Back to Slackware

Up to now the home server project and articles were based on Arch Linux. Before I wrote these articles I had mostly used Slackware, but for this project I used Arch because it was more flexible at that time. But things change over time, and not always for the better. The first problems with Arch started when they abandoned the net-tools package. The scripts that should replace this functionality are still not good enough for this server project and possible for a lot of other projects.

But the most worse decision was to switch to systemd instead of using init scripts. In my opinion systemd is not suitable for servers, and to be more precise, not for complex servers that depend on an exact order to start things. While you can try to get things in the right order with systemd, any update of that package can destroy your hard work. All things that systemd is good for is not good for servers, but it can be for desktops and even better for laptops and other mobile devices. Really, you don’t want a server to automount or start some app when someone plugs in an USB device. And really, systemd is too complex and a few seconds faster boot time for a server is not interesting.

So, back to Slackware which I have used from version 3.1 or so, up to version 13.1. (So I only skipped 13.37). While Slackware does not have everything I need, it is not so difficult to build packages. Another good thing is, that security fixes are released for five years.

In the next months all articles will be adjusted for Slackware, but since the configuration details are largely the same I will not rush things. You will also see links to Slackware build scripts that I use, and slowly see that the Arch packages will disappear.

2 thoughts on “Back to Slackware”

  1. Dear Michiel,

    Absolute spot-on, for a few seconds less it is not worth it to switch nor to use Archlinux anymore. In my case i have a server upstarting in about 12 seconds, and secondly I think it’s useless on modern day HW. Ok it’s more compatible for those people that use RHEL/Centos etc. But the fact is that the “KISS” principle is totally lost in the minds of the Arch-dev guys/girlz!
    I’m not really a “Slacky” myself, but I like to keep my desktop on the bleeding edge. I will turn to “Linux From Scratch” to allow me to build a lean and clean machine the way I want it to be.

    Regards, Bart

  2. My desktop keeps running Arch for a while, I don’t see a need to change that soon. Arch is downgraded to a desktop/laptop distro. Only the servers will go back to Slackware. For most things you don’t need bleeding edge software for that.
    Good luck with LFS, it’s a lot of work but I’m sure it will be worth it.

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