Slackware Linux is my current favorite.

I know what your thinking, what does this have to do with basement remodeling. Abosuletly nothing! But the basement remodel usually slows down to about nothing in the summer anyways as I spend most of my time on outdoors projects now.

But playing aroung with the Linux operating system has been another hobby of mine for a long time now and I’m always looking for the perfect(at least most perfect) distribution.

Now, I’ve been messing around with different flavors of Linux for almost 5 years now, but am not even close to an expert. However I can fly around the command line fairly well. I even find myself using Linux commands when I’m in a windows dos prompt, but never the other way around.

The one I use the most and is running on this server is Redhat. Mainly for ease of administration and numerous amounts of resources available online and in print. Which, in my book makes it a good choice for a server that needs to be up all the time. It’s also a great one for beginers for all the same reasons mentioned above.

Now, back to the topic. I’m always looking for a Linux distro that can replace my Windows OS, and Slackware 8.1 might be it. I’ve spent many weekends trying to get Debian working on my machine, but when it comes to getting X (the windows like enviroment) working is where that distro falls short. Other than that Debian rocks, and if they ever get it so X will work on the first try, I’ll switch in a second. But for now Slackware is fitting the bill. I tried Slackware a few years ago when I was starting out with Linux and let me tell you, was that a frightening experience. It was like you needed an engineering degree just to go through the install procedure.

Now I admit, there is still one tricky portion of the install and that is partitioning the drive. Fortunately, from playing with Debian alot, I became pretty good with using ‘cfdisk’, which is one of the partitioning program options during the inititial setup. So once you partition the drive the rest of the install is a snap. I’d even say it’s one of the easiest installs available, because of it’s simplicity.

On my first install I choose to install every package it had on the CD. During the install it asks what X windows program I want to run by default when I type ‘startx’ and I chose ‘KDE’. During the install one of the things that surprised me was there were never any prompts about video card or monitors. So after I logged in for the first time I immediately typed ‘startx’, never thinking it was going to work. But low and behold it fired right into KDE! I about fell over. That was definately worth some bonus points right there. Way to go Slackware!

Slack also comes with a lot of great programs to get you going. And for those married to Outlook it has Evolution 1.0.7 which in my opinion actually has some nice features missing from Microsofts offering. But I have yet to get it to launch while in KDE, only seems to work it gnome.

Now, everything was not perfect, in fact there are still some issues I haven’t resolved yet, but I’m willing to work them out and give Slack a fair shot. I’ll be keeping a list of those problems here, and also posting the solutions as I come across them. So maybe I can help someone else out who wants to run this fine distribution also.

If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to post them in the lounge.