I’ve been tempted by Slackware for a while now, but felt that my Linux kung fu wasn’t good enough. So I waited until the summer break, when I have less crap going on in the study life, and then jumped right into it. I was unlucky right off the bat, because wget’s continue feature doesn’t seem to work so well, and the md5sum didn’t match, so I had to download the damn ISO *again*. 4+ gigs, ya know, takes a while, when you have crappy internets (of course, at the time I didn’t know about the torrents Linux Questions provides). Before installing, I wanted to check a howto on the installer, and I found one, but that was for 12.1, oh my. But nevermind, Slack doesn’t really change it’s installer, so it was all good. Full installation is a peace of cake. Really. Easier than Arch (which isn’t all that hard either, if you read the beginner’s guide). I chose KDE as my default DE, but to be honest, 4.5 was still buggy, no matter how you look at it. With KDE, the newer the better, so I eventually just upgraded from 13.37 to current (which has KDE 4.8 right now). This brings us to the package management. I’m saying it right off the bat, it’s really not that hard. First off, there’s slackpkg, which you use to install, remove, and upgrade your system, much like all the other package managers out there. For example to install gimp, you’d do a
slackpkg install gimp
and that’s it. But, if you do a full install from the the DVD, you won’t really need to install anything.
For the software that’s not available in Slack’s repos, there’s Slackbuilds.org, and sbopkg. sbopkg I won’t really go into too much, but what is good to know about it, is that it has an ncurses interface. You go root with su -, search for packages, build your queue, modify the slackbuilds if you wish, and install.
If you just can’t find a package or slackbuild for something, then there’s src2pkg, to build you a Slackware package from source (works like 98% of the time). If you’re like me, and use AfterShot Pro, which is closed source, you’re still in no trouble at all, because there’s rpm2tgz. Yes, it does just that, it converts RPMs to TGZ packages. That’s it for package management. Sometimes you do have to search for dependencies, but I’m really satisfied with what I have, and I didn’t really need to compile anyhthing from source (well, I did install the gstreamer codecs from source with src2pkg as an exercise of sorts).
Problems… Well, no serious ones. I had to reinstall vim (yes, I’m trying to get into it) to get normal system clipboard support (had to modify the slackbuild). There’s was also a weird phenomenon: urxvt and xfce terminal always started in my documents directory. That was kinda weird, so at first I put cd into the bashrc, but then I figured out that urxvt (and probably any other terminal that’s not Konsole) starts in the directory that’s specified as your documents path in KDE’s system settings. Weird that, I might have to open a thread on LQ about that or something, but for now I just changed that path to my home directory. That’s it for the problems…
And lastly, there’s one thing to say: try Slackware! It’s a great distro, and after using it for a while I can really see why they say it’s easy, and why it’s loveable. Plus, if noob like me can use it without much trouble, others can too. CrunchBang is still my baby though, that won’t change. I might just install Openbox on Slack, and import the #! configs, to have something like best of both worlds.