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Old 04-02-2006, 05:48 PM   #16
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PS: I was recently bashed on a Slackware newsgroup for praising Debian.
To be fair, you were bashed for not comprehending that your story was being used by the resident troll to create more of his usual flame bait postings. You were merely caught in the cross-fire. Usenet is different from here. One needs to know the characters before rushing in and making assumptions. I'm not condoning the treatment, I'm just not surprised by it. No one thought you were trolling.

I'm saying this because you seem to be making generalizations regarding slackware users based on this encounter and I feel obliged to point out where you may have misconstrued the reasons behind your reception.

Another thread which threatens to descend into Debian-bashing.
I was unaware that this happens that often. As you can see I use 2 distros - Debian and Slackware.

I used to love SuSE. I used 8.0 and 8.2. I had 8.2 running my server up until a few months ago. I tried OpenSUSE 10 and, though I really tried to like it, I have removed it from my system. My point is that as I have become more knowledgeable regarding linux, my sense of what "simple" means has changed. I care far less about my hardware being detected because I know what I need to do to get things to work. I care less about package management because I know what I applications I need and I know how to install them. I care less about GUI installers because I only install it once now - not fifty times. Simple to me is trouble free.

I noticed another thread regarding swaret breaking an upgrade. Perhaps it will be another excuse to bash Slackware. If people would simply stop trying to make slackware act like Debian by using third party tools such as swaret and slapt-get that "pretend" to be as functional as apt, they might find their Slackware experience to be far different. People have this idea that Slackware is so difficult that they need some tool like swaret or slapt-get to make the experience less traumatic. Thruth is that by doing this, they fail to learn the tools that are provided by slackware to maintain the distro and in the process end up making their life far more difficult in the long run.

The biggest problem I have with Slackware is that it's not a "rolling" distro (meaning upgrading from one version to the next may not be a painless task).
It used to be common knowledge that "upgrades" were a risky endeavor for all distros. I don't know when that changed. Even Debian testing had broken dependencies as of a couple months ago that had people rolling back. Running Slackware-current has been remarkably trouble free for me, but it has had it's moments. Still, I find this a rather trouble free way to maintain an up-to-date distro. Not perfect but good enough for me.
Old 04-02-2006, 06:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Harishankar
Why is Slackware different? It requires manual configuration of almost *everything* on your system. This can be a pain or a pleasure depending on whether your objective is to get a system up and running fast or whether you want to learn Linux.
Even that isn't the difference. I can get Slack running much faster than any other distributions. Anyway, there is not much wrong with any meanstream distribution. Most mainstream distributions have a good quality, but tend to focus on different values. That's good, because people have different values.

The biggest problem I have with Slackware is that it's not a "rolling" distro (meaning upgrading from one version to the next may not be a painless task).
If UPDATING.TXT is followed, it is fairly painless. In my experience Debian makes it even easier, because APT and dpkg are more aware of things.

To be fair, I love using a lot of distros. To say that 'when you use Slackware you learn Linux' is a bit unfair because each distro actually is Linux and configuration files/locations does vary form distro to distro. It would be better to say 'when you learn Slackware, you learn Slackware' and such.
I fully agree. Slack initialization and configuration differs a lot from other distributions. It held some truth, but it became a mantra for many Slackware users. We should put more thought in making such statements, because it can lead to a certain arrogance (such as 'other distributions are not true Linux').

Some people have it the other way round - prefer Slackware for a stable, regular system while experimenting with other distros.
Choice is good .
Old 04-02-2006, 06:29 PM   #18
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FWIW I've tried Slack, SuSE, and Debian, and they all have their own merits. As a very general comment, basing your distro choice on how many packages are available isn't nearly as relevant as making a distro choice based on how well it fits your needs a preferences, so I would discount the importance of the package count. (As an analogy, if you were buying a car, would the total number of paint colors influence your decision? Probably not, and what matters is whether the functional aspects of the car meet your needs)

As noted several times before LinuxPackages is an essential bookmark for any serious Slacker, and at least in my experience, there have only been literally one or two times where the package I needed for Slack was not available there. While I'll admit that apt-get is pretty attractive, running something like installpkg is not exactly a burden.

Overall, I have a great deal of respect for Debian, but the honest truth is that while I gave it a fair trial run, it just didn't cut it for me. The kernel (and therefore certain security related issues) was always far behind other distros, and the Debian release cycle is notoriously slow. I fully understand that Debian only issues a new release when everything has been judged to be stable, yipes, woody was released in July 2002 and sarge came out in June 2005. That's too long, and while there's no need for a new release every month, issuing an interim release (eg, a .1 or .2) every 6 months is just good business practice. It keeps the name in the news, it permits important security updates to be patched, and probably most importantly of all it avoids the question "Is Debian still alive, or did it die like 3 years ago?"

Obviously all the above is just my own opinion; others may have had entirely different experiences with each distro
Old 04-02-2006, 09:49 PM   #19
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J.W., the Debian release cycle is slower because they require updates on all platforms, not just x86 before releasing a fully stable version.

One point: You're wrong about security updates. Every stable version continues to receive security updates. The "testing" and "unstable" keep fairly up to date with the latest software and "testing" at least is ideal for a desktop system.

I totally agree with many of your observations. It's all a POV. I am giving Slackware a truly honest trial at the moment and I still am not really comfortable with the Slack way of doing things. That's why I'm trying to constantly upgrade my own skills by working on different Linux distributions.

Being on the same distribution tends to slow down your learning once you get a system up and running.

Last edited by vharishankar; 04-02-2006 at 09:51 PM.
Old 04-02-2006, 09:54 PM   #20
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Actually I am not going to bash Slackware over any issue, nor is it my aim. I realize it's as different as it gets from Debian and I don't expect it to behave like Debian either.

I've been very careful not to assess Slackware. I'm not here to judge different distros, but I think that my own skills can be improved by using multiple distributions of Linux.
Old 04-03-2006, 02:46 AM   #21
Registered: Jul 2004
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A few comments

  • Upgrading from one release to another has never failed. Following instructions in UPGRADE.TXT does the job. In addition the steps didn't changed as long as I remember so they are known notoriously. I've been able to fluently upgrade from version 8.0 up to current 10.2 .
  • For software not included in Slackware's package base it's a good practice to create SlackBuild scipt by modifying a template. The final product is a standard package which could be easily and cleanly installed/uninstalled by pkgtools. Updating to a newer version is as simple as changing version number in SlackBuild script in 99.9% of times. In Debian I've found it much more difficult to create a package for sw missing in its repositories.
  • Debian is a very good distro but it has too political and byrocratical development for me and concerning its package management I sometimes got stuck with dependencies I was(am) sure they were not needed but apt-get hinders an admin to carry through his will. Slackware gives me a much more of freedom.
Old 04-03-2006, 04:56 AM   #22
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Debian is a very good distro but it has too political and byrocratical development
Oh, yes. It's a community distro. Not a one-man distro, if that's what you mean...
Old 04-11-2006, 01:10 PM   #23
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Something else I was wondering: Can I install any .tgz packages with Slack or are the Slack.tgz specificly packaged?
Old 04-11-2006, 02:24 PM   #24
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They should have and slack-desc files in install directory.



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