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Old 11-21-2003, 09:02 AM   #1
mrtwice
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Why is Slack popular & what needs to change??


Check out this thread on LQ:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...hreadid=116355

Its a vote for the best distro of the year and Slackware is winning by a pretty good lead. That really amazes me. I did not know slackware was so popular.

The reason I started this thread is because I would like to see two things happen. First, I would like to see people give reasons why they use slack over the other distros. Second, I would like you to give the top several things that most frustrate you about slackware.

My hope is that the guys at slackware might see this and be better able to focus their development effort on needed areas while making sure not to trash the features that cause most of us to use slackware.


Pros:
1) It seems to me that slackware is the most "pure" distro of Linux out there. Programs in the directory structure are laid out well and files are where they should be. I can't stand using Redhat because they change almost EVERYTHING and have bloatage everywhere. I am very thankful that Slackware keeps everything simple.
2) Fast!!

Cons:
1) Setup could be improved, especially hardware setup. While I very much dislike using Redhat and Mandrake, they have very nice setup programs. I wouldn't want Slack to lose its simplistic feel, but sometimes gettting slackware installed can be harder than I think it should be.
2) Package management. I am not sure what to say about this. It is probably more of a Linux thing than a slackware thing, but I hate dependencies. It shouldn't be so difficult to install a program. I think if this one area was cleaned up and automated Slack would easily overtake the other distros. I am not sure how they would do that and still keep the fine grain administration, but I think it would be helpful.

What do you think?
 
Old 11-21-2003, 09:52 AM   #2
trickykid
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Re: Why is Slack popular & what needs to change??

Quote:
Originally posted by mrtwice
Pros:
1) It seems to me that slackware is the most "pure" distro of Linux out there. Programs in the directory structure are laid out well and files are where they should be. I can't stand using Redhat because they change almost EVERYTHING and have bloatage everywhere. I am very thankful that Slackware keeps everything simple.
2) Fast!!

Cons:
1) Setup could be improved, especially hardware setup. While I very much dislike using Redhat and Mandrake, they have very nice setup programs. I wouldn't want Slack to lose its simplistic feel, but sometimes gettting slackware installed can be harder than I think it should be.
2) Package management. I am not sure what to say about this. It is probably more of a Linux thing than a slackware thing, but I hate dependencies. It shouldn't be so difficult to install a program. I think if this one area was cleaned up and automated Slack would easily overtake the other distros. I am not sure how they would do that and still keep the fine grain administration, but I think it would be helpful.
I agree with your Pros for the most part.

Your Cons I don't totally agree with. I myself started using Linux when even Redhat had the text based install. To me there is really no difference from a text based install to a prettier Graphical installer. Though however other distro's do have better tools to detect hardware and such, but you also have to consider they have teams of programmers they pay to do this as a living. Slackware is mainly one guy. And for the most part, I'd actually rather configure my hardware manually so I know its installed properly, I don't necessarily rely on automated scripts to do this for me. I think that is the beauty of Slackware, it really gives me more control, the scripts are easier to read (I get lost and confused looking at Redhat's or Mandrakes startup scripts, etc).

Installing packages in Slackware are really easy to me. If you stick with the Slackware based tgz's its so easy to install. upgradepkg, installpkg and so on and everything you install is stored in /var/log/packages so you know what you've installed and what you haven't, etc.

A simple ls -al /var/log/packages | grep <whatever> will determine and let you know if its installed or not by the package name, etc.

There is also swaret which is coming along for those who want those automatic download and install type scripts. Also dropline gnome is an easy way to update anything and everything gnome related, etc.

I think installing packages on Slackware is no harder than Redhat. Also I notice more members asking how to install RPM's and the such on RPM based distro's rather than Slackware and Debian, the source type based distro's. To me its really the poeple trying to install that make it harder than what it seems.

That's my two cents.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 10:18 AM   #3
phekno
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I'm kind of a newbie to Slackware (I have been running RedHat for some time) and I like it. I think it is probably the most "pure" linux out there. I like the feel of it when it's installed. By that I mean that it seems clean. It doesn't have all of that extra garbage installed with it that RedHat or other distros have. As for package management: Can't you just download apt and then get synaptic to do all of your package management? It works on Slackware doesn't it? This combination solves all dependencies that an app may have, from what I understand. Anyway, I have recently tried Slack on my recently acquired laptop and I like it.

Later,
Phekno
 
Old 11-21-2003, 10:38 AM   #4
CEdstrom
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Re: Why is Slack popular & what needs to change??

Quote:
Originally posted by mrtwice
Check out this thread on LQ:

Pros:
1) It seems to me that slackware is the most "pure" distro of Linux out there. Programs in the directory structure are laid out well and files are where they should be. I can't stand using Redhat because they change almost EVERYTHING and have bloatage everywhere. I am very thankful that Slackware keeps everything simple.
2) Fast!!

Cons:
1) Setup could be improved, especially hardware setup. While I very much dislike using Redhat and Mandrake, they have very nice setup programs. I wouldn't want Slack to lose its simplistic feel, but sometimes gettting slackware installed can be harder than I think it should be.
2) Package management. I am not sure what to say about this. It is probably more of a Linux thing than a slackware thing, but I hate dependencies. It shouldn't be so difficult to install a program. I think if this one area was cleaned up and automated Slack would easily overtake the other distros. I am not sure how they would do that and still keep the fine grain administration, but I think it would be helpful.

What do you think?
You make some interesting points on both. On the cons, I feel that both are making progress. Package management is certainly making the best progress. There are now three methods of package management, installpkg, swaret, and slapt-get. All three work well and two are now over the net.

On the Pros, I feel most stongly that Slackware is designed to put the control in the users hands. I originally started with Slackware so I felt I was biased. When I got a cd burner recently I downloaded some ISOs and tried other distros. But it seems they are falling into the same trap Microsoft is making. By making the distro 'easy' for the end user, they are also making it difficult to troubleshoot or diagnose. They are wrapping GUIs and other bells and wistles around the heart of the system and over complicating things. Slackware is simple and it follows a standard. Thats what makes a system, useful and allows us to fix things that go wrong or break.

I thank Patrick for producing a distro make with commen sense, not dollars and cents.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 10:56 AM   #5
Netizen
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Re: Re: Why is Slack popular & what needs to change??

Quote:
Originally posted by CEdstrom
But it seems they are falling into the same trap Microsoft is making. By making the distro 'easy' for the end user, they are also making it difficult to troubleshoot or diagnose. They are wrapping GUIs and other bells and wistles around the heart of the system and over complicating things. Slackware is simple and it follows a standard. Thats what makes a system, useful and allows us to fix things that go wrong or break.
Exactly! I started with Red Hat...because everyone said it was a good distro to start with, and it was. Then I installed Red Hat 8 and then 9 and was like...omg...this is why I left Windows. Then I tried Mandrake and felt even more out of control with my computer.

I don't know what led me to Slack, but since I found it, I have never looked back.

The install was fine for me, having done it several times in Red hat, Mandrake and FreeBSD, but I really think thats why new Linux users start with Mandrake or Red Hat. Its not the configuring that scares most. Its the install. I know its what scared me. The idea of having to create partitions and setting up hardware and so forth with out a gui was kinda scary at first. But once I installed red hat and was moving around I got more comfortable with my ability to "work" with my computer and Linux.

The only other real downside for me is the simple fact that unless your paying attention you can install a system with a lot of services running that can lead to security problems. Maybe a default install that starts with most of the services and daemons off would be better, especially for new Linux users.

But other than that...I love everything about it. The clean feel, its fast, and doesn't feel bloated.

Netizen

Last edited by Netizen; 11-21-2003 at 10:57 AM.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 01:01 PM   #6
Misel
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Re: Re: Why is Slack popular & what needs to change??

Quote:
Originally posted by CEdstrom
You make some interesting points on both. On the cons, I feel that both are making progress. Package management is certainly making the best progress. There are now three methods of package management, installpkg, swaret, and slapt-get. All three work well and two are now over the net.
There's also slackpkg which has IMHO the best search function among those.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 01:33 PM   #7
Bobmeister
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Well, I have just started cruising this site again after being away for a month or so playing with my Fedora and enjoying Linux in general. About 7 months into running Linux, now quite competently, although only an "intermediate" user, I felt I was in need of more control. I just ordered Slack 9.1 official version. I will run it on my test machine to get the "feel" of it and start working my way around the system. If I like it (and just about EVERYTHING I am reading says that I will), I'll put it on my "big" machine (where I do my work)....

So...I enjoy reading these comments and look forward to participating in some of the forums when I run into issues I need resolved. Here I come, Slack!
 
Old 11-21-2003, 02:02 PM   #8
ringwraith
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It always seems like people say Slack is great, but we just need to change it so it is more like RH, SuSe or Mandrake by making install wizards, config wizards, apt/get or rpm systems .... The reason Slackware is what it is, is because it doesn't have that stuff and hopefully never will.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 03:26 PM   #9
mep]-[isto
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ive only been using slack for a few days now and im very much a newbie to linux, but i have basically the same values of slack as the initial post by mrtwice. Slackware seems so pure compared to the other distro's, its not corrupted by control centre's, invasive changes to KDE, or complex directory structures. it seems to be the linux distro that most striclty follows standards and tries to keep things 'traditional' (with package management hardly even straying from the norm what with source code installs using checkinstall etc). Slack seems fast and best of all is small and unchanged, meaning you can change it how you would like and also not be surprised should you happen to install KDE or anything else on its own one time without the control centres and custom menu editors the other linux distros have.

one downside of slack is the install, beleive me i like it but i think it should have a partition utility that resizes windows partitions for you. other than that the install was pretty good, again keeping it minimalistic and simple.

im not sure about package management, so far ive not run into dependancy troubles but i can imagine if i did it would be pretty nightmarish (what with having to download everything from source), im not sure though.

as i say im very much a 'newbie' so i cant say for sure, but so far slack beats all the other distro's ive tried hands down! (and thats redhat, suse and mandrake)
 
Old 11-21-2003, 03:37 PM   #10
mrtwice
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You are all kind of missing the point I think. My intention was not to get a bunch of responses about why I was wrong with the two cons I listed. Those are the two areas "I" feel could be improved. If you have different areas, then please list them along with the things you like. If you think Slackware is absolutely perfect the way it is, then post that.

I simply wanted this to be a kind of focal point for the Slack users on LQ to tell what they like and did not like about Slack. Nothing more, nothing less.

So, what do you like and not like?
 
Old 11-21-2003, 03:39 PM   #11
AxeZ
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Quote:
Originally posted by ringwraith
It always seems like people say Slack is great, but we just need to change it so it is more like RH, SuSe or Mandrake by making install wizards, config wizards, apt/get or rpm systems .... The reason Slackware is what it is, is because it doesn't have that stuff and hopefully never will.
Amen to that...
 
Old 11-21-2003, 05:11 PM   #12
subekk0
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I have been using SW since 94 and I would never install another brand of Linux. I have to admit that it could be a little bit more user friendly but then where would the challenge be? If you "dummy-it-down" enough where it installs itself without any (or minimal) input from the user it would create a bunch of drones that want to hop on a bandwagon .... oh wait... they already have an operating system like that..... Windows.

Well enough ranting.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 05:53 PM   #13
chris26
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Well then, lets answer this man's question.

(1) You had no idea that slackware was so popular??

Hmm. Im a convert from Mandrake, and even in my early days I was well aware of slackware's rep. I was just intimidated too much to switch


(2) Pros? -> everything

(3) Cons? -> cant find one

(4) what needs to change????!!!!

Everything that is not a con is a pro, and everything that is a pro is not a con. Since, (to me) everything in slackware is a pro (compared with my previous experience with mandrake, which is relative, subjective and biased) nothing should be overly changed on pain of death. I dont know why some people feel the need to want to change things, thinking that they are making it better, which stems from an ideology born from a dillluted, subjective, ego-based mindset. This is where slackware takes the lead among the dizzying array of abundant distributions in the linux sphere, all claiming that their implemented changes are the "leading edge" and chilling extreme of linux technology. Old school, is where it has always been. Old school is what demands respect and forces all others to be judged by its standards. There is no overly burning desire to change that which does not need to be changed in the slackware universe. A few things here and there, a bit of tweaking and optimization are always welcomed, but to outright change that which is the standard? What do we want to do, make slackware into another bloated, and bug filled, busted up windows wannabe like mandrake is? There is no need to make great change, and there is no need to suggest great change where slackware is concerned. Afterall, We are SLACKERS!

So, to summarize:

I like slack just fine. Nothing is wrong with it.
Nothing should be changed. Move along, move along.....

Last edited by chris26; 11-21-2003 at 05:56 PM.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 06:04 PM   #14
stevenhasty
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ACPI!!! Make it better!!
this goes for all distros, though. crappy power management for linux is my most hated flaw. my laptop has great power management hardware stuff, but linux just doesn't yet make use of it. it runs my fans all the time. the hard drive won't spin down and continually clicks. display won't blank. processor is still too hot, despite all the fans. power button won't start init 0. can't get my multimedia buttons working, despite closely following explicit instructions for my hardware.

also, hotplug IDE, which is a terrible idea to begin with (but somehow is made to work in windows) is something I have to deal with--my cdrw/dvd drive is a modular one, and I have yet to figure out how make the scsibus pick it up without rebooting (after plugging in the drive).
 
Old 11-22-2003, 05:28 AM   #15
mep]-[isto
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Quote:
Old school, is where it has always been. Old school is what demands respect and forces all others to be judged by its standards. There is no overly burning desire to change that which does not need to be changed in the slackware universe. A few things here and there, a bit of tweaking and optimization are always welcomed, but to outright change that which is the standard? What do we want to do, make slackware into another bloated, and bug filled, busted up windows wannabe like mandrake is?
that sounds like the most sensible thing ive ever heard! amen to that :P
 
  


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