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Feature: Slackware

Revised Slackware keeps it simple

By Susan Linton on December 23, 2008 (7:00:00 PM)

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At a time when new and buggy features cloud basic computer functions, it's refreshing to see a new release of a distro like Slackware that stays true to its core philosophy. Slackware has an unfair reputation of being a distro only for experienced users. Granted it doesn't sport many graphical configuration tools, but it balances that with stability and speed.

Slackware installation has the reputation of being difficult, but I've never agreed with that premise. While it is true that your hard disk must be partitioned before you start the installation program, the remaining process is just as quick and easy as any found in any other distro.

The Slackware install images ship with fdisk and cfdisk, which let you partition your hard drive if needed. These aren't difficult to use, but can be daunting to the first time user. As an alternative, Parted Magic is a nice small utility distro designed primarily for partitioning and rescuing drives.

Slackware's first install screen may be intimidating to new users as well. After booting the first install CD, one logs in as root and types setup, which bring up a screen of headings such as ADDSWAP, TARGET, and SOURCE. Beginning with ADDSWAP will start the installation process. Highlight ADDSWAP and press Enter to be guided through setting up your swap partition. From there you will be guided through setting up the install partition, package selection, network options, boot loader, and root passwords. At the end you are instructed to press Ctrl-Alt-Del to reboot. It's the same basic process as found in all Linux installers.

System and software

First boot takes the unsuspecting user to a terminal login. The installer creates only a root account; the user is left to make his own account. You add users the old-fashioned way: by logging in as root and using useradd or adduser. Useradd is the original utility that makes a new account according to command line switches input at the time of command. Adduser is a bit handier, as it guides the input by prompting for values for each variable one at a time. However, an even easier way for some is to run startx as root and use KDE's User Manager.

Slackware ships with a complete but stock KDE 3.5.10. Though it may be a bit bland, it is quite easy to customize. I have always wished Slackware would bend its guideline of "providing packages just the way the developer intended" just a tad for appearances' sake and provide a nice Slackware background. But you can always find nice themes and wallpapers at KDE-look.org, where Slackware continues to be a favorite of hobbyists and artists.

If you prefer, Slackware also includes Xfce 4.4.3, a lighter yet feature-rich alternative to KDE. It comes with graphical customization tools as well as a calendar, file manager, media player, and CD/DVD burner. Version 4.4.3 is the latest incarnation of this respected desktop environment.

Slackware always comes with lots of great application software. In addition to the standard KDE applications, you get the complete KOffice Suite, Amarok, KDevelop, K3b, and Juk, along with Pidgin, Pan, Seamonkey, Firefox, Thunderbird, the GIMP, XMMS, Audacious, and Xine/Gxine. Slackware's foundation is formed by Linux kernel 2.6.27.7, GCC 4.2.4, and Xorg server 1.4.2. Slackware 12.2 gives the 2.6 kernel its undivided attention, no longer offering 2.4 as an option.

Slackware has a large online repository for additional packages as well. It may not be as fully stocked as some other larger distributions, but it holds many popular packages. Slackware's package management system can easily install, remove, and upgrade software packages, or even allow you to make your own package from source files. Pkgtool uses an Ncurses graphical interface in a terminal window to install, remove, or view packages. At the command line, installpkg will install Slackware packages, explodepkg will extract files without installing them, removepkg will remove package files from the system, upgradepkg will upgrade packages already installed, and makepkg will create a proper Slackware package from a set of files. You can check whether a given package is available at the Search Slackware Packages database.

With the modern kernel and helper applications, Slackware will mount removable media, Samba shares, MP3 players, NFS, and other mounts. It offers PCMCIA, CardBus, USB, FireWire, and ACPI support for laptops. Hardware is configured automatically in most cases with Slackware. In fact, Slackware supports just about any hardware supported by other distributions.

Conclusion

For existing users, this point release brings lots of great updates to your favorite apps and the kernel. If you haven't upgraded yet, the slackpkg tool can assist you with that and help keep you updated.

For new users, Slackware isn't as difficult as you might have heard, and there's no better time than now to try it. It offers similar hardware support and amenities as many other distributions. You may have to learn to do a few things from the command line from time to time, but you're liable to discover things can be much simpler that way.

Slackware isn't for everyone. But in a landscape where distro and application developers are increasingly catering to new Windows converts, it's nice to have one who's sticking to his original goals. Slackware is still keeping it simple for Linux users who like using Linux.

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.8.81.34] on December 23, 2008 08:07 PM
I totally agree that Slackware is not as hard as many are saying. I recently tried the latest Fedora, Ubuntu, and Suse. Fedora installed nicely and my wireless was working, very impressed. Then I installed the hundreds of updates which broke both the services app and my wireless. Didnt have much more luck with Ubuntu and Suse. You never have to worry about that with Slackware. Since the base is stable and well tested, you just need to occasionally install a security update, like Firefox 3.0.5. Also The install on Slackware is fast when you install all packages. Next just download WICD from slackware/extras and wireless is working. Its one of the only distributions that seems to compile almost any program. The more I try other distributions the more I appreciate Slackware.

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.8.81.34] on December 23, 2008 08:19 PM
One of the biggest criticisms of Slackware is that it doesnt have a package manager that resolves dependencies. However, you do have Slackbuilds.org that makes it easy to install software and lets you know of any dependency that it requires. Another point is if you do a full Slackware install, it installs most development libraries. I find that most 3rd party software I install, including games require none, or only 1 or 2 dependencies on Slackware.

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.94.73.4] on December 23, 2008 08:49 PM
Susan, you should be sure to check out slackbuilds.org for a /ton/ of slackbuild scripts for third party software. SlackBuilds.org is run by several well known Slackware developers and Patrick Volkerding even mentions it in the release announcements. Also, there is sbopkg at www.sbopkg.org which is a great command line and dialog interface front end to slackbuilds.org. It will sync with the slackbuilds.org repo and let you automatically install stuff. Works a treat.

I am darn glad that there is a distro out there that keeps things clean and simple.

-seth

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Not so difficult but still difficult

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.82.147.2] on December 23, 2008 08:50 PM
I count myself as pretty experienced Linux user, but I value simplicity and Slackware is just too much work to get up and running completely (including instalation of all the necessary software, that differs from user to user but my selection is quite big). And you have to agree that for ordinary Ubuntu user who just recently came from Windows, Slackware would be a real overkill.

My point is, "difficult" is relative. Difficult for some people can be piece of cake for you, and difficult for you could be impossible for them.

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Re: Not so difficult but still difficult

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.5.240.102] on December 23, 2008 09:08 PM
I agree. Slackware is not for those who want it "easy." Slackware is stable and fast... but you have to put in a bit of work to get packages installed. A nice compromise for those who like to "tinker" is sidux.com which has the "advantage" of the Debian package manager.

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Re(1): Not so difficult but still difficult

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.94.73.4] on December 23, 2008 09:18 PM
All of this depends on your definition of "simple" or "easy." For me, a Linux user of over 10 years, the definition of "simple" means a straightforward system with standard *nix command line utilities with no GUI tools that overwrite good old text config files. I know where everything is, and the FHS is followed. Stuff is where it should be. That makes it easy to use.

For me, fighting with Ubuntu, which just wants to hold your hand and decide what it thinks is best for your setup, is not easy or simple. Ubuntu is a nightmare for me. I find it "difficult" in the sense that my two year old son is "difficult" sometimes.

Slackware = easy
Slackware = simple
Ubuntu = not easy or simple

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.52.58.2] on December 23, 2008 10:05 PM
is there any way that slackware can see more then 3 gigs of ram.. i have a 64 bit computer and i would enjoy seeing all my ram..
besides that, id love to have a simplistic approach, i currently use kubuntu, and i love it.. if i were to install slackware id install everything so i have the libraries incase of a needed dependency..
would just like to use all the ram thats' actually in my system.. thanks
binskipy2u at gmail dot com, thanks for any information
hopefully its "easy" to do

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Re: Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 96.251.78.164] on December 24, 2008 05:05 AM
Go to Slamd64.com. It is a 64bit multilib port of Slackware. That means you can build both 64 and 32bit apps. It definitely sees more than 2Gigs of RAM.

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Re: Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.15.169.110] on December 24, 2008 01:27 PM
"is there any way that slackware can see more then 3 gigs of ram"

recompile the kernel to use PAE [ Processor type and features ---> High Memory Support (64GB) ]

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 162.40.48.247] on December 23, 2008 10:19 PM
Thank you, Susan, for this wonderful write-up.

To Anonymous @ 80.82.147.2: I came straight from Windows to Slackware, and haven't had any problems. I admin an Ubuntu box, and it gives me headaches trying to work with it. Easy... RIGHT...

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Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.12.31.38] on December 23, 2008 10:45 PM

[Modified by: Nathan Willis on December 23, 2008 05:21 PM]

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.73.75.244] on December 23, 2008 11:52 PM
A great distro with only one big disadvantage: It doesn’t use GNOME …

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Re: Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.65.10.165] on December 25, 2008 02:24 AM
It does not use Gnome because the user base and the Slackware creator Patrick Volkerding
decided that KDE was a much better and more polished desktop solution than Gnome.
The Gnome libraries are still included so that you can run Gnome apps but the desktop is
not put on the disks any longer. I agree with this but then I am biased I have been useing KDE
since the version 1.2 days.

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 210.23.128.40] on December 24, 2008 12:19 AM
To Anonymous @ 84.73.75.244... Want Gnome with Slack? Heresy! But easy... Get GSB. Uses Slack (with minimal replacement of some packages) and has Gnome as DE.

To Anonymous@ 12.52.58.2 - Try SLAMD64 or BlueWhite64... SLAMD64 is the original Slack for 64bit. BlueWhite64 followed that but last I checked these two groups were not on speaking terms... something about "stealing" and plagiarism...

Enjoy!

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.114.62.235] on December 24, 2008 01:39 AM
Personally, I use Slackware for both enterprise and desktop needs. Hell, it is the distro on the cluster. Why? Slackware can be stripped down to a degree that I haven't been able to do with any other linux distro out there (LFS doesn't count, though I do use it too). The performance is great too as there is less clutter to cut through when optimizing and securing a server.

Yes, I will agree that trying to keep up with software updates isn't easy due to the lack of "reminders" but if you keep things minimal, there aren't as many problems to address.

I highly recommend Slamd64 for those looking for 64-bit Slackware. My work's database server runs on in with 32GB RAM and it has yet to fail me, typically I fail it by forgetting to tweak some setting or another.

As for the comment regarding GNOME, yes, Slackware lacks GNOME in the recent distros. Why? Because Patrick got sick of trying to get it to compile cleanly without lots of massaging. Try rolling GNOME yourself and you're probably likely to agree, I did.

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.3.127] on December 24, 2008 01:44 AM
slackware + blackbox = thin, mean, lean superfast machine!

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Re: Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 96.251.78.164] on December 24, 2008 05:09 AM
Thats funny I feel the same about Slackware and Fluxbox.

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Re(1): Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.166.30.4] on December 24, 2008 07:07 AM
don't forget XFCE :)

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 117.193.131.26] on December 24, 2008 07:20 AM
Slackware="Install once and forget"

Try compiling wesnoth on any other distro other than slackware and you will into a lot of dependency hell... But slackware? compiles and runs smooth and fine :-)

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Re: Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.209.78.20] on December 24, 2008 08:24 AM
emerge wesnoth # I had no troubles. I always feel like Gentoo is overlooked.

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: alvlin on December 24, 2008 11:25 AM
Great article, but of course it seems like the only ones commenting are already Slackware users :-D
Just wanted to comment that Linux 2.4 is not supported since 12.0, it was not dropped for this release as the text seems to infer.

There are just a few quirks in Slackware that I don't like very much, all of them related to the setup process. First of all: it is NOT nice that if you don't start with the ADDSWAP or TARGET section, you always get to some point in which you can't continue. the process is very simple, but it sucks having to follow it twice because you forgot which section you should start. And I have a really bad memory, I never remember the right first step (even when I have installed it like 10-15 times already :-D)
Second: If you go thru the cd/dvd drive detection, first time it will work. Second time it won't work, you need to start the setup program again
Third: a really nasty thing I have found when I installed 12.2, is that if you choose the full install (recommended) it will install the huge-smp kernel. This is not bad by itself, but the problem is that if you later want to change to the generic kernel, you'll find yourself in a problem: the MKINITRD program was NOT run by the setup process, so the generic kernel will not boot and you will have to create a new initrd image.

Anyway, a great distro and much less error-prone than Ubuntu, SuSE or PCLinux (which I have tried also).

Long life to Slackware!

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Re: Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.91.34.61] on December 24, 2008 02:13 PM
With slackware, it is ALWAYS a good idea to read the included documentation before installing it. The CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT file, in particular, is very helpful.

It states: "Use one of the provided generic kernels for daily use. Do not report
bugs until/unless you have reproduced them using one of the stock
generic kernels. You will need to create an initrd in order to boot
the generic kernels - see /boot/README.initrd for instructions."

By not making the initrd process part of the installation, Slackware users get a chance to customize which modules they want loaded when using one of the generic kernels.

Having said that, the nice thing about Slackware is that there aren't a lot of fatal errors. People should feel free to dig into the installation, setup, and various aspects of running Slackware. Pretty much any mistake can be recovered without needed to reinstall the whole thing.

The Slackware forum as Linuxquestions.org is the official support forum. The people there are top-notch, exceptionally helpful, and very friendly.

-Drew Ames

Regards,

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Re(1): Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: alvlin on December 25, 2008 12:31 AM
Of course, being a Slackware user for the past 5 years, I know that if it doesn't work ir must be because I did something wrong :-D
It was the first time I did a full install, before I always installed choosing package by package ('expert' installation) and never had a problem. IIRC, if you choose only a generic kernel to be installed the MKINITRD step will be included in the setup process. What I'm calling a "quirk" is the fact that this step will be skipped if you choose to install a huge kernel.
I'm a LinuxQuestions user, so I know the forums and I always look there for help

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.129.56.169] on December 24, 2008 04:33 PM
Decent review of Slackware.

I recently tried Fedora Core 10, SuSE 11.1 and Ubuntu Ibex and I must say they are "pretty" on the outside, once you get under the hood, they are a mess. Installing updates that break what was working in the first place, come on, reminds me of that other OS where on "Patch Tuesday" you fret about applying any fixes.

I installed Slackware 12.2 the day it was released and I was up and running with everything I needed in 2 1/2 hours, this included 3rd party apps from SlackBuilds. Doing a full install of the OS takes less than 30 minutes, rolling a new kernel about 25 minutes, the balance of the time for building 3rd party apps.

The one thing that I see over and over from users with Slackware issues is their failure to read the provided documentation. (I have been guilty of this too) It is imperative that one reads the provided documentation with any distro release. I guess it must be a "man thing" to just jump in right away and ask questions later.

One must be willing to learn, read and get there hands dirty at times if they choose this distro. If you wish to continue to point and click, use Ubuntu, Fedora or SuSE.

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Best Distro out there! Cheers! :-)

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 122.53.132.19] on December 24, 2008 06:00 PM
Let's make it more simple:

1. Best Distro for startup scripts (easy to manage/locate)
2. Best Distro for learning (the real problem is when there is no problem to solve)
3. Best Distro for stability (breaking it is another problem) :-)
4. Best Distro OVERALL (wtf! this should do!)

Thanks to PAT and the almighty SLACKWARE TEAM

actually, a day without slack then I'm on my back :-)

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 199.164.56.5] on December 24, 2008 06:15 PM
Have to agree, Slackware's reputation as 'not easy' is undeserved. Yes, you have to actually <gasp> configure things, but the config files are heavily commented with tips and explanations, so not only is it simpler than it sounds, but you end up learning something.

And the best part... once you're done, you won't ever do it again. Unlike those 'easy' distros that have you updating then fixing all the things broken by the update, Slackware puts out only security updates that are as easy as upgradepkg, and don't break things.

I'll take a couple hours of 'hard' anytime over days and weeks of fiddling with 'easy' to make it work.

And have to also agree with all the Slamd64 votes. Best 64 bit distro out- period.

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.75.101.59] on December 24, 2008 06:22 PM
I've been using Linux since 2002, have tried probably a dozen different distributions and haven't found anything that can even begin to compare to Slackware. If you're willing to do just a little reading (which, sadly, many aren't) and if you're open to working with a command line interface (again which, sadly, many aren't) then Slackware is a snap to install and use.

It's never ceased to amaze me that people will buy a DVD recorder or an MP3 player or something equivalent, then spend hours poring over manuals and reading online to become proficient in using the device, yet virtually no one is willing to learn the first thing about the computer they use every day. If it isn't spoon fed to them in GUI form then they don't have a clue, nor do they want one. I fully understand that not everyone needs or wants to become a computer expert, but a certain degree of competence is required to make use of anything equipped with more than an on/off switch.

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Brian Masinick on December 24, 2008 07:22 PM
Slackware was the first Linux distribution that I ever attempted to use - way back in 1995. I bought a book containing in depth details about how to install, configure, and use it. Before even attempting my first installation, I read many chapters, certainly the ones relevant to installation and configuration, highlighted, marked, or otherwise noted areas I thought would be particularly germane to my use, and then after some time, at least days, maybe even a week or two, I gave it my first try.

The software itself installed effortlessly, but configuring the X server was another matter. Since the version I was using came from a book, it was already dated. It turned out that back then, Diamond Stealth graphics cards had not been supported a year or two earlier. Therefore, the only way that I could get it going was to use 8 color VGA graphics. I used the sneakernet to get a driver, saved it on disk from a machine running UNIX at work, then brought it home. I got it going and had no further problems.

Today Slackware is much easier to set up, mostly because X is so much more automatic than it used to be. I believe that there have been a few minor changes in the installation itself to make it slightly easier to just install everything in the Slackware distribution. Veterans, of course, will do what they want.

Now to the question about Slackware and ease of installation, ease of management, and ease of use. From the standpoint of someone coming from a Windows background, there is no way that anyone is going to call Slackware "easy", but on the other hand, those who have never even given it a try are equally ignorant about its capabilities and possibilities. I would claim that even an ignorant installation has a reasonable chance of being successful. Most default responses are reasonable and well chosen. Nevertheless, Slackware is one distribution where it is far better to research it up front, then have the ability to get it to do precisely what you want it to do. With that kind of emphasis, Slackware is actually "easy" - it does not get in your way and "prevent" you from doing what you want, unlike a major proprietary desktop operating system that many of us have either moved away from or avoid whenever possible.

This all begs the question though. Is Slackware easy or not? I think that Susan was pretty accurate with her description. I would suggest that if you want a scared novice to run Slackware, install it for them. It is easy to use, but not the easiest system to figure out, unless you come from a classic UNIX and BSD background like I did. Anyone who is willing to read, study, and learn, though, will not have any problems at all getting Slackware up and running, and to them, it might be just the right thing.

Someone suggested sidux. It turns out that is my favorite system. However, once again, I would not hoist sidux on a scared novice, I would install it for them. sidux does not enable any non-free software. Like Slackware, it has great documentation and it is easy to follow the instructions to do anything with it, but beginners are not always great instruction followers. Sidux, to me, takes less time to maintain because it has so many great tools. Slackware is very flexible, because you can do whatever you want with it and it stays out of your way.

Button pushers are not best off with either Slackware or sidux. That's where something like Ubuntu comes in to the equation. To me, though, the distribution I really like that will work for a button pusher, yet it remains simple, yet extensible, is SimplyMEPIS. It makes the Debian experience easy, yet at the same time, you can get any and all Debian software on it, or in the extreme case, transform it into a true Debian system. That class of system is more what I would propose to the true beginner.

Nevertheless, Slackware's reputation of being challenging is a bit overstated. While not a button pushing kind of experience, Slackware can be tackled with relative ease by anyone willing to spend even an hour reading about it in the documentation before launching forward.

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A former MCSE's viewpoint on Slackware

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.172.26.6] on December 26, 2008 05:07 PM
Yup, I was an MCSE. Yup, anything that looked like UNIX scared the heck out of me. Yep, I've tried a lot of distros over the years.

Yep, my favorite is Slackware.

I heard over and over about how hard Slackware supposedly was. Being an MCSE, I figured, "what the hell?" and tried Slackware 8.1 on a laptop. The installer kinda reminded me of DOSSHELL (remember way back then?). But it really wasn't that hard to install or to use. Reason, the default desktop was KDE 3 (GNOME was still an option then), and all I had to do was type "startx". It was just like typing "win" at the DOS prompt to get Windows 3.1 going. I tweaked my ".bash_profile" file to do that automatically after login, just like I used to do with AUTOEXEC.BAT.

Configuring Slackware turned out not to be that hard, either. Maybe because I'd worked with the Windows ".ini" files and basic AUTOEXEC.BAT stuff before. But it still wasn't that hard at all. The hardest part was figuring out that "ever so easy" editor, VI. I did a little Googling and found out about Nano and started using that (I've since learned VI). Then things went smoothly.

The key to this is that I did what the Slackware Web site says you should do. I read the documentation. It's well written, and it's very helpful.

Now, would I put Aunt Tillie on Slackware? Probably not, unless it's an enterprise office. Reason, there's no easy "apt-get" or "yum" way to update your whole system. For my parents, I'd recommend something like Kubuntu. But I would recommend Slackware to a Microsoft sysadmin. It's easy as heck to tweak and it's even fun to do so! Yep, I use other distros, too, and I'm an RHCE. But my favorite is Slackware.

Hmm...so much for my MCSE...ah well, dead weight anyway. :-)

--SYG

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.8.81.34] on December 28, 2008 07:22 AM
yeah they say slackware is difficult...but lets say you want a minimal setup with fluxbox as the window manager. On Slackware, during install select Fluxbox, done. On Ubuntu install everything, get the updates, get the wireless working, now Synaptics install Fluxbox. Also install rcconf or bum so that you can turn off about 20 daemons. Also turn off Gdm so that you can end up at the shell prompt. Create a .xinitrc so that you can go into Fluxbox. And then type top -u (user) so you can see that there is still a lot of crap running in the background that will take work to disable. In the end, it is much faster to install Slackware, and you get the bonus of a more stable secure system.

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: cagalli on December 29, 2008 07:22 AM
We've been using Slackware for some time now at work, it's a great distro.

The package management could use dependency checking, but we manage fine without it though hehehe

KDE is nice but some apps really need gnome and it's libs (seem to have problems compiling some of the missing gnome libs...)

But all in all it still caters to our OS & application needs

[Modified by: cagalli on December 29, 2008 07:24 AM]

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 131.92.63.161] on December 29, 2008 04:51 PM
I think that Slackware has benefited more than most distros from the changes in the mainline kernel. I used to go with Zenwalk on my laptop because it was easier to set up and use, but since 12.1 I've had Slackware on that machine because the kernel does so much more out of the box. I know Pat Volkerding runs as low-key an operation as anybody out there, but it would be nice to see some publicity so people could connect the dots between the more-capable kernel and Slackware's utility. I also think Slackware could make a push into netbooks. It's faster than these "easy" distros, and comes with more than enough software for what most people seem to be doing with a netbook. If you're good with the basic install -- and really, the full install is overkill for a netbook -- slackpkg provides all the package management you need. Make Fluxbox the default window manager to maximize those small screens, add in a good selection of Firefox extensions music, ftp, etc., and bookmark Google docs. What more do you need?

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 115.73.30.80] on December 30, 2008 09:33 AM
I decided to give Slackware 12.2 a try half a month ago with a minimum install from CD1 then build up the system. It was challenging at first but now i love it. It's like your own system. all in all, it is not as HARD as people perceive, the people on #slackware 've been very friendly and helpful and slackbuilds.org is awesome. Oh there's also slackbasics.org ;)

Fresco20.com

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.103.186.156] on January 03, 2009 05:26 PM
Slackware is missing PAM. Although PAM has had many security issues I'd like to see it introduced. For the longest time I loved slackware but integrating it with a Windows domain for authentication is next to imposable. Slax a take off of Slackware is the easiest distro to modify a bootable CD to do simple tasks. Slackware is an awesome distro but needs a little work.

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 87.78.23.110] on January 05, 2009 12:57 AM
"easier way for some is to run startx as root"

Please, don't recommend that. Running a graphical environment is the second last thing you want to do as a superuser, beside running a browser. If you can bare fdisk, you shouldn't mind adduser.

Anyway, nice article. I agree it's not that hard if it's well described what to do. The biggest hurdle here really is that a user exposed to a pure console may feel intimidated by the literal darkness surrounding him. Most people I know who aren't console experienced are able to execute commands if I guide them but simply don't feel comfortable on their own.

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Will Slackware still be around 3-5 years from now?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 125.60.172.178] on January 11, 2009 09:17 AM
What I'm wondering is that if all these other new distros were around back in the early 90s, would I have bothered to try out Slackware and learnt the joy of using it?

Slackware does present a steep learning curve, but once you are over it and know the *true* innards of Linux system, it gets easier to figure out a whole range of things. TODAY'S LINUX DISTROS ARE LIKE WINDOWS. They hide everything in the name of user friendliness, but at the same time prevent you from learning the stuff you need to in order to understand what has gone wrong in a system. In the early days, that was the whole point of using Linux as opposed to Windows. Now the focus is on Linux as the poor man's version of Windows.

While I certainly don't disagree with this focus, I just hope that distros like Slackware still continue to flourish and increase their following. These new distros may be great for those new to Linux, but for old timers and gurus, their "user-friendly" features are just a way of postponing the need to actually learn a Linux system's guts. I think once you become a Slackware fan, you always stay a fan.

The great thing with Linux is you have a choice: a Windows-style "friendly" experience, while the hardcore, pick-at-the-guts-directly experience is still there for those who want/need it (by using a distro like Slackware).

We have a couple of Slackware related tutorials here: http://www.neotitans.com/resources/linux/




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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.245.145.120] on January 16, 2009 11:17 AM
it is NOT nice that if you don't start with the ADDSWAP or TARGET section, you always get to some point in which you can't continue. the process is very simple, kral oyunlar kraloyun http://www.oyunlive.com kral oyun Configuring Slackware turned out not to be that hard, either. Maybe because I'd worked with the Windows ".ini" files and basic AUTOEXEC.BAT stuff before. But it still wasn't that hard at all. The hardest part was figuring out that "ever so easy" editor, VI. I did a little Googling and found out about Nano and started using that (I've since learned VI). Then things went smoothly.

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Revised Slackware keeps it simple

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.205.200.203] on January 19, 2009 08:53 PM
I've been using Slackware since 1994. You can create your own install configuration files. Simply mark yes or no on every question. Back then it could take several hours, so I appreciated not having to babysit the computer.

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