Slackware-Like Distros Was Re: Debian Mess

Tony Baechler tony at
Mon Aug 11 06:12:42 EDT 2008


Another option is Gentoo.  It is very different from Slackware in that 
you build most packages from source, but it is largely based on the BSD 
ports system as well.  I'm not familiar with the distro Robert mentioned 
but I would bet that it's based on Gentoo Portage.  The .ebuild files 
are plain text, similar to Makefiles but different.  All of Portage uses 
Python unless they changed it.  You can build whatever packages you 
want, including Gnome or anything they offer an ebuild for which is 
everything you can think of.  I still prefer Debian myself but Gentoo is 
a close second in many areas.  The philosophy of Gentoo is choice.  
You're rarely stuck using one particular set of packages, unlike Debian 
and most other distros.  There are two or three different cron and 
syslog implementations for example.  You can build every single library 
from source or use the stage 2 or 3 installs which prebuild some of them 
for you.  I found it slightly faster than Debian also but that could've 
been the processor.  The reason why I don't run it now is that packages 
are constantly being updated, similar to Debian testing or unstable and 
I couldn't keep up.  You really need to update your ports tree on a 
daily basis if you want the latest packages.  Also, I'm pretty sure it 
uses the BSD way of init and config files, not SysV like Debian but I'm 
not 100% positive on that.

Robert Spangler wrote:
> If you like Slackware, you should have a look at Arch Linux.  It is 
> very simple like Slackware but more advanced with a package manager, 
> BSD-like port system, and more.

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