Slackware 15.0 release notes. Wed Feb 2 18:39:59 CST 2022
Good hello folks, nice to see you here again. :-)
Historically, the RELEASE_NOTES had been mostly technical information, but
once again Robby Workman has covered the important technical details in
We've actually built over 400 different Linux kernel versions over the years
it took to finally declare Slackware 15.0 stable (by contrast, we tested 34
kernel versions while working on Slackware 14.2). We finally ended up on kernel
version 5.15.19 after Greg Kroah-Hartman confirmed that it would get long-term
support until at least October 2023 (and quite probably for longer than that).
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.
I'd strongly recommend using a generic kernel for the best kernel module
compatibility as well. It's easier to do that than in previous releases - the
installer now makes an initrd for you, and the new geninitrd utility will
rebuild the initrd automatically for the latest kernel packages you've
installed on the system.
On the 32-bit side, 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 5.16 in the /testing/source/ directory.
Slackware 15.0 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. We'll be looking into
supporting this officially in the next release. Documentation for installing
on UEFI machines is provided in a README_UEFI.TXT found in the top-level
The Slackware ISO images have been processed using an isohybrid format which
allows them to be burned to DVD, *or* 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.
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 along with many other dedicated volunteers.
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 Slackware team (and other contributors) for the
great help -- Eric Hameleers for his massive efforts on getting KDE Plasma 5
ready and continuing to maintain it even as the development cycle ran much
longer than expected. Eric, I know I came close to wearing out your patience,
so thanks for sticking it out and for all your other help with extra packages,
multilib support, docs.slackware.com, and everything else you do for Slackware.
Everyone be sure to follow Eric's blog at: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/
Thanks to Robby Workman for help on tons of stuff... especially Xfce but also
tons of miscellaneous updates, the CHANGES_AND_HINTS file and other
documentation, managing various project infrastructure including helping to
obtain servers, getting them all set up, finding hosting, etc. Thanks to our
friends at OnyxLight Communications who helped us out with hosting (and
hardware, too!) for our development server. Onyxlight closed down during the
pandemic, unfortunately. I hope they're all doing well. Thanks to PiterPunk
for his work on maintaining slackpkg and various bugfixes. Thanks to Darren
"Tadgy" Austin for rewriting the netconfig utility adding support for IPv6,
VLANs, link aggregation and more. Thanks to 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: https://arm.slackware.com), Vincent Batts
for making Slackware PAM support a reality, Heinz Wiesinger for working on KDE
/ Plasma and Qt, LLVM, MariaDB, OpenCL, and really just all kinds of stuff,
Erik Jan Tromp for help with the pkgtools rewrite and support for parallel
compression/decompression testing and benchmarking. Willy Sudiarto Raharjo
for work on slackbuilds.org, MATE, sbopkg, and more. Matteo "ponce" Bernardini
for countless bugfixes and all the work getting slackbuilds.org ready for this
new release. Honorable mentions also go to long-time contributors and friends
of the project including Karl Magnus KolstÃ¸, NetrixTardis, Alan Hicks,
mrgoblin, and Mark Post. Special thanks to everyone else who reported bugs
(and/or provided fixes) or helped collaborate on this release in any way.
The Slackware community stepped up in all kinds of ways this time around,
especially all my friends on the LinuxQuestions.org Slackware forum.
Special thanks and sorry to everyone I forgot.
Thanks also to my family for putting up with all of this. ;-)
Sadly, we lost a couple of good friends during this development cycle and
this release is dedicated to them.
Erik "alphageek" Jan Tromp passed away in 2020 after a long illness. He was
a long-time member of the Slackware core team doing a ton of stuff behind
the scenes and a master of lesser-known programming languages like Tcl. :-)
For a long time he lived closer to me geographically than anyone else on
the core team, but unfortunately with an international border between us
we never did meet in person. But he was there in chat every day and was a
good friend to everyone on the team. He is greatly missed. Sorry I didn't
get 15.0 out in time for you to see it...
My old friend Brett Person also passed away in 2020. Without Brett, it's
possible that there wouldn't be any Slackware as we know it - he's the one
who encouraged me to upload it to FTP back in 1993 and served as Slackware's
original beta-tester. He was long considered a co-founder of this project.
I knew Brett since the days of the Beggar's Banquet BBS in Fargo back in
the 80's. When the Slackware Project moved to Walnut Creek CDROM, Brett was
hired as well, and we spent many hours on the road and sitting next to each
other representing Slackware at various trade shows. Brett seemed to know
all kinds of computer luminaries and was an amazing storyteller, always
with his smooth radio voice. Gonna miss you too, pal.
To everyone out there still reading this, thanks. :-)
Hope to see you again the next time we do this.
Pat Volkerding <firstname.lastname@example.org>