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139 posts

Master Geek

# 40963 7-Sep-2009 20:24
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Just curious, are any Geekzoners out there using Slackware, and if so, what for?
Slackware has now hit version 13.0, released late last month, have been using Slack since about 2.0 in 1996.
Tried many others, Ubuntu, Suse, Caldera, and quite a few others along the way, but Slack just works.
Used here on dual boot desktop machine and also lives happily in a VM on Vista lappie.
Any thoughts, comments?

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Hawkes Bay
8477 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 253864 7-Sep-2009 21:00
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Havent used Slack since about 1997!!

Might have to have a peek.

Go Hawks!
945 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 253868 7-Sep-2009 21:12
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I cut my teeth on Slackware - but I was a convert to Debian due to the package management (and things "just worked").

I imagine that the last time I used slackware would have been somewhere about 1996.

I figure I'm more likely to go the FreeBSD route, rather than try slackware again


139 posts

Master Geek

  # 253873 7-Sep-2009 21:39
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Yeah, I hear you about package management, long been a critique of Slack, but often found that lack of dependancy checking is actually a positive, and a lot of times, it's just as easy to build from source, assuming of course that libs and gcc are up to date :)
And the BSD style init scipts make going the way of FreeBSD etc pretty straightforward, guess it is not for nothing that Slack has a rep for being a most "Unix-like" Linux distro.
For the interested, check out the release notes for v13.o
If you don't mind the text based install, pretty easy to get it installed, then configure X and edit inittab to start it with GUI of your choice if needed... Prefer a shell prompt at startup here, doesn't take long to type "startx"...
And last but not least, Slack ships with a vanilla kernel that supports most common devices, then you can go roll your own kernel to suit own environment - no distro-specific tweaks, just the source from

Go Hawks!
945 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 253886 7-Sep-2009 21:59
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Building from source means also waiting for the packages to compile - if you've got a lot of machines (or lots of virtual machines) and not a lot of grunt, then waiting for compilation can be a pain.

Text mode installs ... work. The GUI is nice for a desktop, but for a server, is it really required? (This assumes you actually know what you're doing rather than bluffing with a GUI)

Having said that, I'm yet to have a problem compiling any specific code under debian - including the kernel.

I appreciate Slackware for the most "Unix-like" - but have found that debian fits the bill (mostly).

Of course, if you're lazy like I am, install pdmenu - then you don't even need to type "startx" to get into Xwindows... ;-)

1480 posts

Uber Geek

  # 253972 8-Sep-2009 09:35
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Last time I played with Slackware was in about 92 when I was at UWE .. we had a server there hosting the install images and other "stuff" (say hello if you remember :-) Remember hours of "fun" copying lots of floppies to take home and then finding out the hard way that floppy "K" had a bad sector ... aaaarrrgggghhhh!!!! :-)

Slackware is certainly one of the old men of distros .. shame it's not as popular anymore, certainly a good vintage :-)


Professional yak shaver
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  # 254336 9-Sep-2009 13:43
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I started using Slackware back when I got 3.4 from CDBytes or something like that in the US. Used for quite sometime, but then converted to Ubuntu when I started working with multiple servers. Management is easier now.

Lives in my heart, though.

"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." - Doc Emmet Brown

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Wannabe Geek

# 254342 9-Sep-2009 13:49
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yeah it is boring to do i know . it is cause i d it and plus im a paramedic


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  # 254422 9-Sep-2009 17:12
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Although I use debian for day-to-day work I have Backtrack loaded on a USB Drive for liveUSB purposes. Backtrack is actually very good and runs loosely on Slackware AFAIK. Problem with slackware is the lack of repositories - there aren't any decent apps! Although I could be looking in the wrong place...... (I don't use it often!)

3000 posts

Uber Geek


  # 254441 9-Sep-2009 17:34
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Slackware handles my "teething" with linux very well and it's one of the longest distro's to stick around, I have had a server running it stably for a good number of years now, I really must upgrade her to something newer (twin p3 tualitn)

I use Fedora and Knoppix otherwise and of course, Windows XP still as my primary OS simply because of the amount of applications and games I use on it.

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