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Slackware This Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.

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View Poll Results: What is Slackware's most enduring virtue?
SlackBuilds / The ability to compile from source 32 33.68%
BSD-style init system 37 38.95%
It just works! 66 69.47%
Text-based installer 20 21.05%
Other (comment in posts below) 13 13.68%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 95. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-12-2017, 06:18 AM   #136
business_kid
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Technology certainly was slower. I was entering electronics in the mid to late 70s. Yes, technology was much slower, but followed Moore's Law.

/Begin long hardware history
The first monolithic cpu was intel's 4040(4 address, 4 data) ~1970. That was followed by the 8080(1972?), in turn trumped by the(instruction compatible) Zilog Z80 (in 1973, iirc) and this was the basis for most CP/M systems in the 70s. It's actually amazing what they could do on 8 bits with 4 mhz and 64k of memory. In time the intel 8085 trumped that, but nobody noticed, as programs were mostly compiled for 8080s still (to be backward compatible), ignoring the Z80's & 8085's extra instructions. Zilog's next CPUs were commercial flops. Everybody made the Z80 and the price went drastically down.

By 1980, you had the 8088,(16 bit with 8 bit data), the 8086 (16 bit with 16 data) and the superior 68000, also 16 bit. All chip layouts then were 8,14,16,24,28, or 40 pins, and people couldn't make pcbs for other sizes. So the 8086 (20 address, 16 data) had some double jobbing to do, with internal 16 bit registers. Hence paging registers, the source of segmentation faults. The IBM PC came out in 1982 with some of the worst hardware choices ever made ensuring inferior processor & graphics and limiting the system internally; but IBM put their reputation behind it. Early models sold here for ~£2,300. Unix was working on £8k-£10k "mini-computers" with 68k processors with superior hardware, & networking but the simpler to operate and cheaper pc sold, largely because people couldn't manage 3 options on a command line. The Mac came out at the end of the year, with superior hardware & software, a simpler system, but it never really caught on except for graphics/publishing. Early models had reliability faults (e.g. hard disks that stuck; you needed to bang it, and the hard disk would spin up and you were away). And some guy called Stallman started the GNU Open Source project to put unix on pcs. The 1980s also saw the first SMT designs, but market penetration was initially poor, and outside special applications (e.g. mainframes) it was through hole only.

Intel made much more out of cpu sales than Motorola, invested more heavily in development, caught & passed Motolorola and fought off AMD's strong challenge and is dominant today. Motorola progressed very little with four improved generations (68010,68020,68030 & 68040) by which stage they were 32bit, and then fed Macs with a new generation (G3 -->) of cpu. They only caught up by switching to Intel CPUs.

In 1994, Linus Torvalds pasted his kernel code into a forum/mailing list, and the linux kernel was born. Add this to GNU's utilities and you had an OS - Linux. GNU had a microkernel idea which was (and still is) unfinished, driverless and buggy. The memory saving benefits of their design are irrelevant today. IIRC, Slackware was born next year (1995). M$ also released some half-assed buggy gui called windows, which went to version 3.11 before people eventually stopped laughing at it.

Intel also miniaturized fabrication more than competitors, and reaped the benefits. For a good while they were the only company on 14nm fab. Miniature fabrication is like turbocharging to silicon design, allowing the same layout to get smaller & faster while using less power.
/end long hardware history.

That brings you all closer to today where I lost interest and you guys know it all anyhow.
 
Old 10-12-2017, 07:13 AM   #137
onebuck
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Hi,

Intel 4004 was their first micro and you skipped the Intel 8008. Both of those were targeted towards calculators.

Correction for Linux Kernel release date;
Quote:
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Linux

The history of Linux began in 1991 with the commencement of a personal project by Finnish student Linus Torvalds to create a new free operating system kernel. Since then, the resulting Linux kernel has been marked by constant growth throughout its history. Since the initial release of its source code in 1991, it has grown from a small number of C files under a license prohibiting commercial distribution to the 4.2.3 version in 2015 with more than 18 million lines of source code under the GNU General Public License v2.[1](p7)[2][3]
You forgot Windows/286 then Windows 3 which produced W3.11.

Plus I remember Xenix;
Quote:
Xenix is a discontinued version of the Unix operating system for various microcomputer platforms, licensed by Microsoft from AT&T Corporation in the late 1970s. The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) later acquired exclusive rights to the software, and eventually replaced it with SCO UNIX (now known as SCO OpenServer).
In the mid-to-late 1980s, Xenix was the most common Unix variant, measured according to the number of machines on which it was installed.[1][2] Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said in 1996 that for a long time that company had the highest-volume AT&T Unix license.[3]
Otherwise a good representation that brought back some great memories for me.
Hope this helps.
Have fun & enjoy!
 
Old 10-12-2017, 07:54 AM   #138
YesItsMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thordn View Post
Then in the early 90's a port of NetBSD to IBM PC became available.
NetBSD had actually started as a patch set to 1992's 386BSD which already was the first regular IBM PC port of "the BSD". There was no need to port it anywhere.

On topic: While I do not "use" Slackware as of today (and I never really did for more than just a few hours), let me explain why I actively recommend Slackware as the "least annoying GNU/Linux" to those who desperately ask me for "which Linux" I would recommend, assuming FreeBSD and OpenBSD (both of which are rather attractive desktop systems in my own experience, minus WiFi madness) are not an option for whatever reason.

My reasoning revolves around Slackware's "conservative" development, meant in an even more traditional sense than pre-systemd Debian was. Slackware was around when I had my first Linux experiences in the mid-90s (it was S.u.S.E., if I remember correctly) and - unlike most other distributions from that time - it has neither changed to the worse nor completely vanished in 2017. It is good that in a time of rapid fire in the everlasting "distro wars", leading to Ubuntu's rise, fall and renewal as well as Gentoo's slide into relative obscurity, there is a system which is unlikely to change to an extent that would drive its loyal user base away. The lack of ooohhh, shiny! is probably the reason why Slackware is not as famous as its brothers in arms (Arch, #! or whatever its current name is, ...); but at least it won't get in your way unless you ask it to.

A rare species, sadly.
 
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:58 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
And some guy called Stallman started the GNU Open Source project to put unix on pcs.
RMS always hated Unix and he never made that a secret. GNU is not about "Unix on PCs"; if it was, it would have become obsolete in 1992.
 
Old 10-12-2017, 08:54 AM   #140
business_kid
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Oh, somebody read that? Thank you for the correction.

Thay have some aspects of unix (e.g. the epoch in 1970), some CP/M like commands, and some stuff that's clearly their own. Who but OSS would have 'free' as part of the name?

Moore's law also bears a close resemblance to the graph of improved performance from reductions in fab cell size. When the pc came out power hungry TTL could do 10Mhz in theory; LSTTL was good for most of that also; CMOS 4xxx was good for about 1Mhz, and fab sizes were 2 micrometres. With widely varying propagation times, glitches were a scourge.

In 2013 I specified 74AUCXXX discrete ICs for a project and ran them at 250Mhz; even bog standard through hole 74hcxxx chips were good for 50Mhz+. Fab varies,but it's been ~40nm --> 28nm --> 14nm --> 11nm and still probably shrinking. Intel built it's much vaunted Fab 14 plant down the road from me, hundreds or thousands of miles from tectonic plate edges. But they still had to dig a deep trench all round it to protect from minuscule seismic vibrations upsetting the process.
 
Old 10-12-2017, 08:58 AM   #141
YesItsMe
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Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Who but OSS would have 'free' as part of the name?
Closed-source freeware, for example.
 
Old 10-12-2017, 10:26 AM   #142
onebuck
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Hi,

I think that this should clearly show Slackware's contributions to Gnu projects over last 2 1/2 decades;Hope this helps.
Have fun & enjoy!
 
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:28 AM   #143
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I went for 'It just works' because an x86 Slackware iso/DVD gives you a variety of kernels to try when booting.

Really good for non-pae machines such as the perfectly serviceable Thinkpad T42 (Centrino chipset) I'm typing this on.

You also get enough software for most common desktop tasks on the DVD before connecting to the Internet.
 
Old 10-15-2017, 12:22 AM   #144
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..cause I can.
 
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:58 PM   #145
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I discovered slackware via slackintosh. The stock darwin kernel on an ppc g4 xserve would not allow closed firewall (because Apple wanted a back door to check on osX-server licensing), unless I was to recompile it. Trying to find the documentation on how to recompile the darwin kernel was frustrating, and it seemed, that though it was open source, I had to give apple money to subscibe to their apple developers club in order to have access to such documentation. So, after a stint with openbsd, I tried running different linux distros on powerpc g4 xserves. I tried mepis, opensuse, gentoo, yellowdog, and then came upon slackintosh. Later I switched to Intel, and I began using slackware instead of slackintosh. I still use slackware to this day because of this thriving LQ slackware community! When I discovered this page at Linux Questions, I noticed how many more posts and threads were available for slackware than for the other distros. I have a theory that slackware's text based installer weeds out the lemmings, such that the posts here are more informed; whereas so many are switching from windows to ubuntu because of it's easy installer, their forum fills up with noobs repeating bad advice. Rarely do I ever have an issue that requires me to actually make a post at LQ-slackware. If I search, someone's already been there and done that, and I usually get it worked out. And when I have had to post, your responses have always been supportive. On a few threads, I noticed Pat himself chiming in! And I thought darkstar was a funny default hostname because of that Grateful Dead song, where it says "Darkstar Crashes"--LOL... Slackers are funny. And the whole Bob Dobbs thing cracked me up. So here I remain. Thanks Pat and all of you for making this LQ community such an awesome resource. I don't think any of the other distros have anything quite like it.
 
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:54 AM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisretusn View Post
It's really quite simple for me. I cannot use any other. I have to use Slackware. All others lead me right back to Slackware. I gave up trying others years ago, it an exercise in futility.
I don't recall the poll when I first posted in this thread. Any who... I checked all of them. I will add because there is no other.
 
Old 10-21-2017, 03:36 PM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisretusn View Post
I don't recall the poll when I first posted in this thread. Any who... I checked all of them. I will add because there is no other.
Thanks for voting! I can't imagine using any other distro; Slackware wins hands-down for simplicity of operation, and very few points of failure (none if you know what you're doing, and I've been around computers for 30+ years). IMO, computers should be like our vehicles; extremely well-engineered, with only the barest of maintenance to be performed. No worries about viruses, ransomware, malware, etc. Just turn on your computer and do your thing.
 
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Old 10-21-2017, 04:47 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337_powerslacker View Post
Slackware wins hands-down for simplicity of operation, and very few points of failure (...) IMO, computers should be like our vehicles; extremely well-engineered, with only the barest of maintenance to be performed. No worries about viruses, ransomware, malware, etc. Just turn on your computer and do your thing.
Interesting. To me, modern cars are precisely the opposite: very complex appliances with dozens of CPUs (and no way to hack - and you don't want to), that can be serviced only by certified specialists, and only with proprietary equipment... Looks to me more like Windows10 with their multi-gigabyte signed and opaque updates...

It is certainly ok if you operate a fleet of business cars.

Slackware to me feels more like a car with only mechanical parts that I can touch and understand.

And even this analogy has its limits: how many people do understand all what is really happening inside Chrome? And below? just look at a modern PC with the huge, undocumented inner content of the UEFI/BIOS, and now the even more opaque/unreadable security modules in the ME flash.

Maybe time to migrate to saner and simpler ARM plateforms... with Slackware of course!
 
Old 10-21-2017, 10:34 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philanc View Post
Interesting. To me, modern cars are precisely the opposite: very complex appliances with dozens of CPUs (and no way to hack - and you don't want to), that can be serviced only by certified specialists, and only with proprietary equipment... Looks to me more like Windows10 with their multi-gigabyte signed and opaque updates...
I should have made this statement a little clearer. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, owning cars that let you see the ground through the engine compartment; such cars were much easier to work on and repair if you didn't happen to be certified to the hilt (as one seems to need to be today!)

Quote:
Slackware to me feels more like a car with only mechanical parts that I can touch and understand.
This was the sense I intended when I referred to cars; you needed to know a little more to operate and service your vehicle, but in return (generally), it gave you better performance over the long run.
 
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:47 AM   #150
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337_powerslacker View Post
I should have made this statement a little clearer. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, owning cars that let you see the ground through the engine compartment; such cars were much easier to work on and repair if you didn't happen to be certified to the hilt (as one seems to need to be today!)



This was the sense I intended when I referred to cars; you needed to know a little more to operate and service your vehicle, but in return (generally), it gave you better performance over the long run.

Sir, you made my day

Slackware:
"Because You can see the ground while looking into the engine compartment"

...could just be my new sig
 
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