slackware padme logo

the slackware padme project

about it

Greetings! This page is dedicated to a Slackware Linux "flavour" developed by me for my personal use. It is not intended to be a guide nor a tutorial, even because I do not have enough knowledge to produce such a thing. In fact, this text is a record for future reference of how I reached the current configuration of my system. If it's useful for you, great. May the Source be with you!

What do you mean with "flavour"? According to Wikipedia, 'Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution. Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system applications and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project'. That way, a distribution is an combination of applications chosen following some guidelines, some "philosophy", which guides the distribution developers. Sometimes, people can refer to distributions as "flavours", but I prefer reserve this word for something more specific. I understand flavour as an specific configuration of some distribution. So, that is what the slackware padme project is about: my flavour of Slackware Linux. If you do not know Slackware Linux, I think you should start in Slackware or SlackDocs website.

Why Slackware Linux? A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ... I was initiating my undergraduate course and I had never heard about any OS different from Windows family (precisely 95, 98, 2000 and XP), neither MacOS or Linux. Then I was presented to a universe of distributions and tools, and I realised that I did not understand anything about computers (indeed, exactly as today). But I decided to do something about it. At the time, Ubuntu was the most common distribution at university's environment. However, reading about the history of these OS, I was more and more interested in get close to the "singularity", where everything started. Then, I did read about it. I did read a lot. I dug and dug. And I became fascinated by the UNIX history. So, I read somewhere that the distribution more "UNIX-like" was Slackware Linux, not necessarily in technical terms, but its philosophy. Keep it simple, stupid! (Sub)Genius words!!! Slackware Linux was often described as "a lazy distribution, that force the user to configure everything in plain text files and compile every software from scratch". Oh, I did liked it! That was exactly what I needed to learn this shit for real. Other Linux users told me "You're gonna be tired of this"; "each software installation will be cost you days"; "this is an outdated distribution"; "this is good for servers only"; or (the classic) "it doesn't have a package manager". I though, "if it doesn't work, fine! I will find something more user-friendly". Then I downloaded Slackware 12.0 and installed it in an old desktop machine of the university (and never installed another distribution since!). Today I understand that that decision changed my perspective about many things in my life. Knowledge is freedom. If I had decided to use another distribution, full of amenities, I would probably accommodate and just "use it" (as I did with Windows) and never "think about it". I did not became a computer expert, but I did learn technical and non-technical stuff. The capacity of face the problem (and the serenity to search for the solution); the habit of fixing things rather than discarding; the humility of realising how other people know much more than you do and ask for help; all these ideas and values ​​where reinforced by that choice. I do not know if Slackware made me a better person, but certainly changed me, influenced my way of thinking, and it is a part of who I am today. Thus, now I have only one thing to say to Slackware community, the Slackware development team, and specially to Patrick Volkerding: my deepest, respectful, sincere... thank you!

Where did that come from? This project started in 2009, as the PADME project: an acronym for "Pre-compiled Algorithm Designed to Manage and Execute". The aim of this project was develop a "virtual assistant" based on shell-scrips, capable of respond and follow orders in (almost) natural language (phase one, from command line, and phase two, from speech recognition). PADME project has changed through the years, many different approaches were tested and, one day, I saw that I had produced a set of useful shell-scripts to help me on daily tasks. Command line orders to PADME were working fine, but speech recognition still a tricky issue until now. Meanwhile, I developed a particular way to use my laptop, basically without icons or menus (to minimise the use of touchpad), using terminal, alias, hotkeys and shell-script combinations (which I think is best way to use Fluxbox anyway). After a while, I had changed so many configuration files, written so many specific scripts, created so many links between applications, that it became clear that it was necessary to unify all of that configuration options. I decided to create a master script, capable of reinstalling the entire configuration. Then, the PADME project became the slackware padme project. It is not finished yet, but I though that, after all this years taking notes in small papers and corners of unpaid bills, this project deserves something more respectable.

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