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Slackware 12.0 Released 286

Matt writes "Straight from our good friend and colleague in the fight for quality distributions, Mr. Patrick Volkerding, comes a brand-new and eagerly-awaited release of Slackware, version 12. HAL automount, KDE 3.5.7 and XFCE 4.4.1, Xorg 7.2, 2.6 kernels as far as the eye can see, oodles of updated applications and utilities, and hardware support for just about anything under the sun. Get it here. Enjoy! I know I will."
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Slackware 12.0 Released

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  • by drpimp ( 900837 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @09:20PM (#19724751) Journal
    Once you go Slack, you never go back!

    Well that used to be my motto, at least for my servers. But I really just got tired of having to compile things that I could not get with slackpkg or slapt. I have switched to Debian for my servers I alleviated my headaches with compiling apps (those not included or available). Mind you if you needed something that WAS available with slackpkg or slapt then it was a great system. And even still a better system to have a locked down tight server. I would rank it up there with Gentoo in certain aspects (of course not installation).

    Since I will probably quest to install Slack again someday, does anyone know if it comes with a GUI installer yet? I have not installed since Slack 10 so maybe my question is obviously dated, but it is a valid one at that!
  • Slak Rules (Score:1, Informative)

    by PenGun ( 794213 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @09:24PM (#19724801) Homepage

      Just tried to install the Fiesty Fawn thingy. It goes in alright but I need to be root to set the puppy up. I refuse to be crippled by some piece of .... that wants to protect me from myself. I refuse to put in my user password every damn time I want to do anything.

      It's easy to fix. Just crank in slak once again, over top of the toy.

      We'll have 12 in Slamd64 (64 bit slak) soon.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SyniK ( 11922 ) <> on Monday July 02, 2007 @09:25PM (#19724807) Homepage Journal
    Slackware Package websites:
    (There are more, but these are easy to remember.)

    They're very nice for any omissions and/or upgrades between release versions.
  • by PenGun ( 794213 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @09:27PM (#19724831) Homepage
    Yeah ... but it's a curses GUI. Same as always.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 02, 2007 @09:29PM (#19724839)

    is not a slackware package site it's a easyes one and that should be taken down already sicne it's a trademark violation
  • by person132 ( 986809 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @09:33PM (#19724877)
    Still text based, AFAIK. No reason to go graphical.
  • Re:Slak Rules (Score:3, Informative)

    by notamisfit ( 995619 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @09:34PM (#19724891)
    $ sudo passwd root

    Other than that, yeah Slackware is pretty fucking awesome. I gave Slack 12 (actually -current) a shot in the pre-RC stages and was pleasantly surprised. I might give this one a shot later on.
  • Re:Slak Rules (Score:3, Informative)

    by notamisfit ( 995619 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @10:25PM (#19725503)
    Umm, yeah, Slackware is a lot, lot harder. That's the basic difference.

    While it's got it's uses, if you're new enough to have to ask what the difference is (and there's no judgment in that; we were all new once), you probably shouldn't be using it. It won't help with the wifi drivers; they're all in the kernel and Slack uses a vanilla kernel. Honestly, if Ubuntu doesn't support the hardware in question (it includes a few non-kosher drivers for stuff like Atheros), it probably won't run on Linux period.
  • by pilbender ( 925017 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @10:44PM (#19725677) Homepage Journal
    What the heck!? Slackware makes it very easy to upgrade versions. I haven't had to do a fresh install on *any* computers once I put Slackware on them initially. There are a couple of docs included on the distro to help with upgrading. You should follow those and learn how to do it. You can also tar up Slack and move it to a different hard disk. No need to ever reinstall Slackware.

    I highly recommend building confidence in the upgrade process. This way you will never have to worry about reconfiguring your systems or losing your data. There's no need to restore from backup and there's no need for your system to be down for more than a few minutes.

    I don't know whether you do it or not but you should consider keeping a text log or a list or something of configuration changes in case you ever need to do it again. Mine is about 20 pages long but that's because I've customized or installed just about everything in creation at one time or another ;-)
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Drache Kubisuro ( 469932 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @11:50PM (#19726271) Homepage Journal
    Don't forget [] !

    They provide tested scripts to roll your own packages. So you know what you're getting into and that it will work with your individual Slackware installation. They've worked very hard to prepare for Slackware 12. I think they were the first, in fact, to be ready for Slack 12.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by poofyhairguy82 ( 635386 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @12:15AM (#19726455) Journal
    Slapt-get install ... too hard for you?

    Yes, when it does not have what I want. Which is far too often.

    Where Debian (and Ubuntu) "win" on the desktop is not because they have the best package manager tools, its because they have the most packages. I originally switched to Ubuntu back in 2004 because it was the only Linux distro (besides Debian unstable of course) that had a program I really wanted (bit tornado) in its package repository. Thanks to this huge repository and Ubuntu, I have gotten EVERY linux program I have wanted over the past three years without touching a complier. Heck, I haven't even had a compiler installed in the last year.

    I know that ruins the effect of Linux for some, but compiling programs and chasing dependencies is the worst part of the OS for me (and other like minded desktop users). Each to their own...

  • Re:Slak Rules (Score:3, Informative)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) * <> on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @12:32AM (#19726579) Homepage Journal
    Dude. You know it's trivial to set a password on the root account so that you can login as root if you want, right? If you prefer slack, that's fine (I use Debian myself), but there's absolutely nothing stopping you from making Ubuntu work the way you're used to. However, your comments make me wonder: What do you use on slack if not sudo? su? Or do you just log in and run everything as root all the time? If so, that's a bad habit and you should break it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @12:33AM (#19726583)
    This is true. It sounds sleazy unless you tell the whole story. Basically it was a joke and Patrick was completely up-front about it. The release notes said something like: "The other major distros are all at version 6 now and I got tired of everyone asking me when Slackware 6 was coming out. So I bumped the version number from 4 to 7. Sorry. I won't do it again (unless everyone else does it again)."

    Patrick's sense of humor adds a nice touch to a great distro.
  • by The Conductor ( 758639 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @12:54AM (#19726725)

    That isn't unique to Slackware by any measure. Even Debian, with its fat 14-CD install set, can't include everything. You are more likely to find what you need in a Debian package, but once you step outside the repository, it's tough going. With Slack's simpler layout and simpler package tools, at least you have a chance when rolling your own.

    AFAICT, there is no silver bullet, only trade-offs. Even Windows will get hamstrung by dependencies if you stray too far from the mainstream, though commercial Windows software often packages tons of OS updates with it, solving your dependency problems but often breaking previous software installs. Debian's repository is a walled garden, and they try to mitigate the pain of the walls by making the garden really, really big. Slackware is all open, but that leaves you on your own sometimes. RPM-type distros are somewhere in-between. Choose distro most suited for your needs. If, like me, you want to do lots of oddball stuff, automated package managers create more problems than they solve. But if you can live comfortably without ever installing things outside the repository, then Debian is for you.

  • by CCFreak2K ( 930973 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @01:04AM (#19726799) Homepage Journal
    Really, it was great. I even submitted the Slackware 11 release story. I got turned to it right when 10 came out because I wanted to try Linux. The problem was, I got tired of spending hours configuring everything. For example, getting everything ACPI-related on my laptop was possible, but getting something like the lid to work was a real pain because I had to A) figure out what was wrong (which would entail finding people with similar problems usually with DISsimilar distros), B) find the necessary software to make it work, if applicable, and C) configure it, sometimes with trial and error, so that it did work. So, really getting nice, modern features working was sometimes unbearable. This is why I switched over to CentOS, at least for the time being: it's 100% RedHat compatible, and I get the ease of using a distro that's more or less popular. If something doesn't work, I get the benefit of help from either CentOS or RedHat (not to mention I can use RedHat and maybe Fedora packages, which can help for some obscure tools and proprietary packages like fglrx).

    Slackware has a plus side, though: it's easy to diagnose problems manually. If there was a bad driver, for example, it would usually dump to dmesg or some other log, without any filtering. There also were next to no distro-specific software and settings to get in the way of problem solving. If you had a problem, it was solvable with generic instructions (e.g. RedHat does it this way and Gentoo that way, etc).

    Now that 12's out with Xorg 11 7.1, I might pick it up for a bit again.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by kkazakov ( 857677 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @01:36AM (#19726987) Homepage
    Well, definitely not up to you to decide. The site is mine. I already told Patrick about this. I do respect the man, and therefore if he asks me to remove it - I will. So far his reply was something like that he doesn't have time for such things right now, and later he will contact me. Besides this, what bothers YOU personally? You're holding the trademark, or what?
  • by Glytch ( 4881 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @01:49AM (#19727061)
    I'll assume you're right about the raid cards, as I have no raid experience, but this:

    >Another gripe about Slackware is the lack of large file support. Unbelievable as it may sound, Slackware does not yet fully support
    >large (>2GB) files.

    What do you mean, "doesn't support"? I'm running slackware 12.0rc2 (installed just a few days ago, it figures) and any out-of-the-box application handles any size file I throw at it. What's the context for your claim?
  • by PenGun ( 794213 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @02:04AM (#19727131) Homepage
    Hmmm so this 8 gig HD .ts I got here is an illusion. Interesting, mplayer plays it and the big TV says it's real. Oh well back to fantasy land.
  • by rg3 ( 858575 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @03:40AM (#19727655) Homepage
    First off, excuse me if I'm going a bit off-topic here. While the Slackware team was preparing version 12.0 I worked on a new package/update manager for Slackware, called SlackRoll []. I can't think of a better place to mention it than the Slackware 12.0 announcement thread in Slashdot, because it's probably going to be read by hundreds if not thousands of Slackware users.

    One of the defining points of Slackware is the small set of official packages it features. On top of that, the native package management tools don't track depencencies and don't have the notion of remote repositories. All together, this doesn't adapt very well to users who want to try new software all the time and spend their days installing and removing packages. Doing that is hard with a vanilla Slackware, so people have created tools like swaret or slapt-get to simplify the process and be able to use remote repositories like the one at and similar, where they can download many unofficial packages that sometimes include dependency information slapt-get can use. I don't think that's "right". Let me explain. It's cool that Slackware is flexible enough to let you do that, but your system ends up in a very chaotic state after some time, in my experience (specially if you use slackware-current instead of slackware-stable). You can manage your system that way if you want, and maybe you're careful enough to do it, but it's very hard. That type of users would probably be happier with Arch, Gentoo or even Debian (I never understood the rivalry between Slackware and Debian; I've used both and both are great in their styles).

    Patrick Volkerding probably thinks that way too, because he doesn't include those tools in Slackware. If I recall correctly, swaret was included for some time but in the end it was removed. He includes, however, a tool called slackpkg, which is clearly targetted at more "classic" Slackware users, because it lets you use one official mirror and manage systems composed of official packages for the most part, and includes some mechanisms to let you have some custom packages without being a headache (maybe downloaded from or or built with your own slackbuild scripts that you can also download from sites like The problem is that slackpkg is slow (it's a big shell script), and doesn't let you track many corner events that happen frequently in slackware-current, so that's the starting point of slackroll.

    Think of it like slackpkg on steroids. I specifically designed it to detect situations which are frequent in slackware-current, but it can also be used for slackware-stable without any problems. By design, it can:
    • Detect packages being added to the remote tree.
    • Detect upgrades and reverts.
    • Detect packages being deleted from the remote tree.
    • Give you the chance of choosing which package version to install if there are several available (main, extra, testing, etc).
    • Be told which packages are not official.
    • Detect when an unofficial package gets an official version.
    • Detect when a package with a custom build is removed from the remote tree.

    And more stuff. Like I said, slackpkg on steroids. It's much faster, uses less bandwidth, detects more events and it's probably more flexible. I'm pretty satisfied with the result, so I wanted to invite people to read the program's webpage and try it if you think you fall into the target audience. It would be fine if I was the only user, but more eyes mean less bugs and I think it's always a shame when you create a tool which you are proud of and SourceForge only shows 20 downloads because people do not actually know it exists. Its main problem is that the initial setup may be more complex than usual and you need to read a bit more to know how it works. Howev

  • Re:Slak Rules (Score:3, Informative)

    by endemoniada ( 744727 ) <nathaniel.endemoniada@org> on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @05:00AM (#19727969) Homepage
    I'd say the "n00b" here is the one who chooses his OS on pure ideology. I use Ubuntu because it suits me better than Debian. Simple as that.

    You're free to use Debian all you want, just don't EVER go around telling everyone else what they should use.
  • Re:Macs (Score:2, Informative)

    by andyr0ck ( 847274 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @06:43AM (#19728425) Homepage
    (no sarcasm intended but) i imagine the same as it runs on pretty much any other new intel-based gear, apart from the EFI stuff, of course.

    i found a link to a howto the other day: [] and it looks like it didn't need too much tweaking.

    i inherited a G4 the other day and tried to install slackintosh on it but it wasn't having it. not sure why yet.
  • by doti ( 966971 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @08:55AM (#19729263) Homepage
    Any "standard" user that feels like that should be running Ubuntu (or an equivalent) anyway.

    Slackware is not for them, and it's not Slackware's fault.

    Anyone that says Slackware is the best is right, and others that say Slackware are inadequate, they are right too.
    To each it's own.
  • by Phroggy ( 441 ) <.moc.yggorhp. .ta. .3todhsals.> on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @01:23PM (#19732809) Homepage
    Yeah, but:

    (I don't know how many releases there were before 3.5.)

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.