Slackware Linux operating system
Slackware linux operating system, created by Patrick Volkerding in 1992, is the oldest surviving Linux distribution. It offers no bells and whistles, sticking with a text-based installer and no graphical configuration tools. Where other distributions tried hard to develop easy-to-use front ends for many common utilities, Slackware offers no hand-holding and everything is still done through configuration files. Because of this, Slackware is only recommended to those novice users who intend to spend some time on learning about Linux.
Nevertheless, Slackware has a magic appeal to many users. It is extremely stable and secure - very suitable for server deployment. Experienced linux operating system administrators find that the distribution is less buggy as it uses most packages in their pristine forms and without too many in-house enhancements which have a potential to introduce new bugs. Releases are infrequent (about once a year), although up-to-date packages are always available for download after the official release. Slackware is a fine distribution for those who are interested in deeper knowledge of Linux internals.
Perhaps the best characteristic of this distribution I have heard is this: if you need help with your Linux box, find a Slackware user. A Slackware linux operating system user is more likely to fix the problem than a user familiar with any other distribution.
Pros: Highly stable and bug-free, strong adherence to UNIX principles.
Cons: All configuration is done by editing text files, limited hardware auto-detection.
Software package management: Slackware Package Management (TGZ)
Free download: Yes