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Old 05-18-2007, 06:02 AM   #1
Registered: Nov 2006
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Thinking of Swtiching from Debian

I'm thinking of switching from Debian to Slackware but first of all I have several question about Slackware. So would you mind answering these questions about Slackware?

1)First and foremost, I've heard rumors from people that Slackware was originally developed by Crackers (e.g. Black-hat hackers) and therefore Is stable for them, but also has 'hidden entrances' that those same crackers use. Now although this seems kinda far fetched I am abit worried about the system security, so is it true? Is Slackware really open to crackers?

2)Stability, My prime reason for using Linux is stability I switched to Linux due to the Constant Window$ problems. So is Slackware considered a Stable and safe OS?

3)I hate compiling Binary packages... Its too time consuming so I need two things, first of all something like apt-get,Synaptic,YaST or things like that (but something with plenty of programs, and not limited)and also can I get support for RPM and DEB files?. I know Slackware already has TGZ support but I dont have any knowledge on how to install it, or where to get TGZ files.

4)is it easy to use? I joined Linux because I like a challenge and difference, So I dont want everything to be easy but then again I dont want something that will drive me insane.

5)My sister has a limited experience in Slackware (she tried to for two weeks and went back to Ubuntu) and she said that she had many many problems such as:

No Sound
No Video support (only OGG was supported)
Problems with Internet (It took her 4 days to fix it)

and many more, So am I expected to hit these obstacles?

6)Another thing I've heard from my sister and friends is that Slackware is really out-of-date and uses Kernel 2.4 and alot of old programs. now since I do not know how to update these programs and the Kernel without apt-get I'll be stuck with an out-of-date OS, which doesnt fit me well since I like 'cutting edge' software.

7)I've heard of Slackware based OS's like Zenwalk, BackTrack and Slax. however I dont know anything of them... are they better/worse then Slackware? and what do they give me exactly?

8)I've heard that Slackware use's Lilo for bootup.. and from whats I've heard Lilo is worse then the good old GRUB that I learned to know well so can I stop Slackware from installing Lilo and boot it with GRUB?

Last edited by 2Pacalypse; 05-18-2007 at 06:04 AM.
Old 05-18-2007, 06:11 AM   #2
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Better/worse depends on what you like. Slackware's site tells you most things, and there's the place where you'll find the packages (tgz packages) too. Slackware doesn't have right-out-of-the-box package manager that does all the installation/downloading stuff for you, it's package tool is handy but very different from apt. If you like apt, yum, yast etc. then you might get scared.

Slackware uses lilo and 2.4 kernel "by default" (ver. 11) but 2.6 and grub are available, you'll just need to install them yourselves. It's not as straightforward&easy as Debian I'm afraid, but if you're ok with doing some things yourself in the beginning, it's definitely a good choice. I liked it for that, but I had huge problems getting a basic internet connection work semiautomatically and nobody seemed to be able to fix it or help me fix it for good, so at the time I'm not using Slack, though considering taking it in again.

Every OS has holes, it's just up to you to find and plug them. Some operating systems have more and some less holes.

If you are fine with Debian, like it and your life isn't hell with it, consider keeping it even if you did install Slack. You are going to have some moments of despair I'm afraid, so it's handy having an already-working operating system available just in case.
Old 05-18-2007, 06:36 AM   #3
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For cutting edge use gentoo. If you choose Slack, you will think about it as too old (from your point of view) and stable. And you won't get cutting edge without building from source. BTW, there is bleeding edge slackware too, but I do not recommend it to you.

There is no apt-get there (however, there are similar unofficial packages as slapt-get, swaret, etc..)

You can do anything you want with Slack, so you can just replace the holes if you know where they are. For a long time haven't heard such a nonsense. Black hats most probably use Slack because of stability and security to hack winblows.

If Slack doesn't support anything, in which way I've transformed it to do anything I want?

Last edited by Alien_Hominid; 05-18-2007 at 06:44 AM.
Old 05-18-2007, 07:06 AM   #4
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Slovenia
Distribution: Slackware 13.37
Posts: 511

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1.) that one really made me laugh. nothing personal meant with that...
i've never heard of it
i'm using slackware as a desktop OS and for the server
never had any break-ins or something like that

2.)forgot what u asked under second...have to go up
never crashed for me
though i had some problems with kernel witch is in /extra on CD/DVD
i got some EDBA is big; errors a few times
solved it with a new kernel compilation

3.)you have slapt-get
witch is very similar with debians apt-get
deb and rpm packages are not supported, though you have a rpm2tgz command that converts rpm package to tgz
but i've heard its not the smartest move in some cases, i have used it alot though and had no truble with it
you have slack packs on:
and you can install tgz packages with
or pkgtool
if you wish to use "graphical console" aplication

4.) Slackware follows KISS(Keep It Simple Stupid)
some people have some problem at first of using slackware
but then again its not that hard either

5.) Sound worked out of the box when i installed slack 11
though i had some problems with it on 10.2
but this was my generated problem, cause i didn't install some packages
video problems
never had them, though i use an SiS graphics card on my laptop
Internet...had some problems my self with this
but if you use xDSL
you will need to run pppoe-setup
add a script into /etc/ppp
script should be named ip-up
and in it add:
route add default gw yourGATEWAYip YOURinterface(probably eth0)
and maybe edit /etc/resolv.conf
but if i remember rp-pppoe does this automaticly
and then run pppoe-start
to connect

6.)not true
slackware 11 has and 2.6.18(i think) as an option
and you can update packages with slapt-get like this:
slapt-get --update
slapt-get --upgrade
for kernel recompiling please check the sticky thread
its simple as saying PIE
i said it my self that i'll never know how to compile a kernel
but when i read this sticky thread i've seen what i dummy i am

7.)Slax is LiveLinux based on Slackware
Zenwalk also
but i had limited experience with this
i use Slax only when i mess up something

8.)yes it uses LILO
but i don't know an answer to this question
because i prefer LILO over GRUB
Old 05-18-2007, 08:24 AM   #5
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1) That's plain nonsense.

2) Yes, it is exceptionally stable, I chose it for precisely that reason.

3) I suggest you forget RPM and DPKG and you do make friends with compiling software occasionally. You will consider it to be a drawback, compared to Debian. But it's in keeping with point 4. Most packages are available from

4) Rather easy, especially with the help of this forum.

5) Sound has never been an issue for me, just needs an alsaconfig, alsamixer and alsactl store. Video works fine, missing codecs fro Mplayer can be easily installed. Likewise, "internet" has always been easy for me but that might depend on how you connect.

6) Kernel 2.4 is by default but kernel 2.6 is also part of Slackware, I've always used that one on the desktop and I believe most people do. Software in Slackware 11.0 is rather up to date, I am running for example Firefox (from Slackware) and OpenOffice 2.2 (from

7) Slackbased distros are quite often desktop-specific versions, whereas Slackware is both a server and a desktop distro. I've tried some of them, didn't like any. Have a look at Zenwalk though, it's more cutting-edge, you might like it.

8) Actually it's lilo that deserves to be called "good old". You can tell the installer not to install it. Grub is also provided by Slackware so it's really up to you.

It's a huge step from Debian to Slackware. From my personal point of view, Slackware is easier but requires some more work. It's a rewarding challenge.
Old 05-18-2007, 08:42 AM   #6
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1. LMAO this one is just hilarious

2. Slackware is one of the most stable distros available, but you can make it unstable if you want. It's up to you.

3. There are a lot of binaries available for Slack, but sometimes it's better to compile your own. It's not like it's all that hard.

4. Easy is a relative term. It's as easy or hard as you want it to be.

5. You sister had a bad experience due to a lack of knowledge. Sound is usually as easy as running alsaconf. The rest was probably just a matter of adding libraries or editing config files.

6. There is nothing "out of date" about Slackware. Yes, a 2.4 kernel is currently the default (unless you install -current), but it's simple to install a 2.6 kernel provided on the installation disk or from a mirror. If you want a newer version of something it's a simple matter to upgrade.

7. It's no different that Debian based variations. Different people add different things. I prefer the original Slack but it's all about preference and choice.

8. I don't know about Lilo being any better or worse than Grub, it's just different. Lilo is the default but you can choose to install Grub instead. The easiest way to do this is just allow the installer to install Lilo and then after you boot into the installed system you can install Grub. Or you can manually install it instead of Lilo during the install it just takes a tad more work.

Slackware starts with a very stable installation and then you make it whatever you want it to be.
Old 05-18-2007, 11:41 AM   #7
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Best way to know is to try it. Try as many distros as possible and see which one you like.

Also, #1 doesn't even make sense. It's developed by Pat V. ... he's no black hat hacker. And even assuming that Slackware were developed by a hacker, why would a hacker put a backdoor in an OS that he himself uses ... makes no sense any which way you look at it. Slackware is one of the (if not the most) stable and reliable distros in existence. Do try it.

Read the slackbook (link in my sig), you will have far fewer obstacles. Also ask questions here, they are often quite easy to fix.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 05-18-2007 at 11:45 AM.
Old 05-18-2007, 11:53 AM   #8
Registered: Aug 2003
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Is this what others call FUD?
Old 05-18-2007, 11:56 AM   #9
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Do not know what FUD means. Finding Universal Distribution?
Old 05-18-2007, 12:04 PM   #10
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: North Carolina
Distribution: Slackware 12.0, Gentoo, LFS, Debian, Kubuntu.
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Running both.

If you are not planning on using you system as a web server but a home puter might check zenwalk out. Slackware rocks so far but you have to be willing to learn the command line to utilize it fully and even that is not as difficult as it seems.
Old 05-18-2007, 12:10 PM   #11
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And, Slackware uses vanilla kernels .... Linus would be the only one who could really put a backdoor in it ... you think he'd do that ? Check the source code. If he did, it'd be in Debian too.
Old 05-18-2007, 12:47 PM   #12
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: United States
Distribution: Slackware 11.0
Posts: 88

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Well I too,
Took up slackware around january this year after
switching from pclinuxos and I think it great.
You have to look at it this way, are you wanting to
really learn how to use linux to it's fullest potential? You WILL use the commmand line very often
so do you want to do that? At least I do.Yes there is
times when you'll get tough issues that can drive you nuts but there is more pros then cons.I mean when I used pclinuxos yes it was easy to setup hardware through control center but the problems was that it
was very... slow and some times unstable plus it would
freeze up to the point that I would reboot just to fix the issue.But now in slackware my pc is very fast.
I only got 499mb of ram and it's even fast in kde
but I like now fluxbox for it's lightness.Plus I never
had slackware crash or freeze up to the point of needing a reboot.Okey lets say a program crashed in slackware and the cpu is hitting 100% power and you can't do anything really.So what I do is just kill it
through command line.I use a cmd line program called
htop and I just stop it and everything is fine. But if
program completely freezes up the desktop, just hit ctrl+alt+backspace and restart the x server.

For programs most of them I get at and read the howto build yourself
a package.
also you can get them here..

There is other places to get good packages maybe
you guys could tell him.

But don't use They have bad packges that can f-up your system.

Last edited by Nem; 05-18-2007 at 04:23 PM.
Old 05-18-2007, 01:13 PM   #13
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Distribution: Slackware 11.0
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Ha, all the black hatters are trying to convince this guy they don't secretly run the world. No, J/k. Seriously, Slackware is known best for it's security and stability (black hatters are paranoid after all )

Old 05-18-2007, 01:47 PM   #14
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: VPN Tunnel, USA
Distribution: Slackware64
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Originally Posted by Alien_Hominid
Do not know what FUD means. Finding Universal Distribution?
FUD = fear, uncertainty, doubt.
Old 05-18-2007, 01:55 PM   #15
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: VPN Tunnel, USA
Distribution: Slackware64
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Others here have given you quite a bit of information in their posts, so I won't repeat it. However, I will till you that should someone ask me what my favorite distros of Linux were, I'd say a tie between Debian and Slackware. I lean just a little toward the Slackware side.

And Slack has one other thing that most other distros lack...

A T T I T U D E ! ! !

My Slack desktop showing its attitude:


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