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Thread: Just curious....why slackware?

  1. #11
    Good friend of the forums williamc's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Chico CA


    I'll have to take an opposing position. I'm one of a handful in my office that use Backtrack. Most use Ubuntu simply for ease of use. I've been on pen-testing engagements where I needed a certain tool (xwinwatch) and had to search for binaries, copy files, etc. My co-worker with ubuntu did: apt-get install xwinwatch
    slapt-get didnt have it either.

    Backtrack needs to include more libraries, or the slackware repository needs to get on the ball. I've posted quite a few threads with tool requests and tutorials with the main reason being I dont want to go through the headache of installing them again when Final is released.

    Aside from that, Slackware is a fine Linux OS. It was my first Linux OS back in 95.


  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    I agree. The Slackware repository has always been a little sparse, compared with many other distros.
    Don't forget and also the great repository

  3. #13
    Senior Member ShadowKill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    Well, as with everything, there has to be some kind of balance. IMHO Back|Track does a wonderful job at combining adequate user-friendly functionality and the complex set(s) of nuts and bolts us serious about pen-testing need. If you want it to be mickey-mouse in layout and have that famed big red button people dream about handy on the desktop, not only are you inviting 13 year old Joe Blackhat down the street to pwn ur fayz, you are removing the learning element from a technological-community that thrives on just that, learning.

    I have been around the block a time or three, and even I learn things every day. If I had a system that, for lack of a better phrase, did things for me without me having to understand it, I would get bored, fed up, and quit hacking almost entirely. What would be the point after that?

    "The goal of every man should be to continue living even after he can no longer draw breath."


  4. #14
    Super Moderator Archangel-Amael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    But, in Ubuntu, they'd have a friendlier environment to grow into CLI
    Personally speaking If I owned a company and was being pen-tested I would not want someone on that team who needed to "grow into" command line or anything else for that matter. I would want the best that I could get. Especially at the risk of being sued, put out of business, or losing money for some reason related to a pen-test.
    As for drivers and components...I'd think you'd be hard pressed to find a more supported Linux distro than Ubuntu
    As for support there are numerous people that work on the driver's and support and as for a pen-testing distro these people are dedicated to the mission of the distro. Or else they would move on to something else. For an example of someone that is dedicated just have a look at some of shamenvirtuel's work with tools and applications.
    One must also remember that a lot of professional pen-testers know there way around linux. Since a lot of these tools were developed on and for *nix systems in the first place.
    "Use RedHat and learn ReadHat. Use Slackware and learn Linux"
    Exactly RedHat was my first real exposure to a non-proprietary, or government *nix distro. And as Re@lty posted I didn't learn much about linux itself.

    With the Slackware style of doing things one must remember that when adding packages slackware won't bring in a bunch of other apps hanging on it's tails. A.K.A. dependency resolution. Sometimes this is a good thing. Helps keep the bloat down to a minimum which is crucial for a live cd.
    To be successful here you should read all of the following.
    If you are new to Back|Track
    Back|Track Wiki
    Failure to do so will probably get your threads deleted or worse.

  5. #15
    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    I started out with Slackware, I think around version 4. Kept using it until version 10. Dabbled a bit with Redhat, Whitebox, and Mandrake. Now almost every computer in the house running linux is running Ubuntu. I just want the stuff to work, there may be some bloat, but I can remove the stuff I don't want, and that's what big assed hard drives are for.... I think I'm about 50/50 on cli, gui use. Slax is a pretty slick system for keeping things compact. I'm sure they could have just as easily used Knoppix, but then we'd just have a different security tools distro(would be nice if they'd update the damn thing).
    Of course, if you really wanted to have some fun, go to Wal-Mart late at night and ask the greeter if they could help you find trashbags, roll of carpet, rope, quicklime, clorox and a shovel. See if they give you any strange looks. --Streaker69

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    I'm sure they could have just as easily used Knoppix, but then we'd just have a different security tools distro(would be nice if they'd update the damn thing).
    Are you referring to STD? It was a pretty good livecd in its day. I used it a bunch. Knoppix was/is too. Knoppix is definitely bloated, but its purpose was to bring linux, easily, to the mainstream computer user. It worked wonderfully as a rescue cd but I believe it was developed more as a showcase for linux in general. As far as STD goes, the original dev moved onto other things. The ones that took it over kept the forums going but I don't think they ever released a new version. I haven't even checked since Auditor was released. You certainly had to learn the "debian way" to effectively use either.

    I agree that installing packages and dependencies can be a pita with slackware. I don't really like using 3rd party binaries so I tend to use frequently. They have a pretty good selection and it's growing. When you build your own binaries, they're configured for your system. You won't install mplayer then find out it won't run because it was built linked to arts, which you've never installed because you don't use kde. You'll also learn how to configure, make and make install, which might come in handy someday. More importantly, you'll learn how to trouble shoot when configure or make dumps on you. I used gentoo for many years so I might be a little biased towards building my own, but it works for me.

    I don't think they named it slackware because its so hard to use. Once you learn it, it is really a pretty "slack" way of doing things. I made a similar comment in another post to another ubuntu fan. He came back with "its easy if you want a system with limited functionality". I didn't know what he meant, at first. Then it dawned on me. He was using a stock kernel, not building his own. Then he blamed slackware for all his hardware not working. Wow. Most distros do a pretty good job with their stock kernels but its hard to be all things for all people and the stock kernels are huge. A custom kernel with everything you need and nothing you don't builds faster, boots quicker and runs better. Building a new kernel is trivial with slack or gentoo. Try building one the "debian way". I got about 1/2 way through the deb howto and said "screw this". Surprisingly enough, the linux way of building a kernel works on debian, too.

    If you've just got to have apt-get and love ubuntu, check out It seems to be under heavy development.

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