What does Holla Forums think of Slackware?


I'm considering it as my new distro. I'm getting tired of Ubuntu changing things every 6 months. Currently on Ubuntu Mate.

Any experiences?

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It's FOSS, you don't need to subject yourself to people deciding to change, or not change, stuff. It's supposed to be about freedom. Just build a minimal system and then make your own choices on top of that.
It's not as hard as it seems, and definitely not harder than reinstalling a different distro everytime your change something in a way you don't like.

No dependency resolution. enjoy manually installing a hundred packages just to get a web browser installed.

Go with Arch or Gentoo.

Might try redcore linux


Like what? Are you using an LTS release, and if not then why? Another thing you could do is disable feature updates and leave security updates only. (((In the GUI.)))

recommended dependency resolution for slackware is literally "just install the whole thing on your hdd"

Slackware is not a bad distribution by any means, but manual dependency resolution is a major pain in the ass.

If what you're tired of is Ubuntu changing every six months (which is the point of non-LTS Ubuntu) you can use Ubuntu LTS, Debian Stable or OpenSUSE Leap.

Please don't post low-taste images, thank you

It's pretty good, especially for a server.
Lack of dependency management gets on my nerves for a desktop system though.

I'd hate to see how they treat lower priorities.

a low quality one then


It is shit. Install Gentoo GNU/Linux, Arch GNU/Linux or GuixSD.

While I love GuixSD, I haven't been able to get it or a VM up. Maybe someday. I hate using this POS Debian.

May I recommend Void.


I've been running Slackware daily for the past year, and I can say it isn't nearly as bad as people make it out to be.
If you like customizing the packages that run on your machine, and want a distribution that absolutely never breaks, this is a great pick.

How many people on Holla Forums do you think do anything that deserves the label "production use"?

Autism mostly. Just roll with arch or void.

So, you have to build all the packages yourself or what?
At that point, does your distro even matter anymore? Just download the tar balls at build everything from source on whatever distribution...


Arch is for people who think they're autistic, Slackware is for people who actually are autistic.

Not really. The point of Slackware is to provide a solid base install with most of the things you're ever going to need. It's huge, but it has absolutely _everything_.
Additional packages can be obtained from a 3rd party repo or be built by yourself using 3rd party scripts (or your own).

Well, you could, but other distributions will nag you with their package managers and constant updates. Maintaining customized packages on other distributions can become a real pain.
Slackware is really hands-off in that regard. The tools are as barebones as they get and as such are really easy to understand on the deepest level, such that you can easily customize them and/or simply work with them.
I often like to compare Slackware to LFS. It's simply a rock-solid base on which you can essentially build your own distro, and I'd argue it isn't really Slackware anymore when you install a 3rd-party add-on (multilib, kde5, mate, etc) or start customizing it in depth.

I use slack as my main linux distro and have for years. Dependency resolution is for chumps, multilib is for gays, and BSD-style init scripts are superior. Praise "Bob", ok?

Used to use it for years. Don't like it anymore - it installs too much shit by default. Salix is the best for me, but Slack is still better than most.

i thought slackware was just a word for if you didnt feel like compiling your own kernel and building it yourself at install?

isnt that what the nigger from mr. robot used in season 3. honestly what is the fuss about distros? you can just get the distro that you need for whatever your working on.

for example, i like battery life and linux lite gives me 8 hours full charge on my laptop. i could use tinyOS sure, but would it be as powerful?

or if i want to use kali i will only have 3 hours on the same batter and lower framerates, but look the performance increase I will get out of my quad core i7...

say i want to start brute forcing passwords, but i dont have a video it will take 5 times as long...optimize for battery life and graphic card performance in that case.

this is how computers should be viewed imo; 90% of consumers aren't getting the most bang for their buck, not to mention the cost eficiency of most modern machines

Been using Slack for a while now, and I can't stand using anything else now. Manual dependency management isn't bad, better than being left at the whims of the shithead package maintainers other distros have, and if you don't want that, alternate package managers do exist. Time between releases is a bit long, but every non-current release is stable as bedrock, so having some packages be long-in-the-tooth isn't the end of the world, and anything that needs to be updated today can be taken care of easily by editing a line or two in a slackbuild and recompiling yourself. Besides the base, not only is sbotools magical, but there are multiple websites that pre-compile packages for you if you don't want to compile yourself, great for shit that's too fucking big, like chromium or qt5 or texlive.

BSD-style init scripts and a community filled with people that treat systemd with the vitriol it deserves don't hurt none neither.

In addition to the dependency resolution issue that's already been discussed:

Some of the major distros have made strides in integrating security improvements by default. Fedora ships with SELinux and a sane policy. I believe it's activated by default. I think they also compile daemons and some other programs with hardening flags. Debian and derivatives have AppArmor ready to go (and I think it may be on by default in Ubuntu), along with appropriate policies, and also ship hardened binaries. Installers for the above operating systems include the option to set up FDE (except for /boot) during install.

If those sorts of things don't bother you, or if you have the time and expertise to do them yourself in Slackware, I guess it doesn't matter. Just something else to consider.

Oh, another thing. For all of systemd's flaws, many systemd distros (including Fedora and I think Debian) are able to run the X server as an unprivileged user, and without it being suid root. Unless they've managed to change it, Slackware still runs the shitfest that is Xorg as root.

Almost nothing in your post is correct.

I use Slackware for linux and windows 7 for windows. I have never used a distro other than Slackware and I am satisfied with it. I have no other knowledge of linux aside from what I do on Slackware. I like how it doesn't change, but I also don't know how to set up my package manager.

Actually reading the posts in this thread, it doesn't have a package manager? I remember that I installed slackware 13 about 4 years ago (I am on 14.2 now though) and then a year later I showed it to someone who likes Linux a lot, before then I did not know very many Linux people, he freaked out because I was on a 2.x kernel and I didn't have a package manager. I just told him that I had been downloading the binaries/source code from the internet and installing it just like windows whenever I wanted a new program and he freaked out even more, does that mean that I was doing it correctly this whole time?

It has a package manager. That's what installpkg, upgradepkg, etc. are.

It doesn't have a package manager with automatic dependency resolving and a number of other features that most Linux users consider essential in a package manager.

Also worth noting is how absolutely barebones the package manager is. It's written in shell, making it pretty slow, but it's a trade-off with readability. It has no notion of configuration management, simply having each package install the config file as .new, and having their installation scripts rename it if none existed previously, which means that all config files are left behind on uninstall. Symlinks are handled in an awkward way, by having a package's installation script do `rm -rf /path/to/link && ln -s link /path/to/link`, and having `removepkg` _parse_ this installation script to remove the links afterwards. There's also a few shell-related issues such as the fact that `/install` is sacred because that's where the installation scripts are unpacked, and that a file named `/FILE LIST:` wouldn't be removed.

While all of this threw me off when I first started digging into the package manager, I've yet to really get an issue with this system, besides the annoyance of leftover files when you uninstall stuff. There's an alternative called `spkg`, which is a drop-in replacement, used primarily by SalixOS, but that has its own problems and set of assumptions.

yep, tyrell wellick also used it.

The oldest surviving distro around, even older than Debian and Red Hat. Only around the turn of the century its mainstream (in the Y2K-Linux sense) relevance was declining, and SuSE (which originally was derived from Slackware) took its place in the "big three" (besides Debian and Red Hat) distros.

Still for many years after, the saying "if you know distro xyz you know distro xyz, if you know Slackware you know Linux" was arguably very true. Slackware always was centered around simplicity, an aversion to bullshit and gimmickry, and its learning curve proved a very worthwhile and rewarding investment in becoming thoroughly acquainted in the workings of Linux in general (even though it always used BSD-style init scripts rather than the Sysvinit scripts prevalent anywhere else). Nowadays it has become much more niche due to consistently avoiding systemd, but that makes it an excellent choice to anyone who sees that as a clear advantage rather than a drawback.

Wow, nice thread. Time to test it out on KVM. Thanks user.

It shouldn't be that hard for package manager to remove the old files. All it has to do is log all the files it copied during installation.

Except that on a reinstall/upgrade the config files won't be copied because the previous versions already exist, in which case you have nothing to log. It's slightly more complex than that, which is why it hasn't been implemented.
It'd be really nice, but the only thing I can expect from PV is a hack like `grep '^config' /var/log/scripts/$PACKAGE`.

doesn't really seem that bad on a desktop system since you can simply merge them by hand
I actually like how simple it is

I'd rather use NixOS

Consider salix, if you are lazy. It's the mint of slackware.

I was a big fan in the late 90s, early 2000s, however I dropped off when I got broadband. I totally understand the mentality about the bloat and dependency hell, but I felt that Gentoo was just something that was going to be more useful to me with it's ports-like package system.

Slackware repo is all dependency resolved.
Ok, so install only the things you need without some package manager being your nanny that decides you really need the entire 2 terabtye internationalization set for your 2 megabye program.
So, am I getting this straight? You want a slim system but somehow that makes dependencies go up and not down?
The less software you use the more difficult it apparently becomes?

Plebs, everyone.

By the way, the package manager supports templates, and sbopkg supports queuefiles.
Which it can also generate for you for packages that don't have a queue already, with a tool, based on the readmes, which usually have a "requires" section.

This means you can set up your dream setup once and then just use the template to replicate it on any slackware computer, provided the packages are in the repo.

Which you can make yourself, easily since it's basically just a directory with some infos in it.

Making your own packages is also super easy, and if you're that advanced then you've most likely got experience with compiling programs and whatnot, and you need to "manually resolve" dependencies for those, too.

Even if that involves apt-getting them, or something.

In other words.
If I wrote some really cool piece of software you want to use, and it's not in your "automatic dependency resolving repository" because it's new.
Then, you, too, need to resolve the dependencies for my piece of software, unless you want to use prebuilt binaries that have things I decided to include.

Which can be annoying if you have a different taste.

In any case, just install the fucking base repo in full and omit shit you really don't want to use, in my case emacs and some other things.
Then save a template.

Go from there.

Also, this "big hammer" approach actually got me into Linux proper.
Because after a full install I had so many programs to try out I wouldn't even have known to "install on my dependency resolving distro" because I flat out didn't know about it.

But Slackware had it all.
A freaking playground with awesome shit, both retro and modern and it all worked and the tools and init scripts were all plaintext and everything.

I had a fucking field day exploring Linux thanks to Slackware.

It's great and I pity the fools who use something else.

I will continue using it forever unless something better comes along, and I doubt that.
Just like I am keeping an old build of Firefox alive so I can continue using Pentadactyl.
Maybe qutebrowser will some day be good enough to replace that, but that day is not today.

Anyway. Give slack a try, in a vm or something.
It's fun and it has the potential to grow on you, if you like Linux.

It also has little easter eggs here and there and it handles configurations sensibly and it's awesome.

Also, people use software more than they install it.
It's not like you fuck with packages every damn day.

removepkg removes old files, since it keeps a list of all files of a package.

If you run removepkg all old files will be deleted, unless the file is shared by a package, then the file remains until the last package that shares it gets removed as well.

It even tells you if there are any new files it doesn't know about in directories related to the package.

While I do use Slack on some servers, I think that manual dependency resolution is a bad solution to dependency hell.
If you look at Gentoo, all you have to do to remove dependencies is remove the features that use them, it still does everything else for you and you end with a more optimized system.

What would the reaction be?

How is it different exactly?

other than the kernel and a few packages like Firefox, don't LTS packages never receive feature updates?

shit package management

please stop strawmanning me. i don't care about a "slim system" my hardware can handle a lot. I would rather spend my time working then resolving dependency issues.

But the whole point of the Church of the Subgenius is to have below average intelligence. "Bob" is extremely unintelligent but makes up for it by having superhuman luck.

"user admitted to slacking off in the interview? Throw his application in the trash."

Then do a full install and you'll have a billion linux packages to use

>If you look at Gentoo, all you have to do to remove dependencies is remove the features that use them,
That's nice, but then you end up using Gentoo and not Slackware.

It's a joke.

Despite all of my distro-hopping for all these years, including regrettably going back to windows 7 for each distro I hop, I keep going back to slack. I've been on slackware for a few years on laptops, but only recently committed to switch my desktop, most vidya works, but have a few things I need to sort out.

I'm gonna make it, I will make it!

I'm not the one who made that post, but as far as I know, salix has far less software installed on it from the get-go.

As i understood the church of SG, it seems like it's about being more inteligent than the avarage but not a genius. Bob was and is a salesman. Basicly you subistitute actually knowing stuff and working hard for being clever enough to BS your way through and and maybe a little exploitation of the stupid.

gentoo is a fucking mess, arch is the same only even more unstable and guixsd is just another gimmicky distro

stfu autist

Just upgraded my netbook's ram and loaded kde because i have megs to spare.


I honestly wouldn't use it without slackbuild scripts but I love it.

Just use any rolling-release distro like Void, Arch or Gentoo. Hell you can even make Debian rolling if you write your sources.list properly.

Slackware has a "current" branch that is the "rolling" transition between stable releases.

And it has been ahead in freshness to even Gentoo and Arch at times.
But that doesn't really matter anyway, the quality does.

How well does it run with that CPU? I have Asus netbook with same CPU and I've been thinking about installing Linux on it.

I've had nothing but issues installing Void, which I honestly didn't expect at all.
I forget what they were as it's been a while now, but I suppose I'll try again today and come back here if it fucks up again

This may sound obvious, but remember to run the installer as root. It lets you run it as a regular user but it fucks up if you do. It's caught me a couple of times.

Its performance depends on the specific task and can be anything from Pentium III to an early Core CPU. Mostly a bit weaker than a 2-3 GHz Pentium 4 though. It is however sufficient for all basic tasks. Web browsing is still no problem generally, however it often lags on JS-heavy websites, and modern youtube also isn't its forte (you'd probably want to stick to 360p or 480p videos, or even better download them and watch them with a media player program). It is safe from Meltdown (and possibly other variants of Spectre) though, which fact, depending on the situation, may well offset its measly performance.

Isn't Slackware maintained by like... 4 people?

Install Gentoo

It's a small, closed team and all final decisions are made by Patrick, yes. It may sound daunting but it's important to understand that the entirety of the Slackware project is this and only this:

Anything else falls outside of the project's scope and is a responsibility of either the user or external projects such as SBo. It's very much unlike other distributions which maintain massive libraries of third party software and thus need more maintainers.

There's also the fact that Slackware prefers vanilla packages if possible and sometimes deliberately shies away from huge changes in name of stability. For example, recently released 14.2 still uses teTeX while only a few months ago the distribution moved away to TeX Live - but so far only on the current branch.













Can't unsee

It's a great distro, but there's one major flaw - it's absolutely not going to have a future once its "Benevolent Dictator for Life" is gone. I bailed once that hit me.

Then again, what future does Linux have once Linus Torvalds is gone?

That's different. Linus isn't the only thing holding up Linux; Slackware is basically all Patrick Volkerding.

If the reason of this is with Patrick himself then I guess that it cannot be changed.

According to some, Linus will live to see vmlinuz becoming a mere symlink to the systemd-krnl module.

We've had some scares in the past since his health isn't the best. Does Volkerding really have no contingency plans? It'll be really sad to see the greatest one-man distro go the way of the dodo with him...

What's wrong with older software if it works?

The software in the latest Slackware is old as shit. They're still on Firefox 45 and KDE 4.

underrated post

You didn't even try it and deliberately disabled the patches checkbox (or ignored that entry) in packages search. The xap entry is what's in the base 14.2, after updating your package lists you'd be upgrading the system from that to 52.6.0 ESR on stable. Current has 58.0.2. Which is also the latest.

buggy ass shit but no worse than arch, use solus

You have to go back, Kevin.

slackware with spectrwm and acme is the best imaginable system


That needs a fair amount of tweaking. I would just suggest using Salix if you need dependency resolution ootb

Somewhat of a less fortunate name currently, given the CPU bug debacle and all

A ton of shit is called "acme", what do you mean exactly?

youre gonna have a bad time, if i were you, id start with debian first...

Probably the text editor (see

Debian is fucking awful and APT is retarded.

What don't you like, and what is your preferred alternative?

Use Zenwalk. Works out of the box and has a GUI frontend for package management.

Forgot to mention. Based on Slackware.

Lemme guess...systemd.

Shit, even with that, it still manages to be in my top three distros for certain (other two, mind you, lack it). Sorry, systemdetractors, but that's not enough to single-handedly make it "awful" - it just has too many other things going for it.

the whole point is that if he is already using ubuntu then he should already know how to use apt so its the next logical step if he wants a more hardcore distro as skipping straight to slack will be a steep learning curve

But you still get PulseAudio

PA is the only tolerable Poetteringware, if only because ALSA sucks so much dicks on its own.

IIRC Slackware only installed PulseAudio for the BlueZ 5 support. But there's a BlueALSA now for that shit.

I figure the majority of ubuntu users don't really know how to use apt and would have no issue switching to using "emerge " or "yum install " instead of "apt install "