Slackware is 21? Wow I'm old!

Date July 18, 2014

I saw that Slackware Linux is now officially old enough to drink (in the US, anyway). That's pretty amazing!

Patrick Volkerding sent out the initial announcement that Slackware was being worked in way back in 1993.

I didn't start using it then. Heck, I didn't even have a computer then! My first machine was an IBM Aptiva 486 DX2/66. Basically, this:

A friend gave me a copy of the 1996 version of the InfoMagic Linux Developer's Resource, and Slackware (3) was the only distribution I could get working on my machine. At around the same time, another friend's dad found me a copy of Sam's Teach Yourself UNIX in 24 Hours. And that was the genesis of my learning Linux.

I ran Slackware continually, on my desktops and servers, until around 2006, when I needed to do more enterprise-y things at work, and switched to RedHat based systems because they could auth against Active Directory, but I still have a lot of fondness in my heart for Slack.

A while back, I wrote about how instrumental Slackware was to my early knowledge, and from the Hacker News thread, I can see I'm not alone.

If you've never run it before and you'd like a taste, it's easy to get Slack and install it in a VM. You should do this, especially if you've never installed a Linux in anything other than an X-Windowed environment. Today, if you install a desktop Linux, the entire process is graphical, but Slack was never like that. The installation itself used curses, but once you rebooted into your fully functioning machine, you were at a text prompt, and you were expected to configure everything you needed from scratch. Ah, the good old days ;-)

  • DaiTengu

    I started out with Slackware 1.0. I ... "acquired" it out of the back of a book at my local Barnes & Noble.