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  1. #1

    about slack and others

    I keep reading on sites that if i want an easy to use os to use something like ubuntu or suse or one of the other distro's but if I want to learn linux then I should learn slackware. Can someone explain that for me because they are all just different distros of linux arent they why is slackware better at learning linux ?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Boston, MA
    Couple of reasons.

    Slackware doesn't put as much abstraction between you and what's happening under the hood. In other words, with Slackware, you are required to use the command line at some points, you have hand edit configuration files, you have to manually resolve package dependencies, etc.

    Distros like openSUSE have GUI tools to handle a lot of the configuration, so a few mouse clicks and you can get something setup, but, you don't have to know anything about what you just did or what's going on under the hood.

    Slackware's software packages are also about as vanilla as they come. Which is to say, they are provided almost exactly as the software is released upstream. (Upstream=whoever is writing/releasing the software.) Other distros patch, sometimes heavily patch, software, ie, change the source code around to fit their needs. They preconfigure software, change the defaults, etc.

    Arch Linux has a very similar philosophy. Except Arch doesn't think manually resolving package dependencies is fun and has a full ports-like system for those who want to compile packages themselves, including - in my opinion - simpler, easier to understand scripts for building packages (equivalent to slackbuilds).

    There is also Gentoo and Crux on the source-based distro side, which also force you to get under the hood of the OS, and requires you to know even more than Gentoo or Arch. These require compiling most sofware packages yourself, which is very time consuming.

  3. #3

    slackware vs. other distros

    So basically the main difference in slackware still uses the cli interface and the others use gui to do everything and slackware is still based off the original linux design so the source works pretty much right out of the file instead of needing lots of modifications is that correct ?

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Boston, MA
    Any distro you can do things via the command line, so I would say it's the lack of automated configuration tools, especially GUI tools, that distinguishes Slackware.

    As for software packaging, it's not usually that the software can't work on another distro if you build it from source, but that different distros make changes to suit their needs or wants.

    Here is an interesting discussion on whether Debian or Fedora deviate from standards and upstream, which illustrates some changes a distro might make.
    Aaron Toponce : Does Debian Deviate From Standards Or Upstream?

    Here is Slackware in the words of one of the Slackware team members, Eric Hameleers
    To me, Slackware’s philosophy has a different angle that sets it apart from all the others. To this day, Slackware has an extremely lean design, intended to make you experience Linux the way the software authors intended. This is accomplished by applying patches as little as possible - preferably for stability or compatibility reasons only. Slackware’s package manager (yes, it has one, pkgtools!) stays out of your way by not forcing dependency resolution. And the clean, well-documented system scripts (written in bash instead of ruby) allow for a large degree of control over how your system functions. Slackware does not try to assume or anticipate.

  6. #5
    Well, put simply: for most people, the first computer they ever touched was probably running windows. Most linux distros are aware of this and so they try to bring the pleasure of using linux with the simplicity of windows. In any case, on the linux family imho slackware is the closest one can come to unix.

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