Today we have a guest article By: Guillermo Garron from Go2linux, i really like his site so if you don’t know it i really suggest you to go and ckeck it.
First of all, I would like to thank Riccardo to let me post this article in his wonderful blog.
I’ll write this time about Slackware and the imminent release of the 13.37 version, why 13.37? strange release number for Slackware, but for the first time Slackware has a codename, it is “leet” so 13.37 = leet :).
Like someone in the LinuxQuestions forum wrote:
Sl4ckw4r3 l1nux r0ck5.
Y may say
“Sl4ckw4r3 13.37 l1nux r0ck5”…
Slackware is one of the earliest Linux distributions and actually it is the oldest still being maintained. It is also the only one that keeps all packages vanilla flavor, which means, none of them are tweaked in any way.
From the Kernel to the last piece of software it is packaged just like the developers made it, with no distribution customization.
Slackware has been told to be difficult to maintain, and to work with, it has also been said that it has no package manager tool.
To say the truth I was afraid of the same things the first time I installed Slackware on my old Lenovo T60, but I’ve got a big surprise. First, there was a package manager tool, it is called slackpkg it lets you keep your system up to date, install new packages from the repositories, and un-install them too.
What it does not do, is take care of the dependencies, so, you will have to take care of them, and check what the dependencies are, and install them before to install the software you are looking for.
I must say that, looks scary first, but then, you realize is not that difficult. Some slackers sustain that, in that way you may keep a cleaner and more stable system, as you know exactly which packages are installed, and which not. I’m not too sure about that, as an example, if you install a package that depends on another, and you end up installing the two of them, and later, your target package does not longer depend on that X package, you need to remember to un-install it, as with for example Debian,
apt-get may do it for you, Like Raphael Hertzog shows here, but anyway I love Slackware and to be honest I’m using it more frequently than Debian.
Packages that comes with Slackware
You should also consider before using Slackware, that it comes with way less packages than Ubuntu, Fedora or Debian, you can install all those package not originally packaged with Slackware from Slackbuilds, here is a small how to use slackbuids.
There you can find almost any other software you may need, and you can easily revert your system to the original state with:
What this command will do is:
Remove all the packages that don’t belong to a standard Slackware installation (packages that are not in the official package set). With this option, you can clean up your system, removing third-party packages as well as those packages that were removed from the official Slackware package set.
If you have some third party packages that you would like to keep, you can temporarily add them to the list of blacklisted packages before you run the “clean-system” command.
This is something not to easily done in other distributions.
Slackware together with Debian and FreeBSD are maybe the more stable options to run your server on, all packages are tested, there are only security upgrades, and those are released almost as soon as they are released by the packages developers.
So you can rely on Slackware for your mission critical applications.
Just like Debian, Slackware is released as soon as it ready, so there are no specific release dates, or schedules, it will be released when Pat and the other developers are comfortable with the stability of the set of packages that make Slackware.
As you can see, Slackware is maybe not for the beginners, but it is certainly a great Linux distribution to test and use, as soon as you feel you are ready to run a nice, stable and state of the art piece of software.
I highly recommend it to anyone with a year or more working on Linux, that does not mean that you can not start with Slackware your Linux journey, it may take more time to learn, but as someone said.
If you want to learn Fedora, install Fedora. If you want to learn Linux, install Slackware.
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