Slackware Linux, once the only Linux distribution,is still very much available, and it is being actively developed. The installation is simplistic and text-based, but it s also not for the feint of heart. If you are already familiar with Linux or UNIX, this could be your distribution of choice. Unlike a lot of the newer distributions withflashy graphical interfaces, installation is accomplished by carefully reading the on-screen instructions and selecting or entering in the proper information. You won t find a graphical disk-partitioning program here. In fact, you will need to use the fdisk command to set up your partitions correctly. In other words, you need to know what you re doing. Experiment a lot, or read the instructions carefully to avoid problems. If you decide that you don t really want ncurses because it doesn t sound interesting, Slackware will still allow you to install programs that require ncurses to run. This is due to a lack of dependencies in the tgz package format. For this reason, upgradability isn t really possible, and it is not an installation option. Support is available to some extent from theSlackware home page, but this free support is limited mostly to e-mailing questions to the authors. Package updates don t seem to be readily available on the FTP site, but there is a lot of information on the home page. If you use Slackware, you most likely do sobecause of it s simplicity, and you will probably continue to use it. The installation process hasn t changed much, and it seems unlikely to attract a large number of new users. If you are a minimalist, or can t get the big, flashy Linux distributions to work on your system, then you should consider Slackware. Most Windows users who want to give Linux a try should go the route of a distribution that is easier to set up and maintain.