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Old 11-22-2003, 08:04 AM   #16
slakmagik
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Re: Re: Re: Why is Slack popular & what needs to change??


Quote:
Originally posted by Netizen
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.
The one significant change in the 9.1 install process was an extra menu of services to turn on or off - not hard to 'chmod 600' whatever's in /etc but it's still nice to put it up front so that people can be reminded of the issue and fix it right away.

I personally love Slack's install. It's not mindless like Mandrake's install or mystifying like Debian's. Fdisk is *not* hard and there's plenty of little notes to help you along, besides. Then the TUI menu comes up and you step through it. No fuss; no muss. I happen to think the TUI looks good. And then you boot to a command prompt. Amen. Completely sets the tone. Slack is not about razzle-dazzle - it's about getting it done efficiently.

I'm used to fdisking drives so it was no big thing to me, but I bet a lot of newbies would actually get a charge out of getting through fdisk. Some GUI auto-program slices their drive and what do they feel like they've done? But they fdisk that thing with *their* parameters and, immediately, they are in charge of their box and have *done* something.

BSD scripts. I swear - that is one of the *biggest* points with me. I hate SysV inits. I could never use a SysV system - that's a big reason Debian's just sitting on this box usually wasting space. (More useful than empty space, though.)

Package management - 'installpkg foo' is pretty simple. I love /var/log/packages. I have an alias to 'cdp' and a function to tell me what package what file came from. (Faster than 'pkgtool'.) Stuff like that. Just simple freakin' text. That being said, I don't actually *use* tgz much after installing. That's where compiling comes in. Slack is not perfect at it - either you have to be bloated with every lib in the universe or you're going to have some compiles crap out. But Slack hits the golden mean there: almost every sensible lib is there - and where it ought to be - and it's not usually a big deal to hunt down the weird stuff if something you really want needs something really weird. Another reason I don't like Debian or dropline gnome or stuff like that - I don't like stuff to just get slurped down and spray itself all over my box. I like putting things places. I like enabling and disabling features. Slack makes this easier than most (any?) distros. Flip-flipside, with checkinstall, I do still have that stuff integrated with the package tools. Checkinstall is 'Utility of the Year' in my book.

Business. Slack *is* a .com. I don't get Stallmania propaganda from Slack. But I also don't get freaking ads during the install process or have Slack decide they're only going to sell Slackware Advanced Enterprise Super Server. So it's not ideological agenda or evil corporate vibes. They just think Linux is cool and need to buy some nachos.

Ex-DOS-user-friendliness. ZipSlack is a very cool endeavor. And I'm blanking on examples but there are other subtle things here and there. So many distros are concerned with 'Windows-transitioning' - I feel like Slack paid attention to DOS-transitioning and hasn't gotten rid of it even though it's less of an issue now, obviously. But it's also older-hardware friendly in general. Doesn't bother me now that I'm not trying to learn Linux on a P100 but I still like the principle.

Unmodified stuff. No busted RH compilers from Slack - no funky weirdness in the kernel. Slack basically ships as the stuff was intended. And almost everything Slack-specific in Slack boils down to scripts written or modified by Patrick Volkerding. No big configuration systems - just scripts with the basic universal tools.

Performance. Slack's quick and light. Not because it's really 'optimized' - which usually means 'trying to make up for all the sludge we've slowed everything else down with' - but just because it's pretty basic.

Okay - those are the most critical things I love and would never want to change. I guess. I'm probably missing stuff. And there are lesser issues like the fact that it's current without being bleeding-edge and unstable, and so on.

What do I dislike? -- Well, I was grasping at straws with a couple paragraphs about default permissions and IDE libs vs. the inessential junk but that's silly, so I deleted them. Slack's just about perfect. Linux and X and the damn IDEs have issues but Slack can't make Linux perfect - it can only make the distro as good as Linux is. And it does. There's no 'added value' to subtract from the value of Linux - just the value of the hard work that goes into producing a clean, quality implementation of Linux.
 
Old 11-22-2003, 09:19 AM   #17
DStar
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I'm a Linux newbie and I was running Mandrake from the 8.x series. However, it got buggier with each release. The biggest reason why I switched to Slackware, however, was to learn Linux. You don't learn much from using the Redhat or Mandrake configuration tools for everything, and when the tools write some incorrect configuration and locks you out from the GUI (happened quite a few times for me), you have no idea what to do if you haven't ever used anything other than the Mandrake-specific tools. Also, I found Mandrake required more work in order to do some things because the way the distro is set up.

For newbies, I'd actually say Slackware is better than Mandrake, at least if you plan to learn something. If you just want to install Linux and try a few apps, then delete it after 2 days, then I guess Mandrake is better.

If you've ever installed Windows, installing Slackware is easy. cfdisk works and looks almost the same as the DOS fdisk. Once you've got the partitions set up, you just type 'setup', which is also identical to installing Windows. From there, the menu-driven installation program takes over, and it looks just like the first part of the Windows 2k/XP installer.

Last edited by DStar; 11-22-2003 at 09:23 AM.
 
Old 11-22-2003, 11:17 AM   #18
Scruff
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I wouldn't change a thing. I used to get pretty frustrated with Linux when I was using Mandrake. I started with it over a year ago and it was just sooo buggy and there was too much crap to wade through. Like others' have said, it reminded me of Windows. The only reason I started with Mandrake was thats what everyone always recommends to the newbie. They have made progress however. Mandy 9.1 is a welcome improvement.

But, I don't need most of that sh*t. I learned how to do everything at the command line from using Slack, learned how to tune my system by reading and editing config scripts and now I have a (almost) perfectly tuned system with no bugs. Everything always works, ALL the time, and it works fast as hell. Slackware rules. Combined with Fluxbox it is easily the most enjoyable set up I have ever had.

I wish the Evolution guys would work on Slack support though. That is the only app I have slight issues with. They are slight mind you, but only after some work. If anyone happens to know why I can't open any hyperlinks directly from Evo, drop me a line
 
Old 11-22-2003, 11:30 AM   #19
synaptical
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slack just works. it installs easily, it sets up easily, and then it works. there's not a ton of crap getting in your way when you want to do something, and you don't have to fight with it to get something done. unlike the other so-called "easy" distros (i.e., RH, MDK), the only problem i've ever had installing anything was -- ironically -- with a wine .tgz! the .dlls or something didn't work, so after messing with it for about an hour i said screw it and got the the source code. i compiled that, installed, and and as usual with slack, it worked the first time -- no dependency nightmares, no broken compiling, no hassles.

i don't want a bunch of gui tools doing everything for me. i like knowing what's going on underneath all that. i like booting to a command prompt by default. that way i can set things up the way *I* need them to be, and not the way someone else has decided i need them -- which i then usually have to figure out how to change. the package mgt is fine -- installpkg is great, swaret is great, and i haven't heard about slapt-get until now, but that will probably be great too. the only possible downside is that it seems there aren't as many slack packages as for other distros -- debian, RH, gentoo, etc. (maybe i'm wrong about that, but it's seemed that way to me). but again, that's no problem b/c i actually prefer installing from source!

my feelings are: don't mess with perfection, and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." if a few things can be tweaked to improve system performance, hardware recognition, etc. then by all means go ahead, but if it's just to make the OS more like some MS bloatware model of things, forget it. just leave it alone.
 
Old 11-22-2003, 12:37 PM   #20
stevenhasty
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Quote:
I wish the Evolution guys would work on Slack support though. That is the only app I have slight issues with. They are slight mind you, but only after some work. If anyone happens to know why I can't open any hyperlinks directly from Evo, drop me a line
I can usually get links to open in evolution by using a combination of an .htmlviewrc file in my /home directory that says
X11BROWSER=/path/to/browser
and by setting the little gnome conf thing, in 'Preferred Applications.' I believe Ev uses the second setting to figure out which browser it should use. This hasn't always worked, though. In 9.1 especially, the gnome setting doesn't stick. I think Ev still opens links, though.
 
Old 11-22-2003, 01:00 PM   #21
Scruff
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That did it! Kickass! Thanks alot man
 
Old 11-23-2003, 09:21 AM   #22
TheBman
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I think that whats right/wrong depends alot on the target audience and knowledge of Linux. Point and click will get the enduser through the program etc, but, in reality what is learned. Slackware does require "some" working knowledge to get going, but using it teaches you more about Linux because it requires you to learn, and I think that is whats really RIGHT about Slackware.

Added package availability for installpkg would be nice.

Thanks
 
Old 11-23-2003, 09:58 AM   #23
synaptical
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBman
Added package availability for installpkg would be nice.
and Gnucash for slack would be nice, too -- i forgot to mention that.
 
Old 11-23-2003, 03:20 PM   #24
skog
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I like slack. the changes they made in the installation for 9.1 are incredible. I use to hate the a1, a2, a3 dirs. I also use to hate having to pick all the packages for a series watching them copy and then picking more and waiting and picking and waiting and picking and waiting and picking. I am so happy now.

but all the Redhat, Mandrake, and Suse bashing is just stupid. The evil empire that allows you to download there stuff for free ... no support with it, but get free support from Micro$ux. If you look on the net for info, Redhat has a ton of it. You tried alsa? if you havent go to www.alsa-project.org its in the 2.6 kernel you know. The scsi driver for the adaptec raid card im using was written by Redhat.

A long time ago in linux if you bitched about the way they did things they would tell you do it yourself. Redhat, Mandrake, and Suse are trying to make money at this and even the people that are benefitting from it are bashing them. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING. Shut up or Put up, do it yourself.
 
Old 11-23-2003, 03:38 PM   #25
Tinkster
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Re: Why is Slack popular & what needs to change??

Quote:
Originally posted by mrtwice

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.
Actually I was thinking that these were PRO's, too ...
If I wanted it any different I'd get RH or Debian :P


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 11-23-2003, 06:10 PM   #26
Scruff
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Skog: I pretty much agree with you on the whole bashing issue. At least, if it's bashing because of some companies trying to make $$$ off their distro, but I haven't seen anyone doing that in this thread. It's mostly bashing on the bloated, dumbed down, bugginess of those distro's, and on that note, I agree with them. As a matter of personal preference anyways. But, those distro's are terrific for a large group of people and thats great for Linux in general. There is going to have to be some Linux Corporate if Linux is ever to be taken seriously and thats fine. Some companies are already doing it. I say good luck. It can only help us get better drivers and more software and help lure more people away from the true Evil Empire.

Patrick charges for his distro too. I paid for the new set myself. Could have downloaded it, but since I knew I found 'my' distro, I figured I buy. I don't see anything wrong with paying for quality software, especially if its open source.

edit: Just a related rant... I paid $200 back when XP came out for 1 cd, with NO software, NO documentation, nothing. A big ass box with a single cd in it. It didn't even come in a case!!!! Now, that I have a problem with I'll never buy another m$ product as long as I live.

Last edited by Scruff; 11-23-2003 at 06:14 PM.
 
Old 11-23-2003, 06:43 PM   #27
Azmeen
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What to change in Slack? IMHO, nothing... Slackware is how I'd describe a perfect Linux distribution.

Newbies will comment on lack of GUIs during installation (I don't know what to click... boo hoo!) only to be brushed off by veterans (During the old days, we had to bootstrap just to install!) ... Honestly though, this is a decision that only matters if Patrick's the one who made it.

For me, I couldn't care less as long as it works!

And with regards to the dependencies... yeah, it's a Linux thing... Perhaps authors of apps which uses rare/weird libs should release precompiled binaries with all libs compiled into the program. Sure, it'll be big... but it'll work
 
Old 11-23-2003, 07:33 PM   #28
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally posted by Azmeen
And with regards to the dependencies... yeah, it's a Linux thing... Perhaps authors of apps which uses rare/weird libs should release precompiled binaries with all libs compiled into the program. Sure, it'll be big... but it'll work :)
Ever installed programs that use MFC42.DLL in windows? ;)
I have, and I can tell you, I had several "broken"
programs over the years ... at least three different versions
of this one DLL...

It's not just a linux-thing :} ... but more common
here, since there's more than one DE/WM to
choose from ... as for the statically linked executables....

/me *shivers* ...

That would be kmail @ approx. 50MB executable ;D
and I don't even want to think about RAM usage and
swapspace :} ...


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 11-24-2003, 07:43 AM   #29
DMRansom
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I am new to linux and slackware. slack was the first distro I tried because my research into which distro told me that slack was meant to be stable and reliable and was for those who wanted to learn how it all worked. All the talk about the hard install did scare me BUT IT WAS JUST TALK the install is EASY no problems. All my problems have come form my lack of linux knowledge but that is changing I keep learning.

I realy aperciate being able to choose what is installed because I have small dirves 1.5-2 Gb and slow computers 486,100mhz,200mhz those that have been abanded and handed down.

I wouldn't change anything!
 
Old 11-24-2003, 08:31 AM   #30
mcleprechaun
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I have 4 servers and a firewall running Slackware 8.1 to 9.1 and have been using Slackware only for 4 years. I have tried Red Hat 7, 8, and 9 as well as Mandrake 6, 7, 8, and 9. I don't want a Windows version of Linux, I prefer the Linux version of Linux, Slackware!

Pros: Easy to install. Consistent from release to release. Easy to troubleshoot. I still compile most of what I use from source and Slack doesn't need any help in the package management department if you are willing to ./configure;make/make install. It works. It never breaks.

Cons: Nothing with Slackware, just wish more people would buy instead of just downloading.
 
  


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