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An Old Hacker Slaps Up Slackware

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the nothing-but-love-for-my-first-distro dept.

Operating Systems 240

cdlu writes "What do you get when you mix an old hacker with an old distribution? A good old review of the recently released Slackware 10.2." Joe Barr over at Linux.com (owned by the same company as Slashdot) lays down his thoughts on everything from the install to reliability and user loyalty.

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Seems like a basic review of a basic Linux (-1, Troll)

suitepotato (863945) | about 9 years ago | (#13882919)

If we're going to talk about Linux as a desktop OS which happens so frequently on /. then this review has "not a desktop distro" written all over it.

Re:Seems like a basic review of a basic Linux (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 9 years ago | (#13883033)

If we're going to talk about Linux as a desktop OS which happens so frequently on /. then this review has "not a desktop distro" written all over it.

Don't know why not. A desire for stability and control isn't limited to servers. I'm writing this from a slack desktop, for what it's worth.

Re:Seems like a basic review of a basic Linux (2, Informative)

ponds (728911) | about 9 years ago | (#13883039)

Just because almost everyone who uses it on the desktop happens to have a neckbeard doesnt make it a bad desktop distro.

Where does this review say it's not for the desktop? It says it's not for everyone, which I certainly agree. But it makes a great desktop OS for its very niche userbase.

Re:Seems like a basic review of a basic Linux (1)

legojenn (462946) | about 9 years ago | (#13883241)

Just because almost everyone who uses it on the desktop happens to have a neckbeard doesnt make it a bad desktop distro. I'm not capable of growing a beard [actually, the thought of it is terrifying], but I use Slackware at home as both a desktop and server distro. What the hell is a neckbeard?

Re:Seems like a basic review of a basic Linux (4, Funny)

ponds (728911) | about 9 years ago | (#13883378)

Neckbead (n):
See "RMS"

Re:Seems like a basic review of a basic Linux (5, Insightful)

gbulmash (688770) | about 9 years ago | (#13883052)

If we're going to talk about Linux as a desktop OS which happens so frequently on /. then this review has "not a desktop distro" written all over it.

I've always thought of Slackware as sort of the HeathKit hobbyist version of Linux... sort of the build your own robot dog, vs. the Aibos of Linspire, SuSE, or Mandrivacoriscalifragilisticexpialidocious.

When I first decided to play with Linux, many many moons ago, I think I bought the Walnut Creek CD-ROM of Slackware at Fry's or by mail order. I got a decent install up and running with XFree86 and a window manager. But it was very definitely a steep learning curve.

Recently, trying out a free copy of Linspire, it was probably the easiest install of any OS (Microsoft, BSD, or Windows) I've seen. Ubuntu was pretty simple too. I could have given my parents Linspire and had them up and running almost without my help.

But if you want to learn Linux, not just install it, Slackware is probably one of the best for that. IMO, Despite all the up-and-comers, it's still a good starter kit for the people who want to learn a little about how it works while getting it working.

- Greg

Re:Seems like a basic review of a basic Linux (2, Insightful)

robertjw (728654) | about 9 years ago | (#13883120)

When I first decided to play with Linux, many many moons ago, I think I bought the Walnut Creek CD-ROM of Slackware at Fry's or by mail order. I got a decent install up and running with XFree86 and a window manager. But it was very definitely a steep learning curve.

Keep in mind ALL of the distros have come a long way since the old Walnut Creek CDs. Back in the day Red Hat was no picnic to install. I'm sure a Slackware install is more difficult than Linspire, but the 10.x versions are really not that hard to install. Most common tools are included, and many of the ones that aren't can be downloaded from linuxpackages.net.

That said, there can still be challenges. Hardware configurations are the primary obstacle I sometimes have difficulty getting around, especially for X. That said, I am writing this from a Slackware desktop, I run a Slackware desktop at home and have three testing machines at work running VMware under a Slackware desktop.

Re:Seems like a basic review of a basic Linux (2, Interesting)

fistfullast33l (819270) | about 9 years ago | (#13883162)

But if you want to learn Linux, not just install it, Slackware is probably one of the best for that. IMO, Despite all the up-and-comers, it's still a good starter kit for the people who want to learn a little about how it works while getting it working.

Well said. Slackware was the first distro I personally installed (around version 9.0 IIRC) and I still use it on my webserver that just sits there and I rarely touch (I think the uptime is about 8 months now). It is not necessarily for the light-hearted, but if you're a CS, CE, or EE student who wants to get down and dirty with operating systems and knows enough to be dangerous, Slackware is definitely an excellent distro to start on because it is simple yet robust. The other distros (outside of maybe gentoo and debian) are getting away from complexity and are moving towards usability. This is just fine for the wider market, but if you want to play with the inner workings, it's harder to find anything easier to start with than Slackware. Once you master Slack, you can head onto Gentoo and make a relatively smooth transition if you really want a customized box. You could also migrate back towards Ubuntu, Red Hat, or SuSE and be able to get that much more from those distros. Don't count Slackware out just yet.

Re:Seems like a basic review of a basic Linux (2, Informative)

stanthegoomba (805724) | about 9 years ago | (#13883072)

Depends who's "desktop" you're talking about. Slackware us actually easier to use for those of us who like to have more control over our systems--Slack's initscript setup is so simple to manage compared to the mess of symlinks and directories found in most other distros, and its package management system is very unobtrusive and understandable compared to the complciated GUI setups, distro-specific patches and dependency lists. That said, Slackware always comes with the latest KDE and makes a fine distro for newbies provided you set it up for them beforehand--not having all the extra layers makes it more reliable and less likely to require maintenance. It's also much faster on old hardware compared to the likes of Ubuntu.

Re:Seems like a basic review of a basic Linux (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 years ago | (#13883195)

I'm not sure wtf a 'desktop' is supposed to be, but Slack is a damn fine Workstation OS, if that's what you're thinking of.

Re:Seems like a basic review of a basic Linux (2, Informative)

BritneySP2 (870776) | about 9 years ago | (#13883537)

Reading this (using firefox) on sw-10.2/fluxbox; sweet. Maybe I just hate desktops, then.

After having used/tried several distros (including infamous Ubuntu; liked LFS, Gentoo and Debian), I keep coming back to Slackware - has always worked for me best. It just feels simple and reliable; I am not sure why though (I am not a Unix geek). Somehow it gives me this feeling of freedom I do not have when I use other distros (including Gentoo): this is the only distro (other than LFS) where I do not feel guilty when I happen to compile some app from the stock source tarball instead of using the distro-specific package.

Maybe, I just like Unix in its more or less basic form, as opposed to behemoths (OS X, Ubuntu, Suse) people build on top of it. Slackware, I think, is as basic as it gets, and that's what makes it perfect.

Wow another Slashdot article that reminds me (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883544)

how much Linux actually sucks. CLI-geeks might adore it, but their opinion means nothing beyond 'can, cause we can', 'its a challenge' and 'it makes me feel soooo l33t.'

Where's my slackintosh? (2, Interesting)

commodoresloat (172735) | about 9 years ago | (#13882922)

Think there's any chance we'll ever see a ppc port of this distro? Once upon a time, there was an unofficial project [exploits.org] , and slackware.org for a while had an announcement up that an official ppc distro was in the works, but that was long ago...

It's here (5, Informative)

chipster (661352) | about 9 years ago | (#13882950)

http://workaround.ch/index.html [workaround.ch]

And the maintainer is fantastic. I deal with him often.

Re:It's here (1)

fak3r (917687) | about 9 years ago | (#13882992)

Wow, that's really cool, I was going to try that out years ago when I got my iBook, but Gentoo was farther along so I went that route. Today I run UbuntuPPC - do you recommend Slackintosh over that, or; what are Slackintosh's highlights?

Always nice to hear more Linux work happening on PPC.

Re:It's here (2, Informative)

chipster (661352) | about 9 years ago | (#13883042)

Today I run UbuntuPPC - do you recommend Slackintosh over that, or; what are Slackintosh's highlights?

That's a good question. I'm fond of both distros :-)

The way I see it, UbuntuPPC gives that nice, Ubuntu/Debian feel on PPC platforms. Slackintosh gives that nice, Slackware feel on PPC platforms.

A colleague of mine has even ported GNOME for Slackintosh/PPC: http://gsb.freerock.org/download/ports/ [freerock.org]

Re:It's here (1)

mebollocks (798866) | about 9 years ago | (#13883534)

What are slackintosh's highlights. I feel like I know the answer, hence my reply and I hardly ever post but I read your blog recently and read the post re perens commenting on your comment etc. and feel like I owe you one, but I'm not very... good at ...articulating a response cos i'm pretty drunk. Here goes anyway. Simplicity, I've tried many a distro in my time, trying to recover the awe and love I felt for Unix V I used back in 94 in Uni. Slack is just so damn simple. Slackware feels like Unix in many ways, you won't find any Red Hats on your KDE menu, you won't ever see any commercial aggravation happening with the distro. You won't have to update often or worry about security updates (using slapt-get or swaret). Its not for the kids, its not soley for eye candy or for cred or for performance or for cool or any one sligle thing, its just a simple (But modern) OS for your laptop or desktop. Well maintained, well community supported. There's nothing to complain about with this distro, nothing distro-specific will annoy you because there's so little that's specific. OpenOffice might annoy you or KDE might annoy you but slackware won't. A simple package manager, and if you don 't like it you can always comile a tar.gz, no biggie. Some kids will go nuts about which updater is better, slapt-get or swaret or others but some go nuts about emacs or vi or kde or gnome. I can't understand it. Basically, once you've outgrown all that childish tribalism (assuming you haven't already), give slackware a try and the only reason you could want to go elsewhere will be for something specialised, like yoper for performance or something man i've got souble vision, im going to bed.

Re:It's here (1)

nickos (91443) | about 9 years ago | (#13883256)

Thank you so much for that link. This was one of the things that was holding me back from getting an Apple *Book :D

Re:Where's my slackintosh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883011)

"Think there's any chance we'll ever see a ppc port of this distro?"

No. PPC is dying and we need to stop wasting resources porting everything to its architecture. We could use these resources to continue focusing on improving the platform that the vast majority of people are going to use in the future. People told you not to buy PPC garbage but you decided to follow Apple instead. Apple has realized their stupidity and has now decided to follow along with everyone else and now you're going to pay the price.

Re:Where's my slackintosh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883310)

Yeah - unless like the engineers responsible for the IBM PC [wikipedia.org] you think x86 sucks.

Apparently IBM's own engineers wanted to use the Motorola 68000, ... but IBM already had rights to manufacture the 8086 family, in exchange for giving Intel the rights to its bubble memory designs.

"Why they love Slackware" (-1, Troll)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | about 9 years ago | (#13882924)

Slack is the only distribution where KDE is actually stable. Does anybody know why this is?

Re:"Why they love Slackware" (1)

Slashdot_Gandhi (912342) | about 9 years ago | (#13882989)



Slack is the only distribution where KDE is actually stable. Does anybody know why this is?

Maybe because Slackware uses the raw linux kernel without any patches?

Re:"Why they love Slackware" (1)

temojen (678985) | about 9 years ago | (#13882997)

KDE is stable on all my (non-server) Gentoo machines.

Re:"Why they love Slackware" (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#13883046)

I can't speak for Slackware, but I do know that Yoper has an excellent variation on KDE. I didn't realize this was Yoper-specific until later, but Yoper has tweaked the hell out of the KDE settings as well as added a rather slick Mac OS X-ish control panel.

If you get a chance, go give it a try. It's a very enjoyable distro to use. (Once you get past the rather crude install, that is.)

On another note, does anyone know what happened to the Yoper website? It's been down for weeks. They' finally put up a "We're working on it" page, but they haven't offered much info. I was starting to think about emailing them to find out what happened!

Re:"Why they love Slackware" (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | about 9 years ago | (#13883214)

I hope they don't use their own distro to host http:


Yoper.com is down. We're working on it!

We are up. Stop on by at #yoper@irc.freenode.net

Other Yoper places are www.yoper.de and www.yoper.com.br

:-)

Re:"Why they love Slackware" (1)

rmjohnso (891555) | about 9 years ago | (#13883351)

Just remember that Yoper uses static linking of libraries to speed things up. If that's what you like, then more power to you.

One reason I stick with Slackware is, as the article said, Pat V. doesn't modify and patch the hell out of stuff. It just works the way it was meant to. While I may not have a slick OS X type control panel for KDE, I do have how KDE is supposed to work. Now, I've never tried Yoper, but I do know from using Mandrake, RH, etc. that a lot of those "patches" caused me problems.

Re:"Why they love Slackware" (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#13883392)

Just remember that Yoper uses static linking of libraries to speed things up.

Really? I wasn't aware of that. As far as I knew, most of there performance tweaks were the result of targetting the 686 architecture. Still, static linking really doesn't bother me much. My old machine had 512MB. My new machine has 1GB. Neither one really felt a "strain" from static linking. To me, the overall experience is far more important. Yoper excels in that area. :-)

OSTG (1, Interesting)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | about 9 years ago | (#13882925)

OSTG--the company that owns Linux.com. The company that owns Slashdot.org

Isn't it interesting that, for all the bitching Slashdotters do about corporate-owned shills, advertising, poor service, and biased reporting, they turn none of that critical eye toward Slashdot?

Slashdot's corporation has a vested interest in reporting pro-Linux stories and anti-Microsoft stories. Google uses Linux, so we get lots of pro-Google stories.

So, the next time someone is ranting about capitalism on Slashdot, point them toward the banner ads on the page and the fact that Rob Malda and the other editors are employees of OSGT, and that Slashdot is bought and paid for.

Re:OSTG (1)

Secrity (742221) | about 9 years ago | (#13883065)

Slashdot has banner ads? I don't see ant ads, where are they?

That's 'cause we all block the ads! (1)

FatSean (18753) | about 9 years ago | (#13883142)

They need to pay the bills someway!

Re:That's 'cause we all block the ads! (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | about 9 years ago | (#13883163)

They need to pay the bills someway!

So does everybody else who makes money off their web sites, services, or what amounts to nothing more than intellectual property, yet we trumpet ad nauseum here the merits of deconstructing the patent and copyright system because we personify information as wanting to be free, mostly so we can take as much as of it as we want without paying for it or breaking the law.

Re:OSTG (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883166)


Isn't it interesting that, for all the bitching Slashdotters do about corporate-owned shills, advertising, poor service, and biased reporting, they turn none of that critical eye toward Slashdot?


You must read a different slashdot than I do. There aren't any articles I've ever read on this site where the comments don't bitch about dupes, shills, "slashvertisements" (advertisements disguised as stories), bought and paid for stories from pro bloggers (there are bloggers who make a career out of this site, like pipsquelle or whatever his fucking name is).

We're all aware of the problem, and we all bitch about it; but when presented with Viable Alternatives [technocrat.net] we don't follow through on them.

Therefore, it's fucking obvious slashdotters get what they deserve.

I've got no problem as long as they disclaim. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 9 years ago | (#13883396)

OSTG--the company that owns Linux.com. The company that owns Slashdot.org

Isn't it interesting that, for all the bitching Slashdotters do about corporate-owned shills, advertising, poor service, and biased reporting, they turn none of that critical eye toward Slashdot?

Slashdot's corporation has a vested interest in reporting pro-Linux stories and anti-Microsoft stories.


Slashdot is a news outlet for a class of people who tend to be Linux users. As such they are after news related to Linux, often interested in problems with other OSes (especially the dominant Microsoft offerings), and so on.

The Slashdot "coverage" displayed all the "bias" you complain about while it was independent - long before it received significant support from any other company, let alone being bought by one. Especially the anti-Microsoft flamefests by the posters.

OSTG has a number of Linux-related segments. Of course they, too, want to have available a news outlet/discussions forum giving coverage of Linux-related news, and acquiring one that was doing a dandy job makes more sense than constructing one from scratch.

Slashdot would, IMHO, have continued to cover things in about they way they are now if they had continued to be independent and found no-strings-attached financing to grow to the current size.

Sure there's a risk that they might give offerings from their corporate brethern more attention than they might have if independent. But that would be true anyhow: Being part of a company can give added opportunity to find out about what is going on in other parts.

And sure there's a risk of giving them favorable treatment in reportage. But IMHO Slashdot's format (stories picked by the editors to kick off a thread, followed by lots of discussion by readers, moderated only by other readers and not totally removed even if moderated down to the minimum) cerates a giant truth-squad that will jump on any distortions or outright falsehoods posted or selected by the editors.

Add to that their careful attachment of disclaimers when selecting a story about another operation owned by the same holding company, and they're IMHO squeaky-clean. (How often do you see or hear similar disclaimers when a news operation of a media conglomerate, reporting on another of THAT operation's holdings? Pretty rare, eh?)

As I see it the only significant risk is of OMISSION - the choice not to post something of importance that might harm another branch of the company. But Slashdot is not the only news operation out here - not even the only one covering Linux and other "news for nerds". Between that and several things users can do (such as post a story on their own journal and point to it in their sig lines, or make off-topic comments on everything related), Slashdot would have a hard time hiding anything.

So I'm not at ALL concerned when Slashdot covers something in another holding of OSTG. And I think you're wasting your breath when you berate them for doing so. IMHO they'd be lax to NOT cover such things.

You should save your breath and energy for hunting down and exposing any actual lies or distortions in such stories, rather than griping about their existence.

Re:OSTG (1)

kfg (145172) | about 9 years ago | (#13883577)

Software and MP3s are not a birthright.

Absolutely correct, but the the relationship is reciprocal, neither is copyright.

KFG

Old hacker? heck I started on Linux with Yggdrasil (4, Funny)

MrJerryNormandinSir (197432) | about 9 years ago | (#13882929)

Redhat 5.0? I cut my teeth on Yggrassil. An add in Nuts & Volts magazine featured the Yggdrasil release way back. I believe it was 1992. I've been running Linux ever since!

Re:Old hacker? heck I started on Linux with Yggdra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883067)

Yes, but have you done anything with it.

Re:Old hacker? heck I started on Linux with Yggdra (1)

RLiegh (247921) | about 9 years ago | (#13883087)

I started with Peanut linux, I think; some damned umsdos install which came in lha format on a bunch of floppies. Much later, though; this was in 96.

I haven't dealt with modern slackware since 2000 when I started alternating between BSD and Debian, however. What's weird is that with the 10 series of slackware linux crashes trying to load my network card. Haven't really bothered about chasing down the cause since no other distros really have problems with it (most distros load it as 8139too, slackware's 8139too module crashes).

SLS (2, Funny)

starling (26204) | about 9 years ago | (#13883121)

I'll see your Yggdrasil and raise you Soft Landing Systems on 50 floppies.

Anyone else who's first Linux system was called "darkstar"?

Re:SLS (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 years ago | (#13883261)

Anyone else who's first Linux system was called "darkstar"?

Ah yep. 386DX machine with a whopping 8 megs of RAM, IIRC.

Re:SLS (3, Funny)

starling (26204) | about 9 years ago | (#13883291)

Ah yep. 386DX machine with a whopping 8 megs of RAM, IIRC.


Sounds about right. Ah, the joys of manually calculating X modelines. And the terror of finding out that install disk 44 out of 50 had some bad sectors. [/geezer]

Re:SLS (1)

Wumpus (9548) | about 9 years ago | (#13883338)

8 megs? I had 4. I had to put a swap file on a floppy once to allow Octave to finish calculating something when I ran out of memory and disk space.

Re:SLS (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 years ago | (#13883506)

I too had a 386DX(25) with 8MB of DIP DRAM on the mobo. That means it was maxed out, whee. I ran slackware on a 120MB disk, though. The A, N, D, and X sets plus netscape pretty much filled it up...

Re:SLS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883373)

Yep. Downloaded in our college dorm via 4 modems. A 2400 baud connection running ftp commands to retrieve the distribution to the local server on campus, then 3 14.4 modem connections running zmodem downloads from the local server. I think after one successful download this way we started hauling our diskettes to the computer labs to speed up the process.

Ah, the memories of when we had no lives whatsoever and would gladly sit in a PC lab all day long on a Saturday just to download a linux distro.

Congratulations - you get a cookie. (0, Flamebait)

sczimme (603413) | about 9 years ago | (#13883173)


Old hacker? heck I started on Linux with Yggdrasil ... I've been running Linux ever since!

I figured there would be some chest-puffing in this thread ("Well, I started with Linux in nineteen-ought-three..."). Lots of people started with Yggdrasil: it was available on CD-ROM at computer shows when dial-up ruled the land. You are not a unique snowflake.

You seem to have a problem with the "old hacker" as mentioned in the article. Here is a hint: the definition of "hacker" != "Linux user". Yes, there are hackers that run Linux; not all Linux users are hackers. There are also plenty of old hackers who have never touched Linux. You should read this [catb.org] .

As an aside, here is a link to the printer-friendly version of the article. [linux.com]

Good old Slackware.. (1, Interesting)

LinuxDon (925232) | about 9 years ago | (#13882943)

Got to love Slackware, the installer hasn't changed since I started out with Linux in 1996!
It's still my favorite distributed when I need to install Linux fast (takes about 15 minutes), the CD contains lots of packages.
It is really a do-it-all-yourself kind of distribution, as the author of the article also found out.

Re:Good old Slackware.. (2, Interesting)

b1t r0t (216468) | about 9 years ago | (#13883053)

Got to love Slackware, the installer hasn't changed since I started out with Linux in 1996!

That's the number one reason I've been using it since 3.6 or so. The installer is good and simple, with no multi-level dependencies to get tripped up on, or to cause unwanted bloat. The defaults are all "wrong" for what I want, but deselecting them is quick. And if you need to add just one package, mount the CD and do an installpkg. The number two reason is it's a great distro if you absolutely don't want a GUI.

I had actually given up on Linux in favor of OS X on cheap older Macs, but I needed Linux for something recently, so I downloaded and burned the first two CDs and it installed nice and quick. The only problem I had was that the hard drive had an earlier Slackware install, and I ran a full install on top of that. I had already moved the /etc directory out of the way, but the package lists were still in /var. So I nuked them and installed it again with no more problems.

Re:Good old Slackware.. (1)

kex (752312) | about 9 years ago | (#13883058)

Seconded. I always recommend slack for friends/family curious about actually learning and using linux, it is the perfect tool for teaching the way things should be done, and has all the flexibility to add the tweaks and gui goodness you want later on.

Smooth, hassle free, and perfectly capable desktop or server distro.

Re:Good old Slackware.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883184)

I still have the slackware 3.5 disks from 1996 with the original casing and everything. At the time it was 4 CD's. I was actually going to install it again on an old p100 to see it go. Then i remembered that getting cable modem to work in linux back then was super elite hacker work. (at least in my 13 year old mind).

Re:Good old Slackware.. (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | about 9 years ago | (#13883387)

I still have my Slackware 2.1 (Linux 1.1) CD, and every now and then slap it on a junk 486 when I want a box that just does something on the LAN. Mind you, I'd never dare expose it to the Internet.

not a great review (5, Insightful)

fak3r (917687) | about 9 years ago | (#13882958)

While I appreciate Slackware getting press (I used to run 8.0 on my server) this isn't much of a review. He talks about ever step of the installer, which hasn't changed in years, so there's nothing to tell here. He talks about how he adds a root password cause he always does (?) and goes on to tell about how since Slack doesn't support dependancy checking for installs he doesn't use any of the other tools (swaret, slapt-get) that do this for you (?). So don't get me wrong, Slack is still my fav Linux for servers since it paved the way for me to move to FreeBSD, but this isn't much of a review. (oh, and I commented on the article cause he says that RPM handles deps, but it doesn't; yum does. right? I haven't used RPMs for a time, but I'm pretty sure I'm right there)

Re:not a great review (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 9 years ago | (#13883109)

RPM won't resolve deps for you automatically but it does point them out. It can be a pain in the rear to follow the chain of dep messages it spits out but in the end you can satisfy all deps whether adding or removing rpms by reading the output and playing along. Gotta love that apt front end for RPM though! :)

First post for slackers (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13882972)

I slacked off, so forgive me since this isn't the true FP.

I thought Slackware was only for leet hackers, so why do they need a HowTo?
Old Hackers don't die
They become a zombie process and have to be kill -9

Mixing hacker with distribution? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13882973)

What do you get when you mix those two?

Um, I get Hacktribution or distribacker.

Re:Mixing hacker with distribution? (2, Funny)

lilmouse (310335) | about 9 years ago | (#13883250)

Hackware.

When your linux distro starts attacking you with a battle axe +4

--LWM

Installed Slack in 1995 (4, Interesting)

temojen (678985) | about 9 years ago | (#13882974)

It was about 60 floppies. My first crash was several weeks later when I ran GnuChess under X on my 486DX2/66 w 8MB RAM, and made my second move...

Re:Installed Slack in 1995 (1)

saveth (416302) | about 9 years ago | (#13883025)

Ah, I remember rawrite and the Slackware floppies all too fondly. Now, I just download an image (of Debian), burn it, and voila! Takes ten minutes on a bad day.

Re:Installed Slack in 1995 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883148)

You've been using Linux for ten years, but you've got a six-digit Slashdot ID? Yeah, you're uber, dude.....

Re:Installed Slack in 1995 (1)

temojen (678985) | about 9 years ago | (#13883187)

Haven't always had time... Being in school, and working, and doing consulting, and being involved in election campaigns, and having a social life leaves not much time for /..

Re:Installed Slack in 1995 (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | about 9 years ago | (#13883418)

Some people got caught in the Great Deletion.

Re:Installed Slack in 1995 (1)

pdpTrojan (454023) | about 9 years ago | (#13883360)

OMG! U said that ur Linux crashed? LOL, nice one dude! Now we know
that u never used teh Linux.

Re:Installed Slack in 1995 (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 9 years ago | (#13883569)

OMG, that happened to me too. Hard power reset to fix disk thrash, which of course, hosed the whole ext2 FS, requiring a reinstall.

But that was back when installing Linux was actually an educational experience.

If I was going to run Linux again. (2, Insightful)

kinglink (195330) | about 9 years ago | (#13882979)

It'd be with slackware, it's the one distro that I used in college that was stable, that didn't have a massive error out of the package (this one the age when RedHat came out with a distro where GCC was broken!!!)

I have to say slackware's name is perfect in a number of way, it's easy to get into, interesting to use, good to learn from, and good to modify how you want it to be modified.

Kudos I might actually have to get the new version and get my old linux box back on it's feet.

Re:If I was going to run Linux again. (1)

reclusivemonkey (703154) | about 9 years ago | (#13883359)

LOL Dude I feel your pain. I got that copy of Red Hat from a book with CD. Previously I had tried Corel Linux, which is still too painful an experience to talk about. The next distro I tried after Red Hat was Slackware, and I've never looked back.

Re:If I was going to run Linux again. (1)

kinglink (195330) | about 9 years ago | (#13883528)

yeah I had tried Suse also (which was decent at the time) and Debian, which either was missing some header files, or just way way too hard to install. either way, Slackware is the one that made me feel that it was pretty easy.

The other one that worked well was Mandrake, but I didn't feel the appeal I had with Slackware. (Mandrake back then was good, but it is similar to RedHat now, very dumbed down desktop orriented, which allowed it to work on my computer, but I needed a bit more direct access to get into it.

How does this affect the gay community? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13882980)

By 'Gay' I mean Apple/Mac users...

Re:How does this affect the gay community? (0, Flamebait)

monklegacy (925085) | about 9 years ago | (#13882996)

That is seriously the funniest thing ever.

Mod parent down for being unfabulous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883057)

This is an A and B conversation. So C you're way out of it.

Score (-1: Breeder)

Banya! (1)

darth_MALL (657218) | about 9 years ago | (#13883084)

That's Gold Jerry...GOLD!

OMG YOUR SO RETARDED (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883244)

OMG YOUR SO RETARDED

I like Slackware's minimalist approach, but... (3, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 9 years ago | (#13882983)

...I also learned to hate BSD-style init. I have found memories of Slackware since that's what I cut my Linux teeth on. I was too noob to even know there were easier distros to start with, but in retrospect you learn a heck of a lot more when the OS installer isn't slathered in wizards and GUIs.

Re:I like Slackware's minimalist approach, but... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883035)

I love teh lack of any decent package management. There's nothing quite as cool as having to search all over god and creation to find the two dozen other software packages you need to install and configure prior to building the single app you're interested in. Makes you feel like a uber hacker. And by 'uber' I mean retarded.

Re:I like Slackware's minimalist approach, but... (2, Informative)

amliebsch (724858) | about 9 years ago | (#13883428)

Check out slapt-get. [jaos.org] It works pretty much like it sounds.

Slackware (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | about 9 years ago | (#13882990)

Slackware is great in a server environment as it is pretty barebones and can easily be customized during the install. On the desktop (well laptop in my case) however, Ubuntu reins king. I've never had a friendlier experience using/running Linus.

Re:Slackware (1)

slackwaresupport (690285) | about 9 years ago | (#13883005)

slackware is great on the desktop!! every machine i own runs slackware. even an outdated sparc running splack

Re:Slackware (2, Funny)

digidave (259925) | about 9 years ago | (#13883206)

Slackware ports have the worst names. Ok, maybe Slackintosh is pretty cool, but Splack sounds like you dropped a slimey thing from a great height.

slowest day at slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13882998)

I move to declare today the slowest news day here at slashdot.

Joe Barr (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 years ago | (#13883018)

If this is the same Joe Barr who can't even install and use MPlayer [mplayerhq.hu] , do I really give a shit about what he thinks about Slack? I mean if he can call the best video player ever "The Project From Hell" [sys-con.com] , he's just proven himself to be entirely unreliable.

Re:Joe Barr (0)

rmjohnso (891555) | about 9 years ago | (#13883320)

I think you are being a little harsh here. First, I read the article you linked to, and I think he has some valid complaints. One of my complaints is why do you have to specify --enable-gui (gui is disabled by default) for a program that offers custom skins and fonts. It's not hard to specify --enable-gui, but it still doesn't make sense.

Second, mplayer has gotten much better to configure. However, it still can be difficult. I first tried it out on Slackware, which is what I still use. I love mplayer and all of the Windows codecs so I'm not tied to Windows just to watch movies. However, making sure you have all of the dependencies is a pain. I finally just started making my own Slackware build scripts and packages for mplayer and the dependencies so I didn't have to remember which configure options I need for my own setup.

Now I don't know about the parent comment's author's situation, but I have found that most people who say, "Oh MPlayer is easy to install. Why don't you understand Linux," have installed it from a pre-made package (e.g. RPM). Many of them (not all) have never tried to actually compile it.

"That's just my opinion, I could be wrong." --Dennis Miller

Re:Joe Barr (1)

binford2k (142561) | about 9 years ago | (#13883570)

One of my complaints is why do you have to specify --enable-gui (gui is disabled by default) for a program that offers custom skins and fonts. It's not hard to specify --enable-gui, but it still doesn't make sense.

Personally, I think that putting a gui on MPlayer is silly. I don't want to look at MPlayer. I want to look at the movie I'm watching!

To each his own.

Re:Joe Barr (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 years ago | (#13883576)

Nah, I was compiling mplayer from source back when the article was written as a relative linux n00b. Probably about 6 months after I started with it. It was great then and it's great now. I've always used it without the gui, and can't fathom why you would need one.

If a reviewer is going to be any use at helping me predict things I'll like, they need to have a good track record. If a reviewer panned one of your favorite movies, you'd be less inclined to listen to what he had to say in the future. Same thing here.

It's worth pointing out that what makes mplayer great is it's sleek and all business. It's extremely capable, and doesn't hold your hand. The same can be said about slackware, no frills but quality where it counts. Joe Barr's opinion is doubly unhelpful here.

ahh. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883032)

so, whoever owns linux.com owns /.?

ahh.

that explains why they're always sucking Linux off.

well to be honest... (4, Interesting)

OgTheBarbarian (778232) | about 9 years ago | (#13883074)

Strict glibc compliance and relatively few efforts to make it palatable to the desktop crowd is exactly what has made it perfect for a task specific server platform. Having stuck with it since 1994, when I first started down the road of discovering what Linux could do. I've never been disappointed (in terms of uptime, security and resource control) I will probably keep using it as long as it can be maintained. A learning curve isn't a bad thing. That's why I got into this in the first place. I'll leave Red Hat to the '1337'. This just works.

More Damaging To Linux Than Any Other Distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883088)

Every goddamn time some Microsoft user gets fed up and wants to switch to Linux and comes looking for which distro to use some clown invariably fucks things up by "throwing in their props for Slackware" for ABSOLUTELY no reason.

WTG guys!

Viva la Slackware! (1)

mkswap-notwar (764715) | about 9 years ago | (#13883097)

Viva la Slackware! Good job on a great distro. Pat. I started with Linux way back using Slackware 3.0, and have used Slackware 8.0, 8.1, and 9.0 on server-side projects for a while now.

I love Slackware's minimalist approach and text-file-editing, nuts-and-bolts configuration. No you can't get a Slackware package for every app out there, but that's the fun of Linux, build it yourself!

Oh yeah, and when you're done could you use makepkg to make the .tgz for the rest of us?

Another useless "review" (5, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | about 9 years ago | (#13883100)

Can somebody please explain why every single Linux review has to spend so much time on installation? Monday's post of a SuSE review spent a third of the article just on installation. Today's Slackware review spends half of the review on installation (actually a bit more than half if you cut out the conclusion that takes up a quarter of the last page). People, installation is a solved problem! SuSE and Redhat have had competent installers for nearly a decade. Even Debian is slowly getting into the act. When Corel first integrated a game of tetris while packages installed, installation was a done deal. What possible reason can there be to spend all of your time reviewing the installation process, rather than everything else? (and by "everything else", I mean the integration that a distribution brings -- how well are menus configured in your chosen desktop environment, does it have a good package installation story that keeps those menus up to date, does it provide you with recent and stable versions of popular software, etc)

Yes, I know that installation of Linux is critical since you can't easily go out and buy a PC with Linux pre-loaded. I get that. However, the installers for pretty much every distro are simple and clear enough that it doesn't take a genius to use them. Skim your chosen distro's installation manual and have a go at it. Just please stop wasting review space writing about the installation process! Here's a hint: If your review is too short when you leave out the installer part, maybe you don't need to be writing a review.

Re:Another useless "review" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883199)

Because Linux users are nomadic -- they hop from distro to distro as their current favorite dies out due to the maintainer realizing "Holy crap - I'm not getting anything out of this!" and losing interest. Thus, ease of installation is a very important consideration.

Re:Another useless "review" (1)

binford2k (142561) | about 9 years ago | (#13883543)

Caldera (now SCO) did the tetris game. Corel did the "4-click" installer.

Re:Another useless "review" (1)

Osty (16825) | about 9 years ago | (#13883586)

Caldera (now SCO) did the tetris game. Corel did the "4-click" installer.

Good catch. For some reason I was thinking it was Corel Linux 2.0 (Corel's Debian-based attempt at a distro) that did the tetris thing. At least I got the "C" part right, and that it was a distribution nobody used :)

Face it, market share or not, Slackware is best! (1)

v3xt0r (799856) | about 9 years ago | (#13883106)

When I 1st started using Linux, I thought of Slackware in the same terms as I thought of Mandrake (for lamors only!), but after using SuSE, Gentoo, Red Hat, Fedora, and Debian, I was looking for something that I could configure from the ground-up (without all the annoying bells & whistles), to fit my EXACT needs. Slackware did just that!!

Although I could also do this with debian pretty easily, and I still use Debian for Large-Scale Infrastructures, the shear amount of security holes and 12781237912 patches per day, really gets annoying, although I do commend them for such strict security support practices.

Slackware works perfect as a Small Business or Home Network Environment, and is also very nice for clustering (w/ mosix). *Yea, I said it... Clustering with Slackware!! (I expect instant 'flamebait' mod here)*

It took me about 2 years before I was actually tempted to use it as a desktop, and have since ditched windows entirely (at home), with the exception of my DAW.

Now, I think of all the other distros (with the exception of Debian) the same as I think of Mandrake... for lamors only! =p

There are WAY too many reasons why I choose slackware, I don't have time to explain really, but those (experienced users) who use slackware, probably already know, or would agree, it is the best! =p

Such fond memories, but... (1)

ender- (42944) | about 9 years ago | (#13883112)

I really do have fond memories of Slackware. For years I ran Slackware [7/8/9.0] on all of my linux boxes, server or desktop.
However I eventually got tired of finding too many of the programs I wanted didn't have packages, and spending too much time compiling.

I've since switched to Debian [and Ubuntu to a lesser degree]. It to has its downsides, but for now, it just takes less time.

I will however give Slackware ALL the credit for teaching me about Linux. I've heard it said that if you need help with Linux, ask someone who uses Slackware as they're the most likely to REALLY know how linux works under the hood. :)

Good Ol Slackware (1)

capitalj (461890) | about 9 years ago | (#13883176)

I started using slackware on my servers in 1999. I heard it was the hardest install but I believe thats because it was an all text install (lots of reading). The greatest thing I can say about slackware is its simplicity. Its pretty easy for me to install it with the minimum packages needed and go in and remove all of the services that I don't want running. Compile the kernel then that server is on its way. I don't use slackware for my desktop computer anymore I have switched to gentoo. Its just easier that way for me.

*blink* (2, Funny)

Xarius (691264) | about 9 years ago | (#13883285)

I read that as "An Old Slapper Slacks up Hackware"

It must be time for coffee...

...IMHO (1)

netkid91 (915818) | about 9 years ago | (#13883350)

What distro you use depends on your abilities. I agree with everyone else that Slackware will teach you linux to the core(not quite as deep as LFS though)and will provide you with knowledge on how it works. The average user just wants a system that Just Works(TM), is easy to use, and can do everything they need to on it. I agree that installation isn't a big issue anymore these days, but for the casual user a prettied up wizzard install is probably for the best, they don't want to learn HOW it works, they want it to Just Work(TM). "To each his own" best part about Linux, there are distros for the more skilled users, and the n00bs, let the n00bs use SuSE, Mandriva, Lycros, Linspire, etc..; and the rest of us can use Slackware and the likes. The biggest player in the Windows to Linux movment will be "can I learn this easy, and use it easy" not "how much can I fsck with it". There will always be the skilled Linux hacker wanting a open distro to toy with, but there is more n00bs that haven't heard of linux, or have this stero-type [n00b@myPC ~]$ - "WTF DO I DO NOW???" many people actually think Linux is still like this, so the big player is a nice GUI to get them started, because a average user is scared of the command line because they might screw something up, the big problem with Windows; the tools are all GUI based and a user has little chance of fsking stuff unless some program does that for them. In Linux a quick rm* as root will wipe ur HD in no time flat, takes some skill to do that in Windows. But all of this is IMHO, reply.

A real hacker (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 years ago | (#13883352)

A real hacker ( the old style MIT kind, not the current model of a criminal ) would write his own OS from scratch.

Or at the least choose BSD, which is much older and mature then the very idea of 'linux'.

32bit Slackware on AMD64 (3)

theBraindonor (577245) | about 9 years ago | (#13883422)

What isn't pointed out by this review is that Slackware version the reviewer installed is still a 32bit version. The computer he installed it on is an AMD64. Personally, I would have found the review much more helpful if it had addressed the 64bit issues that Slackware has#151;which is what most new workstations and servers have under the hood.

There is an 64bit port of Slackware out there, Slamd64 [slamd64.com] . Unfortunately, it has no where near the stability of Slackware current. Just keeping the installer from crashing can be a huge headache. I ran into this first hand after purchasing an AMD64 server. It's hard to give Slackware a glowing review until the 64bit port is up to par.

Re:32bit Slackware on AMD64 (1)

harryoyster (814652) | about 9 years ago | (#13883559)

How stupid. Because a distribution is focused on one platform does not take it from being the best at what its DESIGNED to do.

bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883437)

Slackware schmackware, if you want Older Than The Hills and then some try getting 386-bsd going, or for completely useless AIX, and even better get A/UX 2.0.1 with the needed ppc patches. Linux wise you aren't an old geezer computer wise if you can't raise your hand and remember what the pre 2.0 liux kernal was like- Lets just say that Slack 2.0 was a umm "experience" . And the 15 floppies of the older Debians was even worse.

For one... (1)

Mad Ogre (564694) | about 9 years ago | (#13883549)

The article really doesn't touch on one of Slackware's advantages over other distros... its speed. The only distro that I've really seen that is actually faster, is Gentoo. And that was Gentoo compiled specifically for that machine. An associate at work has a ghetto celeron powered Tosh lappy, with Slackware. The thing is screaming fast. We also put Slackware on an old 700MHZ Celeron and you would have to get an XP machine over 2 Ghz to compare to it when it comes to speed.

Open Source as a Zimmer Frame (1)

FishandChips (695645) | about 9 years ago | (#13883585)

Well if Slackware works for this guy then great, as it clearly also works for a lot of other folks, not all of them going on 80 :) I guess in the years ahead we'll get used to the oldies fighting in the aisles over their favourite distro rather than, as now, over politics, world war two, medical care and who got to the discounted cookies first.

However, perhaps a certain amount of prudence might be a good idea. If someone is going to invest a great deal of time in learning Linux then maybe they'd want to choose a solid distro whose future looks brighter than its past. So I guess that might mean, say, Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu or Debian. OK, everyone will have variations on that (Gentoo, Mandriva, etc.). But I wonder whether Slackware fits the bill?

Software gets more, not less, complex. And we ask it to do more not fewer things (VOIP and multimedia functionality being only the latest two in a long line). I wonder whether this means that traditional Linux distros put together by just one or at most a few people are going to become untenable. Only the bigger outfits will really be able to keep up because they have enough developers and contributors to allow it.

Dunno. Kudos to Slackware and all who sail in her - the guy behind it sounds like a hero - but is this really the future?
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