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E3L3N4 01-15-2016 12:59 PM

Which distribution would you suggest? Learning Linux / Stable / KISS / Minimal / Slackware vs Gentoo vs Debian
 
Sorry guys it's too long if you want you can just read the first part.

My Needs
I know that I can't have them all, anyway I should mention them, the things which are important to me:

- Learning new stuff about linux
- Having a good Documentation - Wiki
- Being Rolling release
- Customizable
- Well commented config files
- Being able to config system by editing configuration files - I hate seeing statements like: Do not edit this file your changes will be overwritten.
- Being able to easily install/compile softwares.
- Having access to (reasonable amount of) software packages (Binary) in official repositories
- Being able to have a minimal install, just basic stuff and then make it looks/works as I wish
- No graphical tools to install software / configure system etc.
- no unwanted packages/libraries/DE/Wm/Configs pre-installed
- Free Software (GNU) / Open Source
- Stability, But I want some packages to be always up to date like my browser and getting security updates as soon as possible.
- If it's possible no systemd
- Being nice with laptops :D I did not have any problem with other distribution except that I can't put my laptop on sleep :| (thinkpad e540)

The Story
I'm using ubuntu mini + openbox for almost a 1.5 year on my main PC and I also used Arch linux and Debian for a while on my PC and laptop.
Almost 2 year ago I tried Slackware too and it was really good and I kinda liked it but compiling packages on my old PC and dependency resolving was painful for me, however it was a really great experience (something around ~48 Hours :D).

Arch Linux
Arch is really good and I learned a lot of things from its awesome Wiki, anyway I thought that I should test something new and learn more about Linux.

Options
So first thing which cammed into my mind was Slackware, anyway I started searching and looking for something which meets my needs, I read a lot of "X Vs Y", spend time in watching reviews on YouTube, then installing distros on my laptop (Arch Linux, Fedora net install / Debian net install).
Finlay I decide to go with something like Slackware which handles dependences and is minimal, because I do not like anything pre-installed and pre-configured on my machine (on my Arch Linux I had something around 700 Packages), Also I really don't like the idea of installing a lot of package to get everything work properly.
First I thought I should go with salix then I thought why not slackware itself? then I decide to giving gentoo a shot.

Gentoo
I installed gentoo with Luks + LVM, during the install process I found out most of the things that I'm doing is specific to gentoo (maybe I'm wrong), the other thing about gentoo is that I'm on really slow Internet connection and downloading source is not really a good option for me, after installing gentoo I started installing cryptsetup because of the Luks! then portage started downloading a lot of stuff like SELinux which i didn't want them, so I powered off my laptop and slackware process stared... :D

Slackware
Then with my slow Internet connection I downloaded and installed slackware 14.1 (It took more than of 24hrs to download), after installing I find out the beta version of slackware 14.2 is out :D
Although installing package on slackware is a little bit hard and a lot of packages will be installed automatically and if we don't install them we are going to have a lot of problem (dependencies) and we can't easily have a minimal install because of dependency things, I still think it's a good option for me, at least for learning something new. however having a new version of slackware soon or later makes me think that if I want slackware, then I should wait for new version, and I don't have a good feeling about installing 14.1 and then upgrading it to 14.2 I think it's a little bit messy and I did not installed all the packages so slackpkg install-all will make my system the way that I don't want it to be, I know about blacklist but I don't know about packages that I did not installed :D and the new ones that I don't want to be installed.

I think slax (basic/core) is a good option too but I like to go with independent distributions, anyway what would you suggest?

Timothy Miller 01-15-2016 01:29 PM

OF those you specifically mention in your title, Slackware is probably the best for your case, followed by Debian, and Gentoo really isn't.

Slackware will teach you the most, since by default it doesn't do dependency resolution. Debian is probably the easiest to use in terms of the updates, but many things that are 1 package on Slack will need 6 or 7 packages on Debian, so you will see a lot of packages installed, even though it won't really be much different installed size. Gentoo on a slow machine over a slow network is just no fun.

As far as actual using, Slack & Debian are both very simple. One thing that MAY influence you is that Debian has adopted SystemD, while Slack is staying with the SysVInit scripts for booting. Some people have very strong (and negative) feelings toward SystemD, and would go with Slackware for that reason alone.

I personally use Debian, but that's because I prefer the automated dependency handling. I've run Slackware before, and it's a fine distribution, it's just not for me.

jamison20000e 01-15-2016 01:36 PM

Hi.

They all fit nicely in GRUB at once plus, plus are free! Or, VM's if you have somewhat decent hardware? ;)

Best wishes and have fun! :)

Samurai_Penquin 01-15-2016 01:54 PM

I recommend Arch Linux. It does what you want with the exception of "Well" documented config files. Also, Arch uses systemd. Arch does give you an excellent amount of freedom and choice and you will learn about linux.

My 2 cents.

sycamorex 01-15-2016 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samurai_Penquin (Post 5478791)
I recommend Arch Linux. It does what you want with the exception of "Well" documented config files. Also, Arch uses systemd. Arch does give you an excellent amount of freedom and choice and you will learn about linux.

My 2 cents.

You realise that the OP has used Arch and wants to try something new?


OP: Either install Slackware-current or wait a few weeks/months/years for 14.2 to be released?:)

jamison20000e 01-15-2016 02:16 PM

I'm a firm believer in distro\WM hopping (even after too many years.) I wind up in Debian more often, currently forking with Devon but have Salix OS, Opensuse Leap and Fatdog64 all within one SSD\GRUB... plus, Oracle Solaris 11 in Virtualbox. :D

< V Edit\Add: in case missed: http://goo.gl/NqgqJx ... ;)

Samurai_Penquin 01-15-2016 06:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sycamorex (Post 5478809)
You realise that the OP has used Arch and wants to try something new?


OP: Either install Slackware-current or wait a few weeks/months/years for 14.2 to be released?:)

My apologies. I glanced over it.

I do not have an answer that fits all your needs. For learning, you could do a Linux from Scratch install. It's brutal and fun at the same time.

E3L3N4 01-16-2016 03:46 AM

After sending this post, while it was under approval process, I thought that I didn't send it correctly, so I read some other threads and thought about my requirements and priorities then I posted a revision of it again.

So I will asks the moderators to delete this post and I will wait for the other one to be approved.

thank you guys.

jamison20000e 01-16-2016 11:51 AM

:twocents: My guess (and not making this in the official slac forum which is here at LQ) is that Slackware will stay more (all around) philosophically unix than Debian like for example Ubuntu? I personally tho need both.

Good luck. :)

un1x 01-16-2016 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E3L3N4 (Post 5478761)
I'm using ubuntu mini

where did u get that ???

E3L3N4 01-16-2016 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by un1x (Post 5479399)
where did u get that ???

Code:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/MinimalCD

rokytnji 01-16-2016 06:51 PM

From your original post requirements. I am just responding to the part

Quote:

- Learning new stuff about linux
- Having a good Documentation - Wiki
- Being Rolling release
- Customizable
- Well commented config files
- Being able to config system by editing configuration files - I hate seeing statements like: Do not edit this file your changes will be overwritten.
- Being able to easily install/compile softwares.
- Having access to (reasonable amount of) software packages (Binary) in official repositories
- Being able to have a minimal install, just basic stuff and then make it looks/works as I wish
- No graphical tools to install software / configure system etc.
- no unwanted packages/libraries/DE/Wm/Configs pre-installed
- Free Software (GNU) / Open Source
- Stability, But I want some packages to be always up to date like my browser and getting security updates as soon as possible.
- If it's possible no systemd
- Being nice with laptops I did not have any problem with other distribution except that I can't put my laptop on sleep :| (thinkpad e540)
Core or base iso sounds like your druthers to me.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/anti...inal/antiX-15/

What I am posting from

Code:

harry@biker:~
$ linuxinfo
Linux biker 4.2.1-antix.2-686-pae #7 SMP PREEMPT Fri Oct 2 00:01:14 EEST 2015
Four Intel Unknown 1199MHz processors, 19162.48 total bogomips, 8027M RAM
System library 2.19.0
harry@biker:~
$ inxi -r
Repos:    Active apt sources in file: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/antix.list
          deb http://antix.daveserver.info/jessie jessie main nosystemd
          Active apt sources in file: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list
          deb http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free
          deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free
          Active apt sources in file: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list
          deb http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main

I guess BBQ Linux may be another to consider.

Good luck with what ever you decide to do. Every body has their druthers. The above is what made me brave enough after learning a few things to install and run BSD and Slackware on my other gear that is free to experiment with.

jamison20000e 01-18-2016 03:02 AM

"Philosophically unix," didn't think of BSD at the time, plus so many forks in GNU's with or without Linuces++*** :)

E3L3N4 01-18-2016 03:39 PM

I decide to go with Slackware and use it for a while, I know that everything will be different and maybe a little bit harder. but isn't that what I want? to experience new things? I learned some new stuff already from trying to get Slackware to work and it was enjoyable.

antiX seams really nice, it's my next option, If nothing suggested here worked for me then whatever I will go with one of my old friends, Debian or Arch Linux.

And I think that I'm going to have a LFS on VM anyway. (It's good for my learning process :D )

Thank you everyone, I appreciate for all your help.

travis82 01-20-2016 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E3L3N4 (Post 5480503)
I decide to go with Slackware and use it for a while, I know that everything will be different and maybe a little bit harder. but isn't that what I want? to experience new things? I learned some new stuff already from trying to get Slackware to work and it was enjoyable.

antiX seams really nice, it's my next option, If nothing suggested here worked for me then whatever I will go with one of my old friends, Debian or Arch Linux.

And I think that I'm going to have a LFS on VM anyway. (It's good for my learning process :D )

Thank you everyone, I appreciate for all your help.

Note that slackware is not rolling release, doesn't have big official binary repository and minimal install would be a headache due to further dependency problems. I agree with rokytnji. antix is better choice if you want a simple, customizable rolling release distro whit big repository. Just select Debian testing branch during installation.


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