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Slackware 13.0 Released 252

willy everlearn and several other readers let us know that Slackware 13.0 is out. "Wed Aug 26 10:00:38 CDT 2009: Slackware 13.0 x86_64 is released as stable! Thanks to everyone who helped make this release possible — see the RELEASE_NOTES for the credits. The ISOs are off to the replicator. This time it will be a 6 CD-ROM 32-bit set and a dual-sided 32-bit/64-bit x86/x86_64 DVD. We're taking pre-orders now at Please consider picking up a copy to help support the project. Once again, thanks to the entire Slackware community for all the help testing and fixing things and offering suggestions during this development cycle. As always, have fun and enjoy!"
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Slackware 13.0 Released

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  • Re:Purpose (Score:5, Interesting)

    by praedictus ( 61731 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @09:09AM (#29229647) Journal
    Yes, Eris knows you don't even need to be a SubGenius to appreciate the benefits, one can never have too much Slack. Please excuse me, I just got run over by a Fnord.
  • Re:Overweight (Score:3, Interesting)

    by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @09:21AM (#29229799) Homepage Journal

    Slack is great but overweight. I'd rather have a more minimal distribution, preferably something that fits on a a single CD. That said, it lives up to expectations -- everything plus the kitchen sink.

    The cause of distro bloat these days is upstream laziness, particularly on the part of X and the DE (Gnome/KDE) developers. It's a running joke about how you can forget any hope of getting a clean X install without having to hack various bits into shape yourself.

    So distro makers have to ship everything themselves, if they want to be sure that everything is going to work with their distro. With something like Debian that changes everything possible purely because they can, upstream shouldn't necessarily be blamed so much, but I suspect Patrick probably tries hard to be as standard as he can, and still has problems.

  • by muckracer ( 1204794 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @09:33AM (#29229935)

    > I've been trying to get into Slackware lately but I just can't seem to get
    > use to it. Are there any realb benifits to tranfering to it.

    It may or may not be for you. That's the beauty of Linux. Use what you feel
    comfortable with.

    > Right now I run Arch and I just came from Gentoo, and I like the speed
    > aspects of both and the optimization ability. Would there be such option in
    > Slackware

    You can recompile every package to your specifications. See the Slackbuilds.
    Whether there's any actual benefit to doing so remains to be seen.
    Ditto for actual source you download. Optimizations are a CFLAGS away.

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @09:37AM (#29229991)

    It's been a while since I used it, but I liked Slack when I did. It didn't use the SysV init system used on almost all other Linux distros, but instead opted for BSD-style startup scripts. At the time I liked that - after getting very used to SysV these days though I think I'd be more or less indifferent on the issue.

    Also, Slack was a bit more "raw" of a distro - it's package management included no real dependency handling, making it for the most part just an easy way to install binaries. Usually rather than relying on the package manager (as I often do in other distros now) it was just easier in Slack to download the source tarball and manually compile and install it. That was nice in that I pretty much always had the latest version of any program that I cared about, but the downside was that sometimes as older versions of libraries and such lagged, it would eventually hit a point when upgrading something like Gnome manually became a very, very long task of tracking down all the packages that needed to be upgraded, and sometimes fixing them (as sometimes they'd have libraries in non-standard places and such - not a common occurence, but it did happen).

    Slack also didn't ship with any of it's own GUI tools. What you got was basically whatever Gnome or KDE shipped for you to use.

    All in all, it was a fast and lean system that lended itself well to a person who wants to tweak things to keep them working exactly how they want. These days though, I've just found that Ubuntu on servers and Mint on the desktop is 90% as good of a system to use while being 20% of the effort to maintain, so I just use them instead.

  • Re:Purpose (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TrevorB ( 57780 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @09:42AM (#29230053) Homepage

    I loved Slackware for many years, from 1995 to 2008, when I had 4 Slack machines in the house. However, it was the upgrading itself that finally turned me. I found it nigh impossible to actually "upgrade" a pre-existing configured system in use without critically damaging libraries and needing to reinstall from scratch, and worse, reconfigure and fiddle for about 10 hours to get everything working again the way I liked it. In my 20s I had that kind of energy and enthusiasm. Not any longer.

    Yes, I have switched to Ubuntu/Mythbuntu, but have brought all my Slackware knowledge with me. Debian package management is divine. The switch has turned out to be the best of both worlds, Ubuntu's polish with my Slackware config skills, with the result of a brilliantly tuned machine that's nigh hassle free.

  • Re:Overweight (Score:3, Interesting)

    by soccerisgod ( 585710 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @10:07AM (#29230363)
    Sounds to me what you really want is something like a busybox [] based system.
  • Re:Games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @10:30AM (#29230647) Journal

    It also comes with fortune [] and trek []. You haven't lived until you've gone through the offensive quotes (fortune -o) of the fortune file or had to battle hordes of Klingons by manually entering the compass bearing that you want to fire your phasers or photon torpedoes in.

    I used to have a version of Trek where I had hacked the source to give it a "borg" mode. In borg mode the incoming Klingon fire would recharge my energy reserves while filling the screen with "RESISTANCE IS FUTILE" in random ANSI colors ;) Those were the days......

  • by redirect 'slash' nil ( 1078939 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @10:47AM (#29230881)
    I think the statement about the generic kernel only refers to installation on nonstandard drives (eg. dmraid with various fakeRAIDs). If you stay in the realm of /dev/hd# /dev/sd# and common controllers interfaces like Compaq Smart Array for instance, you won't need an initrd to boot your kernel.

    And if you find the Slackware way (which, IMO is the most generic approach) cumbersome, pray explain how to boot an nVidia MediaShield fakeRAID RAID5 partition without an initrd for instance, as I would be very interested to hear it. I recently had to do the latter [], and I found that using initrd with good old Slack was a breeze, since Slackware leaves everything you need at your fingertips, along with a *detailed* README of how to do it. Didn't even have to google to figure out how to craft an initrd.
  • Re:Purpose (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @10:49AM (#29230921)

    On the other hand I've had minimal problems upgrading any of my machines from 1999 till 2009, from Slackware 7.x up to 13.0 today (the present machine started at 9.0). From the way my coworkers curse every six months when they try to update to the latest Ubuntu release, I think I know what distribution I'll be using for the next ten years.

  • by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @11:18AM (#29231347) Homepage Journal

    Quite frankly, if you don't know what it is, then you're not ready for it, so it doesn't matter.

    I've got mod points again, but they never get spent, because I consider it to be a sign of greater integrity, to refute posts I disagree with, rather than simply down modding them.

    Slackware was my first Linux distribution, during the mid 1990s. At the time, I'd only previously had exposure to UNIX at all via an ISP's FreeBSD shell account, and so I barely knew what it was at all.

    A newcomer who is willing to learn is actually going to be far better off with Slack than with Ubuntu or Debian.

    There is a much greater degree of simplicity within Slackware's overall design. Less complexity means less potential opportunities for things to break due to random, uncontrolled interactions of the various parts, and even more importantly, it also means that when something does break, it's a lot easier to find the source of the problem and fix it.

    Using a system like Slackware is also going to give a user good mental habits as well, and teach them how to recognise a genuinely sound distribution design when they see one. Debian's greatest problem isn't so much that it's a terrible design, but more that the people who design and use it actually think that it's great.

  • Re:Purpose (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @11:19AM (#29231359) Homepage Journal

    Slackware is actually a privately-held company, so it does not have to disclose profits or losses.

    However, ever since it has been created, it has provided the mains source of income for Patrick Volkerding, so I guess profits must have been steady, if not spectacular.

    I'll note that Slackware has been forked countless times -- probably because it provides a stable, simple and highly-customizable platform for experimentation. Just like Linux (the kernel) itself, by the way.

    Besides, this is open-source. Profits, IMHO, are definitely *not* a proof of software quality (See: Software, Microsoft)... But why waste a good troll arguing rationally, right? Go back under your bridge, little troll, I have wasted enough time with you like that.

  • Re:Purpose (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Smeagel ( 682550 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @12:41PM (#29232507)
    Aside from Gentoo? Gentoo is as capable as anything else once you get it set up. That's a consistency of Linux as a whole. Once you get it fully configured it just works, forever. I've had gentoo *desktop* boxes with uptime in the years before I decide to upgrade the kernel (usually motivated by some slashdot article with cool new kernel features, not a necessity). And FWIW, I've tried switching to Ubuntu a few times, and had to quit due to obnoxious memory leaks, much slower binaries, and an extreme difficulty to configure anything non-standard. I'm not saying gentoo is right for everyone, it's not, but I can't imagine picking ubuntu if you're a linux expert. If you were having to constantly do maintenance work on gentoo, you probably didn't know what you were doing...
  • Re:Purpose (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gollito ( 980620 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @12:55PM (#29232689) Homepage
    Please explain your comment on Gentoo. I've been running Gentoo for a while and find that once it is setup I don't have to touch it. In fact I just upgraded my home system after not touching it for over 1.5 years. It took about a day to upgrade (please save the "Gentoo sucks" comments) but I went from kde 3.5 to 4.3 with little hassle.
  • Re:Purpose (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:00PM (#29232765) Homepage Journal

    Mr. Fluxx, I just can't let that comment go by without challenge. We, lusers in general, mock Microsoft and it's monopoly. We mock the mindset of people who just use Windows because it's all they know, and they are unwilling to learn or to explore. We mock conformity, in general.

    I change OS's from time to time, just to see what's happening in Suse-land, Debian-land, Ubuntu-land, Solaris-land - well, you get the idea. Each flavor of Linux has it's good points, and each flavor has something that I don't think highly of.

    I could name a favorite, and do everything in my power to sell that favorite, while denigrating the other flavors of Linux. But, not only would that be petty - it may actually impede innovation!

    Which of us is to say that one team or the other will NOT stumble over the best thing since sliced bread in the next year or ten? At the moment, Ubuntu seems to be leading the way toward "The year of Linux on the desktop". But, how can you read the future? Anything can happen. Most especially, anything can happen when we don't have all the facts. Computer science is still in it's infancy.

    Linus and his associates could conceivably have a flash of inspiration tomorrow, and rewrite the kernel in a manner that turns the computer world on end tomorrow. Or, more likely, a bunch of hackers do the same, to spite Linus and his entrenched hierarchy. Soon after, ALL the flavors of Linux that we love today may be replaced by "The Next Big Thing".

    What I'm trying to say is, don't be a dick. If slackware looks like a waste to you, that's cool. Keep it to yourself. The kind of crap you posted just gives ammo to the astroturfers who are pushing the MS agenda.

  • Re:So... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:13PM (#29232963) Journal

    Sorry, no.

    My philosophy is do it the long, hard, manual way once so you learn it, then automate it with the computer. The same reason I'm using network manager instead of writing WPA-supplicant rules by hand; or using IKE instead of writing IPSec SPAs and SPIs by hand.

    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, now I want to be able to move on and do something else while having the computer handle the tedious details.

    Nice rant, though.

  • Re:Overweight (Score:3, Interesting)

    by richlv ( 778496 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:39PM (#29234211) [] ? although slightly outdated at times, quite minimalistic.

    also i have scripts to create hackish single-cd version of slackware install, although since version 11 or 12 it doesn't fit with x and kde on a single cd anymore, only the "server version" does :)

  • Re:Purpose (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JohnFluxx ( 413620 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:10PM (#29235497)

    Despite the flamebait mod, I was hoping to get someone to give me some advantages. Disappoingly the only real 'advantage' that anyone has given so far is that it's more bare-bones and thus forces you to learn learn.

  • Re:Purpose (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MaskedSlacker ( 911878 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:51AM (#29240383)

    What does the Slackware experience bring to the table that distinguishes it from other distros, beyond a certain level of nostalgia?

    1) Most Unix-like of the Linux systems (may or may not be something you care about).
        The big reason I like this aspect of Slackware is summed up by the old saying: If you learn Red Hat, you know Red Hat. If you learn Debian, you know Debian. If you learn Slackware, you know Linux.

    2) Stability as #1 development priority, Security as #2, everything else isn't even on the radar (so if you want a system that never needs a reboot, Slackware's your distro. If you want a 64bit system....well, it just got there. If you want bleeding edge...compile it yourself.).

    3) Total control and heavy involvement in the system internals (though I hear Gentoo offers as much).
        This is another major aspect for me. It's isn't one for everyone though, and I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. But if you want to know how your system works, and you want to learn Linux sysadmining, Slackware is for you. I like it because I'm the computer equivalent of a gearhead, I get a kick out of it. Again, absolutely not for everyone.

    In short, Slackware doesn't try to be a desktop OS that holds your hand and wipes your ass. You get the tools you need and you're off on your own. Some people like that. Some don't. If you don't, then fine. But don't come in here and try to shit on those of us that do. I don't shit on your (rhetorical you, not necessarily referring to parent or any other specific value of "you") hobbies. Slackware never tried to be a mainstream, mass-market system. It's Pat Volkerding's personal operating system. If you like it, he provides it so you can use it too. If you don't, bugger off then.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire