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Slackware 13.1 release notes.  Wed May 19 04:40:19 UTC 2010

Hi folks,

    Historically, the RELEASE_NOTES had been mostly technical 
information, but once again Robby Workman has covered the important 
technical details in CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT.  Thanks!  If you are 
upgrading an existing installation, don't miss the section on the LIBATA 
SWITCHOVER.

    I'll mention a few technical items here.  Slackware's userspace does 
require a recent 2.6.x kernel (I believe 2.6.27.x is a minimum for 
udev), and as usual unless your needs are specific you're probably 
better off running the included kernels that we've tested things 
against. The best kernel to run (even on a one CPU/core machine) is the 
generic SMP one, but that needs an initrd, so be sure to read the 
instructions in /boot after installing with a huge* kernel if you plan 
to switch. We have chosen to use the 2.6.33.4 kernel after testing the 
2.6.33.x kernel branch extensively.  I would not suggest trying to run 
without udev.  Consider it the userspace portion of the kernel.  It *is* 
possible, but if you must do that you'll have to tweak a couple things 
here and there.  The specifics are left as an exercise for the advanced 
user.  Wait, an advanced user would just use udev.  Really, it works and 
makes things a lot easier.

    Slackware 13.1 contains version 4.4.3 of the KDE Software 
Compilation.  In the nearly 8 months since the release of Slackware 
13.0, the KDE team made some huge improvements, including better 
handling of netbook screen resolutions, a new authentication framework 
based on standards from freedesktop.org, and a new tabbing feature that 
allows applications to be grouped in a tabbed interface.  You'll notice 
a snappier feel, helped also by the improved performance of Qt version 
4.6.2.

    Several Xfce components have been updated as well.  Xfce continues 
to be a great lightweight desktop that doesn't get in your way. If you 
haven't looked at this great desktop environment lately, you might want 
to give it another try.  Thanks to Robby for tracking the Xfce 
development closely and making sure everything was just exactly right in 
the Slackware Xfce packages.

    If you prefer GNOME, there are teams online producing GNOME for 
Slackware.  Here are a few places to look:

    http://gnomeslackbuild.org
    http://www.droplinegnome.net/
    http://www.gware.org/

    If any of these replaces some system components, using them voids 
your warranty.  ;-)  But it should work, *if* you absolutely must have 
GNOME.  I'd suggest Xfce instead if you want a GTK+ based desktop.  If 
you do want to use GNOME, remember that there may be some updates needed 
after 13.1 is released, so it might be best not to rush into it.  
Thanks to these teams for making the GNOME desktop a viable option for 
Slackware users.

    Need more build scripts?  Something that you wanted wasn't included 
in Slackware?  Well, then check out slackbuilds.org. Several of the team 
members work on the scripts there.

    Thanks to the rest of the team (and other contributors) for the 
great help -- Eric Hameleers for major work on the KDE SC packages, init 
scripts, installer, documentation, and all the extra packages like 
multilib compilers (read more here: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/), 
Robby Workman for following X.Org, udev, wicd, xfce, and tons of other 
projects, building and testing all that stuff, writing documentation, 
his work with the team at slackbuilds.org, and lots of package upgrades 
(like the switch to the bluez4 bluetooth stack), Piter Punk for udev and 
slackpkg work, updating the shadow password system, writing the initial 
patch for polkit to use a shadow authentication backend so we could 
consider using KDE 4.4.3, and making tap-to-click work with Synaptics 
touchpads out-of-the-box, Stuart Winter for more updates to 
linuxdoc-tools, and for all kinds of fixes throughout the installer and 
system (he finds my bugs all the time while porting packages to ARM for 
the ARMedslack port:  http://www.armedslack.org/), Alan Hicks for 
testing the installer on Apple hardware, Vincent Batts for keeping Ruby 
working well and other miscellaneous fixes, Andrew Psaltis for work on 
the polkit/shadow patches, Heinz Wiesinger for Qt (and other) fixes, 
Amritpal Bath for various bugfixes and helping with release torrents, 
mrgoblin for testing RAID, bluetooth, and well, everything (and fixing a 
lot of it, too), other very honorable mentions go to Erik Jan Tromp, 
Mark Post, Karl Magnus Kolstoe, Fizban, Fred Emmott, and NetrixTardis, 
and anyone else I'm forgetting (including the other team members who 
contributed little fixes and suggestions here and there along with 
general moral support), and all the folks who emailed in bug reports 
(and especially fixes).  Thanks for the technical assistance (*you* make 
this possible), and for keeping the project a good time.  And, of 
course, thanks *much* to the upstream developers for such nice building 
materials.  As always, thanks to my wife Andrea and daughter Briah (who 
is becoming a surprisingly good beta tester already!)

Have fun!

Pat Volkerding <volkerdi@slackware.com>

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