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Slackware 14.1 release notes.  Mon Nov  4 16:09:25 UTC 2013

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!

    After jumping ahead through various Linux kernel branches over
the course of this development cycle, we ended up on the 3.10.x
branch and decided to stick with it.  Greg Kroah-Hartman's
announcement back in August that the 3.10 series would be getting
a long-term support for two years helped to cement this decision
and should be good news for anyone wanting to keep a maintained
stable kernel on their system.  As usual, the kernel is provided in
two flavors, generic and huge.  The huge kernel contains enough built-in
drivers that in most cases an initrd is not needed to boot the system.
The generic kernels require the use of an initrd to load the kernel
modules needed to mount the root filesystem.  Using a generic kernel
will save some memory and possibly avoid a few boot time warnings.
On the 32-bit side of things, there are both SMP (multiple processor
capable) and non-SMP (single processor) kernels.  The non-SMP kernel
is mostly intended for machines that can't run the SMP kernel, which
is anything older than a Pentium III, and some models of the Pentium M
that don't support PAE.  On 32-bit, it is highly recommended to use the
SMP kernel if your machine is able to boot with it (even if you have
only a single core) because the optimization and memory handling
options should yield better performance.

    If you'd like to try out the latest kernel branch, you'll find
.config files for Linux 3.12 in the /testing/source/ directory.  There
are also .config files for Linux 3.4.66 (the previous long-term support
kernel series) which might be useful for anyone wanting to drop back
to a 3.4.x kernel, but I doubt there will be many people who will want
to do this.  The 3.10.x kernels have been stable and working well for
many releases now.

    One of the big changes in Slackware 14.1 is support for systems
running UEFI firmware (x86_64 Slackware edition only).  We've added
several new packages for UEFI, including elilo, GRUB 2, and efibootmgr,
and all of the installation media supports booting under UEFI, as do
the USB boot sticks generated during installation.  At this point
there is no support for running the system under Secure Boot, but a
dedicated user could add their own Machine Owner Key, sign their
kernels, modules, and bootloader, and then use shim to start the
bootloader.  We'll be looking into adding support for this in the
next development cycle.  Documentation for installing on UEFI machines
is provided in a README_UEFI.TXT found in the top-level Slackware
directory.

    Slackware ISO images (both the ones available online as well as
the discs sent out from the Slackware store) have been processed using
isohybrid.  This allows them to be written to a USB stick, which can
then be booted and used as the install source.  This works on machines
running both regular BIOS as well as UEFI.

    Slackware 14.1 contains updated versions of both KDE and Xfce, and
both of these have been split as much as possible into their component
packages rather than larger bundles.  This not only makes it easier to
remove software that you don't need, but also makes it easier to
maintain on our end.  If something needs a patch, it's a whole lot
easier to issue a patch for only the affected item.  This saves storage
space on the archive sites, and your time and bandwidth downloading
the updates.

    Although Slackware does not ship the GNOME desktop, we can recommend
a couple of places to look if you're interested in trying to add it to
your system.  The Dropline project ( http://www.droplinegnome.net ) has
put together a set of packages for running GNOME 3.x on Slackware.
There's also the MATE desktop, which is a fork of GNOME 2.x.  SlackBuild
scripts are available to compile MATE packages for Slackware from
http://mateslackbuilds.github.io - thanks to Chess Griffin and
Willy Sudiarto Raharjo for making this option available.

    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.

    There's a new community driven site for Slackware documentation,
http://docs.slackware.com -- check it out, and join in to share your
knowledge!

    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 (especially getting docs.slackware.com
up and running), and all the extra packages like multilib compilers
(read more here: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/), Robby Workman for
following X.Org, udev, NetworkManager, 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,
Piter Punk for slackpkg work, Stuart Winter for more updates to
linuxdoc-tools, slacktrack, 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 Slackware ARM port: http://arm.slackware.com/), Vincent
Batts for keeping Ruby working well, for helping kickstart our
transition to MariaDB, and other miscellaneous fixes, Heinz Wiesinger
for working on PHP, MariaDB (especially!), icu4c, LLVM, and lots of other
stuff, Amritpal Bath for various bugfixes and helping with release torrents,
mrgoblin for testing RAID, bluetooth, and being a master of regex, and to
mancha for patching many packages to handle the changed crypt() function
in glibc-2.17+ (and for backporting many security fixes over the course
of the development cycle).  Other very honorable mentions go to Alan Hicks,
Erik Jan Tromp, Karl Magnus Kolstø, Mark Post, 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).  Special thanks to the folks who mailed in bug
reports (and fixes) and helped collaborate on this release.  This was
another great release cycle for community participation, especially on the
LinuxQuestions.org Slackware forum.  Thanks for the help, for keeping
this project fun, and making it possible for us to keep up with the
rapid pace of Linux development.  Thanks to Honeypi and Doodle, too!

Have fun!

Pat Volkerding <volkerdi@slackware.com>

---
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