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Slackware is a free and open source operating system. It was one of the earliest operating systems to be built on top of the Linux kernel and is the oldest currently being maintained.[1] Slackware was created by Patrick Volkerding of Slackware Linux, Inc. in 1993. The current stable version is 13.1, released on May 24, 2010.

Slackware aims for design stability and simplicity, and to be the most "Unix-like" Linux distribution, using plain text files for configuration and making as few modifications to software packages as possible from upstream.[2]



The name "Slackware" stems from the fact that the distribution started as a private side project with no intended commitment. To prevent it from being taken too seriously at first, Volkerding gave it a humorous name, which stuck even after Slackware became a serious project.[3]


Slackware was originally descended from the Softlanding Linux System, the most popular of the original Linux distributions. SLS dominated the market until the developers made a decision to change the executable format from a.out to ELF. This was not a popular decision among SLS's user base at the time. Patrick Volkerding released a modified version of SLS, which he named Slackware.[4] The first Slackware release, 1.00, was on July 16, 1993.[5] It was supplied as 3½" floppy disk images that were available via anonymous FTP.

In 1999, Slackware's release number jumped from 4 to 7. Patrick Volkerding explained this as a marketing effort to show that Slackware was as up-to-date as other Linux distributions, many of which had release numbers of 6 at the time, and Patrick expected them to reach version 7 by the time of the jump.[6]

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