Slackware and Zenwalk



I’ve been distro shopping lately.  I had become complacent while working with PCLinuxOS because everything just works when using it.  With nothing broken, I had nothing to fix :(  This is a good thing, unless you want things to break every once in a while so you can learn to fix them.  I know, I’m a glutton for punishment.

After some initial toolings in Arch and Gentoo, I settled on Slackware…which was my first distribution I tried ever in 1995.  It felt good to be coming back to Slackware…there is a simple elegance about it.  It’s ultimately fast on just about every system I’ve put it on.  I really like the unix like rc files Slackware has; to me, it’s simple to get things working.  This could be because I cut my teeth on Solaris…but then again, I think it’s much easier to manage system services by making an rc file executable (chmod).  Sure Red Hat style is ok with ‘service name start|restart|stop’ but I really like going into a directory, listing it out, and seeing all my services that execute on startup in green.  Maybe it’s my nostalgia getting the best of me.  I’m sure that’s it.

Regardless, I stuck with Slackware only a short while because I was interested in XFCE (not that Slack doesn’t have XFCE…just that I wanted to see a distro that prides itself on XFCE) and decided to give Zenwalk 6 a try (I’ve tried Wolvix already…it just didn’t click with me).  I’d heard nothing but good things about this distro and it is Slackware based, which makes all the nostalgic parts of me tingle.

I installed and all I can say is WOW!  It’s a fantastic implementation of XFCE regardless of distribution.  The Slackware speed and rc system are there, greeting me on each startup/login.  XFCE is done brilliantly there and really feels like a superb implementation.  Updating is a snap with netpkg, something I haven’t had any experience with…it does the job nicely though.  Overall, I’m quite satisfied with Zenwalk and will be sticking with it for a while.  I’ll post back from time to time with any tips or tricks I might find as I’m stretching my legs so to speak in my new environment.

Zenwalk 6, slightly altered

350 MHz XFCE Desktop Search Continues

I realized last night that I wasn’t going to get a day where I could just hammer out all of the distros I wanted to check out with my old PII 350 MHz. So, I figured I’d give STX Linux 1.0 a try. This distro comes heavily recommended for old PCs as we can see from the Stx website: “STX Linux is a desktop Linux distribution especially targeted to older hardware.” Minimum hardware requirements are well below those that my current setup contains. I come in at an average STX system. So I downloaded the distro, burned to CD and we’re off to the races!

Pics of the 350MHz:

STX 1.0

I started off pretty stoked because It is my understanding that STX is built on the solid base of Slackware Linux which happens to be my favorite distro. Boot up went relatively fast on the old PC. I was very impressed with the boot time. Everything was going fine with the install up until the software began to install. The install froze. I figured this wasn’t a good thing (duh!) so I rebooted and repartitioned the hard disk. I then made sure to format with cfdisk (along with some bad block checking). Another bootup and I’m back to installing again.

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