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Slackware 12 has arrived

and it really fulfills the promises. It’s just great, at least, what I discovered so far.

The main reason for me to try it out was simulatneous SATA and SMP support. It’s worked out-of-the box, I just had to pick a right kernel. Seeing the four penguin images coupled with fast-boot time is really delightful.

But, that’s not all. The other usual stuff seems to work ok, and new KDE seems a little bit faster (not! because of 4-core CPU - I also installed it on my old Pentium 3 laptop with 128MB RAM). Other things to enjoy in is easy mounting of removable drives - no more dmesg+mount messing. Although, I somehow managed to get that working properly on 10.2 with 2.6.13 kernel by manually configuring the udev rules - but don’t ask me to repeat it on another machine :)

I still have to try new GCC. That would remove all the problems I had with having GCC 3.3.6 and G++ 3.4.4 installed at the same time, and it also removes the bug with precomplied headers when using wxWidgets i Unicode mode. Well, I did use GCC 4.x before but compiling it myself from sources and running in sandbox environment, but that’s just not it.

I’m currently messing up with Bluetooth dongle. Bluetooth support comes with Slackware 12.0, but tools are…. well, there are no GUI tools, you have to go to the command line. I just learned about l2ping, hcitool, rfcomm, etc. and it looks like some things are going to be tricky to do as a regular user as some /dev entries get root:root owner and 660 permissions… But, more on that later after I get it to work. Actually, it does work (ping, querying services, etc.) but I want to make a dial-up connection using KPPP. I’m almost there (modem interface responds, and seems to dial, but pppd dies), so I’ll probably write more when I finish it.

I expected much more instability given the fact that so many things are new and untested, so I was considering to wait for 12.1 or 12.2 before installing it as my main system, but now I’m having second thoughts about that. As I’m changing my main work machine and installing something from scratch on it, it will most probably be Slackware 12.0.

Milan Babuškov, 2007-09-23
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