I should post this earlier, since Salix 14.2 is 5-months-old already, but better late than never.
I followed Salix 14.2 since its alpha times. Of course, my "main" computer was still Salix 14.1, until I had the time to test everything - mostly my own libraries. I finally totally switched to Salix 14.2 last November. "Totally switched" means all the computers I have to take care of are now running Salix 14.2 (my own PC, my laptop, wife's laptop, brother's PC and laptop plus a a few friends' computers). I should have switched earlier, but a few issues related to new libraries (NOT related to Salix itself) caused the delay - read below about that.
Note that I always start with basic graphical installation. I do not install everything, but I start with a basic installation including the default graphical environment, then I add whatever I need; nothing less, nothing more. Here are some remarks about this process:
(1) Installation on PCs with cable connection to the router was as usual: flawless and impressively quick. I can recall my brother installing Salix 14.2 under my supervision, and him asking in the end "What? that was all? I'm done?" --- "Yes that was all; you are done". He then said something about Debian and Ubuntu, but I won't quote him, because i don't want to be censored.
(2) Installation on the first laptop had a minor issue - but worth mentioning. Basic graphical installation does not include any network manager and related packages (wpa-supplicant etc) so I didn't have Internet connection out-of-the-box. I just found a spare cable, enabled eth0 temporarily, then installed and configured Wicd; after that I had wireless working, and could do whatever I wanted without a cable. I understand that including a network manager in a "basic graphical" installation is more or less pointless for desktop installations, since desktop computers are usually connected via cable and don't have a wireless card/dongle. It is, however, important for laptops/netbooks, where the user doesn't expect he will need a cable, even temporarily. In my case, the lack of any network manager was actually a good thing: I didn't need to uninstall "NetworkManager" (the Red Hat's thing, which I really don't like but it is sadly the default in 14.2). I just installed the tried-and-true Wicd straight away, without even seeing "NetworkManager" at all. However, people not very fond about computers will end up with a system not connected to the Internet, and if I were to bet, I'd say they will just try again, installing everything this time. Maybe an option in the installation menu, something like "Include wireless support" is a good idea?
(3) udev was devoured by systemd, so it's out of question. Not a problem: eudev works great. Some of the applications I use depend on udev, one way or another. They work out-of-the-box with eudev. Of course I am not talking about gnome 3; I couldn't care less about it.
(4) Pulseaudio bothers me. Call me old-fashioned if you want, but I don't see why it should be there, nor I need the "extra" functionality it is supposed to provide. I didn't find a way to get rid of it completely. Uninstalling it is not an option, really: you will need to sacrifice ffmpeg, Mplayer, and others - even alsa-utils! At least I got rid of it partially, and it's not a service enabled by default. I still wish it wasn't there though. Well, I guess I have to adapt myself to the fact Slackware picked it now.
But I have to warn Volkerding: This is the very most I can accept. Don't you dare to include systemd as well. Not tomorrow, not after 10 years, not ever - or I am out to BSD, unless Salix won't follow you.
(5) The new version of GCC (5.3) comes with most of the features I missed in 14.1's GCC (4.9), which was starting to show its age. Unfortunately, some features that could make my coding a little easier are only available in the GCC 6 branch. I can't complain, really. I understand Slackware's and Salix's policy is not to switch to a newer version of GCC, until thoroughly tested. For any extra needs, I just compiled GCC 6.3 from source; the system still sees GCC 5.3 as the default, but I can use GCC 6.3 whenever I need to.
(6) One of the first things I do when installing Salix is to get rid of gdm (I understand why it's there, I just don't need any display manager). This brings me to the old-good console, where I can startx or not, depending on what i want to do. While there, and if I delay logging in for a few seconds, I can see something like:
- Code: Select all
swap : ignored
/ : ignored
/mnt/floppy : ignored
It reminds me the output of mount -l somehow. I'm not sure what daemon/whatever-it-is outputs this text. I can still type user name and password, everything works, but it's strange to see the above text in the first place, right where the cursor was waiting for me to login. I've seen something similar in the past as well, but not in 14.1.
(7) The thing that delayed me from completely switching to 14.2 earlier is actually not related to Salix - but still worth mentioning, because I bet I am not the first nor the last having issues because of this: Some of my own libraries and accompanying programs (which used to work on Salix 14.1) caused segmentation faults or didn't work as expected (the code compiles without any errors or warnings, but the resulting executable won't work as expected). Some of the third-party applications I use (or people I know need installed in their new OS) didn't work as well. I was aware of the fact since Salix 14.2 beta. Some debugging on my own libraries was enough to find out the reason: libpng
. Slackware (and Salix) 14.2 comes with libpng 1.6 instead of 14.1's libpng 1.2. This is far from being a trivial upgrade. For third-party applications depending on libpng 1.2, the solution is actually simple: install libpng-legacy12
, at least until said third-party applications update to libpng 1.6. For my own libraries, I had to update the code myself, according to the libpng 1.6 changes. It was a quite annoying process. Again, this is NOT an issue related to Salix itself; it is related to the fact most Linux distributions switched to libpng 1.6 recently (and they did well). Although I finally did update my code so that everything works with libpng 1.6, I also found an old little gem included in Salix repos, which I wasn't aware of: SOIL, a tiny library that can replace libpng in many cases, and it is way simpler.
Overall, I am quite happy with Salix 14.2. I had to tweak a few things, but that's expected when you upgrade a distro (and the tweaks needed had more to do with my personal style than with Salix itself). Pretty much just like 14.1, Salix 14.2 is fast and rock-solid. It just works in a way I often forget about it, and that's how an OS does its job perfectly. People expecting me to upgrade their systems had a similar response, "it just works great, as the previous one did".