1 December 2010
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I have recently had difficulty with Frugalware Linux because my laptop, which I use most often, will not boot with the latest available kernel. I went looking for another Linux distribution which I could use in case I couldn’t use Frugalware Linux for a while. I somehow found SalixOS, a Slackware-based distribution, at http://www.salixos.org. I haven’t used it much yet but it looks OK so far. At first I was a little worried, because I thought I might be attracted away from Frugalware but I can safely say that that won’t happen.
Here are my thoughts on SalixOS:
* it’s focused on the desktop, whereas Frugalware is used and tested in both desktop and server installation configurations;
* the fact that it’s Slackware based, which gives it stability. It also means that you can install (almost) any official Slackware package;
* it provides both a command-line and GUI package manager which handles dependencies;
* the development team is keen to make sure that all their work and processes are open;
* I could *very* easily create a live installation on a USB key, where I haven’t yet been able to do this under Frugalware;
* it offers a few useful GUI utilities, including one which allows you to be notified of package updates that are applicable to the PC.
I don’t like…
* the fact that it only offers KDE and Xfce desktop environments. This is because GNOME is not officially packaged by Slackware. It is possible and easy to install GNOME with only a few Salix packages being overwritten;
* the range of packages is nowhere near the range available via Frugalware;
* the package manager is not as sophisticated as Frugalware’s, because it allows files in one package to be overwritten by files in another package.
I think I’ll keep SalixOS installed on my laptop, as a backup to Frugalware in case of problems.