I needed a new distro

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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:43 pm

Seaumas2 wrote:Since MInt does not come with xterm (and I don't know why)


Mint comes with a much more feature rich terminal emulator.

If you are into idol worship, no less that Richard Stallman likes it. Mint is a child of the Free Software Foundation which stallman created.


This is not correct. RMS and the FSF do not endorse Mint or Ubuntu. Check out FSF: "Explaining Why We Don't Endorse Other Systems" and FSF:"GNU/Linux Distros" for explanations on why the FSF and RMS do not endorse them.

Arch Linux is not like anything you have ever come across.


Arch takes it's inspiration from the BSDs.

For the highly adventurous there is an OS that is so new and odd that it will take time to know. Its called "Haiku" and its a live distro.


Haiku is a MIT licensed re-implementation of BeOS R5. BeOS was, and really still is, an amazing OS.

You know, many of didn't go to Linux because we got sick of Microsoft, but many did. We got into Linux because it was fresh, revolutionary, small and wiry and 'in your face'. and, of course, its free, but not as in "free beer".


Most servers in the world are now Ubuntu.

Surprisingly this isn't entirely false. Debian still has the top spot for marketshare, but Ubuntu is in second. Amazingly, Gentoo has been on an up swing since April '13. Who are these companies using Gentoo, and will they hire me?

Historical trends in the usage of Linux versions for websites
http://w3techs.com/technologies/history ... s/os-linux

Usage statistics and market share of Linux for websites
http://w3techs.com/technologies/details ... ux/all/all
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:59 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:Amazingly, Gentoo has been on an up swing since April '13. Who are these companies using Gentoo, and will they hire me?

Historical trends in the usage of Linux versions for websites
http://w3techs.com/technologies/history ... s/os-linux

Usage statistics and market share of Linux for websites
http://w3techs.com/technologies/details ... ux/all/all


As a long-time Gentoo user (though not at the moment), I'd guess some folks like the more modular deps-set-at-install-time aspect of it, and the compile times are becoming less and less relevant as the hardware keeps speeding up.

Just a guess, though.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:18 pm

Slackware is not popular? Oh my.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:07 pm

Forge wrote:As a long-time Gentoo user (though not at the moment), I'd guess some folks like the more modular deps-set-at-install-time aspect of it, and the compile times are becoming less and less relevant as the hardware keeps speeding up.


Only compiling in what is needed is one reason I like FreeBSD.

I keep meaning to get an Gentoo box running, but I never finish the install. I will finish an install one of these days. The urge to compile from source is just too great. :)

Is there a way to propagate binary packages to other Gentoo boxes? I know how to do this with FreeBSD, but I've been curious to know if there is a way to do this in Gentoo. (In FreeBSD, a designated build machine can create a package when compiling software from ports, and the package can be shared via an FTP or HTTP site. The rest of the boxes can install the new package using pkg_add pointed to the location of the package.)

PenGun wrote:Slackware is not popular? Oh my.


Indeed. It's getting beat by Gentoo of all things.

You should switch. ;)
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:15 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:Only compiling in what is needed is one reason I like FreeBSD.

Seems to me this degree of customizability is more valuable on an embedded platform with limited RAM and/or mass storage. For modern desktops and servers the size of the OS on disk and the memory footprint of the kernel are largely irrelevant. Disk space and RAM have both gotten cheap enough that only people with OCD care.

OTOH, a rather high percentage of computer geeks *are* afflicted with OCD to varying degrees, so there you go I guess. :wink:
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:33 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:
Forge wrote:As a long-time Gentoo user (though not at the moment), I'd guess some folks like the more modular deps-set-at-install-time aspect of it, and the compile times are becoming less and less relevant as the hardware keeps speeding up.


Only compiling in what is needed is one reason I like FreeBSD.

I keep meaning to get an Gentoo box running, but I never finish the install. I will finish an install one of these days. The urge to compile from source is just too great. :)

Is there a way to propagate binary packages to other Gentoo boxes? I know how to do this with FreeBSD, but I've been curious to know if there is a way to do this in Gentoo. (In FreeBSD, a designated build machine can create a package when compiling software from ports, and the package can be shared via an FTP or HTTP site. The rest of the boxes can install the new package using pkg_add pointed to the location of the package.)

PenGun wrote:Slackware is not popular? Oh my.


Indeed. It's getting beat by Gentoo of all things.

You should switch. ;)


Never! Well ... I'm used to slak. It does what I want it to. I have a wheezy install too but I don't use it much.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:49 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:
Seaumas2 wrote:You know, many of didn't go to Linux because we got sick of Microsoft, but many did. We got into Linux because it was fresh, revolutionary, small and wiry and 'in your face'.


Blah, I meant to respond to this.

I got into Linux because I like Unix and Unix-like systems, and got tired of compiling large GUI programs on a slow processor (FreeBSD + AMD Duron 1.3 + Large GUI Programs = multi-day compiles). Linux is my OS X. Compromised, but convenient.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:11 pm

just brew it! wrote:Seems to me this degree of customizability is more valuable on an embedded platform with limited RAM and/or mass storage. For modern desktops and servers the size of the OS on disk and the memory footprint of the kernel are largely irrelevant. Disk space and RAM have both gotten cheap enough that only people with OCD care.

OTOH, a rather high percentage of computer geeks *are* afflicted with OCD to varying degrees, so there you go I guess. :wink:


A glut of computing resources and how the optimizations only produce minimal performance gains have been arguments against compiling from source for a while.

It is a little OCD. I like knowing what switches my programs were compiled with, and it's nice to know I don't have stuff that I don't need to cause security holes. Less code is better.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:09 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:Only compiling in what is needed is one reason I like FreeBSD.

I keep meaning to get an Gentoo box running, but I never finish the install. I will finish an install one of these days. The urge to compile from source is just too great. :)

Is there a way to propagate binary packages to other Gentoo boxes? I know how to do this with FreeBSD, but I've been curious to know if there is a way to do this in Gentoo. (In FreeBSD, a designated build machine can create a package when compiling software from ports, and the package can be shared via an FTP or HTTP site. The rest of the boxes can install the new package using pkg_add pointed to the location of the package.)


Yes, and it's fairly trivial to do. There's a config option you can set that causes portage to emit binary packages each time it successfully compiles a package, and if your systems have identical setups, or at least identical cflags and compiler optimizations, you can share these bin packages between them. Many moons ago I had a dual Opteron workstation and an Athlon64 gaming machine, and it was nice to let the four Opteron cores do the compiles, and have the A64 just install binpkgs.

There are also some options that allow GCC to network compile (farming out subcompilation), and other neat tricks, but with dual and quad cores now universal, and 8+ GB of memory on most systems, it's generally not worth the effort.

Last year I had a Gentoo install on my laptop that was at least 5 or 6 years old. The updating, done every week or so, took minutes, an hour tops. The only times compiles got long was when there was an X update or a new revision of one of the big WMs. With X gone modular, and light WMs being more popular, even that would be mostly gone.

I've actually been meaning to setup a Gentoo install again, but it's easier to remain on my Debian setup, and laziness and inertia are very similar.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:51 am

Hi all,
I tried many distros, but I am basically settled on CentOS for servers and Fedora for desktops.

I like very much Debian also, but in many enterprise environment the only supported distros are RHEL (CentOS) and SUSE.

Moreover, RHEL/CentOS has some significant advantages:
- it strongly pushed SELINUX use (I know that for many sysadmin this is a _disadvantage_ but if correctly configured it contribute to a very secure system)
- the provided GUI (system-config-*) and text (system-config-*-tui) tools are very good
- the kernel tend to age gracefully, with lots of port/improvements (for example, RHEL 6.x is at 2.6.32 kernel, but it is heavy customized to include the latest XFS and KVM improvements)
- many system component receive significant updates during the lifecycle (eg: LVM recently got support for thin volumes. Debian 6, while being a 2.6.32 kernel distro, don't have them).

It obviously has some disadvantages:
- limited software selection. Often you _need_ to enable at least the EPEL repo that, while very stable, is not 100% certified by Red Hat. Sometime you even need also other less-common repos, as RPMForge and/or RPMFusion.
- the entire /etc/sysconfig affair sometime is somewhat confusing (some configuration are in /etc, other in /etc/sysconfig, other in /etc/default...)
- it has looong release cycles (RHEL 7 anyone?)

Debian is a fantastic distro with tons of software, but I feel that in my environments (basically KVM-hosts with many virtual machines) RHEL is the better choice, even because Red Hat own Quramnet, creator and main mantainer of the entire KVM infrastructure.

What I would _never_ install on a server is Gentoo Linux. I can see its appeal (I used it on my laptop with great joy), but on a server the risk of over-optimizing some package and hitting obscure bugs is simply too high to oversee.

On desktop, the choice is clearly based on other factor: I use fedora because it is familiar with RHEL, and at the same time enable me to understand in what direction RHEL is going. However, from a purely desktop experience, I feel Debian testing or Ubuntu LTS difficult to beat. Anyway, I stay away from any non-LTS Ubuntu: they are very instable in my opinion.

Happy linux to everyone ;)
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:52 am

I'll chime in my $.02.

I'm a happy Ubuntu LTS user. I don't think it's the "best," though. But out of all of the distros I like, it's the only one that updated "often" but is still kept around for a decent ammount of time. So it's stable, but progressive. That said, after 14.04 LTS, I don't think I'll be staying with it so I'm in the same boat. But that's another rant for another time. I might go to CentOS 7 when it comes out. I almost went with a paid RHEL at one point but they had some cap on memory for the desktop/client release.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:29 am

As I've noted in other threads, I am a (relatively) happy Ubuntu LTS user as well. I do tend to run the Kubuntu flavor though, as I find both Unity and GNOME 3 annoying in various ways.

Prior to 12.04 LTS I was running 10.04 LTS with the GNOME 2 desktop. When updates for 10.04 LTS Desktop edition ended earlier this year I debated whether to switch to 12.04 LTS or jump ship to Debian. The (new) extended 5 year support period introduced with 12.04 LTS Desktop convinced me to stick with Ubuntu for at least one more release cycle. I will probably still transition to Debian at some point; I've already been running it in VMs.

While Fedora and the non-LTS Ubuntu versions do tend to be more current on features, there's way too much churn and broken "we just decided to throw this over the fence, have fun!" type stuff for my tastes. The support period is also rather short, forcing you to upgrade to new versions frequently if you want to stay current on patches.

I would consider RHEL or one of its derivatives if I was setting up a production server. I'm more familiar with the Debian/Ubuntu ecosystem these days though, so I'm somewhat biased towards Ubuntu Server or Debian for server applications.

I'm open to futzing around with one of the more "hardcore" distros like Gentoo or Arch (or maybe even FreeBSD!) sometime, but there are only so many hours in a week and stepping outside the Ubuntu/Debian/Redhat comfort zone just isn't very high up on my priority list.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:32 pm

One of the things I like the most about Ubuntu is how easy it is to add another destop environment. When helping people get more familiar with Tux, I usually use Ubuntu with XFCE, KDE, and Unity as a starting point because you can swap an environment just by logging out and back in.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:28 pm

Losergamer04 wrote:One of the things I like the most about Ubuntu is how easy it is to add another destop environment. When helping people get more familiar with Tux, I usually use Ubuntu with XFCE, KDE, and Unity as a starting point because you can swap an environment just by logging out and back in.

You can do that with almost any distribution. It's just X, well until Mark gets his way.

I have blackbox, fvwm2, kde, twm, wmaker, xfce as well as the fluxbox I use in my /etc/X11/xinit directory. They all run, this in Slackware 64... current I guess.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:29 pm

Yes, you can, but it's very easy to do with Ubuntu. So easy, my wife can do it (note: she is not computer savvy, regardless of OS).
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:21 pm

Losergamer04 wrote:Yes, you can, but it's very easy to do with Ubuntu. So easy, my wife can do it (note: she is not computer savvy, regardless of OS).

PenGun's point is that the ability to install and easily switch between multiple desktop environments is not an Ubuntu innovation. It's just part of the existing infrastructure they inherited from Xorg and the various DEs (via Debian).
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:56 pm

PenGun wrote:
Flatland_Spider wrote:

Now my distribution is Slackware ...



Wow. Now there's a blast from the past! I haven't used Slackware, since I worked at a WISP startup back in the early 00s, building captive portals with Single-board computers crammed in a small NEMA enclosure, with LMR-400 running out of it to a either a Yagi or Omni antenna, that tied back in to a Slackware based server in a colo somewhere in San Antonio. Ah, those were the days. Right before WiFi became mainstream, and everybody and his brother was getting in on the game. I think I managed to shrink Slackware down to 48MB on a 64MB CompactFlash, with 16MB leftover for Read/Write.


Sorry! Didn't mean to threadjack!
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:28 am

Losergamer04 wrote:Yes, you can, but it's very easy to do with Ubuntu. So easy, my wife can do it (note: she is not computer savvy, regardless of OS).


Sometimes, you insult another distro not by saying they are bad, but by implying that yours is special or unique where it is not.

Adding XFCE to my Debian install involved:

apt-get install task-xfce-desktop
logout, login.

Adding Gnome to that same install:

apt-get install task-gnome-desktop
logout, login

I could have done it all in GUI as well, if I wanted.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:37 am

Hz so good wrote:
PenGun wrote:
Flatland_Spider wrote:

Now my distribution is Slackware ...



Wow. Now there's a blast from the past! I haven't used Slackware, since I worked at a WISP startup back in the early 00s, building captive portals with Single-board computers crammed in a small NEMA enclosure, with LMR-400 running out of it to a either a Yagi or Omni antenna, that tied back in to a Slackware based server in a colo somewhere in San Antonio. Ah, those were the days. Right before WiFi became mainstream, and everybody and his brother was getting in on the game. I think I managed to shrink Slackware down to 48MB on a 64MB CompactFlash, with 16MB leftover for Read/Write.


Sorry! Didn't mean to threadjack!


Yes you can leave out a whole lot if you want. It'll run with just a, ap, some libs and a kernel ... I think.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:01 am

PenGun wrote:
Yes you can leave out a whole lot if you want. It'll run with just a, ap, some libs and a kernel ... I think.



That was my first real intro to *nix, coming from a NT4 and Novell 4x and 5 background. I ended up buying some books by the original creators of unix system V, and tried to create a system from the kernel up that we could use on a SBC with one or two WiFi cards, in as little space as possible. The whole company was us 3 idiots in a closet. We were basically trying to create what Colubris and Bluesocket did, but a year or two before they even hit the market. It was a fun time. I learned an awful lot. I remember pissing off my bosses wife, because we tested our SBCs in their NEMA enclosures in the oven, to see how hot they'd get before they failed.

All the backend stuff in San Antonio was standard Rodopi, UserAuth, etc... The fun stuff was seeing just how small we could make linux, while still letting our radios and captive portals + splash pages run. Ah, good memories.


Now I'm more into the Cisco and Adtran worlds, and would like to branch out into VMWare and see how much fun I can make Data centers be.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:44 am

The first 'nix distro I used was SuSE (before OpenSUSE but after S.u.S.E.) but I was in high school and it was kind of like me flailing around blindly in the dark. I could get it going and install packages and stuff, but once I tried to do anything interesting I'd get lost, screw something up and re-install. I became very good at re-installing. :D
Since then I've used Debian, Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint, Arch, and even Solaris (temporarily, I had an UltraSPARC2 box, I was a bit lost, though).
I originally started playing around with ArchLinux because I decided that I needed a project to get me more familiar with the inner workings of a Linux distro. Since then, I've found that the particularities of Arch match up pretty well with my particularities and I imagine I'll stick with Arch for quite some time. You know how that goes, though...
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:34 pm

As much as I think Ubuntu and its derivatives are good, what I don't like is that they take all of the great aspects of Debian then strip/dumb them completely down to nothing.

The installer for example; this used to be good when they pushed out the "Alternative" ISO images because it allowed for things like LVM, RAID, etc. setups. I get that these things aren't needed by all users, but it's definitely something that's kept me from seriously using Ubuntu or Mint outside of the odd testing of it via VirtualBox.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:36 pm

You can still set up LVM, RAID, etc. Ubuntu systems using the Server installation media. Once the basic system is up and running, adding a desktop environment is just a single meta-package installation (e.g. apt-get install kubuntu-desktop).

My guess is that this is why they discontinued the "alternate" installation media. It was largely redundant, as anyone who is technically savvy enough to want manual LVM/MD configuration is not going to be afraid to use the CLI to install a desktop environment.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:23 am

Flatland_Spider wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Seems to me this degree of customizability is more valuable on an embedded platform with limited RAM and/or mass storage. For modern desktops and servers the size of the OS on disk and the memory footprint of the kernel are largely irrelevant. Disk space and RAM have both gotten cheap enough that only people with OCD care.

OTOH, a rather high percentage of computer geeks *are* afflicted with OCD to varying degrees, so there you go I guess. :wink:


A glut of computing resources and how the optimizations only produce minimal performance gains have been arguments against compiling from source for a while.

It is a little OCD. I like knowing what switches my programs were compiled with, and it's nice to know I don't have stuff that I don't need to cause security holes. Less code is better.


GCC for a lot of the older archs is pretty damn good with just march=native but the newer archs can still show some pretty big gains, 25% or more is'nt uncommon. Here's a comparison done on my system.

Image
The top two are march=native. The bottom was compiled with this.

Code: Select all
-O2 -pipe -march=bdver1 -mno-movbe -mno-fma -mno-bmi -mno-tbm --param l1-cache-size=16 --param l1-cache-line-size=64 --param l2-cache-size=2048 -mtune=bdver1


Here's another comparison with Apache.

Image

To say my machine appeared to be something else after making those adjustments during compile time would be an understatement. :D
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:31 am

just brew it! wrote:You can still set up LVM, RAID, etc. Ubuntu systems using the Server installation media. Once the basic system is up and running, adding a desktop environment is just a single meta-package installation (e.g. apt-get install kubuntu-desktop).

My guess is that this is why they discontinued the "alternate" installation media. It was largely redundant, as anyone who is technically savvy enough to want manual LVM/MD configuration is not going to be afraid to use the CLI to install a desktop environment.


While that's true, I don't get the motivation behind completely gutting that stuff from the installer. A near equally user-friendly distro (openSUSE) has all of this in perhaps the nicest graphical installer I've seen without it being daunting.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:31 am

Yes, I'll admit that LVM/MD setup during Ubuntu installation isn't exactly straightforward. And try doing it on a UEFI motherboard sometime if you want an exercise in extreme frustration! :lol:
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:18 am

just brew it! wrote:Yes, I'll admit that LVM/MD setup during Ubuntu installation isn't exactly straightforward.

I think you can set up LVM in the graphical. It's Raid that I think is missing.

Image

just brew it! wrote:And try doing it on a UEFI motherboard sometime if you want an exercise in extreme frustration! :lol:

Remember the discussion about this months ago? All of my nightmares came true when some new Dell laptops came in with Secure Boot enabled. Installing Linux on that thing was like playing 11-dimensional Jenga.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:48 am

I've been using Xubuntu since early 2012 and have been pretty happy overall. But Ubuntu proper's making a series of decisions I find really distasteful, so I'm evaluating where to go next. God help me, I'm really thinking about Slackware64.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:07 am

Mint has an Xfce build that's usually a month or two behind the MATE and Cinnamon versions, looks a lot like the other two Mints by default.
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bthylafh
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:55 pm

Concupiscence wrote:I've been using Xubuntu since early 2012 and have been pretty happy overall. But Ubuntu proper's making a series of decisions I find really distasteful, so I'm evaluating where to go next. God help me, I'm really thinking about Slackware64.

Good, come on in, leave that GUI nonsense behind, learn to curse.

I'm just kidding,the install is ncurses of course. The rest is ... well sorta up to you. Want to run as root, fill yer boots, it's your machine to use, or destroy if you want. She will do just what she is told, no backtalk, it's why I use Slackware.
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