Slackware

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FEATURE DESCRIPTION
KEY FEATURES Slackware is the oldest, still maintained Linux distribution. It has been built on the SLS foundations. The first version was released on July 13th, 1993. Patrick Volkerding is the main programmer and founder of the project, he is called "The Man" by Slackware users. The "Slackware" name comes from the "Church of the SubGenius".
Supported architectures i486, ESA/390 mainframe, there is also unofficial x86_64 port — slamd64
Minimal hardware requirements x86, 16MB RAM
Software freedom status All components are free.
INSTALLATION
Installer - overall (6) In spite of general opinion, Slackware installer is no very hard. It's rather simple and well-thought. A semi-intelligent computer user should be able to install it without any major difficulties. Partitioning knowledge and a little of general computing skills is recommended though.
Package selection (7) Available modes of package selection are: full (all packages from selected previously groups, 3.5 GB hard disc space required if all packages from all groups are selected), expert (allow to choose individual packages from previously selected groups), menu, newbie, custom, tagpath.
Predefined package groups (8) Packages divided into groups depending on their purpose: A (base), AP (most important apps), D (development), E (Emacs), F (docs), GNOME, K(source code), KDE, KDEI (KDE localization), L (libraries), N (networking), T (Tetex/LaTeX), TCL, X (X-window system), XAP (X apps) i Y (games)
Expert mode install (1) Expert mode only. There are however menu and newbie modes during installation of packages.
Graphical installer (0) Installation is console-based (dialog boxes).
Installer speed (5) Average speed. Default system installs in about 15 minutes.
CONFIGURATION
Graphical system management (0) No graphical tools. One of course can use wizards from environments like: KDE, GNOME, XFCE.
Console-based system management (2) Vi, Emacs. Except for those there is pkgtools package where very basic configuration can be made (lilo, networking, desktop environment selection, etc).
PACKAGE SYSTEM
Number of packages (2) Small number of official (vanilla) packages. In most cases, manual compilation of many packages will be needed. Sometimes there is an alternative being unofficial Slackware packages downloadable from project's pages or LinuxPackages and Slacky.it.
Package management, automatic dependency resolving (3) Slackware's package management system is based on the simple TGZ packages which do not contain any information about dependencies. Additional unofficial packages can be found on LinuxPackages and Slacky.it. These packages are in extended TGZ format — so that they can contain meta-information about dependencies (but unfortunately in each case). There are two programs that can use this information: swaret and slapt-get (together with graphical frontend GSlapt). Many additional tools has been designed to improve Slackware package management — from tiny scripts to full systemy portów (Emerde, pkgsrc, Portpkg). It is also possible to create own packages using checkinstall utility.
Graphical package management tools (3) No official graphical package management tool. Unofficial tools: Smart Package Manager, GSlapt, XPKGTOOL, SlackMan.
PERFORMANCE
System boot-up speed (6) Acceptable speed just after installation, but optimization quite easy well-documented BSD-like scripts.
System responsiveness (6) Unlike Mandriva or Fedora, Slackware has not enabled many services, so freshly installed system has qood responsiveness. Most packages is compiled for i486 but with i686 optimizations.
STABILITY/SECURITY
Popularity (5) Slackware is popular among experienced users. It is usually located at the end of the Top 10 in the DistroWatch ranking.
Security focus (7) Slackware's security level is quite high.
Stability and maturity (9) „Slackware Linux. Because it works.” — this marketing slogan best describes the oldest GNU/Linux distribution. Patrick Volkerding, Slackware founder chooses the packages carefully to provide the best stability and reliability of all worlds.
INTERNATIONALIZATION
Does the installer support multiple languages? (0) Installer is English only.
Is the system localized after installation? (3) Default system is in English. One needs to localize manually in order to get a native language and encoding support.
Is manual system localization easy? (3) Localization, although very standardized, may be tricky for a newbie user (configuration files need to be edited manually).
APPLICATIONS/NETWORK
Support for restricted formats (0) ?
Sagem DSL modem support (3) Modem works after kernel compilation (with proper options) and compilation of eagle-usb. Unfortunately there is no eagle-usb package in the standard packages set.
Alcatel DSL modem support (3) ?
ISDN support (0) ?
Wireless support (4) Slackware supports WiFi networks thanks to NdisWrapper, however Linux drivers (sources) can be used too. The base is wireless-tools package, that is standard Slackware component.
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