It’s finally here:
A great day for all fans of the oldest surviving Linux distribution – after an unusually long testing and debugging period, Slackware Linux 11.0 has been released: The first Slackware release more than a year in the making, this edition of Slackware combines Slackware’s legendary simplicity, stability, and security with some of the latest advances in Linux technology…
My faith in Slackware has lately been challenged by the Others and though it is still my distribution of choice, I’ll be using CentOS (ugh) more for deployment. These were the same arguments I used to have about Linux vs Windows around six years ago. Pity that they still have to come up. The reasoning went something like this (from their side):
- Slackware is the product of just a single person who may die soon while CentOS has the backing of a corporation which can’t
- Slackware is one person’s hobby while a large corporation heavily invests in R&D that trickles down to CentOS
- Everyone has heard of Red Hat while nobody knows about Slackware
- Anyone can administer Red Hat/CentOS while people will need special training for Slackware
My futile answers which did nothing to change their minds:
- Corporations can fall or change just as easily as people and their priority is to make money. The very beauty of Open source is that it doesn’t depend on one person or entity. It is the community that runs it.
- Corporate backing doesn’t guarantee technical superiority (think Microsoft, think Linux itself). Open source means that any research and development is shared across the community. One person can easily combine the latest developments into a final product that rivals that of a corporation. Linux was one person’s hobby yet look where it is now.
- Fame or recognition is no proof of a better product. That too in a small, homogenous market such as Pakistan.
- A person given the responsibility of administering a production server should be competent enough to work with most if not all UNIX/UNIX-like systems.
Granted that these aren’t necessarily good enough to stick to Slackware (or whatever your distro of choice might be), but there’s more. I have a fast to break so will share them some other time, but All I’ll say is that Slackware 11.0 has a number of interesting updates and I’d love to start using it soon. No way they’re going to stop me from putting it on my laptop.