Slackware Linux Review

“Originally developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991, the UNIX®-like Linux operating system now benefits from the contributions of millions of users and developers around the world. Slackware Linux provides new and experienced users alike with a fully-featured system, equipped to serve in any capacity from desktop workstation to machine-room server. Web, ftp, and email servers are ready to go out of the box, as are a wide selection of popular desktop environments. A full range of development tools, editors, and current libraries is included for users who wish to develop or compile additional software.” 

This statement is right off http://www.slackware.com this is one distro that really defines open source computing and the Linux distro.  With one of the strongest, most knowable and helpful user base.

Slackware enjoys the official position of “the eldest” of all of the currently developed distributions.  Through the years, many aspects of Slackware have remained the same such as the ncurses-based installer, the use of LILO over GRUB, and the general lack of auto-configuration tools. Slackware remained true to its commitment to be the most Unix-like Linux in the market.

In staying true to its great roots there are some drawn backs I found to this great OS

  • Installation isn’t nearly as easy as most Linux distributions and there is not Live CD to try.  There is no central distribution you either order a CD or download from a torrent.
  • Slackware has no graphical package manager. It is assumed users will install everything from source and build all necessary dependencies manually.
  • Slackware installs a lot of software. I mean a lot! Just plunge through the Applications menu and see how many tools are installed. It’s quite impressive.
  • Slackware is no slouch with graphics KDE desktop effects working by default
  • Lack of support the only way to ask questions is on forums and maybe e-mails so that might be a draw back to business users.

I am inclined to say that Slackware is the best distribution for developers I have come across in years. Not only does it live in a much healthier state of distribution neutrality, it installs with quite a lot of development tools. And since the developer isn’t working with a package manager, all development will go to source — again, a more neutral path.

But I cannot, with good conscience, say that Slackware is a developer-only distribution. I can, however, say that Slackware would work very well with the following user-types as well:

  • Security-conscious users.
  • IT Administrators that need a strong tool set.
  • Those that require stability over convenience.
  • Lovers of a simplistic design philosophy.
  • Anyone who wants to really learn Linux

Overall I think this is a great distro with a lot to offer users on the desktop and server.  Great Linux Distribution, and often called the one you need to work with if you want to learn Linux.  I would recommend this distro to anyone is a heart beat.

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