Slackware Linux – yes that Slackware, the original Linux distro itself is out now with Slackware version 12.2. And the big top line item – it’s now exclusively using the Linux 2.6 kernel!
Yes I know that seem almost anachronistic considering that the 2.6 kernel has been in usage in other distros since 2003.
“Since we’ve moved to supporting the 2.6 kernel series exclusively (and
fine-tuned the system to get the most out of it), we feel that Slackware
12.2 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.1) and is
a must-have upgrade for any Slackware user,” Slackware founder Patrick Volkerding said in the release announcement.
There are a lot of reasons why 2.4 kernel support was still needed (and is still needed by some), not the least of which is its smaller footprint and overall system requirements. However after five years of wide use and some 27 point releases, the 2.6 kernel is quite stable and it’s now the only one that Slackware supports.
Beyond that, Slackware 12.2 updates the usual suspects of a LInux distro including KDE (though they stick with the 3.5.x branch), Firefox, GIMP, Pidgin, Apache and the like.
Volkerding also noted that the Slackware package management tools get a boost which is interesting for me personally. Among the reasons why Debian and Red Hat (in my simplistic viewpoint) picked up users in the late 90’s was their solid packaging systems – .deb for for Debian and RPM at Red Hat.
Still, it’s absolutely amazing to see Slackware still in active development after all these years – and without ever becoming an ‘enterprise’ distro like SUSE or Red Hat.