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Linux Software 72

Charles Bronson wrote in to tell us that Slackware now has its own domain name. Shockingly enough, its The distribution that so many of us learned to love Linux on now has a happy home on the web. If there's one thing for certain, its that Slackware users are definitely attached to their distribution. Dave says its because of Slack's advanced packaging system *grin*.
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  • I've been using Slack for a few years now, and recently installed RH, debian, caldera, etc.. and found that I can't stand the file structures of any of them, the only one I've found thats close is SuSE, and thats because it was originally based on Slack when it first started out. So now I'm running one Slack box (this one) and another SuSE box for playing.

    Slackware won't die as long as distros like the above are still treating the users like MS has been for years. RPM's are better left for the MS migraters rather then the user who wants to actually learn Linux.
  • My slackware setup consists of Slack 3.2 with rpm installed. I have found that this is the ideal setup for me. I upgraded to glibc2 via rpm also. It was quick, painless, and now my slackware system is up to date. I would advise this to anyone using slackware that wants newer libs!
  • Anonymous coward wrote:

    sorry this is a bit off topic but anyone know how, if possible, i can tell what irq settings are being used in linux?

    If your kernel is new enough, you can just "cat /proc/interrupt". That will give you the IRQ settings.

    my modem works fine in windows (USRobotics 56k faxmodem)

    US Robotics (3Com) makes three kinds of modems: crap, decent and excellent. Their Courier line is excellent, the best modems I've seen for under $500. Their Sportster line is decent, but you might have to wade through some plug and play settings to get the modem working in Linux. Their WinModem line is crap, it's a glorified sound card, coupled with a Closed Source windows program for pretending the sound card is a modem. These won't work in Linux until someone rewrites such software from scratch (it's easier to just spend the extra $30 to get a real modem).

    and linux doesn't see it, i'm most positive i just need to change the irq or the com settings on the would be cool if i knew what to change it to, and didn't have to try random ones...thanks =)

    Many modem programs in Linux assume /dev/modem as the device. /dev/modem is usually just a symbolic link to the appropriate com port device. Boot up your machine in Windows, check which com port it is hooked up to, remove "COM", subract 1 and preceed it with "/dev/ttyS". For example, "COM1" would translate to "/dev/ttyS0".

    Once you know which COM port Windows uses, just:
    $ cd /dev
    $ rm modem
    $ ln -s ttyS0 modem
    Of course replacing ttyS0 with whichever the approprate tag for the com port you want is.
  • was registered in 1995. It always went to's web page, so I guess got a new web page, not a new domain name :)
  • It's there, in one of the packages. Binaries are not compiled against it and your compiler will not use it by default, but you can run glibc bins just fine.
  • just got a new which one is the real one???
  • I'm running slackware and think it is a good distro. But next time I install a clean system, it will probably be Debian because slackware installs non-free software by default and I don't want any of that on my system. Plus I'm interested in trying out new distros.
  • Like so many others, I started out with a Slackware distribution. I'd happily go back when they move to glibc, as Slackware was consistently a higher quality package than Redhat, Caldera, and many others...
  • Yuppers.

    Slackware not only is a decent distribution it is the easiest to customize, IMOHO. But then again, I have been using Linux since kernel v0.12...

  • Posted by oNZeNeMo:

    I've seen a lot of complains that slackware doesn't use the newest libc libraries. It's as simple as downloading egcs and reading the glibc2 howto. Sure, it may take a few hours to compile, but you have to consider all the time you're saving with slackware by not having to clean up all the extra garbage that you find in other distros (*cough*redhat*cough*).
  • Posted by posterkid:

    poor soul, he couldn't figure out how to use dselect

    Sorry, we're not all lusers who need a packaging system to install a program.

  • Posted by posterkid:

    [pk@odin /usr/local/sbin]$ sudo wc -l logrotate

    29 logrotate

    And one line in cron. If you can't handle doing that yourself, GTF off of Un*x.

  • Posted by Buckaroo Banzai:

    I started with Slackware about 3 years ago as a TOTAL newbie (to UNIX too!). Eventually it pushed windows off my machine (good riddance). And I always felt proud to say that, "I use Slackware, not Redhat" because it meant that I am TRULY a Linux user.

    But then -- I went to install glibc (actually, about two days ago). A nightmare. I insisted on compiling from the source, but eventually went with the binary distribution. Looking more closely at my filesystem, the library structure is a MESS! Granted, this is the accumulated junk of a few years. My system is working fine now, but I think its time for a fresh install - and it might be time for Debian. I feel kinda guilty, but want a clean install, maybe learn a new distribution...

    I had my mind set on it until I saw this thread...
  • "Dave says its because of Slack's advanced packaging system *grin*."

    In my oppinion, the .tgz format is not to be laughed at. It may not be very sofisticated, but it does the job.
    I personally find adding, removing, creating and managing Slackware .tgz packages, much easier than the .rpm format. It's a lot more flexible.

    The above is my personal oppinion, I'm aware that people who favor other distributions will probably have a different oppinion, and recomend other package formats (such as .deb or .rpm).

    Jesper Juhl

  • Can't we base criticisms or praises of a distribution on something *other* than the package management system?
  • You make 2 disks, a boot disk and a root disk. Since your CD-ROM drive is SCSI, you'd download the appropriate SCSI bootdisk.
    Oh, and the CDs from CheapBytes are fine. Get a book too.
  • I can't imagine still using Slakware. I started on it years ago and converted to Debian when libc6 came out. After using Debian as a crutch to become familiar with the proper file heirarchy, I now use it to initialize the base system and install most things by hand. Now the libc5 system looks like pre-Win95 technology. There are actually people in this world who think Slakware is completely compatible with modern programs and runs exactly as fast as kernel 2.2.
  • Slackware is a superior distribution because it has Slack []. Does any other distribution include a Dobbshead anywhere within it? i think not.
    J.R. "Bob" Dobbs -> Slack -> Eternal Salvation or TRIPLE YOUR MONEY BACK! []

  • Started out with it waaaaaay back in the 1.0.x days, did the a.out --> elf conversion manually and one day I will do the libc5 --> libc6 conversion as well. It builds character and teaches you a little bit about what is actually going on under the hood, which is what I *love* about Linux.

    I've never used or even seen Debian but after dealing with RedHate I am turned off of these "turnkey" packages. RPM bows big hairy sheep with diseased feet and gingivitis. Mind you their rc.d structure is godlike.

    Slackware lets you tune your system how you want. None of this "don't worry, just sit back and I'll install what I think you want". none of this RPM bullshit. If someone could school me on debian and its advantages (remove the spambusters from the email) I'd appreciate it but if it's just another RedHate clone, I'll pass.

    I actually *prefer* to use .tar.gz as I know what I am getting. This is one of the reasons I loathe WinBlows. You have no control. Same with RPMs. .tar.gz is the One True Way. :-)
    None of this "ooh, your dependencies aren't right" crap. Half the time the dependency database is screwed. The only thing I don't really like with .tar.gz is the nonability to uninstall everything without going through the Makefile.

    Other than that... Slackware will rule my box for years to come. Keep up the good work!!
  • I used slackware for about a year. It was my first Linux distribution. It was nice and simple, and a good distribution to learn how stuff works. Later on I decided to install Applix. Since it came with rpm's you had to install rpm as I recall. Playing around with rpm, i tried installing other software packages as well but many rpm's kept failing dependancy checks. Of course i could override this, but I thought it would be nice to see how a whole system in which every package's info was stored in a package database would be (yes i know slackware does, but it didn't have all the cool features that the other package tools did). I was reluctant to install redhat because of the "commercial aspect". I was under the impression that their system depended on alot of propriotary software, so I tried debian, and couldn't get the damn thing to install. I finally said "screw it" and decided to install redhat. Eventually all my misconceptions about redhat were washed away and I've been running that ever since. I don't mean to plug my distribution or start a flame war, but I'm just telling my experience. I have some very fond memories of running slackware. Makes me feel kind of nostalgic.
  • 1)It ships with loadlin (and LILO too!!!)
    2)Its got the shadow password suite
    3)Its got Openlook
    4)tgzs can be uninstalled using pkgtool
    5)rpm2tgz and glibc allow Redhat binaries to work under Slackware
    6)tgzs are smaller than rpms and a lot of software on the net is still available only as tgz. One doesnt have to wait for the rmps to come out.

  • "Advanced packaging system?" Bhahahaha...

    Anyway, good luck to the Slackwarez, too. After all, it was the dist I began with (but horrors if I ever have to use it again =)

    Yours, ex-slackware, current debilizer,
  • Here's another thing to check...
    Is that a standard USR Sportster, or a winmodem?
  • Clean Lean and Mean!
    And despite what a lot of klueless types say,
    glibc6 stuff RUNS FINE on it.

    For instance, Oracle, WINE, and many other glibc6
    binaries. All crusing on my several dozen Slackware boxes... Yay Patrick Volkerding...

    Avoid proprietary, avoid fifty gazillion rc.d files, avoid MS-style GUI-GAK! Go Slackware!
  • *blush* I'm running Slackware at the moment. It's what I started on back in '95 and I like it because the packages are nice and simple .tgz files :)

    I've got Debian, Redhat and Caldera CDs (amongst others) but only for the extra apps.

    I don't like that RPM thing having too much control. Being hard of thinking, I never could figure out what it was doing. pkgtool seems to do the biz.
  • I can hardly believe they even let someone as dumb and irrehensible as you around modern technology.

    When you see someone installing slackware, you point them to Red Hat?? If you must use a distrobution, slackware is definitely the best. You probably couldn't even fix a Makefile if it was broken, so go hide behind your "easy" little dselect, and rpm. And you, sir, have no right at all, to call someone else a newbie.

    If you can deal with the learning curve, stay with windows. I bet you have poor hygene too.
  • My first distribution I downloaded was MCC interim 1+ (does anyone remember that one?), back in the summer of 1994 (now why do I feel old all of a sudden?). Then came out Slackware and I was stupid enough to download it in ascii mode (on a 2400 modem for a whole day) :) Been using ever since, my current machines use Slackware 3.4, highly patched to include just about all the latest packages available. I even migrated the sysem to glibc2 and recompiled the whole system to support it. Yes it took me a weekend to do it, but what a ride! What an experience! Learned so much I didn't even think possible. As my day to day job i administrate RedHat machines (someone elses decision). So you can look at it as my profession is RedHat and Slackware is my hobby :)
  • im not a coward, just entered the wrong password... i hate when that happens, too many damn password to remember...
  • Slackware is dead...

    It was good a couple of years ago..actually i started with slackware way back in 94 :) i guess they just couldnt keep up with debian and redhat..

    still.. it's fun to do tar xvfz something.tar.gz

    in other news.. stampede uses bzip2 to compress their archive formats..
  • Of course it's commercial. Who said it wasn't? The comment about Shockingly enough, its is humor. Needs an apostrophe, but it' humor.

  • Well, some of us are ex-windoze users.

    I, and many friends here at university, have installed Linux. What distro have we chosen? Redhat 5.2. Why?

    a) Easy installation.
    b) RPM.

    Yes, I know that experienced users may see these as crutches; but get this.

    We newbies don't care.

    It's a big leap from Windows (which, I hasten to add, is perfectly usable on the desktop for most single-user applications) to Linux; most of the fundamental assumptions are very different. So we've all got quite enough (re)learning to do, and anything which makes our lives easier is a definite bonus.

    Less configurable? Quite possibly. But we just want to use the damn thing.

    It's people like us - new adopters, technically competent, learning, but not exactly gurus - who will help evangelise Linux on the desktop. Also, these people are frequently competent programmers, if not hackers in the true sense if the word, which increases the developer base for OSS yet further. Linux doesn't just need virtuoso programmers, although they have a very prominent role to play; it also needs competent, level-headed coders who may not change the world, but can at least incrementally improve it... these are the kind of people who are installing RH 5.2 today.

    So, RH5.2 suits our needs. Slackware may suit yours better; in that case, use it. No-one is going to stop you doing so, and distros like Slackware are ideal for some. Just because RPM isn't for you doesn't mean you have to bemoan its' existence; let's all live and let live.

    After all, it's all still the same OS, just by different routes.
  • by CWiz ( 9100 )
    I started out with Slackware many, many years ago so it's actually rather fun to see they've got their own place now.
    I've still got one computer (which my mom uses, how about that?) that runs Slack, but the main server has moved to Debian GNU/Linux and my gateway/jukebox runs my own homebrew GNU/Linux system.
    In any way, good luck Slack. I know atleast a couple of nerds who will be very glad about this news:)
  • But its my fav distro, i run it on 3 of my computers, and i run debian on my alpha. I like it now being BSD strict on the file hericy, and not Sysv 5 strict on the runlevels. i mainly run it becous i find it much easer to hack and make it just the way i like it. With RedHat, when i had it installed on my alpha, i coulnt get it actualy uninstall packages, and i had a hell of a time converting the runlavels the way i like them. i switched to debian mainly for the package managemnt and im still having troble with runlevels. Slackware's configuration is strate forward and nothing extra that you need to worie about. i like a compleetly coustomized system, i like to change the way everthing is. with debian i still cant get it to make files with the .gz .tgz .deb .rpm ect to be colored at the console.
  • Redhat remains commercial, but is equally easy to download for free
  • Slackware was my very first distribution, and it taught me to love linux. Last year I decided to change to a different distribution and learned that Slack has a bit of catching up to do. I currently use S.u.S.E and i'm in heaven. I can update on the internet and easily use rpms. When the guys at decide to add redhat-like and S.u.S.E-like features its distribution I will come back and not a second before.
  • I, for one, am finding this half entertaining, half educational. I've got a Red Hat partition that's been sitting on my computer since I first put it together a few months ago. I still don't use it regularly and haven't finished tweaking it to my satisfaction (mostly window manager things - Red Hat's default is repulsive!).

    Sometimes I wonder if I should tear it all down and replace it with slackware or something to really learn it thoroughly, starting from the bottom. Then I wouldn't get frustrated by simple command-line syntax issues that wouldn't slow me down if I had actually needed to use a command line at first (this is actually what stopped me the last time I booted the Linux partition). I already know I don't care for RPMs. I never used them with any constistency (which screws RPM up, right?), and now I've stopped using them altogether.

    So reading a debate over the pros and cons of slackware is pretty relevant to me. The fact that it's so heated just increases the entertainment value.

  • With all of the talk about RPM vs. .tar.gz, I'm suprised no one has mentioned the rpm2targz utility thats included in (at least) Slack 3.5

    Its the only distro I've ever used, and I'm quite happy with it. Especailly after having a look at the rc.d dir on a friend's RedHat box... ecchh. ;oP
  • Ahh, Slackerware. At least that's what us guys with nothing better to do than spend days installing an OS called it :)

    I actually like Slackware's install from 3.2 way better than Redhat's. I remember being able to mount anything I needed during the install, really handy for installing off FAT drives that you downloaded the distro to (yes, downloading Linux is the only way :) I haven't seen what the later versions are like, I hope they haven't dumbed it down.

    It was pretty high quality too. Redhat 5.1 has given me more headaches in a week than slackware gave me in a year.

    Redhat RPMs are making people lazy. I just feel like a simpleton when I install an RPM. I find myself querying packages all the time. Perhaps it's paranoia, but give me .tar.gz any day :)
  • Actually, I just saw a neat proggie on freshmeat,
    called Pack
    It's a replacement of /bin/install that will
    record what files are installed, allowing you to
    uninstall them later. I also understand that tgz
    can be easily uninstalled, although I have never
    used slackware.
  • I've been using slackware the last 3-4 years...
    FINALY!! :))

  • by Artemis ( 14122 )

    Glad to see slack finally got it's own site, something besides an 'offical FTP archive' that is :)

    Force Recon Half-Life TC: Check it out []
  • My system's a mess, but it's *my* mess, *I* made it into this mess, not some far-away schemer on another continent, it was me! I ballsed it up myself!

    Just install what you need to get a bootable system with network access and a compiler, then everything else you download and install. What other way is there?


COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray