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Slack or Arch? Which is more 'minimalist'?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
My sis has an old laptop which she doesn't want to use, and is handing it to me in a couple of weeks. It being very old, I would like to install the most 'minimal' distro available. I'm too impatient for something like Gento or LFS, so my final choice is between Arch and Slack.

I've heard Arch is more customizable, and hands on, however that is comes with 4000 package while Slack comes with roughly only 1000 packages.
But not having much experience with Linux, I was wondering if that affected performance in any way, and whether that had any effects regarding a minimalistic install.
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post #2 of 30
Arch is definitely more customizable and minimalist. But if you're impatient then maybe Slackware or maybe a Slackware derivative (like Zenwalk) would help you achieve your goal faster.

The answer to your main question is still Arch.
post #3 of 30
I'm not much of an expert in Slack or Arch, so that's why what I say is kinda off-topic. Minimalistic Linux can be good, but it depends what is removed - you wouldn't want most of the corner cuts to be done in the GUI if the system is for a Linux-beginner.

I have found out that Mint is very light-weight. It runs quite snappy on a Pentim III Celeron @433MHz and 128MB RAM while taking a little over 2GB HDD space. I hope your specs aren't lower. Mint is an Ubuntu-light practically, so it's also quite user friendly.
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post #4 of 30
In my experience trimming down the fat on beginner distros such as Ubuntu and Mint takes magnitudes more time and effort than starting minimalist and building up (and the result isn't as good either).
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
I see. Thank you for your replies. I'm impatient for LFS but patient enough for Arch. I'm currently installing it on a VMware to experiment with it, currently installing gnome.

I'm no Linux beginner (not an expert either). But even disregarding that it will take more time to "trim" down the fat, it think it might still not be as efficient as starting from a minimal install. (I could be wrong though)

I'm going to go with Arch then. Thank you for your help guys.
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post #6 of 30
Err, Mint is Ubuntu-fat, not Ubuntu-thin. It's got all the extras like Flash pre-installed, and different artwork, otherwise it's the same.

I'd say Slack & Arch are similar, but Slack is a bit more lightweight as dependencies are resolved yourself (if you don't want it on there, don't put it on there). With Arch, you work at package level, and the package manager will install whatever else it feels is vaguely necessary. With Slack, you make all those decisions yourself. But the install is a little trickier (needs a lot more reading around). Slack is a MUCH more stable distro, Arch updates tend to break something as they are really bleeding-edge (I think Arch was the first distro to jump to GNOME 3, much to the community's dimay)
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post #7 of 30
gnome3 = dislike!!!!!!!

Minimalist distro with a basic GUI? Try "TinyCore"
    
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post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damarious25 View Post
gnome3 = dislike!!!!!!!

Minimalist distro with a basic GUI? Try "TinyCore"
TOO SMALL!!!! xD though microcore is smaller nothing like a linux distro that will fit into L3 cache eh?

anyway... could just check out crunchbang its debian based so you know its gonna be stable, and it comes with openbox by default, easiest install in the world, and its got a great community... my OS of choice no matter how powerful the system is
Kinda meh now...
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post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post
Err, Mint is Ubuntu-fat, not Ubuntu-thin. It's got all the extras like Flash pre-installed, and different artwork, otherwise it's the same.

I'd say Slack & Arch are similar, but Slack is a bit more lightweight as dependencies are resolved yourself (if you don't want it on there, don't put it on there). With Arch, you work at package level, and the package manager will install whatever else it feels is vaguely necessary. With Slack, you make all those decisions yourself. But the install is a little trickier (needs a lot more reading around). Slack is a MUCH more stable distro, Arch updates tend to break something as they are really bleeding-edge (I think Arch was the first distro to jump to GNOME 3, much to the community's dimay)
I will install Slack as well and test it out then. So far I'm loving Arch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damarious25 View Post
gnome3 = dislike!!!!!!!

Minimalist distro with a basic GUI? Try "TinyCore"
I looked it up. I first figured it might be an ironic name like Tiny from Dota but it is tiny! The name doesn't lie

But from what I've gathered it only runs on ram without a permanent install?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EntTheGod View Post
TOO SMALL!!!! xD though microcore is smaller nothing like a linux distro that will fit into L3 cache eh?

anyway... could just check out crunchbang its debian based so you know its gonna be stable, and it comes with openbox by default, easiest install in the world, and its got a great community... my OS of choice no matter how powerful the system is
And I thought TinyCore was tiny... I'll check it out along with Slack. But I'm thinking it will turn out to be too much of a hassle
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post #10 of 30
I prefer Debian Testing/Unstable over Arch, it tends to run smoother on hardware that needs it (noticeably so too). However your about 4 months behind, 4-6 depending on the software and lib. Currently they are up to date with a bunch of stuff, including KDE 4.6.3 and stuff. If you want minimal you can go with the Debian net install and don't install meta packages. So if you want KDE you would want kdebase-workspace, something like that.

http://stray-notes.blogspot.com/2008...l-install.html
Code:
MODIFIED from the source
1. Select you language
2. Select country
3. Select keyboard
4. Enter machine hostname
5. Enter domain name
6. Partition disk/s
7. Enter root password
8. Create user account
9. Enter user password
10. Select base install. Deselect desktop option. We don't want it
11. Select country mirror
12. Say yes to participate in popularity contest
13. Select GRUB boot loader
14. Install finished. Remove CD and reboot
15. Log in as root
     (you can also set up sudo then logout/in as a user and use sudo)
16. Edit /etc/apt/sources.list
17. Add: deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
18. Add: deb-src http://ftp.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
19. Update Debian by typing: apt-get update
20. Upgrade Debian by typing: apt-get upgrade
(omitted)
22. Install KDE: apt-get install kdebase-workspace
(omitted, unnecessary)
26. Reboot
That's it, you have a base debian system with just KDE! You can do the same with gnome but I forget the package names. You also want to install synaptic too, "apt-get install synaptic" as it's the bomb in Debian. That's what I do for low-end hardware, mainly because Arch isn't low end (it's bleeding edge which can cause multiple performance issues).

[edit] I forgot, in order to get the "latest" software you will need unstable and/or experimental in the repos. Don't ever do dist-upgrade or upgrade with either, at least never with experimental (and generally not with unstable unless you know how to fix debian).
Edited by mushroomboy - 6/16/11 at 8:11am
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