Slackware: old warhorse is going strong
The last time I looked at Slackware was nearly seven years ago; version 7.1 was thrown my way by a magazine and I was asked for a review. My usage of the distribution had ended early in 2000 when I moved to Debian after using Slackware 4.0 and then 7.0 for about a year.
Slackware 12, the latest version of what is the oldest existing commercial distribution, came out recently and for some reason or the other I decided to have a look. Maybe it's the fact that I now have a test machine that's got some grunt - hence having a look at software isn't all that painful a task.
An army of loyal fans has ensured that Slackware has stayed financially viable and Volkerding has kept the faith with them all these years, despite battling a mystery illness in 2004 and 2005. Though version 12 has remained by and large in the conservative mode for which the distribution is known, Volkerding has been a little adventurous this time.
Slackware 12 includes the latest kernel (2.6.21), the latest KDE (3.5.7), a new glibc (2.5) and gcc 4.1.2. It also includes a recent version of xorg which now provides the windowing system for Linux distributions.
The installation procedure is still an ncurses-based text routine and has the same phases as it did in version 7.1.