Slackware 13.1 released

[Thanks to David Yingling for reminding me to send out this notice :-)]

Yes, it’s that time again! After many months of development and
careful testing, we are proud to announce the release of Slackware
version 13.1!

We are sure you’ll enjoy the many improvements. We’ve done our best
to bring the latest technology to Slackware while still maintaining the
stability and security that you have come to expect. Slackware is well
known for its simplicity and the fact that we try to bring software to
you in the condition that the authors intended.

Slackware 13.1 brings many updates and enhancements, among which
you’ll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available
today: Xfce 4.6.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and
easy to use desktop environment, and KDE 4.4.3, a recent stable release
of the new 4.4.x series of the award-winning KDE desktop environment.
We continue to make use of HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) and udev,
which allow the system administrator to grant use of various hardware
devices according to users’ group membership so that 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 Linux experience. New to the desktop framework are ConsoleKit
and PolicyKit. ConsoleKit handles “seats”, things like dealing with
devices when switching from one user to another. PolicyKit is a system
for fine-grained access control, allowing a non-root user to run certain
tasks with elevated privilege, but more securely than if the entire task
were simply run as root.

Slackware uses the 2.6.33.4 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.

There are two kinds of kernels in Slackware. First there are 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.

Here are some of the advanced features of Slackware 13.1:

- Runs the 2.6.33.4 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 2.11.1.
This version of glibc also has excellent compatibility with
existing binaries.

- X11 based on the X.Org Foundation’s modular X Window System.
There’s been much activity in the X development world, and the
improvements in terms of performance and hardware support are
too numerous to mention them all here.

- Installs gcc-4.4.4 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) 2.2.15 web server with Dynamic Shared Object
support, SSL, and PHP 5.2.13.

- 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 5.10.1, Python 2.6.4,
Ruby 1.9.1-p378, Subversion 1.6.11, git-1.7.1, mercurial-1.5.2,
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 13.0 to
Slackware 13.1 (see CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT). The slackpkg tool 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 4.4.3,
SeaMonkey 2.0.4 (this is the replacement for the Mozilla
Suite), and the immensely popular Firefox 3.6.3, as well as
the Thunderbird 3.0.4 email and news client with advanced
junk mail filtering.

- The KDE Software Compilation 4.4.3, a complete desktop environment.
This includes 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-2.7.0,
gimp-2.6.8, gkrellm-2.3.4, gxine-0.5.903, xchat-2.8.6, xsane-0.996,
and pan-0.133.

- A repository of extra software packages compiled and ready to run.
This includes the Java(TM) 2 Software Development Kit Standard
Edition, an MPlayer browser plugin, and 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 13.1, see this file:

ftp://ftp.slackware.com/pub/slackware/slackware-13.1/PACKAGES.TXT

Downloading Slackware 13.1:
—————————

The full version of Slackware Linux 13.1 is available for download
from the central Slackware FTP sites hosted by our friends at
www.cwo.com and osuosl.org:

ftp://slackware.osuosl.org/pub/slackware/slackware-13.1/
ftp://ftp.slackware.com/pub/slackware/slackware-13.1/

If the sites are busy, see the list of official mirror sites here:

http://slackware.com/getslack/

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 DVD:
————————————–

Or, please consider purchasing the Slackware Linux 13.1 six CD-ROM
set or deluxe dual-sided DVD release directly from Slackware Linux, and
you’ll be helping to support the continued development of Slackware
Linux!

The DVD release has the 32-bit x86 Slackware 13.1 release on one
side, and the 64-bit x86_64 Slackware 13.1 release on the other. Both
sides are bootable for easy installation, and includes everything from
both releases of Slackware 13.1, including the complete source code
trees.

The 6 CD-ROM release of Slackware 13.1 is the 32-bit x86 edition.
It includes a bootable first CD-ROM for easy installation. The 6
CD-ROMs are labeled for easy reference.

The Slackware 13.1 x86 6 CD-ROM set is $49.95 plus shipping, or
choose the Slackware 13.1 x86/x86_64 dual-sided DVD (also $49.95 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 for a reduced subscription
price ($32.99 for the CD-ROM set, or $39.95 for the DVD) plus shipping.

For shipping options, see the Slackware store website. 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. :-)

Ordering Information:
———————

You can order online at the Slackware Linux store:

http://store.slackware.com

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: info@slackware.com

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 <volkerdi@slackware.com>

Visit us on the web at: http://slackware.com

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