Yesterday, Pat and Slackware Team has released Slackware 13.37 RC1. This code name also different from older Slackware RC version. In his note inside ChangeLog.txt Patrick said "hopefully this helps make up for our lack of code names". According to Willy's post yesterday, Slackware's release tradition or RC is just small jump to the real release because there is no further changes to the main tree unless it must be a big trouble that needs to be fixed. Please read the full ChangeLog.txt before you go any further. So what we will have in the next Slackware release?
First of all, now we got new kernel, 18.104.22.168. This is the latest stable released of linux kernel as of this writting. One biggest credit from me for this version is now the buggy Intel GMA framebuffer refresh has been resolved. No blank screen at boot on framebuffer initialization like those in 2.6.35.x version. Second now we have gdisk, a GUID Partition Table (GPT) fdisk. This new disk partitioning tool makes Slackware more adoptable in broad range of machine architecture. Now we can install Slackware on Mac without the need of external disk partitioning tool anymore. Next is for the WiFi users. A lot of wireless card firmware has been added to the main tree, including Intel Centrino Wireless-N chipset and Intel 6000G2A, 6000G2B, 6150BGN, 6250AGN. The Xorg server also had a bug fix on composite rendering and EXA. Maybe this is the reason why I felt the 3D rendering in Intel GMA got much smoother than before. My CPU were much cooler even if I'm using composite in whole time.
But. Yup there is a but. Linux kernel 22.214.171.124 still has a buggy WMI driver. So this is my negative point for this kernel version. In my case, it's the HP WMI driver. I have wrote an article about how to use HP WMI in Linux. But now all of my trick does not working anymore . D@#^!. If HP WMI driver is activated, the rfkill interface will be unusable. Even ifconfig has surrender to HP WMI. I'm unable to activating or deactivating my wireless card through all means. Neither the wireless button. The Wifi completely unusable. The only way to get it working again is by blacklisting HP WMI driver or hp_wmi.ko from being loaded by udev at boot. I have add hp_wmi to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and now my wireless card is working again. I can disable and enable the wireless using button or using NetworkManager or by using ifconfig tool. I'm not the only one with the problem here. You can search in the internet for it and the solution is just the same, disable HP WMI driver. This bug has been occured since linux kernel 2.6.36.x and yet still, there is no fix for it till today. Please be patient and keep reporting this bug to Linux Kernel Bug Report.
The last thing about this RC update, is I have to rebuilt almost all of my additional packages. Some of it actually does not need to be rebuilt. But whatever anyway . By the way, lets hope that there is no major changes in the main tree (bugs or anything) and we can have a brand new Slackware 13.2 in a couple days.