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WindRiver Will Not Keep Slackware 206

jolan writes: "Patrick Volkerding posted an announcement saying that Wind River is not planning to keep Slackware after the merger." Patrick writes there: "This isn't going to take out Slackware, though. Development continues," and goes on to say "I'm working on setting up a company so we can handle the publishing ourselves. Unfortunately, I'm broke. I can get funding to publish and ship the release to all the subscribers (and anyone else who wants it), but have no money to pay my fellow friends (which sucks) until we make some." Since Slackware has perhaps the most loyal users of any product (just happens to include Linux distributions), and with a new release upcoming, certain reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. Maybe we're about to enter a whole new Slackware era.
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WindRiver Will Not Keep Slackware

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well said! After programming Visual Basic for Applications in Windows, I never want to go back. It's so much simpler to get things done.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    See here on the slack forum: a post by Patrick [] in response to some guy posting his un-official paypal donation site. (in all fairness I think the Nanux guy was trying to help, I noticed several posts by him offering to do this, I guess Patrick didn't notice them)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'll have to admit, it seems odd that they are surprised they got canned? Maybe one of these bleeding hearts should send them a donation of a calender, so they can see how friggin long it has been since they released something!

    Hell yes your on the street guys and I am sorry, but the fact of the matter is that if ANY of us sat around for a goddamn year without producing anything, we would be toast too!

    They got Slackware to the big league, only to find out they didn't really like playing the game, just thought that wearing the uniforms would be cool. "We'll have it out in October, somtime around Christmas, first of the year, FEBRUARY!, first week in April, sometime in May... this summer we hope ... ? ... ?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm a newbie, and purely by coincidence, I just got Slackware up and running on an older desktop last night.

    I once read an old /. thread where someone said they'd sooner hand a newbie Slackware and a good book rather than a distribution that automated more of the installation details. That opinion stuck with me; I took it to heart and finally got (really) the Slackware Dummies book/CD. After screwing things up twice, I've now got the machine up, running and (mostly) configured. Granted, I'm writing this from my Windows machine, but once I learn enough to make sure I can expose the Linux machine to the web without any dangerous services running in the background, I'll be posting from that machine instead.

    As a new user, I not only want to use Linux, I want to understand how and why it's working. Anyway, so far so good with Slackware, and I didn't have to lean on a Corel-like glossy installation program.

    Plus, I like Slackware's background (if that's worth anything).

    Anyhow, to answer the question "So who is using Slackware?", put a check mark in the new user column for me.
  • Damn. I followed the exact same path, except starting from Yggdrassil.
  • I'm using Slackware.


  • It seems to me that nobody but the actual Slackware team would be able to set up an address....


  • by Phroggy ( 441 )
    It looks like but I'm gonna hold off on that for a couple of days until I get confirmation that WindRiver isn't gonna try to steal that.


  • Linux going closed-source would make it more secure [], too. Yay!


  • I use RH & I know pretty much what's going on with my system (hint: I do expert installs, turn off unnecessary services, update packages as needed, etc.). ANY admin with half a clue will do the same regardless of OS or distribution.
  • Not entirely true.

    That Doug Miller interview sure did have lots of "Why we're better than you open source hippies" spin to it.

    But you wouldn't be the first person to say slashdot was biased, and you'd be right. But so what? :)

  • Like Dick Stallman always said, you shouldn't expect to make money on software. If you want to make money you should go into business or marketing. Software is worth less than the CD-R's it's backed up on right now. It's time we started viewing programmers more as starving artists than any kind of vital payroll component.
  • Maybe one thing to think about is the possibility that Slackware (and Linux) were successful in the early days because noone threw a limitless amount of money at them.

    While a little more money might help, I suspect there are limits to the process.

    I'm still trying to figure out if the direction Gnome is going (with a lot of imitation-windows apps) is a good idea.

  • by Dicky ( 1327 )
    Moderate the parent up!
    Seriously - I bought a couple of versions of Slackware back in the 3.x days, then went over to RedHat and SuSE for a while, now I'm back on Slackware. Where do I send the money for the 7.x versions I've downloaded, now that it's quicker for me to download than buy? Seriously. I still have a tech job () and I can't think of a Linux/free software/Open Source project which deserves more support. I've got a Slackware penguin sitting on top of my monitor at work, and a t-shirt and snapshot version of Slackware for Sparc - all given to me by various Slackware people. I want to pay for them now that they can't afford to give this stuff away, and I can afford to pay for it.
  • Ouch!! I was able to dial in to my university's modem pool so I saved $$ on the phone bill. But I did have a few problems on the install. Two or three times I would get half way through and find out one of my disks was bad. (Back to the download...)

    They'll take my CD burner away from me when they pry it from my cold dead hands!!!
  • How much does it cost to make all those diskettes these days? :-)

    When I first installed slackware I spent about $5 on diskettes and I was up all night downloading the disk images. Ahhhh yes, *those* were the days.

    Anyway, kudos to Patrick for his fine work and I hope he finds the money so that he can pay those who work hard along side him. (One more reason for a standard internet micropayment system.)
  • I've attempted both debian and (blecch!) Redhat, and I always come back to slack.
    Clean, raw, basic *nix.
    I cannot stand the endless wait for RH to boot. I can't stand how arcane the text file configurations get. Linux conf? PLEASE! No Way.
    I compile *everything* from tarballs, with no probs whatsoever; even generic stuff not targeted for linux. My /usr/local is HUGE.
    If slack goes away, I'll have but one honorable alternative: FreeBSD.
  • Beautiful links, man.
    The first one, especially.
  • I'll have to wait for validation on this, but if true, I will definitely contribute.
    Slack means more to me than PBS.
    Hey! How about pledge drives?!
    Oh! We could have Celtic Kitsch and...
    (slaps self) OW!
    Never mind.
    I will, however, give gladly to the cause.
    Shit, man.. I've never really HAD a cause before!
    Guess I do now..
  • That point is the one I make to all my linux lusting colleagues.
    Slack is *THE ONLY* linux distro that actually looks and acts like a commercial distribution.
    Commercial distros are user hostile for an excellent reason: USERS SHOULDN'T BE USING THEM!
    Slack is the *ONLY* linux distro that actually trains you for the larger *nix world.
    And it does so well!
    Learn slack, and you can easily hop over to any commercial *nix distro whatsoever.
    Slack=Clue, my friends.
    Never forget that.
  • If you've been using slackware since the 1.2.13 kernel, I wouldn't say you're new to linux. That's longer than probably 90+% of current linux users. I've only been using GNU/Linux since the 2.0.(28?)kernel and even then it still seemed more like a hacker/hobbiest thing, at least compared to today.

  • I do. Two computers at home and one at work runs Slackware 7.1 (patched, of course). The reason it simple: you have full control over your system, and can remove anything you don't like. A file server here doesn't even contain the ls, rm, rmdir etc commands. It serves files, and does it very well. Runs 24/7 without attendance other than installing security patches, and only if it affects the setup in my machines.

    Tried Debian, didn't like it. Not sure why. A friend prefers it though, but everyone is free to choose their distro.
  • by Adnans ( 2862 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2001 @01:43PM (#284951) Homepage Journal
    - Linux boot / root floppy images (via ftpmail/uucp)
    - SLS 1.0 (kernel 0.99.x days)
    - Yggdrassil (first usable distro IMHO)
    - Slackware 3.0 (ELF!!)
    - Slackware 3.1
    - Redhat 4.2
    - Redhat 5.1
    - Redhat 6.0 (They finally convinced me to look for something better)
    - Debian 2.2
    - Debian Unstable...The Holy Grail

  • su - root
    vi /etc/inetd.conf
    -- comment out undesired services --
    $killall -hup inetd

    Sheesh! It's not rocket science...
    "In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL."
  • Has Debian even gotten to the 2.2 kernels? I am sure Debian is the new 'chic cool' distro for 'hardcore' Linux guys, but their update cycle is way too slow, IMHO.
    "In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL."
  • Have you tried removepkg on Slack? If you install a tar ball (.tgz), it will remove all of the files installed. Really only useful for binary installations, but I thought I would point out the existence of the Slackware package tools. The 'pkgtool' is a graphical interface to these command line tools:
    • installpkg
    • removepkg
    • updatepkg

    "In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL."
  • There is a significant performance increase on most user's machines when they compile their own programs. In particular, the kernel, X server, and GUI (like KDE) will increase your system performance significantly.

    Most distributions compile for the lowest common denomenator PC architecture (386,486,Pentium - depends on distro). Most of us run P2, P3 - a big difference in processor architecture. The compiler 'knows' which type of processor you have, so when you recompile software, the compiler can take advantage of the new technology in the new processors. Hence, your program is compiled with the new technology and the net result (generally) is that you get faster programs.
    "In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL."

  • And I was worried that I was the only control freak left. ;)
  • > I doubt Linux even runs on
    > any laptops that don't have
    > at least a PCMCIA-II slot

    But it does. Very well. And, of course, Slackware from floppy disks is the way to go in such cases.
  • and the Internet
  • How Smart Things Think(tm) my ass!

    I hope Slackware goes out on its own and makes a TON of money. It was the first distribution I ever installed (from floppy!) and I still use it today.

    Cut those ties that bind and see which way the wind blows.

  • I use it, and not for "old times' sake". It is just stable, period. I use it on all my company's servers, and I have used it on the servers of my employers for years. I also use it on my own desktop at work and at home. Slackware is just so easy. I have never had any library version headaches of any kind, whereas with Debian and Red Hat I have. (Example: I can't get consistent libs, headers, and binaries for gnome and gnome-devel on debian testing). I also enjoy the flexibility of having both SysV and BSD init at the same time.

    Slackware is also a handy base to start a new ditribution from. At my employers, I simply make new tag files, burn CDs, and I have automatic slack installers. At home, I have created an LDAP-authenticated distribution off Slackware. Again, no headaches, no unstable libraries, no balky compilers.

  • Slackware no longer has the floppy-sized directories. Not even for the A series.
  • Is it possible to install Red Hat without installing X? I tried once, on a Multia, but gave up after 30 minutes of trying. It seems like enabling any package brought in a dependency on X (and/or tcl/tk, WTF?)
  • Actually, they will not be back for 7.2. David Cantrell said in this post [] that floppy installs are now gone. Also, if you look at -current, there are several packages which are too large for floppies. a1/modules.tgz is 5MB. n1/samba.tgz is 6MB.
  • Sorry for the crass reply to myself, but I forgot to relay my latest anecdote. I started a new job a few weeks back. First day on the job, I notice a lot of wanky shit happening on a development machine. Took a closer look, and the machine had been rootkitted. Took a closer closer look, and EVERY machine had been rootkitted. They were all default RH 6.2 "Server" installations, and they had all been rooted through a bind hole. Slackware, of course, doesn't start bind unless you specifically add it to the init procedure. Solution: replace r00t hat boxes with Slackware boxes. No more worries :)
  • They don't include the story link [] to practice their HTML.

    P. Volkerding:

    Slackware has always made money (who else producing a commercial distribution can say that?) but with BSDi, we ended up strapped to a sinking ship.
  • We have a few Slack servers, this machine is SGI RH with XFS, but it was Slack 7.1

    It was a bit more work, but I knew everything going on with it. Now I am learning about RH and when things don't go smoothly it is very frustrating because I don't feel as in controll over whats installed.

    Might just be that your more comfortable with what you know.

  • As a lot of the people who has been using linux for a while. Slackware was the first one that I used. I remember downloading it on to 30 diskettes (I had a lot of AOL diskettes) Slackware will not go anyware alot of people will still support it and use it. Good Luck to you guys
  • That's funny I went the opposite direction.

    • HP-UX, SCO, AIX (OK these don't really count, but I used to be a commercial Unix bigot ;-b)
    • Debian 2.0 (Hmmmm this Linux thing is actually pretty cool!)
    • Debian 2.1
    • RedHat 6.1 (I think, it was a brief journey, ran away screaming back to Debian.)
    • FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD (Had to try it, and I got addicted to the simple elegance of the BSDs, but there are some things I like better about Linux.)
    • Slackware 7.0 (Revelation! An elegant BSD-like Linux! Finally I can comprehend every detail of every single part of a Linux system, from the setup and startup scripts to the config files.)
    • Back to FreeBSD briefly (That's some sweet Unix there, but I missed Slackware.)
    • Slackware 7.1 (Aaaahhh. Feels like home.)

    Patrick, if you're reading this, I hereby promise to buy a CD of every future release. And you can crash here at my house if you need to. ;-)

  • You know, your trolling is becoming annoying. You are also ethics major and social major. You have posted countering viewpoints in the past couple of weeks and were modded up. People should be made aware of your multi-account trolling and modding scheme.

    Stop it now.
  • I think people still didn't realise what is killing the soft. Lack of funds? No. Lack of support? Either. Lack of users? Of course not!

    It's lack of care that is killing the soft. You don't care for the future. You don't plan. You don't see. You are a selfish boom waiting for the next piece of soft. If any one is killing the soft then it is 90% of you people for being too lame to help.

    Linux was a movement. It was born of hundreds of thousands helping each other. So it progressed with no big needs for cash exchanges. It was a pure barter market. Today this movement was caught by corporations and millions of users. Corporations expect to make money, users expect that someone offers them the next "hot" product. That is how the movement was transvestited. Today Linux is an hybrid between its originality and the "classical" market. So it is dying due to its internal contradictions. And no one is caring to help. No one cares to suit the old and new conditions. No one is beating his head to find general mechanisms to save the system.

    Is there anyone that will make the next chapter of the "Cathedral & The Bazaar"? Better to write it soon or the computer market will turn into eXPired cans...
  • I'm running Slackware servers, and desktops at work.

    I've got it running on my Vaio SuperSlim at home.

    Where can I send a check to Patrick?

  • I wish I had some moderator points so I could mod you down as "doesn't get it."

    Linux does not exist for corporations to make money off of. If corporations do make money off Linux, then all the better, but Linux's primary focus has never been and never will be (I hope not, anyway) making money for corporations. The aim of Linux is to be a free-as-in-speech kernel. If a Linux company wants to do the things you describe, but says to itself "Damn GPL, how am I supposed to make money?" then maybe they are in the wrong business. And even if all the Linux companies fail and the only people left using Linux are your so-called "hobbyists," and the only way to get device drivers for new devices into the kernel is to either sign non-disclosure agreements which would violate the GPL or to bust out the logic probe and reverse engineer the driver, then someone who likes that hardware stuff and believes in freedom of information will write that driver and Linux will live on.

    I hate to tell you this, but there's more to life than money. Sorry.


    P.S. Sorry for the run-on sentences, but I'm trying to make a point.
  • ...but it doesn't stay up to date like RedHat or Mandrake does.

    Well, I don't think that's a valid assessment at all. Looking through the -current tree (last updated on Sunday evening), we've got X-4.0.3, gcc-2.95.3, the 2.2.19 kernel, Apache-1.3.19, Perl-5.6.1, Bash-2.05, and glibc-2.2.2... not to mention the piles of other programs that have recieved updates. Slackware 7.2 will probably be the most current distribution around when it is released.

    Just because you don't hear about the updates everywhere doesn't mean they aren't getting done. The ChangeLog is your friend for things like this.

  • Yes, this is understandable. If you look through the forums on the site, you will see several threads about the PayPal account. Patrick has mentioned it several times. We don't want to make an announcement on the from of the site, because then it's going to look like some official Slackware Company thing, and we don't want anyone to be able to claim a chunk of it.

    So basically, I cannot really do anything on Slashdot to prove that the account really goes to the distribution. I can tell you that Patrick himself set it up, after quite a lengthy email exchange with the rest of us. All I can do is give you my word that it's legit. If you'd like to email me privately to discuss this, feel free.
  • by Iconoplast ( 14611 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2001 @02:39PM (#284975)
    Due to *lots* of user inquiries and requests, we have set up a PayPal account for the Slackware core team members. It's been set up with the email address of Any donations recieved there will go straight to supporting the Slackware project - no companies are going to be taking a cut of this.

    So if you're looking for a way to help us out, this is a good opportunity. Of course, buying the next release would also be helpful. But for those of you that download it or are just feeling generous, here's your chance. Thanks.
  • After seeing Windriver dump slackware I fear for FreeBSD. I don't think they have any intention on giving back to the FSF and opensource community.

    They will use and take advantage of FreeBSD because of it's license. It bothers me that all the hard work that went into FreeBSD is going to be gobbled up by some M$-like company. If freeBSD goes into that trap I won't be able to handle the loss of Slackware as well. That's way to many blows.

    I believe Slackware is better off without them. I always felt they were held back. It's like what another poster said we may have just witnessed the demise of one of linux's most classic and bloatfree distro or a whole new era of slackware.

    This is an excellent opportunity right now for a company to take it over. They'll immediately get their hands on one of the most popular linux distros.

    Simplicity is divine. Goodluck Slackware!
  • That HAS to be a phony! The spelling in that quote was correct, and he managed a compound-complex sentence using proper grammer and structure. There is no way CmdrTaco could write such a sentence without making mistakes that would have a first-grader shaking his head.

    Before I get flamed for the preceding sentiment, I have to say that was one of the funniest jokes I've seen this month.

  • ME ME ME!

    Actually, I started with Slackware in 1997 or thereabouts, because the Linux-Installation HOWTO, or whatever document I found at the time, had step-by-step instructions that were Slackware specific.

    I've tried all the others, but nothing beats Slackware's DIY mentality.

    Slackware is the Ramones of Linux distros -- it ain't complex, and it ain't pretty, but it works for me.
  • Don't take this as a flame .... it's just a rant.

    I would just like to say that anybody who claims Slackware Linux is "irrelavant", only used by 7 people in the world, or that it "sucks" is blind to the awesome power and beauty that is Slack.

    The Red Hat users will never understand that editing a easy to find config file to turn on the BIND is better than having some 31337 h@X0r script kiddie root your box because you didn't even know you were running BIND and don't have patchlevel 8.1-pre1-alpha4-test7-ac3 or something. They will also never comprehend why anyone would want to run Linux without X windows, because anything useful must have a GUI, right?

    The Debian users will never understand that computers with 8 megs of RAM *are* useful. They will also be stuck with shitty installer that craps out early in the install where only later do you realize that the messup was fatal (my experience). It will also be nigh impossible to download ISOs or make a pseudo-image, because the listfiles, MD5 sums, and packages will always be in separate FTP/HTTP sites. Only two of the sites will have the files you need, the third will carry the last part only when Debian has issued 2 more releases past the one you want, because they rushed and botched the job (See Debian 2.2R2). The ISOs are never to be found because rabid Debian followers would download them like crazy.

    (ok, I'm just poking fun here on these last two...)

    The Mandrake users will belive that computers that don't support a 256 color framebuffer aren't worth installing Linux on. :)

    The SuSe users will trash hard drives under 4 gig, because there's no way you can install 6 disks of every Linux app on the planet on something like that.

    Slackware is the ultimate Linux distro from which all others merely add crap on to. It is the height of configurabilty. What other distro will let you NOT INSTALL binutils (things like 'ls' and 'cat') so you can cram a complete DNS server or router into a RAM disk. I will probably never run another distro (save maybe Debian if they clean up their act). Slackware lets me count the buttons on the shirts of all my software just like I used to do in DOS. I can cut out whatever crap that I don't need and reclaim my disk space or speed. Trying that in Red Hat will probably end up breaking some obscure tool that you need 2 months later.

    The percentage of people using Slackware may be low, but this does not diminish its usefulness. If you ever find yourself bitching and moaning about Your Favorite Distro, it's almost a guarantee that somebody can come up and say:

    "Oh, well, Slackware does that just fine..."
  • Who said this was a popularity contest? If all you're concerned about is how many people are using an OS, then stick with Windoze. As for me, I'm sticking with Slackware.

    I'm thinking the Slackware, FreeBSD and freesoftware guys should all band together and take their stuff with them. You know, bring Walnut Creek back...
  • Siddenly, instead of having to charge a fee for updates and services, Redhat and the like can just charge for Linux itself.

    RedHat has contracts totalling billions of dollars. Does that sound like a poor revenue source? If Linux companies fail, it's either because they were depending too much on the stock bubble, or their business simply failed.

    Remember - these are ALL startups, and four out of five startups fail. Shall we recite the past of failed (died or merged) computer companies that had their moment of glory? Digital, Tandy, Cray, and many many more.

    every linux company (even media-based ones, like VA Linux and OSDN) is facing bankrupcy in the near future.

    I don't see VA Linux doing *anything* media-based (yes, many of their subsideraries and side-projects are)... they sell hardware and clustering solutions. Period. And other than their stock tanking, I don't see anything that says that they are going to go bankrupt. If their business plan is *based* on the income from their stock, they are going to have to rewrite (okay, they will have had to rewrite it awhile back), or their going bankrupt is a function of poor business practices.

    -blink- -blink- And what the hell does this have to do with Slackware?

    I'm just pissed because they stopped printing Dobbsheads on the CD-ROMs. Bastards. They turn their back on the great salesman, and they lose karma (the mystic kind, not the CowboyNeal kind). Gee... I wonder why?

    Praise Bob! []


  • I laugh as I use kde2.1, X4.0.2, etc---Slack current is as up to date as possible, plus if you want to bring it to the bleeding edge, Slack let's you do it without worrying about stupid package management!
    I suppose that my problem is that all I want from packages is an install and uninstall button, which is just what you get with slack paks! I'll keep up with the dependencies by reading the instructions, just like I should!

  • how is that 2.4 kernel working out(thinkin of upgrading my p-75 40megs ram thinkpad to Slack-current)
  • oh, I already have slack 7.1 going(X 3.?, KDE1.something, kernel 2.1?)--I mostly use it to ssh back to my home box and check my mail(kmail) I have just been trying to figure out whether I would be better off with X 4.0.3, etc--also still gotta figure out if the damn mwave modem/soundcard/everything else works or not with 2.4!--I just hate to mess with something that works, even if it is just barely works!
  • <slashdot>
    Me Too!

    Seriously, it's my favorite distro. Hands down.

    What do I do, when it seems I relate to Judas more than You?
  • I use Slackware on 7 servers (including one
    running Oracle) and 2 workstations (one a laptop).
    Rock-solid stable, and elegant in its simplicity.

    It doesn't try to do everything for you, and
    that's a definite plus if you want/need to know
    what's going on in your system and want to make
    your own choices.
  • Rebooting only when you determine you want to or need to for an upgrade or major change is acceptable. HAving to reboot due to performance or stability problems or not having a choice because of a crash is not. Consider t he most common fix for a Windows box witha problem "Reboot it". That is not a fix that is just clearing the sympotms until they inevitably return.
  • You don't understand the service industry.

    Industries can and do make money on services alone. What do you think Health Care is?

    The information about how your body works and how to fix it are publicly available. Physicians make their money because they offer a service - they keep up with modern medicine and recommend healthy courses of action for you - based upon a price. If you have the time to do your own research (which most people don't), then you can figure out what is wrong with you and what you need to do about it. Health Care is a service industry, and it does quite fine.

    Don't argue that the little bit of hardware used by most physicians eliminates them from the service industry. Overall, it is a minor portion of their duties.
  • slackware still has floppy sized directories for the A series and the N series... on, the A series is divided up into 16 floppies and the N series is divided up into 8 floppies. Although in slackware-current the A series is merged into a single directory (same for the N series) but I imagine they'd be split but into floppy sized directories after slackware 7.2 is released.

    Seeking; proceeding by inquiry.

    A specious but fallacious argument; a sophism.
  • So let me get this straight. I should release my code under BSD so that some corporation can make money off of it? Is that what you are saying? What's in it for me?
  • Red hat does not profit from my code. They profit from service and other code that they themselves own (some of which they have given back to us). Bill Gates has enough money and does not need my puny code. He has thousands of very well paid programmers that are perfectly capable of producing their own code. I have absolutely ZERO interest in making MS products better (that's their job). I have ZERO interest in helping Bill Gates make yet another 100 billion dollars.

    Screw MS they are just another corporation. They hire PR firms and advertising agencies to tell the entire world what a bunch of swell people they are and how their servers never crash and how their products play nice with others (all lies of course). But if I tell the truth then I am "bashing" them. Well they are lucky I am not a billionaire and I can't afford PR firms because then the truth would be broadcast on the airwaves.

    Nike does not need my help making sneakers (they have 14 year old girls for that), Miller does not need my help to make their crappy beer, and MS does not need my help to write their crappy software.

    What kind of moron advocates that we help corporations make their products for free? Why don't you go to Ford and mop their floors or paint their body panels for free? I am sure they would love to fire their janitors and have you do their work.
  • This should be modded up :) I'm a Unix admin at work and BeOS user at home, and BeOS on the desktop + free *nix in your server room (I use FreeBSD myself, as I understand Be, Inc. does) is an ideal combination. Everything StandardDeviant says above is spot-on.

    And yes, Gobe [] Productive is a great "office" appl. The developers were involved with Apple's ClarisWorks and have come up with the ideal, lighter weight "works" package. It's all 90% of "office" users will ever need in an efficient, easy to use package.

  • Oh, wow... my install went a slight bit easier than that. It turns out that the little machine couldn't handle gunzipping packages in any reasonable amount of time, so I used Slack's default "Setup" program on a workstation to install to a subdirectory, then copied via NFS from that subdirectory to the /mnt directory on the laptop (after booting with just three slack boot disks!). Then again, the laptop came with a XircomII 10Base2 PCMCIA ethernet card, so that made things a lot easier. I wouldn't dare run X on the thing (custom Toshiba, crappy video card, no RAM...) but in 200 MB I've managed to fit a full development environment (glibc, gcc, vi, along with apache, mysql, php4, all on a 2.4.2 kernel) plus other niceties like w3m, pine, and ssh. God, I love that laptop...
  • Actually, it's surprisingly responsive on such old hardware. I wouldn't call it "fast", but for a Pentium with 40MB of RAM, I'd recommend it. Does the video card on that baby have Linux Framebuffer support for (say) a cool boot process like the one from the Linux Progress Patch project []?

    Unfortunately, my laptop doesn't. I think the video card only has 512K of RAM; I don't know, because I wasn't (and still am not) suicidal enough to throw X on there. However, I did manage to fit glibc, egcs, mysql, and apache on there... a full server in less than 200 MB of space, all running from a laptop! it's insane. I'm a walking UNIX server! : )
  • Hey, man - I use slack all the time. From a 486 laptop to a dual-P!!! based rackmount server (thanks, dell!), it is seriously (IMHO) the best Linux distro ever.

    Have you ever tried to run a Debian installer on a 486 laptop with 8MB of RAM? How about RedHat, or Mandrake? The greatest thing about slack is that it *works*. There's definitely still places left for Slackware - low-end machines that can't handle the latest stuff, and any machine for a user who wants to actually understand Linux, not just use it. Slack taught me a lot about UNIX in general, and I'm going to definitely support whatever Pat does with it.
  • by nitehorse ( 58425 ) <> on Tuesday April 17, 2001 @03:18PM (#284996)
    Did you mention a real upgrade system [] with dependency checking []?

    Open mouth, insert foot?
  • I have been using Slackware since.... well since 95 or so. Even though I have installed other distros: RedHat, SuSe, Debian, TurboLinux, its just not the same and raw as Slackware! Yup, where do I send the $$$? I just subscribed to the latest distribution.... Its sad to see the demise of no frills players like Slackware....
  • Oh and I have 6 Slackware systems, located in different parts of the world, yes Linux, especially the Slackware distro, is widely used outside of North America.....

    As mentioned in one of the replies, Slackware is indeed the least "fix after all" prone, and one always knows what and where the configuration files are... And yes, my experience with other distros been quite the opposite, which is that trying to tweak/secure distros like RedHat, SuSe and Debian can cause major frustration....
  • This shows nothing of the sort. Wind River plans to continue supporting the FreeBSD community, and FreeBSD is also open-source. If Linux were closed-source, you can bet that developers would
    drop like flies.

    However, you're right about the fact that Linux developers need to start thinking heavily about the GPL. I'm as much in favor of free information as the next guy, but licenses like BSD allow for much more flexibility when dealing with those who want to make money. Encumbering code with the GPL makes corporations run away from it, which no doubt is why BSD is Wind River's license of choice.

    Let the religious war commence.

  • Each one of us would be able to run a truly American operating system emblazoned with the American flag flying in the wind and symbolizing freedom and liberty.
    Oh Great. Just when the comment seems to get interesting... well I'll bite it then.
    So you rather not have the help of non-American, like myself?

    Internet and nationalism doesn't mix well I guess. Sorry for the rant, but this is just the kind of "we are the world"-ies that make me want to throw up.

    Don't try to bend this sig. That's impossible...

  • First of all, anyone can use FreeBSD in commerical applications with the current license. They didnt' need to buy BSDi's software division to do that.

    Secondly, the work hasn't been gobbled up. As one of the many people who have actually put time and work into FreeBSD, I can tell you that it won't bother me in the slightest to have Wind River use my work. And FreeBSD was not sold, it will still be available, and it really isn't major news to the FreeBSD world- a few FreeBSD developers (including some major developers) have new employers, but that's about it.

  • I think this is a troll but I'm not sure... The call to action seems to be "Lets spend half a billion federal dollars developing slackware because it worked for FDR."

    This isn't a completely obvious troll because many people still believe that FDR saved America from the great depression through The New Deal (though it's now generally agreed that only World War II really turned things around-- look it up [] if you don't believe me).

    That said, the overall feels seems to appeal to emotions (Do the right thing, Be American, etc.) so I'll label it a troll. Respond accordingly...

  • I hate to sound ungrateful, but who is actually using Slackware these says? Yes, Slackware was (IIRC) the first *big* distro, but the techy users have mostly switched to SUSE or Debian, and the corporations seem to like RedHat, Mandrake, and the like. It seems like most Slackware fans are loyal for "old times sake", rather than for reasons like Debian's apt-get. Just like old-time businesses losing ground to others that evolved to the market needs, this happens to Linux Distros as well. Part of life in the free market of open source, I guess.

    Perhaps its time for another "What's your favorite Linux Distro?" poll. Will CowboyNeal have his own distro as well? :)

  • Sure, $1m is for slackware development is peanuts. But then some guy wants $1m to develop a new technology to reduce industrial waste for the logging industry, and someone else wants $1m to study the effects of drugs on New York Pidgeons. And there are tens of thousands of people asking for "Just a measly 1 million dollars". There are only so many kickbacks to go around, and politicians can have trouble telling the real stuff (slackware) from the scams (effects of marijauna on college students).

    Yes, there's a lot of inefficiency in the beaurocracy. But it's become a difficult task to even determine which money is wasted money, and without cutting meaningless projects, well meaning studies can't get their funded.

    That said, I still believe that the government funding for slackware development idea is a troll.

  • "You 'ave been trolled", I suppose.
  • Or maybe you will just realize that some people want pretty GUI's and thoughtless setup while other people actually LIKE doing the down-and-dirty.

    One really nice thing about Slack - when I learn how to do something (say, setup sound), I can do it on any other linux box. Sure, the packaging system won't like it, but it'll work. That means more to me than "click here a presto! you have sound!" what about when it stops working in 10 days? Is there a "click here and presto! your sound is fixed!"
    (taken from real expereince. shit does up and break in linux on pc's. cheap ass shit hardware, ya know.)
  • Yes! I use Slackware. From the first time I install Linux until now.

    Try with other distributions before (RedHat, SuSe,
    Caldera, Mandrake...). I only find Slackware is the _BEST_!


    Becoz' I find it:
    1) Most customise-able distribution.
    2) Most stable. (have one Slackware, running > 180 days non-stop) All my installation, reboot only for kernel update and some hardware issues...
    3) Most easy to use! Becoz' it actually teach to me _HOW_ to manage it (just use 'vi').
    4) No fancy (broken) UI for system maintainance. (just use 'vi')
    5) It is a wonderful distribution to actually LEARN Linux (Unix)

    There are of more... But these are what I like most.


  • Oh man, no shit. My one major complaint now is all those damn a[1..12] directories. Does anyone still actually install off of floppies anymore?!

    Well, okay, boot and root ones maybe, but still.

  • by rkent ( 73434 )
    Sigh of relief... I was getting ready to write an epitaph for slackware. Glad I don't have to. I remember the first time I ran into slackware, it had kernel 1.2.13 in it; some guy tossed the CDs in with a computer I bought used in '96.

    Of course, there are bound to be tons of "why use slackware?" posts. Well, I'll tell you why. At first, I hated it too; the first place I set it up was in my dorm room, connected to the bare internet, before they even set up the university firewall. I didn't know how to do ANYTHING. I had to scour the net just to get my vid card up so I could get out of text mode (twm! whoo hoo!).

    The point is, on slackware 7.1, I can still use all those techniques to get the distro up and running 5 years later! I learned slackware well and my knowledge still applies. Of course there are new packages now, like KDE and GNOME, and I don't mind learning new stuff. But i DO really like that all the stuff I learned then, still applies on newer and more powerful systems.

    I prefer this to redhat because, although it came closer to running out of the box, it didn't quite, and I never did get my soundcard working with redhat 6. Not to mention slackware is one of the better systems on which to compile and install your own kernel; I tried it with redhat and it just broke EVERYTHING. I got frustrated and switched back.

    This is starting to sound like a guy whining about liking it the way things were "back in the day," and I guess to an extent it is. I don't know that i'd recommend slackware to a new user. But it's my personal favorite, and it's still really powerful and stable as hell.

  • I have been using slackware since kernel version 1.something. I have tried others of course but they just don't compare, especially when trying to make obsolete machines do something useful. I even use it at work where I am surrounded by 500+ windows users. It gets lonely but it has to be like that when surrounded by mental midgets.
  • I'm sure the residents of Bumpkin, Idaho really appreciated the fancy new theatres built in New York. But hey, screw them, their morallistic reactionary outlook has no place in the new socialist millenium now, does it?

    Your argument has a point. But its a democracy, which by nature, can't make everyone happy. My solution would be a dissolution of the nation into small representative democracies. Bumpkin Idaho doesn't want New York, and clearly, New York doesn't want Bumpkin Idaho. Just call it quits and have everyone agree to secede peacefully from one-another. Its grossly unmanageble as it stands.

    Bush, War on Drugs, "you know... for kids!", Tax free Religious organizations my ass.


  • New York doesn't eat without bumpkin Idaho

    I'm not talking about the nuclear anihilation of Bumpkin Idaho... (is there such a place?) I'm talking about the right to self-determination. Their own laws fit for their own customs and ideal, NYC for NYC and Bumpkin for Bumpkin. Clearly, if now Bumpkin is selling food, and NYC is buying food there's no reason being seperate nations would upset the ballance. Is your pen made in China, your clothes in Mexico or Italy, and your hard-drive fabbed in Japan?

    On the other hand I'm sure NYC is not Bumpkin's most important consumer, nor is Bumpkin NYC's (a sea port) only food source.


  • I believe you're not actually talking about communism per sae but rather socialism. I agree that more government would be handy in some respects, but a better, more cost regulated system of health care might be a better priority. The arguments that maximum cost produces maximum quality of health care are incorrect due to the issue of individual health being related to public health which intrisically depends on accessability by all individuals.

    Regardless, $500 million is nothing in respects to the cost of one new plane, fueling/arming an existing miliary training excercise or test, or the cost of a single use offensive weapon. Personally I'm surprised with the limitless military budget that more /research/ hasn't been done in energy/cost efficiency that might have trickled down by now to better electric vehicles or the like for the people.

    BTW, Patriotism and nationalism are entirely misplaced sentiments. We should be concentrating on what can be done for the greater humanity rather than attempting to appease conservatives with boldly colored fabrics.


  • by Eric Seppanen ( 79060 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2001 @01:49PM (#285014)
    Maybe we're about to enter a whole new Slackware era.

    And maybe Slackware will slowly slide further into irrelevancy because it turns out that sophisticated packaging systems, installers, and the ability to upgrade from one release to the next are all things that people actually want.

    Goodbye, karma... (flinches)

  • One problem I have with tar.gz distributions is they don't always have an uninstall target in the makefile.

    Source RPMs are nice because you can configure them different options and then build an RPM.
    Then RPM keeps track of the files so you can un-install them later.

    I would be interested if someone could explain how the other (non-RPM) packagers keep track of
    files installed by "make install".
  • I've purchased the 4 disc set of Slackware 4.0, 7.0, and 7.1 from the local MicroCenter. They seem to have it for such a good price (~$18.95) that I can't justify ordering it from slackware's site, where it's something like $40. My question is: does Slackware get the same amount of money when I pay $18 as if I were to order it and pay $40?

    kickin' science like no one else can,
    my dick is twice as long as my attention span.
  • Wait just a sec...isn't it our own government that helps screw the little guy by enforcing stupid patent and trademark laws? Isn't it the bevy of corrupt politicians that is turning our country into shit? It is *these* people that you'd like to see fiscally responsible for the operating system that runs your computer?

    Isn't it our government that would already like to peek into our computers using systems like Carnivore?

    Hey Uncle Sam! We know that you have lied, cheated, stolen and murdered in order to advance the corrupt ideals of a small percentage of high-profiled people! Since you know exactly nothing about creating operating systems, and since we trust you implicitly with our computers and private information, would you be responsible for helping us create an operating system, using our tax dollars, so we don't have to run Windows? Please? We trust that you won't be as mindless as the Marketing and Sales droids that we're always complaining about, because Heaven knows that you are responsible enough to only create good, wholesome programs for people that don't help line anyone's pocket.

    No thanks. I'll take what I've got over that kind of control any day.


  • yes, or somebody trying to be funny

    Still, the basic idea striped of trollness and hyperbole does have merit. Linux is something a lot of agencies and schools and whatnot feeling a budget pinch could use (not with the students or teachers directly perhaps but certainly to replace expensive NT or Novell servers, expensive both as software cost and because you aren't going to get the dusty 486 in the corner to run NT). Furthering the development of linux (say Slack for the sake of the arguement, Mr. Volkerding is an American and Slack is a good baseline "serverish" linux distro that any Unix oldschooler that a school district or agency had would feel comfy with) would be extremely cheap compared to most of the things our government does. Arbitrarily setting the "Slack Development" budget at $1,000,000 a year, that's 1/16th what we pay for the helium fund (I think the helium fund was 16million/year. May be 30 mil.)

    Heck, triple that and pay folks to develop software on linux to meet agency needs, like educational software perhaps, or tools for a farm agency, or a slick admin interface that's really foolproof so even an elementary school teacher could admin a Slack box powering the classroom network most of the time without having to call the school admin. And since the OS and the developed apps are open source, every agency could benefit (unlike buying commercial ware for one agency in need at time X). 3million equates to less than a penny per person in the US per year.

    News for geeks in Austin: []
  • Dude, call or email CmdrTaco or somebody at slashdot and have them make this a front page story. Definitely news for nerds and stuff that matters. Plus you'll probably get about 90 bajillion donations that way. :-) (I'd donate right now but I'm a poor college student (really, I have $3.41 in my bank account right now). When I get a job in a few weeks I will though.)

    I'd hate to see Slackware take it on the chin. It was the first linux distro I tried (Slack96! w00w00!), and the one I keep coming back to (every now and again I've dallied with debian and redhat, but I miss the simplicity and purity of design that seems to be the characteristic of Slack).

    If Slackware doesn't have it's own category/icon, a picture of Bob would be cool... ;-)

    News for geeks in Austin: []
  • by Electric Angst ( 138229 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2001 @01:32PM (#285061)

    Okay, I'm going to throw this out there, and I know that there will be some pretty strong opposition to it, but I ask you, just hear me out...

    I believe that if any of these young, innovative, linux-based companies are to survive, one very important thing has to happen:

    Linux has to go Closed-Source.

    Now don't get angry, this is just the truth. We need Linus and the kernel developers to seriously take into consideration a major license shift. Of course it couldn't possibly happen overnight, but if there isn't some type of intellectual property control for Linux by the 2.6 kernel, than you can pretty much kiss it goodbye.

    Now, I know there will be those of you who argue "But Linux will never go away, since it's Open Source, hobbiest can keep it alive." Well, that's true in a sense, but in the event that all the major Linux distros go under, how quickly do you think all other device manufacturers and software companies would quickly forgot that Linux even existed? Sure, Linux would probably live on, and it could live on forever, provided that the hardware these "hobbyists" have it installed on now lasts forever.

    Closed-source allows us to use the world's various copyright laws to our advantage. Siddenly, instead of having to charge a fee for updates and services, Redhat and the like can just charge for Linux itself. Heck, since so many of the developers are volenteers, you're looking at a wide enough profit margin to charge much less than M$.

    That's another thing, with a closed-source license, and better control of the kernel, Linux could finally defeat those arguments M$ brings about it "possibly mutating" and "not having reliable corporations behind it". Linus, being the copyright holder, could maintain a much stricter control over the kernel, and with the distro providers making money, it's a win-win situation.

    I know the idea of this isn't something people want to think of. Still, the bubble has burst, and every linux company (even media-based ones, like VA Linux and OSDN) is facing bankrupcy in the near future. The previous versions of Linux could always stay GPL'd, and they would remain for the hobbyists and those who just must have free software. The Linux of the future must protect itself with the security of intelectual property law, though, or else we might as well all pack up and leave right now...

  • I am! First distro, and only distro, I've ever installed (well, there was a brief run-in with Caldera, but that hardly counts-- ugh). After hearing all that shit about how hard it is to set up, it only took a couple hours for the core stuff. x took a little longer, and some IM'ing help from a friend, but once I got that going, it was simple to set up an FTP server, screw around with KDE and Gnome, upgrade some packages, etc. etc..

    If I, a relative Linux newbie, could download software, compile it, manage and upgrade packages, etc. etc. etc., then Slack's reputation as hard to use must be way out of date. The recent releases are a walk in the park.
  • I am using Slackware... And "techies" have certainly NOT gone away from Slackware. In fact, Slackware has been the most problem-free distro I have ever used (out of Redhat, SuSE, Debian, Mandrake, Caldera, TurboLinux, IcePack).

    Go away.
  • If "The answer is clearly more government," (emphassis removed) how come FDR failed to save America from the great depression by adding more government? IIRC, the public school system is a dismal failure: after decades with it, it has degenerated into a system where students are taught how to pass standardized tests, and that alone. Privatization is king.

    Tell me what makes you so afraid
    Of all those people you say you hate

  • Obviously the private power companies in CA are an example of such failure. While rolling in their success, they soon realized that they lacked the capability to sell to all their customers.

    Tell me what makes you so afraid
    Of all those people you say you hate

  • How do we know this is real? That is just a message posted in the slackware forum. Anybody could go to that forum, and for name: put "Patrick J. Volkerding". Seriously, I make up a new names sometimes when I post to that forum. And there is no mention of this in the slackware news section []. I would think that if Patrick would have such important news he would put it on the front page of, not in some forum post that could be easily spoofed.

    Now I am not trying to say that I think this is fake. I just won't believe it until it is posted somewhere where I can be sure only Patrick could have put it up.

  • Well, oddly enough, some of us have finally graduated to Slackware. I started out in Linux trying to get Slackware installed on an old 486 laying around, but had never messed with much UNIX outside of university student accounts here and there. After suffering through years of increasing bloat from RedHat and SuSE -- tons of free software stuffed in every nook and cranny is no better than having to pay extra for the privilidge -- I dumped Linux altogether for *BSD.

    Personally, I prefer a nice, tight basic system where I can add software as I need and where I want.

    Recently a friend at work re-introduced me to Slackware (7.1) and what a difference a few years of UNIX experience makes! I threw it on a laptop at work and tweaked it to hell and back:
    • tortured Enlightenment til it bleed;
    • easily installed/uninstalled dozens of new packages, since it doesn't use any assinine "proprietary" packaging system, just standard tar and gzip;
    • and discovered kindered spirits who seem to enjoy tight code and maximum freedom of choice.

    All in all, a very enjoyable experience.

    Now I'm still tempted by *BSD, but at least I know there is one Linux distro that exemplifies elegance and simplicity with all the kick-ass power of Linux. I usually donate an extra $50 or so everytime I buy a new version of OpenBSD...maybe this year I'll give to Theo AND Patrick...

  • It's a shame that public financing of private efforts like Slackware is so passZ now, because they could benefit a lot from true Public ownership and financing.

    In the 1930s, Roosevelt spearheaded federal subsidies for the arts and sciences, and the postwar economic booms can be directly traced to these government programs. Though some of the very best (such as the Federal Theatre Project) were slashed in bouts of partisan bickering, the system as a whole benefitted greatly from FDR's vision and the Federal purse.

    Free software is ideal because it doesn't belong to any single individual. It's a golden drop of communism that can be realized in our time and under our terms. With true Federal subsidies and ownership, we wouldn't have to worry about whether WindRiver will keep the project going or whoever buys them out next. (Whether that would be an antitrust concern is a different matter entirely.)

    Each one of us would be able to run a truly American operating system emblazoned with the American flag flying in the wind and symbolizing freedom and liberty. We would call it "AmericanX", a play both on the words "American" and more specifically on "Americana", which the system would be a hallmark example of in all its glory.

    It's time to look past the lost battles of yesterday. Distribution wars are a thing of the past. We can either continue hating Microsoft and try punishing them through the court system, which we can't seem to do without violating their rights or each other's, or we can just do the right thing and make a public operating system a reality. If Microsoft wants to compete with AmericanX, then they can do so, just as the private schools compete with public schools.

    The answer is clearly more government. We need to show the rest of the world that America still has what it takes to lead into this next millennium. For about $500million in annual fiscal expenses, we could pull it off. I don't think that's too much to ask.
  • there are still 179 [] other distributions to choose from!

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.