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LinuxQuestions Interviews Slackware Founder Patrick Volkerding

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the slack-attack-orchestrator dept.

Linux 58

An anonymous reader writes "In this in-depth interview with LinuxQuestions.org, Patrick Volkerding discusses how he got involved with Linux and Open Source, the succession plan for Slackware, the Slackware development model, his opinion on the current trends in desktop environments, potentially disruptive changes to Linux such as systemd, his favorite beer and much more."

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58 comments

frist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40248669)

first psot

slackware is still around? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40248863)

i thought they lost relevance after Volkerdink had some crazy psychosomatic illness induced by high OCD where he thought the plaque bits from brushing his teeth were poisoning his lungs or some insane shit. lol, not the kind of distro you wanna risk your business on.

Re:slackware is still around? (5, Insightful)

BanHammor (2587175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40248979)

Nope, Slackware is well and still around. Sure, they aren't big, but at least they are pretty good and pretty stable. Troll someplace else.

Re:slackware is still around? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40249307)

Shut the fuck up, you nigger faggot. I'll lynch your ass for speaking ill of Patrick!

Re:slackware is still around? (3, Insightful)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#40249791)

not the kind of distro you wanna risk your business on.

Neither is Ubuntu, Damned Small Linux, and thousands of other ones. There are niches for them, just as Slackware has a niche.

Re:slackware is still around? (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 2 years ago | (#40250719)

God yes! Google is going down fast 'cause they've based their existence on linux! Google is such a niche search engine....

Re:slackware is still around? (1)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 2 years ago | (#40250283)

I never understood this type of argument. Linux is still similar enough between distros that switching from one distro to another is not an insurmountable hurdle if it should become necessary.

Re:slackware is still around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40253179)

You're correct in this, because most of Slashdot's current generation of posters are simple distro hoppers determined, evidently, to try every Ubuntu-based distro in the Linux goobersphere. As if they were different. I used Slack for years to fabulous effect, and when I moved on it was not to another Linux distro.

Re:slackware is still around? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40250355)

wait till you get a lung infection and the doctors can't figure out where it came from....

probably from the plaque bits in your AC foreskin, and we know how it got into your lungs you filthy like pole smoker you.

Re:slackware is still around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40276565)

"not the kind of distro you wanna risk your business on."

I work for a large state agency (of a large state) and we have installed several Slackware servers because we got tired of SUSE and Redhat updates bricking machines.

Mystery illness status? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40248935)

Every time I read a story about Patrick, I wonder if he ever resolved the weird health problems [slashdot.org] he shared with the Linux community...

Re:Mystery illness status? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40250293)

Since he's still alive - obviously yes.

Re:Mystery illness status? (2)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 2 years ago | (#40252137)

Every time I read a story about Patrick, I wonder if he ever resolved the weird health problems [slashdot.org] he shared with the Linux community...

The Slashdot story [slashdot.org] about that quoted a Slackware changelog from late 2004 as saying "I'm back in California and I'm happy to let you all know that I'm feeling much better. :-) Here are a few updates so you can see that I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. Hopefully 10.1 won't be too far off ..."

Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Valley (4, Interesting)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#40248939)

Well, economically speaking the past few years have been pretty thin. If I hadn't made the strategic decision to head back to Minnesota several years ago there's no way I could have stayed afloat living in the bay area. California is not at all a cheap place to live, and I was always cutting it close out there. Lately I've been cutting it pretty close here, too. I don't even have insurance any more... knock on wood. Personally, absolutely. I've made friends all over the world. I hear from people every day who love Slackware and depend on it for critical tasks, and who don't want to run something else. Working on the project is exciting and fun, and the folks on the team are some of my best friends. It's just not possible to put a dollar value on that.

It's too bad the Bay Area is unaffordable for many of those who want to devote a significant amount of productivity towards open source projects.

I'd like to believe these projects could make much more money if only the right people knew about them, but we all know that's not the point in the first place.

Similar to social workers and others who do the noble work in our society, communities should devote resources to provide nice affordable housing for these people.

The problem, of course, is convincing local governments.

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (1, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40249169)

Social worker, teachers, and others doing the "noble work" are always underpaid. That's just the way it is. As long as people are willing to do that work for cheap, it will be done for cheap. Local governments don't care because they have to balance the budget, unlike the Feds.

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#40249315)

Social worker, teachers, and others doing the "noble work" are always underpaid. That's just the way it is. As long as people are willing to do that work for cheap, it will be done for cheap. Local governments don't care because they have to balance the budget, unlike the Feds.

I don't think anyone is disputing that.

Nevertheless, something other than material gain is usually driving those who pursue such careers. In a theoretical world where valuation is solely capitalistic, these individuals are consequently severely undervalued based on their importance to social development.

Even though our world isn't solely capitalistic, these individuals are still undervalued and should therefore have recompense to bring greater balance into social valuation.

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (2)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#40249869)

They're valued perfectly. You're just incorrect about the world not being solely capitalistic. You get paid what it makes sense to pay you - enough to satisfy minimum wage (this helps prevent riots/race wars etc) if you do something which doesn't require much in the way of training, and enough to stop you leaving and working elsewhere if you are higher skilled.

Someone who does morally good things doesn't tend to get the rewards a just society would bestow on them because it doesn't benefit the people who'd be paying them. Governments don't pay them because they'll be doing the good deeds anyway, plus doing good doesn't fit into any kind of framework hierarchical systems can understand or deal with. You're supposed to want to be a dick and make your own life better and screw everyone else to get ahead etc - the idea that you might be happy with a low paid job, doing charity work in your part time or working on a free operating system doesn't occur or make much sense to most people.

To be honest, what with the population explosion, global warming, governments being too busy working with the banks to screw everyone over and billions of illiterate people all wanting nice cars and air conditioning means we're all pretty much fucked anyway so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (2)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#40250087)

They're valued perfectly.

[...]

To be honest, what with the population explosion, global warming, governments being too busy working with the banks to screw everyone over and billions of illiterate people all wanting nice cars and air conditioning means we're all pretty much fucked anyway so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

If my concern is teachers/social workers/open source engineers aren't justly compensated, and your concern is a general lack of awareness or apathy about global warming, overpopulation and wealth disparity, you'd think there'd be a way we could meet in the middle here....

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40251105)

You sir are 100% correct. I recently committed some code to a large open source project and my wifes first response was "So are you getting paid for it?". She couldn't understand why I'd want to do something like that for free and she was a little upset, because she felt I should be doing something to better our family. It didn't matter how I tried to explain I do make money off of the project, because she doesn't understand something of value being offered for free. I have a feeling she's like 99% of the people in the world and I can't really blame them, because we as people have been told "free == garbage, paid for == top shelf" for so long that it's ingrained in us now.

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40249545)

It's partially (or maybe heavily?) because of the underpayment that the jobs are considered "noble work." Being a politician (in America, at least) was, from what I can tell, intended to be noble work at the inception of the nation, with the idea that if you're not compensated monetarily for your work, and your job isn't a no-skill grunt job, presumably you love your work and will put forth greater effort.

We can all see how well that's turned out, both for politicians and schools, but I digress.

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40250707)

Social worker, teachers, and others doing the "noble work" are always underpaid.

Doctors aren't underpaid, and that's one of the most noble professions there is.

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#40250985)

It's also incredibly highly skilled, and most people are priced out of the education required to become doctors, even if they have the natural talent and desire to do the job. In the US there's even an open conspiracy to allow only a slow trickle of new doctors to be licensed so that prices for their services can be kept artificially high. A non-free education system is always going to misuse/squander some human talent.

Then there's the massive amount of man hours and intelligent people who go into law, a profession which does nothing but -- in theory -- enable the rest of the system to function. It's the overhead of civil society. Or at least it was meant to be just the overhead, but now is a self-serving end unto itself which creates more work for its own members where there need not be any.

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40252895)

Nice try. Too bad you totally ignore what it takes for a primary care physician to make his or her income. Surgeons are another story.

As a physician (posting anonymously for obvious reasons), I work an average of well over 85 hours per week. At this very moment I am in the middle of my 1-week-out-of-3 call, which means that I am working 168 hours straight (no call pay either) this week, and will then do the next 2 weeks mostly in the office. Rinse and repeat.

I make the annual equivalent of 85K before taxes when normalized for a 40 hour work week as a primary care physician. As a private practitioner I get no paid benefits or paid vacation. If I take time off, I lose money.

My kid is *starting* out at my annual equivalent pay with a bachelor's in Chemical Engineering, 40 hour work week, full benefits this summer. For me it was 4 years college, 4 years medical school, 3 years residency, and then years to build a practice to make the same money for the equivalent work hours.

"Doctors aren't underpaid"? You're welcome to the medical expertise you'll be getting in a few years with that attitude.

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40249645)

It's too bad the Bay Area is unaffordable for many of those who want to devote a significant amount of productivity towards open source projects.

I'd like to believe these projects could make much more money if only the right people knew about them, but we all know that's not the point in the first place.

Similar to social workers and others who do the noble work in our society, communities should devote resources to provide nice affordable housing for these people.

The problem, of course, is convincing local governments.

That housing problem in Silicon Valley will be a moot point at some time in the not-so-distant future. Granted that the economic situation has driven down housing prices, it has also reduced salaries & the number of available jobs. Either Silicon Valley will fall into the ocean due to a massive earthquake, Silicon Valley & the rest of the West Coast will be abandoned due to a persistent & growing issue with radiation leaking from Fukushima Dai-ichi, or the Chinese will buy up all of Silicon Valley and put in low-cost employee housing including anti-suicide netting.

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40250333)

Slashdot viewers should hit the paypal button for them to stick around. They need ot add a paypal button to their site. Would probably bridge the gap nicely.

Re:Demonstrates the housing problem in Silicon Val (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265223)

Social workers do nothing noble, they are maggots feeding on sores.

Dentisrty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40249495)

His dad was a navy dentist. That's like rain on your wedding day.

Thanks Patrick!!!!!! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40249695)

In 1993, I started using Slack exclusively (except school, where Sun owned the place).

Thanks for all your hard work. Your efforts launched several careers, and many more hobbyists.

So, Thanks!

Re:Thanks Patrick!!!!!! (1)

saxa (792531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40251021)

I second that, user from Slackware 3.4 , Thanks Pat.

Re:Thanks Patrick!!!!!! (1)

TheRealGrogan (1660825) | more than 2 years ago | (#40251379)

Third... thanks for maintaining one of the few remaining bastions of sanity among Linux distributions, Pat, AlienBob and all other contributors.

Re:Thanks Patrick!!!!!! (1)

zoward (188110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40255393)

Me too!!!

J ? (1)

rastos1 (601318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40249945)

Oh come on! The most interesting question did not make it to the list?!
What does the "J" stand for in "Patrick J. Volkerding"? [linuxquestions.org]

Re:J ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40250097)

That's obvious, it stands for Jesus.

Re:J ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40251955)

Jay?

"Let's do this on Reddit someday." -Patrick (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40249959)

LOL! Oh WOW! Even Patrick of slackware has disowned slashdot in favor of reddit! Better post a response to that on your little slashbi blog you fucking tools! This place is so shitty now that its ignored by slackware for fuck sakes!!

Re:"Let's do this on Reddit someday." -Patrick (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40250545)

Slashdot is only good for picking up twinks these days.

Fond memories (4, Interesting)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40250369)

I still have my 60+ 3.5" floppies of Slackware with kernel 0.94 I believe. Took over a month to download on a 28.8 modem. The first time I typed startx after hand configuring X (yes XFConfig was available back then but my video card required hand coding) and the grey screen came up I went "Whoa!"
Patrick is the best. He doesn't release a new Slackware unless its been tested tested tested.
Anytime MythTV releases a new version I'll slap together a machine, put Slackware on it and give it a whirl. If you're a Ubuntu user and want to learn more about *nix but don't want to mess with Gentoo or a BSD, I totally recommend Slackware.

Re:Fond memories (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#40251053)

If you're a Ubuntu user and want to learn more about *nix but don't want to mess with Gentoo or a BSD, I totally recommend Slackware.

LOL. I was the opposite progression -- I started on Slack 7.1 (through 9 dot...something), got hired as a sys admin in a Solaris/BSD shop (although Slack was the desktop of choice there), then got a job in a shop that used Gentoo but now uses Ubuntu (the PHB's like that you can buy support from Canonical, even though we've never had to do it).

Slack was cool, and I probably wouldn't have gotten my break as a sys admin if I hadn't been a Slackware user (the Linux guy during the interview was a hard-core Slackware fanboi), but Gentoo is still my favorite distro.

Re:Fond memories (1)

mvdw (613057) | more than 2 years ago | (#40251125)

Somewhat perversely, my linux experience goes something like red hat -> mandrake (big mistake!) -> slackware -> gentoo (another mistake) -> slackware -> ubuntu. Thinking about going back to slackware; loved the init scripts and the way I could hold (most of) the system in my head at once. Still use slackware whenever I have to build a 'small' system, mostly because it's easy to remove what I don't want.

Re:Fond memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40251337)

Try Arch. You may or may not find it's your new favorite, but I guarantee you'll like it.

Re:Fond memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40253689)

I guarantee you won't like it.
Arch has gone downhill since the original dude left. It wasn't even that great back then.
I still remember the developer walkout and the fucking mess the pacman packages were.
I doubt that they've finally figured out how to package.
What a fucking overrated mess that was and most likely still is.

Arch (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40254315)

Arch is also doing a Hurd project. How's that coming along?

Re:Fond memories (1)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 2 years ago | (#40262991)

60+ floppies (check), X hand-made configuration,... Ah yes, those were the days, been there, done that as well.

Slackware is simply, as far as I am concerned, the first, the best and the only Linux I truly care about. All the rest are either boring, uninteresting, buggy or way over-the-top. Slackware always gave me this rock-solid, work-of-love, geeky feeling of goodness. And yes, with Slackware, everything works out of the box.

Keep your Ubuntu, your OpenSUSE or your Gentoo - as long as I got my Slackware CDs, I am good.

Now that my fanboi minute is over, I'd like to point something very important Pat "The Man" Volkerding said in that interview:

Right now, the big change that has me concerned about the future of not just Slackware but Linux in general is the impending implementation of Secure Boot in all Windows8 client certified hardware, and the total lockdown of ARM hardware with no option to shut this "feature" off. I'm imagining that we'll proceed forward initially requiring that Secure Boot be disabled in order to install Slackware, and was (to say the least) rather surprised that wasn't the path all the Linux distributions were taking. If that makes it impossible to dual boot without making a BIOS setting change, or leaves us without drivers because they are designed to only run against certain signed kernels then we'll have to reconsider that approach, but I can't imagine our users being happy if they suddenly found that they were prohibited from compiling their own kernels and modules. The goal here will be to maximize the end user's freedom to modify their own system, and if that means they'll need to go into the BIOS and flip a switch that doesn't seem like a high bar. Hopefully that won't evolve into needing to flash the BIOS because the switch has gone away when the next generation of machines comes out, if flashing the BIOS would even be possible. All it would take is making that a requirement for the next Windows hardware certification. I'd urge everyone to sign the Free Software Foundation's secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot petition to let the hardware manufacturers know where you stand on this issue. I'm especially disappointed to hear that the ARM based systems designed for Windows will be locked down out of the gate, but maybe it's possible that Google or some other company will come through for us.

Here is the petition in question. Go sign it. [fsf.org]

When someone like Pat Volkerding mentions such an issue, you can be fairly sure it's an important one.

Still using Slackware (3, Interesting)

Cito (1725214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40250971)

I started using Slackware since it came with the 2.0.30 kernel

I have used Slackware ever since. For my webservers I run Debian. But my home pc is Slackware. Long ago when I first got into linux as it was told to me the best way to learn is start on Slackware. You compile everything yourself unlike redhat or debian based systems with their package downloaders that did it all for you and put everything where it supposed to go, etc. :)

Slackware "put hair on your chest" hehe, you want a specific program you downloaded the source and compiled it, if it required other libraries, then you downloaded those library sources and compiled them then go back and compile the other.

It was a "flavor" of linux I always recommend for learning, as I tell people once you know Slackware, all other flavors are easymode.

Course it's just my opinion and I've always loved Slackware for my personal machines, and yes I do see use for other "flavors" as I always run Debian on webservers and such for the simple package downloaders can just apt-get whatever needed. Course it won't be compiled specifically for you but it runs.

My top 2 linux distros are #1 Slackware, #2 Debian and that's all I use, I've played with SUSE, and such. But everyone jumped on the Ubuntu fad, and to me it's good that it's noob friendly, but it's way too noobish imo, I consider Ubuntu to be linux-light :) But again that's just my opinion.

Each has their purpose.

Slackware fanboi though.

Re:Still using Slackware (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#40251289)

I agree and I have the same experiences with slackware. I've been using it since the early 90s and learned on it as well. Even to this day I recommend it to people wanting to learn Linux, but there's always that idiot that goes on about Ubuntu is better for learning. Sadly a lot of people will listen to that person.

Re:Still using Slackware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40251315)

I agree 100%. My first experience with Linux was using Slackware that came in a book I purchased at Barns and Nobles. It was running kernel 1.2.13 (or somewhere around there).. back when getting X to work was a huge guessing game if you didn't have access to documentation such as the book I had, and even then it was still a game of luck. Also, getting dialup working with SLIP or PPP was also a bit of a challenge

Re:Still using Slackware (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40254333)

I visited Slackware's website [slackware.com] , and things there seem really dated. Kernel 2.6.37.6? Seriously, if they are updating it now, what's wrong w/ going w/ 3.4, or 3.3 if they don't think it's stable? Also, the new $SLACKWARE_VERSION.$KERNEL_VERSION naming system doesn't make sense - if that's how they're doing it, why not call it Slackware 13.2.6 or something like that, so that users can, from the numbers after the first decimal point, figure that that's the Linux kernel version that it's based on. (Incidentally, does Linux use more than 2 decimals anymore? I though it was just 2.6, 3.4 and so on.

Also, they're on Firefox 4.0 That's what they think - the browser will become version 13 before they know it. Wonder which version of KDE are they using?

Honestly, I wish them well, but they seem to be lagging far behind.

Re:Still using Slackware (1)

zoward (188110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40255025)

Odd ... the Firefox version on my Slackware desktop comes up as 12. As far as "datedness" goes, Slackware aims for stability, not bleeding edge, which is why it remains popular as a server distro. Not sure if you were trolling here but the naming version was tongue-in-check - the latest kernel version available at release time was 2.6.37, and since Slackware was at version 13, they named it 13.37 ("leet"). Aw, never mind ...

Re:Still using Slackware (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40255501)

No, I wasn't trolling, I apparently didn't get that joke, partly b'cos I thought that numbering the version as something like 13.2.6 was actually neat, in that one would detect the distro version as the first, and the kernel version after. I understand that they didn't go for bleeding edge, but there have been 3 releases of the kernel, and 3.0 wasn't a quantum jump from 2.6 the way software is usually numbered: the difference b/w 2.6 and 3.0 was the same as that of 3.0 to 3.2. Therefore one would have expected this to be a 3.2 or a 3.3.

Oh, and found out that they were using KDE 4.5.5. I understand the argument about bleeding edge, but KDE 4.7 is more usable.

Re:Still using Slackware (1)

alvarogmj (1679584) | more than 2 years ago | (#40255967)

If you want something newer, go with -current instead of the stable release. You may encounter issues, but it is a lot more up to date system.

The Slackware stable releases almost never get version upgrades, only upstream security patches. Versions might get upgraded if certain version of a package is declared unmaintained by the upstream developers and a security issue is found, but is not the norm. By the way, the packages on releases as old as 8.1 (released on 2001) are still receiving updates (last for 8.1 was on February 2012)

KDE will stay at 4.5.5 in 13.37, but if you keep your system up to date, you get Firefox 12 (as Firefox only has full releases and not security updates nowadays)

check the -current version instead (1)

higuita (129722) | more than 2 years ago | (#40255895)

That is the -stable version, released more than one year ago... check the -current version instead:

http://www.slackware.com/changelog/current.php?cpu=x86_64 [slackware.com]

usually there is a -stable release once a year, but this time the 13.37 version is taking longer to be replaced. many people use the -current directly, it's almost just as stable, as long you read the changelog before updating things

the -current is using firefox 12 (and the new firefox 13 should go out in a few days) and kernel is 3.2.13 and the kde is 4.8.2

finally, the $SLACKWARE_VERSION.$KERNEL_VERSION is just a joke, for people like you (that take things way too seriously) to accept the 13.37 version number without protesting :)

slackware always have fun with version numbers, it jumped from slackware 4 to 7 (to joke about version race from other distros) , slackware 13.37 , with RC 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716. and RC 4.6692. (the first Feigenbaum constant)
Pat and many slackers are believers of the Church of the Subgenius [wikipedia.org] :}P

Thanks, thanks and thanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40254461)

Back in the mid-nineties Slackware is how is discovered Un*x and Linux. I bought a book that came with the CD-Rom (my modem wasn't that great to d/l all and, anyway, the book came in handy to get me started). Damn... More than 15 years ago it seems :-/

I've used Linux as my main system ever since then: I then switched to Debian then Red Hat then so many distros I don't remember the names and... Back to Debian.

I'm running Debian both on the dedicated servers I'm renting and on my workstation.

But I'll never forget Slackware so lots of thanks to Patrick!

:) good times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40254931)

Thanks Patrick!

That's some great timing (1)

Indigo (2453) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265561)

My home machines have had Slackware Linux as their primary OS since around 1995, and I still maintain that Slack is the most Unix-like of all the Linuxes. This classic, verging on historic, distro has always been rock solid, dependable, and reliable, and has always accepted that I'm the one in charge of my hardware, not Patrick.

But thanks to a new job, I've been forcibly immersed in a bunch of "modern" Linux distros lately, and have finally been seduced by the dark side. Yes, after Slacking for something like 17 years, I've decided to reinstall my home box with a modern desktop-type distro. (Not with the cell phone / tablet style interface, I haven't gone completely crazy).

Using Slackware has been tremendously educational and consistently rewarding over the years. It has been a dream OS for this old-time, Unix-y hacker type, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Thanks for everything, Patrick! And for you young whippersnappers out there, if you're interested in learning Linux / Unix, there are worse things you could do than installing a "traditional" distro like Slackware and figuring out what makes it tick.

Thanks Patrick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40279843)

I'm a relative newcomer to the Linux scene, but I have a similar story to many here- in 2006 I started using Linux, and decided to use Slackware. I learned so much so fast there, it makes me think of the old saying every time- 'if you use Redhat you'll know Redhat, if you use Slackware you'll know Linux.' Anyways I just wanted to say thanks and there are also newer Linux users out there who appreciate a robust minimal approach to Linux.

I love to Slack! (1)

SaDJ0KeR (1565783) | more than 2 years ago | (#40314901)

I`m currently using Slackware on every server i have at home. And i used it since version 7.0. All old school console... no X, no GUIs... i manually pick every driver for every server and recompile the kernel to be lightning fast.
The best thing about this distro is... u actually know what happens with your system and once configured... ohhh it never fails. Never. I can forget that machine for years, still doing its job quietly and it just works.
My oldest machine is still alive and kicking.. i`m using it mainly for SVN mirror and local Git server. Here is the machine:

Linux v0dka 2.6.31-v0dka #2 Sat Jan 14 00:14:04 EET 2012 i586 Pentium 75 - 200 GenuineIntel GNU/Linux
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 5
model : 2
model name : Pentium 75 - 200
cpu MHz : 89.809

total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 93140 89440 3700 0 60744 9512
-/+ buffers/cache: 19184 73956
Swap: 28216 1384 26832

Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/root 3.0G 2.0G 1.1G 65% /
tmpfs 46M 0 46M 0% /dev/shm

Thank you, Patrick!

silly reputation question (1)

xandroid (680978) | more than 2 years ago | (#40356727)

"Is it a point of pride that your distro is considered difficult to install/use and expert level, or do you view that negatively because it keeps new users from wanting to try Slack?"

Huh, Slackware was the first Linux disto I managed to successfully install, and it's still the one I turn to for Linux.

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