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DistributionWatch Review: Slackware Linux 7

Downloading and Installing Slackware Linux 7

February 21, 2000

Slackware Linux, maintained by Patrick Volkerding, has recently entered the new millennium with Slackware Linux 7. Coming on the heels of Slackware 4.0, Slackware 7 has some new features that make it that much closer to becoming a Linux distribution even Windows fans could love.


Slackware Linux has always been strong when including packages that make it a true value-added operating system. For instance: when browsing through the change log, I noticed that support for the Diamond Rio and QuickCam has been added.

Obtaining Slackware Linux 7 was relatively easy. Like most major distributions, Slackware Linux 7 can be ordered on CD-ROM or downloaded from the Web. A $39.95 4-CD set that includes e-mail and phone support from Walnut Creek CD-ROM can be purchased here. Your second--and cheaper--alternative is downloading Slackware 7 here.

You have a number of options when downloading Slackware Linux 7. You can either download each of the installation files individually or grab the conveniently packaged ISOs. If you don't have access to a CD burner or just want to try out Linux with ZipSlack, you will probably want to grab the individual files.

If you're installing on another machine and have access to a CD burner, your best bet is grabbing the ISO and burning yourself a copy of the installation CD. For a regular installation, all you'll need is install.iso, as well as CHECKSUMS.MD5 if you wish to CRC-check your download. Also, source.iso is available if you want to recompile your kernel or any of the applications included with the Slackware Linux 7 install. Both of these files are very big (well over 600MB each), so those with less than ISDN-speed connections will probably want to buy the CD-ROM set.

Be aware that the ISOs available for download online are not the same as what you would otherwise buy on CD. The CD set contains other applications and goodies not found as part of the regular distribution (but can be obtained separately from other locations).

You can make your very own Slackware Linux with the cdrecord program on Linux or one of the many other programs available for Windows. I made my CD with CDRWIN from Golden Hawk Technology.