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An old hacker slaps up Slackware

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Slackware is old-school Linux. Back in the day -- before Red Hat seized the throne -- Pat Volkerding's Linux distribution was the undisputed king of the hill. Many still use it today. By the time I started playing with Linux in 1995, or running my Web server with it in 1996, Slackware's slump in market share had already begun. I've tried a lot of different Linux distributions during the years since then, but until recently I had never tried Slackware. Here's what I've learned about Slackware while installing and using the recently released Slackware 10.2.

My test system is powered by an AMD64 Sempron 3000+ CPU with 512MB memory, a Sony CD/DVD drive, and an 80GB Western Digital IDE hard drive, all connected to an MSI K8N Neo3 Socket 754 mainboard with onboard 5.1 channel AC97 2.3-compliant sound and 10/100 Ethernet connectivity. Also attached are a USB optical mouse and an EPSON CX5400 all-in-one scanner/printer.

My Slackware experience actually began with 10.1, which I installed a few weeks ago. But when my colleague Joe Brockmeier tipped me off to the pending release of 10.2, I waited for it before really digging in. Even with that brief bit of previous Slackware experience, I've seen changes and improvements in Slackware's installation.

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