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Slackware 9.1
Reviews Views Date of last review
67 263814 03-24-2005
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
99% of reviewers $31.02 9.5

Description: Slackware 9.1 contains many updates since 9.0. Also, its 2.6 kernel ready ;). It contains many new products and many updated ones, such as new AbiWord, Yelp for Gnome, newest KDE 3.1.4 and Gnome 2.4. It also contains Glade 2.0 and newest Gaim for slack. 0.68 i believe.....
Keywords: Slackware 9.1 linux

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Old 10-02-2003, 12:20 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: slackware
Posts: 8

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Seamless upgrade from 9.0 to 9.1, new truetype fonts look sensational
Cons: none yet

Once again this is a successful, stable release by Patrick Volkerding. The included truetype fonts make the visual experience much better - KDE, Mozilla, Abiword, etc all use the new fonts.

I use KDE and all of it appeared to function properly after the upgrade.

I did the upgrade from 9.0 to 9.1 using swaret. I had one minor dependency issue that was solved quickly with a query to slackware forum. I doubt that a clean 9.1 install would have this issue because this is likely something that I whacked in my original 9.0 install. From what I read on the swaret forum, the lead developer is soon releasing a more efficient dependency resolver that will probably make this a non-issue. BTW, swaret is now included in Slackware.

Everything seems usual. Damn, I like that.

To the Slackware security team - Good job with publishing those patched OpenSSH packages within a few hours of the notices. That was faster than all of the big boys...
Old 10-02-2003, 11:16 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Slackware 12.0 RC1
Posts: 129

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: It just works!
Cons: So far, none.

Slackware 9.1 is BY FAR the best Linux distro I've ever installed on my computer. Compared to other distros (i.e. Red Hat, Mandrake, Suse, etc.), Slackware is the fastest and most stable. As I stated above, Slackware just works!

I use Slackware as a web server for learning web development, C++ programming, games, surfing the net... well, everything! I wanted the latest and greatest Apache server, MySQL server, and PHP libraries, so I simply uninstalled the defaults, downloaded the new ones, and compiled and everything worked! A little tweaking here and there left me with a wonderful web server that perfectly fits my needs.

Gnome 2.4 is very nice and very fast. With no effort, I had my nVidia driver installed and was playing graphics-intensive games with high framerates. Even ordinary applications run fast!

The packaging system of Slackware is wonderful. Using a utility one can download from the Internet called checkinstall, I was able to install a multitude of programs in .tar.gz format simply by running configure, make, and checkinstall. Checkinstall installs the app in the Slackware package format (.tgz) and makes it easy to uninstall it if needed. No more picking through directories to remove program files!

Anyone wishing to have a powerful, stable, enjoyable linux distro should try Slackware 9.1.
Old 10-04-2003, 02:22 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2001
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 825

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8


Slackware 9.1 like all Slackware releases goes by strict standards to keep the distribution like it has been for 10 years. People like Slackware because it doesn't make big changes that could change the way the system performs and/or instability. I have found 9.1 to be a lot like previous versions in the sense of freedom that goes along with the way you can customize your system to your liking with ease. A few things that I do to insure proper system performance are: Not installing the hotplug system, Not installing nautilus, and Not installing any services that I won't be using.

First of all, the reason I do not install hotplug is because I really don't see any need for it. When I first installed 9.0 (1 week after the release), I installed hotplug only to have random kernel panics (not often, probably once every 3 weeks) during various time periods, mostly when the system was idle during an xlockmore session. I did a little tweaking and realized that hotplug was causing my problems. I subsquently removed this from my system and all was well.

Nautilus is another pet peve of mine. I am use to the CLI so I had no real need for a file manager, not too mention a hidieously bloated one. I tried nautilus once and like the hotplug experience, realized right away that this wasn't what I wanted my system to use, so I just compiled aterm and used the command line. A few hours later, I switched to fluxbox from gnome indefinitely. I do find Gnome 2.4 which is included with 9.1 to be far greater than older versions of gnome. I left nautilus out, and had a reasonably fast system with 2.4. I still decided that fluxbox was more of my style.

Of course any services like bind, apache, etc. that are not needed I don't isntall. In fact, most things that I know I won't use I dont intall. Such as line printer, USB utilities, and such. I don't currently have a use for such things, so why would they need to be there?

One thing I like about Slackware that really stands out is the way security vunlerabilites are fixed. Patrick puts a patch out and then just a simple upgradepkg will upgrade the vulnerable packages.

All in all its a great system if you want to get your feet wet in what linux should really be like.
Old 10-15-2003, 04:19 AM   #4
Registered: Apr 2003
Distribution: SuSE (before: Gentoo, Slackware)
Posts: 613

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: A minimal install is possible. Easy to configure/control by hand; a distro that doesn't sit in your way.
Cons: No FTP install, could use a newbie (security) setup.

I love slackware. It's my first distribution, after having some UNIX experience at school.

Slackware offers the user a lot of freedom. The /etc/ structure is not hard to understand, and boot process for example, uses scripts in /etc/rc.d/. You can alter these scripts manually to disable services; it's not hard to understand what your system is doing at startup. But this is obviously a reason why newbies might be confused about Slackware. There are no tools for you to solve this (except for "netconfig", and "xwmconfig")

package management
Another thing is the package system. You won't notice any dependency checks; this allows you to install an alternative package, or a source install yourself. The swaret tool (SlackWARE Tool; for system upgrades) however, has a dependency check, which is pretty neat. It uses "ldd" to find the missing libraries, and looks for them in some package/master-list. This kind of check doesn't interfere with installations from source. ;)

Recently, I've installed Slackware as server system. I've skipped a lot of packages, like GUI things, but installed all development tools because I wasn't sure about skipping them. After examining the system, it seamed that I've only used 400MB of disk space! It could have been less if I knew what packages I really needed.

9.1 specific
Swaret upgraded my slackware 9.0 system to 9.1, and it worked pretty well. My fonts look awsome; like I have never seen before at any computer system. The upgrade did have some drawbacks. My /dev/ folder was replaced, and I'd lost the permissions I've set at some devices. My /etc/ files weren't replaced, but a "<name>.new" file was placed there instead. I've used "vimdiff" to merge these two files.

The boot scripts needed to be merged too, and new rc.inet1 file looks much better now. The configuration for your networks has been moved to rc.inet1.conf, so the changed in rc.inet1 won't be lost anymore if you run "netconfig". This tool however, also overwrites your hosts and resolv.conf files.

technie stuff
I've read an interesting post at slashdot recently; about the package compilation. To install linux-from-scrath, it seams you need to modify some sources and apply some patches to make it actually not suck. The team of Slackware also did this, but instead of supplying the modified source, they give you the original source plus a diff-file with the modifications, and a build-script! wow. You can do the whole thing over again if you want to change something more

I have some cons of linux-newbies though. Slackware just leaves you with a console, as root. I think it should have some newbie-introduction; telling them to create a user account for themselves, and disable some network services (a lot is enabled by default), run swaret to upgrade, and run "startx" to get a GUI.

Since this is Slackware, without fancy installation screens, it might be an idea to leave a "readme.txt" in the /root/ directory.

The lack of an FTP install also gave me some problems recently. I'm still trying to find out how to run the setup from an NFS partition, on a laptop with 500mb of disk space, and no cd-rom drive!

The installation menu could be made more descriptive. It seams that it's "all at once", or "one by one". I'd love to see a menu where I could select all packages, also read all descriptions, before I would start the actual install.
Old 10-26-2003, 07:25 PM   #5
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Slackware10 + Dropline Gnome
Posts: 47

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $48.25 | Rating: 10

Pros: Fast, stable, easy, customizable.. The usual ;)
Cons: Could be more intuitive to get into a GUI after the install

Slackware was my first distro, because my friend, who got me into trying linux in the first place, used it, and I've never wanted to change. Though I like to try something different from time to time. 9.1 is the first distro I ever paid for, but I guess it was time to give something back.

I am from Norway, but studying in the US, so I only brought a laptop with me, a Dell Inspiron 5150, and that's where I installed 9.1. What actually surprised me after the install, was that everything worked right out of the box. Hardly any configuration needed, except for what you always have to do in an installation. Ok, so the modem didn't work, but I don't use it and it is not supported in linux, not a Slackware issue. The reason this surprised me was that it's a brand new laptop and I expected some things to not be supported from a default setup, but it was. So the installation went without any troubles whatsoever.

I have to confess I like my desktop to have a little eye-candy factor. So I didn't install the GNOME from the Slackware cd's, but instead downloaded and installed Dropline Gnome, which has a little extra candy compared to the stock slackware version, it's more optimized and frequently updated. So now I have a GUI that doesn't hold back to anyone and my system is really fast, stable, reliable and more and more the way I want it. Funny thing is, I never seem to go out of stuff to customize, so it's never _exactly_ the way I want it :D

One thing I love about slackware is that it doesn't prevent you from making things work. It's like, if something runs on linux, it runs on slackware. So if I find something I would like to use, I can alway get it to work.

Also, like so many have said, you learn by using slackware. That is, you don't have to know to install and use it, but after a while you will know it anyway, it just is that way. And it just makes it so much better.

This wasn't much of a review, more an overall experience. But I have to conclude that Slackware is still the best distro I have used.
Old 11-25-2003, 12:48 AM   #6
Registered: Mar 2003
Distribution: Slackware Debian
Posts: 86

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: simple, effective
Cons: hard for newbs

What can I say about Slackware? It just works.

I've never had any dependency problems with slackware packages. Swaret helps you keep your system up to date. I upgraded from 9.0 to 9.1 using swaret. The only problem I had was with two packages (not official slackware packages) that were compiled against an older version of glibc. I recompiled these packages myself and it solved my problems.

Slackware's configuration is easy to figure out. Just read comments on the files in /etc and you can figure out how to modify your settings.

I recommend slackware for people who want a good amount of control over their system. If you are a total newbie then you might want to try something else out first.
Old 12-06-2003, 10:27 AM   #7
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: slackware
Posts: 61

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: Simplicity, Straightforwardness
Cons: Pooooor package management

Slackware doesn't need review. The one and the only thing that should be fixed with slackware is package management. Swaret looks good. Since I doesn't have any broadband connection at home, I can't do all such massive updates. So it doesn't account for me. tgz files needs someway to check for dependencies. If 95% of dependency problems would be solved when 'ldd' is used, why Slackware's tgz package format doesn't yet support even this kind of dependency check ('ldd').

I rate 4!
My box is powered _only_ with Slackware!
Old 12-07-2003, 07:47 PM   #8
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 61

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Stable, fast, easy, traditional
Cons: None i can think of!

well, slackware is my first linux distribution (first one ive really gotten into anyway) and its proved amazing! everything about it is fantastic, can be slightly daunting at times but it forces u to learn the ins and outs more than the other distro's ive tested..Slack puts u at a command line straight away, no login managers here! then lets u play to ur hearts content with the command line. Last time i installed it i had the whole package instaled, tho this time round ive gone for no X at all and using the command line for everything...for some reason i fee liberated?! (thought it would be the other way around lol). Great fun getting to know the operating system at this level though..and ive only just started!

keep up the good work! (and im going to buy it soon! i feel like i owe the money, ive already boughtthe book and thats pretty good, helped me along quite a lot)
Old 12-10-2003, 06:04 PM   #9
Registered: Dec 2003
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 22

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $29.00 | Rating: 10

Pros: Nice clean install -- less fluff than other distros.
Cons: Some folks may wish for more GUI utilities...

I've been running Linux for a while now, and I can honestly say that Slackware 9.1 is the best distro that I've used. I'm not an impatient Linux user -- I do my research and pick a distro that I think I'll want to stay with. I've used a few, but most recently I had used SuSE 7.1 Professional (and upgraded that to 8.0 Professional later on).

SuSE was a decent distro. Things worked well, for the most part. If things didn't work I was usually able to find something in the documentation (a printed manual, too) that would correct the problem. I had been running 7.1 since about Spring(?) 2000 with only the 1 major upgrade to 8.2.

Why the change to Slack then? Well, to be honest, I didn't feel 'in control' of my system any more. Sure, I could edit config files, compile a custom kernel or change things around -- but I felt more and more like SuSE was running my computer, and not me. So, I switched.

Here are some highlights:
1) I was surprised by the ease of install.

I prepared for a few days before starting the installation process; I was afraid that my geekin' skills would be a bit rusty. When the time for preparation was over, I said 'Bye Bye' to SuSE and started the process...
...and, about an hour later, I was done. Totally done. No, really -- all I had to do was grab the nvidia driver and configure the X server. That's it!

I wasn't expecting ANY auto configuration, but I got a working system, ready and waiting.

2) The filesystem is so clean. Less fluff and less bloat.

The relatively "hands-off" (or, "GUI's-on, CLI's-off") approach to system management that I had been getting used to with SuSE came at a price: A _very_ cluttered filesystem. When I did have to make adjustments by hand, I would often have to search through the rather large /etc directory, update the necessary files, then check to make sure that the file I updated is the one that is read by default. So much work for such little changes.

In Slackware 9.1, all the configuration files are well documented, I know what each one does, I know how to start/stop them and how to add/remove/change functionality with them. Talk about control.

3) Great assortment of packages on the install disks.

Some distros come with like 2000+ packages on the CD's (or DVD's now). I have always had a dial-up connection, so I thought this would be a good feature. What really happens, however, is that all these packages get installed, seldom used (if at all), and finally removed from the system.

Slack has 4 CD's total, but 2 are source code, zipslack and the slackware manual. So far, I haven't had to download much software. Most everything I actually used on my previous distro are all right here -- just none of the things that I didn't use!

There are some things that one should be aware of before switching to Slackware 9.1:
1) Kernel 2.6.0-test11...

When I learned about the kernel exploit in 2.4.22, I decided to skip the 2.4.23 patch approach and give the 2.6 tree a try. Slackware 9.1 /is/ 2.6.0 ready; but all this means is that the necessary software packages to compile and run a 2.6 kernel are installed. See the /usr/src/linux-2.6.0-test11/Documentation/Changes file for more information on what I mean. Getting the test kernel series working is still not a "drop-in" solution (until Slackware produces some pre-built 2.6 kernels anyway...).

That was my path. I was prepared to compile, debug and recompile as many times as was necessary to get the job done. To tell you the truth, I used the 2.2.xx kernel series until the update to SuSE 8.0 Professional (I think I went from a patched 2.2.16 or .18 to a 2.4.18 in 1 day...). IMO, it isn't necessary to use the 2.6 series yet. I have nothing to lose, so I wanted to go for it.

If you are interested in running a test kernel, but are unwilling to build one yourself (and go through the post-compile tweaking processes), you may want to stick to another distro that offers pre-built test kernels (or stick with a stable kernel release...).

2) Command Line Interface...

It /should/ be said that Slackware doesn't have many GUI configuration tools. If you are CLI-phobic, you may not enjoy Slack as much. I have a UNIX background, so I'm not afraid to jump right in and type! SuSE, Mandrake, Red Hat all seem to have some nice GUI tools to get things done, if that is the sort of thing you are in to.

Slackware 9.1 may not be for everyone. If you are serious about running and _learning_ Linux then Slackware, Debian, Gentoo and LFS are all good choices. If you only have a passing interest in running Linux, perhaps you may want to grab a distro that is more suited to that (Mandrake, SuSE, etc...).
Old 12-24-2003, 09:08 PM   #10
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Various
Posts: 41

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $44.95 | Rating: 10

Pros: control, stability, configurability
Cons: Not for the first time Linux user

Gives you just about as much control over things as you want; very stable, you have to tell it to start up X server and if that crashes or if you have to log out you don't have to shutdown and restart the entire machine. You really learn what's going on inside that humming beige case in regards software.
Old 12-25-2003, 02:40 PM   #11
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 165

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: It just works
Cons: needs a better package updater beacause swaret and dropline break things way to often

1. It just works.
2. It is lightning fast.
3. Maybe the most customizable Distro around.
4. Very up to date
5. It makes you learn.

I learned more within a few days of slackware than with years of RedHat
Old 01-15-2004, 11:35 AM   #12
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: Slacklware
Posts: 1

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $25.99 | Rating: 10

Pros: Stability! Standardized-no custom rpms, deb, or others.
Cons: None

I have tried all the other base distro's like Deb, RH, SuSE, and must say they do not compare. I love to try out new software and many other programs and when a distro starts "hacking" the source to fit thier products you have to rely on them. Slack is standardized enought to where you do not have to worry about it. Second the 4CD set I have comes with everything, even a Live CD just incase. Combine this with a script called swaret and you have no problem staying up-to-date.
What also made me decide to stay with slack is the fact that the documentation is in /usr/doc . Not much to ask for but that is where it should be, then realizing that everything else is, where it should be; made it very easy to "hack" the system the way I want. I love Slack and have no problem giving $25 for each release.
Old 01-17-2004, 01:36 AM   #13
Registered: Dec 2003
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 63

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Fast, More Noob friendly then I was led to believe, No BS
Cons: Noobs hung up on simple tasks, still can't install to SATA

Even though I am a noob with only but a few weeks under my belt, I prefer slackware above all else. I was warned repeatedly I would have to read a lot, so I was ready for it. I've played around with RedHat a lot too, and I definitely prefer slackware.
Old 01-17-2004, 02:04 PM   #14
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: Debian, Mint, Slackware
Posts: 457

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: quick installation, quick performance, not system V, lots of online resources
Cons: takes all my freetime, may be frustrating for newbies at first,

I was able to download the two slackware .iso images in an afternoon unlike many Linux distrobutions that require up to seven or eight .iso images. If your coming from a .rpm distrobution this will be a pleasent suprise. If you've never downloaded linux cd images before this means that you wont be discouraged just because you have a dial-up connection. In that case you might just want to get slackware 9.0 considering its one snazzy little cd.

This is the first reason I love slackware so much. If you are familiar with using fdisk in windows, then cfdisk should be a piece of cake. After setting up partitions and devices, the installation took only about 20 minutes. After that its all down to doing a reboot and adding another user besides root.

Out of the box Slackware is pretty slick. During the last installation I did I tried running Slackware with KDE 3.1 just to see how much speed I would loose. Though it was noticable, I was still able to do everything with impressive results. Being the Fluxbox junkie I am, I still changed back soon enough.
Users of .rpm distro's might get discouraged to find the lack of configuration "wizards" for security, package updating and things of that nature. That should be the defining moment for any Linux user to realize the wealth of documentation on your slackware system as well as what is available online. It may be slow going at first, trying to climb that learning curve, but in the end it all pays off.
Other than that Im sure everything will be reviewed as a pro once the user gets comfortable with how the system works.
Old 01-27-2004, 04:03 AM   #15
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: several, mostly SuSE, Slack & RH 9
Posts: 25

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 6

Pros: Customizable, really puts you in control, *much* easier to install than Debian
Cons: Not newb-friendly, little or no cd-rw support

Slackware is definitely great, but you'd better know what you're doing before you try to use it! Installing it is easy compared to using it, actually; as the reviewers above mentioned, it logs you into a console, and you have to use "startx" to get a GUI. Furthermore, a regular user account isn't created during the installation like many distros.

Also, I must add that better support for these modern on-board soundchips would be helpful too.

I just have one real complaint: I've tried Slack on two different computers now, both with different cd-rws, one that's two years old, and Slack can't or won't configure either of them. What's weird about it is that it was from the cd-rw that I was installing it! Then after the install, the cd-rw just disappears as far as Slack is concerned. I've googled and searched and never found a solution to this. The Slackware site isn't helpful at all either; it's answer to this issue is that your cd-rw isn't supported in the curent Linux kernel. Now, I know that's not the case; Slack and the Slack-based distros are the only ones that has ever given me this problem.

So, if your cd-rw is supported, and you like it's complicated nature that makes *you* actually run the OS, then Slackware may be just right. If you don't know how to run very much from the command line, or just think that's a pain, then you probably won't like Slack.

<Edit> A friend saw my review here and told me to check my iso of Slackware to see if the scsi module was in there. It wasn't; the person I bought them from didn't include that when they compiled the iso. So my advice is, check the iso to see that what you need is included! </Edit>
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