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by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 29, 2011

Among all the posts announcing the release of Ubuntu 11.04 was the few that acknowledged the release of Slackware 13.37. Slackware continues to boast a loyal following because of its rock hard stability and security. It was once known as not the best choice for beginners, but has become quite easy and carefree over the years. Perhaps Slackware's most notable characteristic is its practice of providing a turn-key system that doesn't alter the original developers' work.

This release brings users KDE 4.5.5, Xfce 4.6.2, Linux, X.Org X Server 1.9.5, GCC 4.5.2, Qt 4.7.0, Firefox 4, GIMP 2.6.11, KOffice, Xine, MPlayer, Audacious, and Juk. It also includes some lesser known applications such as Skanlite, Geeqie, Pan, XMMS, and SeaMonkey. Those that wish others can use slackpkg to search and install software from remote mirrors in the tradition of APT. Simply uncomment a mirror address from the /etc/slackpkg/mirrors file, run slackpkg update, and install, remove, search, upgrade, or reinstall any package available. Now to be fair, the Slackware repositories aren't as well stocked as say Sabayon's or Mandriva's, but some packages are available. Then there are trusted third-party repositories for Slackware with lots of other choices. One is Slackbuilds.org. With those packages you could use installpkg to install them. This might be the best bet for those who use NVIDIA proprietary drivers as well.

The hard drive installer hasn't changed much - okay, I didn't spot any changes except the addition of btrfs support. I don't understand why it has the reputation of being difficult or tricky. It's one of the easiest out there. You just use your keyboard arrow keys to navigate instead of your mouse. It asks a few of the same questions all installers need to know. The one big drawback is it still provides LILO. Does anyone still want to use LILO these days? Well, there probably are - and they're all running Slackware (or Zenwalk)! :D But I just always tell the Slackware installer to skip that step and add an entry into my existing grub menu file manually. For those who do not wish to build their own initrd file, just use the "huge" kernel - much easier that way.

Slackware 13.37 is available for 32-bit and 64-bit system in either multiple CD or single DVD formats. The Slackware store doesn't seem to be updated yet, but check back in a day or two. In fact, it seems a lot of the Website, like the Documentation and General Info, needs updating. Someone tell Patrick!