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Slackware 13.0 Released

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the fresh-bits dept.

Linux 252

willy everlearn and several other readers let us know that Slackware 13.0 is out. "Wed Aug 26 10:00:38 CDT 2009: Slackware 13.0 x86_64 is released as stable! Thanks to everyone who helped make this release possible — see the RELEASE_NOTES for the credits. The ISOs are off to the replicator. This time it will be a 6 CD-ROM 32-bit set and a dual-sided 32-bit/64-bit x86/x86_64 DVD. We're taking pre-orders now at store.slackware.com. Please consider picking up a copy to help support the project. Once again, thanks to the entire Slackware community for all the help testing and fixing things and offering suggestions during this development cycle. As always, have fun and enjoy!"

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252 comments

Purpose (0, Flamebait)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229465)

Does Slackware have a real purpose? From the outside, it seems slackware is for people who don't like/understand deb/rpm packages for whatever reason. Are there any other advantages

Re:Purpose (5, Informative)

willy everlearn (82796) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229523)

It seems that deb/rpm people don't like/understand Slackware.

Re:Purpose (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229661)

Well, I've been using Debian based distros for the last year (read: Ubuntu), what are the advantages of using Slackware? What can I expect?

Re:Purpose (5, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229825)

You can expect to get yourself into distro wars, but arguing from the Slackware side rather than Ubuntu side.

There are some other, more minor, technical differences but that is the main thing.

Bow before The King, f001 (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230561)

"You can expect to get yourself into distro wars, but arguing from the Slackware side rather than Ubuntu side."

There are no Distro Wars, only minor peasant skirmishes of no consequence to The King [mandriva.com] . ;-)

Games (5, Funny)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229933)

It comes with lots of cool games.

When I first gave Linux a try back 1998, I tried slackware. It came with a game called "X Server". If you won, you got to see pretty colors and stuff. If you lost, that's to say, if you set the refresh rate above what you monitor could take, you got a smoking monitor.

It was almost as scary as FEAR.

Re:Games (1, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230647)

It also comes with fortune [softpedia.com] and trek [wikipedia.org] . You haven't lived until you've gone through the offensive quotes (fortune -o) of the fortune file or had to battle hordes of Klingons by manually entering the compass bearing that you want to fire your phasers or photon torpedoes in.

I used to have a version of Trek where I had hacked the source to give it a "borg" mode. In borg mode the incoming Klingon fire would recharge my energy reserves while filling the screen with "RESISTANCE IS FUTILE" in random ANSI colors ;) Those were the days......

Re:Games (1, Informative)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230873)

Classic troll. I've been using Linux since 1992. Yes, 1992. Tseng Labs VLB video, reading the timings off the clock crystals on the video card, the whole thing. I have never smoked a monitor, nor has anyone I have ever talked to about Linux.

Re:Games (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29231321)

Some friends of mine smoked a monitor once, but I didn't inhale.

Humor Impaired (1)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231339)

I was mostly being facicious. But!...what does the timing off a video card have to do with me setting the refresh rate too high and potentially damaging my monitor?

When I was setting up the X Server, it presented a warning telling me that if I set the refresh rate too high (for a given resolution) that I could permanently damage my monitor.

To someone who had just gotten into computers (and Windows at that), that was some scary stuff.

I did end up setting the refresh too high, but my monitor had a safety device that simply shut it off when I did that.

Re:Purpose (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230565)

what are the advantages of using Slackware? What can I expect?

More hands on experience with the guts of a running Linux system instead of hands on experience with a package manager? That may or may not be an advantage for your particular application but it's a nice option to have.

Slackware was the first Linux distro I ever tried and I've remained partial to it ever since. My introduction to Linux came in the form of a $1.99 CD (hard to download the distro in the dialup era) that had Slackware, Debian and Red Hat on it. I picked Slackware because it had the coolest sounding name. I think it was to my long term benefit because I got a lot of experience with the nuts and bolts of Linux through sheer necessity. I don't know as if that would have happened if I had picked one of the other two.

I run Slackware for my servers at work and my firewall/nat/misc server at home. I spend more time setting it up but the knowledge of what's going on and the level of customization that I can achieve makes it worthwhile, at least IMHO.

Re:Purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29229531)

It's vital in convincing young penguins that pipe-smoking is cool.

Re:Purpose (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29229555)

Yes, there is purpose and other advantages. May I introduce you to "Bob"? He will tell you all you need to know about the purpose and advantages of having "Slack".

Re:Purpose (4, Interesting)

praedictus (61731) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229647)

Yes, Eris knows you don't even need to be a SubGenius to appreciate the benefits, one can never have too much Slack. Please excuse me, I just got run over by a Fnord.

Re:Purpose (2, Funny)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229729)

Yes, one can never have too much Slack.

I can think of a few bungee jumpers who would beg to differ.

Re:Purpose (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29229609)

Slackware is for people who don't understand packages? I think you have that one backwards mate.

Anyone who uses Slackware regularly understands much more about Linux than your average debian / ubuntu user, and is certainly not going to be burned by the "complexity" of a package management system. This is because much of the configuration is manual.

It's often quoted... if you use Ubuntu, you'll learn Ubuntu. If you use Slackware, you'll learn Linux.

I've been using Slackware since '96, and I continue to use it in various capacities today. Installing Slackware and playing with it, writing programs for it, was seriously the best thing I ever did for my knowledge of computers and for Unix environments. I have skills that far surpass any of my co-workers or friends, and have often been the only one that could sort out issues with any sort of Unix environment.

Thanks Pat for the hard work.

Re:Purpose (1, Funny)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230435)

Anyone who uses Slackware regularly understands much more about Linux than your average debian / ubuntu user, and is certainly not going to be burned by the "complexity" of a package management system. This is because much of the configuration is manual.

It's often quoted... if you use Ubuntu, you'll learn Ubuntu. If you use Slackware, you'll learn Linux.

I've been using Slackware since '96, and I continue to use it in various capacities today. Installing Slackware and playing with it, writing programs for it, was seriously the best thing I ever did for my knowledge of computers and for Unix environments. I have skills that far surpass any of my co-workers or friends, and have often been the only one that could sort out issues with any sort of Unix environment.

The true purpose of Slackware? Smugness.

Re:Purpose (5, Informative)

ewirt (70797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229625)

I would argue that Slackware is for people who have a better understanding of how the system fits together than many (but certainly not all!) of the rpm/deb package users. I use Slackware in an Enterprise setting on 70+ servers that cover everything from email to web-hosting to firewalls to custom built "sales presentation" devices. For us, slackware gives us complete control over the systems, without having to guess at what other services or programs may muddle with different parts of the configuration. It's easy for us to disable and remove any services that are not necessary on a particular computer, and we have our own custom installation, testing, and deployment scripts that allow us to keep machines with similar purposes up to date and in sync. While we could accomplish the same things with virtually any distro, Slackware is (for us) the easiest to do these things with, and "Just Works".

Re:Purpose (5, Informative)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229629)

The main purpose of Slackware is to provide a Linux distribution that is very BSD-like. People familiar with FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD that need to use Linux will find Slackware very pleasant to work with.

Linux users that have no experience with UNIX and the CLI will find themselves stumbling around and complaining and asking stupid questions like: "Does Slackware have a real purpose?"

I look forward to upgrading.

Re:Purpose (0, Troll)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229881)

I know someone who uses OpenBSD for specific tasks, and still says Slackware is pointless garbage. It's rough and unpolished, and not suitable for production use. Many of us hold the same opinion of RHEL btw, it's not good just because it says "Enterprise" .... even Gentoo's better than Slackware, since you don't have to pick individual packages at installation etc etc etc (workable package management), but it does break itself a lot and isn't useful for production. Debian, SLES, Ubuntu, some others hold what you need for real use; I find Ubuntu best for the home desktop, though all three are useful in an enterprise environment, with SLES probably better than Ubuntu for enterprise desktops (Ubuntu's lacking in that department). RHEL (garbage) just may have the best enterprise integration, though.

Re:Purpose (2, Informative)

hydroponx (1616401) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230697)

I've run Slackware in production plenty of times for years at a time with no issues, maybe you just don't how to configure it for your purposes? You don't HAVE to pick every package you want, but it does give you that option. It sounds more like you're not familiar enough with the installer to manage a successful installation to end up having only the tools needed for the function said production machine is going to require.

That said, I've not had much of a problem with package management for Slackware, maybe you should check out /var/log/packages, learn to use grep, put together a few simple scripts, and check out slackbuilds.org [slackbuilds.org] .

I'll admit this does require more working than just slamming a distro because it doesn't take 3days+ to install or doesn't have a nice pretty GUI that's point'n'click easy. But what I do know? I just want stable/secure servers that aren't that difficult to patch, to me Slackware covers all that once you get through the learning curve.

Re:Purpose (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231219)

stable/secure/not difficult to patch/no GUI == Debian, Ubuntu Server, etc. RHEL and SuSE are convinced you absolutely must have a GUI, same with Windows Server.

Re:Purpose (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231437)

One thing I could really do without in the Linux community is the attitude that, if you're not willing to compile your own binaries, or write your own upgrade scripts, that is your failing, and not the fact that the software is byzantine or difficult to use.

You can strip down any common linux distro to only the bare bones. Many of them have that as a preconfigured install option, and nearly all of them will let you choose only those services you want/need.

But if you use a common distro, that will completely negate your ability to walk around with a supercilious sneer for all those lesser people who care about putting together a system that a normal person will be able to use or support! And by "normal", in this case, I'm talking about the majority of the minority who can use *nix in the first place!

Re:Purpose (0, Troll)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229905)

Not every user even on a Linux system needs to be able to use the shell and CLI. I mean it's a good idea but as long as you can pop open a termainal in a GUI and produce basic scripts you'll be fine.

If you want pure CLI and pointless design welcome to Unix / FreeBSD, A system for those who want headaches, pain and broken packages.

GNU / Linux is designed to work and work well for users that come up from either Windows or Unix. Linux is point blank the greatest OS in history or Computing bar none.

Thanks
Docmur

Re:Purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29230469)

On the contrary, Linux was developed as a free UNIX-like kernel, and the GNU manifesto clearly states that it's intended goal is a complete UNIX-like (or more specifically, BSD-like) system. Incidentally, despite RMS's blessing on the ideologically-pure and cathedral-integrated Debian, straight-up slackware is arguably the purest fulfillment of the functional goals of GNU and Linux you can get in a box, and is only exceeded by slackware+pkgsrc (which, incidentally, is hell easier than e.g. Debian+pkgsrc).

And there's absolutely nothing in Linux or GNU that's intended to make it easy for Windows people -- that mainly belongs to KDE, GNOME, OOo, and hordes of smaller projects.

Re:Purpose (-1, Flamebait)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230771)

If you want pure CLI and pointless design welcome to Unix / FreeBSD, A system for those who want headaches, pain and broken packages.

I've been running FreeBSD in production for 6+ years and quite honestly unless there is a specific OSS package that isn't maintained in ports and refuses to compile; I have no reason what-so-ever to use Linux in its place. It's far more stable, far more secure, and people running production servers hardly need to waste precious resources on a GUI to make things "easier" for the uneducated.

While your last statement is clearly flamebait, I'll bite. Windows is great for the average PC and workstation user. It integrates well into many environments and in recent years has made strides to improve security and resource management. FreeBSD is great in the server room for it's rock solid stability and security, and was one of the building blocks for the popular PC OS, Apple Mac OS X. Linux is trying to fill many niches and as such, has uses in the server room, and on workstations. However, Linux is hardly usable for the majority of computer users because most (all?) distributions are incapable of attaining licenses to the many proprietary applications that the majority of people want/need to use. Linux is, point blank, one of the biggest jokes in OS and computing history. The sad part is it still has potential.

Re:Purpose (3, Interesting)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230053)

I loved Slackware for many years, from 1995 to 2008, when I had 4 Slack machines in the house. However, it was the upgrading itself that finally turned me. I found it nigh impossible to actually "upgrade" a pre-existing configured system in use without critically damaging libraries and needing to reinstall from scratch, and worse, reconfigure and fiddle for about 10 hours to get everything working again the way I liked it. In my 20s I had that kind of energy and enthusiasm. Not any longer.

Yes, I have switched to Ubuntu/Mythbuntu, but have brought all my Slackware knowledge with me. Debian package management is divine. The switch has turned out to be the best of both worlds, Ubuntu's polish with my Slackware config skills, with the result of a brilliantly tuned machine that's nigh hassle free.

Re:Purpose (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230301)

Agreed. I used to use slackware but the novelty of manually setting everything up wore off a while back. Plus theres so much more to set up in a modern distribution that you really don't want to have to worry about getting low level plumbing up and running - it should just work out of the box.

Re:Purpose (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231249)

> I used to use slackware but the novelty of manually setting everything up
> wore off a while back. Plus theres so much more to set up in a modern
> distribution that you really don't want to have to worry about getting low
> level plumbing up and running - it should just work out of the box.

Am with you on that. But funnily enough a new Slackware install doesn't
exactly take me a whole lot longer than, say, an Ubuntu install anymore.
Either I got really good at it or Slackware did :-)

Example: With my M-Audio Revolution 7.1 a few years ago I putzed around for
days with Alsa and whatnot. Now it just works OOTB. They even fixed that
stupid bug, where initially sound would only come out of one side/speaker
until you changed the volume...

Re:Purpose (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230541)

I use Slackware and what you describe is one of my biggest complaints. Patrick will occasionally split packages into several parts, which is good for the long term, but it's pretty annoying when you discover it the hard way because some library you need wasn't installed when you did "upgradepkg".

However, once I get the Slackware systems set up, they just run and run, practically zero maintenance or fiddling required. That part I love.

Re:Purpose (3, Informative)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230609)

However, once I get the Slackware systems set up, they just run and run, practically zero maintenance or fiddling required. That part I love.

Aside from Gentoo, I've found that to be common with every Linux distro I've tried.

Re:Purpose (1)

ezelkow1 (693205) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230611)

Same here. I have a feeling like alot of the linux users I also got my start on slack back in the 90's, but there seems to be a point when the majority of people realize its just far easier to use an apt/yum/etc solution and just not deal with the headaches anymore of package management and what not and just want their system to work and to be able to use it without having to deal with the headaches of just getting it running.

Re:Purpose (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29230921)

On the other hand I've had minimal problems upgrading any of my machines from 1999 till 2009, from Slackware 7.x up to 13.0 today (the present machine started at 9.0). From the way my coworkers curse every six months when they try to update to the latest Ubuntu release, I think I know what distribution I'll be using for the next ten years.

Re:Purpose (2, Informative)

ThatComputerGuy (123712) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231451)

Really? I don't think I've reinstalled any of the Slackware installs (of which there are plenty) since ~2000, other than for corrupt filesystems.

Before doing a Slackware upgrade, definitely consult UPGRADE.TXT and CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT. Together they provide a very simple set of instructions for doing your upgrade, as well as a list of which packages have been split or merged, and details on any software that's been replaced and may need to be reconfigured.

Re:Purpose (-1, Troll)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229831)

Its purpose is to be an absolute garbage, unpolished Linux distribution. You may as well LFS.

Re:Purpose (5, Insightful)

Zashi (992673) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229949)

Okay, I'll bite, Mr. Troll.

I was actually just thinking about this. Slackware is *just like* LFS in its simplicity. This is a good thing for those who desire it. Slackware is an LFS system that has been tested for stability and provides a simple, easy for an admin to takeover package management system. Slapt-get provides higher level package management for those who desire it--including support for dependency resolution.

Believe it or not, not everyone wants to be met with GUI greeters, setup wizards, beginner-oriented defaults, and enabled-by-default automatic updates.

Re:Purpose (4, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229965)

Its purpose is to be an absolute garbage, unpolished Linux distribution. You may as well LFS.

And this "absolute garbage, unpolished" distribution also happen to be the oldest still-existing distribution in the Linux world. Surprising, that.

Hmmmm... Maybe they are doing something right, after all? Like, perhaps, being stable, complete and a joy to work with?

As opposed to, say, the RPM-Hell, bugged-to-the-bone, over-bloated and absolutely nonsensical but politically correct other distribution(s)?

Just a thought for you...

Re:Purpose (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231151)

Doing something right? Why? Have they had massive second quarter profits this year?

Re:Purpose (2, Interesting)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231359)

Slackware is actually a privately-held company, so it does not have to disclose profits or losses.

However, ever since it has been created, it has provided the mains source of income for Patrick Volkerding, so I guess profits must have been steady, if not spectacular.

I'll note that Slackware has been forked countless times -- probably because it provides a stable, simple and highly-customizable platform for experimentation. Just like Linux (the kernel) itself, by the way.

Besides, this is open-source. Profits, IMHO, are definitely *not* a proof of software quality (See: Software, Microsoft)... But why waste a good troll arguing rationally, right? Go back under your bridge, little troll, I have wasted enough time with you like that.

Re:Purpose (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231197)

The reason people use package managers and such is because not everyone has time to resolve every dependency problem by hand.

I've used Slackware, and yes, it's stable, and yes it's reasonably bug-free, and it gets these things by pruning down the default install. If you want to run a bare-bones install of Fedora, it's also extremely stable. It's also of limited utility.

I'm not fond of Slackware in a production environment because upgrading and package maintenance is a pain in the ass. Instead of typing (for example) rpm -q *program*, you have to teach people how to determine which binary version is present, where it is, and coach them in installing new ones, and making sure the dependencies are okay, and if all your machines aren't doing the same thing, this can be a huge time sink.

I'm not terribly fond of "off the shelf" rpms, but it's easy to make my own, and then put them in my own repository, and push them out to every machine that needs one. It's a simple and effective infrastructure, and one that can be grasped by minions who are not capable of scratch building binaries with weird dependencies.

Re:Purpose (2, Insightful)

daid303 (843777) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229987)

Actually it's the step between Ubuntu and LinuxFromScratch. I've run Slackware for quite a while and learned a lot from it. But you won't run into the problems that LFS gives you. However, for a normal desktop or server something with apt is way easier to administrate. I wouldn't run Slackware in a server/desktop production environment. Maybe in a embedded system when you need a tighter system.

Slashware (1, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230237)

I read the headline and thought it said slashcode 13 released. For a split second there was much rejoicing. Then I wondered if it would include images of Jason. Then I realized it said Slackware and I went back to staring at the wall.

Re:Slashware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29231253)

flaimbait?

There are either some touchy Slackware users or slashcode programmers with mod points. That or somebodies got their humor filter turned on.

I wish the Pirate Bay was still around (-1, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229469)

TPB really helps me find my torrents. This kind of file sharing is exactly what BT is great for.

Re:I wish the Pirate Bay was still around (5, Informative)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229593)

Or you could just use the torrent page. [slackware.com]

But, if you want to download your operating system from a completely unknown and untrusted source, go right ahead.

Granted, TPB would probably link you to the same torrent, but why would you take the risk? Because you find searching, poring over a search list, and deciding on one that looks safe is a more efficient use of your time than just going to the source's torrents?

Re:I wish the Pirate Bay was still around (3, Informative)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229619)

http://www.slackware.com/getslack/torrents.php [slackware.com]

Since when did you need TPB for this kind of sharing. Ain't best place for torrent of sotware on its offical pages? Thou, http://www.legaltorrents.com/ [legaltorrents.com] really could use linux / opensource section.

Try DistroWatch For Linux Torrents (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229897)

TPB really helps me find my torrents. This kind of file sharing is exactly what BT is great for.

I've used DistroWatch [distrowatch.com] since the first time someone told me to try out Debian in college and it turned out I needed a different distribution because Debian was for me to start out on. Very memorable learning experience.

Even today, the site does a really good job of keeping up to date. An example is Slackware 13.0 [distrowatch.com] that was released today and there in one paragraph with all the links you could want and direct links to mirrors for torrents and the MD5s.

A lot of times when I want to know what a distro is up to, I click that pull down bar -- like say Fedora -- and get a convenient history of recent releases with a paragraph about the release. Hats off to the people who maintain that site.

Re:Try DistroWatch For Linux Torrents (1)

Psicopatico (1005433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230467)

Did anyone noticed that DistroWatch has some interesting references [distrowatch.com] to the SCO/Caldera Linux distribution?

[...]but as far as DistroWatch is concerned, SCO/Caldera is no longer a Linux distribution.

Totally off-topic, of course, but always interesting.

Yay! (0)

Sp4c3 C4d3t (607082) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229477)

Slackware doesn't have the advanced features of more modern distros (like Gentoo), but I still find uses for it. It's perfect for a media center or a MAME cabinet. It's good to see it's still going strong, especially with an official 64-bit version.

It's been said before... (0, Troll)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229487)

Growing up, Rob Malda was always self-conscious about being the smallest kid in hisc lass. Mom made it worse by always begging him to eat bigger meals.

"Rob, look at all these people staring at me," she whispered to me one day on the bus. "They're wondering why I don't feed you more."

When I was 13, my father got a job transfer from Calgary, Alberta to Thunder Bay, Ontario. That was a rough transition for me. I was just starting high school, and it was frightening.

The first day in my new school, a guy named Bill invited me to his church. I'd gone to Sunday School sporadically, and knew it would be a good place to find some new friends. So I started going every week with him to the United Church just down the hill from our school.

Later, in our Grade 10 Sunday School class, we were invited to a special six-week series of classes, to be followed by a special confirmation service for those who wanted to join the church.

I'll never forget the sermon that Sunday morning, as I sat in the front pew with my class. "You're not joining a club," the minister told us. "What you're really doing is giving your lives to Jesus Christ, asking Him to come in and take control." I'd never heard that before.

"God," I prayed, "if You're really there, I invite You to come into my life. Please forgive me for my sins, and help me become the person You want me to be."

As I prayed, something happened. Deep inside came an assurance that God was real, and I was overwhelmed with the feel- ing of being loved. I knew for sure that God loved me, little John Howard. It was an amazing experience.

After that service in April, 1963, I went to every possible church activity. I had a new hunger to read the Bible and pray. Church was suddenly a very important part of my life.

But at the same time, something else was happening, something hidden and troubling. As a young teen, I discovered a pile of old sporting magazines down in the basement. Flipping the pages, I was drawn to the Charles Atlas ads. Looking at the muscular body-builders, I thought: Now that's what a real man looks like. I wish I could look like that.

Later, I accidentally discovered another magazine in a corner store, filled with scantily-clad men in seductive poses. I felt fascinated and sexually-aroused. Somehow I knew these feelings were wrong.

Thus, an inner conflict began that would continue for almost 20 years. On the one hand I prayed that God would take away these feelings for other men, while on the other I continued to find them enjoyable. I was too ashamed to tell anyone else what was happening inside me.

I had a lot of girlfriends during high school and felt very comfortable around them. Despite the increasing sexual desire for other guys, I assumed I'd eventually get married.

Then through school and church I met a girl named Vicki and we started dating. We married when we were both 21, but the conflict inside of me only increased. Often I'd have homosexual fantasies while I was being intimate with my wife, and secretly sought out magazines and books to feed my homosexual desires.

By this time, I was in seminary, training for the ministry. Vicki and I had our first daughter in 1972, then adopted a son. Later we had another girl. I deeply loved my wife and children, but the lustful thoughts were out of control. Although I didn't want to lose my family, I felt an increasing desire to act out my homosexual feelings, to see if reality was the same as fantasy.

In the summer of 1974 on my way home from a conference, I was delayed in Winnipeg. Instead of staying with friends, I went to a hostel which had the reputation for homosexual activity.

Another man approached me for sex. After he left my room, I headed for the showers. I felt so guilty and dirty--and also afraid that I might have caught some kind of venereal disease.

Later that night, I knelt beside the bed and prayed. "God, I'm so sorry. Please forgive me for this awful sin. I promise I'll never do it again. And please take away these wrong feelings."

By this time, I was on staff at Collier Street United Church in Barrie, Ontario. I had to travel quite often to Toronto, running errands and doing hospital visitation. On these trips I had trouble staying out of the adult bookstores.

"God, please help me," was my frequent prayer on the drive into Toronto. But once I got there, it felt like a giant magnet pulled me into the wrong places. I'd browse through the gay magazines and memorize the pictures, later fantasizing about what I'd seen. I felt angry and guilty--but I couldn't stop.

Then I started driving past cruising areas and reading graffiti on bathroom walls. I knew if this behavior continued, I'd get drawn into homosexual activity again. Eventually, I'd get caught and lose my job and family.

Meanwhile at church, I was meeting regularly with ten small group leaders. Discussing problems in their groups as well as any personal issues, we got to know one another really well.

After one of these meetings, two of the women approached me. "John, we can sense you're really struggling with something," they said. "If you ever want to talk, we want you to know we're here for you."

I brushed them off. "Oh, no, everything's fine. Thanks a lot." Inside, I was scared. Other people can tell I have a problem, I thought.

During the next trip to Toronto, I ended up in an adult bookstore again. On the drive home, God spoke to me: "John, I've provided these people for you to talk with." I called one of the ladies that night and said I needed to meet with them.

The following Friday, I talked to them all afternoon, pouring out my soul. They loved and accepted me, often crying with me as we shared together. We committed ourselves to meeting every two weeks. During the next year, the Lord worked in my life in a beautiful way.

These women became my support group. When I was going to Toronto, I could call them up and ask for prayer. That accoun- tability made a real difference. The addiction to pornography and immoral fantasies began to wane.

God showed me these sinful habits were unhealthy ways I dealt with negative emotions: stress, loneliness, anger, hurt feelings. He also helped me accept my body, to realize that it was His gift to me, not something to be ashamed of.

After a few months, I knew my wife had to know what was going on. One night before we went to bed, I finally confessed to her my struggles with homosexuality.

Vicki was hurt that I'd kept this part of me from her for so many years, but she supported my search for healing. And, although she was dedicated to our marriage, she knew any overt homosexual activity was adultery. "If I chose that behavior, I'll leave you," she told me. Knowing her limits was added motivation for me to never fall into adultery again.

The healing process continued over the months. I gradually told more people what I was dealing with, and they were very supportive. My senior pastor discovered a book with the address of an ex-gay ministry in the back. I wrote for materials and gobbled up the information.

In the spring of 1985, I attended a conference in Vancouver, Canada on the healing of homosexuality. It was so encouraging to meet and share with other ex-gays. "God," I prayed that week, "if you want me to start a ministry to homosexuals, I'm willing."

Then one morning on the news, I heard about the arrest of a man who'd been a Sunday School teacher in another city. He had been caught in homosexual activity. After saying good-bye to his wife and children, he'd gone out and killed himself.

I wept, knowing that, except for God's grace, that could have been me. I also knew there were so many people struggling with homosexuality who had never heard there was hope for change.

"God," I prayed, "if going public with my story can help prevent that kind of tragedy in one person's life, I'm willing to do it."

So, in January 1986, I started an ex-gay support group that is still going strong. It's been exciting to see the changes that God has brought about in the lives of the people who have come.

God has continued to work in my marriage. Now I really enjoy the physical part of my relationship with Vicki, no longer needing homosexual fantasies for stimulation.

Compared to five years ago, my struggles with homosexual lust are virtually gone. I'm not afraid of temptation when it comes; I've learned how to successfully deal with it.

For so many years I struggled to deal with my homosexuality between just me and the Lord. Then I discovered that all along He had wanted to bring me healing through His people. I praise God that He led me to two loving Christians who were willing to be His instruments of healing and change.

And so it is true, as James wrote: "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." (James 5:16) Praise God!

Re:It's been said before... (-1, Offtopic)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229915)

So wait, he solved his gayness by having 3-ways with 2 chicks when he was out of town away from his wife? Hmm..

Overweight (0)

grahamsaa (1287732) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229583)

This time it will be a 6 CD-ROM 32-bit set and a dual-sided 32-bit/64-bit x86/x86_64 DVD.

Slack is great but overweight. I'd rather have a more minimal distribution, preferably something that fits on a a single CD. That said, it lives up to expectations -- everything plus the kitchen sink.

Re:Overweight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29229685)

Its as overweight as the packages you select during the install.
Multiple cds a large distro does not make.

Re:Overweight (IOW: TL;DD) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29229779)

This time it will be a 6 CD-ROM 32-bit set and a dual-sided 32-bit/64-bit x86/x86_64 DVD.

Slack is great but overweight. I'd rather have a more minimal distribution, preferably something that fits on a a single CD. That said, it lives up to expectations -- everything plus the kitchen sink.

In other words: Too large; didn't download. ;)

Re:Overweight (2, Interesting)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229799)

Slack is great but overweight. I'd rather have a more minimal distribution, preferably something that fits on a a single CD. That said, it lives up to expectations -- everything plus the kitchen sink.

The cause of distro bloat these days is upstream laziness, particularly on the part of X and the DE (Gnome/KDE) developers. It's a running joke about how you can forget any hope of getting a clean X install without having to hack various bits into shape yourself.

So distro makers have to ship everything themselves, if they want to be sure that everything is going to work with their distro. With something like Debian that changes everything possible purely because they can, upstream shouldn't necessarily be blamed so much, but I suspect Patrick probably tries hard to be as standard as he can, and still has problems.

Re:Overweight (2, Insightful)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229801)

Slackware Slim wanted. I have to agree, trim it down to CD or even better, downsize it down a few megabytes so one can run it off the flash drive.

Re:Overweight (5, Informative)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229841)

Slack is great but overweight.

Slackware, overweight? You obviously don't know what you are talking about.

Usually, you only need the 1st CD to install a minimal Slackware system, including fluxbox if memory serves well. CD2 is usually KDE and XFCE. CD3 are optional packages. CD4 through CD6 is source code.

Since I have installed Slackware on countless servers, I hope Slackware 13.0 still follows this simple rule.

And "Everything plus the kitchen sink" is precisely the opposite of the Slackware philosophy [slackware.com] (= KISS).

Re:Overweight (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230191)

That said, it lives up to expectations -- everything plus the kitchen sink.

Not only that, the sink comes in 5 or 17 different variations, so you get your choice on which one to use.
(As long as you don't want the gnome sink)

Re:Overweight (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230229)

as a long time Slackware user (since 8.0) I have to agree, I watched Slackware go from a single CD distro to the bloated mess it is now, xorg is a damn mess (blame that on xorg developers), kde-4.x is a really buggy mess (blame that on kde developers), I think 12.2 will be my last Slackware, I am going to switch to Crux Linux, I would rather start with a minimal installation and build up from there, i am sure if i installed Slackware without X & kde it would run fine, then there is the job of sorting out all the crap in /l that are no longer required since there will be no X, Crux makes that easier...

Pat V. is a great assembler of packages in to a distro but I think more work should go in to the install CD/DVD directories separating the /l dir in to several dirs so you dont have libraries only needed for kde in there too (put them in /kde), same with gtk only libraries (make a new /gtk directory), it is like a huge tub of fish and not everyone likes or wants all the fish in there.

I will say in the ten years of using Linux Slackware is most definitely one of the better distros out there.

Thinking about a Distro switch (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229849)

Hey awesome, I've been trying to get into Slackware lately but I just can't seem to get use to it. Are there any realb benifits to tranfering to it.

Right now I run Arch and I just came from Gentoo, and I like the speed aspects of both and the optimization ability. Would there be such option in Slackware, I haven't seen one but I could of missed it.

Well either way if I can figure out some reasons to switch then I just might.

Thanks
Docmur

Re:Thinking about a Distro switch (4, Interesting)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229935)

> I've been trying to get into Slackware lately but I just can't seem to get
> use to it. Are there any realb benifits to tranfering to it.

It may or may not be for you. That's the beauty of Linux. Use what you feel
comfortable with.

> Right now I run Arch and I just came from Gentoo, and I like the speed
> aspects of both and the optimization ability. Would there be such option in
> Slackware

You can recompile every package to your specifications. See the Slackbuilds.
Whether there's any actual benefit to doing so remains to be seen.
Ditto for actual source you download. Optimizations are a CFLAGS away.

Re:Thinking about a Distro switch (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230041)

It's very true that the beauty of Linux is you can use what you feel comfortable with. Personally I love Gentoo but it's become a mess of a project, every one pulls it in a new direction and it ends up broken alot.

Well maybe I'll give it another try Slackware I mean.

Thanks
Docmur

Re:Thinking about a Distro switch (4, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229991)

It's been a while since I used it, but I liked Slack when I did. It didn't use the SysV init system used on almost all other Linux distros, but instead opted for BSD-style startup scripts. At the time I liked that - after getting very used to SysV these days though I think I'd be more or less indifferent on the issue.

Also, Slack was a bit more "raw" of a distro - it's package management included no real dependency handling, making it for the most part just an easy way to install binaries. Usually rather than relying on the package manager (as I often do in other distros now) it was just easier in Slack to download the source tarball and manually compile and install it. That was nice in that I pretty much always had the latest version of any program that I cared about, but the downside was that sometimes as older versions of libraries and such lagged, it would eventually hit a point when upgrading something like Gnome manually became a very, very long task of tracking down all the packages that needed to be upgraded, and sometimes fixing them (as sometimes they'd have libraries in non-standard places and such - not a common occurence, but it did happen).

Slack also didn't ship with any of it's own GUI tools. What you got was basically whatever Gnome or KDE shipped for you to use.

All in all, it was a fast and lean system that lended itself well to a person who wants to tweak things to keep them working exactly how they want. These days though, I've just found that Ubuntu on servers and Mint on the desktop is 90% as good of a system to use while being 20% of the effort to maintain, so I just use them instead.

Re:Thinking about a Distro switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29230525)

Might I suggest slackware+pkgsrc?

Re:Thinking about a Distro switch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29230163)

Right now I run Arch and I just came from Gentoo

I think this says it all right here. You're either a kid, an amateur, or just plain stupid.

I've been an enterprise admin for a couple of decades and I've been buying the distro sets for years. It does what I want, when I want, flawlessly. If you don't know Linux (and if you can't configure Slack then you don't), then go run Ubuntu or one of the other Playskool/Fisher Price distros.

Well either way if I can figure out some reasons to switch then I just might.

Hint: nobody cares, son.

good job (3, Informative)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229851)

This release is, IMHO, a real milestone for Slackware. A major version jump in the desktop, a new package format, a 64-bit version, ext4, 2.6.29/30 kernels with all their goodies...wow, it's come a long way. Thanks to Pat and all other Slack'ers for putting it all together. Waiting eagerly for my subscription to arrive (yes, I put my money where my mouth is and Slackware is well worth the support). :-)

Re:good job (2, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229893)

Likewise: great job to the Slackware crew, and I am waiting for my CDs to arrive!

new package format? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29231375)

What's this?? Details?

Re:new package format? (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231465)

Well, the overall format is still the same actually, but a new compression
algorithm is being used. This results in smaller package files and a new
extension *.txz, as opposed to the older *.tgz.

slashdot will not honor account deletion requests (-1, Offtopic)

NoGoodNamesLeft98213 (1609617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29229863)

Slashdot will never delete your account, no matter how many times you request them to do so! Aren't you glad that you gave them all that personal information now?

Slackware is for stability - so why KDE 4.2? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230205)

KDE 4.2 still isn't really ready for primetime rollout - you just need to fiddle with it too much to get some things to work and with slackware you'll be spending enough time fiddling with the core OS as it is. Why didn't patrick stick with 3.5 and leave 4.2 as an option?

Re:Slackware is for stability - so why KDE 4.2? (1)

Chromium_One (126329) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230649)

Last I checked, KDE 3.5 was no longer being maintained. This may have factored into the decision to jump to 4.x.

Re:Slackware is for stability - so why KDE 4.2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29231533)

I thought Slackware was about simplicity (for the developer). It is a lot simpler to include a supported version of KDE.

So... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230223)

Did Patrick ever get over his irrational hatred of PAM and HAL? Or are these still left as an exercise for the student?

Re:So... (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230413)

PAM can be a PITA. One machine I used had its /var/log directory wiped. Because some file in there (I forget whichi - probably messages or syslog) was now missing PAM couldn't write to it and consequently failed every single login. A pretty moronic coding error IMO.

Re:So... (1)

ppz003 (797487) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230471)

HAL is in place and working quite well. PAM is still not part of Slackware (and probably never will be.)

Much as I like Slackware... (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230269)

"To use a generic kernel you'll need to build an initrd to load your filesystem module and possibly your drive controller or other drivers needed at boot time"

Sorry guys , this is 2009. If the only options to get my devices running is some huge BLOB of a kernel or having to manually hack together an initrd I think I'll stick with other distributions. Installing a distribution is enough work as it is these days without having to worry about fundamentals such as getting the kernel to boot in the first place. This might have been fine in the days when all you wanted out of a setup was a working command prompt and maybe fvwm but these days its just too much work.

(And yes , I used to run slackware up to 11.0)

Re:Much as I like Slackware... (2, Insightful)

michaelmuffin (1149499) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230877)

so recompile with your root fs built into the kernel. that's probably what most slackware users do anyway. leaving code required to boot as modules is a headache waiting to happen. if you don't want do build a custom kernel, you can always stick with the huge kernel used for installation

Re:Much as I like Slackware... (2, Interesting)

redirect 'slash' nil (1078939) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230881)

I think the statement about the generic kernel only refers to installation on nonstandard drives (eg. dmraid with various fakeRAIDs). If you stay in the realm of /dev/hd# /dev/sd# and common controllers interfaces like Compaq Smart Array for instance, you won't need an initrd to boot your kernel.

And if you find the Slackware way (which, IMO is the most generic approach) cumbersome, pray explain how to boot an nVidia MediaShield fakeRAID RAID5 partition without an initrd for instance, as I would be very interested to hear it. I recently had to do the latter [blogspot.com] , and I found that using initrd with good old Slack was a breeze, since Slackware leaves everything you need at your fingertips, along with a *detailed* README of how to do it. Didn't even have to google to figure out how to craft an initrd.

Re:Much as I like Slackware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29230941)

"If the only options to get my devices running is some huge BLOB of a kernel or having to manually hack together an initrd."

Not only does this show your misunderstanding of how the kernel works but also how you create a ram disk.

Go back to Windows or Ubuntu and maybe someone there will take your argument seriously.

Re:Much as I like Slackware... (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231445)

"To use a generic kernel you'll need to build an initrd to load your filesystem module and possibly your drive controller or other drivers needed at boot time"

You'll note the word, "generic," there. "Generic," implies that the kernel is attempting to load drivers for everything including the kitchen sink, because the user hasn't recompiled a kernel with support for only the specific hardware he actually owns in his machine.

Compile a kernel to support only the devices you've got, and don't load anything as modules, and I'll be surprised if you still need an initrd. If you need to add support for additional hardware down the line, keep a copy of your original kernel config file as a baseline, add the drivers for that specific hardware, and then recompile.

Kernel compilation doesn't take long, and although the config file is a lot bigger than FreeBSD's, the process isn't anywhere near as intimidating as most people seem to think. Don't tell me you haven't got time, either; you will have spent more time on the toilet before than that will take.

Suggestion for slackware team (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230455)

Explain what slackware is somewhere on your website that is easy to find.

I looked at your "about" page and at your "FAQ - General" page and still don't know what it is.

Re:Suggestion for slackware team (2, Insightful)

robw810 (819414) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230633)

Quite frankly, if you don't know what it is, then you're not ready for it, so it doesn't matter.

Re:Suggestion for slackware team (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231031)

As elitist as that sounds, its pretty accurate. Its not for casual linux users. If you want to know about it, there are plenty of other resources online. But you really shouldn't expect Ubuntu/fedora level ease of installation/configuration/upgrading, which has its pluses and minuses. Basically, the way I've always explained it to others is that slackware is for slackers. People who want to understand what and how they are doing before they actually do it. The kind of people that almost perversely enjoy getting errors, because it presents them with a problem to figure out.

Re:Suggestion for slackware team (1)

hydroponx (1616401) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231135)

Yea, the downside is once you figure it out, the errors almost always go away and the thrill of figuring out what went wrong goes with it.

But now, we get a new release with potential new things to work through YAY!!!!

I say this with the best of meaning I've been following, loving, and/or using slack since 4.x releases

Re:Suggestion for slackware team (3, Interesting)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231347)

Quite frankly, if you don't know what it is, then you're not ready for it, so it doesn't matter.

I've got mod points again, but they never get spent, because I consider it to be a sign of greater integrity, to refute posts I disagree with, rather than simply down modding them.

Slackware was my first Linux distribution, during the mid 1990s. At the time, I'd only previously had exposure to UNIX at all via an ISP's FreeBSD shell account, and so I barely knew what it was at all.

A newcomer who is willing to learn is actually going to be far better off with Slack than with Ubuntu or Debian.

There is a much greater degree of simplicity within Slackware's overall design. Less complexity means less potential opportunities for things to break due to random, uncontrolled interactions of the various parts, and even more importantly, it also means that when something does break, it's a lot easier to find the source of the problem and fix it.

Using a system like Slackware is also going to give a user good mental habits as well, and teach them how to recognise a genuinely sound distribution design when they see one. Debian's greatest problem isn't so much that it's a terrible design, but more that the people who design and use it actually think that it's great.

Re:Suggestion for slackware team (2, Insightful)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231185)

> Explain what slackware is

It's a Linux distribution. There are many other Linux distributions, but this one is Slackware! :-)

re Slackware 13.0 (1)

freddieb (537771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230707)

Slackware is a rock. It is highly configurable, extremely stable, very complete. Especially for a server install. My only concern is it's headed up by only one person. I know Pat has some help but...well what do I care..He is probably 25 years younger than me.

Congratulations, Pat:-) (1)

hitest (713334) | more than 4 years ago | (#29230989)

I've been Slacking since version 10.0, it is my distro of choice. The only other distro I like is FreeBSD, but, I'm exclusively running Slackware now. I downloaded Slackware 13.0 last night and will install today. I'll be heading to the Slackware store later today to buy a DVD. Congratulations to Pat, Robby, Eric, and the entire Slackware team! hitest

mod Up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29231415)

BLOC IN ORDER TO everyday...R edefine questions, then

Yea! (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29231519)

Finally!

I admit, I started with SLS Linux, out of which Slackware grew (what do you mean you need 93 3.5" Floppies!?!?!)...and although I try lots of different distros, I keep on coming back to Slackware. Thanks to Patrick and his crew for all the work over the years!

ttyl
          Farrell

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