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Old 10-11-2009, 05:14 PM   #1
jrdioko
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Slackware user switching distros


Hey all,

It's been forever since I've posted here... glad to see LQ is still going strong.

I'm a long-time Slackware user who has had that distro running on my laptop (my main system) for 5+ years. My laptop is hitting its end of life, and I think it's time to get a new desktop and start from scratch in a lot of ways. Since I'm starting fresh on a new box, I've started thinking over the distribution question again.

I've really been satisfied with Slackware. I like the philosophy behind it, I like that it gives you complete control where you need it, and I like that its user base gives direct answers to questions rather than always falling back on Windows-like GUI utilities for configuration. But the truth is I don't have as much time to tinker with my system as I used to, and I'd rather some things "just work" (specifically, installing new software with dependency-resolution rather than spending hours compiling and installing 10 things from source).

I thought I'd post and see what recommendations people would have for someone coming from the Slackware world but looking for a little more ease of use. Ubuntu comes to mind as something lots of people are using, that is under active development, and that has huge package repos available. But when I think Ubuntu I also think of a distro trying to look and act as much as Windows as possible, and I wonder if that wouldn't be shooting myself in the foot. I've heard good things about Debian too, but I also hear they are extremely meticulous when it comes to the open-source philosophy (like that whole Iceweasel deal).

I'll go do my distribution research again before I make a decision, but I wanted to see what advice people here could give me.

Thanks in advance.
 
Old 10-11-2009, 05:26 PM   #2
XavierP
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The Iceweasel thing isn't that big a deal. It's kept up to date and works exactly as Firefox does. Ditto for Thunderbird/Iceape. Debian is a great alternative if you want a little less configuring. If you want to stick closer to Slackware, try Vectorlinux, Archlinux or Zenwalk as they all use Slack as their base.
 
Old 10-11-2009, 07:30 PM   #3
hoodooman
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Registered: Oct 2006
Location: Stirling in Scotland
Distribution: Slackware 13.37 64 bit
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try this

Yeah.I would second Zenwalk.Based on your Slackware but I believe it does dependency checking.Its on my 10 year old Sons computer.
 
Old 10-11-2009, 08:02 PM   #4
Mol_Bolom
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Registered: Nov 2008
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Distribution: Slackware64 14.0 / 14.2
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If you would like to continue using slackware, you could try Salix. It's based on Slackware 13.0 (as of the moment), and compatible at the same time. For package management it uses slapt-get and gslapt.

The only problem I've had so far is none of the intel drivers will work with my 845G, but the nvidia driver works fine on another computer I have.

Last edited by Mol_Bolom; 10-11-2009 at 08:04 PM.
 
Old 10-11-2009, 09:41 PM   #5
~sHyLoCk~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierP View Post
If you want to stick closer to Slackware, try Vectorlinux, Archlinux or Zenwalk as they all use Slack as their base.
Arch Linux has never used "any" distro as base. It is an independently developed distro.
Zenwalk was "originally" based on slackware.

Anyway I'm sort of confused when the OP says he can't use slackware because he doesn't have much time to configure but won't use ubuntu as it has GUI and reminds him of windows-ness. That's sort of contradictory imo. You have to either rely on CLI or GUI configuration. If you want to try something that works ootb, use sabayon,mandriva,ubuntu,fedora or suse. Else if you want manual configuration and complete control use: slackware,debian,arch or gentoo.
 
Old 10-12-2009, 12:37 AM   #6
jrdioko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~sHyLoCk~ View Post
Anyway I'm sort of confused when the OP says he can't use slackware because he doesn't have much time to configure but won't use ubuntu as it has GUI and reminds him of windows-ness. That's sort of contradictory imo. You have to either rely on CLI or GUI configuration.
Sorry if I was vague. I guess for configuring things, I'd rather dig through conf files in /etc by hand (although occasionally gui tools can be handy for complicated things you don't have time to research). So that's where I like the Slack philosophy. I guess the biggest issue (or reason I'd want to change) is limited package management (having to manually compile and do dependency resolution for every piece of software you want to install).
 
Old 10-12-2009, 02:08 AM   #7
DavidHindman
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I'm a long term Slackware user too. I recently got a new computer and went hunting for a distro that's easier to work with.

I thought Ubuntu was very nice. It takes days to fix up Slackware with basic multimedia capability and pretty fonts. Ubuntu does that in less than half an hour. On the other hand, if you run into something that's just broken it's harder to go into the system to try to fix it yourself.

I tried Puppy Linux, too. Puppy is a super lightweight live distro but you can also install lots of add ons. It gives you a very fine out of the box experience. It's preconfigured to give very good usability in its default configuration. I liked it a lot.

In the end I came back to Slackware and upgraded to 13.0. Puppy was a little too lightweight for me, and I couldn't quite get to the point of being confident about going into Ubuntu and trying to fix problems without breaking other stuff.

The one thing I didn't like at all about Slackware 13.0 was KDE4. KDE3 is still sort of available in 13.0 but the install isn't well documented and KDE3 definitely won't be supported in the future. Xfce didn't quite suit me either, though it looks like a good alternative for people who prefer KDE3 over KDE4. I eventually installed jwm, the window manager used by Puppy, which I liked a lot. I'm using Thunar from Xfce as the file manager and to handle the hot plugging for USB and external drives. I downloaded a new kernel and did a custom compile for Core 2 processor, realtime kernel, 32-bit and PAE. Yeah, I installed the basic multimedia stuff too, plus Opera 10, good fonts, etc. So basically I tweaked everything to suit me and I'm happy with the result.

But that comes right back to what you were saying about Slack installs requiring a lot of time and effort. The bottom line is whether you'll be satisfied with a system that's not tweaked to your personal idea of perfection. I thought Ubuntu and Puppy were two very fine "easy" distros, Ubuntu for the desktop and Puppy for the CD or USB drive you keep in your briefcase.

Last edited by DavidHindman; 10-12-2009 at 02:21 AM.
 
Old 10-12-2009, 02:37 AM   #8
~sHyLoCk~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrdioko View Post
Sorry if I was vague. I guess for configuring things, I'd rather dig through conf files in /etc by hand (although occasionally gui tools can be handy for complicated things you don't have time to research). So that's where I like the Slack philosophy. I guess the biggest issue (or reason I'd want to change) is limited package management (having to manually compile and do dependency resolution for every piece of software you want to install).
Go for debian.
 
Old 10-12-2009, 05:25 AM   #9
XavierP
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I agree - go with Debian. It has package management but still leaves the system as transparent and open as Slackware. So you gain ease of use without losing control.

(And according to the timeline chart in my sig block (as well as my own, often faulty, memeory) Vector started in 2000 and was based off Slackware)
 
Old 10-13-2009, 10:02 AM   #10
multios
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For Slackware based, don't forget Absolute
I've been using Debian since around Bo or Rex? Back there somewhere. Any way, give PCLinuxOS a try with the livecd.
 
Old 10-15-2009, 05:04 AM   #11
stretchedthin
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Slackware with a little more emphasis on "slack"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrdioko View Post
Hey all,

I've really been satisfied with Slackware. I like the philosophy behind it, I like that it gives you complete control where you need it, and I like that its user base gives direct answers to questions rather than always falling back on Windows-like GUI utilities for configuration. But the truth is I don't have as much time to tinker with my system as I used to, and I'd rather some things "just work" (specifically, installing new software with dependency-resolution rather than spending hours compiling and installing 10 things from source).

Thanks in advance.
If you want Slackware that is just set up and ready to go. I think that's what Distributions like Vectorlinux, Zenwalk, and Wolvix are all about. I know Vectorlinux offers package management with dependency resolution with Gslapt and it sets up video cards and codecs out of the box. You'll be completely set-up inside of 25min and still have all the Slackware goodness your used to.
 
  


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