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Old 11-30-2005, 03:59 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Bangladesh
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Is Slackware a dying breed??

Hi all

Before you guys start flaming me with vengeance, please hear my short story first. I started using Linux with RH-7.3 & six months later was introduced to Slackware, since then there was no turning back & and I have never bothered to try out any other distro either. Not because I hate them, but just because Slackware was working fine for me & I really adore the philosophy of minimal customization.

My (only) PC is a desktop PC, I basically use it to watch TV, DVD, listen to songs, surf the net & share a few files with my other Win-XP pals on my home LAN; that's about it, & its all done using Slacky.

As you see I am not a networking sort of a guy who knows a lot about configuring servers & stuffs, but over the years of using Slacky I learned a few simple things, like recompiling the kernel, making my own pkg using "checkinstall"; upgrading using "swaret" & downloading pkgs from <>

Reading recent reviews of other ditros & comparing them with reviews of Slacky I kind of get the impression that although Slacky has a very hardcore user base, it is definitely not the distro of choice for new generation/newbie.

My question is if things continue at this rate will there be any users left oncer the OLD-GUARDS die off??

Also I read somewhere that most distros are governed by a committee or something??

but Slackware is one man's vison (Patrick J. Volkerding)

So what happens when (lord forbid) he dies or something; who is gonna take care of Salcky then??

But my worst nightmare is the first question, if none of the new generation is picking it up then distro is obviously heading for extinction; right??

Feel free to correct me on any of the above points

Old 11-30-2005, 04:20 PM   #2
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Maine, USA
Distribution: Debian & Slackware
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This is the opinion of relative newbie (I'm no expert, but I can get around a linux system pretty well with the time and effort).

I don't think Slack will ever die, and Slack isn't even my primary distro. I'm big into Debian, and that's what I use for the most part. However, recently I've started delving into Slackware because nobody was using a computer at work (IT dept), so I got permission to do whatever I want with it. I put Slackware on it, and have been setting it up in all kinds of fun different ways

Here's the thing: Slackware is, for all intents and purposes, nigh flawless in comparison with other distros. It is fully and easily customizable and very close to the base linux system. That makes it not only a great education tool since, as the saying goes, "You learn Slackware, you learn Linux," but it also means you go in knowing what to expect. You have the option of automating a lot of configurations, but it is also still easy to do it by hand (a lot of other distros are losing that feature). Most of the features it lacks are just easy-way-out features anyway.

The one gripe I have with Slackware is the fact that I am spoiled on the APT package manager, which has HUUUGE repositories, and swaret and slapt-get just aren't quite the same. There's a program I need that say is only available in RPM (since it isn't open source ) and APT is the ultimate cure for dependency-hell. But that just means more work on my part finding and configuring everything which - in the end - means I'll be less in the dark about what's going on in my machine.

And it didn't take me long to find the aspects taht put Slack above others. I'm 20 years old, and would definitely classify as part of the "new generation," in more ways than one, and I think I'm going to be using Slackware for a long time coming, either alongside or instead of/in conjunction with debian.

That said, it might not be a super-mainstream distro. I think that title will end up going to SuSE or Ubuntu, since they're so user-friendly.

Last edited by Bremsstrahlung; 11-30-2005 at 04:25 PM.
Old 11-30-2005, 04:30 PM   #3
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Originally posted by Bremsstrahlung
There's a program I need that say is only available in RPM (since it isn't open source )
# rpm2tgz blabla.rpm
# installpkg blabla.tgz

Old 11-30-2005, 04:30 PM   #4
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Patrick has developed slack for over 10 years now. Its got a proven track record and is not a flash in the pan like many other distros may be. Unless Patrick retires I don't think its an issue. Actually I worry about the opposite - success. Seems to me that everything that becomes successful gets ruined. So I get concerned the more the big corporates start eyeing linux and supporting it. I would rather have Linux slowly progress and just be a damn good OS under the radar of the big guys rather than have it become mainstream *and* be taken over by corporate influences. I want my computer to be something I can tinker with as opposed to the Microsoft "appliance" mindset. :-) I think that's the big draw of linux in the first place.
Old 11-30-2005, 04:56 PM   #5
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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Slackware == Linux. Considering the nature of Linux, I think it will be around for a very long time.
Old 11-30-2005, 04:57 PM   #6
Registered: Nov 2002
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As was said when Patrick was very ill - there is now a team involved in Slackware. Should anything happen to Patrick, they will take on the task of continuing to develop Slack while sticking to Patrick's methods and vision.

Slack is going nowhere.
Old 11-30-2005, 04:59 PM   #7
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I think as long as Pats around, so slack shall be.

Someone thought success might lead to a major change in Slackware, I dont think that success is really going to be an issue also.

Slackware (and probably gentoo) are really not what "linux" has become in the last few years. Distro's like Ubuntu, Mephis, Fedora, and SuSE have taken the desktop market by storm and Redhat and Debian are really taking the server market. Slackware is more of a an old school or hobbist distro, that while I personally think its probably the best server distro available, the market doesn't. Its just enough different from most distros and just hard enough to learn to keep many people from trying it. My server at home is slack, I just implemented our first linux server at work using slack, and my desktop runs slack. I just don't think slack will ever be as mainstream as it once was. Im just glad to know that being a popular distro with millions of new users each month, doesn't mean you are the best.

Old 11-30-2005, 05:12 PM   #8
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The complexity of the other distros only serves to highlight one of the greatest advantages of Slackware: Simplicity.

Released versions of Slackware contain all the tools that were used to create those versions. If development of Slackware ceased tomorrow, I have all the tools necessary to maintain things myself. And its a helluva lot easier to do so under Slack than ANYTHING else.

Get a newbie to try Slack after a year or two of using RH and see if they don't love it...
Old 11-30-2005, 07:35 PM   #9
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Maine, USA
Distribution: Debian & Slackware
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Originally posted by dive
# rpm2tgz blabla.rpm
# installpkg blabla.tgz

So there IS a conversion! I hadn't really looked too hard yet, but assumed it'd be more of a hassle to convert to .tgz from .rpm... thanks! (guess there's yet another point for Slackware). Man, once I'm done being a Slack-newbie, it'll probably end up displacing Debian in my heart (and hard drive)...
Old 11-30-2005, 07:46 PM   #10
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You could also use :
rpm -ivh --nodeps blabla.rpm
Old 11-30-2005, 07:47 PM   #11
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Distribution: Slackware-Current / Debian
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I never understood people's adversion to installing from source. I mean, it gives you 100% control, and is rather easy to do...
Old 11-30-2005, 08:35 PM   #12
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yeah, especially with checkinstall to let you uninstall if you don't need it anymore. It is still kinda convienient, I guess.
Old 11-30-2005, 08:48 PM   #13
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Slackware
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Yes, the quote was even on Slashdot recently. "Slackware IS Linux"

I totally agree, and will use Slackware inevitably for the rest of my computing career when I am running Linux. That of course excludes unix and such.

Slackware will never die.
Old 11-30-2005, 09:39 PM   #14
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: Utah, USA
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They can take my Slackware when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
Old 12-01-2005, 01:38 AM   #15
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Distribution: Slackware 13.37 current
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I use both Slackware and Ubuntu Breezy.
Most Slack packages are far more up to date than the Ubuntu ones including important security fixes like Samba.

Ubuntu default compiler chain is gcc4 but its kernel was made with gcc3. this make compiling your own module "interesting"

No updates for current since 7/11/05 is worrying though


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