Salix 15 — 2

After poking around the Core install there did not seem to be a one-stop method to move to a Basic or Full install. There is a wiki reference to install Xorg on top of Salix Core, but nothing about updating from Core.

Next was saving a snapshot of the VM and a Basic install. Performing a Basic install does not require wiping the initial Core install. Several steps were skipped to keep the first install intact, such as partitioning, formatting, LILO, and networking.

Browsing the package list of a Basic install showed 672 packages.

Repeating the steps with a Full install provided 846 packages and using about 6.7 GB of space on a 16 GB virtual hard disk.

Manually updating to Basic and Full did not change the default runlevel, which required editing /etc/intitab.

There is a selection of distro minded wallpapers. The desktop has icons to open the web browser to the Salix web site. The user guide is online at the Salix web site, but there are missing chapters. There does not seem to be a local PDF or HTML copy of the guide.

Salix uses slapt-get for package management. That is too much to type. An experienced user might be tempted to create a slaptalias. The Salix wiki warns about mixing slapt-get with the default Slackware package manager slackpkg.

Being parent Slackware compatible, KDE packages can be installed as well as LXQt 1.2 packages.

The default email client is Claws mail rather than Thunderbird. A nice twist is the GTKMan tool is installed to view man pages in a GUI environment. There is a Salix man page. The main desktop is Xfce but some MATE tools are used such as the Engrampa file archiver and Atril document viewer. LibreOffice 7.x is installed. An interesting addition to the default tools is the Zim desktop wiki tool.

Attempting to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions succeeded without errors.

The Alt+F1 keyboard shortcut is broken when using the simple panel menu. This seems to confirm the problem is with Xfce.

A cursory review indicates Salix is stable and thoughtfully designed. Definitely some patience is part of the effort. One drawback is the dependency on GTK3. Despite skill and expertise, the Salix developers seem as helpless with GTK3 tomfoolery as every other developer and user. Conversely, the Salix devs provide a large repository of packages. Other desktops and tools can be installed to reduce GTK3 paper cuts. With a public admission of being frustrated with GTK3, perhaps an LXQt spin might appear. Perhaps not because most of the custom Salix GUI admin tools use GTK.

The Salix forum seems active and filled with positive and content users.

While Salix is too GTK centric for the house network, “lazy Slackers” comfortable with GTK should give Salix a serious look.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Salix, Slackware

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