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Old 07-18-2017, 05:00 PM   #1
upnort
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Slackware in Business


I am starting a thread regarding a discussion in another thread about using Slackware in business.

Thread topic: How Slackers use computers in business and what solutions or work-arounds they use. Or what pain points they experience. The focus should be why Slackware is used in a business or if not, the technical or business reasons why not.

I found a few similar but older threads, the most recent from about 3 years ago.

We're all Slackers here. Please do not argue about what Slackware is or isn't or should be or shouldn't be. Please, no opinions pieces about whether Slackware is suitable or capable. Please only share experiences, solutions, and problems encountered.

A note about PAM. Some people need this and some don't. Possibly one-day the /extra branch will contain full PAMified packages. For this thread let's leave the PAM horse still breathing.

Thanks much for your time and thoughts.
 
Old 07-18-2017, 05:27 PM   #2
Darth Vader
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Let's be honest: today almost no usage of Slackware in Business is possible (or even in educational areas) without LinuxPAM and Kerberos.

In a office, with Slackware you can do whatever firewall, whatever mail-server and that's all. Maybe an individual ftp or web-server?

Because in Business, in Office, in Schools, the LinuxPAM (and Kerberos) had become an industrial standard.

Everyone else use them, it is basically to have them, is expected to sport them, only Slackware have them NOT.

Oh, and never would be a set of PAMified packages in "/extra", because, to be again honest: LinuxPAM and Kerberos are like a "cancer", they propagate as deps everywhere.

PS. In the past, I tried three times to suggest Slackware in schools, zero profit BTW!, and I failed miserably every time because the Slackware was unable to run properly a mere application called iTALC, used by teachers to do surveillance on the students computers, and which depends really hard on PAM features. And of course, they wanted Centralized Authentication. So, I ended with Ubuntu.

Last edited by Darth Vader; 07-18-2017 at 05:44 PM.
 
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:20 PM   #3
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That last paragraph is what I am interested in seeing in this thread.
 
Old 07-18-2017, 10:24 PM   #4
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Personally I run several e-commerce sites, and have very few issues. But then my biggest task is maintaining PCI compliance
 
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:03 AM   #5
ttk
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After that other thread you linked, I started making notes:
http://ciar.org/ttk/public/enterprise-slackware.html

Not every place needs all of those technologies, of course. Some might not need any of them.

I use Slackware 14.1 at my place of employment on my workstation, and have found no shortcomings in it.

The last time I relied on Slackware for a business' back-end infrastructure it was fine, and fully expect it could be again today. But the kinds of businesses I have worked for, and would run myself, are very different from Kikinovak's. SaaS hides the nature of the back-end from the end-user. Users just see an API or a web page, and they need know nothing about the operating system behind the scenes.

Aside from lacking specific packages and chef/puppet recipes, the biggest barrier to wider commercial adoption is that it's so very alien to the established norm. People in IT are used to RHEL-likes and Debian-likes, and Slackware is a huge unknown to them.
 
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:36 AM   #6
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The last time I could have used Slackware in business it was not possible because it missed PAM.
and, no, for technical reasons already discussed to dead in this forum, the do it you self approach suggested from people that do not even know what PAM is and why using it, is is not practicable. You would not run Slackware anymore but your Slackware based own distribution. I do not know any business that could effort this, and seriously, a distribution that did such a phenomenal fail decision like rejecting PAM until 2017 or longer is not made for business anyway.
Btw, some of the diehard 'do PAM yourself if needed' Slackware fundamentalists are meanwhile back on Windows ;-) .... , if this is the critical mass Pat is listening to and who he did not want to offend with adding PAM, how could you use Slackware for something else than for hobby out of sentimental reasons?
So bringing a thread topic like this, and than saying 'but do not talk about PAM', ... well .... absurd.
 
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:08 AM   #7
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Okay some enterprises need PAM. What else?
 
Old 07-19-2017, 08:38 AM   #8
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With my little work intranet, I use Slackware on a gateway server precisely because it does not play well with Windows. I need to insulate my Windows based instrument control PCs from intrusive central administration. Those who need access use RDP or VNC, with access granted to a very select few.

I understand the need many have for PAM, but there is a niche for Slackware in a business environment.
 
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:52 AM   #9
Darth Vader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadicalDreamer View Post
Okay some enterprises need PAM. What else?
Most likely Kerberos and Centralized Authentication, over shiny tools like Active Directory.
 
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:57 AM   #10
Darth Vader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allend View Post
... but there is a niche for Slackware in a business environment.
Yes, there is a niche for Slackware in a business environment: enterprise desktops, because the CentOS is not doing so well as desktop, even in servers side it will beat brains out from Slackware, single-handed.

BUT, sadly you need LinuxPAM, Kerberos and AD for doing that...

Last edited by Darth Vader; 07-19-2017 at 09:01 AM.
 
Old 07-19-2017, 09:01 AM   #11
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In the istitution I work into I use it:
- as a platform for running virtual machines and containers;
- as the OS of the virtual machines themselves;
- to run many different webservers with the most etherogeneous sites;
- as a nfs or samba server for file sharing;
- as a dhcp/dns/tftpboot server for diskless hosts or clean machines without an OS or easy mass-installations, etc.;
- as a desktop machine;
- other occasional uses I don't even recall ATM.
 
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:02 AM   #12
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@RadicalDreamer

Honestly not much else! This is one of the places where I am willing to buck argue the BDFL might wrong. I have used Slackware in enterprise, and had to jump thru all kinds of hoops to make FTP work, which I eventually did leveraging radius but PAM would have made things simple.

There are real problems adding PAM yourself which we don't need to discuss here because they are well documented, the result is a much less maintainable platform if you do it, is the short version.

However if PAM was included than most other stuff could get done with the simple addition of some third party packages users can rather easily manage on their own. Even doing windows integration would only mean adding MIT kerb5 packages, and re-rolling samba, which while still undesirable would not be a show stopper IMHO.
 
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:14 AM   #13
Darth Vader
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Well, Kerberos is another "cancer" which would go goddamned fast in metastasis...

BUT, everything else could be leaved safely to the sysadmins exercise.
 
Old 07-19-2017, 09:19 AM   #14
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Thanks so far for the replies. As stated in the original post, yes, PAM is needed by some. Fairly obvious that the lack of PAM is a show stopper for many Slackers. I think there is a general agreement based on many discussions and a poll that most Slackers are not going to be perturbed if PAM is added to the next release.

My vote would be to add PAM to the next release. PAM is transparent on all other distros I have used even when not needed for any central authentication. But for this thread all I wanted was to avoid rants about the absense.

For now please stay focused on how you use Slackware in business or why not.

Last edited by upnort; 07-19-2017 at 09:21 AM.
 
Old 07-19-2017, 09:48 AM   #15
Darth Vader
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@upnort Doing a Business discussion, but excluding PAM, is like trying to discuss about Catholic Religious Doctrine, but asking to avoid to talk about Jesus Christ. I hope you are really kidding.

With all respect, you are wrong considering that "PAM is needed by some". In a business environment, is implicit supposed to have/ship PAM.

It is not a option, it is not a must have, it is just something which everyone expects to have natively.

Like in no one consider is optionally to breathe, no one even thought it is a must to breathe while employing you, but everyone expects you to breathe well. You see the light?

Last edited by Darth Vader; 07-19-2017 at 09:53 AM.
 
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