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This section will discuss the actual user applications that are included with Slackware Linux. (Recall that a "userspace" application is a "normal" program, rather than one that runs in kernel space.)
Slackware Linux comes with a fairly modest selection of software, when compared to other distributions. That is, where Red Hat Linux comes on two full CDs with a third PowerTools CD, Slackware Linux ships on a single CD, with a CD of extras. Debian, like Red Hat Linux, ships on three CDs. At first, this might seem to imply that Slackware does not have as broad a palette of software as do Red Hat and Debian. However, it's important to remember that Slackware is about simplicity, and so including tons of software that the vast majority of users won't need is redundant. Slackware's packaging tools operate on simple tarballs; this makes it very easy to install software, no matter what its source is, and so Slackware avoids the need to include "the kitchen sink" by making it easy for users to install their own software.
That said, Slackware still ships with a large amount of software. (Remember, after all, that even the smallest Linux distribution comes with far more software than almost any commercial operating system.) The following list of packages that Slackware Linux includes is pretty typical of Linux systems:
GNU Compiler Collection (gcc)
Mozilla web browser
emacs text editor
Any experienced user of a Linux system will feel right at home with Slackware Linux. Generally, Slackware simply lacks some of the more obscure programs included with other distributions.
There is a variant of Slackware Linux known as ZipSlack. In Chapter 4, the various editions of Red Hat Linux were discussed. Slackware really has no equivalent to these editions; Red Hat uses them to delineate their product line, to support their commercial initiatives. Since Slackware isn't a commercial entity, there is no motivation to produce multiple editions. ZipSlack, then, is not so much an edition or variant of Slackware as it is a mini-distribution.
ZipSlack is intended to be small enough to reside completely on a small medium, such as an Iomega ZIP disk. By placing an entire Linux distribution on a portable disk, a user can carry a Linux installation in his pocket. ZipSlack also includes tools to boot directly into the Linux system from a Windows or MS-DOS machine. To accomplish this small footprint, ZipSlack simply restricts itself to only the absolutely critical components of the core system, and a minimal set of user tools. Due to its small size, ZipSlack is also useful in storage-constrained devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and network appliances.
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