Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Linux Software

Slackware 8.1 is Released 326

MrSnivvel writes: "Slackware 8.1 has been released. Highlights of this release include KDE 3.0.1, GNOME 1.4.1 (with new additions like Evolution), the long-awaited Mozilla 1.0 browser, support for many new filesystems like ext3, ReiserFS, JFS, and XFS, and support for several new SCSI and ATA RAID controllers. Remember to buy your copies at List of download mirrors here. Public releases of Mozilla AND Slackware in the same month, I'm so happy I've soiled myself."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slackware 8.1 is Released

Comments Filter:
  • Nice! (Score:4, Informative)

    by bjtuna ( 70129 ) <> on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @07:44AM (#3728042) Homepage
    I wonder how long till The Slackware Administrators' Security Toolkit [www.sastk] will have an 8.1 version.

    Anyway, go Patrick!
    • Re:Nice! (Score:3, Informative)

      by bjtuna ( 70129 )
      erm, that should have been: []

      darn typos.
    • Re:Nice! (Score:2, Informative)

      by BrokenHalo ( 565198 )
      Who cares? Slackware (IMHO) is so much easier to administer manually than any other distro I've tried (which is, unfortunately, more a reflection on the dependency hell I've run into with RPM-based systems in the past, but that has been a subject for other postings). My (updated) Slack 8.0 system is running so smoothly, I think I'll wait for a couple of weeks before I upgrade, though...
  • how many floppies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by matthew.thompson ( 44814 ) <`matt' `at' `'> on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @07:44AM (#3728044) Journal
    My first memory of Slackware was installing it off 30 odd floppies - how many does this come on?

    M@T :o)
    • 264. and they're not in sequential order, unless you opt to do ALL the packages. (...please insert disk 9....please insert disk 83....please insert disk 63...)i really wish my last CD-ROM drive hadn't died on me :(
    • IIRC, it was about a dozen when I first tried it, but that was 6-7 years ago. Dunno what it's like now, I'm afraid as after that, I didn't use Linux for a few years and tried Redhat for a bit before sticking to Debian, mainly because of apt-get :)

      Please don't take this as an excuse for a distro flamewar; some people prefer Redhat/Suse/Mandrake/whatever, I'm happy with Debian.

    • Re:how many floppies (Score:4, Informative)

      by stikves ( 127823 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @08:26AM (#3728195) Homepage
      slackware no longer supports "any" floppy installation.

      It used to support full floppy installation before (I guess) 7.0. After that you could only install bas and network series with floppies.

      Now they have dropped all floppy support and merged a1, a2, a3.. into a. (a1 a2 were base system floppies).

      Anyways go try it. I used pre8.1 images from slackware-current. It realy rocks. If you need floppy installation, you have to copy everything to a hard drive and boot setup from floppies (almost every distro does it this way).

      • Re:how many floppies (Score:2, Informative)

        by Gleef ( 86 )
        stikves writes:
        slackware no longer supports "any" floppy installation.
        It used to support full floppy installation before (I guess) 7.0. After that you could only install bas and network series with floppies.

        I haven't tried this, but the Slackware Installation Help [] seems to disagree with you.
        • Re:how many floppies (Score:2, Informative)

          by (startx) ( 37027 )
          that page, and several other pages, are out of date. I've emailed pat a couple of times about it, but I guess he was to busy getting 8.1 out the door.
    • Re:how many floppies (Score:3, Interesting)

      by forged ( 206127 )
      The first version of Slackware was based on SLS which I used at the time. The first Slaskware 1.x used to fit on ~30 floppies as you describe, and the later versions of the distro would require ~80.

      In the lot, there was always one or two floppies with bad sectors. So when we planned our install nights, it was always an event split in 2 parts! (We'd come back the following days with the missing/fixed floppies).

      A quick Google search revealed that some sites have (or rather, had) kept the historic distribution here []. If you look at the directory structure, the relationship with Slackware is striking (it's the same tree).

      • More research on the topis and I found .... (drums) .....

        Slashdot announcement of Linux turning 8 years old [].

        Some pretty insightful comments are attached the the story suggesting that SLS may still have been used by some users at that time, such as #1676775 [] or #1676797 [] (there are probably more).

        The whole thing has a weird sensation of deja-vu and old memories revisited !

    • Re:how many floppies (Score:2, Interesting)

      by qurob ( 543434 )

      I downloaded them from a WildCat! BBS, on a 2400bps modem. Thank god for Y-Modem Batch, or whatever it was.

      It took me all night. I woke up in the morning, installed it. Typed cd, ls, vi. I wrote a C program (was just leaving Pascal), and waited 7 minutes for the damn thing to compile. I re-installed DOS, and went back to playing Duke Nukem, Tie Fighter, and Prince of Persia.
      • Eh? Your computer was able to run duke nukem and tie fighter while compiling a simple C program took 7 minutes? right...

        And yes, it took ages to download on a 2400bps modem (I did it too ;-))
    • When I saw "Slackware" I immediately thought "Is that still around?".

      It was the first distro I intsalled -- on a 486SX 4MB RAM 100MB HD Laptop. I don't remember it being more than 15 floppies... but it has about 8 years. Was the kernel even at verison 1? Was it '93? '94? It's one of the first SLS releases.
    • Two, if you have a network card/modem/serial with a connection to the outside. Load the boot and root disks, setup the root partition, and download the rest! I have even gotten parallel port cdrom drives to work in linux!
  • by Tranvisor ( 250175 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @07:45AM (#3728046) Homepage
    I'm so happy I've soiled myself.

    That's what I call "to much information".
  • Woody (Score:5, Funny)

    by ultrabot ( 200914 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @07:49AM (#3728066)
    I'm so excited I'm getting a Woody...

    Or not.

    Aagh, the temptation. I feel I *must* get a new distro soon (rh7.3 doesn't quite cut it), and Woody will probably never be released. It's Slackware for me, at least when it gets to the mirrors.
    • Re:Woody (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BrokenHalo ( 565198 )
      I, too seriously considered Woody when I was last looking around for a "real" distro after an abortive foray into Mandrake; I don't have the bandwidth to download ISOs, so I mostly have to buy CDs. The simple fact is that Slack 8.0 was relatively current and available, but I couldn't find anybody here in Australia who was willing to take the time to answer enquiries for Woody CDs. As it happens, having revisited Slackware now that it's outgrown it's "satan worshipper" image, I'm glad I did - it's a fscking good distro.
  • A good sign (Score:5, Funny)

    by analog_line ( 465182 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @07:53AM (#3728082)
    The Slackware Store has been slashdotted. Good job everyone who's making that server's life hell for a good cause!
  • Timing is everything (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mustprotectdata ( 585131 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @07:54AM (#3728085)
    I'm glad to see a distribution that is releasing at "the right" time. RedHat, the normal distie of choice, if only because of it's market dominance, seems to have developed the knack of releasing just too early.

    i.e. - gcc (where is v3.1)?
    - mozilla (not v1)
    - kde 3.0.0 (effectively a late beta)


    What I really want is the latest, reasonably stable version of everything. i.e I want to be current but not bleeding edge.

    Go Patrick
    • by Charm ( 313273 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @08:34AM (#3728243)
      Really the best thing about Slackware is that it is like C. Not like assembly so that you have to do everything. But not like higher level languages where everthing is done with magic tricks. When was the last time you changed a setting and your distro changed it back. That sort of behaviour is unlikely on Slackware.

      The user has full control. There is no crappy config tools to get in the way. This is why it is so good for learning Unix and Linux because you have access to the raw system.

      In slackware if I want to change the bitdepth of X windows I have to edit it with a text file. At first this might seem silly but when a Redhat user is trying to do something complicated his fancy tools hold him back. Slack users do not have that problem, they understand how the system works.

      Slackware is also very stable thats why it doesn't use GCC 3.1 out of the box.

    • - gcc (where is v3.1)?

      It wouldn't have been compatible with the rest of the series, and hasn't been out long enough to be tested well. That's the biggest part of your misperception of "just too early". For major system components, "just to early" is *way* too early.

      - mozilla (not v1)

      So it doesn't have the 1.0 stamp on it... Can you name any major flaws in the release? Would it have been worth delaying the WHOLE distro to wait for those? Mozilla had a well known release timeline; if Red Hat thought that 1.0 was worth the wait, they knew when it was coming.

      - kde 3.0.0 (effectively a late beta)

      Way off. KDE 3.0.0 in Red Hat Linux 7.3 is a CVS snapshot from just before 3.0.1. On the other side of release from beta, this release is considerably more stable than the KDE team's 3.0.0 packages.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @07:54AM (#3728087)
    rsync:// . /
    rsync:// -8 . -iso/ .1 / .1 -iso/

    rsync:// -i so/

    rsync:// 1/
    rsync:// 1- iso s/ slackware/slackware-8.1/ s/ slackware/slackware-8.1-iso/

    rsync:// la ckware-current/ wa re-current/

    rsync:// m/ slackware-8.1/ -8 . /

    rsync:// 8. 1/

    rsync:// /

    rsync:// -8 . /
    rsync:// -8 . -iso/ .1 / .1 -iso/

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @07:59AM (#3728102)
    Linux how Linux was intended. A single CD of beautiful and clean functionality. Minimal, stable and secure - and yet manageable. Slackware should be required for all Linux newbies. AFTER learning to edit rc.files and inetd.conf with vi, AFTER you've mastered ls, AFTER you've learned to download and compile, THEN you may play with KDE. Think how much better the world would be.
    • by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @08:57AM (#3728346) Homepage Journal
      Slackware should be required for all Linux newbies.

      I disagree. Slackware was over my head whenever I tried it--7.x or something. The idea of a fistful of ASCII .conf files in standard locations that control everything was too simple and obvious for me to grasp. Forgive me, Father--I did Windows.
      Now that I have spent some time with a RH distro, and grasp *nix-think to a sufficient depth, I'm strongly considering a return to Slack...

      A question for the community: the reason to go for Slack over, say, Gentoo, is that Slack arrives as canned object files ready to install, whereas Gentoo assumes we have a pipe, time and skill to pull down all the source over TCP/IP and compile from scratch, no? In other words, Gentoo requires a higher level of skill than Slack to build and tweak?

      ...dons asbestos underwear...
    • Slackware should a part of University course, where students are:
      • not lazzy
      • eager to learn
      • having time to learn
      Newbies in Wallmart should take Mandrake or RedHat.

      Or better Yellow Dog Linux :))

  • by jukal ( 523582 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @08:01AM (#3728111) Journal
    Slackware on 8.1 []:
    Highlights of this release include KDE 3.0.1, GNOME 1.4.1 (with new additions like Evolution), the long-awaited Mozilla 1.0 browser, support for many new filesystems like ext3, ReiserFS, JFS, and XFS, and support for several new SCSI and ATA RAID controllers.

    Redhat on 7.3 []:
    The new features in Red Hat Linux 7.3 Personal offer everything needed for a personal productivity workstation, from installation through system maintenance.

    See any difference on the way the message is put? If not, try and make your grandma decide which one contains features that she can benefit from. :)) But then again, slackware is not probably even aiming for world dominance. :)
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @09:19AM (#3728490) Homepage
      you are exactly right and to the point.

      Experts and guru's use Slackware... it makes an awesome server, super fast workstation on low end hardware (without Gnome) and is the only choicefor building an embedded system.

      redhat is for the newbie, corperate, workplace, un-expierienced and regular user.

      there is a reason for the differences between the two and I am really glad they are at both ends of the spectrum.

      redhat = best for deployment
      slackware = the best for power,speed,servers maintained by experts (RH for the low skilled like MCSE's)

      for corperate I only reccomend and deploy redhat. including the servers. (Except for firewall and security setups, those are slack-based)

      diversity in linux is what makes linux a dangerous and fast moving force to overtake IT... and it will.... just give it time.
      • redhat is for the newbie, corperate, workplace, un-expierienced and regular user.

        Yeah, newbies like Linus Torvalds & Alan Cox. And did I mention that an RH server I admin was slashdotted a few months ago, & managed to keep working just fine?

        Doesn't this flame war get very old, very fast? I don't use Slackware on a regular basis anymore, but I like it nonetheless (I use RH for consistency between home & work, plus the fact that I like to get "under the hood" sometimes with source rpms). Also, RH can bee seen as a stepping stone to other distributions, or even other UNIXes (I have received jobs and job offers because of general UNIX knowledge gained by using RH). So try being a little more open-minded about why someone would use or continue using RH.

        • having a server slashdotted meas nothing.. I can install thttpd on anything that will handle a slashdotting.

          redhat has it's place, it's designed for the non-skilled because of the point and click ease of use. (YES, linus is not an expert, he is a kernel programmer! there's a big difference between programmers/designers and administrators.... I would never want linus to edit rc files or .conf files... i want him nose deep in C code.)

          I am talking what each is designed for. and I remember I mentioned that I use RH in all corperate deployment desktops and servers)

          anyone that tries to think that RH was designed for the guru/expert is blind. IT"S CORE DESIGN IS TO MAKE IT SIMPLER.

          quit freaking out, take a breath and actually READ a post before flaming it hard.
  • It should be on AARNET AU by toomorrow all things going well - so the aussies can get it at least.
  • Great (Score:3, Funny)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @08:27AM (#3728206) Homepage
    I just downloaded 8.0 for a colleague. Now we can start all over again... :-)
    • Same thing just happened to me. My 8.0 ISO finished and I hit to look something up and I see the announcement for 8.1.

      Oh the joys of downloading large files many times..
  • I cant believe that they can still fit this on one CD! Keep up the good work Patrick!
  • Ummm. Thanks for sharing that tidbit from your personal life. So Slack makes you lose control of your bodily functions? "This is not a distro for using, it is a distro for laying aside and avoiding."
  • A few pointers... (Score:5, Informative)

    by NoMercy ( 105420 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @08:47AM (#3728302)
    Please do not download the ISO's from the primary slackware site, it only has a 6Mb/s bandwidth and all it takes is a few people with cable modems or DSL to totally flood it, then there is no bandwidth left for the mirrors to use and thus the rest of us have to wait longer, only check the primary site for checksums and file sizes so you can later check if your local mirror has got the full ISO transfered.
    • What's the point in mirrors if none of them are up to date for the peak demand period?
    • Download a bootnet floppy or static Linux executible which checks a list of mirrors, tests bandwidth to find the fastest, and downloads the ISOs and/or does your install.

      RedHat up2date seems to use such a mechanism; download times off this network are much faster than

      I screwed up my main Linux system this weekend, and hunting for a fast mirror on win98 is annoying.

    • Tough... I'm doing it right now, simply because it's the only place that let me log in and do the download as well as probably being the only place that actually has the ISO image in full (from what I've heard).

      If we had a good P2P protocol we might be able to more efficiently handle the Slackware new release distribution problems that seem to occur all the time.

      The fact that I am only getting 5kBytes a second tells me that am not alone...

      wget -b -o ~/logfile -t 0 -c --passive-ftp -r ftp://your.local.mirror/slackware-8.1-iso

      Once recovers I'll buy the CDs as well.
  • Soiling (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm so happy I've soiled myself.

    Me too, but I did it on purpose!

  • Seems so long ago (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Graspee_Leemoor ( 302316 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @08:57AM (#3728351) Homepage Journal
    A week today it will be exactly 6 years since I first installed Linux. The distribution that I used was Slackware 3.

    After using it for a bit and becoming more acquainted with linux however, I could see that even the latest downloadable version of Slackware (I got 3.0.0 from the book "Linux Unleashed") had really old versions of things, so I "upgraded" to Redhat, which in those days, at least on #linux was the leetest of the leet.

    At this point I could ask if slackware is more up-to-date these days, but then that would be a very "Ask Slashdot" thing to do, since I could just go and check for myself.


  • ... I fix for myself. Slackware is so much easier to do things like rewriting all the init scripts. I don't have the time to create my own distribution, so I very much appreciate all the valuable work Pat V and others put into making this. Now to wait for the store to be un-slashdotted so I can put in my order for a couple of box sets.

  • Go Slackware! My favorite of the distributions I seldom use. Incredibly flexible, and with some of the best support for old and odd hardware out there.

    Quick questions about the new version:
    • Does it still support floppy installation? (Someone said no, but the website [] says yes, which one is right?)
    • Does it still support UMSDOS installations? Yes, UMSDOS is an abomination, but sometimes such abominations are necessary to get the job done.
    • I heard that a few versions ago, they added some support for System V style init.d scripts. Is that true?
    • Yes, you can still do a floppy install, but not of the -whole-thing-. The idea is that you're able to load enough of the system from floppies to get the machine usable and onto the network, at which point you're free to install the rest with ftp downloads, NFS-shared CD-ROM drives, or whatever means suits you.

      Sure, it does UMSDOS. No reason not to - the code's been there for ages and works well, why throw it out? My first Slackware install was UMSDOS.

      It might support some aspect of SysV init by now, but I wouldn't know. I'm a BSD fan. ;)
  • by labratuk ( 204918 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @09:34AM (#3728586)
    I'm so happy I've soiled myself

    Is that supposed to mean:

    - The fact that I've soiled myself brings me great pleasure.

    - My immense happiness has caused me to soil myself.

  • the dreaded RPM? After trying Slack, getting used to it and finally liking it (my biggest mistake was appreciating simplicity) I had to give it up. Even before I tried Slack, I was not a fan of RPM. IMHO, it's "installation through obsfucation" (which I have mightily mis-speeled).

    The issue is that as a Java dork, I tend to use some IBM tools, actually I have to for this new job. I have to issue with the tools themselves, they perform a function. But they INSTALL via RPM. Despite the fact that my Slack install had all the packages mighty IBM wanted, they were not registered via RPM, and thus were non-existant to IBM tool X,Y&Z...

    So I had to re-install using Mandrake and cussing (like a sailor in a storm) removed every bloody package I could find that I didn't need/want. I like Slack best of the distros, but I really do wish there was a way to make RPM type installs be able to "see" packages (libraries, whatever) NOT installed via RPM.

    If anyone knows how to do this, I'd appreciate enlightenment, until then, I'll sit here - grumpy. But I really AM a nice person after this first cup o' coffee

  • Hooray! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mister Snee ( 549894 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @10:57AM (#3729143)
    And to think I just went and downloaded the entire slackware-current source tree to try out RC1 only three days ago. -_-

    Seriously though, Slack 8.1 looks great. There are a few little tweaks that really make a difference (for instance, I thought I saw ESD behaving at one point) and some of the stuff packaged with it is just cool (am I the only one who noticed the full-colour Lynx? :D).

    My only complaint is one I can't verify with the actual CD release of Slack 8.1, but at least with RC1 it was very very hard to do a clean "upgrade" of my current system. In fact I eventually had to back up all my important configuration files and delete the entire filesystem except for the directory where I'd made a copy of the -current tree and the utilities I needed to "installpkg". Nothing short of that would make it work cleanly. This isn't really a big deal for desktop systems but it makes me very nervous about upgrading my servers, most of which are running Slack 8.0 or 7.1.

    Still, a great release that was well worth the wait.
    • Re:Hooray! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by adolf ( 21054 )
      The general trick with Slackware is to only upgrade those packages which need upgrading, with a "if it's not broke, don't fix it" mentality. Use upgradepkg, or removepkg/installpkg to get this done.

      I've been upgrading my Slackware desktop machine peicemeal since 3.0. It runs the latest, greatest versions of everything I care about, but I'm pretty sure I haven't upgraded awk, sed, ncurses or SVGAlib in years. Some more frequently-used software gets updated as often as Patrick releases it, such as X, and I keep a few smaller things on the bleeding edge (LAME, grip, etc) by compiling by hand.

      I don't care if I don't have the latest versions of esd, lpr, KDE, Gnome, or a slew of other random programs, because I seldom/never use them.

      Subscribe to the slackware-security list and you'll stay updated as to things which might need fixing, even if they're not broke.

      In my experience, old releases of slackware tend to cooperate very well with new binary packages of stuff.
  • by MSG ( 12810 )
    Well, it looks like this version finally includes LPRng.

    I've been convinced that no one in slackware gives a damn about security since 8.0 included lpr-0.48, a remotely root exploitable BSD based lpr that was fixed YEARS before 8.0 was released. Hello? Someone is asleep at the wheel.

    At the same time, I thought it was quite funny. The slackware users that I work with were complaining about Red Hat when I was hired because "it ships with a remotely exploitable lpr running by default". At that time, that hadn't been true for over two years.
  • Slackware 8.1.01 ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by leiz ( 35205 ) <leiz.juno@com> on Wednesday June 19, 2002 @03:05PM (#3731146)
    There's been some last minute updates to slackware. From the changelog:

    Wed Jun 19 07:02:39 PDT 2002
    Slackware 8.1.01-stable is released.
    a/sysvinit-2.84-i386-19.tgz: Added -M to fix quotacheck for reiserfs.
    d/cvs-1.11.2-i386-2.tgz: Added docs in text format.
    n/apache-1.3.26-i386-1.tgz: Upgraded to apache-1.3.26.
    This fixes the issue described in:
    "CERT Advisory CA-2002-17 Apache Web Server Chunk Handling Vulnerability"
    While the impact of this issue is minimal on 32 bit Linux systems, we felt it
    was important enough to stop the presses and get these fixes in before sending
    the Slackware 8.1 discs in for replication.
    (* Security fix *)
    n/mod_ssl-2.8.9_1.3.26-i386-1.tgz: Upgraded to mod_ssl-2.8.9_1.3.26.
    rootdisks/rescue.dsk: Added network/pcmcia scripts.

    Tue Jun 18 10:47:47 PDT 2002
    Slackware 8.1-stable is released! :-)
  • For any of you slack junkies who just can't find it or find it fast enough.... ftp over to It's not a blazing fast machine, but it is far from slow. Happy downloading.
  • I used to say "Windows: the best hardware detection a Slackware user needs".

    Now it is "RedHat: The best hardware detection a Slackware user needs".

    But considering I just did an install of RedHat 7.3 on a p-pro 200 that took almost 4 hours (nfs, samba, apache and X) and a full Slackware 7 install (full) took 30 some-odd minutes.
    (we'll see about 8.1 tomorrow...heh this makes me glad I did not d/l the alpha/beta 2 days ago).


In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.