Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

Slackware 12.0 Released

Jul 03, 2007, 00:45 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Patrick Volkerding)

Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release again. So, without further ado, announcing Slackware version 12.0! 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 12.0 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 11.0) and is a must-have upgrade for any Slackware user.

This first Slackware edition of the year combines Slackware's legendary simplicity (and close tracking of original sources), stability, and security with some of the latest advances in Linux technology. Expect no less than the best Slackware yet.

Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy to use desktop environment, and KDE 3.5.7, the latest version of the award-winning K Desktop Environment. We have added to Slackware support for HAL (the Hardware Abstraction Layer) which allows the system administrator to add users to the cdrom and plugdev groups. Then they will be able to use items such as USB flash sticks, USB cameras that appear like USB storage, portable hard drives, CD and DVD media, MP3 players, and more, all without requiring sudo, the mount or umount command. Just plug and play. Properly set up, Slackware's desktop should be suitable for any level of Linux experience.

Slackware uses the kernel bringing you advanced performance features such as journaling filesystems, SCSI and ATA RAID volume support, SATA support, Software RAID, LVM (the Logical Volume Manager, and encrypted filesystems. Kernel support for X DRI (the Direct Rendering Interface) brings high-speed hardware accelerated 3D graphics to Linux. We have switched from the older one-piece X11 Window System to the newest modular X11 from X.Org, which should be simpler to maintain and will likely speed up development of new features for X (such as translucent windows and a few other things that are on the horizon).

There are two kinds of kernels in Slackware--the huge kernels, which contain support for just about every driver in the Linux kernel. These are primarily intended to be used for installation, but there's no real reason that you couldn't continue to run them after you have installed. The other type of kernel is the generic kernel, in which nearly every driver is built as a module. To use a generic kernel you'll need to build an initrd to load your filesystem module and possibly your drive controller or other drivers needed at boot time, configure LILO to load the initrd at boot, and reinstall LILO. See the docs in /boot after installing for more information. Slackware's Linux kernels come in both SMP and non-SMP types now. The SMP kernel supports multiple processors, multi-core CPUs, HyperThreading, and about every other optimization available. In our own testing this kernel has proven to be fast, stable, and reliable. We recommend using the SMP kernel even on single processor machines if it will run on them.

From the beginning, Slackware has offered a stable and secure Linux distribution for UNIX veterans as well as an easy-to-use system for beginners. Slackware includes everything you'll need to run a powerful server or workstation. Each Slackware package follows the setup and installation instructions from its author(s) as closely as possible, offering you the most stable and easily expandable setup.

Here are some of the advanced features of Slackware 12.0:

  • Runs the version of the Linux kernel from ftp.kernel.org. Also included is a kernel patched with Speakup to support speech synthesizers providing access to Linux for the visually impaired community. The 2.6.x kernel series has matured into a stable kernel, and provides reliable performance for your desktop or your production server.
  • System binaries are linked with the GNU C Library, version 2.5. This version of glibc also has excellent compatibility with existing binaries.
  • X11 7.2.0. This is the X.Org Foundation's modular X Window System. You will notice many more X package than before, and it's probably best to install them all. There's been much activity in the X development world, and the improvements here in terms of performance and hardware support are sure to be only the beginning.
  • Installs gcc-4.1.2 as the default C, C++, Objective-C, Fortran-77/95, and Ada 95 compiler.
  • Support for fully encrypted network connections with OpenSSL, OpenSSH, OpenVPN, and GnuPG.
  • Apache (httpd) 2.2.4 web server with Dynamic Shared Object support, SSL, and PHP 5.2.3.
  • PCMCIA, CardBus, USB, IEE1394 (FireWire) and ACPI support. This makes Slackware a great operating system for your laptop.
  • The udev dynamic device management system for Linux 2.6.x. This locates and configures most hardware automatically as it is added (or removed) from the system, and creates the access nodes in /dev. It also loads the kernel modules required by sound cards and other hardware at boot time.
  • New development tools, including Perl 5.8.8, Python 2.5.1, Ruby 1.8.6, Subversion 1.4.4, git-, mercurial-0.9.4, graphical tools like Qt designer and KDevelop, and much more.
  • Updated versions of the Slackware package management tools make it easy to add, remove, upgrade, and make your own Slackware packages. Package tracking makes it easy to upgrade from Slackware 11.0 to Slackware 12.0 (see CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT). The slackpkg tool in /extra can also help update from an older version of Slackware to a newer one, and keep your Slackware system up to date. In addition, the slacktrack utility (in extra/) will help you build and maintain your own packages.
  • Web browsers galore! Includes KDE's Konqueror 3.5.7, SeaMonkey 1.1.2 (this is the replacement for the Mozilla Suite), and the immensely popular Firefox, as well as the Thunderbird email and news client with advanced junk mail filtering.
  • The complete K Desktop Environment (KDE) version 3.5.7, including the KOffice productivity suite, networking tools, GUI development with KDevelop, multimedia tools (including the amazing Amarok music player), the Konqueror web browser and file manager, dozens of games and utilities, international language support, and more.
  • A collection of GTK+ based applications including pidgin-2.0.2, gimp-2.2.15, gkrellm-2.2.10, gxine-0.5.11, xchat-2.8.2, xsane-0.994, and pan-0.131.
  • Large repository of extra software packages compiled and ready to run. This includes various window managers, the Java(TM) 2 Software Development Kit Standard Edition, libsafe (buffer overflow protection for additional security), ISDN support, additional 802.11 drivers, and much more (see the /extra directory).
  • Many more improved and upgraded packages than we can list here. For a complete list of core packages in Slackware 12.0, see this file:


Downloading Slackware 12.0

The full version of Slackware Linux 12.0 is available for download from the central Slackware FTP sites hosted by our friends at www.cwo.com and osuosl.org:

ftp://slackware.osuosl.org/pub/slackware/slackware-12.0/ ftp://ftp.slackware.com/pub/slackware/slackware-12.0/

If the sites are busy, see the list of official mirror sites here:


We will be setting up BitTorrent downloads for the official ISO images. Stay tuned to http://slackware.com for the latest updates.

Instructions for burning the Slackware tree onto install discs may be found in the isolinux directory.

Purchasing Slackware on CD-ROM

Or, please consider purchasing the Slackware Linux 12.0 six CD-ROM set directly from Slackware Linux, and you'll be helping to support the continued development of Slackware Linux! :-)

This is the official release of Slackware on CD-ROM, and has many enhanced features, including:

  • Easy bootable CD-ROM installation. If your machine can boot a CD-ROM, just boot the first disc to begin the installation process.
  • The source code used to build Slackware Linux 12.0.

The price for the Slackware Linux CD-ROM set is $49.95 plus shipping.

Slackware 12.0 is also available on a single DVD for $59.95 plus shipping.

Slackware Linux is also available by subscription. When we release a new version of Slackware (which is normally once or twice a year) we ship it to you and bill your credit card $32.95 plus shipping. Shipping is $5 in the USA, Canada, and Mexico for First Class. Overseas is $9 PER ORDER. There is an additional $3 COD charge (USA Only). UPS Blue Label (2nd day) [USA Only] is $10 PER ORDER, UPS Red Label (next day) [USA Only] is $15 PER ORDER.

Before ordering express shipping, you may wish to check that we have the product in stock. We make releases to the net at the same time as disc production begins, so there is a lag between the online release and the shipping of media. But, even if you download now you can still buy the official media later. You'll feel good, be helping the project, and have a great decorative item perfect for any computer room shelf. :-)

Ordering Information

You can order online at the Slackware Linux store: http://store.slackware.com

Other Slackware items like t-shirts, caps, pins, and stickers can also be found here. These will help you find and identify yourself to your fellow Slackware users. :-)

Order inquiries (including questions about becoming a Slackware reseller) may be directed to this address: info@slackware.com

Or, send a check or money order to:

Slackware Linux, Inc.
1164 Claremont Drive
Brentwood, CA 94513

Have fun! :^) I hope you find Slackware to be useful, and thanks very much for your support of this project over the years.

--Patrick J. Volkerding

Visit us on the web at: http://slackware.com

Related Stories: