The story of how I found Slackware Linux, or “Once You Go Slack, You Never Go Back”

Damnthing: The Coming Of Mandrake

After a few months of that above idiocy, I gave up and downloaded Mandrake (I think it was Mandrake 9). This was better. It had some graphical tools that actually functioned (unlike Red Hat’s crapfest of utilities that actually ended up making things worse most of the time). It seemed a bit more stable, and a little more reliable.

Until one day a few weeks after I had it set up, I booted up and logged in.

Me: Good morning, Damnthing.

Damnthing: Good morning, Trent.

Me: How are things?

Damnthing: Just as you left them.

Me: Uh.

Me: *looking around frantically*

Me: Damnthing?

Damnthing: Yes, Trent?

Me: Where is GNOME?

Damnthing: GNOME? I know nothing of this “GNOME” of which you speak.

Me: GNOME. You know. My default desktop environment. The one that I’ve been using for THREE WEEKS NOW. EVERY DAY.

Damnthing: There is no GNOME here. You are mistaken.

Me: *looks around some more, discoveres that indeed, GNOME no longer even exists anywhere on the entire system* WTF?

Damnthing: KDE seems to be working. You want to try that out?

Me: *peers at Damnthing suspiciously* O-kayyyyyyyy….

Then, a couple of weeks later…

Me: Good morning, Damnthing.

Damnthing: Good morning, Trent.

Me: How are things?

Damnthing: Just as you left them.

Me: Uh.

Me: *looking around frantically*

Me: Damnthing?

Damnthing: Yes, Trent?

Me: Where is KDE?

Damnthing: KDE? I know nothing of this “KDE” of which you speak.

Me: KDE. You know. My default desktop environment. The one that I’ve been using for TWO WEEKS NOW. EVERY DAY.

Damnthing: There is no KDE here. You are mistaken.

Me: *looks around some more, discoveres that indeed, KDE no longer even exists anywhere on the entire system*

Me: DAMNTHINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG!

Needless to say, entire desktop environments disappearing into thin air did not indicate to me that I had a stable system. So I moved on.

Next Page: Damnthing on Slackware: Computer Like Rock. Rock Is Solid, Like Computer

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7 thoughts on “The story of how I found Slackware Linux, or “Once You Go Slack, You Never Go Back”

  1. Pingback: Great Slackware writeup « The Linux Critic
  2. Pingback: Briefly: How to change from command line only at boot to a graphical login manager in Slackware « The Linux Critic
  3. This is a great story, very similar to my own. I went Mandrake>SuSE>Redhat>Slackware.

    The funny part? None of it had to do with the difficulty of running it, just the sporadic self destruction and buggyness of those earlier releases.

    I still love Slackware to this day and am often tempted to give it another go but moved on to something else with the bsd style init’s and a package manager. Just Zenwalk, nothing fancy.

  4. This story gave me the hicups due to too much laughing. I began with Redhat then Suse and then switched to Slackware at about 99 and have never turned back (managed to avoid the whole mandrake fiasco). I have tried some other distros like sybayon,ubuntu and others but have always returned to Slackware.

  5. I can confirm that even with my experience in setting up VPSes, for which Slackware is rarely given as a distro option, that I find myself needing to go back to Slack after having to wrestle with Centos or Ubuntu.

    Slackware is just far more flexible and absolutely does not get in your way when you want to tweak a certain aspect of your setup.

    http://webmechs.com/webpress/2009/06/setting-up-slackware-server-os-field-stripping/

    http://webmechs.com/webpress/2009/06/setting-up-slackware-on-a-vps-part-2-using-installpkg-and-getting-packages/

  6. Slackware is also the basis of some truly great smaller distros. Slackware’s straightforward simplicity seems to lend itself to truly creative reimagining. Vector Linux is fast, user-friendly, and beautifully polished. There are moments when its hardware detection will blow you away. Slax is the most versatile Linux I know. I recently spent a couple of months really getting to know Slax, and it keeps surprising me with a new wrinkle, a new trick. I think there may be as many ways of running Slax as there are of making love. There’s also Zenwalk, which I am not so intimate with, but it sure looks good. And nimblex, a nice live CD that uses compiz for some added desktop effects.

    Best of all, though, there’s some kind of magic that seems to take over when I’m running Slackware, or a close relative. I get things done! When I start using Slackware I start working on projects, and not just messing around with entertainment apps and desktop settings. Something about the architecture just seems to resonate with my brain somehow. I can’t explain it, but I absolutely believe in it.

    I still like to keep a Debian-based system installed on the hard drive, just to give me access to tons and tons of software. But I keep running Slackware over it, now in the form of my own custom live CD, based on Slax with packages ported from Slackware. I run it as a live root, which means I mount the hard drive as /home, and it runs just like an installed system. I’m planning on releasing it as my own distro… And THAT’s what you call getting things done!

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