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Slackware 14.2 release notes.  Thu Jun 30 22:37:15 UTC 2016

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 4.4.x
branch and decided to stick with it.  Greg Kroah-Hartman's
announcement back in October that the 4.4 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 (although it seems that these might support PAE
but just lack the CPU flags to advertise it -- try booting with the
"forcepae" kernel option).  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 4.6 in the /testing/source/ directory.

    Slackware 14.2 has support for systems running UEFI firmware (x86_64
Slackware edition only).  Packages that help support UEFI include 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.  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 14.2 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 ) will
be putting together a set of packages for running GNOME 3.20.1 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 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, eudev, 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://www.armedslack.org/), Vincent
Batts for keeping Ruby working well 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.  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 Andrea and Briah, too!

Have fun!

Pat Volkerding <volkerdi@slackware.com>

---
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