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GNU is Not Unix

Slackware Updates 101

Joey Lawrance wrote to us with an updated announcement from the fine folks from Slackware with the news that the wait is over: slackware-current has been updated with the 2.2.14 kernel, XFree86 3.3.6, and a few minor fixes.' Kudos to Patrick Volkerding [?] and the Slackware team.
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Slackware Updates

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Insightful ... nah. BSD inits a disadvantage in what way pooky?

    Slack has had access to glibc since 4.0 and when glibc became stable enough to use it was one of the main features of 7.0.

    Slak Rules Really ... you'll find it is dedicated to being really stable and that's why the latest thing (including the very broken glibc as it was) will prolly not be there till' it's solid.

    CC who quit his account cause this place is now 80% windows users ;).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    >So yes, Slackware uses glibc2

    And, as an even better fact, they waited until the last moment (Slack 7) to release a fully Glibc2 version. That's good - glibc2 wasn't ready for primetime (according to it's authors) for a long time after most all distros switched to it - except Slackware, which in the name of stability stuck with (stable) libc5 until the glibc2 pressures overwhelmed them. :-)

    Keep up the good work, slackware people! I love slackware. So easy to customize, it's like building something from lego!
  • Here at work we're branching slackware as it is and interest has been raised in obtaining alphas to port to so we can provide ourselves with more rock solid servers even if our customers want x86 with redhat.

    The reason we're actually branching slack internally is that we dont use sendmail at all. nor do we want wu-ftpd on the systems at all. With this by default inetd is turned off as is rpc and just about everything that isnt started by its own rc.blah included in its own package. I still have to work out how i could configure the host name in the various configs during setup as sed and awk arnt guarenteed to be working.

    I love the package format too. Its alot easier to deal with makepkg (front end to tar) than it is to deal with .spec files and arcane rpm options.
  • ZipSlack oopsing in /dev is a kernel bug, if I remember correctly... Compile the latest kernel, that should fix it.

    --
  • "It's a pity it's only x86... I would really love to have a comparable distro for my Alphas :-)"


    So why don't you port it? I'm sure it can't be /that/ hard. Just GCC some source files on your alpha and bingo! :-> Makes me wish I had a alpha, I might try if i had a few 100 hours to spare.

  • "Seems like slackware
    has the same exact interface when I first used it like 5 years ago.. "


    And you think this is a bad thing? Why mess up a good thing.

  • Well, I started with Slackware back in '95 because it came free with a very big book (Que Special Edition Using Linux 1st ed.)

    I've stuck with it ever since having looked at RedHat because Slackware is relatively easy to set up (the set up program _is_ good) and very easy to reconfigure/frob with onece you've got it up and running.

    Being a cantankerous old git I am very suspicious of RedHat's new-fangled (in those days) .rpm packages and it's very strange package manager. I prefer .tgz

    In my experience, rpm's are a bit cumbersome (I think they expect to find dynamic libraires in certain [redhat-default?] directories instead of just letting ld get on with it).

    I like the way the packages in Slackware are split up into categories, there are loads of HOWTO's etc, you get many window managers, Gnome, KDE nowadays, many apps etc.

    The versions of gcc supplied and the dynamic libraries are all pretty rock-solid and mature.

    Most of the default configuration files are "right" etc.

    The distro just "feels good", it's uncomplicated, it's flexible, it's solid and I find it easy to install and maintain.

    Best of all, the GPL'd version (2 CD's) does just about everything you want.
  • Great to see an improvement.... even though we don't see the improvement.
  • Ehhh, hundreds of files and symlinks, what are you smoking.

    I might have to ask you the same question. this is not meant to start a flame war, just to be a little informative.

    I can't say anything because I don't know your experience with Slackware, but I have used it since '96.

    I'm not really sure what symlinks you are talking about because Slackware doesn't really use them in it's init scripts. RedHat/SuSe/etc seem to use a lot more, especially with the whole init.d symlink thing. Slackware init is very simple:

    rc.S - Startup Initialization
    rc.K - when going into runlevel 1
    rc.M - when going into multi-user run levels
    rc.4 - if you use xdm/gdm/kdm
    rc.6 - for reboot/halt
    rc.0 - the ONLY symlink I can find. it points to rc.6 for logical reasons...

    rc.inet1 - for bringing up lo and eth0
    rc.inet2 - for bringing up services
    rc.modules - for loading modules
    rc.local - for anything else you want to start up.

    and just for conversion purposes
    rc.sysvinit - to start any SysV init scripts you
    might bring with you if you change.

    I dunno, but to me this is much more simple than init.d symlink'ing to a bunch of other scripts and having six rcX.d scripts...

    btw, that *dialog* based install doesn't require 32MB of RAM for installation like Mandrake and RedHat.

    I'm sure however that it is all a matter of opinion :)
  • It's very nice... learned the isntaller like..5-6 years ago and i don't have to learn it again =)

    another thing is that i feel choaked when i am not in a Slackware distro or FreeBSD =)... oh well... maybe it's just me =)... (sitting on my brand new laptop using slackware 7 now... works like a charm as always hehe)
  • The memory issue is key. I recently installed Slack on an old 386 I am using as a small server on my home network since it only had 8 MB of RAM. The Redhat installer needs more to run, and there's no way to get it to turn on the swap partition while it is running.

    I started with slack 3.0 back in 96, but eventually moved to redhat for the upgradability. This is the biggest stumbling block as far as I'm concerned. You can't up grade the entire diistribution like you can in RedHat. You have to either constantly upgrade pakage by package, or reinstall. Sure, the REdhat upgrades don't always go smoothly, but they always work eventually.

  • Pan [superpimp.org]

    As an ex-Windows user I have been running Forte Agent with wine for some time. But Pan has just about reached the point now where it replicates almost every feature of Agent that I liked, and introduces some new ones I like even more (such as very easy filtered display of news items). Bye bye Agent... just as I was getting out of Usenet.

    Just bear in mind that you need to have GNOME installed to build and run it. However, you don't need to be running GNOME as your 'desktop' in order to run Pan.

  • I use Slackware as a desktop OS as well as a server OS (2 machines).
    Slack 7.0 has many of the latest Window Managers and Gnome and KDE should you want them. I only use WindowMaker so I can't comment on whether they have the latest versions of the above.

    I tried Suse on the desktop machine for a while, but completely and utterly failed to get it to start any different services on boot despite following everything it said to the letter.
    I had only tried it for glibc which Slack 7 now has anyway.

    I can't see myself running another dist ever again.
    Hmmmm, except for Debian perhaps... :-)
  • The ONLY reason people think that Slack is hard to set up is because it is text/menu based and you have to use the keyboard instead of a mouse. The setup is so well explained that many people get it up and running on the first try, often quicker than RedHat.
  • What in God's name would you update in the installer? The graphics, just to make it prettier, slow it down, kill the stability? The documentation, because its too well spelled out and you really don't have to guess at anything? Make it so you HAVE to use a mouse instead of the keyboard?

    Slack's installer is as close to perfection that I think I have seen...
  • I've been using my LinkSys EtherFast 10/100 since Slack 4.0. You just need to get the drivers from www.linksys.com.

    The reason that Slack will never be a 'desktop OS' is because it is too easy. Its quick, really stable, and depending on the wm/dm too damn intuitive. People wouldn't know what to do if they didn't have to wait for the machine, watch it crash, etc.
  • I agree. RedHat is a pile of dung. RedHat does teach ONE thing about admining... how to update the multitudes of security patches that get released because of using undertested software packages. Now I wonder how many RH users actually do that though...
  • That, and the fact that the clueless kept asking him 'when he was going to upgrade to Linux 6.0'. Its a marketing ploy that RedHat started, and it succeeded, and Pat had to give in to it.
  • I don't believe there IS an .iso image for slackware-current. I believe the guys at slackware only release .iso images for full CD releases. The latest .iso would be the one for Slackware-7.0.
  • I hope they don't, because that will be the day I stop using slackware....... Hmmm maybe start a distro of my own...

    Count me in!
  • Slackware rocks the earth!

    My exact thoughts. However, there are advantages to a ftp install - and I would really have appreciated it a while back, when I put Slack on a bunch of old machines, that barely had enough room for the install itself, but were all on a fast connection.. And I didn't have the resources for a NFS install.
  • Take a peek inside the sources directory of the Slackware tree. You'll see a bunch of SlackBuild scripts inside each directory, all you have to do is run the script on your alpha, it will untar the source into a directory in /tmp, patch all necessary files, build the package and conveniently put it into a slackware package, also in /tmp.

    The only thing requiring any effort I can think of off the top of my head would be the kernel and modules, you're going to have to tweak the sources.
  • My earlier post on Slack on the Alpha applies here.

    Building all the packages is in fact trivial, although it's quite time consuming.
  • Three simple words: readable start-up scripts!
    Slackware doesn't use a silly configuration tool with umpteen configuration files to keep the settings...
    It has a limited number of start-up scripts which are pretty straight-forward, so that you can customize them easily at your situation.


    Amen! Probably one of the things I hate the most about RedHat, and love about Slackware, is that I can actually manually edit my rc.d files, instead of trying to wade through a mess of millions of redirecting scripts trying to figure out whether or not a service will start.

    To be fair, through, I was very impressed with the newest RedHat's installation procedure. But it's just not something that I, personally need. I prefer the text-based menus.
  • About 2 years ago I built a nice webserver/telnet server platform for my game system on a bootable 96MB Zip disk. It had room for several large games and a few thousand users.

    I've run Slackware on my main development box at home since 8/95. ;)
  • The first Linux I installed was Slackware based on the 1.0.8 kernel. I've since upgraded that box to something more, erm, recent.

    Those were the days... I first installed a 0.99 something based Slackware. I had to download the floppies with a 2400 modem from a shell account with a 2mb quota that allowed me one hour a day (translation: I could only get one disk per day)... It took me a a few days before I had the base install. I couldn't do much with it other than boot and play around on the comand line, but was I ever excited about it...

  • If RedHat had numbered it's releases the same way Slakware used to, they'd still be on version 3.x or 4.x.

    That's exactly the problem, IMHO.. Look at some other distributions and operating systems, and you'll see that they don't need artifically inflated version numbers - Debian is still 2.x, FreeBSD is still 3.x, as is OpenBSD.. and none of these seem to have problems with users wanting a higher version number, from what I see. :)
    --

  • Makes you an oldhat next to me--I had an Infomagic CDrom--April 93 I think--I had to drive over to the guy's house to get it. He also sold me his (annotated) copy of UNIX in a Nutshell and guided me through my first kernel compile when I called him up not knowing how to switch virtual consoles. Turns out I was saying RtAlt+F1 instead of LtAlt+F1. Ah, those were the days. Very patient guy by the name of Matt Walsh. No, not that one.

    I do remember when a Linux distro was first made available on ExecPC. Didn't feel like paying all that money to D/L it long distance at 2400bps.

    --

  • I'm not really up-to-date with the current state of BSD ports that are running on the Alpha architecture. But I'm surely willing to give it a go: in the end, all I want are stable and secure machines in production.

    If you have any pointers, I would very much appreciate it if you could contact me on bram_at_e-wareness_dot_be.

    Thanks.


    Okay... I'll do the stupid things first, then you shy people follow.

  • I have the reverse problem...

    I have a number of Alpha machines in production, currently running Debian, and I would love to have the BSD-style rc.d system on these...

    Does anyone have experience with this?
    Okay... I'll do the stupid things first, then you shy people follow.

  • I've used slakware since..well at least early
    1994 (i recently stumbled on an early 1.1.x
    kernel). The best part of slakware is, for me,
    its stability (no I'm not talking about the
    kernel). Everything works, all the time. You
    pay a price for being on the bleeding edge of
    every distro of c libraries and the like. I
    would much rather be a little behind and not
    be pulling out whats left of my hair trying to
    figure out why things dont compile or work the
    way they should.

    A close second is that slak follows very closely
    traditional unix and hence you have access to a
    lot of books not just written for redhat linux.

  • Yup, I'm a fan of WindowMaker for a lot of the same reasons. I also respect the design behind it. I think a GUI should be completely self-sustaining, i.e. no editing the configuration file, you should be able to do it all within the GUI itself. Furthermore, I like the way it uses what little desktop space it does take up. No taskbar, no root menu, unless and until you summon them with a mouse click.
  • > While I don't think I'd ever consider using Slackware as a "desktop" OS

    Well, putting aside some people's arguments that Linux isn't ready for the desktop, Slackware is as ready as any. It ships with recent KDE and Gnome builds, as well as Windowmaker, enlightenment, Afterstep, right on down to fvwm2 and the ubiquitous twm. It's no more or less suited to desktop action than any other Linux.
  • I've been using Slackware since 1996. I personally think it is a great OS, and would like to use it on some of my Sun hardware at work. So, my big question is: What would I have to do to make Slackware run on my Suns? How hard is this for someone who isn't a programmer? Is there a FAQ or HOWTO somewhere that could help me out?

    If it is just a matter ot sitting down and recompiling EVERYTHING, then putting it all on media and making a way to boot it, then I can probably do it. And who knows... Maybe I'll learn something in the process! :-)
  • NFS is a great install method, and I use it almost every time I set up a new machine. I don't have a CD-ROM for every PC at work/home!

    I might be setting up a mirror for Slackware as soon as my business DSL account gets set up and I'm online... I may even allow NFS installs from the site.

  • Um, last time I checked, Slackware was a distribution of Linux, with no more of a direct relationship to the GNU organization than any of the other Linux disributions. So how come this story was filed under the category of "GNU", not "Linux"? Stories involving all the other distros get filed under "Linux"...

    My theory is that Slashdot is doing this in an attempt to pacify Richard M. "GNU/Linux" Stallman. "Look Richard, we're so appreciative of the work GNU has put into free UNIX utilities that we did a story about Linux, and we filed it under GNU!"

    Just my two cents.

    Abe

  • IIRC, Slackware's "mission statement" is to be the most Unix-like of all the Linuxes. To what extent they fulfill that, I'm not sure since I haven't played with BSD too much. Now if they could only update the installer... But that would make it less Unix-like, wouldn't it? ;)

    My reason for using Slackware is that the configuration is really nice, with all the rc.? files in one spot, unlike in Red Hat.

  • When I first got Linux a few years ago it was a fight b/w people for me to go redhat or slackware. I eventually went red hat because of support w/ books etc. However -- what are the advantages to slackware? Btw -- yey
  • I've had the exact same problem. After i made some rc.1-6 directories etc, and got the kernel right (i think), and VMWare acually loaded, when i configured it and pushed power it tryed my fd0, complained about a drive door not being closed (with an OK button, not OK/Cancel), then procedes to lock my system, solid. Have to hit the reset button, and needless to say fsck takes forever on that drive (its a tad large :)

    Anyone using slackware7 who has gotten VMWare working who wouldnt mind emailing me some info on how you got it working? (from tar zxf-ing the package, to pushing the power button and it booting :) Or better yet, their Promise ATA66 card working in windows or linux...

    I love slackware, its the only distro i've tryed, mainly because i didnt have a supported cd-rom for my 486 (weee, funky sound card cdrom...) so i made a Slackware Stack-O-Floppies (See Also: my sig), and it installed the first time. I though the install was the best thing i'd seen, text based, and doesnt try to config _everything_ at once. That was in the 4.0 days...now i have 4.0 on that machine (no monitor, it runs like a rock) and can SSH to do all the configuration i need to. Then i ordered the Slack7 cd from cheapbytes and got it installed in minutes (using the full no prompting install :) I assumed itwould take half an hour or so (woops, win98) so i called my girlfriend...it was finished before i could even get her on the line :) Slackware all the way baby :)

    Erase
  • They have the right idea.. If they could actually get stuff released when they say, that's another story.

    Besides, if Slackware numbered _their_ versions like everyone else, they'd be on about Slackware 28 by now.
  • Slackware's configuration is its major problem. It is hardly obvious that '/etc/rc.d/rc.modules' contains the sound-card configuration, or that '/etc/rc.d/rc.M' contains as much networking as '/etc/rc.d/rc.inet', or that a load of other silly files scattered in '/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/.....' contain the X setup.

    On the other hand, Slackware will install on any machine. For example, X doesn't support the S3 Trio3D properly, but will detect it and load a buggy driver. In Red Hat, Caldera and Mandrake, this will cause the system to completely crash either during the install or when it first boots up. The Slackware system doesn't attempt to get X working until everything else is installed and working, and it allows someone with appropriate experience to fix it up (e.g., using the X/FBDev driver).

    I first used Slackware almost 5 years ago (downloaded it on a 14400 modem!). The installation hasn't changed very much since then, unlike RedHat (which seems to redesign it every major release). The Slackware installation (and the FreeBSD instalation) is comparatively primitive, but people seem to forget the installation should only have to be done /once/.

  • Slackware 4.0 had only glibc runtime support, everything was compiled at libc5. However, Slackware 7 is *completely* glibc 2.1.2 based. It has libc5 there only for compatibility with older binaries. Version 7 also comes with GNOME and KDE so you can choose between either desktop. It even comes with rpm. In my opinion, this makes Slackware 7 just as good as Redhat.
  • Are there really peopel otu there running *nix who don't split up their disks that way? I usually set up a new *nix in one big slice so i can use df to check the actual disk usage and then reinstall with appropriate /, /usr, /var, /tmp, /home and swap slices. AFAIK, this is the classic, correct procedure. I haven't used any of the new Linux installers recently, since I've converted to NetBSD for most of my boxes, but don't they set up the slices automagically now?
  • Okay, guys, I'll just have to try Slackware when I'm mucking around with setting up a desktop Linux box again.

    I do have a confession to make, though. The biggest reason I haven't switched over to Linux as a desktop operating system is because... I use MacOS! Yep, a Slackware box and NiftyTelnet (and the latest netatalk+asun afpd) was the best upgrade I ever got for my PowerMac. When I find an X newsreader that is as convienent to use and stable as NewsWatcher, and proper Japanese language support, then I'll switch.
  • Well, one of the main advantages of slackware, in my experience, is that the base install feels more like unix than that of redhat. Now, of course, with customization, redhat can be configured to feel more like unix. This is based on my install of RH 6.0. I haven't really worked much with a release of RH since 6.0. Older versions of RH have a different look and feel to them than the newer versions.
  • I use SuSE, so I'm probably not so biased. I agree that Slackware is a very good system, and rumours of it being difficult to set up are greatly exagerated.

    Slackware was the first version of Linux that I managed to install, and it caused no problems at all.

    The only reason I don't use it is that SuSE 6.3 was available off the shelf at the local computer shop and Slackware wasn't.
  • ...where foo is the directory you want the package unpacked relative to, I presume? Thanks! {sheepish look} I was a bit lazy in researching that. It was just simpler and quicker to use tar.

    removepkg is great for stuff you've put in with installpkg; the cruft I was referring to would be associated with stuff I simply untarred. I wonder if there's a way to track a 'make install' so that it can be removed later. (In many cases, 'make uninstall would work, but not if you've rm'd the source dir...)

    Some packages will put a binary in, say, /usr/local/bin but insist on installing the rest of the stuff there in the /usr/src/foo/. Would one edit the Makefile to change this?

    One note: I was in no way trying to put Slackware down. In the hands of an expert, it can be formidable. In the hands of an intermediate, such as myself, well, results are mixed. :) However, I've learned a great deal more about my system, I think, than if I'd gone with another distribution that provides a GUI front-end for everything -- you know, the whole "path of least resistance" thing. (Which is why I'm only partially competent in vi and just now starting to learn emacs. pico is too easy to pass up...)

    --

  • However -- what are the advantages to slackware?
    One thing that turned me on to it when I started with Linux last fall was ZipSlack [slackware.com]. A .zip file ~40 megs, it was an easy download. It uses a UMSDOS filesystem and is quite featureful; it is a fairly complete system with development tools, etc (no X, though, obviously). It was designed to be put (and fit) on a Zip disk, and after you divide your disk with fips, it can easily be cp'd to a type 83 FS.

    Incidentally, something similar is BigSlack (on the same page as ZipSlack). It is a mostly (as opposed to fairly) complete system, including a pre-configured X. It also uses a UMSDOS filesystem (a la Phat Linux [phatlinux.com]), and the above statements about moving it also apply. It weighs in a little heavier, though; around 800 megs. But, obviously, you don't have to repartition or anything if you don't want to.

    Let's see -- more stuff. Slackware is often considered to be a hacker's paradise because it imposes few restrictions on you, and I've heard it said that this is a sweet distribution if you like to roll your own binaries. And (like most Linuxes) it's highly customizable. FWIW, it uses BSD-style init scripts, but it also fakes SysV for those programs that insist on it.

    Downsides: "Slackware package management" (that's an oxymoron, right?) is a joke. There are utilities like installpkg and pkgtool, but these are just scripts with an (n)curses-based front-end (as are the installation and configuration programs). What else? Installpkg insists on unpacking your tarballs relative to root, unless (I think) you have a certain $ENV_VAR set. I didn't bother to figure it out, so if I decide to remove some of the stuff I put in, I'll have a hell of a time tracking down all the cruft. (Yes, it My Own Damn Fault.) RPM is thrown in there, but I tried it on an .rpm I downloaded (couldn't get a tarball) and it choked and refused to run because it couldn't find some database-type (I assume) file it needed. So I used the rpm2tgz utility. And for some odd reason, the kernel would oops and dump core in ZipSlack 7.0 whenever I hit the /dev directory (while trying to copy it over or even a simple 'ls /dev'). (4.0 didn't do this.) Could be my hardware, but I don't know.

    A little disclaimer: Slackware is the only distro I've used so far. I've been thinking of taking Debian (potato, after it's stable) or SuSE for a spin, but I haven't yet. ("Plan to throw one away" applies here, right? {g})

    Overall, I'd say it has a very fun feel. And it seems that Pat V.'s taking it a little more seriously (if that's the right word -- professionally, maybe?) now, with a separate directory for updates to slackware-current, security updates and mailing lists for same, etc. And 7.0 was upgraded to one of the latest glibc2's, whereas 4.0 labored along with libc5. Take it for a spin. Put it on a spare or development box and play around with it. I consider this one to be nice to learn on, if you're a computer nerd like me. IMO, this Linux is not going to be the "Linux for the desktop," but as a hacker's distribution, it's pretty cool.

    --

  • No way, the BSD init scripts that slackware uses are a mess. RedHat/SuSe/Debian all use sysV style init scripts and for a good reason.

    Ehhh, hundreds of files and symlinks, what are you smoking.

    in /etc/init.d you have all available services, then you symlink to these from the prefered runlevel /etc/rcX.d. is that so hard?

    One other thing with slackware is that it *still* doesn't have textutils 2.x.

    And don't get me started on that "dialog" based install
  • Couldn't agree more.... I didn't put the easy part between quotes for nothing ;-)

    Grtz, Jeroen

  • It ships with recent KDE and Gnome builds, as well as Windowmaker, enlightenment, Afterstep, right on down to fvwm2 and the ubiquitous twm.

    twm rocks!!!! It is the fastest, most easy to install and maintain window manager I have ever seen (except from having xinit start a xterm instead of a wm ;-)

    Grtz, Jeroen

  • Although sometimes I wish it used SysV init, I'm not installing many services, and I can do well enough just editing rc.local. SysV init just seems to be an excuse for distros like Red Hat to start up every service they can think of. And IMHO, most people DON'T need fscking sendmail running!

    I hope they don't, because that will be the day I stop using slackware....... Hmmm maybe start a distro of my own.....

    Grtz, Jeroen

  • No ones exports slackware via nfs so its a total pain in the ass to install..

    I use nfs for all my installs on cdrom-less systems (I only have one cdrom drive at the moment....)

    Seems like slackware has the same exact interface when I first used it like 5 years ago.

    Nice isn't it?????

    Grtz, Jeroen

  • slackware 7.0 has a script called rc.sysvinit, airc, and uncommenting it and adding rc.X directories to the rc.d directory allowed the automatic vmware installation script to install properly - it does everthing perfectly, except for shutdown - it dosn't terminate running virtual machines - but it's not a big deal if you actually exit vmware before restarting! -
  • I really don't understand why we all, Linux adepts and soldiers, still waste our time discussing "oh, my Red Hat version is better than your Slack version..." or follish-like discussions.

    Let's improve this "division" inside Linux community and work for a even better core-stuff in Linux itself (not this or that distribution). Let's apply some thinking to this stupi discussion of who is the best one.

  • (I posted the AC post - wasn't logged in)

    Yeah, I guess I am just sore because I can't get high speed net access where I am, so I couldn't care less if FTP install was in slackware or not. :-)

    Buuut, thinking about it, if you want to install it that way (though the net), you could always ask someone else you know on cable modem/fast net conneciton to export via NFS a slackware CD for you. Of course, that means you have to be lucky enough to find someone who would be willing to do that (might be a pinch).

    Oh well... Too bad. Time to go to the store and get that awesome Walnut Creek distro /w metalab and tsx archives (as well as Slackware 7). :-)

    I have installed RedHat and Corel Linux. Both installers were just as smooth as Slackware's, but still, Slackware's menus just seem more "user freindly" to me. Maybe that is just because the menu system is so similar to the one you get with "make menuconfig" for the kernel (probably they both use the same libraries? I'm no master programmer, either).
  • Think about installing a BSD on your alphas. I prefer Slackware over any other Linux (started out on Yggdrasil back in '93, quickly switched to Slack). But I also prefer BSD to any Linux.

    And it's great that we have so many options to choose from, so don't think that I'm slamming your choice.
  • It seems from my limited experience (and yes, I want to always learn, so if I am wrong I hope I'll be corrected!) like you would have to build all the packages, then wrap them up in the .tgz files, before you could do the classic Slackware install onto your system. In other words, if you wanted to blaze the trail, which will NOT be a trivial task, then everyone else would have Slack/Sparc. I don't see any shortcut for you to arrive at a working system.

    If you like the feel of Slack, why not install NetBSD [netbsd.org] on your Sparc hardware? NetBSD is good stuff, and the install has a concise feel to it, much like a Slackware install.
  • There's another possibility as well. If it's something I think I may want to remove (or put onto another computer), I extract the source tarbal into /usr/src and run ./configure and make. Then I run ./configure --prefix=/tmp/[Program Name] to install it into a directory under tmp. (Note that some packages, like WINE, require that you use --prefix=/tmp/wine/usr/local or something similar.)
    After I've re-./configured the source I do a make install. It then puts the files into /tmp/[Program Name]/... but they are compiled to think they go in /...
    I then change to the /tmp/[Program Name] and run makepkg [Program Name].tgz and it makes a Slackware tarball file. I can then run installpkg [Program Name].tgz and if I later want to remove it, all I have to do is run removepkg.
    I do it this way because I have three system running Slackware and I want the same program on each of them. Another option is to use installpkg -m [Program Name] which takes the current directory tree /tmp/[Program Name]/... and installs it, also putting the files that it's installing into the package log to later be removed if you want.

    I've been using Slackware since 96 and have tried Redhat, Mandrake, and Turbo Linux, but I keep going back to Slackware. The other distributions were nice in their ways, but I like the Brute Force simplicity of Slackware. I am in the process of trying Debian and Suse and Corel Linux, just to see what they're like.

    May the Source be with you...
    -- Unix Wars
  • Sure, go to ftp://ftp.freesoftware.c om/pub/slackware/slackware-current [freesoftware.com] and look for the .iso (There should be 2, an install and a source.)

    May the Source be with you... --Unix Wars

  • Here here!

    I run Slackware at home on everyting from an old 386 laptop with 4mb of RAM right up to an AMD K6-2 450 desktop machine runnig StarOffice. I have always got on well with slack - it gives stellar performance on a high end machine and does not clog up my hard disc with stuff i will never use.

    Superb - Keep up the good work Patrick!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >How about adding FTP install as an install method?

    Isn't it easier just to ftp the stuff the normal way to another server, then export NFS over your local network? You know, being that the net is up/down all the time - at least with a FTP download you can start it over again, without problems, using FTP setup to setup your system, I don't know what the consequences of a broken netlink would be (probably have to begin setup all over again?).

    (Note, I'm no expert on FTP installs, so if I'm wrong, correct me. :-)

    >No ones exports slackware via nfs so its a total pain in the ass to install.

    Yeah, so really difficult... :-)

    Get stuff from ftp site.
    Burn to cdrom/export to NFS.

    Insert disk.
    Power on.
    Push enter at lilo prompt.
    Put in other disk.
    Push enter.
    fdisk /dev/xyz
    work fdisk to your hearts content
    setup
    chose swap/destination/*
    chose full
    wait....
    setup up the basics.
    exit
    Remove disks.
    reboot.

    * - Normally chose cdrom, but if you want NFS, do this before starting setup:

    mkdir /in
    ifconfig eth0 www.xxx.yyy.zzz
    mount -t nfs www.xxx.yyy.zzz:/blah/slakware /in

    then chose "user defined mountpoint" or something similar.

    Easy as cake...

    >Seems like slackware has the same exact interface when I first used it like 5 years ago.

    Like a good wine, Slackware's vintage of interface ages well.

    Hey, this isn't a flame, this is a "distro war". Even more fun!

    Slackware rocks the earth!
  • Personally, I enjoy the rc.d scripts right where they are in Slackware, but that's why there are different distros - everyone has different tastes and needs. Chacon son gout...

    As for glibc, I just did:

    # cd /bin
    # ldd *

    and I got:

    [snip]
    touch:
    libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x4001c000)
    /lib/ld-linux.so.2 => /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x40000000)
    umount:
    libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x4001c000)
    /lib/ld-linux.so.2 => /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x40000000)
    uname:
    libcrypt.so.1 => /lib/libcrypt.so.1 (0x4001c000)
    libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x40049000)
    /lib/ld-linux.so.2 => /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x40000000)

    ..etc.

    So yes, Slackware uses glibc2 :) It also says so on their site http://www.slackware.com [slackware.com] if you scroll down and read the news about Slack 7.0.

    Woz
  • IMO, this Linux is not going to be the "Linux for the desktop," but as a hacker's distribution, it's pretty cool.

    Amen brother. This is why I like to use Slackware - it's just fun. I've tried other distros and they just aren't as enjoyable for people who love to tinker. (I do not, however, get into distro wars. Everyone has it's place.)

    I agree that Slackware is not "Linux for the desktop". It's not as slick, initially, as RedHat, Debian, etc., simply because of package manangement. I use pkgtool every now and then, but I certainly don't rely on it. However, I get the impression many people who use Slackware aren't interested in package management all that much. However, I could be terribly wrong (that's just the impression I get).

    I love hacking away on Slackware. I don't see myself switching anytime soon. Thanks, Patrick V.!

    Woz
  • I would really love to have a comparable distro for my Alphas

    I know someone who has done a full SlackBuild for an Alpha. I suggest you do it yourself. As per classic Slackware tradition.

    It takes under a day for a decent alpha to chew down most of Slackware completely when running at nice -19. Your only problem is that the install will be "Luke Flying to Dagobah". If you do not remember the quote about the manual watch The Empire Strikes Back again ;-)

  • Is there any to change the ec.d scripts to sysvinit style? I love slackware, and I really want to continue using it, but this bsd style rc.d system is causing me and undue amount of headaches.
    One of my main problems is that vmware refuses to run (and will not install without major kludges), and I kind of need NT (shudder).

    Finkployd

  • I've been using Slack for a while. A friend who had been using Mandrake asked me about it, and soon enough I was over at his house on a saturday morning stepping him though the install.

    The installation was a snap (as always), but he had some funky hardware, so the setup was a bit more difficult. I had to leave, so I left him all alone with the remainder of the fiddling.

    The next morning he appeared bleary eyed. "I finally got it finished. It took me until two in the morning though." I thought he was going to dump Slack and go back to Mandrake when he continued, "I learned more about Linux last night than I did the previous two years with Redhat and Mandrake. I think I like this thing."
  • The thing that annoys me most about Slackware, though, is that it doesn't put the kernel into /boot like all the other modern distros. IMHO, /boot is the only way to go when you have an enormous hard drive. So I have to move the kernel and edit lilo.conf and go back into setup and "recycle" lilo to get my machine bootable.

    There's a good reason for this. If you download the kernel source from any of the official sources, the default for a "make zlilo" is to copy /vmlinuz to /vmlinuz.old and install your freshly compiled kernel to /vmlinuz, then run lilo. I always grab the latest kernel from ftp.kernel.org when I first install a box, and just have to do a "make menuconfig && make dep && make clean && make bzlilo && reboot" to install my kernel. That's certainly a lot easier than having to copy the kernel to the location you want and then running lilo by hand. Also, on a properly installed unix box, / shouldn't be more than about 200mb, and /usr, /tmp, /var, and /home should be seperate partitions. I generally install my boxen with 60mb for /, 75mb for /tmp, 100mb for /var, the rest for /usr, and then make /home a link to /usr/home. If I have a drive larger than 4gb, I will usually make /usr 2gb, and use the rest for /home.

    And yes, I do this on my workstations too. Makes my system usable when I accidentally fill up one of the partitions (As long as it's not / that fills, as this does not make the system very happy).

  • Does anyone know where I can just get the ISO image for the updated slackware-current?


    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • and none of these seem to have problems with users wanting a higher version number, from what I see. :)

    And now go look at Market Share. That's what has motivated this. Just ask Patrick.


    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • There doesn't seem to be one there... I looked. Howabout a mirror site? Could it be on cdrom.com for instance?

    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • Please, get a clue. If RedHat had numbered it's releases the same way Slakware used to, they'd still be on version 3.x or 4.x. You know damn well that the version number jump was necessary. Why stir the pot?

    Also, does anyone know where I can just get the ISO image for the updated slackware-current?

    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • Exactly! While I lament that it was necessary, I do agree that it basically sucks. Nor do I think Red Hat will learn the lesson from this. Not that it really matters. We need a new way to date/keep track of sofware besides version numbers. I rather liked the direction we went with "Slackware 96". I kept hoping that we'd go that route. We could have had "Slackware 99" followed by "Slackware 2k". If we needed to release more than one version a year, we could use "Slackware 2000-R1" kinda like Lotus used to do with Lotus 123...

    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • I *HATE* to say it, but Microsoft has it right. Software should be versioned off it's release date (not that MS actually DOES this...) It just makes more sense to download Slackware 2000.03.08. Want to differentiate between major/minor and development releases? Use codenames like Debian.

    The fact is, version numbers on linux distros are so meaningless now, you have to look at all of the packages to see if they are at a level that meets your needs.
  • I have used Linux since kernel 1.3.15 days, and at that time, Slackware was the most polished and complete distribution. For quite some time, it languished, and only recently has seen the maintenance/updating found on more recent distro's, notably RedHat.

    I've used and continue to use RedHat extensively. It is certainly the best Linux distro for Alpha architecture. It is exceptionally easy for beginners to install, yet remains very powerful via the `rpm` mechanism of package and especially dependancy updating.

    Yet Slackware still has powerful attractions. It can certainly be installed on less hard-disk and RAM than RedHat. It leads to better UNIX understanding [albeit less easily] by using an editor for sysadmin rather than `linuxconf` tools. Furthermore, I find the file layout easier to understand, especially the BSD-style /etc/rc.d init scripts. I detest the byzantine SysV init scripts found in RedHat.
  • The bsd-style init is also considered one of the main disadvantages of slackware - sysvinit is usually considered much more versatile and easy to use (once you get the hang of it). Also, does anyone know if slack v7 ever fixed the glibc/libc5 compatibility issues? AFAIK the last version had minimal glibc support and most system binaries were still libc5.. not necessarily streamlined for a modern Linux distro.
    --
  • The first Linux I installed was Slackware based on the 1.0.8 kernel. I've since upgraded that box to something more, erm, recent.

    I have four Unix boxen at home---a tattered 486 running FreeBSD, a P/150 running Slackware, a P/166 running Redhat, and a Redhat laptop. I seldom touch the 486 because it's frustratingly slow, for development, but functions nicely as a firewall/router. The laptop and the 166 are running Redhat because I use them as clients and I like the big, hefty, comprehensive, everything-supports-it nature of Redhat in that environment.

    But when I feel like playing with Unix, when I want to fiddle with server applications, or go in and tweak the configuration of everything, or I'm just gonna bash out some C code to run in a character environment, I do it on the Slackware system. Why? Because Redhat is so comparatively complex and has so many interconnected things that it's so much easier to do indirect damage to the system. This is fine if all you want to do is run the darn thing. But with Slackware, everything is simple, clean and orthogonal. When I want to do mundane preconfigured productivity-type stuff, I use Redhat, but when I want to play, or I want to do the sort of playing other people might mistake for work, I use Slackware. It's just a lot of fun.

    Besides, it's still very character-based. I used to run it with a scavenged MDA adapter and a 1983 vintage IBM monochrome monitor, before a splurged on a VGA card and a switchbox. That's what Zork is supposed to look like!

    P.S. SuSE is awfully nice, too, like Redhat but with more i18n, tons of included apps and a good user manual. I ran 6.0 for a while, but overwrote it with Redhat for reasons that had more to do with my video card than the distribution itself.

    --

  • Three simple words: readable start-up scripts!

    Slackware doesn't use a silly configuration tool with umpteen configuration files to keep the settings...
    It has a limited number of start-up scripts which are pretty straight-forward, so that you can customize them easily at your situation.

    Since they are that simple and straightforward, I've learned quite a lot about how everything is arranged at boot-up, which is a lot more difficult with Red Hat, SuSe or Debian, where there seem to be hundreds of directories with files and symlinks... Especially newbies who want to go a bit further than playing with their GUI config tool find this very overwhelming.

    Basically, slackware is a do-it-yourself distro, since their package management system isn't really that good. But if you know your way around, I think it has a lot to offer in system stability and insight in the inner workings.

    It's a pity it's only x86... I would really love to have a comparable distro for my Alphas :-)


    Okay... I'll do the stupid things first, then you shy people follow.

  • Damnit, I wish I had friends like that.

    I'll re-tell you the above story as I would experience it:

    I've been using Slack for a while. [Whooho, Slack rocks.] A friend who had been using Windows asked me about it, and soon enough he decided it was the most absolutely horrible thing in the world and never, ever wanted to have anything to do with it at all, so soon enough I was over at his house on a saturday morning covertly installing Slackware without his knowledge.

    The installation was a snap (as always) [Slackware has THE BEST install in my opinion], but he had a massive brain deficiency, so trying to convince him to not kill me after he found out about it was a bit more difficult. I had to leave, so I left him alone with the remainder of the fiddling to get it removed. (Haha, good luck, I thought. Guy couldn't remove the wrapper from a new CD.)

    The next morning he appeared bleary eyed. "I hate you. I can't figure anything out. So I gave up." I thought he was going to dump Slack and go back to Windows when he continued, "I learned more about how evil you are last night than I did in the previous two years with you in that satanic cult. I think you are a nut and if you ever touch my computer again I'll kill you."

    So, that's my sad story. People resist change, even when you know it's good for them. Why can't they just give in? Sigh.

    I think I'm going to go install Slack onto my crappy old Red Hat box now. And then maybe onto some of the school's computers. And then maybe onto my Grandma's computer. And after that ...

    But honestly, I love Slackware. Good stuff.

  • > Is there any to change the ec.d scripts to sysvinit style? I love slackware, and I really want to continue using it, but this bsd
    >style rc.d system is causing me and undue amount of headaches.

    They kinda sorta have sysvinit script support since Slack 7.0. But, thank goodness, there are no plans to make the core of the system sysv style... that's one of the many reasons why Slack is my favourite system.

    Groovey side note - it's easy as pie to convert them by hand. I did it in about an hour by hand. Then I realized I liked it better the old way. And you don't have to worry about breaking 6 other scripts every time you edit something, as you do in the Red Hat default init scripts.

    >One of my main problems is that vmware refuses to run (and will not install without major kludges)

    Really ? Because all it took for me was to grab the vmware script that it installs to init.d, rename it (and only that to make it look consistant) and from rc.local, call rc.vmware start.
  • When I installed Slackware 7.0 the large hard disk problem was an annoyance, but one that was easy to fix once I knew the problem. (Mental note.. always make a boot floppy :)

    As for vmlinuz being installed into /, by default, it is, but in the Makefile in the kernel source you can change the Install Path. It has it set to /boot and is just waiting for you to uncomment it! Reading the Slackware Install Forum [slackware.com] this question has come up all to frequently, way more frequently than any other question.

    Its a small problem on an otherwise excellent distribution that I plan on using for years to come...

    --

  • If you want a 'easy' to configure system that has a script for everything you should use redhat.
    If you want a system that you can configure yourself and has its config files on logical places you should use SlackWare.
    SlackWare also tends to be more like a BSD system then a sysV.

    I use Slackware by the way so I might be a bit biased.....

    Grtz, Jeroen

  • Well, I find this discussion helpful. I'm a relative newbie who started on Redhat 5.0 a couple years back and I'm very interested in trying out different distro's to learn, if nothing else. It is helpful here to see what people like about Slack so I can decide if it's something I want to bother with.

    For example, I recently set up a new box and decided to give Debian a try. Having been spoiled by the RedHat installs, I kind of had a few quirks getting everything going, especially the network. I'm not an old-school unix expert so I was unaware of the sysV vs BSD-style init script differences, so it took a little digging and tinkering to learn how Slink is set up, but now I have a happily working box sitting in the corner running Deb, and I have a real sense of accomplishment for having gone though and learned something new instead of just installing another RedHat 6.1 box.

    I'll have another opportunity soon to try out another distro, my Mom's pentium has finally run out of gas (yep, she tried to upgrade to Win98 and it barfed) so I'm building her a new machine and I'll end up scavenging her old box. Right now I've got a FreeBSD CD that came with something I ordered from LinuxMall and I might try installing that to see what it's all about. From the comments here, I'm now curious about Slack, so I might just download that and give it a try.

    I agree that distribution flamewars are counter-productive, but what I read here (comments sorted by age) up until I got to your post was most positive, informative comments expressing differences and preferences. I don't see anything wrong with that. Seems to me that this is the real strength of Linux anyway, that if you don't like the way RedHat works, you can use something else... if you think that text-based install isn't for you, you can use RedHat until you outgrow it, etc.
  • by kgasso ( 60204 ) <kgassoNO@SPAMblort.org> on Wednesday March 08, 2000 @03:52AM (#1218497) Homepage
    the new release will become version 10? I mean, after all, this is a significant change, and slack needs the upper hand on the other distributions ;) (if you don't understand, go here [slackware.com].)
    --
  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2000 @04:25AM (#1218498) Homepage
    This is great news for me, because I was just thinking the other day about those new cheap (but supposedly good) $25 Linksys 10/100 cards which require the latest (Tulip?) driver from 2.2.14! Now I can get one! And I've been upgrading for DSL, so I don't even have an uptime to lose!

    While I don't think I'd ever consider using Slackware as a "desktop" OS, it's a great distro for command-line hacks like me who would rather stick the box in a corner and telnet in.

    But the main thing that keeps me coming back to Slackware is that I can be sure the source tarballs I download will fscking compile. I've always had a bad time trying to compile source under less-than-full installs of RedHat (ever since the time I bought a release version of 5.2 and the kernel wouldn't recompile), then I go to Slackware and things compile with no problem. I'm sorry, but I don't want to bloat my hard drive with a full install of RedHat just to be sure I can compile something without being in RPM hell trying to find the right libraries!

    As far as I'm concerned, Slackware is much easier for me to install, because there are fewer packages to keep track of, which means less chance of missing a "regular" library during install. But I think the "flat" nature of the Slackware install, compared with RPM's extensive hierarchial dependencies, is the real reason I find Slackware so much easier to install.

    And as a bonus, it's a floppy-friendly install, too! When I first installed it, I didn't have a CD-ROM on an Intel box, and was downloading Slackware tarball disks and installing them from a directory on the hard drive (because I was getting too many disk errors from those el cheapo HD floppies I had lying around). The install disks make a good root-boot, too. The first time I tried Red Hat, I tried downloading just the 50 or so RPMs I tought I needed to a hard drive, and it bitched about every single RPM I didn't download being missing, whether I was installing it or not. Since Red Hat uses hundreds of RPMs, I had to press the enter key a lot.

    Although sometimes I wish it used SysV init, I'm not installing many services, and I can do well enough just editing rc.local. SysV init just seems to be an excuse for distros like Red Hat to start up every service they can think of. And IMHO, most people DON'T need fscking sendmail running!

    The thing that annoys me most about Slackware, though, is that it doesn't put the kernel into /boot like all the other modern distros. IMHO, /boot is the only way to go when you have an enormous hard drive. So I have to move the kernel and edit lilo.conf and go back into setup and "recycle" lilo to get my machine bootable.

"Mr. Spock succumbs to a powerful mating urge and nearly kills Captain Kirk." -- TV Guide, describing the Star Trek episode _Amok_Time_

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