Why Slackware?

I keep asking myself several times a year, why do I keep using Slackware? Are those *buntu and *hat distributions useless? I was thinking really hard about this. Am I so dumb to learn any different distro? Wouldn't it be better? Slackware is maintained by just one main developer and if he goes bad, wouldn't I be screwed? The dependencies are so unclean in Slackware, for example 'normalize' package requiring something which requires mesa, ... that is completely mad.

However, I think I'm tied up with Slackware for two reasons.

1) startup scripts. I know how those work in Slackware and it is not of my interest to learn new and ever-changing methods of booting used in other distros (upstart? systemd?)

2) packaged software without patches. It happens just very rarely that Slackware bundles any patches for precompiled software. Packages are mostly distributed in the way the initial developers intended, without any mad modifications. I remember installing lilo in ubuntu just to find out there is /bin/lilo.real or something like that, and the /bin/lilo is just a script wrapper, for a reason completely beyond my understanding.

Those two reasons make me stick with Slackware, yet even to many objections I could think of AGAINST Slackware.

User comments
Tonio 2011-04-21 14:59

Agree with 1)

Slackware startup scripts use BSD style scripts. like in
/usr/local/etc/cups start
and in Slackware
/etc/rc.d/rc.cups start

Both FreeBSD and Slackware are similar, differences BSD license vs GPL license and Kernels too!

agree with
also, the software comes as the original author of the software wanted it, and not patched like some guys want it, or modified with something removed, i.e, codecs, mp3 libraries because of patents or other *things that get in the way of free and open source software* that is patented and not freely distributable according to the big guys.

Why not

Slackware is robust.
Does not get in your way
you are in charge not them
KISS philosophy
mother of many distributions which have *package dependency tracking*

I can think of others, but since I first started using Slax thanks to your work. I later took the pluge to install Slackware and I like it, I also have installed others like OpenSuse but have mainly Fedora and Slackware.

IF "Slackware is maintained by just one main developer and if he goes bad, wouldn't I be screwed? " were to happen, I believe that Patrick would have some people ready to step in and continue in the legacy of Slackware. A friend told me about it, and it took a while for me to install it, but I learned from using Slax how great Slackware was. For this, I have to thank you Tomas.

Lightning 2011-04-21 15:16

i guess there are a lot more arguments for slackware.
* rolling release keeps it possible to use up-to-date-hardware instantly and not after month/years of waiting; as well as all the other advantages of brand new software.
* imho pat v. is one of the top linux-guys out there. yeah, he is just one man and slackware wouldn't be the same without him, but the community would carry on with slackware even if pat goes bad. one of the beautiful things that are characteristik for slack is that it's a distro made by professionals for professionals, so there's know how available. i think you can feel that intention.
* slack makes it possible to keep the whole thing small. no stupid dependency tracking designed for unaware users which aren't able to track down a library-dependency or stuff like that. if i don't need a lib i simply don't install it, and it's MY decision. sure, that behavior makes it more difficult to handle but it also makes possible systems/setups which wouldn't be otherwise. in general slackware follows kiss; that's unfortunately rare today :(
* especially the mentioned *buntu derivates are the best example of how to bloat and cripple a system to insanity just to make it possible for users to never touch a shell. that's not the "spirit" of a unix/linux system which handles things differently for good reasons, right?
* dealing with *hat every day in my job clarifys one thing for me: that distros are too old to be usable. i hate recompiling half of my userspace just to be able to use the latest [insert name of a tool here].
* even if i like slax and although it has some beautiful and almost uniqe concepts, if slax wouldn't be a slackware-based live-linux i wouldn't use it. that's my personal thing but i guess there are some other guys out there who think the same.

carry on with slackware *vote* ;)


Tasos 2011-05-15 03:00

Archlinux is very close to Slackware's and Crux's philosophy. It uses the same init scripts (BSD style) and the packages do not contain patches, as they are compiled-packaged for Arch, vanilla ones. And it follows the rolling release model.