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-   -   Should I switch? (

Greg21 06-08-2003 12:32 PM

Should I switch?
I've been using RH8 for the past 5 or 6 months and let me tell you - its annoying. First of all, it feels less like im using linux and more like im using red hat - some wannabe windows clone. Its full of half-baked config utilities and makes getting help very annoying (no one seems to know what file to edit for which version).

Should I switch to Slackware? I know its considered more difficult to work with, what will I get out of it? Will I still be able to run all the apps I currently run in red hat? Can I install RPM's (I seem to remember there's a utility)? Will it support all my hardware that is currently supported under RedHat?

What are the pro's?
What are the con's?

I don't really know the pro's (though I suspect it's more configurable then redhat)

Hard to install
Hard to configure
Harder to use
Lack of support for native format (tzg or whatever)
.. more?

.. more?


CodeWarrior 06-08-2003 12:54 PM

I am a first time slack user. I was thinking of going with Redhat 9.0, and I am glad I didn't. Slackware is not as hard to install as you might think. I installed it fine on the first try. Just follow the on screen instructions step by step and do some research as to how you want to set your PC up(dual boot, only Linux etc). Most of my important hardware was detected properly and setup and I was plesently suprised since my PC was only around 8 months old. The only real concern I had with it in general, was for slack to recognize my IDE controllers and my drives, I figured with at least that much detected I could install the system and then, if I had to, have it recognize my other devices.

That being said, there are still many things that were not configured just the way I wanted or were not detected. It takes some time to learn how to configure those things, but once you learn the concepts, you can do it a second time real easy. Another selling point of slack to me was that it is supposed to be the closest distro to real UNIX. That is what I wanted because I really want to use it to do programming. All in all I think the distro is VERY nice and efficient. Many things are not done for you, but that is what makes things challenging and allows you to learn. Just give it a try and see for yourself, thats what I did. There are a lot of online places that you can get it for real cheap.

trickykid 06-08-2003 01:06 PM

My only advice is, try it, what do you have to lose. If you aren't happy with it, you can always switch back to another distro.
I personally love slack, its the only distro I use currently as desktop and server use.

terminator 06-08-2003 01:45 PM

1. Slack is easy to install if you follow the instructions during setup and have some ideas of dual boot
2. You need to setup some hardware devices by yourself, e.g., sound card, X (though xfree86setup can help you detect the video card), but most devices are probed automatically
3. Slack is easy to configure, almost everything you need to tune is in a single file under /etc/. Unlike RH, Slack does not play "hiding and searching" games with you. However do not expect to have automatic config tools as in RH/Windows.
4. Slack is easy to use once you get every tune-up done.
5. Slack package (tgz) is simple and easy to manipulate. Forget about any non-tgz packages like RPM or DEB.
6. Slack makes you learn fast, RH make you dumb. ;-)

quietguy47 06-08-2003 02:19 PM

Slackware does support rpm(some say better than redhat).
Also, you can just rpm2tgz if you wish.
For the most part, I think source is much better(tar.gz)

contrasutra 06-08-2003 02:50 PM

Yeah, I agree with what everyone said.

Slackwares installation is (IMO) better than RH/MDK/etc. It is strait and to the point. Choose Keyboard, Mouse, packages, LILO, done, and ive never had problems with "packages not found" like RH/MDK.

That said, much of the configuration is post-install. But Config files are really much easier, They are plain text files, and you just change the settings, very strait forward.

If you want to learn, go slack. Its generic, so anything you learn in Slackware will work in any other distro, unlike the "Big boys".

And for no package support. What about , its a whole site devoted to Slack Packs.

Greg21 06-08-2003 11:08 PM

Well I did it and i'm typing this from slack 9.

Its different :) I couldn't even successfully make a user account! I got it so I could login with the accout i attempted to make, but no home directory seemed to be made (or set) and I couldn't startx because I had no home directory!

Its apparent that after 6 months on RH I don't know how to use linux.

And my mousewheel doesnt seem to work :) looks like i've got my work cut out for me!



chakkerz 06-08-2003 11:16 PM

Slackware does have a lot of good points. It is stable and linux like. Something RedHat doesn't seem to be.

There are some quirks, but you always get them. It seems more stable for development than debian, and everything works first go. Provided you do it right. In contrast compiling xchat 2.0.0 on SuSE took something like 6 hours of hunting for dependencies. (dial up doesn't help this either). On slackware it compiled straight up.

Anyway, it's linux ... similar to Pokemon, gotta try em all...

cav 06-09-2003 02:33 AM

Well, I went from Red Hat 8 to slack, and basically thats when I really started getting into linux. Slack teaches you just how much the command line rules. As for the mouse wheel, its actually pretty simple:

edit your XF86Config file in /etc/X11, go to the section called something like "core pointers input device section" and add in the lines:

Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
Option "Resolution" "120"

Basically 4 and 5 refer to the buttons that represent up and down on the mousewheel, and Resolution 120 sets the speed of the mouse pointer across the screen. This can be changed to suit your preference. Hope that helps.

RRepster 06-09-2003 06:55 AM

>>I couldn't even successfully make a user account!

Yup you'll be building a lot of stuff yourself in Slack but that's part of what's so great about it. Anywhooo the command you're looking for in a console as root is: "adduser"

source: "Running Linux" O'Reilly books, p156

chakkerz 06-09-2003 07:58 AM

i hear that ... similar to debian, you start to learn to use the console more and more. And lets face it, command line based OS's are better than GUI, the leve of control, the speed, no need to go through menu after menu ... just straight to the point. The catch is ... you have to know what the command is.

But that's half the fun ...

Course after three days of trying to get something working and not having a clue what to look for online, you start to think "yes ... fun ... where's my crowbar ... i'll show you fun..."

erm ... stay calm ...

Never the less ... it's nice to learn what makes the inside of a OS tick ... Slackware goes closer than any distro i've used so far ... without compromising its being a linux distribution in favour of being "redhat" or "rpm based"

killi 06-09-2003 12:47 PM

try slack

shreev 06-10-2003 12:26 PM

I myself have tried both redhat and mandrake(which I used for quite a while) until I started using slack, and man is it cool, there is no way I'm going back!!

I was initially apprehensive about using tgz instead of rpms , however they aren't so bad .. and the install is pretty easy (mebbe not so pretty as the others - but it does its job very well...).

One thing u won't get is any friendly gui configuration tools (such as in mandrake) but it makes u learn faster.

I have also found it to be more stable - all scripts are nicely commented - so u feel like u r in control of the system unlike mandrake...

With this forum to help u I would definitely suggest slackware - so far, every problem I faced, I found an answer for right here!!

Thanks everyone...and Greg21..I wud say ... GO FOR IT!! its definitely worth it.

JustSlack 06-10-2003 02:29 PM

If you're willing to learn, read, and ask questions, then Slackware is for you.:) If you want a powerful minimalist system that you can built to your liking, then Slack is for you.:) If you like sleeping, then Slackware is not for you.:rolleyes:

contrasutra 06-10-2003 04:37 PM


try slack
I HATE when people do that. So in response to your wry reply, heres my rebutle:

Try RedHat!

Beat that! :D

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