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
Slackware uses the 126.96.36.199 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 188.8.131.52 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
- 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 184.108.40.206, as well as
the Thunderbird 220.127.116.11 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,
- 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:
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
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 12.1 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
- 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
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. :-)
You can order online at the Slackware Linux store:
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:
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Visit us on the web at: http://slackware.com