Slackware 13.37 gets a third release candidate
The Slackware developers have issued a third release candidate of their next upcoming stable release, Slackware 13.37. According to the developers, the final release is "very close now", adding that they will likely hold out for version 18.104.22.168 of the Linux kernel to be released so that they can include it in the 13.37 version of the distribution. As is usual at this stage of development, only minor changes and bug fixes have taken place since the previous RC.
As previously noted, the next major release should have been version 13.2, but the developers chose to raise the version number to 13.37 ("leet") – partly so it could have a codename like other Linux distributions often do, whereas Slackware has never had one.
Additionally, instead of simply being called an RC3, the third release candidate is labelled as RC 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716. Interestingly, there are 42 digits in the string; the number 42 is the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy science fiction book series by the late Douglas Adams.
Slackware is one of the earliest distributions to be built on top of the Linux kernel and is the oldest still being maintained. There is no specific roadmap for publication of the next stable release, however. Like Debian developers, the Slackware project does not stick to rigid time-lines, but instead waits until developers are satisfied with the current state of development.
As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.
Further details about this third RC can be found in the change log. There is no official ISO image of the release candidate – users wanting to test the release can simply install the current stable release and then update to version 13.37. The latest stable release is Slackware Linux 13.1, which was published at the end of May 2010.