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Old 07-30-2009, 11:11 PM   #1
icecubeflower
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distro sampler


What would you guys recommend to someone who wants to try a different distro and has only used Slackware? I tried Kubuntu and I hate it. You can't even log on as root.

I'm trying Debian now but I think it's kind of annoying. The packages are kind of neat but then for some stuff there are no packages because of licensing reasons, like Nvidia drivers, flash, and Java.

I couldn't just run Nvidia's shellscript because everything has to be installed the "Debian" way. So I ended up doing a bunch of apt-get stuff that I don't understand.

And I still can't watch videos on You Tube. Something about the Java or Flash version being wrong or something and you have to do all kinds of crazy stuff that I don't understand to make it work. (On Slackware You Tube worked automatically.)

And then LimeWire, I have no idea how to make it work. I think I'd have to get Java working correctly first. To hell with it, I'm not going to try.

On Slackware all I had to do was download LimeWire and it worked automatically.

I'm not saying Debian is hard, probably it's pretty cool for people that know how to use it. But I always thought Slackware was supposed to be the hardest and as far as I can tell it's the easiest. What the hell. The only thing easier about Debian was that it partitioned my hard drive for me.

So, besides Debian and Kubuntu is there anything else you think I could tolerate?
 
Old 07-30-2009, 11:41 PM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icecubeflower View Post
What would you guys recommend to someone who wants to try a different distro and has only used Slackware?
I wouldn't base the suggestion on just that - I'd want to know about that person's expectations and requirements first.
Quote:
I tried Kubuntu and I hate it. You can't even log on as root.
Yes you can - you have to change the root password.

However, you don't need to.

Quote:
I'm trying Debian now but I think it's kind of annoying. The packages are kind of neat but then for some stuff there are no packages because of licensing reasons, like Nvidia drivers, flash, and Java.
Wrong again - there are many packages available for restricted software. Just not in the main repos.

Quote:
I couldn't just run Nvidia's shellscript because everything has to be installed the "Debian" way. So I ended up doing a bunch of apt-get stuff that I don't understand.
You can run the nvidia installer, it's just undesirable - you'll have to run it again with each kernel release. Better that you use the packaged driver from the repos.
http://wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphicsDrivers
... sounds convoluted - but that is because the instructions are complete and they want you to understand what you are doing.

Quote:
And I still can't watch videos on You Tube. Something about the Java or Flash version being wrong or something and you have to do all kinds of crazy stuff that I don't understand to make it work. (On Slackware You Tube worked automatically.)
You mean <gasp> install the proprietary flash lugin?!

Debian is a Free software distribution - why do you think they gall it GNULinux? The whole point of Debian is that it tries not to use proprietary software by default. The idea is that you are supposed to do without proprietary software unless there is some sort of overriding need.

Do you even know what open source and free software means?

Quote:
And then LimeWire, I have no idea how to make it work. I think I'd have to get Java working correctly first. To hell with it, I'm not going to try.
OK then - neither will I.

Quote:
On Slackware all I had to do was download LimeWire and it worked automatically.
It looks like you want a distro that is exactly like slackware. How about: slackware?!

There are other P2P clients besides limewire. frostwire for eg?

You know, the whole point of having different distros is that they are ... well... different.
Quote:
So, besides Debian and Kubuntu is there anything else you think I could tolerate?
No I don't think there is any other distro you could tolerate. Practically all of them have some sort of not-like-slackware stuff in them requiring that you install plugins, configure drivers, or any of those things you just consign to hell. Sorry, lifes tough.
 
Old 07-31-2009, 12:09 AM   #3
foodown
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My faves after Slackware:

Gentoo
FreeBSD
Solaris

Let me preface the following statement thusly, lest I be flamed:
All Linux distributions are essentially equal. They are all just different setups of essentially the same software. People can and should use whatever distro they want, and things they say are good about the distros they like are totally valid and wonderful. Debian, Ubuntu, and even Red Hat and Suse have their purpose and serve it. Plus, in the hands of an experienced user, any distro will do just about anything any other will. On top of all of this, I am overly picky and, indeed, am an idiot not to be listened to.

<REDACTED>

Again, this was just my opinion, offered from one slacker to another. Do not respond to this post to argue about how wrong I am. I already said that I am an idiot, not to be listened to. These are just my thoughts, nothing more. Your distribution is actually better for all of the reasons that you are thinking of right now.

Last edited by foodown; 07-31-2009 at 12:15 AM. Reason: Redacted my comments upon reading them . . .well-intended, but I don't want people taking them wong.
 
Old 07-31-2009, 12:21 AM   #4
icecubeflower
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Thanks, foodown. That's what I meant. I always get flamed by know-it-alls with something to prove. I didn't mean to diss Debian. I was just saying I missed being able to go to a Java or Flash website and simply getting a linux shellscript or source and compiling it and having it work. I can't do any of that anymore, I have to learn Debian specific ways to do everything. People want to say, "That's because you don't know how to use Debian!" Well, no shit.
 
Old 07-31-2009, 02:04 AM   #5
justwantin
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Quote:
That's because you don't know how to use Debian!
I suppose I could turn that around a bit. All I know how to use well is Slackware.

I haven't seriously installed anything else for other than a quick squiz in a very long time. Slackware has become a sort of standard, nothing else has seemed better for me and anyway I don't have the time to burn learning something else when what I have works just fine thanks.
 
Old 07-31-2009, 03:49 AM   #6
Bruce Hill
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While waiting for Slackware to release an x86_64 arch I tried some of the others.
That gave me a lot of sympathy for the poor blokes who use them daily.

The package manager distros (almost all the others) are going to give you the type
of results you described. Because someone else is trying to build packages and meet
dependencies for everyone. Well, duh, that's the Windows way ... Debian, SuSE, etc.

Slackware is doing things the UNIX way. You get the source and build it from scratch.
A Linux system should be something you can customize to meet your needs; whether
a server, workstation, embedded, etc. It's a blessing and icing on the cake that guys
like Alien Bob have reliable Slackware packages available; not to mention his toolkit
where you can easily make your own very good SlackBuild script even with no prior
experience or knowledge of bash.

When I first started with Linux in 2003 it was RedHat 9.0. After about a month of me
have less control of my PC than with Windows, I tried Debian. After a few months of
apt-get nightmares, I wanted to try some other wm/de than Window Maker (hobby kit).
However, the Debian democracy bit me. There were devels arguing about different libs,
so for a few weeks KDE was only available in the Woody branch. And that software was
too old. So I looked for a Linux distro where the user could be more in control, and
where one could compile from source without ruining the underlying system, or at least
it's philosophy. My choices: LFS, Gentoo, or Slackware.

Since it's quite needless to compile everything from glibc to cups from scratch, and
seeing how most guys posting the proper answer to help questions were running Slack,
that's what I got.

Even though, as justwantin said, I've checked out something else momentarily, nowadays
it takes very little time to see that once you understand how to configure Slackware,
there's just no distro this simple to maintain and customize; not to mention stable
and fast.

If you really think you're missing something, join FreeNode-#suse and just lurk and
read their problems for a day or so. Or any other distro. You'll soon find, at least
I did in #suse, that the package manager gets in the way of using the system, and
keeps you busy trying to get everything to Just Work (TM).

For me, Slackware is The Linux Distro. Everything else just pales ...

So to answer your OP, try any distro other than Slackware. And use just that one for
a while. As my grandma used to say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Old Slackers have always told me that once you learn Slack fairly well, you can
never be happy with anything else.
 
Old 07-31-2009, 04:04 AM   #7
icecubeflower
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Yeah, I'm trying openSUSE now and it's getting on my nerves. My resolution is awful so I'm trying to install the nvidia driver and I can't just run the shellscript from nvidia. I gotta do it the "SUSE" way. And that uses yast. I followed the directions from nvidia's page but it doesn't work.

I think I'm gonna try gentoo now.

I don't have anything against packages and package managers. I thought pkgtool was great. I just think it should be optional. And if a manufacturer has a shellscript just let me run it.

If I pick automatic install then when I start my computer it boots up straight to the GUI? Why can't I exit X and go back to a command prompt? Or if I can, then why isn't it super easy to figure out? If I hit ctrl-alt-F2 X is still running apparently and I can't run the NVIDIA shellscript. Which I'm not supposed to do anyway, I'm supposed to use yast. Nevermind I'm downloading another OS. apt-get and yast are killing me.
 
Old 07-31-2009, 04:13 AM   #8
Bruce Hill
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Stick with openSUSE and Debian for at least another month.

Then spend two days getting Gentoo installed, and another
two days trying to configure it to get to that "Slackware
right out of the box" state. Then rice with Gentoo for at
least another month. My favorite quote, and email sig:
Quote:
"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the
lesson afterward. But properly learned, the lesson forever changes
the man."
Slacker for life here ...
 
Old 07-31-2009, 04:45 AM   #9
tommcd
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Distribution: Lubuntu, Slackware
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To get Flash working in Debian, simply download the Flash Plugin installer from adobe.com, untar it, then copy the libflashplayer.so file to /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins. Then restart Firefox...
... oops, excuse me, I mean Iceweasel.
 
Old 07-31-2009, 06:05 AM   #10
brianL
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All you have to do with Debian is add contrib and non-free after main in the entries in sources.list. Plus an entry for debian multimedia:
http://debian-multimedia.org/
 
Old 07-31-2009, 06:47 AM   #11
sahko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommcd View Post
To get Flash working in Debian, simply download the Flash Plugin installer from adobe.com, untar it, then copy the libflashplayer.so file to /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins. Then restart Firefox...
... oops, excuse me, I mean Iceweasel.
You can also copy it to ~/.mozilla/plugins/ no need to mess with /usr
OFC that means it will be available only for 1 user.
 
Old 07-31-2009, 08:43 AM   #12
akus
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I used Suse for some time about three years ago. I remember doing some configuration changes by hand in a slackware-way, just because it was more convenient to me.
No offense, but I find it hard to believe that:
Quote:
Originally Posted by icecubeflower View Post

I don't have anything against packages and package managers. I thought pkgtool was great. I just think it should be optional. And if a manufacturer has a shellscript just let me run it.
I mean, I can't believe that with SuSe (or any other "user-friendly" distro), if you download NVIDIA shell installer (or any other shell installer) and run it, you can't install the driver (or any other program).
Maybe installer recognizes Suse and that's why refuses to install? But then, in this case one could open *.run file with an editor and delete the lines checking for Suse.
In general, I think on every distro any generic binary package can be installed (sometimes some tweaking is required (changing of paths etc), of course). But if you do (or like to do) this regularly, it's best to go back to Slackware.
 
Old 07-31-2009, 08:59 AM   #13
onebuck
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Hi,

I remember when I could get under the hood with any car to make a repair. Try that today. Hold may hand has moved as a virus throughout technology.

Slackware is stable, configurable and fun. I can tweak to the level that I desire too. If I break it then recovery is achievable. With others, good luck.

Computer send reply! !!! damn it! #!Sorry Send it
 
Old 07-31-2009, 09:05 AM   #14
Bruce Hill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akus View Post
I used Suse for some time about three years ago. I remember doing some configuration changes by hand in a slackware-way, just because it was more convenient to me.
No offense, but I find it hard to believe that:

I mean, I can't believe that with SuSe (or any other "user-friendly" distro), if you download NVIDIA shell installer (or any other shell installer) and run it, you can't install the driver (or any other program).
Maybe installer recognizes Suse and that's why refuses to install? But then, in this case one could open *.run file with an editor and delete the lines checking for Suse.
In general, I think on every distro any generic binary package can be installed (sometimes some tweaking is required (changing of paths etc), of course). But if you do (or like to do) this regularly, it's best to go back to Slackware.
Reading is believing, eh?

And btw ... I don't know how SuSE was when you ran it 3 years
ago, but openSUSE-11.2-x86_64 is not user friendly.
 
Old 07-31-2009, 09:25 AM   #15
akus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Hill View Post
Reading[/url] is believing, eh?
Right. Now I recall, when I downloaded NVIDIA drivers from their site, there was a "note for Suse users". OK, Suse & NVIDIA driver seems to be a special case. But I guess that NVIDIA shell installer would work on Mandriva, Ubuntu, Debian etc and that was my point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Hill View Post
I don't know how SuSE was when you ran it 3 years
ago, but openSUSE-11.2-x86_64 is not user friendly.
May be. I always call SuSe/Ubuntu/etc-like distros "user-friendly" , i.e. in double quotes because I do not think they really are.
 
  


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