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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 33 34.02%
BSD-style init system 37 38.14%
It just works! 68 70.10%
Text-based installer 21 21.65%
Other (comment in posts below) 13 13.40%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 97. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-19-2017, 04:19 PM   #16
worsel
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Registered: Feb 2008
Location: Washington State, USA
Distribution: Slackware 14.2
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I use Slackware because it's easy to fix problems in (usually no problems ), and
just seems to work reliably.

I started with Redhat in 1997. Bought a book with discs for Slackware, Redhat, Debian,
and something else. Only Redhat had a driver for my video card. A friend showed me
how to get the source for the driver and compile it. I then tried Slackware and
haven't strayed. I have experimented with most of the other distributions but can't
seem to shake Slackware.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 06-19-2017, 04:27 PM   #17
askfor
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Simple. Very close or maybe the closest thing to traditional UNIX. When my friends were installing Windows 3.11 on their machines I got a job where I worked witch SCO UNIX and early Solaris.

I am using programs like Xpdf, XFig, rxvt, xv. My WM is IceWM with Motif theme.
 
Old 06-19-2017, 04:27 PM   #18
1337_powerslacker
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Registered: Nov 2009
Distribution: Slackware64-current
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mralk3 View Post
I use Slackware because it's easy to customize it for web development. For the developing and the serving of web sites.

I also like Slackware because package management is simple compared to other distributions. Extending the base system is easy and causes no issues.

Slackware also doesn't assume you are a remedial user and allows you to have full control over your system.
I also like its simple design; having full control of your system is what being a nerd is all about, IMO.
 
Old 06-19-2017, 04:32 PM   #19
1337_powerslacker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worsel View Post
I use Slackware because it's easy to fix problems in (usually no problems ), and
just seems to work reliably...I have experimented with most of the other distributions but can't
seem to shake Slackware.
I hate having to fix problems in the first place; having to deal with a distro that tries to do too much for the user, and doesn't get out of the way so that I can fix the problem myself is a headache I can live without.

There's probably a good reason you can't shake Slackware, because of the above-stated reason. Just a guess...
 
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:07 PM   #20
igadoter
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Registered: Sep 2006
Location: wroclaw, poland
Distribution: slackware 12.2, scientific linux 6.4, knoppix 7.2, salix 14.1
Posts: 978

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Yeah, you know these devel- packages?
 
Old 06-19-2017, 06:35 PM   #21
montagdude
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Registered: Apr 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igadoter View Post
Yeah, you know these devel- packages?
Yes, the dumbest idea ever.
 
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:07 PM   #22
dugan
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Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Canada
Distribution: Slackware
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I use Slackware today because it's optimized for building your own packages and because the stock install (even on -current) is so well-tested.

Last edited by dugan; 06-19-2017 at 07:09 PM.
 
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:30 PM   #23
chrisretusn
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Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Philippines
Distribution: Slackware
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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.
 
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:56 PM   #24
1337_powerslacker
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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 know what you mean. Recently, I tried Manjaro. It was the most tolerable of all the systemd-based distros. I used it on my Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 laptop for several months. It became gradually intolerable for me, because of the simplicity of Slackware on my main desktop. I found a way to set the laptop to legacy mode, and was able to install Slackware on it. Before all that, I tried Manjaro on my desktop. Initally, I was impressed by the spit and polish of the distro. Then I began to use it, and all that I didn't like about automated distros came to the surface. At least this time, when I reinstalled Slackware, it booted much faster, even with the SSD. All in all, I think that a fresh install of Slackware was in order; maybe the wanderlust did me some good after all, if only to reinforce the impression that Slackware really is the best, at least for me.
 
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:29 PM   #25
mralk3
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Registered: May 2015
Distribution: Slackware, Debian, CentOS, FreeBSD
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Why do you use Slackware?

I think if I was going to switch distributions again I would go to FreeBSD. I don't see that happening unless Slackware ceased development.
 
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:04 AM   #26
D1ver
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Registered: Jan 2010
Distribution: Slackware 13.37
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When I was halfway through my Engineering degree I decided to buy a small EEE PC to take to class, and put Linux on it so I could write down "Linux Experience" on my resume.

Anyways I ended up loving Linux and spent heaps of time hacking away getting drivers working and packages installed. I started with Ubuntu, but read on some forums that "real men" use Gentoo or Debian or Slackware.. Well I tried to install Gentoo and destroyed everything, tried to install Debian but the website was confusing.. Slackware just worked after slowly fumbling my way though the installer.

I did all my University work on that little EEE PC running Slack 13.0 for the next couple years. I pretty much credit Slackware for teaching me all about Linux which helped me land a career working on embedded systems and embedded Linux.

So thanks Pat & co.
 
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:11 AM   #27
1337_powerslacker
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Mechanism, not policy

I was reading Eric S. Raymond's seminal book regarding Unix, "The Art of Unix Programming", and came across a section which bears scrutiny where Slackware is concerned. Particularly, this excerpt:

Quote:
But perhaps the most enduring objections to Unix are consequences of a feature of its philosophy first made explicit by the designers of the X windowing system. X strives to provide “mechanism, not policy”, supporting an extremely general set of graphics operations and deferring decisions about toolkits and interface look-and-feel (the policy) up to application level. Unix's other system-level services display similar tendencies; final choices about behavior are pushed as far toward the user as possible. Unix users can choose among multiple shells. Unix programs normally provide many behavior options and sport elaborate preference facilities.

This tendency reflects Unix's heritage as an operating system designed primarily for technical users, and a consequent belief that users know better than operating-system designers what their own needs are.
Slackware still follows this philosophy; its progenitor never pretended to anticipate his users' needs (policy) for his distro, preferring instead to concentrate on keeping the distro's design (mechanism) as simple as possible.

This has the following effect on most users upon first encountering Slackware:

Quote:
But the cost of the mechanism-not-policy approach is that when the user can set policy, the user must set policy. Nontechnical end-users frequently find Unix's profusion of options and interface styles overwhelming and retreat to systems that at least pretend to offer them simplicity.
Most distros designed to be 'user-friendly' follow a policy approach; most users, when encountering Linux, come from Windows, where both policy and mechanism have been dictated to them, and they are not obligated to make those kinds of choices; Redmond has made it for them. This, I believe, is where the popularity of Windows comes from; Microsoft has put a kind of 'user-friendly' approach for its GUIs, but the cost is that only those tasks its engineering and marketing departments have anticipated are super-easy; anything else is impossible, or extremely inconvenient, requiring almost super-human efforts to accomplish.

Raymond makes an allusion to this phenomenon:

Quote:
Many operating systems touted as more ‘modern’ or ‘user friendly’ than Unix achieve their surface glossiness by locking users and developers into one interface policy, and offer an application-programming interface that for all its elaborateness is rather narrow and rigid. On such systems, tasks the designers have anticipated are very easy — but tasks they have not anticipated are often impossible or at best extremely painful.
The downside of these kinds of distros,however, are that changes to them not anticipated by its designers are excruciatingly difficult to accomplish, because of their superficial glossiness that hides the complexity necessary to present a simple interface to the user.

Slackware, on the other hand, makes no such bold claims for itself. Rather, the most essential packages have been assembled into a very simple system, with additional packages to facilitate convenience offered by its various users for the community, in order that changes to it are as easy as possible for users who have taken the time to understand what is going on behind the scenes, and then to make the changes they see as necessary to accommodate their work flow.

Quote:
Unix, on the other hand, has flexibility in depth. The many ways Unix provides to glue together programs mean that components of its basic toolkit can be combined to produce useful effects that the designers of the individual toolkit parts never anticipated...Unix's support of multiple styles of program interface (often seen as a weakness because it increases the perceived complexity of the system to end users) also contributes to flexibility...
The reason that Slackware, in a general sense, only appeals to the technical users is because frequently, only these kinds of users are interested in how their systems work, and want to "get their hands dirty", so to speak, in twiddling their system at a very basic level to manipulate their data the way they want it accomplished. As a consequence, these users will do whatever it takes to make that happen, including Googling and experimenting, accepting failure the first few times as a natural consequence of their bit-twiddling, because success will always come to those who persist through failure and frustration.

Quote:
In the short term, Unix's laissez-faire approach may lose it a good many nontechnical users. In the long term, however, it may turn out that this ‘mistake’ confers a critical advantage — because policy tends to have a short lifetime, mechanism a long one. Today's fashion in interface look-and-feel too often becomes tomorrow's evolutionary dead end (as people using obsolete X toolkits will tell you with some feeling!). So the flip side of the flip side is that the “mechanism, not policy” philosophy may enable Unix to renew its relevance long after competitors more tied to one set of policy or interface choices have faded from view.
This is the reason why Slackware has endured for so long, while its competitors have fallen by the wayside; despite its being derided by users who prefer a glossy approach to computing, other distros' seemingly intuitive approach confers a kind of rigidity, often with the undesirable effect of making computing more difficult than it needs to be. Slackware will remain relevant for as long as users desire to implement their own policy, and use Slackware's simple mechanism to accomplish their goals.

Last edited by 1337_powerslacker; 06-21-2017 at 01:56 AM.
 
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Old 06-21-2017, 02:52 AM   #28
mmawhin
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Registered: Sep 2009
Location: Graz, Austria
Distribution: Slackware Current
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Somewhere in the mid nineties I wanted to know more about unix, so I bought a book about unix it had a CD attached of a very old Slackware version (kernel version 1.2.x). Since then I have been with Slackware on and off.

What I like about Slackware is that I can decide myself how to setup my system. It is also devoid of any of the technologies that make a system difficult to understand (packagemanagers with dependency tracking, systemd, etc...). When Slackware works, it always works and does exactly that what I want it to do.

Mel
 
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:53 AM   #29
dchang2017
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Registered: May 2017
Location: Toronto
Posts: 8

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I started using Slackware in 2017.

My first Linux was in 1996. I was introduced to the Internet a few months before (the university recently put computers in the entrance way to the libraries showing off the world-wide-web on a "browser"). Along with the Internet buzz was the buzz surrounding open source software. At the time, I had a 486 at home (on DOS and not online). I couldn't download Linux but I could buy it (the stores actually sold it in a package). I bought Red Hat Linux 5 in a white box (I still have it!) and also FreeBSD 2.2.6 in a multi-CD case. I never got that software to work.

In 1997 I started learning more about computers. I bought old 386 components from the flea market ($5 parts) and started building computers. I tried Minix on these old computers. Couldn't get it to work.

Long story short, I bought an old IBM PS/2 (386) last year. Last month I tackled the problem of whether I can install a Linux system on a machine with only 4 MB of RAM. Slackware helped me do it with the availability of old kernels, with boot disks and root disks, with an easy setup process. Slackware is a great learning tool.
 
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:05 PM   #30
Andersen
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Registered: Dec 2008
Distribution: Slackware
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Slackware just works. Works fast, works the way I want it to work, and is stable as a rock. I started with version 10.2, more than ten years ago, after a short adventures with Suse, Mandriva and Ubuntu. At the time, these three made me want to go back to MS systems. Stabillity issues, lacking flexibility, dependency hell.. it was just to much. Then I found Slackware, and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
 
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