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If you are at all familiar with Slackware, then you can probably guess that my review of the Slackware site is most likely going to be vastly different from my usual torrent site reviews. Typically, when reviewing a torrent site one of my main focuses would be to discuss the breadth of content available on the site … you know, what kind of media you can expect to find. Does the site specialize in letting users download software torrents? Movie torrents? Video game torrents? Something else?
More often than not, the torrent sites that I come across and deem worthy of a review are along the lines of popular torrenting sites such as The Pirate Bay or RARBG. It is very rare, then, that I come across a torrent site that is anywhere near as niche or specialized as Slackware. And almost never do I review a torrent site that is so niche it only offers torrents of one kind of software.
Slackware, however, felt somehow too important and influential to skip over (even though it only features various torrent downloads of one type of software. That software, of course, is the Slackware Linux distribution. If you have gotten this far – far enough to locate, click on, and read up to this point – then there is a good chance that you are already at least vaguely familiar with Linux distribution systems, and probably with Slackware specifically. If so, feel free to skim ahead to the meat and potatoes of the review (the sections labeled “design,” “features,” etc.).
If you have never heard of Slackware, nor have any idea what a distribution system is, allow me to shed some light on the subject so that you can discern whether Slackware is the right software torrent site for you.
Before I delve into the specificities of the Slackware distribution system for Linux, I think that I should first define what a Linux distribution system is, which should then make Slackware’s role in the grand scheme of things much easier to understand. So, first things first, a Linux distribution system (sometimes abbreviated simply as a “distro”) is an Operating System that has been created from a collection of software that is based on the Linux kernel (a free and open-sourced Unix-inspired OS kernel … a code starter pack of sorts for developing Unix-like Operating System alternatives).
Basically, there is a whole culture of coders out there who develop new Operating Systems (Linux distros) that are based upon that Linux kernel. Then other coders develop even newer-generation Operating Systems based on those Linux distros. And so on and so forth goes the chain of remixed and reimagined code. Slackware, then, is one such Linux distribution system in a sea of others.
According to some, though, Slackware is, indeed, the best Linux distro. It is certainly one of the longest running and most widely downloaded and reappropriated of all the Linux distros. This is yet another reason why I deemed Slackware a prominent and important enough software torrent site to include on the list of the best torrent sites on the web … Slackware is beloved and acclaimed all around the world, and it has been so for quite some time now (nearly 3 decades and running).
Still with me? … awesome … if you have even once thought of trying a new OS on for size, Slackware might just be the answer. Whether you are looking for the official source on the latest Slackware update, or you are interested in finding the safest and most legitimate collection of mirrors of previous versions of Slackware, this is going to be the best torrent site for you, without a doubt.
Like most Linux distros out there, Slackware, too, was developed from a prior distribution system. As a matter of fact, Slackware was derived from what was the most popular of original distros, Softlanding Linux Systems (SLS). In 1993, Patrick Volkerding began fiddling with SLS because he was in need of a LISP interpreter for a school project while attending Moorhead State University in Minnesota.
Later on, Volkerding’s Artificial Intelligence professor asked him to help him install Linux at home and on some of the school computers. Throughout the process, Volkerding made notes on how to fix some of the installation issues, which the professor went through and applied upon installation. This process, though, took just as long as the installation of Linux itself, so Volkerding’s professor asked if it would be possible to simply create a series of discs in which the fixes to the bugs are automatically applied as the OS is installed. Thus, the very first version of Slackware was created.
Slackware grew rather quickly, in both popularity and file size thanks to the addition of included software. By October of 1994, Slackware version 2.1 had already been released (in just under a year!). Slackware 2.1, it turned out, was 3 times the size it was in the beginning. The entire distro spanned 73 1.44M floppy disk images.
In 1999, Slackware suddenly jumped from version 4 to version 7, mystifying Linux users around the globe. The reasoning behind this jump, however, pertained more to marketing than anything else. Volkerding noticed that Slackware’s latest update number was significantly lagging behind that of other competing distros. So, his solution to the problem? … Simply bump the number from 4 to 7 upon the 1999 update. This worked to combat a perception of Slackware being too behind the times.
From there, several fundamental changes have been made to the framework of the Slackware OS, most of which are far too technical for me to track here. The gist of it, though, is that as of today, Slackware stands as one of the most logical, well-designed, elegant, and streamlined Linux Operating Systems available online. And the Slackware site is the official site to download the latest software torrents and mirrors of it, 100% free of charge.
There is not a whole lot to the Slackware site design. The majority of the coding energy here is clearly being devoted to Slackware itself. The site is just a means to an end – a place to quickly learn everything you need to know about Slackware and, of course, to download torrents of the software.
The site itself, therefore, is sparse and pragmatic. It is purely informative and task oriented. The left-side of the site, for instance, bears the site menu bar, which spans the margin with plenty of ways to navigate and educate yourself on Slackware. Here, you can jump to News, FAQ, General Info, Get Slack, Change Logs, and more.
From there, the site acts as a beacon of Slackware knowledge, resources, help guides, and torrent download links. Simply click “Torrents,” download the ISOs, and follow the detailed installation guides. That is all there is to it!
Content and Features
Slackware.com, as I have mentioned, is the ultimate authority on all things Slackware. It is the official Slackware software torrent site. There is no reason, then, to ever attempt to download torrents of Slackware on any other site. This is the be all end all when it comes to this OS.
You can download the ISO files through BitTorrent (or your preferred torrent client). You can order the hard-copy disks of Slackware if you like. You can learn all that there is to learn about Slackware, how it works, how to install it, how to use it, and why you might need it. You can access and read the official Slackware book, the official guide to Slackware Linux. You can also purchase the physical book as well if you prefer.
Plus, you can receive any kind of help, guidance, and support that you need pertaining to Slackware or any of its many products (most of which are free, save for physical copies). Slackware.com is your one stop shop for any and all things Slackware.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
As you may have guessed, there is no mobile app available for Slackware. I don’t know why you would really want one anyway. The mobile site, however, could be better optimized, in my opinion. The site doesn’t really readjust or resize the way that I would like to see in order to accommodate my mobile device’s screen.
At the same time, I can’t really see why you would need to use this site on your mobile device. Maybe you will want to be able to browse info on your phone, sure, but it’s not like people are trying to torrent Slackware from their iPhones or anything. Still, the mobile site could stand to be improved.