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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 tgd ( 2822 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @10:04PM (#19725295)
    Cleaning out my garage a week or two ago I was going through an old box and ended up tossing a set of Slackware A floppies... That was such a refreshing change from downloading a boot disk and bootstrapping a system starting with compiling GCC.

    I know its only peripherally related to the article, but man. V12 of Slackware? Time has flown, and things sure have changed.

  • Back then, they touted Linux as having 50,000 users!
  • by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @11:33PM (#19726143) Homepage Journal
    It hasn't been that many versions. Patrick skipped from v4 to v7 because IIRC Redhat at the time was v7, and so was Mandrake.
  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @12:36AM (#19726617) Homepage

    Since 3.6 or so, it's really the only Linux I've used. But it helped that I was already a Mac user and had no interest in X Windows. In fact, Xfree86 setup was so much crap back then because it wanted to create custom modelines (instead of using VESA standard modes) which would never work right if you didn't have a big name brand monitor and video card, so I avoided using anything but text mode for Linux.

    One of the reasons I used Slackware in the first place was that it was basically the last distribution which could still be installed from floppy disks. Of course the problem was that floppy disks in those days were made cheaply enough to be unreliable. A bad boot or root floppy was a real pain in the butt. But it worked until I could upgrade my cheap old PCs to ones with El Torito CD boot support.

    OS X and cheap G3 Macs finally ended my daily use of Slackware, but I do still use it when I need a quick, lean install of Linux. I particularly like how it doesn't have dependency crap that installs a jillion library packages because of one app that you didn't want to install in the first place. Even Cygwin does that crap. With Slackware, it's just go into menu mode, and deselect everything but the few packages that I want.

  • by Selivanow ( 82869 ) <> on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @08:40AM (#19729127)
    People who use slack are not standard users. People who use slack KNOW what they are DOING...or at least don't mind learning.
    There does seem to be a larger gap these days. When I started to use slack in early '95 it was my first taste of Linux and I loved it. Of course back then if you used MS stuff it was DOS and Win3. Even OS/2 wasn't easy to install. I remember having to edit the config files on my boot disks to get my Sony CDU-33A 2X cdrom drive working for the install.
    Slackware recognized it "Out of the Box"!
    Anyways, Slackware is and has always been the best distro to wrap your brain around Linux. If you want to know how everything fits together, go Slack. if you don't like SYSV style init, go Slack. All else....go elsewhere, it's your choice!

    Hurray for Slack 12.0! Great job, Pat!
  • Is it just me? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ravenscall ( 12240 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @08:58AM (#19729283)
    Now is it just me, or does reliance on a package manager defeat one of the Biggest strengths of open source, which is customization. When I run Linux, it is a heavily modified slack machine. The reason for this is that I get a nice, tight base system in very little time, but I then have the freedom to compile my own programs from source at will, without having to worry about non-standard directory structures or breaking the system if I create an actual root account. If there is a package for it great, if not, I am not locked in, and I have yet to find a Linux app I want that does not have source.
  • Re:Ah, Slackware. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jumperboy ( 1054800 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @02:59PM (#19734143)

    1: too #$%) hard for a new admin. It requires a lot of arcane skills to get set up properly - skills that don't come cheap, and are hard to find in the marketplace.

    True. At least, I think it's true that skilled professionals tend to use more arcane tools, no matter what the discipline, as part of the search for excellence. As always, talent is hard to find in the marketplace, and replacing a highly skilled professional is never easy. Don't blame it on the tools used. A gifted, efficient employee is always going to leave a void.

    2: No dependency management. Debian- and RH-based distros have had dependency tracking for ages, and the capabilities of up2date, yum, and apt-get are far in advance of what you can do with any slackware package management system. Plus, there is literally nothing in Slackware that matches RHN.

    Thank God! While I think apt-get is one of the absolute best admin tools for people who want to keep a vanilla system well-maintained, it's still a ball-and-chain (and sometimes that's a good thing). But RHN? It's been a few years since I dumped RH for Debian (then dumped that for Slackware), but I've seen too many admins trapped in a corner by the RH package management system, left with a system they can't comprehend enough to repair.

    3: Proprietary software. Although with enough hacking, you can get a lot of it to run on Slack, the provider will not give you any support. And without that, you're hosed. We've ended up using RHEL on a Websense box because they would not recognize a bug that showed up in CentOS. You know what? The bug went away on RHEL.

    Absolutely true. Proprietary vendors tend to support only 2 or 3 of the top distributions, mainly to contain development and support costs. As you said earlier, the required skills don't come cheap, and are hard to find, so this makes good business sense. It takes a lot of courage to toss away that support, unless you've determined that you're gaining a more stable environment that decreases your dependence on the vendor (and I mean that, you really have to prove it's going to work). On the other hand, one of the reasons I like to use Slackware is because I have a better chance of fixing the bugs myself, and I share these fixes upstream so they'll improve the product on all platforms. It may be "harder", but I've also made my job easier by solving my own problems quickly. In the process, I've improved my skill set, which makes me a more valuable employee to current and (potentially) future employers.

    It all boils down to the right people choosing the right tool for the right job. Let's face it, there's no more difference between choosing a "business" OS (Windows, Solaris, RHEL, Slackware, etc.) than there really is for choosing a "business" computer (Dell, HP, Apple, Sun, etc.). The important thing is that you select then leverage your talent for as long as you have them. Let them develop and refine your business infrastructure using the tools they know and trust. Slackware is as capable as any other Linux in a business environment, and no distribution/OS automatically gives you a larger pool of true talent.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton