Slackware is the oldest surviving Linux distribution and has been maintained since its birth by Patrick Volkerding. Slackware has a well deserved reputation for being stable, consistent and conservative. Slackware is released when it is ready, rather than on a set schedule, and fans of the distribution praise its no-frills and no-fuss design. Slackware adheres to a "keep it simple" philosophy similar to Arch Linux, in that the operating system does not do a lot of hand holding or automatic configuration. The user is expected to know what they are doing and the operating system generally stays out of the way. The latest release of Slackware, version 14.2, mostly offers software updates and accompanying hardware support. A few new features offer improved plug-n-play support for removable devices and this release of Slackware ships with the PulseAudio software. PulseAudio has been commonly found in the audio stack of most Linux distributions for several years, but that is a signature of Slackware: adding new features when they are needed, not when they become available. In this case PulseAudio was required as a dependency for another package.
Slackware 14.2 is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. There is also an ARM build. While the main edition of Slackware is available as an installation disc only, there is a live edition of Slackware where we can explore a Slackware-powered desktop environment without installing the distribution. The live edition can be found on the Alien Base website. Both the live edition and the main installation media are approximately 2.6GB in size. For the purposes of this review I will be focusing on the main, installation-only edition.
Booting from the install media brings us to a text screen where we are invited to type in any required kernel parameters. We can press the Enter key to take the default settings or wait two minutes for the media to continue booting. A text prompt then offers to let us load an alternative keyboard layout or use the default "US" layout. We are then brought to a text console where a brief blurb offers us tips for setting up disk partitions and swap space. The helpful text says we can create partitions and then run the system installer by typing "setup".
Today, July 14, 2016, Arne Exton informs us about the availability of a new build of his SlackEX Live Linux operating system, which has been rebased on the latest Slackware release.
Based on Slackware 14.2, powered by the latest and most advanced Linux 4.6.4 kernel with support for the latest hardware devices, and using the KDE Development Platform 4.14.21 that shipped with the KDE Applications 16.04.2 software suite, SlackEX Build 160711 is a 64-bit (x86_64) OS brings support for installation on USB flash drives.
Slackware was familiar. I could easily go back to using it. However, I have been spoiled by my experience with opensuse. With slackware, there are no configured repos. Any install of addition software takes additional effort, though perhaps just unpacking a tar file. And security updates require periodic checking for announcements and then manual installing.
Woohoo! Slackware 14.2 is here! Patrick Volkerding announced the release early July 1 saying it brings "many updates and enhancements." Elsewhere, the Mageia project announced the first stabilization snapshot for upcoming version 6 and Dominique Leuenberger posted this week's Tumbleweed review. The end of life for Fedora 22 is fast approaching and the end of an era is upon us as distributions drop 32-bit support.
Slackware 14.2 was released today to kick off July. Slackware 14.2 has been long in development while today it was christened.
Slackware 14.2 features Xfce 4.12.1 and KDE 4.14.21 desktops, is powered by the Linux 4.4.14 kernel, glibc 2.23, BlueZ 5 for Bluetooth, GCC 5.3 is the default compiler, and various other updated packages. Slackware 14.2 is also notable for finally making use of PulseAudio.
After many months of hard work, two Betas and two RCs, Patrick J. Volkerding was extremely proud to announce today, July 2, 2016, the release and immediate availability for download of the final Slackware 14.2 Linux operating system.
Slackware Linux 14.2 arrives two and a half months after the mid-April release of the second and last Release Candidate (RC) build, and it has now been declared stable and ready for deployment as your daily driver. Powered by the latest (at the moment of writing this article) long-term supported Linux 4.4.14 kernel, Slackware 14.2 ships with many up-to-date components and GNU/Linux technologies.
What a busy day today with all the releases for Slackware 14.2, MATE 1.14, Cinnamon 3.0 and now sbopkg 0.38.0.
We are finalizing SBo repository for Slackware 14.2, but at least you don't have to wait 3 months just like previous cycle as we have prepared it since last January. Stay tune for SBo announcement on slackbuilds-user mailing list.
Just hours since Slackware 14.2 is released, we proudly present to you MATE 1.14 and Cinnamon 3.0 for Slackware 14.2 users!!! We have been working under the hood of testing these two projects since they were released last April.
The binary packages are compiled against Slackware 14.2 official ISO and it's now uploaded to the usual repository in http://slackware.org.uk/msb and http://slackware.org.uk/csb. Thanks to Darren Austin for providing a place to host these two projects.
Jean-Philippe Guillemin, the developer of Zenwalk, proudly announced today, July 2, 2016, the final release of the Slackware-based Zenwalk 8.0 GNU/Linux operating system.
Based on the just released Slackware 14.2 operating system, Zenwalk 8.0 is finally here, powered by Linux kernel 4.4.14 LTS, the same one that powers the monumental Slackware Linux, thus offering users support for the latest hardware devices. Zenwalk's default desktop environment is Xfce 4.12.1, and it now ships with a new layout that's more user-friendly than ever.
Slackware 14.2 brings many updates and enhancements, among which
you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available
today: Xfce 4.12.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and
easy to use desktop environment, and KDE 4.14.21 (KDE 4.14.3 with
kdelibs-4.14.21) a stable release of the 4.14.x series of the award-
winning KDE desktop environment. These desktops utilize eudev, udisks,
and udisks2, and many of the specifications from freedesktop.org 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.
Slackware's desktop should be suitable for any level of Linux experience.
This pre-release ISO should be at 99% the stable target, you will get latest Libreoffice 5.1.3, latest Chromium 51, Mplayer 1.3, ffmpeg 3.0.1, latest Slackware current system (many upstream packages updated) featuring the Linux kernel 4.4.13, and a new desktop layout for XFCE 4.12.
Lately, system tools have been heavily improved to fully integrate Policykit privileges elevation features, enabling the unprivileged user to tweak many system parameters that require root ownership : you can now change your user password from the XFCE Panel by just entering your previous password, you can set the Xorg keyboard layout without root privileges, set your locale, set the login manager settings, set system clock, etc...). All these features can of course be hardened with Policykit to disallow automatic privileges elevation for users.