… Ok, ok, it is not so bad actually! Au contraire!
Slackware Linux development made a big leap today, when Pat Volkerding updated the distro’s “vital organs” of kernel, glibc and gcc. The “dull” phase of the slackware-current development cycle is over hopefully, and it’s back to the bleeding edge.
To be fair, gcc 4.4.2 has been sitting in “testing” area for quite a while now, and we think it is time to promote it into the core. With glibc 2.11.1 we are pushing it, as this is the most recent stable release, and the 18.104.22.168 kernel was much-anticipated by those who run -current on their computers.
Note that the new kernel has full support for EFI (the Extensible Firmware Interface which is going to be the replacement for the ageing BIOS on modern computers). This means that there is also support for GPT partitions. GUID Partition Table is a standard for the layout of the partition table on a physical hard disk (part of the EFI specification and meant to overcome the 2 TB size limitation of MBR partitions). We still have to look into updating the Slackware installer for automatic GPT partition recognition, but you will be able to use GPT partitions if you do some footwork yourself before running “setup”.
With this update to Slackware’s vitals, the stage is set for further tweaks of the core, but I think that for now, you will have plenty to play with.
And as promised to those running the 64-bit version of Slackware-current, I have made available multilib versions of the new gcc and glibc packages! Thanks to Pat Volkerding who allowed me sufficient time to build and rebuild these packages on my old computer until they were just perfect (I hope) and could be released along with the Slackware originals.
You can get them here: http://slackware.com/~alien/multilib/13.1/ (I took the liberty of assuming that 13.1 will be the version of the next Slackware release, mainly because I needed to give that directory a name).
For detailed instructions about what multilib means to the 64-bit Slackware and how you can add it, read this wiki article: http://alien.slackbook.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=slackware:multilib
Have fun! Eric