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Pre-Beta Slackware 4.0 210

Langston01 writes "According to LinuxToday, a pre-beta of Slackware 4.0 is out. " I remember Slackware. Wow, its been years since I used it. I still need a Debian 2.1 CD. Or a T1.
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Pre-Beta Slackware 4.0

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    The system include both libc5 and glibc. most of the utilities are still libc5 compiled, but you can use software designed for either. From what I hear plans are to move to glibc in the next release. (I actully understoof there was to be a 3.7 release with the 2.2 kernel and the 4.0 release would be glibc based, apparently the decision was made to go to 4.0 now)

    David Lang
  • by Anonymous Coward
    But I would not run it in a production environment. 1) It lacks real package manager (ok, do slackware packages ever get updated after the distribution has been released or can I find "slackware packages" from somewehere), 2) 0% support (on Debian I am sure everything is up to date thanks to apt, on redhat there is at least an erratas webpage that lists fixes and updates) 3) It cannot be upgraded without trashing your system (when it is a 30 minute process on other distributions) 4) Never up to date (glibc2 ?) 5) It is a nightmare to maintain compared to other distributions.

    If you have lots of time to waste go ahead and use slackware but many people have better things to do instead of trying to figure which programs have security problems and how to upgrade them or how to install new libs ..

    In fact if you can't stand rpm based distributions or debian, FreeBSD might even be a better choice ..
  • by Anonymous Coward
    1) it has a fairly nice install procedure (I have seen some that are much worse)
    2) it has disksets for those people *downloading* it as opposed to those with a cd
    3) packages are ordinary gzipped tape archive so they can be tested with say winzip
    4) doesn't have dependencies (this is usually a bad thing)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    NetBSD can run with 2 MB and I do it myself on several frequently used machines. Im not going to rant on and cause a linux/bsd war, but I personally find netbsd whips anything when it comes to low end system performance.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm very grateful to Slackware for offering a fairly complete umsdos distro. This was a great way for me to try out Linux on a Win 95 box. Actually Debian was the first distro I installed on an old 486 using floppies, and it worked fine, but I found myself wanting to use the newer computer and it just sat there.

    Currently I'm using Stampede (which really is just
    a current version of Slack regardless of what its promoters say.) Its packging system is a non-packing system. And, I find myself doing too much by hand so I'm considering Debian, again, this time on my 586. Many of the Stampede libs are not in synch. The important ones are, but enough aren't to be very aggravating and the documentation at the Stampede site is not current with what's there, the bug tracking system is often non-functional, etc. I'm very impressed with the Debian package directory at their site - it looks well maintained.

    Getting back to Slack, Pat Volkerding is missing a golden opportunity by not including more current applications with ZipSlack, and including X. Sure, X can be downloaded separately and installed one piece at a time, but it also could be in one zip package for people coming from Windows. Forget glibc, what I mean is that the X applications Pat has included are absolutely the worst ones - some must be 10 years old and haven't been worked on for 10 years. Mostly motif and athena and ugly as sin. Sure, an experienced Linux user can find the newer, spiffy looking apps (and libraries needed to run them) elsewhere, but not a newbie with a non-technical background. Almost all the newer apps will work fine with libc5 if you will only make them available!

    The way to really help Linux take off with Joe and Jane user is umsdos. It's so, so easy to install, and the performance is not significantly degraded except for some very file-intensive operations. I doubt they'd even notice with the hardware most pc users now have.

    Anyway, I will always respect Slackware. And, the web site looks good. It suits what Slackware could be at its best, minimalistic and "cool" in the true sense of the word.

    Pat, get some advice from whoever did your web page design about some current apps that will show off Linux to include in your distro and at your ftp site.

    I will bet big money that is the zipslack package is upgraded (to include zipXslack with current apps as a separate download) and advertised a little it will be the largest installed distro of Linux in the world. The only thing keeping more "average" users from trying Linux is fear of disk
    partitioning. If they can install and use Linux a little without taking that risk, then there is plenty of time for them to partition their hard drive or buy a second hard drive later, when they have more experience and confidence from using Linux.

    Get Slack!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This distro appears to still be libc5 based (according to comments I saw elsewhere on the Web).

    If so, I've really got to wonder why the latest-and-greatest kernel (2.2.3) is being shipped with such antiquated libraries.
  • Debian is the most actively maintained, you should give it a try.
  • by lars ( 72 )
    I run a severely hacked up version of RedHat 4.2, and if I were starting from scratch again I think I'd use Slackware. Ever since I started using Linux, I have always found it more "natural" to grab the source tarball and compile myself whenever I want to install a new program. This way it's easy to ensure I'm running the latest (or close to the latest) code, and leaves the source sitting ina convenient location so that I can easily hack around with it should I need to. Whenever I've tried to do stuff with RPM's, I've run into failed dependencies, an outdated RPM database, etc. My system is almost fully glibc2 now, and very little remains from that original RH4.2 installation.
  • I have a 386Sx-16 with 4 megs, and an old slackware distribution that I still use quite often for various things. (network analysis, backup nameserver (once), controler for various weird projects...)
    You can do a lot in 4 megs, you just can't do it all at once...
  • Is there eventually going to be Slack for other platforms such as alpha and sparc? everyone else is doing that
  • I have to agree. I used Slackware for about 4 years (before that SLS) but I have switched to Debian in the past 18 months and haven't regretted a second of it. I have shared your library upgrade pains; system lockup, no reboot, no rescue disk ... DOH! The moral of the story: always have a rescue disk and don't use ... nah I won't say it :-)

    I just built some new systems at work based on Debian 2.1 and got my first taste of apt ... what a piece of cake to keep the system up to date.

    apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade

    There your system is now right up to date. I did it at home as well; installed apt, and upgraded from Debian 2.0 to Debian 2.1 ... all automatic, no reboots, no problems, just a lot of time (60 MB and a 56k modem don't mix too well).

    I haven't installed a Slackware system since the Slack 3.1 days and just took my last one out of operation (thank goodness ... it was so full of holes it was silly). From what I remember you just cannot keep a Slackware system up to date ... perhaps I was missing something. I'd hear about an exploit and try to find an upgraded slack .tgz ... they might be there but in slack 3.4 ... would that work in 3.1 ... do I want to guess, or chance it, on a production web server? Basically it seemed to me that once installed everything on a slack system had to be hand installed/configured and compiled or you'd never be sure things would work. Has slack added any maintenance / package management features??? With 10 servers running Linux who can afford to be compiling and installing by hand?

    Slack certainly had it's place - without it where would Linux be today - however it has been far surpassed by many other distributions now ... time to let go!!!

  • Glancing at the ChangeLog.txt for the Pre-4.0, this appears to no longer be true. Also now, finger is still enabled by default but it won't allow finger @host. Sysstat and netstat were disabled. Though you are quite correct, having that enabled by default was a very bad thing. :)
  • Real men use Slackware, eat worms, and like it!

    Seriously though, I've always liked Slackware. If it wasn't for a particular project I'm working on having certain dependancies for Debian, I'd move back to Slackware.

    Slackware lends itself to the tinkerer more than anyone else. If you like compiling your own packages, don't wanna screw up your fancy smancy dependancy list deal, Slackware is your best friend.

  • Well, I started out with Slackware way back when, and migrated to Red Hat with RH3.0.3 (anybody remember that one?).

    Some things to think about:

    1) Every config file in Red Hat Linux can be edited by hand if you so desire. It's not like in SuSE Linux, where the config files are auto-generated and you don't touch (you use YAST).

    2) Nothing stops you from compiling stuff as .tgz files, just make sure to do "rpm -e" to remove the .rpm version first. Install stuff you compile yourself under /usr/local, just as in Slackware.

    3) Today's computers are so fast that it don't matter what your binaries are compiled for :-).

    But if you like Slackware, you'd probably like Debian over Red Hat. With Debian, if you want to update a .deb file to be the latest greatest version you download the tarball of the latest greatest version from and then download the spec file and patch file from the Debian FTP site. Then you edit the spec file to reflect the new version number, make sure the patch still works/still needed (and you will probably end up recompiling a few times until you get the patch situation figured out), then just do the build.

    I have created updated versions of several Red Hat .rpm files, and it is a pain in the piles. Because the .spec file and patches are lumped together with the (obsolete) source into the .srpm file, you can't just download the .spec and patch file... you have to download the old obsolete source too. Compiling a tarball to stuff into /usr/local is a lot easier :-(. On the other hand, once you've done the .rpm file, you can upload it to contribnet and make a lot of other people very happy. That makes many people smile. But once you've compiled your tarball, well, you make yourself happy, but nobody else.

    -- Eric

  • Posted by stu vanderhoffenstoffen:

    They've made provisions to mirror the new slackware! has two directories, one 3.6/ and one current/. current/ is empty right now, but I'm sure in the morning there'll be some files. Rock on SunSite/Metalab! I love those guys!
  • Posted by AndyRew:

    Ummm, debian is a non-profit organization, ran by voluteers.
  • Posted by MattSullivan:

    It would appear as though you can still install Slackware 4.0 beta on a 4 meg machine. All you need is the lowmem.i. And for those who wonder about Slack being glibc based I quote from the FAQ.

    Q: Will the next version be based on glibc2 or libc5?

    Slackware-current is still based on libc-5.4.46, and there may well be one more official Slackware release based on libc5. A glibc-2.1 based version of Slackware is in the works, but getting a stable version out with the 2.2.x kernel and KDE-1.1 may end up taking priority. Slackware 3.6(and -current) do contain runtime support for glibc2.
  • Thanks, but no thanks. I'm sticking with Slackware and libc5, tried, true, and unfettered by commercialism (Red Hat) and politics (Debian).

    No kidding, I can't agree more. While I would *LIKE* all software to be free, asking that is nothing more than spouting pipe dreams at this time.

    Slackware, all distro, no political or commercial fat. And it's 10x easier to setup a server that works properly under slack than any other distro that I can think of, especially redhat, IME.

    Not to mention, rpm2tgz, my favorite tool in the world. :)


  • Um, is it just me, or have any of you heard of the "swapon" command? It's rather useful for doing stuff like this, dunno if you can do it in redhat or debian, but if you're put in front of a shell before you setup off of floppy/cdrom, try it! Heaven forbid you might enable swap space.

  • Blaming one's incompetence as a system administrator on the distribution you run is lame. If you can't keep your own systems up to date, you have only yourself to blame. In any case, how hard is it for someone to type ./configure --help and/or ./configure && make && make install?

    No kidding. This is like the guy on IRC that bitches because he installed a script with a backdoor in it, and someone exploited it.

    You should always double-check places like bugtraq as soon as you put a full-time server on the net. I've only had one root compromise under slack, and it was related to a NFS bug (due to my own ignorance of not disabling NFS in the first place) that wasn't even posted on bugtraq until 2 days later.

    Slack is just as stable as the rest of 'em when properly configured, and I've found that those people that are ranting about deps and automatic upgrades and whatnot generally have less secure boxes than the slack machines that I've seen, because they rely on the program to do the work for them, instead of double-checking the work that was actually done.

    Whether this is actual dependence on the upgrade program, laziness, or ignorance on the part of the user, it still comes down to one thing:

    Unix machines are about openness, and the fact that the machine is doing what it's told is obviously not the problem, it's the fault of the user not doublechecking what hte machine is doing.


  • by Dom2 ( 838 )
    Oh Dear. Not SLS. Installing on 5.25inch floppies. God that takes me back. Slackware was soooooo much better, I switched straight away. And then, RedHat was soooo much better than Slackware when it came out in '94. I don't care how manly people say it is to run slackware, I think they're deluding themselves. Especially since I've recently had the chance to install Slackware 3.0 on an old laptop...
  • I 've only gotten Debian to install in 8 meg successfully when it was installing from a local harddrive.

    I have installed Debian 1.2 and 2.0 in four MB successfully. You did use the low-memory boot disk, I hope?

  • He's mentioned it a few times now...

    Been running it myself since a couple days after the release :-)

  • I wish that Slackware were developed by a *team* rather than one person. I love slack, but just try to get a relatively new distro ready for something like GNOME or KDE. (Come to think of it, KDE is *much* easier to shoehorn into a Slack distro ;^)
  • Slackware is indeed the ONLY truly cross-platform linux distribution that I'm aware of. The scripts go where they belong. They utter sensible things. Tarballs compile painlessly.
  • Preach on!
    I'm using 3.1 also. No real need to upgrade when you keep everything up to date.

    "In true sound..." -Agents of Good Root
  • Disksets aren't as nice anymore; last I checked, A and N were the only sets actually installable from floppies (bitch for installing on an old laptop).
  • Just as I headed over to check /. one last time before heading home I got mail from C*B saying that my 2.1 CD's (along w/a few more RH5.2 CDs) have shipped. Deb 2.0 was cool, but not enough to get me to switch all my RH machines. Wondering how 2.1 will stack up. Sounds good so far...guess I'll know this weekend!
    "First they ignore you.
    Then they laugh at you.
    Then they fight you.

  • ..with support for libc5...just like the other distros.

  • So glibc2.1 was the first official release of glibc2. 'til now, all the "glibc2-based" distros have been built on pre-release C libraries.

    Does that make sense to you?

    A glibc2-based version of Slack is next, after 4.0. (Based on an actual, honest-to-god release of glibc2. Go figure.)
  • I started on Red Hat. I'm co-webmaster of

    Clearly, I switched. :)
  • Perhaps redhat should run a cron job on the ftp server that extracts the spec file from a .src.rpm and put it in it's own directory. That would add a significant amount of convenience i think.
  • Try Slackware-Current. Comes with KDE 1.1 as an option (in the main distrib, not contribs)...
  • Damn it people, Slackware DOES have a package system. Unless pkgtool is a figment of the imagination of Slackware users everywhere. I get so tired of hearing people say there isn't package management for Slackware, when there most certainly is...

    I just don't care to use it, myself...
  • I don't know about 4.0, but it shouldn't be any harder than 3.6, which I managed to get installed on a 386 (and a 486 as well) with 4 megs of RAM. Just be sure to setup your swap space first, and follow the low memory install documentation Patrick includes. (Using /slakware/rootdsks/obsolete is probably best, since it's much nicer on memory). And this was over a LAN. With a CD drive things should be a bit easier.

    Installing in 8 should be quite easy. 12 is flawless.
  • Its not that RedHat is bad, IMHO, its just that RedHat strangely requires you to run through their partitioning/mounting system before you can mount the swap. A significant upgrade where memory is concerned with RedHat is if they'd give the user in "Advanced" mode the ability to scan the drives on the local system for swap partitions and mount them BEFORE anything else happens during the install.

    The RedHat installer seems to load itself into a ramdisk, and then load any additional modules into a second ramdisk mounted into the filesystem. That plus the kernel tends to eat 5-6 meg of RAM, and with the libraries and such their Disk Druid program and fdisk both can't load, which are prerequisites for mounting the swap space.

    As an alternative, documenting how it can be done from the command line in the shells thats opened would help. As I said in another post, I wasn't able to find what program it was using, since the usual utilities don't seem to be there.
  • Going back to the topic of this whole posting, maybe that's a good machine to try out Slackware 4.0 on. :)

    I don't have any experience with that model, but Debian is probably easier to get installed, it seems to give a lot more flexibility in the install process.

    Another option you might have is to boot the system off something else -- if the kernel loads (I assume it does, since that's a BIOS thing, not a Linux thing), then you could always boot the kernel off the floppy and provide some other device to boot from. I assume the system doesn't have a CD-Rom, but if you can boot to DOS on it, you could install the packages you need on a DOS/umsdos partition and try booting it from loadlin.

    I'm very impressed with the way the LinuxPPC demo thats in MacWorld works -- it contains all the filesystems and stuff in a single MacOS file, and the system can boot and run from that file itself. That strikes me as a good installation method that is not supported by most (all?) distributions... Put the install system (3-5 meg probably) into a file, and boot linux using loadlin and mounting that file as root. It'd run fine obviously off a CD, and in cases of wierd installs you could in a worst case scenario, split the root file into 1.44 meg chunks, copy them into a small DOS partition on the harddrive, cat them back together and boot from the harddrive into it.

    But the idea that RedHat can't install onto laptops is just silly. I'm sure there are thousands of /. readers who've done it and are doing it. I've got it on three, one of them that doesn't even have a floppy drive... (yes, it did have one the *first* time I installed Linux on it three years ago, but I've since had to remove it because it broke...)
  • Yes, and the low memory boot disk copies itself to the harddrive, and boots from there, hense getting it to work when installing from a local harddrive. :)
  • Unfortunately that doesn't help with RedHat. RedHat doesn't give you the ability to mount a swap partition until after you have partitioned the drive -- regardless whether or not the drive is already partitioned. The real problem in the RedHat install with 8 meg seems to be the amount of memory it takes to fork Disk Druid or even fdisk. The very next step is mounting the swap space, but in one attempt I made to install it onto a 486/80 (AMD) with 8 meg ram, I let it run swapping for two hours just to see if it'd ever actually manage to get fdisk or Disk Druid to load up. It never happened.

    Debian is better -- it lets you mount a swap parition if you've already created one. In the previously mentioned install, I was able to boot off a RedHat install disk, load no drivers for anything, and just squeak by after killing the installer to be able to load fdisk and partition the drive. My hope had been to mount the swap before getting to the partitioning step, but I was unable to find the program that's actually mounting the swap space. I'm assuming RedHat isn't using swapon / mkswap for it, but I might've just missed it.

    I ended up ordering Debian CD's and got it installed on that system with no troubles. I remember I had to install the barest minimum I could, then reboot to get it to handle the full install. I never did figure out why that was the case.

    Part of the autoLinux [] stuff I've been working on is getting a good mid-size distribution together. (Bigger than the various router projects out there, but smaller than what I remember the Slackware "A" series being...)

  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Tuesday March 23, 1999 @12:52PM (#1965783)
    Anyone know what the requirements for a system are going to be for Slackware 4? I've been disappointed lately to see they keep growing with Redhat (in particular) and to some extent with Debian.

    I know Linux on a 4 meg system may not be reasonable any more, but it seems 8 should be doable, but 8's too small to install RedHat, and I 've only gotten Debian to install in 8 meg successfully when it was installing from a local harddrive.

    Is the minimum (A) set still fairly small? It'd be nice to have a standard distribution that can get a core system installed in 15-20 meg.

  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Tuesday March 23, 1999 @03:06PM (#1965784)
    I have 176 meg of ram in my system at work, and those applications do tend to swell in size (particularly Netscape). I actually try to close Netscape once every hour or two (figuring it doesn't crash on its own) to keep memory bloat down. I don't know if its a "feature" or just a bad memory leak, but it is bad.

    Now, where 8 meg is concerned, 8 meg most certainly isn't a joke. Back in the days of the pre-1.0 kernel, I ran a rather useful system for several years in 8 meg of RAM. When I was in school, virtually all of my papers were written on that with vi and nroff/groff. It handled e-mail serving and reading, usenet reading and posting, and I was running a mailing list getting almost 30 postings a day to 200 people on it. I also gave user accounts to friends who needed a machine to work on from terminals around the campus.

    Never had a problem with it, at one point had nearly 9 months uptime on it.

    I currently have three systems here with only 8 meg RAM. One's being used as a development platform for embedded linux POS applications. One handles my internet dialup, masquerading, routing, firewalling, fax sending and receiving, and voicemail. The third is the system I mentioned above, which is an old notebook computer. Slow, low in RAM, small screen, but the battery lasts almost five hours, and its great for writing when I want to be outside. The router box used to handle printing too, but ghostscript eats too much RAM, so I moved it off to the system I've been experimenting with Oracle on.

    All three of those applications don't need more than eight meg of RAM. They're providing important functions for me without costing me any excessive amount of money, using old parts I've scraped up.

    Its a lot of functionality in not a lot of hardware. If you want to know why the ability to run in 8 meg is important, that's the exact reason. There's lots of very inexpensive hardware that people can buy or have laying around that can be made useful as print servers, or any of a dozen other functions, and 8 meg is enough for many of them.
  • I was a diehard slackware user, too, once. I think I made the transition gracefully enough. I now consider Slackware counter-productive, since it has fallen so out of date, and lacks a modern package system.

    I was skeptical, too, of the whole RPM thing at first. Coming from a windows background, this is not surprising. Let me assure you that RPM may not be perfect, but it kicks the pants off of InstallShield or any other windows equivalent.

    You can always manually remove a package and install the corrosponding .tar.gz package in its place. And if you are concerned about losing the performance you gain from compiling your own binaries, you can download SRPMs, which are Source RPMs. It is very flexible, once you get the hang of the concept. I suggest reading the Using-RPM HOWTO if you still have cold feet.

    I'm sure you would get similar functionality from Debian's package manager as well. And you still can't beat Slackware if you want to get down and dirty (and repetitive.)
  • Binary RPMs contain the binaries (like tgz packages of binaries), plus information about what versions of which libraries and what other stuff is required (e.g. Perl, /bin/sh etc). When you install the RPM, /usr/bin/rpm checks you have all the prerequisites, and then installs the package. It updates its records to indicate what package these files belong to.

    This means that to delete the stuff in the "cheops" package, you just rpm -e cheops. This is quote a bit easier than figuring out where alll the files got put in the first place. It also makes it harder to break your system by deleting something that another package relies on. However, this is Linux, so if you want to do that, you just use the --force option.

    If you have an RPM of "foo" installed and want to upgrade it from a binary tgz file, just uninstall the old package (rpm -e foo) and unpack the tgz as usual. No problem.

    I'm scared that when I get down to actually using RedHat, all the rc files and stuff is going to be a bunch of auto generated stuff I shouldn't touch

    No, Red Hat keeps the rc scripts which start suff separate from the config scripts. Each rc script will read a config script and the start a daemon or whatever. This means that when an upgrade occurs, the rc script is upgraded, but your configuration information is not lost because it lives in a separate file.

    All the normal Unix config files live in /etc, as usual. /etc/hosts, /etc/resolv.conf and so on, just like on all other Unix systems. The config files that are specially for use by the /etc/rc.d startup scripts are all held in /etc/sysconfig.

    All those various config files can be edited with Linuxconf, but you can still edit them by hand. You can change something with Linuxconf, and then tweak stuff by hand. Back to Linuxconf, and then back to vi if you feel like it. The two methods are completely compatible.

    Personally, although I have used Red Hat for years now, I still edit the config files by hand, because that is what I am used to (I started with MCC Interim Linux after being an HPUX administrator for a bit). Red Hat is every bit as vi-configuration-friendly as Slackware and MCC, but the difference is that it also has optional configuration tools.

    I guess I could live with a binary only distro

    Eh? Red Hat is not a binary-only distro. It comes with the source for everything, the kernel, X, the /usr/bin/* stuff, the installation program, everything.

  • Slackware can't be *that* manly. I mean, it doesn't run on Alphas yet, does it?

    (Let's see if Sparc/Linux NS4.5 screws up the Subject: again ...)
  • I've made it a good habit to always install twice on any machine that has to do serious duties: one small 'emergency' root and another normal 'production' root. For lilo I make a small third partition with the kernels (old, current and new) and lilo.conf in it. symlink lilo.conf to both /etc dirs, the kernel dir to both root fs's.

    Now when you've compiled a new kernel, first time you call it 'new.z' or something, only after a successful boot and some testing you cp it to current.

    Whenever your production file system is seriously fsck'd up (power failure maybe), boot from the emergency partition, fsck it or otherwise fix your stuff and reboot into your newly fixed production fs.

    Obviously you still need a rescue disk when the boot record is really ill so lilo won't boot, but at that time chances are your disk has crashed.

    BTW I always use Slackware - for tinkering and out of habit. I dislike RedHat for the encapsulation of everything, have yet to give Debian a go. On 'production systems' one seldom needs to upgrade libs, and if really necessary one can mostly find a suitable binary tarball (doesn't need to be slack tgz - just do a 'tar -tzf' and see if it's what you want). Thank Linus Torvalds, big distributions and Patrick Volkerding for Choice - Just my $.02
  • There are no reasons whatsoever for changing to 4.0 pre-beta, better wait for the real 4.0, then maybe. It isn't really difficult to upgrade to kernel 2.2 if you want to, besides 3.6 has most 2.2 support tools in it.

    I think that must have been the main reason for Patrick to bring out 3.6, other changes were not so important, like you mentioned.
  • by bert ( 4321 )
    8 MB is no joke, I used to have a 386 SX 16 with 5 MB and a 30 MB hard disk, with Slackware 3.x on it and a 2.0.x kernel, as a router between two ethernet segments. Sure, it would swap something out when you logged in, but that's what virtual memory is for.

    Also, Netscape is a memory hog if there ever was one (but that obviously doesn't concern the above machine).
  • Yes. Debian unstable (aka potato) uses glibc 2.1. I upgraded from v2.0 just the other day. Painless upgrade. I didn't even have to reboot. :)

  • Best way to install Debian is through ftp or http. Install a few files to get started, select the packages you want and let debian take care of the rest. :-)

  • As much as I hate to have to agree with you, it definate sums up many of my feelings for slackware as well. I first started using Slackware back in the days of it being SLS, I'll never forget sneaking into a college computer lab and downloading 30 or so 1.44mb flopyy disks so I could go home and install the latest stuff.

    But times change, now instead of having plenty of free time like I did when I was just getting started in the industry I have actual work to get done and it always seems to be more than I have time for. Playing around with stuff is fun, but not if I want to actually prove my point that I can be productive with Linux instead of Windows.

    I still have my complaints with RedHat 5.2 though, it installs and discovers everything nicely, but I don't understand how come they've decided to put things in non-standard places and create dedicated files that aren't supposed to be edited. I still wonder why Netscape is in /usr/lib/netscape, and where in the world they came up with their netscape scripts in the /usr/bin directory, I guess someone somewhere had really good reasons for it. Too bad they don't take the time to tell anyone.
  • I have to agree. libc5 is old but solid. And all the other distributions have libc5 runtime support anyway. The biggest things using glibc right now are star office 5 and oracle. Mozilla is still egcs and gcc 2.7.2.x based (libc5 if I am correct). All you really need is the runtime support because not everyone has converted to glibc. God, how many non Linux systems are still using Xwindows 5 :)
  • is frequently that way. Some cynical part of my mind claims they must inflate the user number, but I have no evidence for that, nor do I really believe that.
  • by drig ( 5119 )
    looking at PACKAGES.TXT, glibc2 is installed. Whether this means that everything uses it or not, I dunno.
  • The Bin was imapd, I read the release about pop3 and dutifully upgraded it, but missed imapd was also susceptible, With debian I would of never missed it, much less not upgraded it.
  • hehhe a moron! Thats me, tell me somthing though, are your boxes on the net? :> Are they true multi-user systems? (I mean you have more then two users) did you read my post? what I said was I learned at first, but after it was a pain. If it take 20 minutes to find the src and compile it. and it takes me 3 minutes to down load and install it as a package. I learn nothing by compiling; why whould I take 17 minutes more? Glib is stable on my system, IT is the future, lib5 is no longer supported. Why whould I use it at all?
  • Who said I was not using them?
  • Hehe another person that probable does not admin more then one machine with more then one user, or has more time on his hands then a professional does. Jesus the point is not that it's hard making a slackware system that works, it's more time consuming, less documented, and less supported. I started with slack, now I use Debian. My systems are FAIRLY secure, more secure then if they where slack, certainly more up to date if they where slack, and less time consuming. I will tell you what; list the 10 mosted used utilitys on your system and I bet I have a newer less buggy version on my system. Then if they are older and I bet they will be; time the amount it takes to upgrade them.
  • by law ( 5166 ) on Tuesday March 23, 1999 @12:57PM (#1965801) Homepage
    It makes me kinda nostalgic for about three minutes, then I remeber the fools that almost rooted me because of a old bin, or the hours it took to upgrade fairly simple stuff, and the realization that the first time I upgraded a lib I learned somthing... the second time I did not... The third I resented that it took as long as it did, and I had 10 other things to do.
    Slackware is at best a teaching tool, at worst time consuming and insecure. It allways seemed to me the people who had lots of time where the loudest proponents.
  • Red Hat is nice but man it can be a pain. For instance, sym linking everything is really a bad idea. RedHat sym links EVERYTHING, even the KERNEL! I use RedHat almost all the time, but I dont use it for development. S.u.S.E is looking very nice these days, I just might have to switch. BTW, will set you up with whatever Linux distro you want, AND guarantee the install. Very cool site, ya gotta check it out.
  • My first linux was also from Slackware (popular distribution 2.7? with "the stable kernel" 1.2.13)
    It was included in PCW november 1996 (I guess)
    I fidled with it for two days until I got it somewhat working (it didn't want to support my 1.6G WD hard disk) I ended up with booting from floppy. I was a 14 years old boy back then who just wanted to look at something different.
    I guess I was one of the first latvians to use it.
    Now I'm using Linux for server purposes in my dad's office and getting paid for it.
  • Well, I as well as many others here started out with Slackware and moved to something else. Someone who posted earlier also liked the idea of RPMS for keeping track of the binaries on a system.

    I love the "Keep it simple, stupid" philosophy but I really like they way RPM works. I really dislike the fact that everything in RedHat comes with everything preconfigured the way they want it. It's great for those that want to have a server up and running in minimal time but sucks to learn on.

    I like the way Debian asks questions for settings during the package install so that it can configure your system.

    Redhat also has this problem with it's kernel; setup. The first time I compiled a kernel under it I went nuts. I'd rather not have to go read through a ton of shell scripts and checking symlinks in order to get the kernel set up "the way redhat likes it" True I can change the scripts, but it's really a pain.
  • by ewhac ( 5844 )

    If this is true, it may be what finally moves me away from Slackware and towards something else (leaning toward Debian at the moment, for no particular reason).


  • I will say this again.

    Blaming one's incompetence as a system administrator on the distribution you run is lame. If you can't keep your own systems up to date, you have only yourself to blame. In any case, how hard is it for someone to type ./configure --help and/or ./configure && make && make install?

  • These things and several more were fixed in Slackware 3.6... Where have you been?

    Furthermore, RH 5.2 still attempts to install everything under the sun fully open and accessible by the Internet from it's default installation. People who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones.
  • Why did you have these services turned on in the first place if you were not using them?
  • Right on brother! ;)

    I installed Slackware about over 2 years ago (3.0 I think it was, not sure now) and have never looked back. I too am pretty much bleeding edge, lastest kernel, glibc 2.1, XFree86 3.3.3 and so on. I have no problems at all, and its pretty fast (as fast as a P120 gets I guess). It's taught me a great deal about Linux and Unix in general. If I wanted a OS that I could just install and leave alone, I'd use Winders. I don't. I want an environment in which I can tinker, break things, complain to my friends that I broke something, fix it, lather, rinse, repeat ;)
  • Yes... isn't that lame? I got an old 486SX20 laptop with 4 megs, upgraded it to 8 megs. Installed windoze 95 on it first, because I had the disk handy, and it installed no problemo.

    Then I go to install Red Hat. It hung. I tweaked. It hung. I cursed. It hung. I found it very depressing that the Red Hat install wanted more hardware than the windoze 95 install.

    (I *finally* got it installed, with much tinkering, and it runs just fine. Now why should the install take more memory than actually *running* the OS?)

    Now I've done it... bring on the RH flames. (sigh)
  • Actually, I closed the shell that opened - the install had used so much memory by that point that it was already grinding to a halt, and I figured that exiting out of that shell would save me some memory.

    You're exactly right - if there was a way to enable swap early on, I would have been fine. I had already created swap space with a rescue disk, hoping that it would help, but the install doesn't even look for swap until after the whole disk druid thingy, and the ramdisk they load up doesn't include swapon (at least I couldn't find it...) so I couldn't enable it myself.
  • Wow, if there ever was a wrong side of a bed, you found it! Maybe you have 2 wrong sides?

    I'm curious about those versions of redhat that don't install on laptops - that's very interesting. I'll have to look for them. Would that be version 5.1? Hm, no - a friend of mine did that one. 5.2? Well, not that one either - because I have a laptop with 5.2 humming along. I'll have to look at the site a bit more closely to find those "desktop-only" versions.

    As far as trying to get things to work - all I did was get updated boot/supp images, try backpack CDroms, HD installs, network installs via smb, nfs, and ftp, create a swap partition prior to the install, make a custom ramdisk, exit the provided shell to save memory, and finally contemplated modifying the source for the install program.

    Thank you for your valuable information, next time I'll *try* to get it to work - perhaps things will get done.

    (This one's ripe for the picking, moderators!) :-)
  • by CMiYC ( 6473 ) on Tuesday March 23, 1999 @04:01PM (#1965813) Homepage
    I've been using slackware for what seems like forever now. Its almost gotten to a point where I can't remember a time NOT having Linux installed on my computer. If it wasn't for slackware's stubborn way of doing things (you know, not doing them for you) I would have never gotten this far with linux. I have installed RedHat on my Laptop, mostly to see why its so well liked... I do have to say, if you want POWER, and you want control, then slackware is your distro. To me, its the hacker's distribution. When I think of Linux, I think of Slackware.

    If you want to USE your computer, and get things done, then Redhat is more suitable. RPM is nice when you just want to use something...

    Call me crazy (go ahead, I think I am too) but I still enjoy the headaches of compling stuff on my own. I think going bald at 21 can be 75% contributed to Slackware, but its worth it.

    If slackware never came out with another release, I'd still be happy with 3.6 (okay, if they would come out with a glibc2 first, then quit... i'd be REALLY happy).

    Anyways, that my 2 shinny pennies (do you take credit cards) on Slackware.

  • "I couldn't even get PPP working in Debian or Red Hat"
    hrmmmm.... how strange. My first time with Linux was last September with Debian 2.0 . I got PPP to work before I knew what a shell script was...
  • Here's a good How-To [] for glibc, might come in handy for those of you deciding to try slackware 4.0, and wanting to setup glibc.
  • I'm a bigtime fan of slackware, and I was a little dissapointed when I downloaded the latest slackware 3.6 to find it had old versions of the x server, kernel, and many other little programs. I can't get into, it's packed, has anyone downloaded it? If so do you know if it comes with the latest x server, along with various other utilities? I'm sure it has, but I'd just like to be sure before I invest my 56K modem to a day long downloading adventure.
    Also, are there any major changes, considering it's moved to 4.x series?
  • Good to see that Slackware is still pulling their weight.. :)
    I've got many fond memories back in my Uni days of slaving over an old 386 in my flat, shoehorning the floppies into the drive, drooling over the fact that I could now code all my coursework at home, and dammit, I had _UNIX_ at home.. :)
    I cut my teeth on Linux using Slackware, and look forward to seeing what they've got coming out now.. :)
    *Blush* But I must have to admit to using Red Hat, 'cos it seems to be the easiest way to get new people into it, and I tend to use it a lot in places I go out on contract to (whenever I can persuade 'em to drop an NT box in it's favour, which is becoming increasingly easier.. :) )..
    I think it's time to go back to my roots for a while tho, and see what gives with this release.. :)
    Whatever else gets said about the distribution competition, It's still Linux, and at core, it beats the pants off just about everything else.. :)

  • Thats funny...I saw two at my college.
  • Slack certainly had it's place - without it where would Linux be today - however it has been far surpassed by many other distributions now ... time to let go!!!

    <DRAWL>You can take my Slack box from me when you pry it from my cold, dead hands, buster.&lt/DRAWL> :)

    The oldest machine I own is based on Slackware 3.0, and is now upgraded (after toil and sweat and much cursing) to the latest glibc, kernel, X, and so on. I couldn't have learned how to do any of that from scratch on Debian. (Well, maybe the kernel. Most of the kernel, at least.) I wouldn't have once deleted /lib/ because I thought I didn't need it anymore (yeah, that was a while ago... sheesh), but I also wouldn't have learned what did. (Did anybody get through a libc5->glibc or a.out->ELF transition without resorting to rescue disks? There's gotta be somebody!) Slackware takes you by the balls (or whatever) and drags you down into the guts of the machine; it's a hell of a ride, and if you want to learn you gotta go there anyway...

    I think the ideal distribution for the geek with N computers is one Slack machine, and N-1 Debian/SUSE/RH/Caldera boxes. I can't imagine the time it would take to upgrade plural Slack boxes, so my other machines run Slink. I get work done with the N-1 boxes, I learn stuff on the Slack box, and I can try the latest tarball-only apps on any distribution. Hey, works for me... :)


  • About two, maybe three years ago I met this guy on the old html chats on geocities. He got me started on Linux with Slackware 3.3. Ever since then, I have always used Slackware. I've used other distros but Slackware seems to have something that keeps me going back to it. Long live Slackware!!!
  • As for the libc question, I talked to Patrick himself at LinuxWorld, who predicted sometime around fall for a 2.1 Slack.

    And as far as kernels are concerned, I've kept right with the pace of development, and have yet to have anything go buggy on me with this Slack 3.5 system.

    Nice to see this show of force from the Slackware community btw!
  • I am very happy to see all the comments talking about how they remember slack, use slack, etc. I too still use slackware. I have for years. I like running a nice fast system. There are a few things that bug me about slack (lack of glibc2, some out of date libs ie. libdb hint hint) but other than that it is still the best. Now for those of you who think slack is old and is going to limit what you can run, check this out.

    I run an older version of slack, many updated libs, etc. The system is fully functional. For those of you who like eye candy, I am running XFree, Enlighenment as the window manager, GNOME (YES GNOME) 1.0, Gimp 1.1, and many other "bleeding edge version" applications.

    You can run anything on it. So nuts to you people who are surprised that slackware can run GNOME, etc. It is fast, compiled myself, and has a small memory footprint. Keep your dependecies and default installs. I'll be in the corner with the rest of the loons scaring the rest of ya.

    Ni who lilly fa ling ling cha!
  • I doubt it. There's only one Patrick Volkerding to go around, unfortunately.

    I still find the idea of one person putting out an entire Linux distribution to be a rather frightening thought. Brrr...

    One problem that I really hope Patrick takes care of is a formal upgrade procedure. Last time I checked, the READMEs still recommend whiping the machine, and loading Slack on an empty disk. Yes, I suppose you can try reinstalling on top a previous version, but that's going to be messy.

  • I've pretty much went the same way myself. I cut my teeth on Slackware, now use Red Hat exclusively, except for one box that's still running Slack.

    RPM is definitely a timesaver from a sysadmin's point of view. One constant pain sysadmins have is upgrading a package - remembering where all the config files are - what needs to be changed. God forbid if a directory or a file that belongs to a package has moved from one place to another.

    When you upgrade with RPM, your old version is cleanly deinstalled, and a new one installed, all automatically. A few intelligent things are done with configuration files, and you have a complete record of which file came with a package.

    You can certainly compile and install stuff yourself, by hand, on Red Hat. But, over time, that tends to break things. If you install a later version of something that was already installed as an RPM, when you later upgrade to a newer Red Hat version, you will find that Red Hat's installer will automatically scribble a newer RPM your installed app. Perhaps that's not such a bad idea anyway, but you may not've wanted to do that, for some reason. Plus you're likely to lose any changes to the configuration file that you've made.

    It's also quite easy to stay up to date with the latest versions of everything you have installed. There are scripts out there that can automatically poll the updates directory on a Red Hat FTP site, and notify you when updates become available. I don't think that there's anything similar to that for Slackware.

    Here's a real good example of what kind of a benefit you get from RPM.

    I needed to repartition my main box. I dumped everything to tape, and I put together a boot disk that comes up with a bare kernel, the kernel tape drive module, and the minimum of tools that I need to load the system back from a tape. I go ahead, rewipe the hard disk, format it, partition it, then go ahead and reload everything back from tape.

    I reboot, the system comes up fine, but after logging in, it's acting kinda funky. I normally have a button to run Pine within xterm. Pine comes up briefly, something flashes on the screen, and it exits. I'm getting some real weird messages from "su" that I have never seen before in my life. All sorts of things suddenly give me real strange error messages, out of nowhere.

    I did some digging around. Hoo-boy -- looks like tar doesn't know how to properly restore the permission and ownership of device files. My entire /dev is completely fubared.

    No problem.

    rpm --setperms dev

    Back to normal. Carry on.

    If you intend to work heavily with a Red Hat system, I strongly recommend that you buy the book "Maximum RPM". The entire Red Hat distribution is based around their package manager. That book gives you all you need to know about creating your own RPMs, and is an invaluable source of information.

  • by HRbnjR ( 12398 ) <> on Tuesday March 23, 1999 @02:07PM (#1965825) Homepage
    Background: I have been running Slackware, since 1994. So everyone has been clamoring over how cool RedHat is, so I tried it, kinda. Before I go on, let me qualify that I am a full time Java developer, using Java 1.2, and have thus since I graduated a couple years ago, and until recently been forced to use Windoze (which I hate) most all of the time. I still keep a Linux partition, and am now going to attempt to move my system primarily back to Linux, and get all my fancy new hardware running. So, last year I did an FTP install of RedHat 5.1 which really impressed me, as it autodetected everything, DHCP'd and FTP'd and was up and running (with X, wow) without me doing anything, no dot clocks, no rc files, nothin. Not that I minded Slackware, after about 50 installs, you get the nack for it (don't touch _anything_ while it's installing, and if anything goes wrong (even blinks), start over). I have, since then, not actually touched a thing on the RedHat partition, due to lack of time, and waiting for 2.2 before investing any time. I haven't even updgraded a single RPM, I'm not even sure I remember how. However...I am one with gzip, tar, and make.

    Question: So what's the deal with RPM's? I understand that they are binary only and have dependency tracking. Does that mean if something is installed via RPM I can't manually download a tgz and build over it, I have to use RPM's? Do I really care? I always thought I was getting better performance by compiling myself, in that the compiler would optimize for newer P2 instructions rather than being 486 compatible :-) I don't have the time to build and tweak much anymore, so RedHat sounds like it is for me. It's just that...well...rules scare me. I'm scared that when I get down to actually using RedHat, all the rc files and stuff is going to be a bunch of auto generated stuff I shouldn't touch, or that will get written over when I upgrade something. I guess I imagine a RedHat config file like a Microsoft Visual C++ source file, compared to Slackware's Linux C++ file..."Don't touch this...or that...or edit this". It's the people that keep warning about how they have to edit dependency files and stuff, and it is a pain.

    Is RedHat scary for Slackware people?

    I guess I could live with a binary only distro. With GNU/Linux, it just seems wrong though. But the thought of quick upgrades and fixes is to much to pass over. I mean...there never used to be binaries at all...and you get used to one thing for so long.

    And the only reason I say RedHat (not Debian, Suse, etc) is because it seems to be the most actively maintained in terms of current stuff. I'm thinking about Starbuck/6.0 here. It also seems easy to find RPM's for everything now.

    I guess after this I have to sort out all this Gnome/KDE stuff. I think I will stick with good old FVWM. Who needs all the fancy schmancy themes and crap...just bloat anyhow :-) The only reason I even run X, is cuz I can't see Rob's cute Icons using Lynx :-) Hmm...someone should port Mozilla and thus GTK to GGI...then I woulnd't need X at
  • Not to mention the default Slackware install is much less secure than any other distributions.. For example, systat enabled in inetd.. huh??? Most unixes don't have stupid stuff like this enabled by default.
  • Debian has glibc 2.1 in their unstable branch (the next release). I think.
  • A lot like 2.0 actually. More packages, but installing packages is easier with apt.
  • What are you using--HP-UX? Or perhaps OpenWindows? I haven't seen paging requirements like that since five minutes ago when I was fiddling with WebSphere. (Now that's a resource pig--I was using it on OS/2, it it took up 2 GIGABYTES of address space, had about 500 megabytes of that committed, and had around 100MB resident!)
  • I remember Slackware. It's still in use here for the sole purpose of ZipSlack, which fits so nicely in a machine otherwise prostituted to Windows. All I can say is that it's about time we got glibc6--I might actually use Slackware for something again.

    I was drug kicking and screaming to the eternal judgment La-`Z'-Boy of `Bob', and he told me to install Debian! I could hear Mike Enlow's voice in my head! But I did as `Bob' commanded, and am indeed happier now. (Fear potatoes.)

    Still, if Slackware 4.0 doesn't have modern compiles of everything, I won't use it. I just had too many bad experiences with Slackware 3.6 (Slackware 98) of horribly old, crusty, buggy, and vulnerable executables. (Don't even get me started of when I had my Slackware machine connected directly to the Internet and was using it to gab on IRC.)

    OTOH, Slackware, along with OS/2's kernel debugger and DEBUG.COM has made me what I am today, and I am grateful.

    I just want to see a revival of SLS Linux! Now those were the days! (Geesh. I was 10 years old then. Youngstuff. I didn't know what I was doing--gosh, I wish I could go back in time and help myself out!)


  • I hate to agree, but I agree. Like many others here, I cut my teeth on slackware....a kindly little geek at a previous job took me under his wing and coached me though the rough spots. But I recently switched to Red Hat....I like the feel of Slackware better, and it seems to make more logical sense overall, but it was simply too hard to maintain. I don't have hours to futz around with the system....I barely have time to play with the civ beta. While manually loading and compialing everything is "purer" and more preferable in many ways, it is simply too clumsy. Pkgtool is great, but no files are relased using its format, so its next to useless. I had nightmares simply thinking about having to compile and install everything required for Gnome. Makes me sad though....Slackware has the right "feel" to it....I sorting out Red Hat, but....theres nothing like the real thing. Would it be possible for someone to grab slackware, update all the necessary librarys, add support for debs and rpm, and rerelease it, kindof like how Mandrake did with redhats distro....have a slackware release, and then a slackware for slackers...maybe. Dont know.

  • My understanding is that this is a libc5-based distribution, but has runtime support for glibc-2.0.7-pre6, but no runtime support for glibc-2.1 or glibc-2.1.1-pre1.

    Glibc is in a state of flux, particularly with 2.1 being recalled. 2.0.6 is, so I hear, buggy. 2.0.7 is still a -pre6 release, though everyone seems to pretend that it is a real release. 2.1 is another big step, but it's not clear that it is ready for stable systems.

    So the choices are:
    Use libc5. It works, is stable, but not trendy.
    Use glibc2.0.7-pre6. It works, is stable, but you'll have to transition to 2.1 soon, anyway.
    Use glibc2.1.1-pre1. It might work, is relatively untested, but is what everyone will eventually be moving to.

    Personally, I think Slackware made a reasonable choice. I wouldn't compile for glibc2.0, as that's a dead-end library. Why bother making that transition? Instead, provide the runtime support for the binaries that require it, release another libc5 system, and focus development on glibc2.1.
  • You can install over your redhat rpm binaries, it won't hurt anything but might make the system bitch if you try to uninstall the rpm package later.

    Redhat's not scary, alot of Slackware die-hard's seem to be using it nowaday's cause the novelty of maintaining the system isn't as rewarding as it once was for them. I think since Debian 2.x hit the streets that most of the Slack die-hards that were using Redhat have switched to Debian though. I started with Slackware and I always preferred it. But when I bought the Debian 2.0 CD it blew my mind, dpkg and dselect are just awesome for maintaining the system. dpkg packages tend to prompt you for all config information during the install, saving time for rooting around for .conf's. I like Debian, it's great on my firewall/gateway 486 box.

    But for my Pentium boxes I use Stampede. If you want pentium-optimized code, as you said above, you should check it out, since that's what it is built for. After running Stampede one tends to shy from 386/486 bins since they are so slow in comparison. Stampede's gzip is like 50% faster than standard gzip. It has its own package management format too, but you can setup pgcc and compile stuff yourself if ya want. Stampede comes w/ alot of kickass packages the other dists don't so it's worth a look. Cheapbytes has CD's for $2, or go to
    It was the first dist w/ 2.2, and is probably the most actively maintained except for Rawhide.

    ANd yeah I agree w/ you about FVWM(2). It's the best WM ever, fast as hell even when loaded w/ pixmaps. And who needs themes when the best one is the one you do up yourself. And as far as GTK/GNOME themes go, I haven't got that stuff to work but it looks great. Cvs stuff never compiles for me so I've given up till the stuff is out of devel. Stampede is beta as all hell but they got a kickass bugtrack that answers most problems.

    Good luck on getting your system up and running. I recommend you do some security checking tho cause RH5 has some exploitable configs/apps w/ the default setup.
  • Ahh yes! The first PC I owned was a 386 with 2M of RAM, in first year uni I could afford 10 floppies, so I made trips back and forth from campus to home with my 10 floppies with slackware at a time.

    Those were the days, I stayed up all night trying to figure this new beast out.. what a thrill! (err.. what a geek!)

  • What *is* the deal with libc6? I've been running Slackware for several years and I have never run into problems compiling tarballs on any package yet. Are there any examples that people have?
  • You could always try Linux Router [] you don't need a hard disk to use it.
  • I have no idea why people would shy away from a release based soley on the libraries. I have Slackware 3.4 and wanted to install StarOffice. I didnt want to trust my machine to their libc6 upgrade, so I went ahead and did it myself. In about 45 mins or so, I had both 5 and 6 set up. There are some awesome pages on the web that helped along the way (I think I started from :P ). The point is, don't let the libraries dictate your choice. If libc6 is the only reason your staying with RH (heaven forbid), trash it and try Slackware. Its easier to keep track of where everything is installed, the initialize scripts make sense, its easy to tweak until you have it set up perfectly for yourself.
  • My very first experience with Linux was with Slackware 1.0. When I started using Linux regularly (a few years later), it was RedHat. During my first years in the industry, I was knee-deep in FreeBSD, so naturally my first linux was going to come from Walnut Creek. ^_^

    Admittedly, Slackware doesn't interest me anymore. However, all of Rob's comments on Debian make me wonder if maybe I ought to check that distro out.


  • RedHat (or Debian for that matter) is definately NOT a binary only distro!!

    First off, everything in RedHat has an associated "Source RPM" (SRPM). You can download that and use RPM to recompile..

    Second, almost anytime you compile anything from a source tarball, it usually defaults to installing in /usr/local or /opt. In both RPM based(Redhat, etc) and Debian distros /usr/local and /opt are specifically reserved for stuff you compile yourself.

    To me, packages give me the best of both worlds. I be lazy and download the latest RPM's to keep all the misc. stuff on my system up to date, or, for stuff I really like to mess around with (like perl), I can compile from source.

    I still have yet to see a *valid* reason a distribution should NOT have a package manager.

  • by NoneToBe ( 28541 ) on Tuesday March 23, 1999 @03:12PM (#1965879)
    Debian is well worth trying out...

    Once installed you can install a new package via:

    apt-get install

    And it will determine what it depends on, dialup and download the stuff and install it on-the-fly. If you are upgrading (for example) lpr it will stop lpr, install the new one and bring it up again.

    The key word with Debian TCO. Once running... it is the closest to zero that you can find.

  • by CocaCola ( 30016 ) on Tuesday March 23, 1999 @12:48PM (#1965887)
    DOWNLOAD Slackware 4.0 here []
    (LinuxToday appears to be slashdotted, at least from here)
  • by yorkie ( 30130 ) on Tuesday March 23, 1999 @01:53PM (#1965888)
    I first came across Slackware EONs ago - I recall downloading it from Compuserve at work a couple of years before we had an internet connection.

    My current setup is loosley based on a basic Slackware 3.4 with a lot of extras on top - the only binaries I have downloaded being Netscape and a glibc2 Xfree.

    I still prefer slackware to any other distro - I have tried Debian, Redhat, S.U.S.E and FTlinux in the past with poor results.

    I just hope that a glibc 2.1 Slackware release appears soon. I would then reinstall removing all libc5 from this machine for once and for all.
  • I started using Linux about 2 years ago. Back then I kept hearing all these really bad stories about Slackware ("ick, that's the LAST distro you should get..."). Being new at it, I tried to download RedHat. I don't think I even got to the copying-the-software step because of repeated SIG11 errors... For some reason, I just didn't like Debian. =]

    Slackware has always worked best for me. It installed perfectly on all my hardware (no SIG11's) from a lowly 386/4mb/120mb (yes, it'll still run on 4meg hardware) to my current 350mhz/32mb/2gb.

    Package maintenance on Slack? Too much of a hassle. It's always seemed logical to just download the source for a new program, fix the Makefiles to the right path and install it over whatever old version was there. Never had a problem compiling anything on libc5 either... not even on the current Slack3.4-based server at my school. (If you could still call it Slack-based... I've replaced about half of everything from TGZs =])

    Yes, I know Slack doesn't have any fancy control panel Xapp or one-click installation, but those have always seemed a little too simplistic. Better to open up pico and fix the config files yourself... you learn better that way =]

    Oh well, enough of my rambling...

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10