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LinuxQuestions Interviews Slackware Founder Patrick Volkerding 58

An anonymous reader writes "In this in-depth interview with, Patrick Volkerding discusses how he got involved with Linux and Open Source, the succession plan for Slackware, the Slackware development model, his opinion on the current trends in desktop environments, potentially disruptive changes to Linux such as systemd, his favorite beer and much more."
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LinuxQuestions Interviews Slackware Founder Patrick Volkerding

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  • by pegasustonans ( 589396 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:21PM (#40248939)

    Well, economically speaking the past few years have been pretty thin. If I hadn't made the strategic decision to head back to Minnesota several years ago there's no way I could have stayed afloat living in the bay area. California is not at all a cheap place to live, and I was always cutting it close out there. Lately I've been cutting it pretty close here, too. I don't even have insurance any more... knock on wood. Personally, absolutely. I've made friends all over the world. I hear from people every day who love Slackware and depend on it for critical tasks, and who don't want to run something else. Working on the project is exciting and fun, and the folks on the team are some of my best friends. It's just not possible to put a dollar value on that.

    It's too bad the Bay Area is unaffordable for many of those who want to devote a significant amount of productivity towards open source projects.

    I'd like to believe these projects could make much more money if only the right people knew about them, but we all know that's not the point in the first place.

    Similar to social workers and others who do the noble work in our society, communities should devote resources to provide nice affordable housing for these people.

    The problem, of course, is convincing local governments.

  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:36PM (#40249169) Homepage

    Social worker, teachers, and others doing the "noble work" are always underpaid. That's just the way it is. As long as people are willing to do that work for cheap, it will be done for cheap. Local governments don't care because they have to balance the budget, unlike the Feds.

  • Fond memories (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fat_mike ( 71855 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @06:00PM (#40250369)
    I still have my 60+ 3.5" floppies of Slackware with kernel 0.94 I believe. Took over a month to download on a 28.8 modem. The first time I typed startx after hand configuring X (yes XFConfig was available back then but my video card required hand coding) and the grey screen came up I went "Whoa!"
    Patrick is the best. He doesn't release a new Slackware unless its been tested tested tested.
    Anytime MythTV releases a new version I'll slap together a machine, put Slackware on it and give it a whirl. If you're a Ubuntu user and want to learn more about *nix but don't want to mess with Gentoo or a BSD, I totally recommend Slackware.
  • by Cito ( 1725214 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @06:58PM (#40250971)

    I started using Slackware since it came with the 2.0.30 kernel

    I have used Slackware ever since. For my webservers I run Debian. But my home pc is Slackware. Long ago when I first got into linux as it was told to me the best way to learn is start on Slackware. You compile everything yourself unlike redhat or debian based systems with their package downloaders that did it all for you and put everything where it supposed to go, etc. :)

    Slackware "put hair on your chest" hehe, you want a specific program you downloaded the source and compiled it, if it required other libraries, then you downloaded those library sources and compiled them then go back and compile the other.

    It was a "flavor" of linux I always recommend for learning, as I tell people once you know Slackware, all other flavors are easymode.

    Course it's just my opinion and I've always loved Slackware for my personal machines, and yes I do see use for other "flavors" as I always run Debian on webservers and such for the simple package downloaders can just apt-get whatever needed. Course it won't be compiled specifically for you but it runs.

    My top 2 linux distros are #1 Slackware, #2 Debian and that's all I use, I've played with SUSE, and such. But everyone jumped on the Ubuntu fad, and to me it's good that it's noob friendly, but it's way too noobish imo, I consider Ubuntu to be linux-light :) But again that's just my opinion.

    Each has their purpose.

    Slackware fanboi though.

"It ain't over until it's over." -- Casey Stengel