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Old 12-02-2018, 12:24 PM   #1
hazel
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So how would you persuade me to use Slackware?


Most people here know my tastes. I'm a minimalist. I like simple (as in simplicity!) distros. I currently run Crux, Debian and LFS on my main machine and I don't need more than three distros but I am open to the possibility of replacing either Crux or Debian.

Crux is an old favourite of mine. Like Slack, it uses bsdinit and therefore boots very fast. It follows the KISS philosophy. But it's source-based and updating is becoming a burden as packages get steadily larger. For example, I now use the binary Firefox which Crux recently adopted as an alternative to local build, because the latter takes literally hours on my hardware and you have to have rust installed. The gimp also needs rust (to build librsvg) so I don't have that in Crux any more, or in LFS. That would be a possible reason to put Crux to rest and replace it with a binary distro.

In the case of Debian, it's the complexity of the system which increasingly worries me. Debian Stable was the first distro that I fell in love with, but that was a long time ago. Now of course it uses systemd and, while I'm not violently opposed to that (I quite like the speed with which it boots and shuts down), I'm very much aware of the additional complications it brings. The apt system is complicated too with its fragmented packages creating huge webs of dependency. Debian never uses one package where five will do! To be fair, the internal complexity of Debian hasn't caused me any problems so far, but I'm aware that it could do so one day.

So how would you sell Slackware to me as a replacement for either of these? How would it be better? Please keep in mind that I don't want KDE so I wouldn't be doing a full install. I hate big desktops. But presumably I could get Fluxbox or IceWM as a slackbuild?

Last edited by hazel; 12-02-2018 at 12:27 PM.
 
Old 12-02-2018, 12:54 PM   #2
Gordie
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Just don't install KDE and you should be good to go. Fluxbox and Icewm are included already AFAIK.

Hope this helps

EDIT - IceWM is available as a SlackBuild. Fluxbox is already included

Last edited by Gordie; 12-02-2018 at 12:59 PM.
 
Old 12-02-2018, 12:55 PM   #3
orbea
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I wouldn't, I use Slackware because it works well and doesn't burden me with excess complexity or plastic wrapping. You should use what you find works best for you.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:01 PM   #4
Lysander666
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Speaking as an ex-Debianite, I have lived through some of your concerns. I also loved Debian, but I moved off it mainly because of systemd. I wasn't a fervent systemd hater, I only had two concerns, which were ethical and technical.

The first concern was to do with the fact that I just didn't trust it, I was suspicious of it, and seeing as it acts as userspace, that was a pretty big issue for me. Secondly, systemd would fail to load my ATI graphics drivers on boot sometimes, and the only way out was a hard reset. I also had been fascinated by Slackware for a long time, years, and was interested in putting the effort in to learn it.

In response to some of your other concerns:

Installing packages on Slackware - you can build from source or binaries, it's up to you. I personally build from source unless the package is a very complex one like Libre Office or Chromium. Both are built to expert standards by Eric here [AlienBob]. Updating the new versions is a breeze. Forum user ponce also creates many great binaries.

You may hear people say that manual dependency resolution on Slackware is a pain. It's really not. Slackbuilds tells you which dependencies you need, you just get on with it and install them individually. Tools like sbopkg help you keep track of their updates, or chain installation if you wish.

Boot speed - you may like the speed with which systemd boots but that's really a non-argument these days with advances in hardware. Even on my 32bit netbook Slackware boots up in less than a minute. Sure, systemd boots up in ten seconds or so, but it's a lot less stable than SysV - a slightly faster boot time is not worth the compromise in stability. I have never, ever had a failed boot in Slackware on any of my machines.

Stability - Slackware is by far the most stable OS I have ever used. No crashes, no hard locks. The only time something has gone wrong is because of something that I did. e.g. I installed something wrongly, didn't follow protocol, didn't understand the ramifications of what I was doing. Slackware forces you to learn and be responsible.

Community - we have a community of intelligent, articulate, seasoned professionals here. The Debian community is now a joke, replete with arguments, back-biting and advice from clueless users. The Slackware community is objective, patient and helpful. There is little chaff here. I personally find this forum to be one of the last bastions of intelligent comment on the internet, not just in the Linux community. Not only that, but you get to talk with those right at the top-end of development. It's a fascinating privilege.

Control - Slackware gives you total control over your system. You can remove, change and adapt absolutely anything. It will not assume anything for you. It will not tell you updates to packages are available because it won't assume you want to know. It thinks that if you care enough to use it, you can - and will - do that in your own time.

DEs/WMs- I don't use KDE either. I have a pretty beefy desktop machine and I use Xfce, it looks great and is highly stable and customisable. I also use LXDE on my netbook. You can use Flux or IceWM should you wish. There is a large variety of offer [Openbox, dwm, Blackbox, Windowmaker etc].

Finally, Slackware is the only distribution where I have been able to do everything I want. I don't feel I'm missing out or in need of something that only another distro can provide. I know that if I put the effort in, I can do it here. I don't even need to run multiple distros to learn from since I am continually learning through Slackware.

Last edited by Lysander666; 12-02-2018 at 01:24 PM.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:03 PM   #5
nodir
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A distribution based on Slackware, for example Salix, might suit your needs better than Slackware itself, as it doesn't come with the (usual) Slackware approach to install everything and the kitchen sink.
(as mentioned above you seem to be able to make choices during installation, but without dependency checking that sure wasn't that much fun to me).
You will find lots of more applications at slackbuilds.org, but those are getting compiled too ( from what i understand it bothers you a bit).
I for one have come to like Void (not sure if it is really keep-it-simple, but sure more than debian, while else it offers quite some comfort, say binary packages).

Slackware sure is worth a shot, imho.
 
Old 12-02-2018, 01:17 PM   #6
pan64
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I have two comments:
1. I won't sell it to you. If you want to try, do that, but not because of me. Do that, because you are interested.
2. It is not [only] debian, but valid for all kind of systems: the complexity increases continuously.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:23 PM   #7
hitest
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I wouldn't try to convince you to use Slackware. It seems it is already too late for you as you are curious about it. Heh-heh.
I ran Debian back at 4.0; I used it for my computer lab in an elementary school when I was teaching. I run Debian from time to time; I am very fond of it.
Today I run Slackware and OpenBSD. Both operating systems are elegant, simple, secure, and they meet my needs.
I warn you that you may come to love Slackware if you give it a try. Nice to meet you, mate.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:28 PM   #8
triode3
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Convince yourself of which distro you want to use. What do you want to accomplish? What are you using the distro for?
How much time do you want to invest in the distro/configuration/setting it up for you, vs long term usage?
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:29 PM   #9
hazel
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@nodir: I don't mind building a few packages. I've used slackbuilds before and they're pretty foolproof. I'm just getting tired of having to build everything (except on LFS, which is a special case, and even there I've dropped some packages that I had installed in earlier versions).

As far as missing dependencies are concerned, that can easily be fixed after installation; running a program from the terminal will broadcast the names of any missing libraries.

@Lysander666: I would miss not being notified about updates. I don't mind that in LFS because I rebuild the whole thing every six months or so, when the new book comes out, and any real security scares are notified on the mailing list. But istr there is a patch directory on the Slackware site that you can check for recent additions.

@triode3. I don't mind having to fiddle about with things a bit. Remember I am retired so I have plenty of time. What I need is a fairly small set of applications on a stable foundation.

Last edited by hazel; 12-02-2018 at 01:32 PM.
 
Old 12-02-2018, 01:35 PM   #10
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post

@Lysander666: I would miss not being notified about updates. I don't mind that in LFS because I rebuild the whole thing every six months or so, when the new book comes out, and any real security scares are notified on the mailing list. But istr there is a patch directory on the Slackware site that you can check for recent additions.
You can subscribe to the Slackware mailing list which will tell you when new updates to official packages are out. Slackbuilds are updated every Saturday [those which have updates, that is].

You can also check the changelogs:

http://www.slackware.com/changelog/
https://slackbuilds.org/ChangeLog.txt

I personally update about once a week, though I'm sure I could get away with leaving it for a lot longer.

Last edited by Lysander666; 12-02-2018 at 01:39 PM.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:46 PM   #11
RadicalDreamer
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I use slackpkg+ to check the changelogs to see what new packages are available every few days for Slackware, Plasma 5, and multilib. I run sbopkg on Saturday to check for Slackbuilds updates.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:55 PM   #12
Gerard Lally
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
Most people here know my tastes. I'm a minimalist. I like simple (as in simplicity!) distros.
I too am a minimalist. but it's important to distinguish storage minimalism and process minimalism. From a storage point of view, Slackware is far from minimalist. A full install leaves you with everything but the kitchen sink on disk. From a process point of view, however, running Fvwm or Fluxbox is about as minimalist as you can get. Run these window managers and you will see very little in htop to offend your eyes.

These days storage usage no longer matters, so I no longer fight Slackware to save space. A full install (minus f, kde and xfce), together with sbotools/sbopkg and slackpkg+, gives you everything you're likely to need on disk, with most software up-to-date. Not having to chase down libraries saves you many headaches. But you still have the benefit of knowing that a light window manager like Fvwm or Fluxbox (both included in a default install) means you can run a system light on resources. I think this is as good a compromise as you can get. Have all the software you're likely to need available to you, on disk, but run a light system - responsive, light on memory, light on the processor, and, importantly, perceptibly light as well. (KDE these days is light on memory, but in practice I still perceive KDE to be bloated.)

Last edited by Gerard Lally; 12-02-2018 at 03:09 PM.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:02 PM   #13
mrclisdue
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If you opt for slackware, I'll donate $25 to Patrick.

cheers,
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:08 PM   #14
cwizardone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander666 View Post
You can subscribe to the Slackware mailing list which will tell you when new updates to official packages are out. Slackbuilds are updated every Saturday [those which have updates, that is].

You can also check the changelogs:

http://www.slackware.com/changelog/
https://slackbuilds.org/ChangeLog.txt

I personally update about once a week, though I'm sure I could get away with leaving it for a lot longer.
The -current change log page is setup as the "home" page in my main browser and about once a day I either hit the button or click on the icon to see if there is anything new. Putting your e-mail address on the security mailing list is also a good idea.

Last edited by cwizardone; 12-02-2018 at 03:49 PM.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:52 PM   #15
BW-userx
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So how would you [I] persuade me [you] to use Slackware?
get a bunch of monies, buy out every single distro out there then take them off the market, so the only distro left to use would be Slackware.
 
  


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