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Old 05-22-2007, 10:24 AM   #1
ErrorBound
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What is so great about Slackware anyway?


I am not intending to start a flame war. If you are a Slacker please take a minute to reply and say what makes Slackware so great for you, because I think the point is lost on me.

Slackware appears to me to be an outdated (i.e. still uses 2.4-kernel by default), unnecessarily difficult (i.e. no dependency resolution), incomplete (notably missing GNOME) distribution. It doesn't seem to receive nearly the amount of development effort (in that it is developed and maintained largely by one person), although I may be wrong on this last point.

Yet there are a large number of users who swear by the distribution and remain strangely loyal to their benevolent dictator. Surely their claims of stability and configurability are matched by other distros. Can someone tell me what I am missing here?
 
Old 05-22-2007, 10:38 AM   #2
lord-fu
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Quote:
Slackware appears to me to be an outdated (i.e. still uses 2.4-kernel by default)
- Stability, tried and true...just like my 78 Ford pickup truck. I don't run out and get a new one just because it has extended cab. Newer kernels are available on the INSTALL disk.

Quote:
incomplete (notably missing GNOME)
INcomplete to some, but Pat says it was becoming too much of a hassle to maintain, so sayeth the developer, so shall it be. I install DLG anyways, and all is OK.

Quote:
It doesn't seem to receive nearly the amount of development effort (in that it is developed and maintained largely by one person)
Yep, whats wrong with this? I cannot say it is lacking because there is only one person doing the development and maintenance.

Quote:
Yet there are a large number of users who swear by the distribution and remain strangely loyal to their benevolent dictator
I worship the one, seriously why call him a dictator? Are your crys for the latest package heard any clearer than slackers crys for KDE 3.666.666?

Quote:
Surely their claims of stability and configurability are matched by other distros.
This all depends on the user, I can bork my system just as well as the next guy, but by default I would agree with this.

Last edited by lord-fu; 05-22-2007 at 10:41 AM.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 10:40 AM   #3
Okie
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that is an old question that has been asked many many times in the past...

Slackware uses BSD style init scripts that can be found in /etc/rc.d they are clean and easy to modify and the kernel boots cleanly & in an orderly fashion without redundancies. Debian's style of init is a mess just watch debian boot up and you will see scripts looking for things before it should and trying to load things again after they were already loaded...

I HATE using an initrd.img i rather have filesystem support built right in to the kernel, i also prefer slackware because i can build a vanilla kernel that has not been patched and it will run great!, try building a vanilla kernel without Debian's patches and you will see some breakages...

personally i just really don't like what debian & ubuntu and what a lot of other distros do with the Linux kernel and what they do with the whole enchilada of GNU/Linux as a whole, (and i will say again) if not for Slackware i would most likely abandon Linux for Crux or FreeBSD, or even abandon the PC all together and go buy Apple's Mac and then lose my enthusiasm for computers completely...

another thing i hate about most other distros, you will find that the stock kernel that comes with the distro was built with a different version of GCC than the one that is included with the distro so if you dont want to replace the kernel yet just want to build the same version of kernel source because some software requires it to build against you will find errors because of different versions of GCC being implemented...

[/rant]
 
Old 05-22-2007, 10:47 AM   #4
Linux.tar.gz
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With Slackware, you got slack, which is, IMHO, the most important point.

Last edited by Linux.tar.gz; 05-23-2007 at 04:44 AM.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 10:56 AM   #5
roreilly
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ease of use, ease of maintenance. I maintain nearly 70 servers on our network
each one reliably running slackware. We measure uptime in months and years
and downtime is usually caused by hardware failure.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 10:57 AM   #6
ErrorBound
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lord-fu
Stability, tried and true...just like my 78 Ford pickup truck. I don't run out and get a new one just because it has extended cab. Newer kernels are available on the INSTALL disk.
I just say this because the 2.6 kernels have been quite stable for a while now, and have been shown to be much better in terms of scalability and what not, so they have advantages. udev is just about the most useful thing since sliced bread too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lord-fu
I worship the one, seriously why call him a dictator? Are your crys for the latest package heard any clearer than slackers crys for KDE 3.666.666?
I meant no offense, Benevolent Dictator For Life is supposed to be a humorous term and is used all over the place (Torvalds...).

Your replies are interesting though, keep them coming
 
Old 05-22-2007, 11:15 AM   #7
Alien_Hominid
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Same and same again. Read why I love Slackware thread.


DIY, not EMI. Slackware, not (insert popular distro name here).
The importance is that you make distro to behave how do you want. It's easier in Slack than in others. I guarantee that my modified OS is much more stable and more attractive than default configuration of others.

Last edited by Alien_Hominid; 05-22-2007 at 11:21 AM.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 11:21 AM   #8
Okie
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one more thing...

what debian does with packages = they dice them up for example QT has its development files ripped out so you have qt and qt-dev and qt-mt so if i want to roll my own KDE i have to download several QT packages and xorg-dev (which was diced up in to several packages too) this annoys me to see a GNU/Linux distro diced up in to little pieces, they made Linux harder than it needs to be like some complicated jigsaw puzzle with redundant pieces you have to put together...

personally i think Pat V. is one of the few people in the world that knows how to put together a Linux distro with consistency/simplicity/elegance & stability, kudos to Pat V. for his efforts = the man deserves high honors...
 
Old 05-22-2007, 11:24 AM   #9
Alien_Hominid
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Yeah, I hate dev things too. Being a newbie I was thinking that dev package is greater than normal package which I have (aka new version/still in development). You don't understand what is xorg at all when you get xorg-core, xorg-server, etc...
 
Old 05-22-2007, 11:35 AM   #10
Okie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alien_Hominid
Yeah, I hate dev things too.
not me, i love them, just that debian separated them out of the package (which should be one package)...

Slackware does not strip out the header & C files out so building source code that require them does not complain about dependencies being missing...
 
Old 05-22-2007, 11:39 AM   #11
ErrorBound
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okie
one more thing...

what debian does with packages = they dice them up for example QT has its development files ripped out so you have qt and qt-dev and qt-mt so if i want to roll my own KDE i have to download several QT packages and xorg-dev (which was diced up in to several packages too) this annoys me to see a GNU/Linux distro diced up in to little pieces, they made Linux harder than it needs to be like some complicated jigsaw puzzle with redundant pieces you have to put together...
I can see this being annoying if you're compiling your own packages, but only very slightly. The idea is that most users are not developers, and having the development files installed is just wasting space and adding complexity if you're not using them. Installing the dev packages is a one-liner anyway using apt. I can't see this driving you to another distro though. There are also lots of distributions besides Debian which do not chop packages up like this.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 11:50 AM   #12
quietguy47
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What I really love about Slackware is that it doesn't try to be 'everything for everybody'. Slackware gives you a stable, dependable frame to build off of as you see fit.
From what I have seen with other distro's, Slackware is arguably the most 'userfriendly'.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 11:50 AM   #13
Okie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErrorBound
Installing the dev packages is a one-liner anyway using apt.
a one liner? what is that line? will it install all the dev packages for xorg, qt, gtk, & etc..., (all the dev packages for everything i have installed (if i was to install debian again and give it another try?)
 
Old 05-22-2007, 11:57 AM   #14
Hern_28
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Out of date?

Slackware being out of date? Running everything current here, if they don't update it, I compile it , if they don't have it for Slackware, I compile it. Its extremely fast and stable to boot. I personally don't have any problem with any distro, but I prefer Slackware for proven performance. I either have or have had all the following listed distro's on my computer( Next paragraph), Slackware is simply the fastest and most stable KDE version of all I tried (Without updates and modification) across different computer platforms. Debian, Gentoo and Ubuntu installed on 1 out of 5 systems here (various systems 486-686) without modification, where Slackware, DSL, and OpenSuse installed on 5 out of 5 and ran (remember no modifications to any).

I had or have Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, DSL, Puppy, OpenSuse installed on various systems. Opensuse was very nice but slow. DSL supernice but I wanted more of a home system. Slackware allowed the most options so i setup all the computers for use as home computers except one that firewalls the home network. All computers have been running continuously for 2 months now, all I have done since is login and enjoy.

As far as why I think its better, I don't, just for my needs its the most versatile and most easily configurable distro.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 12:11 PM   #15
Hangdog42
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Quote:
Slackware appears to me to be an outdated (i.e. still uses 2.4-kernel by default)
Since when is 2.4 outdated? It's still maintained and a lot of hardware still runs great on it.

Quote:
unnecessarily difficult (i.e. no dependency resolution)
Excuse me, but I don't want some brain dead automaton resolving my dependencies for me. If you've got dependencies, tell me about 'em and I'll decided how/if I want them resolved. I've seen too many threads starting off "I just ran apt-get yada yada yada and now my system won't boot" for me to think automatic dependency resolution is a good thing.

Quote:
incomplete (notably missing GNOME)
Good riddance. Never liked it, never used it. So other than Gnome, what else constitutes "incomplete"? Also, "incomplete" is certainly in the eye of the beholder. My server is running plain, vanilla Slackware and I haven't really had to add anything other than Joomla and a couple of other tools. My laptop on the other hand has had a ton of stuff added, but without any real hassle. To date, I have yet to run into a situation where I can't solve it on Slackware.

The Linux community seems to be taken with this concept that newer=better, and Pat V is one of the few that recognizes the fallacy of that concept. Give me proven, stable and robust over new any day. And if I want/need new, I'll roll my own.
 
  


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