It's no secret that Slackware 10.2 was released yesterday. This was big news and headlined many sites as well as being announced  on DistroWatch with the links to download torrents. Slackware puts out a new release once or maybe twice a year if the community is lucky, so when they do release a new version, it's big news. I, like many of you, have been on pins and needles for several weeks now since hints of a impending new release leaked out. Then anticipation grew when the changelog of last week made the press announcing 10.2 was almost ready and should be out probably by Tuesday. Torrents were made public yesterday and I grabbed my place in line. Excitement overwhelmed me as I booted the install disk. I was not disappointed in what I found.
The announcement  included such goodies as Support for fully encrypted network connections with OpenSSL, OpenSSH, and GnuPG; New development tools, including Perl 5.8.7, Python 2.4.1, Subversion 1.2.3, and graphical tools like Qt designer and KDevelop; and an Updated versions of the Slackware package management tools make it easy to add, remove, upgrade, and make your own Slackware packages.
The most exciting news to me in the announcement  was the availability of the 2.6.13 kernel. Slackware installs the 2.4.31 kernel as default and functions very well at that. However, if one mounts the 2nd install cdrom, they can install the 2.6.13 kernel using installpkg.
mount -t auto /dev/hd<x> /mnt/cdrom
where the cdrom is the 2nd install disk. Then simply issue the following command:
installpkg /mnt/cdrom/linux-2.6.13/kernel-source-2.6.13-noarch-1.tgz /mnt/cdrom/linux-2.6.13/kernel-modules-2.6.13-i486-1.tgz /mnt/cdrom/linux-2.6.13/kernel-headers-2.6.13-i386-1.tgz /mnt/cdrom/linux-2.6.13/kernel-generic-2.6.13-i486-1.tgz
Then you are going to need to make an initrd image as well if you installed onto any kind of filesystem other than ext2, unless you'd rather rebuild the kernel. In this case I chose to install mkinitrd and make the initrd image. So mount the first install disk and:
Next you need to make your initrd image. For example:
mkinitrd -c -k 2.6.13 -m reiserfs
Then put an entry in /etc/lilo.conf (or grub files), run lilo, and reboot. For example, my lilo entry looks like this:
After boot you get all of slack's goodness. This go around they have included xfce4 as well as some of the other popular window managers such as Fluxbox and Blackbox. Included versions are xfce4-4.2.2, windowmaker 0.92.0 and kde 3.4.2.
In the past I enjoyed Slackware for it's ease of configuration, all set up nice and easy in a few start up files. But these days, one really doesn't have to mess with that too much. I personally didn't have to change a thing. All my hardware was detected properly and functioned perfectly upon boot.
The changelog is chocked full of version upgrades and bug fixes, but also some new additions as well. Some of highlights include:
- d/subversion-1.2.3-i486-1.tgz: Added subversion-1.2.3.
- l/jre-1_5_0_04-i586-2.tgz: Added /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins directory with a link to the Java plugin.
- ap/vorbis-tools-1.1.1-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to vorbis-tools-1.1.1.
- kde/kdebase-3.4.2-i486-2.tgz: Patched a bug in Konqueror
- kde/kdebase-3.4.2-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to KDE 3.4.2.
Upgraded to bash-completion-20050721.
Upgraded to php-5.0.5
Upgraded to Linux 2.6.13
- ap/mysql-4.1.14-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to mysql-4.1.14.
- d/gcc-3.3.6-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to gcc-3.3.6.
- x/x11-6.8.2-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to X11R6.8.2.
- Full Changelog HERE 
So, there were some exciting changes and yet it was still the same reliable stable Slackware. If you've never tried Slackware, there isn't a better time than the present.