Announcing Sflack Linux 12.0

It's that time to announce a new stable Sflack release 
again. So, without further ado, announcing Sflack version 12.0!

This first Sflack edition of the year combines simplicity (and close
tracking of original sources), stability, and security with some of the
latest advances in Linux technology.

Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find
two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.1,
a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy to use desktop
environment, and KDE 3.5.7, the latest version of the award-winning K
Desktop Environment. We have added to Sflack support for HAL (the
Hardware Abstraction Layer) which allows the system administrator to add
users to the cdrom and plugdev groups. Then 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, Sflack's desktop should be suitable for any level of
Linux experience.

Sflack uses the 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.
We have switched from the older one-piece X11 Window System to the newest
modular X11 from X.Org, which should be simpler to maintain and will
likely speed up development of new features for X (such as translucent
windows and a few other things that are on the horizon).

There are two kinds of kernels in Sflack -- 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. Sflack'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.

From the beginning, Sflack has offered a stable and secure Linux
distribution for UNIX veterans as well as an easy-to-use system for
beginners. Sflack includes everything you'll need to run a powerful
server or workstation. Each Sflack package follows the setup and
installation instructions from its author(s) as closely as possible,
offering you the most stable and easily expandable setup.

Here are some of the advanced features of Sflack 12.0:

- Runs the version of the Linux kernel from
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 2.5.
This version of glibc also has excellent compatibility with
existing binaries.

- X11 7.2.0. This is the X.Org Foundation's modular X Window System.
You will notice many more X package than before, and it's probably
best to install them all. There's been much activity in the X
development world, and the improvements here in terms of performance
and hardware support are sure to be only the beginning.

- Installs gcc-4.1.2 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) 2.2.4 web server with Dynamic Shared Object
support, SSL, and PHP 5.2.3.

- PCMCIA, CardBus, USB, IEE1394 (FireWire) and ACPI support. This
makes Sflack 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 5.8.8, Python 2.5.1,
Ruby 1.8.6, Subversion 1.4.4, git-, mercurial-0.9.4,
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 Sflack packages.
Package tracking makes it easy to upgrade from Sflack 11.0 to
Sflack 12.0 (see CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT). The slackpkg tool in
/extra can also help update from an older version of Sflack to
a newer one, and keep your Sflack 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 3.5.7,
SeaMonkey 1.1.2 (this is the replacement for the Mozilla
Suite), and the immensely popular Firefox, as well as
the Thunderbird email and news client with advanced
junk mail filtering.

- The complete K Desktop Environment (KDE) version 3.5.7, including
the KOffice productivity suite, networking tools, GUI development
with KDevelop, multimedia tools (including the amazing Amarok
music player), 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-2.0.2,
gimp-2.2.15, gkrellm-2.2.10, gxine-0.5.11, xchat-2.8.2, xsane-0.994,
and pan-0.131.

- Large repository of extra software packages compiled and ready to
run. This includes various window managers, the Java(TM) 2 Software
Development Kit Standard Edition, libsafe (buffer overflow protection
for additional security), ISDN support, additional 802.11 drivers,
and much more (see the /extra directory).

- Many more improved and upgraded packages than we can list here. For
a complete list of core packages in Sflack 12.0, see this file:

Downloading Sflack 12.0:

The full version of Sflack Linux 12.0 is available for download from
the central Sflack FTP sites:

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

under "Get Sflack".

Stay tuned to for the latest updates.

Instructions for burning the Sflack tree onto install discs may be
found in the isolinux directory.

Enjoy! :^) I hope you find Sflack to be useful, and thanks
very much for your support of this project.

Vincenzo Ingrosso <>

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