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Slackware 12.0 Released

I can’t believe how I missed this, but Patrick Volkerding has released Slackware 12.0 into the wild. Although I’m an Ubuntu convert now, Slackware will always have that special place in my heart.

If you want an amazingly stable, pristine and overall superb distro to develop your Linux running and maintenance skill, I highly recommend Slackware.

Reconsidering Slackware As My Home Operating System

If you’ve been reading HTNet for some time, you’ll know that I’m a fan of Slackware. It will always occupy a special place in my heart for being the first Linux distro that made me fell in love with the OS.

For the past year though, mostly due to contracts and work related stuff, I’ve been an adopter of CentOS for Linux stuff related to business. My first experience with CentOS was for a production web server I set up for a web hosting company. So far, it has been running dandy… at least that was what the company said.

CentOS pretty much corrected a huge bulk of the misconceptions I held about RPM-based distros. The last of which I used was Red Hat 5. From this experience, I have to say it; RPM hell seems to have become extinct.

But what should I use for my home OS? Slackware has pretty much made me at least a thousand times more competent with maintaining and running a Linux system compared to the times when I ran Mandrake. I don’t foresee having much problem with any Linux installation regardless of the distro. However, I’m looking forward to using a distro which fits the following requirements:

  1. Has a rich application library, which effectively reduces the need for me to compile from scratch
  2. Has up-to-date versions of common user apps (browsers, email clients, IM clients, productivity suites, editors, etc) in the repositories
  3. Has plenty repository mirrors for me to choose from; bonus points for distros that have Malaysian or Singaporean repositories 🙂

Yep, my needs are pretty simple. Basically, if you read between the lines, I’m in need of a popular Linux distro. I’m currently leaning towards Ubuntu, especially after reading so many reviews about it, especially from mypapit.

Any suggestions?

Getting X Server To Display At 1440×900

I just bought an Acer AL1916W LCD Monitor to replace my discoloured Samsung CRT. Being a wide screen monitor which supports a native resolution of 1440×900, it took me some time to adjust to the abundance of horizontal screen real estate which I’ve just acquired.

What was very obvious from the start was that the desktop seem stout rather than expanded. I was expecting this effect because I’m still using the x.org configuration file which was customised for my previous resolution of 1280×1024.

It took me a while to find out how to make x.org support the 1440×900 resolution my new monitor was capable of. Apparently, the 1440×900 resolution is not part of the VESA standard modes.

The Caos Linux Wiki entry on X Server Configuration shows you how to get x.org to support native 1440×900 resolution.

For Slackware users, please not that the full path to gtf is /usr/X11R6/bin/gtf. Somehow /usr/X11R6/bin is not in my bash profile path, chances are, the same applies to other Slackers out there.

Slackware 11.0 Released and IE7 Release Imminent

Due to work and other proects, I’m finding it more and more difficult to update HTNet. By the time I do get my grubby fingers on the posting interface, many of the things I wanted to post about are no longer fresh. But bargh, what the heck… I’m still going to post them anyway.

First off, the venerable Slackware 11.0 has been officially released by Pat Volkerding on 2 October 2006. For those of you who are upgrading from previous versions, please read through this changes and hints file.

On the hopefully-it’s-goddamn-fixed-by-now front, IE7 is expected to be inflicted upon the world “this month”, as mentioned by the folks at IEBlog. Not that I’m that bothered about it anyway. However, I just hope that the IE team has fixed major rendering bugs (mostly in CSS and the unforgivable PNG bug) and outstanding security issues, and make the historically buggy browser more standards compliant.

Well, I honestly think that even if IE7 is much, much better than its predecessor, irritating stuff such as the ActiveX Activation behaviour (for example) might still win new supporters of the alternative browsers crowd.

Slackware Security Update: Sendmail

New Slackware packages for Sendmail has been released. Sendmail 8.13.6 fixes a serious flaw which allows attackers to execute commands and run arbitrary programs on the system running the MTA. It’s worth noting that this vulnerability does not affect the Win32 version of Sendmail. More info available here:

Updated Slackware packages can be downloaded from the Package Browser. Or via automated package management tools like Swaret or slapt-get.