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Slackware 14.2 Released, Still Systemd-Free (slackware.com) 179

sombragris writes: Slackware, the oldest GNU/Linux distribution still in active maintenance, was released just minutes ago. Slackware is noted for being the most Unix-like of all Linux distributions. While sporting kernel 4.4.14 and GCC 5.3, other goodies include Perl 5.22.2, Python 2.7.11, Ruby 2.2.5, Subversion 1.9.4, git-2.9.0, mercurial-3.8.2, KDE 4.14.21 (KDE 4.14.3 with kdelibs-4.14.21) Xfce 4.12.1... and no systemd!

According to the ChangeLog: "The long development cycle (the Linux community has lately been living in "interesting times," as they say) is finally behind us, and we're proud to announce the release of Slackware 14.2. The new release brings many updates and modern tools, has switched from udev to eudev (no systemd), and adds well over a hundred new packages to the system. Thanks to the team, the upstream developers, the dedicated Slackware community, and everyone else who pitched in to help make this release a reality." Grab the ISOs at a mirror near you. Enjoy!
The torrents page can be found here.
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Slackware 14.2 Released, Still Systemd-Free

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  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Friday July 01, 2016 @07:33PM (#52430445) Journal

    Now with Plasma 5! [slackbook.org] You can plug the stick into any machine, and it runs perfectly right out of the box, two monitors, weird audio, doesn't matter, everything works.

    Once you go Slack, you never look back!

    • by LVSlushdat ( 854194 ) on Friday July 01, 2016 @09:43PM (#52430967)

      I started with Slackware back around 1994-ish, enjoyed feeding the endless floppy disks during the install and even "released the magic smoke" on a monitor due to some booboos in the modelines setting up XFree86. After some years on Redhat/Fedora, a friend, back around 2007, introduced me to Ubuntu and I've been on that since, and am currently on 14.04LTS. However, I have a sneaking suspicion I'm not gonna be moving to 16.04 due to the infestation of systemd into the Ubuntu infrastructure... I've tried the previous version of Slackware 14.1 both on my laptop and in vbox, and I got a feeling I'm gonna move to this new release of Slackware as it gets closer to EOL of 14.04.....

      • by adolf ( 21054 )

        Same story, but wound up confused the first time through because I somehow landed myself an a.out kernel for an ELF distribution. Ah, well; EFNet #linux...

        I do wonder what Slackware's biggest downfall is these days. IIRC, it was package management or the general lack thereof, previously. I've got a laptop with FreeBSD *ahem* PC-BSD on it that wants a different flavor of *NIX, I might try throwing it on there...

        • by yithar7153 ( 4137793 ) on Friday July 01, 2016 @10:43PM (#52431179)
          Well one of the main reasons Volkerding was/is considering systemd is boot time, and udev being phased out in favor of systemd. Slackware's init has been tested so it works, but it's a bit slower than the competition.

          "Concerning systemd, I do like the idea of a faster boot time (obviously), but I also like controlling the startup of the system with shell scripts that are readable, and I'm guessing that's what most Slackware users prefer too. I don't spend all day rebooting my machine, and having looked at systemd config files it seems to me a very foreign way of controlling a system to me, and attempting to control services, sockets, devices, mounts, etc., all within one daemon flies in the face of the UNIX concept of doing one thing and doing it well. To the typical end user, if this results in a faster boot then mission accomplished."

          Although I think he should really consider runit over systemd, because Void Linux uses it and it boots really fast. It's probably the fastest booting binary distribution. Of course a customized Gentoo install could probably beat it. IMO Void sort of embodies that same ideals that Slackware does (i.e. a simple and effective system that puts the administrator in control rather than the corporation) but it uses modern tools that do that and it's rolling release, while Slackware is more focused stability.
          • by adolf ( 21054 )

            But, you know: With any less-than-5-year-old machine that wasn't junk to begin with, a few gigabytes of cheap RAM, and any sort of proper SSD, every OS seems to boot like a rocketship (driver loading timeouts and specific waitstats notwithstanding).

            I mean, the laptop I spoke of before is a stout Dell Precision kit I got for about $200, used, about a year ago. It boots PC-BSD with ZFS in a bunch of seconds that I can't be bothered with trying to clock with a recent mSATA SSD.

            For all of the arguments for/ag

          • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

            attempting to control services, sockets, devices, mounts, etc., all within one daemon flies in the face of the UNIX concept of doing one thing and doing it well. To the typical end user, if this results in a faster boot then mission accomplished."

            sysvinit is a services manager. People have hacked it so it's a daemon manager that runs shell scripts. Those shell scripts then manage daemons.

            Look at it yourself - chances are, getty and the like are not spawned from a shell script, but from init directly. And w

            • by Uecker ( 1842596 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @07:42AM (#52432439)

              shell scripts are great. They are flexible, powerful, transparent, easily changeable, debug-able ... With systemd you have a blackbox and have to learn magic keywords. It is like windows - for idiots - not for hackers. Yes, the shell script based system sometimes was a mess. But the solution is to clean the scripts up not to replace them...

            • > Then again, I hate managing the S/K file pairs

              Slackware doesn't use those. They're available as an optional add-on, if needed for compatibility with something you installed. Personally, I've never had any need for them in many years on Slack.

    • by Jahta ( 1141213 )

      Now with Plasma 5! [slackbook.org] You can plug the stick into any machine, and it runs perfectly right out of the box, two monitors, weird audio, doesn't matter, everything works.

      Once you go Slack, you never look back!

      That sounds good and I'll definitely give it a spin. One question; can you install Slackware from the live media? On the Slackware site, under Install Help, step 3 says "You need to have a diskette with a root filesystem and the setup program in order to install Slackware Linux". Really? I haven't owned a machine with a diskette drive in years. Have I missed some way of installing it from a bootable CD/DVD/USB device?

  • by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Friday July 01, 2016 @07:36PM (#52430455) Homepage Journal

    One of the very first Linux distribution is still alive and kicking (without systemd!).

    Great work Patrick & crew, I'll make sure I'll order a DVD soon!

  • by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Friday July 01, 2016 @07:39PM (#52430489)
    Just wanted to say that. Multos annos!
  • Sincerely, great news.

    Now, if it would just remove X11/Xorg completely and rely only in Wayland, it would be my dream distro :-)

    (Dreaming is allowed, ain't it?)

    PS: I grew writting the X11 config file manually in my long-dead first PC and grew really hating X11 (like when as child something makes you sick and, as adult, you eat it but don't like it).

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      Slackware does not force you to use X. By default, it starts in console mode, and does not use a gui at startup like many other distros do (although I understand it is possible to set up a slackware system to boot into a gui, I have never personally tried it, so I don't actually know what's involved in it).
      • Re:Great news (Score:5, Informative)

        by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Friday July 01, 2016 @09:25PM (#52430875) Journal

        Couldn't be simpler:

        open /etc/inittab

        # These are the default runlevels in Slackware:
        # 0 = halt
        # 1 = single user mode
        # 2 = unused (but configured the same as runlevel 3)
        # 3 = multiuser mode (default Slackware runlevel)
        # 4 = X11 with KDM/GDM/XDM (session managers)
        # 5 = unused (but configured the same as runlevel 3)
        # 6 = reboot

        # Default runlevel. (Do not set to 0 or 6)
        id:4:initdefault:

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          Except that it pretty much every Unix and Linux since the 90s, the 2-3-4-5 runlevels have been:

          0: Shutdown for halt
          1: Single user
          2: No networking
          3: Headless system with networking
          4: Undefined, for the admin's discretion
          5: Headed system (gui, graphical)
          6: Shutdown for reboot

          If I enter "init 2", I expect the network services to stop.
          If I enter "init 5", I expect the graphical system (usually X11 with a chooser) to start.
          Different UNIX/Linux init subsystems handle this differently, but the 1/2/3/5 runle

          • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

            Sorry no. Debian and derivatives have always take the tack that runlevels are user/admin defined, and unless you change things everything will start in runlevel 2.

          • I enter "init 5", I expect the graphical system (usually X11 with a chooser) to start.
            Different UNIX/Linux init subsystems handle this differently, but the 1/2/3/5 runlevels can generally be counted on to be the same.

            Breaking this is introducing incompatibilities for the sake of being different.

            Why? If you have to edit inittab, it shows you the meaning of each runlevel just above the "Default runlevel" line as the (grand)parent post shows. Not exactly "breaking things to introduce incompatibilities".

    • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @02:34AM (#52431871)
      Not for RedHat. Say goodbye to the workstation market and all science and engineering software on a platform that has thrown X away and doesn't let users run scripts for days at a time without killing them off.
      It's worth noting that the only people with a clue about what Wayland actually does that are pushing Wayland are ones working in the phone and tablet spaces. Nice for them - sucks for the rest of us yet people keep on trying to shove it down our throats.
      • by Uecker ( 1842596 )

        Absolutely. And even for the phone and tablet space is big mistake to switch away from X. Where could be more useful to move windows freely between devices than with mobile devices....

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Friday July 01, 2016 @08:03PM (#52430587)
    Back in the day we switched to Yggdrasil because Slackware was slacking off on releases, and we needed new features.
    / this is my lawn
    // enjoy it if you want
    /// please pick up any trash you make
    //// lawn mower is right here, if you're in the mood
  • by metrix007 ( 200091 ) on Friday July 01, 2016 @10:09PM (#52431081)

    I used to love Slackware. Timely releases, no dependency hell, and very simple package management.

    There was never a problem with their package management...simple tgz files with an install script onsite, and there were multiple tiny 3rd party utils to manage versions and uninstalls. It really was great for being able to have a minimal system, know exactly what was on it, and just be able to understand it perfectly.

    A couple of years ago, this changed. It was now not only recommended to do a full install, but support was not required UNLESS people did a full install, at least by most of the community.

    This is frustrating. Slackware started out as being the most unix like Linux. Something it has clearly abandoned...when installing mplayer REQUIRES installing Samba, just in case you need to play a file across an SMB share.

    They are not targeting the same audience, and instead are targeting the audience of distros like Ubuntu...except they won't ever win. I don't know what niche they serve anymore, aside from brand loyalists.

    Arch seemed like a good replacement, but it is bleeding edge only. So, I've gone to the BSD side. I would love for Slackware to do a course correction, but that seems unlikely.

    • If you have the time, I recommend trying out Void Linux. It's designed for small SoCs. I even have it running on my Raspberry Pi. IMO Void Linux embodies sort of the same ideals Slackware does of a simple and effective system that puts the administrator in control rather than the corporation.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I can understand them not wanting to support every random configuration. I develop for a hobby, not do tech support. Unless you are paying for support them in afraid the further you get from the recommend config the more on your own you are.

      It sucks but my time if valuable too. I try to help, but there are limits.

      Having said that, the mplayer example you give does indeed suck.

  • Slackware was the first distro I ever installed. Back in 1996 I managed to install it on a 486 DX 50. I had no clue what I was getting into and when I was finally able to startx, I ended up in TWM. I was like "huh?" I temporarily ditched Slackware and pursued other distros while immersing myself in research and learning. After flirtations with Turbo Linux and SUSE (YAST really got my attention), I had learned a lot and went back to Slackware. It was my go to distro for a very long time. On the one hand, I s
  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Friday July 01, 2016 @11:31PM (#52431295) Homepage Journal

    Its like they are not even trying. Python 3.5 is perfectly okay.

  • Although I've been using it less and less for the past couple of years, Slackware remains my favorite Linux distribution. Ohter distributions simply became easier to install and maintain over the years. However, I'm considering moving back to Slackware, because that vile concoction called systemd is starting to infest every Linux distribution that is out there, with the exception of some of the more esoteric distributions. And truth be told, IMHO Slackware is the only "real" Linux distribution left.

    The firs

  • Their website hasn't changed for... ever! Which is why people like it I guess...

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

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