Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release
again. So, without further ado, announcing Slackware version 12.1!
Since we've moved to supporting the 2.6 kernel series exclusively (and
fine-tuned the system to get the most out of it), we feel that Slackware
12.1 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.0) and is a
must-have upgrade for any Slackware user.
This first Slackware edition of the year combines Slackware's legendary
simplicity (and close tracking of original sources), stability, and
security with some of the latest advances in Linux technology. Expect no
less than the best Slackware yet.
Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find
two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.2,
a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy to use desktop
environment, and KDE 3.5.9, the latest version of the award-winning K
Desktop Environment. We have added to Slackware support for HAL (the
Hardware Abstraction Layer) which allows the system administrator to add
users to the cdrom and plugdev groups. Then they will be able to use items
such as USB flash sticks, USB cameras that appear like USB storage,
portable hard drives, CD and DVD media, MP3 players, and more, all without
requiring sudo, the mount or umount command. Just plug and play.
Properly set up, Slackware's desktop should be suitable for any level of
Slackware uses the 188.8.131.52 kernel bringing you advanced performance
features such as journaling filesystems, SCSI and ATA RAID volume support,
SATA support, Software RAID, LVM (the Logical Volume Manager, and
encrypted filesystems. Kernel support for X DRI (the Direct Rendering
Interface) brings high-speed hardware accelerated 3D graphics to Linux.
We have switched from the older one-piece X11 Window System to the newest
modular X11 from X.Org, which should be simpler to maintain and will
likely speed up development of new features for X (such as translucent
windows and a few other things that are on the horizon).
There are two kinds of kernels in Slackware -- the huge kernels, which
contain support for just about every driver in the Linux kernel. These are
primarily intended to be used for installation, but there's no real reason
that you couldn't continue to run them after you have installed. The
other type of kernel is the generic kernel, in which nearly every driver
is built as a module. To use a generic kernel you'll need to build an
initrd to load your filesystem module and possibly your drive controller
or other drivers needed at boot time, configure LILO to load the initrd at
boot, and reinstall LILO. See the docs in /boot after installing for more
information. Slackware's Linux kernels come in both SMP and non-SMP types
now. The SMP kernel supports multiple processors, multi-core CPUs,
HyperThreading, and about every other optimization available. In our own
testing this kernel has proven to be fast, stable, and reliable. We
recommend using the SMP kernel even on single processor machines if it
will run on them.
From the beginning, Slackware has offered a stable and secure Linux
distribution for UNIX veterans as well as an easy-to-use system for
beginners. Slackware includes everything you'll need to run a powerful
server or workstation. Each Slackware package follows the setup and
installation instructions from its author(s) as closely as possible,
offering you the most stable and easily expandable setup.
Here are some of the advanced features of Slackware 12.1:
- Runs the 184.108.40.206 version of the Linux kernel from ftp.kernel.org.
Also included is a kernel patched with Speakup to support speech
synthesizers providing access to Linux for the visually impaired
community. The 2.6.x kernel series has matured into a stable
kernel, and provides reliable performance for your desktop or
your production server.
- System binaries are linked with the GNU C Library, version 2.7.
This version of glibc also has excellent compatibility with
- X11 7.3.0+. This is the X.Org Foundation's modular X Window System.
There's been much activity in the X development world, and the
improvements here in terms of performance and hardware support
are too numerous to mention them all here.
- Installs gcc-4.2.3 as the default C, C++, Objective-C,
Fortran-77/95, and Ada 95 compiler.
- Support for fully encrypted network connections with OpenSSL,
OpenSSH, OpenVPN, and GnuPG.
- Apache (httpd) 2.2.8 web server with Dynamic Shared Object
support, SSL, and PHP 5.2.5.
- PCMCIA, CardBus, USB, IEE1394 (FireWire) and ACPI support. This
makes Slackware a great operating system for your laptop.
- The udev dynamic device management system for Linux 2.6.x.
This locates and configures most hardware automatically as it
is added (or removed) from the system, and creates the access
nodes in /dev. It also loads the kernel modules required by
sound cards and other hardware at boot time.
- New development tools, including Perl 5.8.8, Python 2.5.2,
Ruby 1.8.6-p114, Subversion 1.4.6, git-1.5.5, mercurial-1.0,
graphical tools like Qt designer and KDevelop, and much more.
- Updated versions of the Slackware package management tools make it
easy to add, remove, upgrade, and make your own Slackware packages.
Package tracking makes it easy to upgrade from Slackware 12.0 to
Slackware 12.1 (see CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT). The slackpkg tool in
/extra can also help update from an older version of Slackware to
a newer one, and keep your Slackware system up to date. In
addition, the slacktrack utility (in extra/) will help you build
and maintain your own packages.
- Web browsers galore! Includes KDE's Konqueror 3.5.9,
SeaMonkey 1.1.9 (this is the replacement for the Mozilla
Suite), and the immensely popular Firefox 220.127.116.11, as well as
the Thunderbird 18.104.22.168 email and news client with advanced
junk mail filtering.
- The complete K Desktop Environment (KDE) version 3.5.9, including
the KOffice productivity suite, networking tools, GUI development
with KDevelop, multimedia tools (including the amazing Amarok
music player and K3B disc burning software), the Konqueror web
browser and file manager, dozens of games and utilities,
international language support, and more.
- A collection of GTK+ based applications including pidgin-2.4.1,
gimp-2.4.5, gkrellm-2.3.1, gxine-0.5.11, xchat-2.8.4, xsane-0.994,
- Large repository of extra software packages compiled and ready to
run. This includes various window managers, the Java(TM) 2 Software
Development Kit Standard Edition, libsafe (buffer overflow protection
for additional security), and much more (see the /extra directory).