A conversation in LinuxQuestions forum I thought was worth sharing:

Hi Forum,
Being rather ecletic relating to “the best distro” to do a job… used several already, from RHEL/Fedoras to Suses, Ubuntus/Debians, and now Slackware… I never understood something…
Why ppl get tagged because of using Distro X, and not Distro Y…. ?
For instance, among ppl that knows I use Slackware, I am “deemed” as an arrogant person, by those that do not know me that well… some colleagues of mine that use Ubuntu, are deemed as n00bs, ppl that use FreeBSD are deemed Ultimate Geeks… etc…

Why is that so….?

Arrogant… ? how come…? conservative, maybe, reliability-fundamendalist, sure… but… “arrogant” …?

Don-t understand… don’t know enough of Distro History…. can someone please explain…?



My reply:

People using a “way too User-friendly” distro has been referred to as n00bs by people using a “not so user-friendly” distro, who in turn have been labeled geeks. This has been the case for years now.

Not convinced he asked me directly this time:

Hi Shylock

I agree with you, which takes this to another question…

Is Slackware an Unfriendly Distro…?

I mean… I had to install a software that called for a previous version of Python, all I had to do was Downgrade…

No harm came to my system…

Now, consider the consequences of doing this in Fedora, Debian, Mandriva, Ubuntu…

Simply would not be possible without a major hackery of the whole OS ( so deeply entanged are the dependencies )…

Is this “User unfriendliness”, or Freedom and Power…?

The ability to have full control of something can hardly bee called “user-unfriendliness” although it can take much time to master, but , in the end, what does one want ?

To be taken in an airplane in a prespecified path, or to build its own airplane, and fly it the way one wants…?

“Is Freedom user-friendly ? “…



My long reply about a rather painful experience:

You make a good point, unfortunately people are programmed to take for granted whatever they see and start to believe in that. We are gullible by default. Unless we probe further, dig a little deeper we can’t distinguish between right or wrong. Same with Linux users. They believe in what you tell them. I have seen many ubuntu users who moved to Arch and went back to ubuntu forums and started criticizing ubuntu and filled threads with how Arch is better than ubuntu and how ubuntu is for n00bs. I’m pretty sure these same people when they move to Slackware or gentoo or FreeBSD, will say the same about Arch. So it’s really a matter of fanboyism coupled with over-zealous attitude of some over-excited n00bs who just want to prove they are smarter than you for using distro X since it’s difficult according to “common belief”.
I have started using Linux with slackware. Then I moved to various other distros, but I always had slack installed somewhere even if I didn’t use it much, because I was searching for a replacement I guess. The reason is the same, I am a member of many Linux forums and used to hang out in IRCs, slack was criticized by many for having no package manager, which is completely false, no dependency resolution, which despite being true hasn’t really effected me much. I moved to Arch,gentoo,ubuntu,SuSE,etc. and came back to using slack. What I learnt was: “An empty vessel makes more noise.” This was the case with more than half the so called “advanced linux users” of “power distros”. While I respect other people’s opinion, half of them are too blinded by their faith in whatever distro they use. No distro is perfect imo. Even Slack has flaws [here flaws mean as observed by a non-slacker] but we slacker love it, because we know, I am the boss of my system and not the other way round. I can control and configure it inside out and it will still work. As long as you know what you’re doing , you’re good to go. The funny thing about slack is that, nowhere you will find it’s written “Slackware is for advanced users” but you will find this signature in many distros’ homepage. If slackware is for n00bs, so be it. As long as I can use slackware, that’s all that matters. If it’s for geeks, oh well, can’t complain.