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Slackware 12.1 - The Newest Version of the Oldest Surviving Linux Distribution

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Last month I wrote in my Entropy (personal) blog about the failures of two of my computer systems. I ended up wiping the hard drive on my five and a half year old Toshiba Satellite 1805-S204 (1GHz Intel Celeron processor, 512MB RAM, 20GB HDD) and rebuilding it to temporarily handle more of the load. I chose to install two Linux distributions in a dual boot configuration and decided to take a good long look at the oldest surviving Linux distribution and one of the first ones I worked with: Slackware. A new release, 12.1, came out early in May so this seemed like the perfect time to take a look at the venerable distro.

I posted some of my first impressions in the Entropy blog last week. Slackware is still Slackware. It's designed for the very knowledgeable, experienced Linux user who wants the ultimate in control over their system. Slackware utterly lacks the kind of GUI administration tools found in most modern distros and assumes you will work at the command line and edit configuration files. Booting into X isn't even an option offered by the installer. Slackware has a well earned reputation for reliability, stability, and performance. It may also be the least user friendly major Linux distribution on the planet short of building Linux From Scratch.

Installation and Configuration

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