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Slackware Being Spun Off 231

gaj writes, "The answer to "What about Slack?" given the WCCDROM/BSDi merger has been answered. Patrick & Co. (literally now!) are spinning off into a new company called (oddly enough) Slackware Linux, Inc. They've confirmed this on the Slackware site. " BTW, Patrick will be next week's Interviewee - so start thinking of questions.
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Slackware Being Spun Off

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  • The only concern I have is how will they generate revenue? Will Slak Inc have to become a RedHat type of vendor to grab more marketshare- as well as gain income?

    ....I fart in your general direction....

  • Well, I bothered to read the link in the hopes that it would shed some more light on this, but it doesn't say much more than what the posting here does. So who's going to distribute / publish Slackware? Will it still be Walnut Creek?
  • there could be a difference between Slackware Inc. and RedHat, RedHat is actually out to make a profit, while Slack Inc. can just be out to cover their own expenses, and still provide a quality product. Not saying that RedHat doesn't make a good product, just they have a different set of goals.
  • by thomasj ( 36355 ) on Thursday March 09, 2000 @05:07AM (#1215295) Homepage
    For the first two years the only distro I knew was Slackware and things were "weird" in RH2.1 in my view at that time.

    Still, when talk falls on Sl.W, people kinda finds it "outdated", mostly because they ran it once and now they don't so it must be outdated.

    All is a matter of taste, but last I checked it worked more than fine, it even still installs from 3.5"'s, and it may save some old notebooks from the /dev/null

  • Well, it had to happen. We've seen it before with Cygnus. We've seen it before with RedHat, we've seen it before with VA Linux Systems. Looks like its happening again with Slackware.

    How much longer will the open source community stand idly by while it is used as slave labor by the "stealth-capitalists".

    At least with Microsoft you KNOW they want your money. At least when you write closed source software you GET PAID IN GOOD OLD FASHIONED UNITED STATES DOLLARS.

    How much longer will impoverished open source coders allow themselves to be used in this way , while the IPO $$hungry suits rip them off ?

    Do they enjoy being violently gang-raped by the forces of unfettered rampant capitalism, while the open source apologist stand by and wring their powerless hands ?

    The open source revolution has gone too far. Its time for us to take back ownership of our work. If this means closed source and patents, so be it. Why should the capitalist devil have all the best tunes ?

    thank you

    dmg (bak from da pen)

  • With all the Linux hype, and stock going up when companies just mention Linux in a press release, it certainly feels odd for a company to get rid of a Linux product...

    Fortunately, now we have yet another Linux-focused company to watch.

  • by 348 ( 124012 ) on Thursday March 09, 2000 @05:09AM (#1215302) Homepage
    We will be spinning merrily off to form a separate company-- Slackware Linux, Inc.

    That's somewhat disturbing. I immediately had visions of the Slackware core team skipping and twirling down the street, all decked out in pastel colors, taped glasses and little pointy elf shoes. Ugh, I need more coffee.

  • I am not exactly sure about my feelings when I read this article. For sure I am not glad that the new company has decided not to support Slackware.
    Then again, perhaps it's better this way. Because, even if I haven't been following the financial situation of Walnut Creek, I almost can bet it's not very good. Correct me if I am wrong, but from the agreement (i.e. the merger contract) it seems that BSD Inc bought itself a large portal. One that has been very popular for years (not only in the Linux side of the world) and which could bring them come more popularity. Which for the moment the need just as much as they need air. Let's face it : who is (Free)BSD ? No, I'm not throwing stoones at them (I wouldn't dare since I never used their OS) - I'm just looking at their share of the OS market. am I right, or are they in the Other Unices slice ?
    On the other hand it seems unlikely that Walnut Creek would give up a Linux distribution, knowing that the trend is pointing towards a Linux growth.
    Conclusion : this is a takeover like any other (see also AOL and Netscape) nicely disguised in a merger (lately it seems very fashionable to merge your company with another one).
    Who has to loose the most ? The Linux community. Or maybe not. Slackware may survive and I will be among the first to enjoy that. Because I always liked their distribution, because it is the first one I bought, because it is so damn' cool.

    And if they don't succeed I wouldn't wonder in about two years to see BSD-WC releasing Slackware 9.0 (yes - it does mean 7.0 + 2.0 - skipping 8.0).
  • Ugh... but at least that's better than mime-artists..

  • Would't it be a good idea to just shut down slackware?

    I know lots and lots of people use slackware and it is supposed to be a quite nice distro (haven't tried it) but if these people came out and said something like:
    "We are going to start working on free tutition software for poor children in africa instead of maintaining slackware. The world doesn't need 20 linux distros."

    I know this post is a bit stupid, silly and idealistic but it does seem like the "community" is more geared towards making X look pretty than making a difference.
  • by dkh2 ( 29130 ) <dkh2 AT WhyDoMyTitsItch DOT com> on Thursday March 09, 2000 @05:12AM (#1215306) Homepage
    This raises all of the obvious questions:
    • Are they going to go public or, will they remain privately held?
    • What about a revenue stream? How the heck are they going to raise long term funding?
    • Can I get in on the ground level as an investor? If I do, will there be dividends?
    and many more. As a user who is interested in the long term health of Linux I'd like to hear more of the details.
  • You're not wrong. But its not your call. It would be nice if one of these companies came up with a new piece of software rather than producing Yet Another Linux Distro(TM). Still, Slackware have been around forever, so they have more cause to keep doing the same than a lot of the newbies.
  • Actually, the world probably does need 20 Linux distros. You and I don't but then, you and I constitute only an ultra extreme minority of 2 among Linux users worldwide. What would be nice is to see various distros targeting more specific segments of the market, e.g.
    • [name] Linux for the home gamer.
    • [name] Linux for the family, including K-12 educational tools and family budget tools.
    • [name] Linux for the cracker wanna-be.
    • [name] Linux for the highly skilled cracker.
    • yadda yadda yadda
  • I hope that maybe this spin-off will help the distro (ie make it better). I feel that in recent years it has lost some of its market share, some of it unjustly but much of it because things didn't get updated. Now, after Red Hat's screw up (6.1), maybe they'll get a chance to regain the popularity they once had.

    If god had wanted man to be vegetarians, he wouldn't have made animals out of meat.

  • Call me, in some ways old-school, but I still consider Slackware to be the greatest Linux distribution, even though it wasn't the firsst one I used. To me, SuSe still seems like a slackware clone packaged with way more shit than I could ever care about, Debian seems unorganized, and RedHat and the crew seem to be an over commercial attempt to make Linux more Windows-like without a clear conception of what it is that makes Windows easier to use.

    Of course, most will disagree with me, and I'm not here to start holy wars, just to praise a great distribution. In my view, the spin-off is good news. I fear that the larger the company Slackware is associated with, the more pressure they would feel to change (i.e. become more like RedHat) Their continued independance reassures me that they will stay true to form.


  • As stated on the Slackware site []:
    "Slashdot will have an interview with Bob Bruce (President of WCCDROM)later today which should answer some questions."
  • Too much criticism here, slashdot readers! Nobody knows for sure what SlackInc will become, but if the past is any indication, it won't be another redhat.

    Best wishes in new endeavors, Slack team. Keep those uncluttered, beautifully stable releases coming!
  • This is not a bash.

    I use Slackware, although I've tried many other distros out there. IMHO, there's Slackware, there's Debian, and there's "the others". For me, Slackware does make a difference - and if (well, it's not likely to happen, but, for the sake of the argument, if) Pat & co. decided to abandon the development, I'm sure there would be a lot of people happy to pick it up. No, it's not the pretty X that makes Slack great.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    MANkind? What? I can only assume that you are talking about the professional wrestler of that name, because in my world (green, third from sun), the dominant species has TWO genders, and is called "humankind". I'm sick and tired of people always assuming that just because I'm a girl I don't know anything about computers. Actually I have Red Hat 6.0 and am learning Python. And I don't take kindly to people acting as if I don't exist. Not in the classroom, not in the street and not on the Internet. Mankind, my pert little ass.
  • The parent post is a troll. However, I will reply instead of moderating.

    Speak for yourself, dmg. If you don't like the consequences of writing open source software, then don't write open source software. Open source programmers, while terribly impoverished, still can buy a local newspaper and find the jobs section.

    My local newspaper runs like 32 pages of hi-tech wanted ads per week.

    So what's your problem again?

  • but much of it because things didn't get updated.

    The problem isn't that Slackware didn't update, its that Redhat updated before things became stable! Slackware doesn't show around saying 'look we got the newest!' Just look at glibc, Redhat and others already shipped with it even before the developpers said it was stable.

    Grtz, Jeroen

  • ...fraudulently renumber their releases in leaps and bounds,

    I didn't find it fraudulent... I read the text file that concerned the version number... he said that he got tired of people asking why he wasn't running "Linux 6.1" It was all very open and (I thought) tongue-in-cheek.
  • i don't fully agree in the way you say it, however I understand you don't like the position of RedHat inbetween other distro's.

    Everytime I see the name RedHat i think about:
    1. why did Rasterman _really_ quit redhat?
    2. is redhat having an eye on BeOS?
    3. will they still support opensource software when they think they can handle it alone?
    4. why are rpm's stupid? and...
    5. why do i have the feeling _I_ am in control when I use Slack, and don't have that feeling with RedHat?

    ok, for now I don't really bother with RedHat, for as far as I can see out of the facts they are just the most successfull Linux distro at this moment. Some years ago Slack was the most successfull. Maybe in two years, Debian will be the most successfull, you'll never know.

  • by tone1 ( 145449 )
    First, I was not being gender specific, and second, how do you know what gender I am? Get off of your horse and quit your political correctness attitude. It is this liberal bullsh@#$ that divides us, not a general term, that, up until a few years ago, meant: Mankind: THE HUMAN RACE If you ain't human, I'll withdraw the comment.
  • Laughed my arse off on that one!
  • ok, for now I don't really bother with RedHat, for as far as I can see out of the facts they are just the most successfull Linux distro at this moment. Some years ago Slack was the most successfull. Maybe in two years, Debian will be the most successfull, you'll never know.

    So what? windows is the most successfull os at the moment, does that make it the best? To me people choosing RedHat just because it is popular are even more stupid then those using windows!

    Grtz, Jeroen

  • Thank God in Heaven, I am one of the 5% of the world's population that doesn't live in a third-rate country (i.e. not the USA).

    Thank god I don't! (I live in The Netherlands and actually I don't believe in god....)
    To me the USA is one of the las countries I would like to live in.....

    Or anyone else who doesn't subscribe to communist ideals. Incidentally I'm tired of people who point out the obvious communist slant of the Linux world being labelled as trolls or flamebaiters. It's the truth. At least admit it.

    All right I admit, although I think it is more socialistic then communistic but you probably wouldn't know the difference...

    Grtz, Jeroen

  • They should just shut the fuck up and take orders, as evolution designed them to do. Since most men will never accept women as equals, women are just being deliberately destructive and divisive by demanding something they'll never get.

    They're not equal, they're different, so unless you want a lesbo-dyke Brave New World where all people are forced by law to be androgynous, you'd better face facts.

    Women are not equal. Women CAN NOT BE equal. Women SHOULD NOT TRY to be equal.

    Enough liberal bullshit!

  • by GC ( 19160 )
    I use Slackware and have since Q2'95. I've been tempted to get over my quirks with RedHat and bite the bullet and migrate from my preferred distribution. (Various reasons - most of you will be fully aware of what they are).

    This news will certainly delay this move and I hope to find a more professional gilt-edged version of Slackware 7.1 (or 8) on the horizon which has more support from third parties.

    Is it just me or are other people infuriated by organisations such as 3dfx only distributing their stuff in rpm format?
  • Yepp. I sure hope that too.

    SuSE was my first experience with Linux. Not that it'd have been bad at all, but when I first looked into those scripts I thought I'd probably never get it.

    Then I saw the clean scripts and the easy BSD-concepts of Slackware. Ever since, I don't want any other distribution.

    Who needs Package-Manager anyways when there are sites like freshmeat?

  • The only concern I have is how will they generate revenue? Will Slak Inc have to become a RedHat type of vendor to grab more marketshare- as well as gain income?

    Does Slackware really have to do any of these things to still be a viable distribution? I don't think so. It's not all about the money, and it's not a competition to see who will be the most popular distribution.

  • You're killing me here. You say that open sourced programmers are being used as slaves by corperate businesses. And then you wonder why you are given flamebait status?

    I don't understand your logic. Let me clear some things up here.

    Most people who post here, and read here, are typically users who are a part of, or sympathetic to the open source community. We either work on it in OUR OWN TIME, or we use it and act as cheerleaders and critics to those who do the work. The saying goes that we are our own worst critics. This drives the community and makes the product better. When you slam and take away the freedom to 'Innovate' (as your company, M$, loves to claim it does - innovate), you stifle creativity and competition. You tell all of us that we are slaves and slave supporters. That is an opinion, and for that reason, Slashdot allows you to post. But that you tell us what we are not, that begs for a flamebait status.

    Second, to everyone else, RedHat is not the M$ of the opensourced community. They have their own direction-- the same attitude that drives this community. They don't conform, and they just happen to be successful.

    Lastly, Slak rocks. That it requires such a hands on approach to do what a few mouse clicks might in another distro, gives the user a real feel of the OS. I think all Linux users should try it out-- go back to whatever else you have before after you have tried it -- This will give you a better grasp on what it is that you use -- namely, the center piece of a movement that business and marketing people don't understand.

    DMG, I ask you, have you tried the product that we hype/slam/support/enjoy/trash/are passionate about? If you have -- it was with the wrong attitude.

  • by panda ( 10044 ) on Thursday March 09, 2000 @06:09AM (#1215340) Homepage Journal

    No, it's not the pretty X that makes Slack great.

    I've installed Red Hat and Slackware. I have machines at home running Red Hat 5.0 and Slackware 7. I admin both Slackware and Red Hat. I configure, compile, and install software on both. I can make valid comparisons between Slackware and Red Hat. I don't have any ground to stand on when talking about other distros, so I won't talk about other distros.

    I use Slackware on my personal workstation and Red Hat on a machine that I don't use for much other than network routing. I don't fool much with the Red Hat machine, since I have it configured the way I like it. I didn't pick Red Hat to use as a gateway for any logical reason. I just had that machine available that had Red Hat on it at the time, so I configured it as a gateway.

    I chose Slackware for my desktop workstation because I like the Slackware philosophy and it fits the way I work. Slackware has a more streamlined configuration that is better suited to manual changes with a text editor than is Red Hat's. I can configure Red Hat by hand, if I must, but Red Hat's SysV style of init is more suited to configuration by software. Overall, this makes Slackware more flexible because you can add scripts to rc.local or remove scripts from rc.d and worry less about breaking things than with Red Hat. Also, when you want some daemon banished from your machine for good, you don't have to remove a link from three or four directories. You can comment it out of one script and be done with it.

    I am a tinkerer. I like to know how things work. I like to try different changes to see how they affect the system. I install from source, and you are kind of required to do so with Slackware since most RPMs are designed for some other system. That said, RPMs will work with Slackware, if you create the proper rc.d subdirectories first. Slackware still uses SysVInit, though inittab is set up more like BSD. Anyway, as I was saying, I install from source. I like to peruse the source of most applications before installing. And, yes, I install from source on Red Hat, too. I most recently installed OpenSSH on my Red Hat box. The big bonus of installing this way is there's no RPM database to get corrupted.

    Slackware is great for someone who wants to learn about GNU/Linux and really understand what goes on under the hood. It's easier than Red Hat to install and to configure by hand. The rc scripts are all in one directory for the most part and it's easy to find where some daemon gets run so you can shut it down by commenting it out of the script.

    If I were to create my own distro, I'd start from Slackware and build up from there. I think we need more GNU/Linux distros, not less. Right now, I feel that there are a lot of users' needs that are not being addressed by the larger distros. They may have three products (a Workstation, Server, and Web Server models) but those don't address everyone's needs. Slack, of course, comes in just one flavor, but that one flavor has most of what you need. Yet, Slackware is not perfect for all situations or all users, just as Red Hat is not perfect in all situations, either.

    If Patrick and the gang can't carry the Slackware torch for some reason, then I'll be more than happy to pick it up and run with it. I practically have Slack 7 mirrored on my machine, anyway.

  • by x00 ( 82065 ) on Thursday March 09, 2000 @06:11AM (#1215341)

    As a Slackware user I have to admit, I like it when I see Slackware news on Slashdot. Its been on twice in as many days (truely a records for Slack?). However it seems to have had two different icons, with the Slackware Updates [] we had the "GNU's Not Unix" topic and with this topic we had the "Linux" topic (which seems more logical).

    However, I believe its about time that Slackware gains its own topic and respectfully ask da Management for one.(A Slackware stylised "S" perhaps?)



    You probably voted for Clinton- huh?

  • Okay, humankind it is.

    Wait a minute! Scratch that! We need to say hupersonkind instead, because humankind is not gender-inclusive! (See the 'man' there?)

    wise up and get a clue. Easily offended people such as yourself sicken me.


  • I run Slackware 7.0 and I love it, but I wonder if businesses think the name sounds unprofessional. Too much like "slacker". This could be why Slackware has lost popularity to other distros. The ironic thing is that among distros, it's probably one of the best for serious business use.

    I think they need a slogan, to add a business edge to their image, while still remaining true to the spirit and character we all love. How about

    • "network demand driving you insane? We'll give you some Slack"
    • "NT stretching your (servers|budget|network) out of shape? We'll cut you some Slack."
    • some reference to the software being pretty slick... "not slick... Slack."

    Any others?

  • No it is not. Actually, it is very nice and tastefull.
  • If I had my moderator status I'd mod it up. Agree?
  • What portal is this? Walnut Creek doesn't own that. What financial situation is this? Where are you making this up from? Why is it that Walnut Creek have been making moves to spend more money on FreeBSD conventions, development, and publicity?

    Walnut Creek believes in FreeBSD, and the bottom line is that FreeBSD is their most successful product. A merger which will make the product more popular can only help them. BSDI is quite happy to merge peacefully with Walnut Creek, as it doesn't want to alienate the FreeBSD community, especially Walnut Creek employees such as Jordan, Jim, Greg, Bill, and others, and they both genuinely gains a lot from the deal.

    It is hard to believe a merger that places Jordan as the CTO, and places Mike Karels and David Greenment as co-architects, is a takeover.

    (btw, I also bought my first Linux distribution from Walnut Creek, way back when, when there were only two or three distributions to chose from, and Slackware was the only real choice. This was also when FreeBSD was suffering under the lawsuit.)
  • 1. His ego did not fit in the new building.
    2. No.
    3. Yes.
    4. They aren't.
    5. You are on crack.
  • >2) Surely you are not suggesting that software
    >created by introverted nerds with no
    >rounded education and a world view that consists
    >mainly of quake playing

    Surely you are not suggesting that:

    1. Everyone who creates software is an introverted nerd.

    2. Everyone who creates software does not receive rounded education.

    3. Everyone who creates software only play games

    >who spend most of their
    >time warez trading on slashdot sids

    Don't be shy to tell us that you trade warez (we won't mind, care, or laugh at you) - just please don't assume everyone else is doing the same.

    >is equivalent to mighty works of art such as

    Please tell us why not. As far as I know, VERY few artists we consider "great" had received rounded education, if any.

    >However, there is one way in which Linux is like
    >the artwork of Van Gough. They both belong in a

    Only great things deserve a place in the museum. I'm quite sure 100 years from now our museum will contain the first piece of Linux source code.

    Thank you very much for the compliment.
  • You have got my vote!!!!!!

    Grtz, Jeroen

  • Slackware is also still the only choice in some situations... There are server side programs that WILL NOT COMPILE under redhat, I dont have time to re-write them, and the author has cince abandoned it. I need that function/service so I run a slackware install to get the job done. One of the biggest mistakes Linux users make is the "gotta have the latest" craze.. I have 3 servers that run kernel 1.2x and they are fine/happy/work great! I dont need Kernel 2.4 with Glib/slib geewizbang.o on it. In fact I have a tiny 386 Mobo that will become a "cabin monitor" I'm installing a really old slackware distro on it (less than 14Meg installed) and using a solid state HDD (30meg) so it can monitor temp/items at my cabin, connect to the local ISP, ftp a webpage to a location, logoff, wait 12 hours. Page me if there is a critical error.... etc...

    the older distro makes my install a brain dead job (pre 2.0 Linux was far easier than what it is now.. less powerful too) and I don't need to fight with what RedHat deems that I must install.

    I hope slackware sticks around. but they need to focus on servers only... RedHat will have the desktop market tied up tight just by the hype.
  • The 3.5" install definitely saved my old notebook, so there's at least one!
  • Shut down slackware? You are kidding right?
    Slackware was around before just about any distro
    except for maybe Yggdrasil (remember
    that?) Slackware is a simple, clean, elegant
    distro without the bloat piled in to Red Hat.

    I use Red Hat *and* slackware,
    for different purposes. But then again I use
    NetBSD, FreeBSD, Solaris, AIX, and IRIX, for
    different purposes too :

    Red Hat: Desktop workstation

    Slackware: Personal Dial-in server and firewall (old 486-50 pushed to 60)

    NetBSD: on some old sun boxen

    FreeBSD: High load web server (
    Solaris: Sparc boxen (code dev/image processing)
    AIX: At work (only under duress)
    IRIX: Indy for S/PDIF input

    See, there is room for at least those two Linux
    Distros, and many other OS's

  • >Or anyone else who doesn't subscribe to communist
    >ideals. Incidentally I'm tired of
    >people who point out the obvious communist slant
    >of the Linux world being labelled
    >as trolls or flamebaiters. It's the truth. At
    >least admit it.

    Go read a book on communists in practice before getting back to /. Gosh. I can't believe how ignorant people are getting AND the expert claims from some of these ignorant people.

    >Let me guess: You're a registered Democrat and
    >listen to the Grateful Dead 24/7.

    So in the nano world of yours, only "registered Democrats who listened to the Grateful Dead 24/7" help each other out and live peacefully with each other. You know what, in this world, the real world, you are insulting a lot of people. Good for you being anonymous.

    >Dirty hippie. Go live on a commune where they
    >don't use computers.

    I guess we're running off topic here. Feel free to mod me down (I mean it, I just can't stand the attitude of some people and cannot refrain myself from participation. Follow the original thread and you may think the same. Sorry for the long flame. Thanks)
  • Daily, I read through the alt.linux, alt.os.linux and comp.os.linux newsgroups, and by far the smallest number of "it doesn't work" messages are from Slackware installs. Most of the problems come from users of the other distros when their nice MSWindows-like gui-based all-in-one Wizard maintenance tools don't do the job. And by far, the best answers come from those people (like those who use Slackware) who don't use those gee-whiz tools, but know their systems from experience.

    If PV keeps up the good work, I couldn't care less if they were spun off or still supported by Walnut Creek. Slackware is by far the best distribution for those who expect to use Linux in serious work. It's even a pretty good distro for those who want to have a pretty desktop machine.

    To those who post the "for dummies" questions in comp.os.linux.*, I say "Get Slack!".

  • "Cut yourself some Slack."

    "Don't Slack off-- use Slackware!" (erm, maybe the phrase "Slack off" isn't a good one to use...)

    "Slackware. Get down to brass tacks."

    "Elegant. Simple. Slackware."

    "When stability is paramount, Slackware is there."

    "When you don't have time for 'pretty'."

    "Because rm -r /* doesn't need an 'f'."

    "Kinda like a Geo Metro that does 300 MPH. In second gear."

    "Because you know what you're doing."

    "Good for small systems, great for big ones."

    "Slackware-- Who has time for formalities?"

    "Not everybody runs a Pentium or higher."

    "Get to know your computer. Intimately." (err... not "intimately" in *that* sense...)

    "The few. The proud. The people who stick with Slack."

    "Only the smart survive."
    I have come to a conclusion about life... I am more
    mentally stable than any of these activists or
  • better than skipping and twirling in purple bunny suits on national television, hmmm?
  • This is probably already known but Slackware DOES support RPMs
  • That's somewhat disturbing. I immediately had visions of the Slackware core team skipping and twirling down the street, all decked out in pastel colors, taped glasses and little pointy elf shoes.

    No, I'd expect that if they were on the Berzerkeley side of the tunnel, not the Walnut Creek side. Although, I have to admit the mental image of Patrick Volkerding dressed up like a harlequin, whirling like a dervish down Telegraph is VERY disturbing! Actually, with a name like "Slackware" they should probably move out into the valley (not the Valley!) somewhere, say Turlock or Modesto.... Maybe they can pioneer the concept of three-story Gelco-space?

    Which brings up an interesting point about the merger: now that they are just going to be the "BSD people", are they going to move back to the Berkeley side of the tunnel and take the Walnut Creek CDROM out of Walnut Creek the same way they just took "Walnut Creek" out of Walnut Creek CDROM?

    This is my opinion and my opinion only. Incidentally, IANAL.

  • Throw 'em all in the Pratchett scorpion pit I say - on one wall it clearly says "Learn the words" - no more than they deserve for the nightmares they must engender in small children... :)


    # Using Linux in the UK? Check out Linux UK []

  • Sure, but it's trouble I have to go to. Every Linux distribution supports gzipped tar files, so why not use those? They're tried and true. RPM has all kinds of problems.

    Mankind has always dreamed of destroying the sun.

  • Umm, pardon me. I'm not that keen on Perl myself, but I do know that it runs on many more platforms than Linux. We've got it on OS/2 boxes and Solaris here at work, as well as Win32. I even noticed it on a hoary old machine that runs Windows 3.1 the other day (said hoary old machine really just hosts a TI DSP emulator).

    I'd have to think hard to name a modern OS that Perl doesn't run on.

    I suspect I won't be the only one responding to correct your ignorance.
  • I always thought that the stem man came from the Latin(?) for hand as it does in the word manual.

    Thus, mankind are "the ones with the hands" -- the use of tools is what sets us apart from the other animals more than anything else.

  • Looking at the comments, I'm seeing a lot of postings to the effect that people can't see why Walnut Creek would want to "get rid of" a Linux distribution, looking at it from the standpoint that it might make them a lot of money.

    People, you need to step back and breathe the fresh, GNU air. ;)

    Walnut Creek is not doing this because it is a good business move. They are doing it in the same spirit that they have consistently shown to Linux, BSD, and all other open source projects. They are being the GOOD GUYS!

    They know that there is a possibility that Slackware Linux will fall by the wayside once BSDI moves in. They don't want to see that happening, so they're cutting it loose before something bad happens to it.

    The Walnut Creek Archives have been a bastion of open source software and championship for many, many years now. I'm sure that will not change. All they are trying to do is make sure that Slackware will sink or swim on its own merits, not go unattended because of the merger with BSDI.


    Ethan Baldridge
  • I didn't find it fraudulent... I read the text file that concerned the version number... he said that he got tired of people asking why he wasn't running "Linux 6.1" It was all very open and (I thought) tongue-in-cheek.

    Yes but that dosn't mean that it can't boggle the minds of people like me. Just because I have a program and get irritated at it dosn't mean I have to call it goddamnityoufuckingass.cpp or something like that why should version numbers change the same way?
  • Actually Slackware does announce security updates. When the Bind exploit was announced, I heard about it from the security mailing list and saw it on the site before I saw the CERT advisory. They do a damn good job with security updates, when they need to. The reason people assume they don't is because of lack of updates. Compare the number of updates and advisors listed on SecurityPortal between Slack and RedHat and you will see a huge difference. The reason? Because Slack only releases tested software packages. They avoid the newest until its been deemed stable enough to include. RedHat doesn't do this. They want the latest and greatest packages. That is ignorant. That is why they have so many security updates.

    Slack doesn't ignore security updates, they don't need them.
  • My experience has been that all sorts of venues distribute Slackware. I first started using it off the InfoMagic Linux Developer's Resource set ages ago. I downloaded 3.6, 4.0, and 7.0 iso's from somewhere. So "father FTP" distributes Slack, I guess, if you want to point fingers. CheapBytes is a good place to get Slack if you're bandwidth challanged.

    We need to somehow get away from the assumption that's taken prevalence lately that Linux distros have to come in shrinkwrapped boxes with colored bitmaps on them.

    And to people who say Slack is a server-only distribution: wrong! Some of us like a solid base distribution that we can install exactly what we want, and nothing else, onto.

    Speaking of the 'desktop, I am sad to report that FVWM1 is more difficult to install on Slack, now that it's not included in /contrib. Yes, I prefer FVWM1 for my Window Manager. It's also what I use on my FreeBSD boxen (built, of course from the PORTS collection- no binary packages are allowed on my FreeBSD systems.

    But anyhow. . .
  • Wow!

    Is Bob Metcalfe posting to Slashdot?

  • by number_six ( 160080 ) on Thursday March 09, 2000 @07:39AM (#1215385)
    Since this is one of those rare occasions when Slackware gets mention on the Slashdot site, I think it would be a good time to talk about the origins of the name, and the spirit, of Slackware.

    Slackware's name comes from JR "Bob" Dobbs and the Church of the Subgenius. I know that there haven't always been friendly relations between the Subgenius folks and the Slack distro, but it's still an important historical note to recognize.

    The Subgenius must have Slack! etc. etc.

    I just thought it worth mentioning, because Slackware has cool countercultural roots.

    Keep up the good work Pat V. And thanks, from a fellow Minnesotan.
  • Your answer to #1 is WAY off. How about the manager at RHAT who refered to "The crowd that festers around" rasterman? How professional was that? If you spent your time as a professional programmer just to have some IDIOT in management crap on you like that, would you take it lying down? I don't think so.

    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • I'm a sexually mature.
    Looks like you accidentally put a space in there between the second and third words.


  • A long time ago, in the SLS (or was it LSL?) & MCC days (1992?)... a distro was untarring a bunch of files to disk. It was ugly, but adventurous.
    Slackware was my next stop, and it was a nice change from it's predecessors, a bit more organized. A while after that, RedHat came along. Now, in all my time on #Linux helping people out, I'd always suggest slackware. Not because it was 'better', but because it didn't try to automate anything. IF you wanted to learn Linux, I thought, you better to it the hard way, and tackle slackware. And I think I was right. The only reason I know as much as I do about linux is because of slackware's roughness.
    The next step, several years later, was using linux in business. Redhat seemed to be growing fast, and there were commercial apps (backup software, etc) that supported redhat. so I went with redhat. It was surprisingly integrated (compared to slackware). I didn't like not knowing what it was doing though.. it did too much for me. It was messy (but rpm was kinda handy).
    I tried debian, but it was a cluttered mess.
    Then mandrake (6.1). Ahh.. that was nice. redhat, but cleaned up and integrated. But still redhat...

    Then one day, I tried a newer version of Debian, mainly because I like their philosophy. I love it now! It's extremely clean, and the package management rocks.

    I've had people tell me 'I don't want package management, I want to compile and do everythign myself all the time'. I don't disagree with these poeple, and if that's what they want to do.. debian holds nothing for them. But after compiling and updating the same things for 8 years, I'm quite happy to let the debian developers take care of the compiling/updating of most things and let apt take care of upgrading. It hasn't failed me yet.

    So I guess I'm saying, it all depends on what you want, or what you need. If you already have a very strong grasp of linux, debian is a great tool. If you want to learn it in great detail, use slack.
    Redhat is messy.
  • I don't have to go read a book on communists. I work with a man who left Russia after the USSR lost the cold war. He (at the age of 64) has told me all about communism and yeah... it sounds just like the Linux community. So... there's your fucking experience for you, book man.
    I AM a man who left Russia after the USSR lost the cold war. I tell you, Linux and communism have nothing in common. So...there's your fucking experience for you, i-work-with-somebody-who-told-me-everything-i-need -to-know man.
  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Thursday March 09, 2000 @07:51AM (#1215391)
    I thought that about debian too. But debian is VERY organized. It's exceptional.
    The trick is, don't install using the pre-set settings. Install the base system, skip the package settings, exit dselect, and use the apt* tools for everything. it's easy and extremely clean!
    You end up with a minimal system, no compilers, hardly any utils, but it has apt installed properly.
    If you haven't used apt.... let me provide an example.

    I needed gcc to make a kernel.
    # apt-get install gcc

    one command, and it fetched it and installed it, cleanly.

    # apt-get upgrade
    cleanly upgraded all packages that were out of date on the system.

    # apt-cache search string.h
    - search the package library and tell me what packages contain string.h

    # apt-get update
    - refresh the local cache of the package library.

    It's wonderful.
  • Okay. Now I'm really wondering. Why was this marked as Flamebait?

    Granted, my tone was a bit emotional. But, if anything, that one was more Informative than the original post. Simply a wake-up call.

    Please tell me what was invalid about any point I made. I'm really dying to know.

    As for this meta-moderation thing I keep hearing about -- point me to it, so I can score the people who moderated up the other guy's post as (-1, Clueless).


  • You missed a few:

    "Slackware: How you GET where you want to go today."

    "Slackware: How to get where you want to go today, WITHOUT crashing or BSOD's!"

    "Slackware: Takeing the path to world domination!"

    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • All i can say is, Good Luck to Patrick and the whole Slackware team. I'm sure that they will do well. I've been using slackware since kernel 2.0.27. I have tried other distros like Redhat and Suse but always came back to Slack. I just didnt like the way that Suse and Rh tried to do things behond your back, unlike slack. I find slackware's configuration fairly simple and straight forwards.

    I just hope that cd distribution doesnt get affected as i cant easly download slack at the moment (no proper net access :( ).

    Anyhow, work bekons....

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You know it should be the penguin with the pipe in its mouth. Alas, I do not see a link on the slackware site for said penguin, which used to be there.
  • You probably should place a link to on your ass. Asexual is an organism that does not need anyone else's help to reproduce.

    You are completely discredited by this remark. Take your feminist shit and shove it back up that black hole of yours.

  • I used to use Slack, back in the day when it was 3.4. The only complaint I had with it was that I virtually had to wipe the disk and start fresh for upgrading to a new version of Slack (see the upgrade.txt file in Slack if you don't believe me). I know RH 's upgrade isn't painless, but it sure is a lot easier than slack's? Will there be a way to make this easier with the next version of Slack?
  • aav wrote:

    I am not exactly sure about my feelings when I read this article. For sure I am not glad that the new company has decided not to support Slackware.

    Funny. Bob (Bruce) said:

    Patrick Volkerding has moved out here from Minnesota and is now managing Slackware development on a day-to-day basis. We will be releasing Slackware 7.1 by summer.

    I remember when Patrick was reluctant to move from Minnesota to California, so I guess Bob talked him into coming out for a reason. And having known Bob and Patrick for several years, I seriously doubt it's to cut him off unsupported. From my experience, Walnut Creek CDROM has been very supportive of Slackware Linux from the get-go.
  • Somehow it seems so discordian and cool.

    Just like something a "Slack" distribution should be.


    etc. etc.
  • "You and your little fuckwad here are having fun and games at the expense of sexually abused little girls."

    I am in stitches here. "what about the children, what about the children?" Oh my god, Moderate this up and funny as HELL. I won't be kissin your black hole as I might find your previous victim still alive inside.

    OOOOOhhhhhhhh, did you know that radical feminism is french for 'whore on the street'? Just and FYI.

  • Is Mr. Volkerding planning on bringing in more people to help him maintain the distribution?

    Honestly, I wouldn't want to see that. I've been using Slackware for about a year now, and I like the fact that it's only maintained by one (fairly picky) person who is the current maintainer anyway.

    Obviously, more people will have to be brought in to work for the new company (and I am accepting offers!!!), but please, please don't let anyone else help with maintaining Slack!

  • Some things just aren't funny, and talking about sexually abusing children is one of them.
    Okay. Where the fuck did that come from? I made no mention of the sort.

    I suppose I should include something inflammatory here, or else you won't bother to respond. So here it is: Fuck off and die, and take your feminaziism with you.

    (To set the record straight: Feminism is a Good Thing, but feminazis can kiss my ass.)


  • my world (green, third from sun), the dominant species has TWO genders, and is called "humankind"

    If you are referring to Earth, the dominant lifeform is bacteria. Always has been, always will be. The history of life on Earth is the history of bacteria, with a small percentage of largely irrelevant multicellular organisms thrown in as a sidebar.

    Now, unless somebody wants to argue about what the politically-correct gender references for bacteria are, can we let this entire stupid thing drop? "Grammar Attacks" never convince anybody of anything, or solve anything. I commend to your attention Sun Tzu's work, The Art of War, which includes the advice "Take no action unless there is advantage to it."

  • How about turning the slackware site into an open NFS server or else adding FTP install to Slackware. Isn't it a little inconsistant to have Slack available only by FTP yet have only an NFS option for network installation?
  • What do you think you're doing? I was merely stating the obvious.

    You people are pathetic. Any time anybody disagrees with you or asks you to think, you throw a shrieking fit.
    Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? I disagreed with her^H^H^Hthat person and asked her^H^H^Hthem to think, and you jump in here whining. How original.


  • OOps.

    I thought I had heard rumors of "difficulties" that resulted in images of "Bob"s head being removed from the Slackware distro. It was mighty pink of me to make assumptions like that.

    I'm glad to hear the good news that I was wrong.
  • It's mighty convenient to claim that you were trolling now, after your ignorance was put on display for the world to see.

    It seems you're intent on having the last word. So go ahead. Post again. I know you will. Your kind always do.


  • But the children-- they can read this post. And you used naughty language, and you referenced body parts, and you are threatening their future. Oh my god, what will we do?

    We must take away the internet for the sake of the children and feminazi's. We must strip our language of male words like BITCH AND SLUT AND WHORE AND PMS AND SALESPERSON AND ANONYMOUS COWARDS!!!!


  • Come on folks lets compare apples to apples.

    I use slackware at work. It freed me from my WinNT partition. I have used all of the RedHats up to 6.1 even seen Mandrake 7 more than once. I've installed FreeBSD & Corel Linux. Most of the time just to see what they decided to do differently. I have a partition on my HD at home that gets whatever new linux comes out just to see the differences. I always go back home to Slackware.

    It's easy to configure the scripts to make everything run the way you want it to. It doesn't come with RPM support out of the box, but rpm2tgz is a great program. Not only that. I personally prefer tar.gzipped files. I prefer to compile them and get a feel for the programmer who wrote the software.

    People that used slak shouldn't compare the early versions to redhat 6.5 or any other current distro. I think Rob Malda still has his Slackware Rant on his web page that he had trouble with one of the early versions.

    ...and my last beef with the slack discussion is this: Where can you find a more helpful group of people that can fix just about anything Slackware related within 24 hrs, or at least make suggestions that point you in the right direction than They are a good group of guys (and gals) that know the distro well.

    I've never met Patrick Volkerding or any of the other crew involved with Slackware. Probably would ruin my image of them ;) (j/kidding) but I know their distro inside and out.

    Slackware 7 is right up there with the rest of the Linuces*. Try it, you'll see.

    * I think that's the plural.

  • Hey,

    I know lots of people in Kansas (Born and raised there) and I don't know anyone who is that bigoted.

    to the Anonymous Coward who is crying out sexism:
    Use any "good, Collegiate" dictionary and you will find the roots of mankind are from latin, and does not refer specifaclly to the male species.

    Of course, this would be assuming that you're old enough to understand a Collegiate Level dictionary, so this post probably won't apply.

    Get a grip, Get a Clue, Grow up, 'nuff said

    My only $0.02

    Got Slak?
  • While I wouldn't call myself a "veteran" Linux user, I have been running Slackware since the summer of 1996. I'd say, rather than get[ing] away from the assumption that's taken prevalence lately that Linux distros have to come in shrinkwrapped boxes with colored bitmaps on them. that those ofus who have been using un-shrink-wrapped distributions need to do more advocation. Yes, Linux is moving (has moved?) into the realm of the business world, but we shouldn't allow ourselves to forget where it came from.

    One of the main reaons that I still run Slackware, and still personally advocate for Slackware, is that installing it and using it everyday reminds me of the many times when I was first exploring *nix and learning the power that it gave to the user/programmer (and especially to the sysadmin ;) I like the philosophy of Slackware that you should know how your system works and how you want it to work; Slackware encourages a careful reasoned approach and a deep understanding of Linux.

    With regards to FVWM1, why not just pull the source off of one of your old CD-ROMs, install libc5, and recompile it?



  • Not to troll, but how is Red Hat messy?

    I myself grew up in the Linux world on Slackware, and I agree with you that it is the best distro to use when you are learning Linux. It makes sure you really do learn what you're doing, and doesn't just hand you everything in a GUI that doesn't teach you anything. In fact, I still have Slack 3.6 on my laptop (486/66 12mb, 300MB HD :) )

    However, I eventually became tired of the lack of package management, as well as the sometimes outdatededness of Slack. At that time, I looked first at Debian, and then at Red Hat. Debian's install was horrific [something akin to the FreeBSD install, where the motto seems to be "try it a few times and get it wrong, then go back and do it a fifth time to get it right"], whereas Red Hat had a fairly clean install, so I went with Red Hat. I've been on RH since.

    My experience with RH has been mostly positive. I don't find it messy or unwieldy. Yes, it does occasionally do some odd things, like place config files in strange places, and I must say that linuxconf is the devil, as it has a nasty habit of overwriting handmade changes to files, but this is true of linuxconf on any distro. It just happens that RH likes to stress it (which I wish it wouldn't).

    Your quick jab at RH comes with no backup of any kind. Have you used RH at all recently? For any length of time? Or are you just perpetuating the general "RH is commercial and therefore evil" fallacy that permeates the community? RH has given a lot to the community. People like Alan Cox wouldn't be able to be full-time kernel developers without RH.

    Also, before a Debian guru responds with his "X easy steps to an easy Debian install", I know them already. Nowadays, people tell you to ignore the default package selection and use apt instead of dselect. It doesn't matter to me now, as it is too late. My system works beautifully, and has for coming up on 2 years with Red Hat. I have no desire to switch, although I might be putting Debian on a secondary system of mine. And the install is still pretty bad, regardless of the advances in things like apt. I will admit, however, that Debian is very easy to admin once installed, as apt does most of the work for you.

    Also, to quell any obvious retorts:

    Yes, I use Debian fairly frequently on systems that I do a lot of work on. I have also attempted installs as recently as a few weeks ago on test boxen that I have around.

    Yes, I use Slackware quite often, ie. whenever I boot up my laptop. I'm a bit behind [3.6], but I picked up Slack 7 at LinuxWorld Expo in Manhattan, and am considering putting it on a box I have sitting around.

    No, I don't use FreeBSD much. I have a couple accounts here and there on FreeBSD boxen, and have attempted the install a few times. It was BAD.

    Anyways, I'm ranting. End Point: back up your comments with actual facts. Quick jabs at distros without any sort of proof are nothing more than trolls.
  • Does that mean that you are a hermaphrodite?
    What does it matter what I am? You're the one who was flaming me as being a militant prejudicial type.

    That's the fucking funniest thing I've heard all day.
    This confirms my theory. Namely, that you are a sad, losing, pathetic little individual (Oops -- did I say individual? It's obvious you are a part of the hive-mind that is the essence of Trolls.) with a miserable existence.

    Try having a life sometime -- you might like it.


  • Even if this is from an AC I'd give you a point up on this one for the funny factor. Excellent! HAHAHAHahahahahha.....
  • How about getting permission from the appropriate parties, and using the "unofficial" Slackware logo: Tux, with the head of J. Robert "Bob" Dobbs superimposed on his chest? For it is only through paying proper homage to Bob that Slashdot can truly accumulate more Slack (and less grits?).

    This is my opinion and my opinion only. Incidentally, IANAL.
  • A platypus like they used to have! Call him Pete and have him join Tux and Chuckie as they all twirl merrily down Telegraph avenue!

    ps. Anyone know where I can get a good icon of a platypus to replace the K in my kpanel?
  • Since time immemorial, or at least the time of Old English, "man" and "mankind" refer to all humans. This is the primary reason that the words "menkind" and "humen" do not exist. In fact, the *only* time "man" does not refer to a male human is when it is used to distiguish it from "woman".

    The word "human" is defined in my dictionary as "of, pertaining to, or characteristic of mankind". It also shows that it is derived from the latin "humanus", which gives a clue as to the origin of your hated "man".

    Stop trying to mold the English language to fit your narrow notions of political correctness.
  • "The open source revolution has gone too far. Its time for us to take back ownership of our work."

    Nobody took your ownership away. It is only on the GNU side of Open Source, and only a very small minority there, that demands software have no owners. No one can tell you what you can or can't do with your software. Not the IPO's and not RMS.
  • You're actually confused as to why you get moderated down? Let me give you some hints:

    • slave labor
    • stealth-capitalists
    • impoverished open source coders
    • IPO $$hungry suits rip them off
    • violently gang-raped
    • unfettered rampant capitalism
    • capitalist devil
  • Almost anywone who is reading the stuff you've been writing (to the trolling Anonymous Coward) can't help but come away with the idea that you are a deranged person with no self-esteem.

  • Obviously, we have an agent of the great and terrible Jehovah-1 here, attempting to undermine the work of the folks at Slackware.

    This agent by whom I mean the "feminist" Anonymous Coward, is what is referred to as a "pink boy" [], in the official Sub-Genius text. Therefore he is clearly, by definition, not female (see the "boy" part of the appelation) and therefore his ranting may be taken with a grain of salt.

    To "Pink Boy" the AC: I hope you will accept J.R. "Bob" Dobbs as your personal Lord and Savior, and leave your servitude to themightyandterribleJehovah1. Fnord.

  • Slackware, unlike most of the other Linux distro's _does_ have a higher purpose. That purpose is to provide slack! As anyone who has read the sacred texts of the Church of the Subgenius knows, there is no higher purpose!

    As J.R. "Bob" Dobbs would say, "You'd pay to know what you really think." Nothing can be considered more idealistic than that.

  • Well, if that happens, I will be more than willing to contribute to keeping Slackware Alive. I've tried many a different Distro over the years, I am probably one of the first 1,000 Linux users, maybe the first 500, starting out with kernel ver. 0.12. I used to go around doing Novell Netware installs with a boot/root diskette pair in my shirt pocket and show people Linux...

    Long live Slackware!

  • Now, how many version numbers does this warrant?

    Chris Hagar

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."