moved from Slackware to Arch vanilla


Well-Known Member
I didn't just start using Slackware - the time line was something like Ubuntu with diversions of "simply Mephis", Antix , SalixOS , Vector , Slitaz , Zenwalk , Zencafe then slackware. At the time I read somewhere something along the lines of "if you use Ubuntu you learn Ubuntu but if you use Slackware you learn Linux".

The truth of that is dubious but Slackware did force me to start looking into the system straight away to for instance enable some services in rc.d

A big part of package management involved getting software from where a bash script carried out a more formalized install of ./configure , make, make install and that also the system could keep track pf pkgs.

Then that lead to looking into the Slackbuild script and becoming an official maintainer for a package. So it was all about what could be learnt from the OS rather than how slick it was. In fact the more trouble or tedious it was the more that could be learnt.

Nothing stays still in I.T codeigniter at one time was considered the go to php framework for web sites.Frameworks moved on and all require more or less latest versions of php. This started to be a bug bear for me.

Slackware 14.2 was up to date when released and fine for web development. But 4 years down the road even one of Slackwares core contributors "Alien bob" is on record as stating that Slackware became stale.

In theory specific software can be updated but its not as simple as that . A distro is a balance of all sorts of libraries and software. Updating one thing requires supporting libraries be updated which can break other things. The answer at the time was to shift to Slackware current. When the desire shifts from wanting to learn everything you can, no matter how long it takes to just having a working OS that requires as little as possible effort i guess its a bit of a "sea change".

Throw into that , that the Slackware existence is vulnerable; then its quite understandable if i say i started looking around at what i might consider a "replacement" and rather than waiting to hear "Slackware is Dead" (Again) and be thrown into the deep end better start getting familiar with something else just in case.

"Something else" as a choice wasn't easy and i guess i might be prone to getting irritated easily. I played with Debian and its package management. Reading eg the Debian Admins handbook particularly package versions. This package is marked 100 but could be 500 and that takes priority over ... "oh boy" . If you look at release for software on git it say latex2html; for 2020 releases one was called v2020 and a later one v2020.2 yep that all makes sense.

its probably just me(and another un-diagnosed mental issue) but Debian and its derivatives pkg approach seemed like spaghetti to me and i have had previous experience of "dependency hell" with Debian based.

Naturally if there are lots of derivatives from a source, i instinctively prefer to just go to that source. if you look at Core Linux operating systems there actually are not that many. I just decided to start looking at Arch and see how things went.

I got EndeavourOS installed while sub Sahara since it allows for "offline install" from the iso. I really liked it . When i got back to blighty i then went for a dual boot of slackware current and Arch to see how things played out. I tend to seek out potential problems and how much of an issue it would be to fix them, if things did go wrong.

I had already tested re-installing grub uefi mode from a live OS on a usb for EndeavourOS and it went well.

Basically i have had no problems at all with vanilla Arch, found i could easily get packages like timeshift from AUR ; found the documentation on the Arch wiki excellent . So i decided Arch was a "keeper" , wiped Slackware partition from my laptop and let Arch take up the available space. When i look at package versions in case i have to downgrade, what do i see in

/var/cache/pacman/pkg ?

[[email protected]:~]$ ls /var/cache/pacman/pkg | grep "npm"        (06-23 11:56)
[[email protected]:~]$                                              (06-23 11:56)
well i think even i can work out the timeline with npm-7.15.1-1-any.pkg.tar.zst being the oldest and npm-7.17.0-1-any.pkg.tar.zst the latest no mention of marked 100 but could be 500 or something else - Rrrr thats what i call bliss !
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Thanks for sharing, those are two of the reasons I also love Arch because of rolling release and because of the AUR, also I find everything on Arch just so much easier. For example no need to compile something myself, just grab a PKGBUILD from the AUR and it does all the work for you. I bought a new graphics card on release this year, I was able to grab the PKGBUILD for mesa-git and linux-firmware-git, build it and install it and I'm done.
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