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Old 12-02-2018, 03:56 PM   #16
upnort
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A fellow silver surfer.

The question has been asked before. A recent example that should provide answers similar to those you seek.

For myself, broadly speaking, for business owners I recommend something that is LTS. Most business owners focus on running a business and not on tinkering with computers. For them computers are tools, a means to an end and not an ideology. Slackware is not a strong candidate for such people. There have been a few threads in this forum about Slackware in the enterprise and the consensus opinion is Slackware falls short. Slackware could be an option in business but that is up to Pat if he wants to provide that foundation or at least encourage a derivative distro providing those foundations.

Broadly speaking, for non technical users I recommend something from the Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) line. Huge ecosystem and decent upstream support. Slackware typically is not a good fit for non technical users unless there is a Slackware devotee standing by to help. Even with an LTS distro, non technical people still need lots of help, almost always that means locally as the idea of obtaining help online is foreign to their way of thinking.

Broadly speaking, technical users have the skills to tinker and experiment. For technical users I recommend they use what they think they need. Experiment. Slackware might be a good fit and might not.

Based on your original post, you fall into the last category of users. You emphasize that you seek simplicity.

The definition of simplicity varies with usage needs. I can't convince you to use Slackware. Only you can do that after experimenting. I can share with you why I use Slackware, which includes my own definition of simplicity.

One of the elements I include in my definition of simplicity is the lack of dependency resolution. I long ago lost count of the times I wanted to introduce upstream packagers to the thick end of a baseball bat because of their outlandish dependency decisions when creating a package. The result is significant bloat. Slackware does not suffer from that nonsense but that also means the full burden of building all required packages falls on the user.

Side comments:

If you want to remain with Debian but not systemd, then tinker with Devuan.

While generally more knowledgeable about operating systems than within many other distros, a challenge with Slackware is most users demand RTFM skills. This can be intimidating for many new users. Along with that RTFM expectancy, as is true with any distro community, don't bad-mouth the distro within the forum. Hell hath no fury like a distro fan scorned.

If you want some GUI admin tools then the stock Slackware is not a good fit. Instead try the Salix derivative. Salix is designed with a one-app-per-application focus, which reduces the kitchen sink challenge.

With respect to building packages, after I build and tweak Slackware to my needs, generally I don't bother updating third-party packages unless there is a broken feature or security update. That is, there is no need to play the bleeding edge game. I subscribe to the Slackware security and SBo mail lists. That keeps me informed of meaningful changes.

I support systemd systems at the job. systemd does not boot or power down faster. That is an illusion. Instead processes are launched in parallel. An example of this illusion is connecting NetworkManager. All systemd distros contain a service called systemd-networkd-wait-online.service. If there is no network connection then watch how that service delays the boot process. Another example is running systemd-analyze to expose the actual boot time. Therefore to me comparing boot and power down times are meaningless. That said, after I edit the default rc.d scripts to remove the conservative power down delays, I find Slackware boots and powers down fast enough. Moreso, I do not care for the idea of parallel booting, rebooting, and halting. I prefer a predictable order for booting, rebooting, and halting.

Caveat: if you want to dig deep into or have a business need for containers then Slackware might not be a prime choice. Container technology rests a lot now on systemd and those wanting container technology stick with such distros.

I haven't installed KDE in Slackware on a production system in many years. Once upon a time I much enjoyed KDE -- back in the KDE 3 days. For a short while I tinkered with Trinity. I gave KDE 4 an honest shot but when the PITA known as akonadi became a so-called pillar I moved to Xfce and MATE. I since have stabilized on MATE. MATE is not part of the stock Slackware and Pat has shared that is not on his agenda. That said, downloading the MATE packages is straightforward for the technically inclined.

I hope all that drivel helps.

Have fun!
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:13 PM   #17
solarfields
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I would not persuade you at all. Use whatever you like and makes you happy. If you want to try Slackware, just go ahead and do it. Being used to Crux you, for sure, have enough Linux knowledge. Few remarks:

Quote:
Like Slack, it uses bsdinit and therefore boots very fast.
I have read here that the bsdinit is, in fact, slower than systemd (no flame war, pls).

Quote:
But it's source-based and updating is becoming a burden as packages get steadily larger.
Stuff you install from SlackBuilds.org will almost always require compilation, be aware of that. However, Slackware includes much more precompiled software by default than Crux.

Quote:
How would it be better?
It will not necessarily be better, that's a matter of personal opinion.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:30 PM   #18
Richard Cranium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upnort View Post
Caveat: if you want to dig deep into or have a business need for containers then Slackware might not be a prime choice. Container technology rests a lot now on systemd and those wanting container technology stick with such distros.
Docker runs just fine on Slackware64 14.2, given the slackbuild.org builds.

If you have the resources that allow for a dedicated build machine, I'd recommend slackrepo for your slackbuild needs.
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:56 AM   #19
enorbet
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Ever since 1999 I have never spent more than an hour a month tops in maintenance on Slackware, once initial setup is complete. I build a custom kernel (I dislike initrd and require DAW specific kernel features) and only apply security updates, and I'm selective about those. I would've said 5-6 hours a year tops except I do try out a lot of browsers and update my nVidia driver and Wine rather a lot (Games are physical therapy for me). FWIW I ran a Slackware based Minecraft server for 3 years and never updated anything after initial setup - literally zero maintenance over 3 years.

I do recommend a Full Install just for all the libraries and some really good K apps. One needn't run KDE to benefit from those. Hard drive space seems cheaper to me than my time.
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:41 AM   #20
hazel
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Upnort, that is an amazingly full reply which I think deserves to be made into a sticky. A lot of it isn't relevant to my particular situation; I'm not an enterprise user and I don't want to set up a server, just a simple desktop system with a few standard applications. But as an answer to the general question "Why should anyone use Slackware?", it certainly hits the target.

After rereading this thread, I'm beginning to think that Slackware may well be the logical binary replacement for my groaning Crux system. Debian at the moment is my "complex but easy-to-use distro". It is very good tempered and I have never had any serious problems with it, but it comes with loads of cruft and you can't get rid of any of that because of the complex webs of dependency. I think changing that for Slackware would be too much of a culture shock! But I might consider Devuan in the future.

For now, I'm going to do a lot of reading up. Nothing changes until I know exactly what I want to do and how to do it. Young people jump in with both feet but old people read the manual first.

@solarfields: when I first used Crux, there was no systemd! The standard init was sysvinit and Crux was recommended to me as booting faster than that. I had 256 MB of core and 32-bit Crux was a delight to run on that.

Last edited by hazel; 12-03-2018 at 06:49 AM. Reason: Added postscript
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:48 AM   #21
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
Debian at the moment is my "complex but easy-to-use distro". It is very good tempered and I have never had any serious problems with it, but it comes with loads of cruft and you can't get rid of any of that because of the complex webs of dependency. I think changing that for Slackware would be too much of a culture shock!
Absolutely no reason why you can't - only psychological boundaries. I hesitated a lot before moving from Debian to Slackware on my primary system, but once I had done it, it was completely fine.
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:12 AM   #22
trite
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Docker is working fine on Slackware, I've been using it for a few years with no hickups at all.

Use Slackware because it doesnt have a lot of "fuckery" in it. "Fuckery" as in, SystemD, Unity, Gnome3 and it doesnt do anything that you didnt tell it to do as in: popups about system upgrades, commercial ads in your start menu, stuff like that.

IMO it is also one of the most easy-to-use distro our there.
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:33 AM   #23
gnashley
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Gently persuade Slackware to do just what you want, when you want it.
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:01 AM   #24
ehartman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upnort View Post
Broadly speaking, for non technical users I recommend something from the Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) line. Huge ecosystem and decent upstream support.
In business the RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux, 10 to 13 years of support) or SLE (SUSE Linux Enterprise, 10 years general support and up to 3 years extended) distributions are most popular. Ubuntu LTS only offers up to 5 years.
OK, you have to pay for that support but then you can ask for fixes to be created asap!
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:54 PM   #25
upnort
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Quote:
Young people jump in with both feet but old people read the manual first.
And we too once upon a time were young, n'est pas?

Quote:
Ubuntu LTS only offers up to 5 years.
Well, I did carefully qualify my previous post with "broadly speaking."

Recently announced is Ubuntu 18.04 will be supported for 10 years.

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to addressing LTS. While 10 years is palatable to some enterprise users, that length is inconvenient to other enterprise users. I think 5 years should be the minimum acceptable for LTS, which somewhat disqualifies Debian, even with their additional one-year of security patches policy.

For myself, I find 10 years too long and prefer 5 years. Five years seems to be a sweet spot for me. Especially with certain packages. The Red Hat philosophy is almost nothing gets updated to newer releases. This causes pain for many users. An example is users wanting newer releases of PHP. A special repo must be used to accomplish this and even then not all users are able to successfully update to newer packages. Somewhat a fuster cluck. Also of note is Red Hat and CentOS, much like Debian stable, is stale with package versions upon official release. The Ubuntu folks push harder with newer releases before fixating the LTS release. I don't know how the Suse folks handle things.

The Ubuntu folks release a new LTS every two years. That easily allows enterprise users to update at any time less than 5 or 10 years. The Red Hat folks are now pushing a beta of their next release, well before their current 10-year cycle expires.

Of course, the old adage of never use a *.0 release of anything still applies after all the decades. That applies to distros too. Most sysadmins, even when they want to update, generally will not do so until the *.1 release is available. Even the Ubuntu devs acknowledge the traditional advice because they designed their updater not to notify users to update LTS releases until after the *.1 release is available.

That all said, historically Pat has supported Slackware releases for more than five years. Ignoring the enterprise concerns of some Slackware users, that qualifies every Slackware release as an LTS release.

Of course, all of this has nothing to do with helping hazel!
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:09 PM   #26
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upnort View Post
Recently announced is Ubuntu 18.04 will be supported for 10 years.
Indeed, you have to pay beyond five years though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by upnort View Post
That all said, historically Pat has supported Slackware releases for more than five years. Ignoring the enterprise concerns of some Slackware users, that qualifies every Slackware release as an LTS release.
Releases 9.0-11.0 and 13.0-13.37 had between 5 and 9 years' support. 8.1 had over ten years of support.
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:13 PM   #27
1337_powerslacker
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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.
FYI,for those inclined to use an RSS reader, a feed is available: http://slackfeeds.sagredo.eu/slackware64-current.rss
 
Old 12-03-2018, 05:48 PM   #28
bassmadrigal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337_powerslacker View Post
FYI,for those inclined to use an RSS reader, a feed is available: http://slackfeeds.sagredo.eu/slackware64-current.rss
They are also available directly via slackware.com

https://mirrors.slackware.com/feeds/
 
Old 12-03-2018, 05:51 PM   #29
ChuangTzu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trite View Post
Use Slackware because it doesnt have a lot of "fuckery" in it.
This needs to be on a t-shirt, tagline, something!

PS: added to sig.
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:00 PM   #30
ChuangTzu
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Hazel, as others have said we can't persuade you, nor should we. PV in my opinion does the best job of persuading people by providing the complete OS that he has for 2.5 decades. Stable, consistent, boring, gets the job done, all the tools to adapt/modify the OS to your liking, ability to add non repo programs without screwing up the system, updates that will not screw up the system etc... Oh and sane decisions/defaults. Did I mention we can't persuade you.

A few pointers, if you want to get your Slack feet wet, you can always utilize a VM until you are comfortable, or try Salix (Slacks little son or cousin); think of it as Slackware with some Debian like conveniences. Or as they say "Slackware for the Lazy Slacker".

Devuan is another option, however, it only satisfies your not wanting systemd, since it still includes the Debian complexities.
 
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