Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Slackware Documentation Project

Filed under

A while back, Eric Hameleers (Alien Bob), Niki Kovacs, and others in conversation at LinuxQuestions.org tossed around the idea of creating a wiki for Slackware similar to the excellent one the Arch Linux community maintains. The dream became a reality. Smile

Visit, learn, participate...

http://docs.slackware.com/

Regards,

V. T. Eric Layton (Nocturnal Slacker, vtel57)
Tampa, Florida, USA
http://vtel57.com

Subjectivity Rules

A lot of it is personal preference, Dr. Roy, as you probably know. My first foray into GNU/Linux was in 2006 with Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake. From there, I tried boat loads of distributions over the next few weeks. I settled on Slackware because I liked its simplicity, stability, and attitude. A close second to Slackware for me would be pure Debian (not derivatives); for similar reasons, particularly the stability.

Were I running a server in a commercial or private implementation, I would have to run it with Slackware as the first option or Debian as the second. There actually are commercial distributions like RedHat, but you can get CentOS for free and the only difference is basically the documentation and support. With RH, you get to talk to someone when you have an issue. With CentOS, you'll have to do a bit of research on your own.

As far as Arch goes, mostly what scares people away from that distribution is the fact that it doesn't really have an installer, per se. The entire installation process is a series of command line commands and script/file edits. It's not that difficult, but if one isn't comfortable outside of the GUI realm, it can be scary. And while Arch is pretty stable as far as it goes, it's vulnerable to breakage occasionally because it is a rolling-release distribution that stays very near the bleeding edge when it comes to the apps in its repos.

Gentoo? HA! Won't even go there. That much-loved (by its hardcore adherents) distribution is primarily for those who enjoy self-flagellation and other fun masochistic hobbies. Wink No, seriously... I respect Gentoo Linux people. I've tried it. It's not my cup o', but when done right, it can be a very stable and efficient operating system.

As the title of this post says, it's really just a personal choice. Folks do their homework (hopefully) and decide upon a distribution that works best for them in their circumstances. That's the wonderful thing about GNU/Linux and Open Source... FREEDOM OF CHOICE!

There you have it...

~Eric

Choice

vtel57 wrote:

A lot of it is personal preference, Dr. Roy, as you probably know. My first foray into GNU/Linux was in 2006 with Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake. From there, I tried boat loads of distributions over the next few weeks. I settled on Slackware because I liked its simplicity, stability, and attitude. A close second to Slackware for me would be pure Debian (not derivatives); for similar reasons, particularly the stability.

I use Debian more and more, but not as my main distro. I like the simplicity of E18 for some things, whereas KDE is still the most functional (where resources permit). For me, Ubuntu started in 2004, but I had used other distros before it (Red Hat was my first). SUSE was a favourite before the Microsoft-Novell deal.

vtel57 wrote:

Were I running a server in a commercial or private implementation, I would have to run it with Slackware as the first option or Debian as the second. There actually are commercial distributions like RedHat, but you can get CentOS for free and the only difference is basically the documentation and support. With RH, you get to talk to someone when you have an issue. With CentOS, you'll have to do a bit of research on your own.

CentOS powers Techrights and Tux Machines. I can cope with it fine, but it takes some learning if you come from a DEB world and must also adapt to third-party repos. The upgrades to CentOS 6 made things easier. CentOS 5 was getting long in the tooth.

vtel57 wrote:

As far as Arch goes, mostly what scares people away from that distribution is the fact that it doesn't really have an installer, per se. The entire installation process is a series of command line commands and script/file edits. It's not that difficult, but if one isn't comfortable outside of the GUI realm, it can be scary. And while Arch is pretty stable as far as it goes, it's vulnerable to breakage occasionally because it is a rolling-release distribution that stays very near the bleeding edge when it comes to the apps in its repos.

Arch is used by many people I know, but I just don't see the big advantage of it. I know the pros and cons and the latter outweighs the former. I want a simple binary distro with good, reliable, extensive repos.

vtel57 wrote:

Gentoo? HA! Won't even go there. That much-loved (by its hardcore adherents) distribution is primarily for those who enjoy self-flagellation and other fun masochistic hobbies. Wink No, seriously... I respect Gentoo Linux people. I've tried it. It's not my cup o', but when done right, it can be a very stable and efficient operating system.

Gentoo is for ricers, some say...

vtel57 wrote:

As the title of this post says, it's really just a personal choice. Folks do their homework (hopefully) and decide upon a distribution that works best for them in their circumstances. That's the wonderful thing about GNU/Linux and Open Source... FREEDOM OF CHOICE!

Which is spun as a negative by the proprietary software proponents.

Linux Is Linux Is Linux...

People often ask me what are the major differences between distributions of Linux. I tell them that Linux is Linux is Linux... meaning, the distributions are all GNU/Linux at their heart. The major differences between the distributions mostly have to do with methods of package management; along with some other minor differences like init methods, daemon handling, etc.

To learn Linux, I found it was best try as many distributions as I could manage. At one time, I had machines in my shop or home that had 20+ operating systems installed on them at any given time. If you learn the package management and the other minor things from each distro, you begin to get a feel and a competence when dealing with any of them. Familiarization with the command line is a plus.

I remember a mentor of mine, Bruno Knaapen of Amsterdam - Senior All Things Linux Admin at Scot's Newsletter Forums, once told me that if I wanted to surf the net and read emails, run Ubuntu. If I wanted to learn Linux, run Slackware. I chose the latter path.

8 years later, I'm no guru, but I can command line my way out of a paper bag if I have to. Wink

P.S. I was always impressed with CentOS. Up until recently, there were almost always installations of CentOS and Debian on all my systems along with my primary OS, Slackware. Lately though, I've suspended experimentation for the most part. I'm just happy using my rock solid Slackware OS. The lessening of tinkering has also been a large part of the reason my writing output on my blog has diminished, unfortunately.

Blog focus

Yes, I recently took another look at the blog and realised it's no longer so GNU/Linux-centric.

Blog Evolution

Well, it was never really meant to be purely GNU/Linux. Nocturnal Slacker v1.0 is the direct descendant of my original blog from when I was writing on Chris Pirillo's LockerGnome site a few years back. It was technically oriented, but also had general topics.

When I left LockerGnome, after changes were made to that site, I divided Nocturnal Slacker down into two distinct blogs: v1.0 remains technical and v2.0 is purely general topics. The original Nocturnal Slacker blog is still available as an archive, though.

They can be accessed from my website --> http://vtel57.com

All techie stuff and no general topic rants make Eric a dull boy. Wink

LockerGnome and Pirillo

I have not seen anything from LockerGnome or even Pirillo for a long time. Did he collapse with Windows' demise?

Pirillo Still Kickin'

Chris is still around --> http://www.lockergnome.com/

Lockergnome has gone through some serious transformations and refocusing over the last few years, though. Chris seemed to move himself almost primarily to his video channel on YouTube. The original Lockergnome site is still up, but it's much different that it was in the past.

Lockergnome

One sure thing is, Lockergnome is no longer influential.

I used to see many links to/articles in Lockergnome.

Last I spoke to Chris, it was about removing some USENET archives he had put there (he removed). That was a very long time ago.

Slackware

I used to want to move to Arch or its derivatives, but I found the documentation a bit daunting. The same goes for Slackware and I used to stay out of Debian for similar reasons (until several years ago). Gentoo was out of the question and it doesn't seem to be quite so active anymore (barely any releases).

What would be the advantage of using Slackware on a server or desktop at this stage?

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • When was the last time you used Windows?

    Are friends and family constantly asking you to troubleshoot issues with their Windows or Mac device? Being the resident support technician in your home is an important job. Like any responsible technology steward, you are going to try your best to help out. However, it might be quite a challenge if it has been a while since you last used such an operating system. How long has it been since you last used Windows? Before using Linux, were you primarily a Mac user? Or, are you using Windows or Mac now either at home or work? Take our poll by selecting the Windows version you last remember using. If the term, "windows" only reminds you of those glass panels that let sunlight inside, you are probably a long-time Linux user. Leave us a comment and share your story about how you started using Linux. 

  • Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop, a follow-up

    I recently detailed my attempts to install Linux as an alternative boot an SD card in a new Dell laptop. Those attempts failed. See Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop for the details. Microsoft has continued in their usual way and notified me last week that the current feature update of Windows on that laptop would soon be unsupported and urged me to update to the latest version. However, that proved impossible. In spite of removing most of the software installed on the machine, Windows was incapable of cleaning up enough disk space to allow the installation of Windows 10 version 1903 to proceed. The installed 32GB eMMC drive simply is no longer large enough to allow the updates to install. This was true even when I manually downloaded the update and tried to install from an external drive. It is remotely possible wiping the hard drive and performing a clean install might have worked, but the prospect of being forced to do so every year was not appealing. So being forced to choose between running an out of date version of Windows or wiping the hard drive and installing Linux, I chose to try the latter.

  • Going Linux #377 · Listener Feedback

    Our first giveaway. In this episode: hidden gems, Banshee abandoned, FreeOffice issues, back to Ubuntu MATE for accessibility, and NTP and hardware clock. 

  • Test and Code: 88: Error Monitoring, Crash Reporting, Performance Monitoring - JD Trask

    Tools like error monitoring, crash reporting, and performance monitoring are tools to help you create a better user experience and are fast becoming crucial tools for web development and site reliability. But really what are they? And when do you need them? You've built a cool web app or service, and you want to make sure your customers have a great experience. You know I advocate for utilizing automated tests so you find bugs before your customers do. However, fast development lifecycles, and quickly reacting to customer needs is a good thing, and we all know that complete testing is not possible. That's why I firmly believe that site monitoring tools like logging, crash reporting, performance monitoring, etc are awesome for maintaining and improving user experience. John-Daniel Trask, JD, the CEO of Raygun, agreed to come on the show and let me ask all my questions about this whole field.

  • how to detect chef
  • Linux Command Cheat Sheet: Download For Free
  • Porting Storm to Python 3

    We released Storm 0.21 on Friday (the release announcement seems to be stuck in moderation, but you can look at the NEWS file directly). For me, the biggest part of this release was adding Python 3 support. Storm is a really nice and lightweight ORM (object-relational mapper) for Python, developed by Canonical. We use it for some major products (Launchpad and Landscape are the ones I know of), and it’s also free software and used by some other folks as well. Other popular ORMs for Python include SQLObject, SQLAlchemy and the Django ORM; we use those in various places too depending on the context, but personally I’ve always preferred Storm for the readability of code that uses it and for how easy it is to debug and extend it. It’s been a problem for a while that Storm only worked with Python 2. It’s one of a handful of major blockers to getting Launchpad running on Python 3, which we definitely want to do; stoq ended up with a local fork of Storm to cope with this; and it was recently removed from Debian for this and other reasons. None of that was great. So, with significant assistance from a large patch contributed by Thiago Bellini, and with patient code review from Simon Poirier and some of my other colleagues, we finally managed to get that sorted out in this release.

Security Leftovers

  • New Linux Cryptojacker Can Mask CPU Usage and Fake Network Activity [Ed: It's not "Linux" but something that can be installed and run on it]

    Cryptojacking is a lucrative venture for malware developers, but it comes with a problem. Cryptojackers take up a lot of the processor’s resources which makes the attack very noticeable for the victim. One strain of cryptojacker has developed a way to avoid detection by masking the tell-tale signs from the user.1 The Arrival of Skidmap Skidmap is a Linux-based malware which mines cryptocurrency on computers and servers without the owner’s permission. What makes Skidmap so dangerous is its wide range of advanced features that make it a pain to locate and stop.

  • [Slackware] Chromium critical security update

    Earlier this week I already provided a Chromium update in my Slackware repository. That update addressed a critical security issue in the media playback plugin whereby an attacker was able to take over your computer remotely, simply by letting you load an infected page. But then another critical vulnerability was discovered and two days ago a new Chromium source was released to take care of this security hole in the User Interface code. The new version of Chromium is 77.0.3865.90 and of the four mentioned vulnerabilities on the website, one is a remote-takeover issue.

Games and Graphics Leftovers

  • SHADERed 1.2 Shader Tester Adds Compute Shader Support

    SHADERed is a cross-platform utility designed for creating and testing HLSL and GLSL shaders. This week marked the version 1.2 release of this Windows/Linux program for helping to test and evaluate shaders.

  • A Total War Saga: TROY coming to macOS and Linux in 2020

    Feral Interactive today announced that A Total War Saga: TROY, the historical strategy game inspired by the Trojan war, will be released for macOS and Linux next year, shortly after the Windows release. Developed by Creative Assembly and published by SEGA for Windows PC, TROY is the third entry in the Total War Saga series of standalone games inspired by great turning points of history, along with THRONES OF BRITANNIA and FALL OF THE SAMURAI, also brought to macOS and Linux by Feral Interactive.

  • DXVK 1.4 released boosting this Vulkan layer to support D3D 11.4

    Developer Philip Rebohle has pushed out another major release of DXVK, the Vulkan to D3D layer used together in Wine and Steam Play. Boasting a new feature set that pumps up the available Direct3D support to 11.4. However, certain optional features are not currently supported like Tiled Resources, Conservative Rasterization and Rasterizer Ordered Views but they may be added if ever needed. This should fix a crashing issue with Plants vs Zombies - Battle for Neighborville, which requires at least D3D 11.3. Additionally, support for DXGI (Microsoft DirectX Graphics Infrastructure) was boosted up to version 1.5 which allows applications/games to check for HDR support but DXVK itself does not currently support HDR. Some games seem to need the interface for HDR to be there even if not used. You should also find the Rockstar Game Launcher working better with this update to DXVK, with new support for GDI interop with DXGI surfaces. Although the launcher does need some other Wine fixes due to a bug in Wine's Direct2D support.

OSS and Openwashing Leftovers

  • Why retail marketers must get CX right the first time and how open source plays a key role

    One of the great things about technology is that it has raised all of our expectations. Once upon a time, people worried that controlling their television with a remote would make them lazy. Now, we don't even have to find the remote. We just talk to the TV — literally. We access hundreds of goods and services easily, without leaving the comfort of our chairs: we download games, order the supermarket shop, watch films and read books online. It really is a brave new world. But with new worlds come new challenges, and the challenge of the new, tech-driven, marketplace is to make your business stand out in a global crowd. Of all the businesses in all the world, why should your customers choose (and stick with) you? Lots of people will tell you that the key to gaining market share lies in improving the customer experience. And they'll be right. A combination of the need to impress and increased customer expectations have combined to make CX fundamental to gaining and retaining custom.

  • The Future of Great Customer Experience Relies on Open Source

    A majority of U.S. consumers feel that brands don't meet their expectations. The bar for customer experience has been set high -- and its on marketers to reach it. [...] In the early 2000s, enterprise IT was dominated by proprietary software companies. Now, with the rise of public cloud computing, more and more developers are adopting open source tools within their organizations due to lower overall costs and access to the latest innovations. The adoption is spreading from IT into other sectors of the business as well, notably marketing. In total, marketing and experience cloud vendors invested over $8 billion to acquire open source companies in 2018, according to PitchBook.

  • ReactOS 0.4.12 Pulls In Wine-Staging 4.0 DLLs, Many Kernel Improvements

    ReactOS, the open-source operating system still striving for binary compatibility with Microsoft Windows as a drop-in replacement, has version 0.4.12 now available as its first big alpha update in six months. ReactOS 0.4.12 features a lot of work on its open-source kernel including some driver compatibility enhancements, rewritten write-protecting system images, Blue Screen of Death fixes, and a lot of other low-level work.

  • Tencent Offers Open-Source System for IoT Innovation

    Chinese internet giants are quickly cottoning onto the benefits of offering open-source technologies to global developers. Tencent is the latest to throw its hat into the ring. The company announced Wednesday that it is allowing developers to use an open-source operating system to create an internet-of-things (IoT) projects that will allow Tencent to improve the performance of its IoT solutions and strengthen its foothold in the sector. Called “TencentOS tiny,” the operating system is lighter, requires fewer resources, and uses less energy compared with other major systems, according to a Tencent release. The company also said it hopes TencentOS tiny will encourage developers to create IoT projects for smart cities, intelligent connected vehicles, and digital wearables — sectors that Tencent is aggressively targeting.

  • WordPress Parent Automattic Raises $300M from Salesforce Ventures

    Automattic, the company behind the open source WordPress content management (CMS) announced on Sept. 19 that it has raised $300 million in a new Series D round of funding. Of note, the entire round was contributed by Salesforce Ventures, bringing total funding to data for Automattic up to $617 million. The Series D marks the first new raise for Automattic since 2014 "This puts us at a post-round valuation of $3 billion, three times what it was after our last fundraising round in 2014," Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic wrote. "It’s a tremendous vote of confidence for Automattic and for the open web."

  • Open-source companies gather to gripe: Cloud giants sell our code as a service – and we get the square root of nothing [Ed: So openwashing gets its own summit to sell proprietary software under the false guise of "open"]
  • Software Freedom Day

    As part of its social purpose charter, all software released by Purism is free software. That means our software includes a lot of free software created by others–thank you! We make this commitment with a “free software license” that formally grants these freedoms. This means you don’t need to ask us permission to use our software–you already have it. If you are a programmer, you are free to tweak or even overhaul an application. If you are a consultant, you are free to provide supporting services. If you are an everyday user, you are free to choose whoever you like to provide programming and other services, or even learn how to do it yourself.

  • How spicy should a jalapeno be?

    Everyone has opinions and preferences, especially when it comes to food. To establish a criterion when answering "How spicy should a jalapeño be?." the Scoville Heat Scale was developed as a standard to measure spiciness. This scale allows people to communicate and share information about how spicy we like our peppers. Similarly, open source technology standards, such as USB, I2C, MQTT, and others, were developed to enable global compatibility. Furthermore, open source hardware platforms have enabled communities to “speak the same language” without reinventing the wheel. For example, Raspberry Pi makes it easy for people to use their hardware as a baseline and then add onto it. This has created a revolution in many industries by enabling individuals, startups, and large corporations to apply hardware and software to complex problems without having to design them from the ground up.