Debian Verses Slackware?

Gregory Nowak greg at
Wed Nov 24 02:18:13 EST 2010

Hash: SHA1

On Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 10:27:29PM -0800, Hart Larry wrote:
> Well, in looking at some hand-picked favorite packages, Debian testing 
> and unstable has much newer versions than Slackware.  An example was tcsh 
> which slackware is only on 6.15 while Debian testing is on 6.17.  
> Likewise for mp3gain

Debian testing/unstable are bleeding edge releases, equivalent to
slackware-current. You were likely looking at the latest stable
version of slackware, and not at current, in which case the
differences you observed are to be expected. A word of caution, if I
may. While debian testing, and even more so unstable work for the most
part, you should be prepared to solve problems if you go that route, as
well as be prepared for broken packages after some upgrades. It also
goes without saying that you want to be on a broadband connection if
you expect to keep a debian testing/unstable system up to date. All
but 1 of my debian machines have been running the stable release,
Lenny, with one box running testing. I have made the decision however
to keep the box running testing at Squeeze, once it is the stable
release. This is however largely a matter of personal taste and

I don't understand what you mean below:

> While Slackware well supports speakup, in looking in the package list, I 
> could not find either word speakup or blind.

Slackware was the first distribution to support speakup out of the
box. It still does so as far as I know, though I haven't checked
recently, so I may be wrong, but I really hope I'm not. Debian also
supports speakup out of the box. The stock Lenny installer on up is
speakup-enabled, and you can install the speakup modules on a debian
system by running:

apt-get install speakup-modules-version

where the -version is the speakup modules package for your currently
running kernel. Running:
aptitude search speakup-modules
will give you a list.

> Does Arch Linux support a DecTalk USB?

As far as I know, it does in serial mode, but someone else using a
dectalk usb on arch better confirm, or deny that.

> So around December 03 we buys supplies from Fries--and-away we go.  I 
> look forward to reading all your comments on my outstanding concerns, 
> including getting lilo working in LVM--and-thanks so much in advance

About lilo and lvm, I'm not sure if lilo is able to pass
/dev/volume_group/logical_volume to the kernel as a root device. I
don't know how you laid out your partitions. Keep in mind that /boot
can't be in a logical volume, it has to have its own physical drive
partition. If you don't have a dedicated /boot, then that may be your
problem. If you've been following my threads recently on this list
about installing debian Lenny 64-bit without a serial port, then
you'll know that I, like you, am in the process of setting up a new
system. In my case, this is a machine that someone kindly donated to me,
because he didn't have antivirus software on it, and decided to buy a
new one when the boot sector on this one got trashed, and I'm prepping
it now to replace my current server, which is badly begging to be
retired. Anyway, what I'm getting at, is that I've been a lilo user
myself up until now, and since I decided to deploy lvm2 on this new
machine for the very first time, I also decided to bite the bullet,
and switch to grub, which I haven't regretted so far (neither that,
nor going with lvm instead of regular partitions). Good luck, and HTH.


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