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Old 05-29-2005, 02:08 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2005
Distribution: Slack
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slackware becoming outdated

Anyone else feel that slackware is becoming outdated? Still on kernel 2.4 after 2.6 has been out for almost two years? And it seems like the distro remains pretty much stagnate when it comes to making impovements in the core system, i.e. package,etc.

Also, I wonder what will happen now that 64bit cpu's are taking over. We have a 64-bit windows, mac-osx, freebsd, and some other linux distro have gone 64 as well. But it doesn't seem like pat has any intention of doing this and will most likely pass it off to some else, slamd64 i think.

Overall, i think it is becoming more and more of a server only distro, and it's losing ground quickly when it comes to the desktop.
Old 05-29-2005, 02:11 PM   #2
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Current is updated, packages have been added/removed (firefox, gnome).

The decision to keep 2.4 kernel was discussed plenty of times, and I think it's a right choice for now. Maybe the latest releases of kernel and software are being more stable now, but not a few months ago.

Last edited by gbonvehi; 05-29-2005 at 02:13 PM.
Old 05-29-2005, 02:11 PM   #3
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Patrick's thing is stability over new stuff. The 2.4 kernel is tried and tested and works - your system won't fall over if you use it. He does, however, include a 2.6.x kernel in the /testing folder on the cds (and on the ftp sites) so you can install it if you wish. You can also upgrade every package manually if you wish.
Old 05-29-2005, 02:25 PM   #4
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Don't forget that Slackware was one of the first distros to support the 2.6 kernel (Slackware 9.1). Other distro took some major hacking just to get it booting.

And if you look in -current, I'd say for an OS devoted to stability it is quite up-to-date.
Old 05-29-2005, 02:25 PM   #5
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- kernel: even Slackware stable has both 2.4 and 2.6. I use 2.6.10 from stable on my desktop without any problems.
- package management: most Slackware users are convinced that it shouldn't evolve (i.e. no automatic dependencies checking), so it's a deliberate choice
- 64 bits: good question. Has Pat ever given any information on this subject?
Old 05-29-2005, 02:34 PM   #6
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Slackware aims to stability, and Linux Kernel 2.4.29 is a good choice.

There is an unofficial porting of Slackware on 64bit processors: I didn't try it (no 64bit on my machines!)
Old 05-29-2005, 02:39 PM   #7
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
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I don't think Pat wil support a 64bit version for a while. There is someone working on a Slackware based 64bit port. It's called Slamd64. I've been thinking about it, but waiting a few more months to see what happens with it. And I was wondering if I could install it in addition to Slackware without any problems. That would give me triple boot system, but I don't know if that is possible.

And I don't think Slackware is outdated at all. It doesn't have all the fancy graphical stuff the others do, but if you really want them, get the source code and install it yourself.

Last edited by Croaker; 05-29-2005 at 02:43 PM.
Old 05-29-2005, 02:51 PM   #8
Registered: Feb 2005
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Okay, stability is good but lets not get carried away. Even if u use 2.6 kernel you don't get many of the advantage becuase everything else was compiled again 2.4 headers. I'm just saying that the slow progress to adapt new features is making it stable yes, but it is also making it more geared for servers. Not for desktop where people don't have to be parnoid about stability and want thing like 2.6 and everything linked agaist it. They also want it compiled with the most recent stable gcc and flags at least for a pentium 2 or better. If not 64 as many people already have an amd cpu. I've tried slamd64 and it flys.

Also for it to go 64 bit at this point is unlikely as slamd64 has pretty much owns that port. So it's future as a desktop OS seems rather bleek to me.

Also, i'm not saying it should do automatic dependency checking but maybe at least tell you want things are linked against would be nice. Or any innovation in it's core system would be nice.

Last edited by chris318; 05-29-2005 at 02:53 PM.
Old 05-29-2005, 02:53 PM   #9
Dr. Psy
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It's all a matter of personal preference, I suppose, but if I were to release a Linux distro, I would make the same decision. I would include only the tried and true for stabilities sake. I would rather have an older kernel that it is solid, then end up with an install that had a bunch of unresolved quirks.

Note that I'm not saying that the 2.6 kernel is unstable, but the 2.4 kernel definately is NOT. And then when the 2.6 kernel has been thoroughly tested and used, and there's no doubt that it is stable, I would then upgrade. You know what I mean? I want a for-sure solid system.

Last edited by Dr. Psy; 05-29-2005 at 02:54 PM.
Old 05-29-2005, 03:07 PM   #10
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I would also point out that Slackware is essentially a one man show (ie, Patrick). He has also had a rough time of things health-wise, which naturally would be a distraction. Personally, I think Slack is still the best distro out there - like everyone else though I'll be looking forward to the next release, as always -- J.W.
Old 05-29-2005, 03:14 PM   #11
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Originally posted by chris318
Okay, stability is good but lets not get carried away.
This is *not* meant to be rude:
there's plenty of bleeding-edge distros out there, ArchLinux or Gentoo for example. So what keeps you here in the Slackware camp?
Old 05-29-2005, 03:16 PM   #12
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I think Pat has his eye on the AMD64 but it is not the focus of his energy.
If you look at some of his recent build scripts there is provision for the AMD64

Recent build script for alsa-utils
Old 05-29-2005, 04:05 PM   #13
Registered: Mar 2002
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD, FreeBSD
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I feel just the opposite -- I'm running 10.1 with kernel, kde 3.4, gnome 2.10, xfce 4.2.2, the latest xorg, the latest mozilla, the latest firefox ...

I use slack on my dell 700m laptop -- a new piece of equipment, not some old Pentium sever. I have suspend-to-ram working, CPU throttling, widescreen aspect ratio, internal wifi with wpa encryption, and just about everything else on the laptop works just fine.

I used to use Mandrake, Red Hat, and then various Debian distros. I tried slack about 3 years ago but kept bouncing around from distro to distro. I finally "got" slack within the past year and I'm totally addicted to it. I've learned more about linux and my system than I ever had in all prior years with those other distros combined. Everything on slack just works. I've compiled tons of packages from source, something that never quite worked for me on those other distros, especially the rpm ones. I also have finally gotten to understand how to compile my kernel, and how it all fits together.

For me, slack is perfect -- stable yet bleeding edge if you want it to be. I hope it never changes.
Old 05-29-2005, 05:15 PM   #14
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Let's not forget that not all distros race to bring out the latest and greatest. Debian, for example, on their release distro concentrates purely on stability, you have to get Sid if you want to be cutting edge. Look at the distros that do bring out the new stuff regularly and then look at the complaints from users about the stability and things breaking.

One thing I do like about Slack is that it is bug free - I then choose to break it by going to -current
Old 05-29-2005, 06:19 PM   #15
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Slackware-current is probably one of the most current binary distributions available. All equally up-to-date distros I know take much more effort to maintain or big iron.

Let's take the highly acclaimed Gentoo: It downloads the latest source of Gnome, compiles them, downloads further packages to resolve the dependencies, compiles them, and so on, and finally install everything. Thus it only takes a week or so on weather simulation class cluster to update Nautilus. Of course, it's worth the wait, as all the newly installed programs rund 2 percent faster as they are compiled on your system. ;-) (NO FLAMES, please, dear Gentoo users --- your distro *is great*, just not for me; if I wanted a source based distro, I'd go for ROCK Linux, anyway).

Let's look at Debian and RPM based distros: Either they aren't as current as Slackware-current, or they do a lot of vendor patching, introducing vendor dependencies. So, I don't see anything wrong or outdated with Slackware-current.

Personally I prefer to run a released version (10.1) on my desktops *and* servers, with a few packages taken from current and 3rd party sources. I feel quite up-to-date with that configuration. And it's rock-solid.



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