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.