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Sun Microsystems

Slackware For Sparc 89

FreakSoft writes "The first devel release of Slackware for the Sun Sparc was released. It isn't guaranteed to run anything, but soon the bugs will be worked out. For the time being the release can be downloaded from their site, if it doesn't work post the bugs and don't complain. David Cantrell is awesome."
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Slackware For Sparc

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  • i wonder how much this announcement is in response to redhat's decision to cease to release their sparc-based distribution. anyways, it's good to see one of the big linux distributions supporting sun hardware, i for one don't like paying for solaris.

    B1ood

  • by bjb ( 3050 )
    It's cool to see another distribution for the SPARC, but I personally wouldn't run anything other than Solaris on one of these boxes. Yes, its a bit slower than Linux (I ran RedHat on an E3000 4/336 2GB machine for a little while), but currently the support for Solaris on these CPUs far surpasses any paltry Linux offerings I have run across.

    Of course, it could just be a matter of time...

    --

  • Um, read the story. It's not *guaranteed* to run anything. That doesn't mean it doesn't work. Yes, it is too early for you.


    -- Bucket
  • The download site is reporting back that it has no data; maybehaps they got the wrong URL?

    How many architectures does this put Slackware up to?

  • Beta releases are always so much fun. The developers tend to pay more attention to you when you complain about things, mostly because their jobs depend on it then. And i think its about time that slackware came out for sparc. Now we just need to convince redhat to do the same.
  • Now, if only Slackware ran on Alpha...
    Uhh, maybe I'll start porting it.
  • I personally wouldn't run anything other than Solaris on one of these boxes.

    I find Solaris 2.6 running on my old Sparc 2's to be a completely soporific experience... I'll probably have a go at this distro to see if it's a vaguely useful speed. Either that, or my 2's will get relegated to just doing DNS...

    But I wonder if these things will network boot properly. It always used to annoy me that the old Solaris netboot image relied on packet ordering from Sun's NFS server which meant that whilst they'd TFTP the boot image they'd never get further than that unless you were using a Sun machine as the boot server. Once they were up, they would be quite happy doing NFS to a Linux box.

  • A big two, x86 and now Sparc
    ------------
    #!/bin/sh
    echo "What was your username again?"
    read LUSER
    rm -rf /home/$LUSER
  • On the other hand you've got a distribution named "Slackware", hardly the name your tech-savvy CTO wants...

    If they were really tech-savvy, then they'd realise that Slackware have been in the game far longer than most distros. I remember the day when I upgraded my prehistoric slakware with v3.0 on CD. I was so chuffed that I didn't have to deal with 50 floppies again.

    I'd still bet that most people who've used Linux for more than a year or so will recognise Slackware as a good distro, with users who know what they're doing rather than just letting the installer do everything for them short of choosing an IP address.

  • This is going to make good material about why Slackware isn't dead. Remember back in the day when Slackware and Redhat were the only real distros in competition. I guess Slackware still holds a grudge =)

    Anyway, although I'd agree that Slackware isn't the best distro for all applications, I think porting it to the Sparc is what it's best for.

    I mean, Slackware is so stripped down with it's tar-based package management and so forth. When Slackware is sucessully ported, other distros will follow.

    Now, can we please get Slackware on Mac? *smile*

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Did you even check the link? There's no Slackware for Sparc there, just a utility for building packages.
  • Patrick and the gang aren't a commercial distribution, they seemingly have no intrest in doing this for any other reason than their support of linux, thus we don't see a ton of ports already. I mean, the same can go for SuSE, why name a comapany something that people can't all agree on "Su-Sah" or "Suh-Se" or "Su-Se"? It'll be nice when companies will listen to their employees, they should know that Slack is a great distribution, stable and for the most part polished to a high shine, I haven't seen a bug in the while I've been running it. It'll be nice when a network administrator can tell his boss that they should run Slack and the boss actually accepts that because of the expertise, not the freakin' name. What kind of name is Microsoft? I'd think that would portray a small, paultry software company with little aspirations.
    ------------
    #!/bin/sh
    echo "What was your username again?"
    read LUSER
    rm -rf /home/$LUSER
  • Slackware is an amazingly good distribution, especially considering the small number of people that put it together and maintain it. It's also one of the first distributions that appeared, and, AFAIK, the oldest still around.

    Having installed Corel doesn't remotely qualify you as a guru.

    As for the marketing stuff, why don't you suggest Microsoft they change their name, since it has such trivial co-notations.
  • How much you want to bet that the admonition "If it doesn't work post the bugs and don't complain" doesn't work?
  • now if only I had an Alpha that I could wish Slack ran on...
  • If I have a Sparc driven machine why should I use this toy for Intel(and now also for Sparc) called Linux??
    I even removed Linux on my Intel box and installed Solaris x86.(Don't worry FreeBSD is still installed).

    So tell me why!
  • Just wondering - I checked out the site, and the only thing that seems to be there is the protopkg system. Where's the Sun port of slackware?
  • *Holds up sign "Please do not feed the trolls"*
    ------------
    #!/bin/sh
    echo "What was your username again?"
    read LUSER
    rm -rf /home/$LUSER
  • Once they got it stable and runing: Can you imagine how cheap a Beaowulf could become. Alpha, Sparc, Intel, All runing on the same libraries, And the same protocols. I am starting to save to buy a Sun Box
  • well, I don't think linux on high end E stuff makes much sence at all, but what about on all those Sparc Station machines out there that don't support Solaris 8 but are still quite capable ftp or web server machines? Linux provides an up to date OS for these older machines and Slackware porting to Sparc only gives users more choices.
  • I've checked on the FTP site and around the web site, and I don't see it!

    But then, just putting Slack on a Sparc would be the best thing out there. Solaris' memory management isn't the best thing out there.



    --
    WolfSkunks for a better Linux Kernel
    $Stalag99{"URL"}="http://stalag99.keenspace.com";

  • This is the release of a packaging tool. From the linked URL

    protopkg - Slackware .tgz Packaging Tool
    ========================================

    This directory includes all the necessary source to put together "protopkg".
    Protopkg will read prototype files to generate packages that can be
    installed using the standard Slackware packaging tools. The *.template
    files explain how the system works.

    ...


    George Bush used to stick firecrackers in frogs, light them, and throw the frog in the air. So did Beavis. :)
  • I run Slack 7.1 currently. This is the first Linux distro that I've ever run. I like it , but I don't know how well it would do on a sparc though. I have used solaris on it and it works just fine, now all of our computers have redhat on them. Personally I liked solaris better but hey at leaste it's Linux. A friend of mine is using Debian right now and says he refuses to use anything else now. What do you think? Which distro is better Debian or Slack, we've been arguing about this for a while.
  • I have been using Slack on x86 for about 1-1/2 years (ever since Redhat released 6.0). I love it! I love my sparc station, but I am not crazy about Debian or RedHat and up till now the only other choice was rolling your own.

    This is gonna be great!
  • Don't believe anyone's links. There have been far too many times that I have unwittingly clicked a link to http://www.goatse.cx [olsentwins.com] or misdirected on links to the Perl [python.org] or Python [php.net] websites. Go back to the Slashdot FAQ [kuro5hin.org] and look under #consideredharmful.

    --

  • I can't find any evidence that a Sparc distribution has been produced by the Patrick and the other Slackware contributors - the URL in the article links to a packaging tool, not a distribution, and there is absolutely no information about a Sparc port currently on the Slackware website.

    I'm going to give Hemos the benefit of the doubt, so surely he did some research before blindly posting the story. If so, can anyone find any confirmation of this story? As far as I can see, it's just plain false, but I'd love to be proved wrong!

  • We use Red Hat 6.2 sparc at school in the CS/Math Lab. I am glad to see that there are more choices now for Linux on sparc.
  • I am definitely a Linux newbie and the only distro I have ever installed was Slackware (4.0). I had a few problems, almost all relating to my ancient hardware (Pentium 100 / PCI / 2-small IDE drives / 5-1/4 and 3-1/2 floppies), but I was able to work around everything in a couple of days and get a working system.

    With my goofy hardware, I doubt that any distro would have been easy and my guess is that the more automated ones would have been more difficult or even impossible to install. Slackware gave me enough manual control to reconfigure around the hardware oddities.

    BTW, this is not my primary machine.
  • Posted by polar_bear:

    Um, you'll be arguing for a while - there's really no such thing as a "better distro" (well, okay - they're all better than Corel...sorry, couldn't help myself...) they all have strengths and weaknesses. It usually boils down to this: Which distro did you first successfully get up and running with all the services you need? That's probably going to be your favorite.

    Both Slack and Debian have advantages...and I like 'em both - and I use them both. Debian on my laptop, Slackware on my main home server.

    Glad to see Slackware on new platforms, I hope this brings a little more attention to Slackware...they've been ignored a lot because they don't try to be as commercial as Red Hat or SuSE. Personally, though, I think it's a great server distro and if you're doing consulting and setting up a lot of boxen, Slack's a quick install and easy to set up. I think my average install and configure time for a Slack box is about 30 minutes on a Pentium II or higher.

    Bottom line: It's all free UNIX, it's all good. Whether you use any Linux distro or any of the *BSDs - it's all good.
  • .. and i fell for it too..

    'slackware sparc FAQ' my ass..

    .. or, guess that wasn't MY ass. Somebody's ass. And quite a horrid ass it was too.

    ashamed,
  • If you have new 32 processor SUN enterprise box, you probably don't want to do this. On the other hand, if you have a uniprocessor SUN workstation, particularly an older one, Linux will kick Slowaris' butt on it. So, no, it's not a toy, and it's not worthless, it's just not the best solution to every problem. Neither is Solaris.

  • Umm, how exactly is Debian a luser distro?
  • "It isn't guaranteed to run anything, but soon the bugs will be worked out."

    Isn't that the case for almost every Linux distro/version? Hell, isn't that the motto for all Linux programs/drivers/utilities?

  • Who cares about a name?!?! Slackware is the best distro I've installed/used. From a techie point of view I feel it is the best since it allows you to control you installation instead of some "wizard".
    I've used the Red Hat distro and it SUX! You get stuck with the distro having just too much control. I hate it when an OS (Win 2000 comes to mind) thinks it is a just soooooo smart, and stops me from making decisions without going on some fsckin' expensive course that has to teach me!

    Slackware is cool, and I for one am glad that they haven't followed all the hype and made their distro more "useable". Who is it supposed to be used by anyway? A marketing dude in a suit or as a server installed by a Techie!?!?

    How many ppl care about the names of software anyway?

  • >> Now, can we please get Slackware on Mac? *smile*

    umm.. slackintosh?

    http://slackintosh.exploits.org
  • I'd like to see a port to the motorola 68000 processor, so I can run it on my Sony Laservision(tm)(R)(C) LaserDisc player... I'd have the world's first CLV LaserDisc player/Web Server! The only trouble is finding a laserdisc burner and media to make my boot disk... :(

  • Remember the days when Slackware was the competition? Slack was based on SLS, which was the first Linux distribution (ca. 1993).

    "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life."
  • Well, you're asking a highly opinionated crowd what the best distro is. I smell a flamewar coming. =)

    The thing is, there really isn't a best distro--just different distros. The great thing about Slack is that it's highly configurable, and it's hard to break IMHO. The great thing about Debian (though I don't use it) is that it's simple to maintain and install (let the Debian team worry about it ;) Personally, I use Linux-Mandrake, not because it's simple, but because packages are built using PGCC (for x86) and it's 99.9% Red Hat-compatible. Other people like SuSE, some people maintain "hand-built" systems...it just depends on your wants and needs.
  • I had no trouble net-booting an SS5 off an i386 Debian box. I really didn't know what I was doing at the time, but I found several HOWTOs on the web that gave reasonably explicit instructions.

    OTOH, Solaris (version 7, at least) is painfully slow on my Sparcs (all 75MHz or lower). I keep Sol7 on the SS5 for when I get that dire need to play with CDE, but the IPC gets OpenBSD. It's small, as secure as you'd ever want, and reasonably quick even at 25MHz. Granted, it's mainly a syslog and Kerberos server, but I don't think you'd want to use these old boxen for workstations these days anyway.

  • by QZS4 ( 7063 )
    It always used to annoy me that the old Solaris netboot image relied on packet ordering from Sun's NFS server

    Argh, I've been bitten by this too. A non-functioning CD drive in my SS5 didn't help a bit. I ended up borrowing a CD drive for the installation - hope I don't have to reinstall...

  • Let's just ignore that... the Linux wars are too annoying...

    • Slackware - very OLD distro, non-commercial in the extreme, no package management in proprietary form, Sysadmins generally need to know what they are doing.
    • Debian - interesting package management tool allowing for on the fly upgrades from FTP, annoyingly GPL only (to the point that pico isn't installed by default), used to have clunky install tool (IMHO), 'leet distro
    • Redhat - "commercial" Linux, easy to use local package management, often buggy right off the shelf in an X.0 release, somewhat documented, and supported by large companies
    • SuSE - nice, tight distribution, some commercialization, generally good releases, good ripped-off package management, nice installer, too much documentation is still in German...


    I like Slack if I'm not going to use package management, and SuSE if I am. I have just had enough problems installing Debian in the 2.0 release level that I don't care to try anymore.

  • IMHO, slackware is still the cleanest and most pure of all the distributions.

    I got into linux for the purpose of actually being under the hood and getting my hands really dirty;
    while package management can be nice in situations, it distances one from the inner workings/cleanliness/godliness of their system.

    slackware maintains that 'if you want to use it, you're gonna have to learn' mentality -- which again is why i got into this whole linux thing.

    i am a proponent of the .tgz packaging ... it needs a piece of accounting to ride alongside it, but it is still pure.

    .. shadows on the wall, i guess.

    slackware, a distribution not for the feint of heart and the lack of intellect.
  • I wish they did a Mac port too. I got Debian PPC a few weeks ago and I can't say that the .deb nonsense is very fun.

    When I installed, it put hundreds of binaries in usr/bin but nothing in /usr/local/bin.

    I'd much rather do the tar.gz dance like I have been for the past 5 years with the i385 Slackware.


    blessings,

  • Yay. This is news?
    Lots of distros have worked on sparc in the past.

    What's slackware want.. a medal for coming in last?
  • by Marasmus ( 63844 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2000 @07:44AM (#663064) Homepage Journal
    Slackware/SPARC is in SUPER pre-release. It is downloadable only by rsync at this point. This release was intended to be a semi-private release to a small group of developers for the sake of stabilizing the codebase. After that was completed, an FTP-accessible release would be available.

    Some important notes from the developers:
    • Slackware/SPARC is not ready for production.
    • SILO is a bit broken and needs some work.
    • many other packages are very unstable, if installable.
    • changes for these problems will be occuring DAILY and WILL BE UPDATED AS SUCH on the rsync server. A cron job is in place on their rsync server to create a fresh ISO every night at midnight.
    I'd offer an FTP site with the daily updates of Slack4Sparc, but my bandwidth can't handle it. If any of you have bandwidth to do this job, I can get you going with the updates.

    Props to my crew man Toby Freaksoft, though he tends to get a bit antsy about these sorts of things. :)

    Whoever said slackware was dead should gingerly pry their cranium out of their colon. Thanks! :)
  • by afc ( 12569 )
    Because when RedHat releases beta stuff that still contains bugs this is considered evil, whilst when the intrepid knights of Slackware do the same, it is 'leet.

    Go figure...
    --

  • The notion that Slackware doesn't have package management is a falsehood - the fact that it's commonly repeated doesn't make it any less false. Slack package management is, IMHOP far better than RPM, and I've used both extensively. The supposedly "advanced features" of the RPM system have more than once gotten in my way, and many times have gotten in the way of newbies that came to me seeking help as well. The slack pkgtool may be more "primitive" in that it doesn't check dependencies - but checking dependencies can easily cause more problems than it solves. Particularly if you ever install things from source. Slackware package management does just what a package manager should do, installation and removal of packages, and does it very well, with no hassle. It gets an A+ from me - it was the biggest reason I switched to slack.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    and I've finally pinned someone down on why: you don't have to *think*! All you do is run apt-get, sit back, and feel your ass grow, according to some. Heh, while others have been busy apt-getting, I have a perfectly nice distro going...I had to do very little fiddling to get it to work.

    It appears that you have little experience managing a moderately large number of machines, let alone machines of differing architectures.

    Once you have, you will start to appreciate the Debian package management system.

    And as far as the disadvantages of RPM go...Debian still has one. "As long as you don't install from source tarballs, you'll be OK," someone commented to me. Yeah. Whatever. That sucks.

    I think I'd much rather have my CPU cycles doing other things than compiling stuff -- that's what makes precompiled binary packages so nice. Again, especially in an environment with lots of boxes all of differing architechtures...

    Don't get me wrong - Slackware is a good distro, especially on a single (or a few) servers or a workstation. However, when you must administer 50+ boxes, the Debian package management system makes much more sense.

    ~AC

  • 3 pkgtool :D
  • I assume you know about installwatch. Linuxmafia [linuxmafia.org] has a "unofficial" version with an added script for the Slackware packaging system; makes installation from source a breeze, along with updating the package database and easy uninstall via the standard Slack pkgtool/removepkg. It's as simple as:
    ./configure
    make
    su
    installwatch -o logfile make install
    inst2slack logfile
  • The only problem I can think of when installing software outside the package management system (such as from source) is that the package manager won't know it's installed, so it may overwrite your version if a packaged version gets installed (possibly by upgrading an older version that was installed with a package). If no older version of the package was installed, the dependency won't be satisfied if you try to install a package that depends on it.

    In the former case, you can hold the package so things like apt-get won't automatically upgrade it. In the latter, you can install anything that depends on it from source, force the dependencies, or create a dummy package that provides the package you installed manually.

  • Right now RH 6.2 runs about twice as fast as solaris 2.7 on my sparc. It's old, but it gets the job done as a firewall/NAT box.
    ---GEEK CODE---
    Ver: 3.12
    GCS/S d- s++: a-- C++++ UBCL+++ P+ L++
    W+++ PS+ Y+ R+ b+++ h+(++) r++ y+
  • by Anonymous Coward
    RedHat commented that they did not drop support for sparc but they will probably not release a redhat 7.0 for sparc and that does not have any effect on future redhat releases.
  • The following line:

    When I installed, it put hundreds of binaries in usr/bin but nothing in /usr/local/bin

    in all its heavy-handed lack of subtlety, exposes yourself more than a full striptease. Not very masterly that, eh?
    --

  • Care to explain what is this purported purity of Slackware that you love so much? Please, refrain from wishy-washy, subjective, emotionally laden expressions such as "cleanliness", "pure", "inner workings" etc. Explain, in strictly objective terms what is about Slackware that makes you tick.

    If in the end, it all boils down to having to work out most of the stuff by yourself, you might as well consider doing a bare bones Linux installation, i.e., no pre-packaged binaries at all, compile, create root and boot disks, repartition all by yourself. See how fun that is.

    Now after having done it, ponder about this: is it so much fun that you can positively state that you'll never, ever get tired of it? Those of us who have better things to do with what scarce time we have now better. That's why other distributions thrive.
    --

  • I've been running on Slack since its ver. 1.00 with kernel 0.98, IIRC. I'm on 7.1 now, on the verge of running slackup to get synced with slackware-current. I adore Patrick Volkerding for his stance on not accepting some ideas to make it more user-friendly. All the other distros out there assume that a typical Linux user is a fool. Debian is a little on the safer side, but i still hate the dependency checking stuff. It's gonna be useful only if done right. Any experienced user is guaranteed to know what packages are on his system. I for one, like to install and remove packages at will. I prefer Slack's simple tgz format, cuz it allows me to do run the system with what _I_ think the proggie wants, than what _it_ thinks it wants. An O/S is s'posed to be an _interface_ between the user and the box, not takeover and tell u what to do. Contrary to popular claims that Linux is mainly meant for the desktop, I've been using Linux (and yeah - Slackware) _only_ on the desktop for the past 5 1/2 years. I can dare say that I run one of the most kewl looking desktops. I'd love to give u a screenshot, but I guess i'm too lazy to take one now. If people depend on some other poer soul to make change diapers for them, all i can say is that they're not worth the box they're facing. All I want out of a distro is that it should get the system up and running with the basic minimum required and allow _me_ to do whatever I want with it, and place it wherever I want. Slack is the only distros which deserves kudos in all these respects. Its amazing that you can setup a whole partition for a friend or u're ol' 386 lying beside u're box, just by mounting it on /whatever and running installpkg, with ROOT=/whatever. This makes it _really_ convenient. This makes it easy to setup directories for network booting clients too. There're a bunch of several other features which I dont seem to find in any other distro out there, and believe me, I've tried quite a few of 'em. 3 words - Slackware simply rox!
  • I hate to be forced to exercise my pedantic side, but I simply must point the flaws in your argumentation:
    • Slackware: there's nothing proprietary about other system's packaging tools (i.e. DEB and RPM) either;
    • Debian: there's plenty of non-GPL software on Debian. You're confusing non-GPL (i.e. XFree86) with non-free (i.e. pico);
    • RedHat: is as "commercial" as SuSE or Slackware, if only more successful;
    • SuSE: I trust you think RedHat's package management system good too, since it is the same as SuSE's...

    --
  • First you're wrong in presuming that installing things from source is a pain in RedHat (or Debian, for that matter - you know that there are package management systems other than RPM, right? ;-), you just have to download the source packages, tweak them to your heart's content, recreate the binary package and install that. But that would require one to learn RPM, God forbid.

    You're right in that Slackware does have package management, after all. It only happens to suck.
    --

  • I don't happen to think Linux == RedHat, I have used Slack, have used RedHat and SuSE, but my beloved distro is now Debian and it's likely to be so for eternity. Nevertheless, I think Slackware sucks.
    --
  • ... from where do we get old Sparcs from ? In Europe.

    --
  • Well, I don't use slackware (though I might give it a try at some point) but I don't typically use package management on my linux boxes. The problem is that most of the time the existing packages just aren't quite right for what I'm doing and I have to install from source anyway. Apache is the biggest example of this, there are just so many variations -- PHP (plus which extentions for that -- gd, mysql or pgsql etc, etc.), mod_perl, etc.

    Overall, out of all the packaging systems, I still feel the most comfortable with the BSD ports collection. And updating FreeBSD is still much much easier than updating any distribution of Linux IMNSHO.

  • An IPX does not take well to Modern Solaris. Hooray for Slack.

    Often wrong but never in doubt.
    I am Jack9.
  • I used to really like Slackware, until one evening I decided to bite the bullet and try out Debian (everyone had been hassling me for a while because I was a Slack zealot). What prompted this was replacing SuSE 7.0 on my SPARC box. I wanted to use Slack originally, but the rest is history. Now I love Debian and won't use anything else. It's just kind of ironic because I really could have used this and remained true to my original brand about one month ago. :)

    The interesting thing is, who is really going to use Slack on Sun boxen? Now, don't get me wrong, Slack is one of the better distros for hacks, but I don't find it particularly good for server applications - which is the role of most Sun machines.

    My company used to use Slack on one of its development servers and a web server. Unfortunately, we were having some strange problems with general weirdness that went away when our sys. admin installed Rh6.2. Go figure.

  • If you want to trust installwatch, that's your business. Just don't bring those packages around my system.

    Don't worry, I wasn't planning to. They're strictly for my personal use.

    protopkg implements that sort of functionality much more cleanly, consistently, and reliably.

    Protopkg wasn't around 18 months ago, when I started using installwatch (with excellent results, no matter what you insinuate). It was only released 3 days ago, according to the changelog. I'll try it.
  • What you've said in the first pargraph of your response is pretty much in accordance with my philosophy: install the base system using your favourite distro, install software you want to tweak, mangle or play with in /usr/local or make a custom package.

    I haven't toyed with FreeBSD enough, but I suspect that make cvsup (or whatever command you use to update the ports collection) is not significantly more simple than apt-get upgrade.
    --

  • Ever heard of text expert mode
  • I shouldn't reply, because, after all, you don't exist (at least, not at +1 level :-), but I think you'll agree with me that your words:

    RPM forces reliance on itself far too much.

    translate to: RPM is consistent and self-contained. I deem that to be a good thing, but YMMV.
    --

  • A long time ago, I was a Slackware user. It was a very easy installation - only had to grab a few packages - and it didn't take many brains to figure out what to do. So away I went, a newcomer to Linux, without much of a clue as to just how I can do anything. But I proceeded, downloading things like Enlightenment 0.13.3, and compiling it from source. Of course, I didn't have ImageMagick, so I had to compile that too. And I needed imlib. It went on and on. But I felt like I was accomplishing something! Linux wasn't supposed to be simple, you had to wait a while for things to be compiled! In fact, when I installed binary packages, I felt like I had cheated.

    Fast-forward three years. I'm now a Debian developer, apt-getting with the greatest of ease. When I want a package, I type apt-get install <packagename>. Apt handles the rest. I no longer have the bizzare need to accomplish anything by compiling it from source, because I know that there are legions of developers out there who are doing that for me, just as I'm doing it for them for my packages. There's something to be said for the simplicity of installing a package, precompiled and ready to go for you. And while slackware users may feel that it's not the right way to go, I can get Gnome installed in five minutes. Try doing that from source.

    ---

  • Try NetBSD on your sparc 2... I believe there's an MMU issue [netbsd.org] with the sun4c architecture that results in netbsd running much faster than linux on machines of this class. It's true, too... I run NetBSD on my sparc 2 and it's almost usably fast on the ol' 40 mhz beast.
  • Okay. Think of it like this...

    BMW releases (yet another) new experimental motorcycle. Everyone who has been in the motorcycle industry for more than 10-15 years tells BMW to shove it, whilst the newer crew rants and raves at how great it is.

    Harley-Davidson releases (this is rare) a new experimental motorcycle. Everyone who has been in the motorcycle industry for more than 10-15 years thanks them, whilst the newer crew bitches and moans.

    You've got two distributions (Slackware, RedHat) who serve the same core purpose: make a distribution. They go about it in different ways and cater to different people. Slackware, in relativity to redhat, is geared more toward a power-user or server admin. RedHat is geared toward a new user or less experienced admin.

    Redhat has had more than 142 security problems published on securityfocus.com in the last year. Slackware has had 14. Of course, these include older versions of the OS's, as well as some included third-party programs, but nonetheless it shows that RedHat's integrity in releasing solid PRODUCTION code is outright horrible, let alone their development. Slackware's record is far superior (and not without falter!), and the community in general respects Slackware for this qualitative approach of releasing a true alpha to the public for open development. They are not only supporting the community with a product, but also with the opportunity to participate in some good ole'fashioned development.

    (just to nitpick and advocate Slackware (Praise Bob!), i'd like to make clear that ZERO of the vulnerabilities listed to effect slackware had to do with the implementation or compilation of the distribution. They were either GNU.org code bugs, kernel bugs, or third party software bugs.)

    Development code is only as good as your developers... Says a lot more for Slackware's developers than it does RedHat's.
  • I haven't toyed with FreeBSD enough, but I suspect that make cvsup (or whatever command you use to update the ports collection) is not significantly more simple than apt-get upgrade.

    Yeah probably not -- but I have to admit that I've never used debian either. From what I've seen/heard, Debian seems like the distribution most like FreeBSD. I'm just much more familiar with the BSDs, and the linux distro's I have used (RedHat, Turbo) have left me feeling just a little unsure about exactly what's there. Well, Turbolinux is better than RedHat -- it doesn't enable so many services by default -- but I prefer to have a system that is completely stripped out of the box and I will add what I need. That way, even though I still might not be 100% secure, at least I won't be surprised by a hole in something I didn't even know was running!
  • I have been using Slackware since 1995. I have worked through 4 iterations of the product(3.0, 3.1, 4.0, and 7.0). In the meantime, I have installed Red Hat 4.0, 5.0, 6.2 and SuSE 6.1.

    Of these distributions, I had the fewest installation problems with Slackware. My Slackware boxes are easy to configure. Unlike Red Hat, Slackware is a more conservative distribution that releases about every 6 months. The result is that "the latest and greatest" beta code is released in the /contrib area rather than just added to the main distribution. The Slackware guys keep out unproven, unreliable versions of software until the bugs are worked out. This is their philosophy - Check out Slackware.com [slackware.com] for details.

    In my experience in using Slackware and the other distributions, Slackware has far fewer updates (or 'errata' as RHAT likes to call them) than other distributions.

    No I don't have actual "number of bugs per distribution" to support my hypothesis. What I do have is 6 years of Linux experience and the failures of trying to install and configure Red Hat and SuSE. In fact, of the other distributions I have installed over the years only Red Hat 6.2 went off without a hitch.

    Finally, many newbies think that Slackware is easy to install. For example, read Andrew Chen's review [linuxplanet.com] of Slackware 7:

    "Of the several Linux distributions I've tried, I feel that Slackware Linux 7 has presented me with one of the cleanest, most usable desktops, very suitable for anyone from a Linux professional to the casual desktop user switching from Windows."

    This is why I prefer Slackware. Later.

    "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life."

  • Last I heard (at Comdex I think it was) Patrick was looking into Slack/Alpha. But right now, 2 publicly accessable ports.
  • I can install Apache+mod_perl+mod_ssl+PHP+FP+-insert more modules here- if I want. Try doing that with a package.
  • Whether you choose Slackware or some other distribution depends on what you want from your system. What Slackware is good for is stability. It intentionally avoids having the latest greatest untested versions. Other distributions focus on trying to have the very latest of everything (and Debian probably succeeds the best at that). Some people want the latest. Some people want the stable stuff. I'm in the latter category, having used SLS, Slackware, Redhat, Suse, OpenBSD, Solaris, and many other unixen ages ago. My preferences now are for Slackware and OpenBSD. The only reason I'll still be running a couple Solaris machines is for compiling and testing some code I wrote. For my servers, it's Slackware and OpenBSD.

  • Hi!

    I'm going to get a Sparc 4 for free, and I just wonder if it's worth keeping. I used them a couple of uears ago, but I'm really not aware of what kind of power that sits inside them. Is it possible to run Linux with X and, say Afterstep, with decent speed on one of these? Or should I aim a bit lower (firewall? proxy?)...

    Should I go for Solaris or Linux? I'd like to try Solaris just to see the differences, but is it worth it?

    /Erik
  • >Now after having done it, ponder about this: is >it so much fun that you can positively state >that you'll never, ever get tired of it? i think we are arguing about convictions here; and i believe that most people stand by their convictions -- whether it's an o.s./distro/recipe/sexual position/etc. so, to answer your question: no, i won't ever get tired of it. when someone uses the word 'one' in a post/message it (i thought) is understood to mean 'me'. i apologize for you if you believe that i would even begin to _want_ to flame or bait. there was no hook hidden in _my opinion_. well.. maybe i didn't preface my message by including IMHO.. oh wait.. i did.
  • Why not run OpenBSD

    I for one would love to run OpenBSD on my Sparc - but none of the BSD's support 24 bit framebuffers. If I could afford to donate a Leo framebuffer to the OpenBSD team I would, but at about £500 for a second hand one I can't really stretch to it.


    Chris
  • by LizardKing ( 5245 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2000 @12:27AM (#663098)
    If I have a Sparc driven machine why should I use this toy for Intel(and now also for Sparc) called Linux?

    Your `toy' comment clearly indicates you're a troll, as does your bizarre claim to prefer using Solaris on an Intel box, however I'll credit you with a response.

    Try running recent versions of Solaris on older Sun hardware - it's no longer supported and on some configurations simply wont work. In contrast, Linux (along with OpenBSD and NetBSD) runs faster than Solaris, and works with a wide range of old Sparc hardware. Couple this with the increasing number of applications available for Linux, and you have a very sound reason to use Linux on a Sparc.

    Chris
  • Actually, the Linux distro that more closely resembles FreeBSD (and the other BSD derived systems) is Slackware. That is to say, Slack got all the bad (IMHO) features of BSD (initialization, /proc utilities) and none of the good ones (ports, for one).

    Debian has absolutely nothing to do with BSD.
    --

  • Don't take me wrong, mate, but I simply cannot relate to this notion that compiling stuff is an accomplishment. Writing code, teaking someone else's code, yeah, but simply typing ./configure && make install, doesn't strike me as an intellectually challenging pursuit.
    --
  • by afc ( 12569 )
    I think you'll find BMW's motorcycle's reputation fares a lot different in Germany than in the US, even when compared to Harley's...

    And regarding Slack vs. RedHat, my view is slightly different than yours: Slack caters to sysadmins (not power users) who are used to BSD, or came to Linux via Slack; RedHat caters to newbies and experienced users who don't like to do the same old shit repeatedly. Unlike what Slackware users think, power users like package management, that's why they use Debian ;-)
    --

  • by afc ( 12569 )
    I gorgot to mention this: compare the quantity of software added to the whole system by RedHat and Slackware. You'll notice that Slackware's contribution is dwarfed by that of RH. No wonder it has less bugs. It would be a wonder if hello.c had more bugs than GNOME.
    --
  • Put away your ego and use your brain for a few moments.

    Ditto.

    Every individual knows best what is best for his person. THAT is why people use Slackware.

    Idem, ibidem, s/Slackware/RedHat/.

    We compile with the options WE want, put the files where WE want and configure the way WE want. Not the way someone else decided it should be done.

    You do that for all the software you have on your system? Anyways, what prevents you from doing it under RedHat (or SuSE, or Debian, or Caldera etc)?

    Compare this to any of several analogies:

    Better performance out of a standard transmission.

    Eh?

    Better quality in made-from-scratch food...

    Thank you, I prefer my food made from vegetables and meat, hehe...

    Bare bones install, sure some people want that level of control. Others have even written their own operating systems. (How fun could that be. They must get tired of that.)

    Please notice that when I suggested to the original poster that he did a bare bones installation, I was not referring to Slackware, I meant rolling your own. I find it amusing that the vast majority of Slackware users whom I talk to in RL have no idea how to go about it.

    Yeah, writing your own OS must be a very rewarding pursuit. It is also somewhat more complicated than compiling somebody else's software and takes a heck of a lot more time (and people).

    It all boils down to this: Slackware provides a simple framework for getting linux up and running with a standard set of utilities and apps, while avoiding thinking for the user.

    It all boils down to this: Debian (or RedHat, or SuSE, etc) provides a complex, rich software environment which the user can tweak to his liking if he so wishes, without having to bother about irrelevant problems that should be solved just once.
    --

  • Ideology: An operating system is an operating system. This is the identity property. Basic logic. An Operating System is NOT an office suite. An Operating System is NOT an mp3 player.

    My point is that the concept of making an operating system is that you build the core on top of which applications run. Slackware does not follow this ideology the way I like it (OpenBSD-style), but they do MUCH better than RedHat.

    Quantity of software is also a null point. Firstly, the greater sludge of packages added by RedHat (same situation with debian) are rival programs striving to serve the same purpose. In fact, you may even end up with 3 packages that are just different versions of the same program! The ones that aren't duplicate are almost always outdated, oftentimes due to buffer overflows and other bugs. That is EXACTLY why RedHat distributions have so many security problems.

    Follow the simple idea that you install your operating system and then get your application software from the proper sources. You end up with the latest releases (that work) and much fewer security problems.

    It's a simple ideology issue. RedHat takes the AOL hodgepodge mentality. Slackware takes the erector-set mentality (a frame, get your own gear). I'll give you three guesses which the technically apt prefer. ;>

    IMO, actual power users don't use packages. They are the ones who MAKE the packages.

    As far as mechanical quality on BMW bikes, you're correct, but that was not the point of that statement. My point was to illustrate the riders of such bikes. You have your BMW riders, who can't quite hack it on their own, and then you have your harley riders. If you're familiar with the biking scene this should be crystal clear.
  • by afc ( 12569 )
    You brilliantly glossed over my main point, with a nice bit of handwaving rhetoric. So to recap, what I said was: measure the quantity of software that is spun by RedHat the company (RPM, kudzu, various config apps, large bits of GNOME, Inti, gcc, libc etc) then measure the amount of software that churns out of Slackware the company (if three guys in a basement a company make) into a GNU/Linux system. Who comes out with more? Who comes out with the more important bits? Who revs their stuff more frequently? If you still conclude that Slackware comes out shining, you are not being intellectually honest.

    Now for a good' ol point-by-point refutation of your argument:

    Ideology: An operating system is an operating system. This is the identity property. Basic logic. An Operating System is NOT an office suite. An Operating System is NOT an mp3 player.

    Yeah, yeah, whatever. Would you care to define what is an OS then? Where do you draw the line?

    My point is that the concept of making an operating system is that you build the core on top of which applications run. Slackware does not follow this ideology the way I like it (OpenBSD-style), but they do MUCH better than RedHat.

    My concept is that you provide all the tools the user may need to do his job: compilers, editors, programming tools, libraries, modern GUIs, programming tools. I think you'll agree with me that my "conceptual" OS is more useful than yours.

    Quantity of software is also a null point. Firstly, the greater sludge of packages added by RedHat (same situation with debian) are rival programs striving to serve the same purpose. In fact, you may even end up with 3 packages that are just different versions of the same program!

    Why, indeed:

    afc@tonga:~$ dpkg -l \*forth\*
    Desired=Unknown/Install/Remove/Purge/Hold
    | Status=Not/Installed/Config-files/Unpacked/Failed- config/Half-installed
    |/ Err?=(none)/Hold/Reinst-required/X=both-problems (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
    ||/ Name Version Description
    +++-===================-===================-====== ======================================== ========
    ii gforth 0.5.0-1 GNU Forth Language Environment
    ii kforth 1.0-3 Small Forth Interpreter Written in C++
    ii pforth 21-6 portable Forth interpreter
    ii yforth 0.1beta-13 A small freeware Forth environment in ANSI C.

    You do realize some of us like to have more than one option available, right?

    The ones that aren't duplicate are almost always outdated, oftentimes due to buffer overflows and other bugs. That is EXACTLY why RedHat distributions have so many security problems.

    Why that is news to me! So Slackware's touted high reliability is due to it having more updated versions of the available software? That flies in the face of all the other pundit's opinions in this thread!

    Follow the simple idea that you install your operating system and then get your application software from the proper sources. You end up with the latest releases (that work) and much fewer security problems.

    What makes you think Debian (RedHat, SuSE, Caldera etc) don't get the software from their proper sources? What makes you think you don't get the latest versions with the other distros? Like I said, that contradicts all the other Slackware pundits out there!

    It's a simple ideology issue. RedHat takes the AOL hodgepodge mentality. Slackware takes the erector-set mentality (a frame, get your own gear). I'll give you three guesses which the technically apt prefer. ;>

    Erector, schmector. I consider myself very apt, having been introduced to Linux in late '93 and having gone through SLS, Yggdrasil (ugh!), Slackware, RH, SuSE and settling down with Debian. You'll find the technically apt prefer to apt-get ;-)

    Furthermore, this concept that security should be one's major concern when installing a system is bogus. I am not (primarily) a sysadmin. I am a programmer. My workstations are pretty much immune to attacks from the outside world. I want the latest and greatest, ready or not, no matter how insecure or beta it is. In fact, I love beta software so much, that I use the latest beta of XEmacs, fresh from the CVS tree, as my development environment. If all the world was composed of responsible sysadmins that only use the most reliable, heavily-tested versions, free software development would proceed at a much slower pace.

    Second, this notion that you can cast all RedHat users in a mold, stereotyping a huge crowd of users is ludicrous. Do you seriously think you or any other kid that maintains a Slackware web server is more of a wizard than Alan Cox? As far as stereotypes go, I prefer mine: RedHat tries to cater to all users, newbies, sysadmins and wizards, being partially effective in that endeavour. Slackware tries to cater to whatever whimsical notions Volkerding has about what a Linux system should be, and is totally effective at that. Debian caters to the wizards.

    IMO, actual power users don't use packages. They are the ones who MAKE the packages.

    Yeah, right. So Debian package maintainers and RedHat developers either are not power users, or they don't use package management...

    As far as mechanical quality on BMW bikes, you're correct, but that was not the point of that statement. My point was to illustrate the riders of such bikes. You have your BMW riders, who can't quite hack it on their own, and then you have your harley riders. If you're familiar with the biking scene this should be crystal clear.

    Other than your analogy not being totally appropriate (Harley bikers generally ride vintage bikes which they must be able to fix on their own), you realize it is a bit of stereotyping, right? What makes you think every BMW biker is not able to hack his bike?

    Disclaimer: IANAB (I am not a biker) :-)
    --

  • When it sucks, it sucks hard.


    blessings,

  • I don't see how I could continue bantering on with someone when the purpose of argument is so drastically misconstrued between participants.

    A quality argument cannot ensue when a broad point is recanted with overly specific, if not nit-picking, examples. I could turn around and nitpick equally well ... it will serve no purpose other than to satisfy some pending need to vent about something (read: anything).

    My arguments of updated/outdated/etc were made to emphasise the structural and organizational differences in the distributions. It was construed as a much broader statement.

    Enough of this - i can't expect to rationalize with someone who can change understandings of the overall point of the discussion arbitrarily.
  • Is that like mickey black market?

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"

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