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About

 
Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release 
again.  So, without further ado, announcing Slackware version 12.1!  
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 
12.1 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.0) 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 4.4.2, 
a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy to use desktop 
environment, and KDE 3.5.9, 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 2.6.24.5 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 12.1:

- Runs the 2.6.24.5 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 2.7.
  This version of glibc also has excellent compatibility with
  existing binaries.

- X11 7.3.0+.  This is the X.Org Foundation's modular X Window System.
  There's been much activity in the X development world, and the
  improvements here in terms of performance and hardware support
  are too numerous to mention them all here.

- Installs gcc-4.2.3 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) 2.2.8 web server with Dynamic Shared Object 
  support, SSL, and PHP 5.2.5.

- 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 2.5.2,
  Ruby 1.8.6-p114, Subversion 1.4.6, git-1.5.5, mercurial-1.0,
  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 12.0 to 
  Slackware 12.1 (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 3.5.9, 
  SeaMonkey 1.1.9 (this is the replacement for the Mozilla
  Suite), and the immensely popular Firefox 2.0.0.14, as well as
  the Thunderbird 2.0.0.12 email and news client with advanced
  junk mail filtering.

- The complete K Desktop Environment (KDE) version 3.5.9, including
  the KOffice productivity suite, networking tools, GUI development
  with KDevelop, multimedia tools (including the amazing Amarok
  music player and K3B disc burning software), 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-2.4.1,
   gimp-2.4.5, gkrellm-2.3.1, gxine-0.5.11, xchat-2.8.4, xsane-0.994,
   and pan-0.132.

- 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), 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 12.1, see this file:

    ftp://ftp.slackware.com/pub/slackware/slackware-12.1/PACKAGES.TXT

     
Downloading Slackware 12.1:
---------------------------

The full version of Slackware Linux 12.1 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-12.1/
   ftp://ftp.slackware.com/pub/slackware/slackware-12.1/

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

   http://slackware.com/getslack/

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 12.1 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 12.1.

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

Slackware 12.1 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
     USA


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    <volkerdi@slackware.com>

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

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