I managed to get myself a new PC through work at a great price, specs are HP Desktop Mini Tower, Quad Core Intel Core i5-6500 Skylake processor, 1 TB HDD 8GB RAM. This is a great PC especially since my last desktop was a single core 32 bit with 3GB RAM which worked not too bad with Slackware 12 but seemed to struggle with later Slackwares. I am planning on upgrading to 16GB RAM (can take 32GB) and possible installing a better graphics card as i would like to play more games. Anyway the old PC got left sitting under a desk when I got hold of a second hand Dell Vostro laptop (Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM) which I have been using as my primary machine for a couple of years dual booting Windows 10 and Debian 8* and with an upgrade to an SSD it is a good fast machine for what I need (upgradable to 16GB RAM as well but that is quite expensive).
The new PC came with Windows 10 and since I need to use Windows for work (some tools we use are Windows only) I figured I would partition the drive and dual boot again with Debian. So partitioning done and Debian 8 installed but graphics are stuck at 800x600 which is horrid, turns out that the Intel HD530 graphics are only supported in Kernel 4.3 and above, no problem I think I can compile and install a new kernel so set out to install latest 4.7 Kernel. Compile goes fine and install new kernel and boot to it, graphics still stuck on 800x600. After spending time trying to work out the issue I thought I can just reinstall using Debian testing as it has a supported kernel. I then thought I would check the kernel version in Slackware 14.2 and see it is 4.4. As I was going to reinstall using Debian testing and I already had a Slackware 14.2 install USB I decided to install Slackware.
Install goes fine and boots first time and resolution is fixed. Next issue is EFI so had to install rEFInd to get back option to dual boot.
So I now have a nice new shiny install of Slackware 14.2 running XFCE and it feels like I am back where I should be.
My thoughts on Debian vs Slackware
I have used Slackware from version 8 right through to version 13 so it is my Favourite Distro. Installing is a bit more involved than other distros although these days it is just select to do a full install and let it run. I always preferred KDE to Gnome as well although on my old system I used XFCE as it was lighter on the old hardware. The main issue with Slackware is software installation. I still find that I have to manually install some programs by the .configure, make , make install process although this is better now than it used to be as there are a lot of precompiled programs available through slackpkg and other third party sites like slackbuilds. where you can download the slackpkg configs and package sources saving the hard work of finding it yourself.
I like Debian and it is my second choice although if I just need a linux system up and running fast it is the primary option as it is really quick to install and configure, software install and upgrades are really easy using apt-get as well and it works really well on my laptop running MATE. The only real issue i have is the outdated versions of software in Debian stable which sometimes causes issues.
* I tried installing Slackware 14.1 on the laptop but had some issues getting it to boot and run so needing linux installed I tried Debian next as it was my next distro of choice. Apart from requiring Broadcom firmware for the wireless it installed quickly and easily and I have been using it since.
- Category: Blog
I am in the process of upgrading this site to the latest version of Joomla so there will not be any new posts until this is done and I have got it working as I want. Thanks for your patience.
Update 14 Aug 2016
Migration is done and all articles copied over and working, still tweaking settigns behind the scenes and have created own template and am working on the look of the site.
- Category: Website
Thanks to a friend taking me along to a pottery taster session I now have four pottery items made by my own fair hands.
It was great fun although the first effort ended up as recycled clay and the second one ended up as the somewhat wonky looking "dish" on the right.
- Category: Activities
Background info: My home desktop PC is running Slackware 14.0 with the Xfce desktop.
When I fired up the computer today there were no window decorations (window borders, title bars, those little buttons you use to maximise/minimise and close windows) and I could not drag or adjust windows. This has happened before and it seems to be an issue with the xfwm4 (the Xfce window manager) not starting properly. There are a couple of ways to sort this but I use the easiest way which is to fire up a terminal window and type xfwm4 and press enter and this brings back all the window decorations.
Unable to delete files from external harddrive using file manager. This is something that I had noticed before but it wasn't really an issue that I was bothered about since I usually delete stuff from the command line. The basic problem is that if I was trying to delete a file through Thunar (the file manager used by Xfce) either by selecting the file and pressing delete or by right clicking the file and selecting the Delete option I was presented with a dialog stating "Unable to find or create Trash directory". After searching the internet I found out that my external harddrive didn't have a Trash directory for my user. To remedy this i recreated the required trash directory and hierarchy.
After this deletion of files worked as expected.
- Category: Administration