The Ultimate "When Will The Next Slackware Release Arrive" MegaThread
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Update frequency does not correlate strongly with stability.
yes it does, IMHO... but it depends on wether you are using the original definition of stability, or the "media" definition... most people nowadays use the media definition (how well programs run without problems, etc.), and it seems that's also the definition you are using (nothing wrong with that)...
the original definition of stability isn't that different from what the term means in other fields: "the quality of being enduring and free from change or variation"... hence, update frequency is indeed related to stability when using the original definition... a distro that continously gets a bunch of non-critical updates (or critical updates bundled with non-critical ones) is said to be inherently unstable - even if you do not experience any kind of problems after applying all the updates... this is, of course, the nature of the slackware -current branch...
being that patrick got his degree in computer science a very long time ago, i suspect he uses the original definition... so when he says that -current is looking "stable", he probably means that it's gotten to the point where no major changes are needed in order to have the distro be the way he wants it to be...
Most updates are minor bug fixes and security patches, nothing that would potentially compromize the core stability of the distro.
i would argue that not even slackware releases themselves are truly stable, at least not as stable as debian releases, for example...
when patrick releases an update (/patches) for the stable releases, the package will many times come with extra features or fixes which have nothing to do with the security/critical issue being addressed in the first place... he depends almost entirely on what the developers upstream provide... this is in contrast to debian, where updates to the stable branch are most of the time true patches which only address a specific security issue and leave everything else completely intact...
i believe it's completely understandable why each distro uses it's respective approach (resource availability, etc.), and each approach has it's own advantages and disadvantages...
I agree that it all depends on what 'stable' means. Slackware can still be considered quite stable, since a fresh install of any version of Slackware will not have that much variation in the distro itself. The apps may be different, but a distro maker has no business messing with an app. The stability of a distro and the stability of the apps provided by a distro should be examined separately. Noted that the a/ disk set could be considered to be a part of Slackware proper.
The Slackware approach means that a release is pretty much up to date when it comes out.
Yep. Agreed. I think 11.0 will ship with FF 18.104.22.168 and T Bird 22.214.171.124 and a cutting edge version of KDE:-) This has been a long nine months, but, the wait will be worth it.
Patrick will give us something outstanding very soon.
I'd like to see a 2.6 kernel too for a few reasons.
1. all my pc's are able to use the usb mice properly w/a 2.6 kernel.
2. my nforce 2 mobo's/ethernet dont like the 2.4 kernel. i think there may also be some kind of memory leaking going on if I run 2.4 kernel on it as well.
3. ati drivers go in smooth over 2.6.10 kernels i find. under that is a gamble for me.
4. on my laptop the 2.4 kernel does not use USB mouse and touchpad until i put the testing kernel in. it's a synaptics touchpad that is using an 'isa' port lol, now that's old.
5. Lastley, I havent figured out how to do a custom kernel install at loading of slack on a computer.
6. can use the lynux security models to get dazuko and thus real time virus protection.
I've read how DSL and other distro's went back to 2.4 kernels. But I have to say, for all the old pc's that I have, even the latest kernels so far (and I hope I dont eat my words) run just fine with the 2.6 kernels. Even on a p66!
I really don't understand or know what advantage would be to having a 2.4 series kernel to be honest.
I cant wait for it to come out, I'd love to see how fast my pc will run on the new zipslack.
The most recent 2.4.x was published November 2005 so to release 11.0 on a kernel that would be almost one year out of date does not seem sensible. Almost any other distribution going with 2.4 will be backporting patches from the 2.4.33 prerelease and even the 2.6 tree to support current hardware. That is a policy that Pat has always avoided.
" It shouldn't be too long before the fans of Slackware Linux are greeted with a new release of the world's oldest surviving Linux distribution. According to the latest Slackware Current ChangeLog, Patrick Volkerding believes that the "current" tree is very stable and almost ready for release: "Although there's still quite a bit in the TODO queue here I'm making my steps carefully as -current is very stable, and I think it should ship as a stable 11.0 soon so that we can get back to the business of breaking things in -current. :-)" Despite the major version number change, those who expect Slackware 11.0 to default to kernel 2.6 will be disappointed - the "current" tree still deploys kernel 2.4.32 (compiled with GCC 3.4.6), with kernel 126.96.36.199 stubbornly remaining in the "testing" directory. Among other important packages, glibc is the older 2.3.6, X.Org is version 6.9.0 and PHP 5 is also in the testing directory, but the rest of the system is up-to-date. For more details please check out the above-mentioned changelog and the Slackware page here on DistroWatch. The official Slackware 11.0 DVD is available for pre-order from the distribution's online store (US$59.95)."
I thought the same thing. That Distrowatch blurb doesn't actually say anything - just a quote from the changelog cross-referenced to the Slackware page on DW. Yes, we know 11 is coming soon. Yes, we know 2.4.32 is current the default. That doesn't mean Pat won't make the switch prior to shipping 11. I've had a feeling that he's been waiting on 2.6.16 to be as patched as it's gonna get before he moves it out of testing and releases 11.