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How much in common does Arch have with Slackware?

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libervisco's picture
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As you see the Arch and Slackware topics have been put in the same forum on Nuxified.org. The reason is simply the way I, as I think alot of other people do, percieve them as in many ways similar and gathering the kinds of people with similar taste and needs when it comes to the GNU/Linux flavor of their choice. In other words, those who like Slackware usually like Arch and vice versa. Same can be said about the general experience level that the two distro users seem to have.

Am I right? Maybe there is a bigger difference than I see it?

What I see as so similar is first and foremost the whole design philosophy. Both Slackware and Arch adhere to the so called "KISS" (Keep It Simple Silly) philosophy which usually implies keeping things basic and without bloat. Instead of having heavy GUI frontends managing all configuration you have text files placed in logical locations and stuffed with lots of helpful comments to help you edit it properly.

Both Arch and Slackware use BSD style inits (in /etc/rc.d rather than /etc/init.d/ as Debian and alike distros do it). Also, the installation of Arch resembles Slackware, but does even less for you than slackware for the point of more flexibility and customizability. In truth, those fluent with Slackware probably wont have much problems installing Arch either, as well as running it.

Maybe the biggest real difference between Slackware and Arch is the package manager, most notably the fact that Arch's package manager "Pacman" has a dependancy resolution while Slackware doesn't, but much as it is in Slackware the actual packages are gzipped tarballs with a shell script that determines how to extract them. In Slackware they're .tgz files and in Arch they're tar.gz.pkg files. Smiling

Now someone might think Arch is actually based on Slackware, but it isn't. From what I know it was made with LFS, but the major source of inspiration was (no, not really Slackware) CRUX! I suppose CRUX has a good deal in common with Slackware as well, at least in philosophy.

Are there any other differences? Heck, if you can add some more maybe we can turn this thread into an article comparing Slackware and Arch (and possibly other distros like... gentoo??). Eye

ma_d's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-07
Differences

1.) Arch is constantly kept up to date, and most of its users stay up to date with it. Slackware has a testbed, but most users stick to current for the majority of their packages.
2.) The only way to know you have a "correct" arch system is to sync all your packages. The only way to know you have a correct Slackware system is to not use the testing packages Eye.
3.) Arch has a package manager, Slackware has a system that uses specially made tarballs.
4.) Arch has a source build system, creating your own binaries is as simple as a few commands, most of them "cd ...".
5.) Slackware is maintained by a smaller group of people and doesn't have as many packages.
6.) Slackware has a bigger third party binary selection, linuxpackages.net or something.
7.) Slackware is old, Arch is young.

But in the end, they both use correct init configuration unlike every other linux distribution. Oy, I hate digging around to find what belongs in rc.conf.
Although, Arch may put it in rc.conf, it's rc.conf is immensely superior to BSD's: It's actually organized with a logical syntax and doesn't have 6 trillion odd variables you can set.

If Arch had steady releases and some more quality control on them it might be the perfect linux distribution.

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
ma_d has pretty much summed

ma_d has pretty much summed it up nicely.
Arch has a nice package manager and a small selection of more or less up-to-date packages. Slackware is pretty much a one man distro (or so I gather, never got into it) with focus on stability and - with its age and historic role as oldest living distro - a large user base with unofficial packages.
/etc/rc.conf is nice... and debconf is nice, but that's another system
gentoo could possibly be chucked into the same folder. Arch seams to have a lot of gentoo veterans fed up of compiling all the time.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Indeed a very nice summary

Indeed a very nice summary ma_d.

free-zombie wrote:

gentoo could possibly be chucked into the same folder. Arch seams to have a lot of gentoo veterans fed up of compiling all the time.

Yes, and the possibility of compiling packages from source much like emerge command does in gentoo is another attraction. If you install aurbuild (a command line frontend to Arch Build System) you can get the sources of a program and its dependancies and compile it automatically by just issuing aurbuild -b [program-name]

It uses PKGBUILD's which are much like ebuilds in gentoo and those are synced from the AUR repository of PKGBUILD's which has alot more programs than the normal pacman repos.

However, gentoo is purely source based and that's why it's in a special forum with other source based distros like LFS and SourceMage.

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
libervisco wrote: However,
libervisco wrote:

However, gentoo is purely source based and that's why it's in a special forum with other source based distros like LFS and SourceMage.

Not quite true - gentoo does do binary backages (especialy for big things like OOo and Firefox). I think (don't quote me on this) that portage was designed to also do binary, but this aspect wasn't developed much.

Hmm, I've done Slack in the past, this thread makes me want to give Arch a go...(since gentoo's being an annoying little beast at the moment!)

dylunio

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I kind of thought someone's

I kind of thought someone's gonna correct me on that. Smiling

Well at least it is mostly source based and great majority of gentoo users compile most of their stuff from source so I suppose it deserves the place in a forum for source based distros..

dylunio's picture
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libervisco wrote: Well at
libervisco wrote:

Well at least it is mostly source based and great majority of gentoo users compile most of their stuff from source so I suppose it deserves the place in a forum for source based distros..

Yes that is true - I was being rather pedantinc Sticking out tongue

libervisco's picture
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dylunio wrote: Yes that is
dylunio wrote:

Yes that is true - I was being rather pedantinc Sticking out tongue

Good that you were. Smiling

So has anyone tried CRUX? How does it compare to Arch?

free-zombie's picture
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dylunio wrote: I think
dylunio wrote:

I think (don't quote me on this) that portage was designed to also do binary, but this aspect wasn't developed much.

I think it's quite well developed, but not used much; see here

dylunio's picture
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