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Old 09-06-2009, 05:04 PM   #1
mrmnemo
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Question What makes slackware slackware?


I was just wondering what makes slackware slackware. This may seem like a stupid question to all the gurus out there in slackerdom; however, to a new LINUX user it is a valid question. With all the distros available and the assorted issues that each encompasses, things can get really convoluted really fast. I will list my assumptions and maybe someone can set me straight on the issue.

Assumption 1 : each build or distro uses its own management tools for updating and installing, configuring and updating open source software from assorted programmers. True / False

Assumption 2 : The kernel installed by default with each distro is, in most cases, patched for perceived performance enhancements or ease of use. True / False

Assumption 3 : The user experience for each distro is directed by "included" applications picked by each distro respected release team. True / False

Assumption 4 : Each distro, in many cases, modifies the naming and syntax standards of base linux commands and file structures. Example: all config files for the "most part" being located in /etc under slackware and in other distros being slightly different. True / False

Assumption 5 : Linux it self is stable.. its the assorted patches applied via each respected distro release team that introduces instability ( REAL BIG ASSUMPTION HERE). True / False

Assumption 6 : A very basic distro could be as simple as the base linuux kernel with the un modified aps such as x/xfce/open office, ect.. In which case even a new user could compile and arrange a set of packages(source) to build their own stable os. True /False

In conclusion: I like slackware because I feel it is close to being "just" linux i.e: I havent run into many instances of base linux directories or commands being different from the many how to listings I have researched. I have noticed exceptions to this rule, but not many. My only issue I guess, and this would go to any release, would be that in many cases things that are not broken are fixed for the sheer pleasure of fixing something it seems. This drives absolutely ape shit!
But then again, I dont find myself bored often. However, trying to build a stable, functional, and upgradeable box is my end goal. Is slackware for me? Should I copnsider building my own kernel ( think I will just to try it out)?

Happy but exhausted lil' slacker,

mrmnemo
 
Old 09-06-2009, 05:39 PM   #2
dwr1
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"Bob"
 
Old 09-06-2009, 06:01 PM   #3
linuxpokernut
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Quote:
Assumption 5 : Linux it self is stable.. its the assorted patches applied via each respected distro release team that introduces instability ( REAL BIG ASSUMPTION HERE). True / False
True. Ubuntu is less stable than Slackware with the same desktop from my experience. I.E. same hardware and same apps.

I find slackware to be extremely stable compared to ANY os I have ever used:

windows 3.1
windows3.11
windows 95
windows 98
windows98 me (worst OS ever)
windows "2000" or NT
windows XP
Windows vista
Fedora 4,5,6,7,8
Ubuntu 7.10-9.04
 
Old 09-06-2009, 06:04 PM   #4
mrmnemo
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Originally Posted by dwr1 View Post
"bob"
praise his sweet name!
 
Old 09-06-2009, 06:09 PM   #5
mrmnemo
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Originally Posted by linuxpokernut View Post
I find slackware to be extremely stable compared to ANY os I have ever
How so? what about issues with hardware issues with each new release across all distros? while i can agree with you as far as stability when taking into consideration that slackware tries to employee new hardware while remain stable...i have yet to use ANY distro which beats windows here. that said, linux offers more freedom, the rope to hang yourself with so to speak. i find this to be appealing.
 
Old 09-07-2009, 02:55 AM   #6
Anonymo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmnemo View Post
How so? what about issues with hardware issues with each new release across all distros? while i can agree with you as far as stability when taking into consideration that Slackware tries to employee new hardware while remain stable...i have yet to use ANY distro which beats windows here. that said, linux offers more freedom, the rope to hang yourself with so to speak. i find this to be appealing.
It is as you said above, just Linux + programs.

The installer is the same one, hasn't changed much at all, all/most the bugs have been worked out. It's had YEARS to mature and it shows, as Slackware installer is sometimes the only thing that will work on some equipment. Same can be said about the package manager, pkgtools, minimal changes.

The fact that Patrick does not use Slackware as a guinea pig for all the bleeding edge software. He only uses software that is up to date but the stable version. You can see this for yourself in the program Pidgin, Slackware uses 2.5.x version, even though the latest is 2.6.2 with video conferencing and such. Or KDE 4.2.x and not 4.3. Thorough testing goes into every program to ensure that it works well with other programs/libraries. It took ages for Pat to include 2.6 kernel, to upgrade Apache and many other examples. Why? Because it has to work. If not, it is not included. An older version will be included as long as it works. Policykit is another example.

I think this is why Slackware is so stable. If something works well (installer, package manager,) why change it? If a program does not do as intended, why include it?

If you want something that works, is tested, it's retested and tested again, use Slackware, Debian, RH ETC. If you want to be a guinea pig, a tester or bleeding edge, use Ubuntu, Arch, Fedora, ETC.
 
Old 09-07-2009, 05:02 AM   #7
mrmnemo
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Talking

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Originally Posted by Anonymo View Post

I think this is why Slackware is so stable. If something works well (installer, package manager,) why change it? If a program does not do as intended, why include it?

If you want something that works, is tested, it's retested and tested again, use Slackware, Debian, RH ETC. If you want to be a guinea pig, a tester or bleeding edge, use Ubuntu, Arch, Fedora, ETC.
point taken. however, i have been trying to get wireless working for 3 days (well working rite anyways) in slackware 13. I have installed it 4 times just to see if i continued to get segmentation faults all over the place. I even tried 2 usb wireless sticks. one cant get an ip but sees the networks and the other gets an ip but drops to 1 mb/s. o and thats if a seg fault doesnt occur or hald doesnt drop the usb stick B4 i get the seg fault. on one of the installs the kernel went into a panic when init wasnt found. using th install cd as a boot disk wouldn even work. just totally random errors. now, 12.2....worked like a dream with no problems opther than dropping (rarely) a mounted scsi device which i never could figure out. I have posted the above in other areas and have watched as tons of folks check the issue but dont post making me feel its not all that uncommon. so, on a system like mine which is just a step ahead of boatanchorism i would expect for thngs to go juuuust a lil smoother. as it is, things couldnt be worse. i have tried using.

I would love some help as i have searched and read all i could get mny hands on. but getting back on topic:

i still like slackware due to the amount I have learned in such a short time being forced to use the command line, perform my own configs and trace any number of bugs down. I AM NOT saying linux is bad. actually, in many ways slack may be easier than point n click. i say this cause if it breaks in point n click its BROKE good. in slack...its broke but fixable.
 
Old 09-07-2009, 08:53 AM   #8
hitest
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The text based installer (ncurses) in Slackware is very similar in function to the text based installer (sysinstall) used in FreeBSD.

sysinstall

This is one of the reasons that people say that Slackware is very Unix-like.

I'm a long-time FreeBSD user, but, I've removed my FreeBSD partition from my main machine in favour of Slackware. Why? Slackware does *exactly* what I want and it stays out of my way.
 
Old 09-07-2009, 02:57 PM   #9
mrmnemo
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Originally Posted by hitest View Post
I'm a long-time FreeBSD user, but, I've removed my FreeBSD partition from my main machine in favour of Slackware. Why? Slackware does *exactly* what I want and it stays out of my way.
LOL that may be my REAL problem. Slackware doing only what I tell it too do. hence the gremlins.
 
Old 09-07-2009, 03:11 PM   #10
SqdnGuns
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You have to know what your doing, no "monkey clicking"...........and STABLE, no bleeding edge crap to bork your system.
 
Old 09-07-2009, 04:24 PM   #11
linuxpokernut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmnemo View Post
How so? what about issues with hardware issues with each new release across all distros? while i can agree with you as far as stability when taking into consideration that slackware tries to employee new hardware while remain stable...i have yet to use ANY distro which beats windows here. that said, linux offers more freedom, the rope to hang yourself with so to speak. i find this to be appealing.
Because hardware issues get resolved WAY faster in *nix, and I generally don't have them. I've had crazy hardware issues with Windows. Eventually XP was made stable. However say if it was fedora for example you probably would have gone from fedora core 3 all the way to 64bit 8 in the same timespan. If you were running 4 and 5 had an issue you could just keep running 4 until it was resolved.
 
Old 09-07-2009, 08:17 PM   #12
Erik_FL
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These are some of the things that I think distinguish Slackware.
  • Slackware is complete (including even source for kernel builds)
  • Slackware is easy to install even though the Setup is text based
  • Slackware is reliable and well maintained
  • Slackware is well documented (Slackbook, Wikis, forums, etc.)
  • Slackware focuses on the KDE and XFCE desktops rather than GNOME
  • Slackware includes a lot of useful programs (shell and GUI)
  • Slackware is supported by a large user base
  • A lot of things not included with Slackware are supported by others as Slackware packages
  • Slackware mostly uses unaltered versions of the software it contains
  • Slackware offers choices about what is installed
  • The location of files in Slackware is consistent between releases

There are lots of GNOME based distros and I'm glad that Slackware focuses on KDE and XFCE. It does take some thought and the willingness to read and follow some directions to install and use Slackare. In exchange one gets a lot of flexibility and a moderate understanding of how to install and configure Linux features. I think Slackware is a good balance between simplicity and flexibility. As a distro for learning about Linux it allows one to get up and running with a minimum of knowledge.

Without naming names, some other distros that I've used get so far into Linux minutia that one has to be a Linux expert to get them installed and working. I don't consider those details useful information for anyone except a distro maintainer. Other distros install at the push of a button but if anything goes wrong or one wants to install other software they are an enigma.
 
Old 09-07-2009, 09:45 PM   #13
cwwilson721
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmnemo View Post

Assumption 2 : The kernel installed by default with each distro is, in most cases, patched for perceived performance enhancements or ease of use. True / False
While other distro's do this (Fedora comes to mind), Slackware uses, as can you, the 'real' kernel source. Having recompiled/compiled/messed up MANY kernels, I can attest to this. If you wish, you can download the current kernel from kernel.org, and compile and use it.

THAT is one major reason I love Slackware. It's stock, and the programs included are stock, too. That's why compiling from source (either on your own, or using Slackbuilds) is comparatively painless.
 
Old 09-08-2009, 12:15 AM   #14
mrmnemo
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Originally Posted by cwwilson721 View Post
THAT is one major reason I love Slackware. It's stock, and the programs included are stock, too. That's why compiling from source (either on your own, or using Slackbuilds) is comparatively painless.
Yeah i like that too. I actually tried to compile my first kernel this weekend..got a lot of errors b4 it even got done saving the configuration files after exiting the menuconfig route. But...i am learning which is what is kinda attracting me to slack. It gets frustrating having to go use the other pc due to network issues and random crashes while i do research; however, thats the curve i guess.
by the way..thanks everyone for the input.
 
  


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