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Slackware 12.2 Released 351

pilsner.urquell submitted a quote from the announcement saying "Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release again. So, without further ado, announcing Slackware version 12.2! 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 12.2 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.1) and is a must-have upgrade for any Slackware user."
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Slackware 12.2 Released

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  • Great work! (Score:5, Funny)

    by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @09:49AM (#26073921) Homepage Journal

    I'm sure both of you still using Slackware will be very pleased! ;)

  • by Bandman ( 86149 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (namdnab)> on Thursday December 11, 2008 @09:52AM (#26073963) Homepage

    As a 10 year veteran of Slack, I really like that Patrick is still doing the work, but I don't even have to go to the page to know that PAM still isn't supported, and that there's not a package manager that can compete with yum/apt-get/ports.

    Last year I switched to Ubuntu on the desktop and CentOS on the server. I look back at Slackware with a lot of fond memories, but managing even a medium sized installation of Slack machines was just too time consuming to continue.

    • by Bandman ( 86149 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (namdnab)> on Thursday December 11, 2008 @09:54AM (#26073979) Homepage

      I'd also like to note that we continue our Slackware subscription because we appreciate what Patrick and Slack has done for us.

    • by adamjaskie ( 310474 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @09:56AM (#26073991) Homepage
      Pat doesn't like PAM, which is why it isn't in Slackware.
      • by schon ( 31600 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @10:06AM (#26074119)

        Pat doesn't like PAM, which is why it isn't in Slackware.

        And it's also why I'm still using Slackware. :)

        • Right... despite PAM is a powerful system and concept for a lot of things, for people that 1) is just learning the OS and 2) really wants to have full control of a handy and simple OS, PAM is overkill, as a lot of other subsystems on most distros.

          The last Slackware distro I used was 3.4 (in 1997/98) and the tgz packages, few boot scripts, etc. were a nice (and attainable) challenge for anybody interested in understanding the main user level OS components.

          Now I use Ubuntu, and I will continue using it (speci

      • But has he seen Polythene Pam?

      • Pat doesn't like PAM, which is why it isn't in Slackware.

        What doesn't he like about it? I quite like it. It's especially great if you want to add different authentication mechanisms or use the normal ones in unusual ways. A couple of years ago I implemented smart card-based authentication for a handful of PAM-based distros, and I was really impressed with how flexible and powerful PAM was, and how consistently the right decisions had been made security-wise.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by McDutchie ( 151611 )

          Pat doesn't like PAM, which is why it isn't in Slackware.

          What doesn't he like about it?

          From the Slackware 9.1 ChangeLog as quoted [l0k1.free.fr] in the alt.os.linux.slackware FAQ:

          If you see a security problem reported which depends on PAM,
          you can be glad you run Slackware. I think a better name for PAM
          might be SCAM, for Swiss Cheese Authentication Modules, and have
          never felt that the small amount of convenience it provides is
          worth the great loss of system security. We miss out on half a
          dozen security problems a year

    • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @11:05AM (#26074931) Journal

      PAM still isn't supported,

      Does what's "supported" or not really matter? It's a fairly standard Linux system, to which you can add-remove anything you like.

      and that there's not a package manager that can compete with yum/apt-get/ports.

      That all depends on what you're looking for in your package manager. I certainly like Slackware's package manager more than any other, because you can very, very easily install any mixture of binary packages and code compiled from source that you want. No other system includes the (tiny) -dev headers necessary for compilation in their binary packages, nor do they reasonably easily allow you to ignore listed dependencies and handle it yourself with eg. a source package.

      I also appreciate Slackware's init scripts... Just about every other Linux distro has at least 3 levels of indirection to their scripts, just making for needless hassle. On a similar note, never have I seen a note in an important config file on Slackware suggesting: "Do not edit this file. It will be automatically overwritten." But that's sadly common practice everywhere else.

      I'm glad Slackware has pushed against Linux stupidity, and stayed away from the PAM mess. I just wish Patrick had been able to hold back the switch from OSS to the clunky mess that is ALSA as well. Oh well... Linux looks a little more like Windows every day. Luckily Slackware resists. But then there's always the BSDs... they all do just fine without PAM, ALSA, sysV, apt-get/yum, etc.

    • As a 10 year veteran of Slack, I really like that Patrick is still doing the work, but I don't even have to go to the page to know that PAM still isn't supported, and that there's not a package manager that can compete with yum/apt-get/ports.

      I am thankful I use Slackware every time I want to add something of my own to the system and I can do it without having to fight with dependencies and other stupid nonsense (like countless tiny -dev packages) to get it to compile and into the package system.

      Windows and

    • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @11:38AM (#26075443) Homepage

      She left him and took the child processes with her.

  • by Slartibartfast ( 3395 ) <.ken. .at. .jots.org.> on Thursday December 11, 2008 @09:54AM (#26073985) Homepage Journal

    It's nice to know that some things just don't change. Niagara Falls keeps falling, the New England Atlantic is always just a bit too cold to really enjoy swimming in, and my first Linux distro keeps on going.

    Kudos, Patrick! Long may you release! (And, since I just found out about 20 seconds ago that he's a month younger than me, I look forward to seeing Slack releases into my nursing home years. "Why, when I was your age, youngster, we used xf86cfg to set up X; none of this X.org junk! You kids have it so easy!")

    • xf86cfg? LUXURY! I remember using xf86config. Make a typo entering your monitor's scan rate? Too bad. Try again from the beginning, or edit the file with vi.
      • by baldass_newbie ( 136609 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @10:20AM (#26074291) Homepage Journal

        Make a typo entering your monitor's scan rate? Too bad. Try again from the beginning, or edit the file with vi.

        After procuring a new monitor, natch.

        • by Bandman ( 86149 )

          +1 LOL

          I remember those days, and the warnings involved

          "You *can* physically break your monitor if you set the values wrong"

          • Yeah. And figuring out the correct frequences by trying to minimize the noise made by the monitor! When kids these days talk about how hard installing Ubuntu or Fedora or whatever is, I want to hit them with a big bat...
          • And despite those warnings, I never did manage to explode a monitor or cause it to cease functioning ( short of dropping it off a three story building). I did manage to set Lp0 on fire though ( with the help of some accelerants).
      • by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @10:26AM (#26074367)

        xf86config is old-school now? I guess I'm getting old, when I started using *nix the standard practice was to run through xff86config as accurately as possible and then manually editing your config to make everything work properly (trying to run X immediately after running xf86config generally resulted in some pretty odd behaviour or if you weren't so lucky, broken hardware).


      • Okay, the truth of the matter is that I've forgotten some of the XFree86 nomenclature; I, too, hand-edited the /etc/X/XF86Config (?) file with emacs the first time I used it, to set it up to run on my 16 MHz 386SX, 8 MB of RAM (I fully populated that MO(B|F)O) with my Hercules mono card (I had an amber monitor: neener. No greenscreen here, baby.), and my two 20 MB drives -- 40 MB of storage!

        Man, did that machine rock.

    • Actually, on my first notebook I used brain and pocket calculator to set up X. There was just a tiny bit of memory lacking to run it at a better depth with the standard resolution - so I tweaked /etc/X11/XF86Config to get better depth with a rather odd resolution. Basically sacrificed a few lines at the bottom of the screen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 11, 2008 @10:06AM (#26074121)

    One of the plusses of this distro was that it was able to run on ANYTHING from the 80386 on up... with the move to the 2.6 kernel, is that still possible or do I need a Pentium as a minimum machine?
    (yes, I have 25 80386 machines out in the wilderness (solar powered) of Canada doing remote sensing work all running Slackware)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bandman ( 86149 )

      Stuff like this is the textbook example of the ideal use of Slackware, imo.

      Not in giant server farms, but in places where you need something solid that can run for 3 years and not hiccup.

      Just remember to rotate your logs ;-)

    • by xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D ( 1160707 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @10:49AM (#26074705)
      Slackware 9.0 was the first Slackware to officially not support the 386, sorry. You need a 486 [slackware.com] now. (I know, technically all you need is a recompile to get it working for a 386, but that's a lot of recompiling. This isn't Gentoo here :P)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Why upgrade?
      If they work and are on a private network why change the OS?

  • by Nicopa ( 87617 ) <`nico.lichtmaier' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday December 11, 2008 @10:14AM (#26074231)

    I started with Slackware, from my memories, Slackware is from a time when "distribution" had another meaning. The idea was: "here, I compiled the main stuff for you", and from that point you were alone, compiling almos everything (gcc, libc, making the ELF transition by hand)...

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Well, although I do use Slackware for what some could call nostalgia, I have to point out that you're wrong about all that: none of it is true anymore. By nostalgia I mean a system that is generic, doesn't get in my face, and is familiar to a user of older UNIX systems. That's the goal of Slackware, and Pat succeeds at providing that.

      Furthermore, there are package sites like slacky.eu, Slackbuilds.org and others. Also there's slapt-get and swaret that deal with dependencies for packages downloaded from s

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ilgaz ( 86384 )

      You would be surprised how many large workstation, server installations use Slackware. A very big example could be weatherunderground.com

      I am on OS X and I still use my knowledge from Slackware. If I had to use a x86/Linux, it would be either Slackware or Debian.

      Some of us still want to use Linux in Linux way.

  • http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/10/27/1212214&from=rss [slashdot.org] and so on. It's nice to see that some distro maintainers have the "right" values about what to focus on. In a world of wussies, Slackware still stands tall and proud!
  • Used it many years ago and recently installed 12.1 on my eeePc. Surprised to see nearly nothing had changed, but I think that's a good thing. I like the fact that I essentially get a base system that I can just take over and manage myself. It doesn't install a bunch of stuff I don't want, and installing new software from source is pretty simple. Maybe it's just me, but package managers always end up giving me issues with certain software (ruby comes to mind) and I end up having to build certain things
    • I also have an Eee PC and wanted to install Slackware, but opted for SLAX instead. It is much more space-efficient, due to the fact that every installed package is actually a compressed blob. Quite brilliant, actually.

  • by mrpacmanjel ( 38218 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @10:55AM (#26074787)

    Slackware was my first experience with Linux many years ago...(1997/98ish?). Especially installing from floppy disks.

    However, I now use Ubuntu & Mint linux on my pcs at the moment.

    The way to look at the Slackware "distribution" is to see it as a bare bones, vanilla-type system.

    Not having a "package" system is a *feature* of Slackware and it still uses tarball-type packages to this day.
    Slackware is based on a different philosophy from today's distributions and I think it's refreshing to see this.

    As far as I know there are no "corporate sponsors" funding Slackware's development - Patrick does it in his spare time.

    One thing that most people on Slashdot seem to miss is that this is the original spirit of Linux and any software associated with it.

    In fact I may install it on an old 450mhz PIII laptop I've got kicking about.

    Good Luck Patrick you have my utmost respect and I hope Slackware continues for a very long time.

  • Queue the n00bs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kwabbles ( 259554 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @11:26AM (#26075261)

    "Slackware sucks, it has no package manager."
    "Slackware sucks, it takes so much time to get an uber elite desktop with avant and spinning cubes."
    "Slackware sucks, it's so much harder to install than Ubuntu."
    "Slackware sucks, you spend way more time on the CLI than other distros."

    There are still some of us left that don't think the primary goal of every linux distro is to become a clone of the Windows desktop. There are less and less of us left that want to kick the hell out of anyone that thinks the command line should go away or be used as little as possible. Slackware is what it is - a robust linux system that tries to be as unix-like as possible.

    If you want your hand held for you, and you don't understand what *nix truly is and can do and don't really care - if all you want is a simple drop-in replacement for Windows - go download Ubuntu. Each distribution achieves a different goal. THAT's the real beauty of linux, not its potential to become "grandma's operating system".

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      I find most Slackware users to be the most knowledgeable Linux users I come across usually.

    • Re:Queue the n00bs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by someone300 ( 891284 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @12:57PM (#26076687)

      "Slackware sucks, it has no package manager."
      There are still some of us left that don't think the primary goal of every linux distro is to become a clone of the Windows desktop.

      I always felt that a decent package manager was one of the things that really seperated Linux from Windows. :)

      I agree with the rest though.

  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @11:37AM (#26075413) Homepage

    What about 64-bit Slackware?

  • Why the negativity ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vic20david ( 1429403 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @02:18PM (#26078023)
    Why the negativity ? Why can't everyone in the Linux/BSD/OpenSource communities raise their glass and say "Congratulations! Good work!" I thought we were on the same side here. Today, you pop in a "modern" linux distro and 97% of the time, it just works. Some kid grabs an install disc for fedora or ubuntu, and he boasts to his friens "yeah, I run linux". Yet they have learned nothing. I am proudly a slackware and debian user and always will be. Run RedHat/Fedora and you learn RedHat/Fedora. Fine. Run Ubuntu and you learn Ubuntu. Run Slackware and you learn Unix/Linux. Slackware is run at many universities as a major portion of the network. It is run in libraies, schools, and even some business. Not to mention many many home users around the world. There were 3,000 visits and downloads to the slackware site in aug 08. Some say there is no package management. Well yes there is. There is no dependency checking but the most needed dependencies are already part of the install. And if you get a message saying you need something, then go get it. [rhetorical] Whats the big deal? Dont blindly follow the script kiddies into ubuntu land. "Yeah dude, I run Linux." No, you clicked "OK" or "Continue" a few times and ripped a DVD. Ooooo you're a linux god. :p Go get Slackware or pure debian. Slackware: Myths and Cliche http://www.osnews.com/story/3329/Slackware_Myths_and_Cliches_--_Another_Newbie_s_Point_of_View [osnews.com]
  • Slack? Ubuntu? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by heri0n ( 786437 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @05:14PM (#26081295) Journal

    Seems to be two camps in this discussion... The hardcore slack users who hate on the Ubuntu "noobs", and the Ubuntu users who claim Slack should only be viewed as a piece of nostalgia.

    I have used both distributions quite a bit and enjoyed both. I started out with Slackware, and one things for sure, I learned a lot about navigating Linux systems. Eventually, I got sick of manually compiling/installing every package so I made the switch to Ubuntu. I was actually quite impressed with Ubuntu and its ease of use. I would say the best things about Ubuntu would be ease of use and installing packages using Synaptic. However, you don't really learn how the underlying system works. Recently, I've re-installed Slackware to get back to my roots. I think Slackware is much better as a server or as a simple desktop.

    I think both distros have their own place. To the Slackware veterans, you can't deny that Ubuntu has made a huge impact on converting Windows users to Linux. Even if they may be noobs and flood forums with noobie questions, converting users to Linux can be only a good thing, right? Also, personally I have found Ubuntu forums to be some of the most helpful and friendly. Pat and Slackware are keeping it real as usual, enough said.

  • by LackThereof ( 916566 ) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @10:34PM (#26085637)

    People complain about Slackware's usability all the time. What I always see neglected is the fact that Slackware, as a distro, Just Works far more often than any other distro I've played with.

    Slackware will install and work on a wide variety of exotic hardware, both modern and obsolete. It can be easily installed on machines that don't boot from CD, or even have a CD drive.

    I've never encountered a machine that wouldn't install and boot slackware, with a working command line and network support, just by using the scripts that come on the install discs, and following the instructions.

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