fine. Actually, what you learn from the Slackbook can be applied to Arch most of the time and what you read in the Arch Wiki works most of the time in Slackware, besides the package management advices of course.

Nonetheless both have a totally different approach:
Slackware is a full featured system that gives you a stable desktop system that can easily be switched in anything you want. Slackware is not really cutting edge (having said that Firefox 10 just landed a few days before), but rock solid. If it breaks it will be your fault, not Slackware's.
Arch on the other hand just gives you a basic system without GUI or server software, from there you have to build it up yourself to whatever you want. If you follow the excellent documentation that is not very hard. Since Arch is rolling release it can obviously not be as well tested as a distro with stable releases, so sometimes it may happen that Arch will break with an update. I have not used Arch for long enough to find out how often something like that happens, it didn't happen to me.

When bandwidth plays a role for you then you should consider this: Arch has a very small ISO (and a very small base-system therefore) and it will download only what you are installing. Slackware has a large initial download that comes with a full desktop system. But when it comes to updating the system Arch will use much more bandwidth than Slackware because of it its rolling release model.

Hope this helpes, now it is your turn to decide.

Zssfssz 02-06-2012 07:54 PM

One, Cordin' to distrowatch slackware is the oldest surviving distro.
Second, I'm trying to build the absolute most bare bones system that can run ACK (see sig), is Reconisable (A Distro, LFS isn't known by many; slackware is, arch maby less), On Linux (want ACK with bare bones? Use MINIX), that's why there are all the strange requirements (bison, flex, etc).
I need no GUI, no X11 (about the same thing?), no emacs, just enough to get ACK working without too much crying.
And it looks like Slackware Wins! Unless the info I just presented changes anything.
Debian isn't a nomine because it seems like too much, too big, too familiar (only ever used Debian based distros, because there all I could ever get working ...or tried...)

colorpurple21859 02-06-2012 08:16 PM

do a basic install of debian without gui then apt-get what ever else you want might also be what your looking for.

Zssfssz 02-06-2012 09:26 PM

I JUST said Debian was too familiar, I know it too well and it seems too... Big for this.
And I have installed Debian over ten times on a real computer and virtual machine, It's boring, even if they have the same basic installer at least I wont have to fing again...

colorpurple21859 02-07-2012 05:27 AM

sorry about that. Slackware contains flex as a standard package, but lua will have to will have to be installed from or from a third party source of slackware packages. During the installation you have the option to install only the packages you want. with a little bit of googling there is a howto for a minimum install of slackware without xorg. Since slackware doesn't do package dependency won't get bloated with unwanted packages, but slackware doesn't have a large base of packages to select for installation except from third party sources. . Arch does have package dependency checking, if I'm not mistaken, so that part is similar to debian. In arch configuration files are done manually. In Slackware there a few configuration tools, but files can be done manually also.

JimBrewster 02-07-2012 07:05 AM

I'm not sure if you have the right impression about Slackware. It has been around for a long time, but not much longer than Debian. It is by default a full-featured desktop, server, and development distro.

By default then, it is not what I would call minimalist. That said, you could install just the a, ap, d, l, and n series for a fairly small but complete non-gui system. Install all but kde and kdei for a lighter-weight desktop.

I'm not sure what you mean by Debian being too big. It's about as scalable as Slackware. I do get the boring part though! ;) Debian also does more patching and branding of their software, which takes away from the vanilla Unix-like experience.

Debian and Slack are similar in that if you follow the simplest noob-oriented instructions you will get a pretty big system, but there are many alternative ways to install and get something smaller. Arch is the opposite, in that you always start from the minimal and build from there.

dugan 02-07-2012 08:44 AM


Originally Posted by Zssfssz (Post 4595513)
I need no GUI, no X11 (about the same thing?), no emacs, just enough to get ACK working without too much crying.

Slackware's "no X" support is actually very good. Packages that aren't in x or xap (including vim, and AFAIK mc and mutt) are compiled without x support, whereas on other distributions they would usually require X. Emacs is selectable on install.

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