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Old 06-12-2005, 04:11 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2005
Distribution: MEPIS 3.3
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Arrow slackware for standard desktop use?

I dont use linux for anything fancy... i just want freedom of doing whatever i want to my desktop, download music, browse the web, chat, and maybe learn some new things on the way... some of the terms are kind of unknown to me, and slackware seems like a distro for people with more advanced needs. When people talk about a server, do they just mean running a website with their computer? I am about 2 weeks new into the linux world, so I really need some direction.
Old 06-12-2005, 04:16 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Slackware 10.1, Kernel (custom)
Posts: 166

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"Server" includes a wide range of function: Here's a couple:


and a whole bunch of others!


I currently use Slack for those things you mentioned above. Nothing fancy.

I currently don't really use Slackware for anything advanced, which that option is there if I choose to. It'll be more of a hobby for me if choose to do anything advanced, which I do occasionally.

I'm also planning on taking the Linux+, LPIC 1 and LPIC 2, RHCE, just for a hobby. I also have other certifications as well. I don't want to take a job that has anything to do with those though. Some people might call it a waste of time and money. Nevertheless, it's still just a hobby for me. I'm Engineer for the U.S. Navy, which has nothing to do with computers, I love my job

Last edited by houler; 06-12-2005 at 04:29 PM.
Old 06-12-2005, 06:29 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: slack 13; I've used it all :)
Posts: 433

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Once you advance your linux skills and understanding you may want more of a distro that you can more easily customize. Keep in mind that the programs are essentially the same across the board. It all has to do with how the distro is put together and how many things it does for you. Slackware is rock solid stable and still has most of the latest and greatest. But you have to do most of the configuration by hand; examples: X windows, net connection. It's up to you were you want it to go and how much control you want over your system. The only real things I use my desktop for is email, light office stuff, web.
Old 06-12-2005, 07:20 PM   #4
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Scotland
Distribution: LinuxMint16 & Ubuntu 12.0.4 LTS
Posts: 218

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Slackware runs great as a desktop machine as well as a stable server platform. That's the strength of Linux it allows you to do either or both on the same box. The advantage of Slackware is that you start with an unbloated but fully featured distribution that has been honed for over 10 yeard to be fast and reliable. You have the freedom to install what you like on top of Patrick's distribution and so in essence make your own system.

Straight out of the box (if you do a full install) you will be able to do most of the standard desktop activities. For a comfortable desktop environment I use KDE and install programs like FireFox, Thunderbird, Adobe Reader 7.0, OpenOffice and the GroupWise client. I use Ogle for watching DVDs and have installed LimeWire and Skype for P2P and VOIP.

If you want to learn more about servers and the workings of a Linux system, I would suggest installing Webmin for a GUI way of controlling services. This is may not teach you commands for the command line but it will give you a starting point.

I would also recommend downloading a copy of Slackware Linux Essentials, 2nd Edition which is available as a free PDF. This is much more command line orientated but well written and a great way of learning about Slackware and Linux.


Old 06-13-2005, 05:11 PM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: Slackware, OpenSuSE
Posts: 1,735

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Yes, all posters are right, Slackware is well suited for the things you mention.

But if you have no experience in Unix/Linux I recommend that you get yourself a good text book on Unix in general in addition to the (very good) online documention for Slackware.

Very good: "Essential Unix System Administration" by AEileen Frisch (sorry for the mis-spelling of the first name, I just don't have that letter on my keyboard...) published by O'Reilly. No other book I know explains the basic principles so clear, comprehensible and precise.

Old 06-13-2005, 10:26 PM   #6
Registered: Apr 2005
Distribution: FreeBSD
Posts: 61

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If you want a "user friendly" desktop, slackware is definetly not the one. I'd also say it is a little conservative for the average desktop user that wants a little "new technology". Makes a good server. Also is good for someone that doesn't want any gui tools holding their hand and stability is their number one concern. Both are not the average desktop user.
Old 06-13-2005, 10:46 PM   #7
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Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: Mint 13/15, CentOS 6.4
Posts: 2,020

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do i need to say it? see sig. or try ubuntu.
Old 06-14-2005, 02:23 AM   #8
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Registered: Dec 2003
Distribution: Debian
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A word about Arch and installing Arch:

Be careful with Arch though. It doesn't use the usual /dev/hda1
/dev/hda2 or whatever.

It uses a strange numbering scheme /dev/discs/disc0/part1 or something similar and I wiped out my Debian partition when attempting an install because I made a mistake here.
Old 06-14-2005, 09:20 AM   #9
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Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: Mint 13/15, CentOS 6.4
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Originally posted by Harishankar
A word about Arch and installing Arch:

Be careful with Arch though. It doesn't use the usual /dev/hda1
/dev/hda2 or whatever.

It uses a strange numbering scheme /dev/discs/disc0/part1 or something similar and I wiped out my Debian partition when attempting an install because I made a mistake here.

that's the old devfs way of doing it. it's easy enough though to migrate over to udev, where you can use either convention you want. you can also use /dev/hda* symlinks if you don't want to migrate.
Old 06-14-2005, 01:33 PM   #10
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Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Smithville, TN
Distribution: Slackware
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If you are willing to set down and read, I see no reason why Slackware would be that hard for a new user. The install is easy as long as you know how to use fdisk and know how to partition the drive. After install, all you need to do is config X and you have a functioal and FAST desktop.

When I started using Slackware, I was a little above the newb level (I mean a little). I found Slackware a lot easier to learn and understand than any of the other distrtos (buggy distros) at the time.
Old 06-14-2005, 02:21 PM   #11
Registered: Sep 2003
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Having tried many Linux distros I would highly recommend you go with slackware. It is the only one I recommend to people. I currently use it on five computers: two are desktops, one is an old laptop hooked up to the stereo for playing music, and two are servers with various apps running constantly.

The best way to learn Linux is total immersion. I have some friends that would like to use it but either don't have the time or engery to commit to dropping away from windows. You will learn how to do things if you make yourself learn. Of course, this is dependent upon whether or not you like to hack around on computers or not. I always have.

If you cannot watch that movie until you get it working in Linux then you will learn how to do it. This goes for everything. I must give one disclaimer here though. I still use windows for my kids games, my games, and my TV viewing. I do not have driver support for my AIW 9800 for TV in Linux. I had the kids running their windows stuff under QEMU and it worked fairly well. Just I don't care anymore what happens to the windows disk anymore Finally, I tried a couple of games under Linux (America's Army, Unreal Tourament 2004 demo) but I must say the UT2004 demo was full of artifacts. Furthermore, in windows I can run my video card faster than in Linux and get better performance.

But my daily work is all done in Linux on my laptop. It is like switching from windows 98 to XP. You never want to go back. Switching to Linux from XP is the same thing. You find freedom and can do whatever you set out to do. You may have to work a bit, ask for help, write your own software, but the results will amaze you.

So, as much as possible go for total immersion into Linux. You'll learn more faster than if you keep the windows crutch.
Old 06-14-2005, 02:52 PM   #12
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: Southern Indiana
Distribution: Slackware-current
Posts: 32

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I came into the Slackware world a fresh noobie into Linux, and I have to say it wasn't that hard at all, especially if you can find someone who is willing to help you a lot (<3 xushi). I have slackware installed as my borther's main system because I can't stand taking the spyware off of it every couple of minutes, and he loves it (and he is 10). If you want, you can disable some of the unneeded things for a desktop (such as apache and mysql) and leave the rest intact.
Old 08-15-2005, 07:50 AM   #13
Registered: Jun 2005
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 74

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i love slack giving me so many things. i like having programs and lots of them. not completely useless one of course. I do pretty much what u want to do. I use slack for desktop use and keep it on for the purpose of my personal web site using apache. at first i thought i was gonna have to do 5 billion difficult things to make apache run. nope! i just made a symbolic link (like a shortcut in windows... only much more useful, powerful, and not for desktop icons) from my web site's folder to the folder it wants the stuff to be in. it was my first distro and it just worked... and well. My friend who helped me swore by slack. now i do too. its a good distro.

BTW, 846 Mhz 256 SDRAM and it still runs KDE 3.4 fine!

Last edited by lunarcloud_88; 08-15-2005 at 08:42 AM.
Old 08-15-2005, 07:54 AM   #14
Master Fox
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: UK
Distribution: Arch (Duke / Desktop), FreeBSD 6.1 (Home-Dev server)
Posts: 131

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slackware is great, it runs perfectly as desktop and server on 600mhz I love it loads and I dont think i change either its really worth it once you start using it you wont to change (hopfully) but I recommend


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