Re: Confessions of a Linux Wannabe

From: notbob (
Date: 09/05/03

Date: Fri, 05 Sep 2003 20:59:52 GMT

On 2003-09-05, Nobbody <> wrote:

> What will I be using it for? Home/Office applications and basic stuff.
> The real reason I want to learn the OS...

Now, there you've expressed two different ideas. Do you want to jut
use it, or do you want to actually learn it? Most of the more popular
distro like Suse, Mandrake, and RH are quite useable. They all have
the latest desktops, gui's, whistles and bells. But, when it comes to
learning the OS, these distros all make it somewhat difficult, what
with their proprietary scripts and desktop admin tools. A system
administration gui/tool does little to promote learning of the actual
OS. It many cases it actually hinders it.

Slackware, on the other hand, is much better if you are serious about
learning Linux. It remains unemcumbered with flashy gui's and desktop
admin/config tools. You want to configure or customize your system,
you go in and change init and config scripts with a text editor. This
may seem intimidating at first, but it is not as difficult as it
sounds. No need to be a C or java programmer. Slackware is set up
using basic bash shell scripts that are pretty much self explanatory.
Sure, you'll run across some configuration problems that require some
research and study. And you'll need to learn some bash shell basics,
but these are skills that will allow you to understand how Linux
works, how shells allow the user to interact and control the programs
and the kernel. You will see the inner workings of the OS.

In the slackware newsgroup, the most common comment we hear from Slack
newbies is how they've been using distro __?__(fill in name) for
__?__(fill in time) and still don't know squat about Linux (I made the
same comment). Or, people ask what kind of package manager Slack has
because they still don't know how to compile a program from source.
Slackware encourages learning these Linux basics.

Don't be put off by my description of Slack being a stripped down
Linux. Slackware 9.0 still has ALL the latest desktops and browsers
and all the latest revisions of the most common linux programs. It's
thoroughly up to date. Give Slackware a try. I don't think you'll be