Re: [dev] [9buntu] first attempt -bashing needed

From: Donald Allen <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 13:17:49 -0400

On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 12:04 PM, Kris Maglione <> wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 05:58:55PM +0200, Troels Henriksen wrote:
>> Kris Maglione <> writes:
>>> I'm more than a little surprised that you'd start with such an
>>> overgrown, hulking Goliath of a system such as Ubuntu. I think it says
>>> enough that it has aptitude, apt-get, apt-cache, dpkg, dpkg-*,
>>> dselect, debhelper, and devscripts, just to make a start. Then you
>>> have such abominations as Sys-V init to contend with, and the maze of
>>> tangled configuration schemes. I would have started with a simpler
>>> system like Arch or GoboLinux, or even a BSD. Or if I were feeling a
>>> bit sadistic, Gentoo, Source Mage, or Slackware. Debian, though... I'm
>>> not that sadistic.
>> Why not Linux from Scratch?  Or even Glendix...
> LFS is not a Linux distribution, it's an epithet.
>> (Slackware is probably the best realistic bet, due to the simplicity.)
> No. Slackware may be relatively simple, but it's no simpler than Arch or
> GoboLinux, and it has, by far, a weaker packaging system which leads to
> nothing but headaches.

I'm sorry, but this is simply not true. I have run Slackware for some
time now on 5 systems and it's rock-solid and very easy to administer.
The package system is simpler, not weaker (I'm a bit surprised at your
statement, given that it was made on, where
simplicity is considered such a virtue; yes, things can be *too*
simple, but this is not an example of that; read on). Most of what you
need is present by virtue of the core install and just about anything
else is available from, a very high-quality bit of
work. Installing packages from there is simple. The only thing not
done for you, apt-style, is making sure everything an app depends on
is loaded. But the fact is that, by virtue of the core install, in
most cases everything *is* loaded, so missing dependencies are
relatively rare. Where something is not part of the core install, it
is carefully spelled out on the page for the
application you are after. You load the dependency, build the
slackware package once, and then you can load it on all your systems.
It's easy and the underlying package management stuff is very solid. I
ran Gentoo, with all its fancy package stuff, some years ago, and it
was a nightmare to administer, e.g., dangling pointers to shared
libraries needing to be fixed with revdep-rebuild and such. I spend
*far* less time tending to my Slackware systems than I did with

Another such example of a system that will give you headaches is Arch,
with its rolling releases. Arch is *continuously* releasing new stuff,
which means it's impossible to test the entire system every time
something new appears on the Bleeding Edge. Most of the time this
works, but occasionally you will do an update and find your system
completely wedged. At that point, you get to learn about booting from
the install disk, chroot, and figuring out how to put your system back
together, at which you may or may not be successful. I've had this
happen three times during the time I ran Arch (maybe six months?) and
got sick of it. Read the Arch discussion groups. It's not hard to find
messages from people who are in the kind of trouble I just described.
This is the reason why systems that are renowned for reliability, like
OpenBSD and Slackware, release with a frequency that allows thorough
testing of the whole thing. Theo de Raadt and Patrick Volkerding have
a lot to teach the world about software QA and release engineering.


> --
> Kris Maglione
> The tragedy of modern war is not so much that young men die but that
> they die fighting each other, instead of their real enemies back home
> in the capitals.
>        --Edward Abbey
Received on Fri Jul 30 2010 - 19:17:49 CEST

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