Wednesday, August 13, 2014

KDE Framework and Plasma 5 Packages by Eric Hameleers

This is the day some of you have been waiting for. It's the day where KDE Framework and Plasma 5 packages are released by Eric Hameleers (announcement will be posted soon later) after KDE team announced it last week (Framework 5.1.0) and yesterday (Plasma 5.0.1). The packages has been uploaded to KTown and mirrored through several mirror sites that normally host the KDE packages.

A little FYI, the next successor of KDE will be based on Qt5 and QML and in order to make the transition goes as smooth as possible, KDE team decided  to freeze the Plasma Workspaces and the KDE Platform at 4.11.x branch (but Plasma Workspaces will still be supported until August 2015). Workspace development efforts were focused on Plasma 2 (later changed to Plasma 5), while KDE Platform is in transition to Frameworks 5. KDE Applications will keep using 4.x branch as of now.

Now, back to Framework and Plasma 5. These new packages are meant for early-adopters and serve more like a preview just like in KDE 4.0. Don't expect this to be added to Slackware soon, but the idea is that you can help KDE team to polish this packages. The KDE Team focused on building the solid core as a base first while waiting for the rest of the KDE Applications to get ported to Qt5 and QML. The full transition is scheduled to happen around 2015.

Eric has built this packages since Framework and Plasma 5.0.0, but didn't release them yet since it hasn't reached a quality level to be introduced for public, so we waited until the developers pushed the first update to both and things are progressing nicely. Most (but not all) bugs have been fixed, the performance has increased a lot, and more functionality has been implemented. We think it's ready for public consumption (but again, this is considered a public beta testing), so he delivered the packages for you to try.

If you decided to try this packages, make sure several things first:
  1. Make sure your computer is running latest Slackware-Current (as the time this post is written, it's August 8).
  2. Make sure you have been using KDE 4.13.3 provided by Eric Hameleers.
  3. DO NOT install these packages on a computer where you expect a stable environment. 
When you are ready, go to KTown repository or any other mirror sites below and READ the README first!!.  This will give you an idea about this packages and how to download/install them. As noted by Eric in his previous post, he had tried his best to keep KDE 4 and 5 separated, from both package naming and also configuration files. This means that you can have 2 KDE versions installed on one machine and it's so easy to switch one to another.

We have been doing a private beta testing for few days in both VM and real hardware environment and found some known issues. This list is not a full list,  but it will be added based on user's report:
  • When you switch back to KDE 4, in some cases, all the icons in Application tab in K menu will change to blue folder icon. The solution is to reinstall KDE 4.13.3 packages, log out and login again. That will fix it.
  • Adding new items on KDE Menu Editor sometimes do not work. You might need to logout/login to have your changes appears for the first time. The second addition will work normally.
  • hplip error message can be ignored. The reason is because Plasma 5 do not implement the old xembed, so all other applications that still uses the old system tray will not be visible as they don't have a place to dock. The solution is not elegant, but you can use third-party system tray, such as stalonetray or wmsystemtray (both are available in SBo).
  • There are 2 system settings. One came from Plasma 5 and the other came from KDE 4. The one in Plasma 5 can be seen in Favorites tab, while the one from KDE 4 (which is more complete) can be seen in Applications > Settings > System Settings. The system settings from Plasma 5 is not yet fully migrated and more icons and functionality will be added in the future.
  • There are certain condition that might crash your plasma shell; eg. Typing on search field in Favorites tab and then remove the text, but it will restart automatically.
  • If you need to run applications quickly, use the new KRunner which can be called directly by typing on top of your desktop. However, it will not save your history.
  • Public holiday are not yet shown. See this URL for more information.
  • Some application will revert to it's initial state (such as Chrome or Chromium) since all local files for KDE 5 are now placed under .config5, .local5, .cache5, and .kde5. Your previous configuration stays in .config, .cache, .local, and .kde.
  • It still have high resource usage due to design limitations in KWin, but it will be fixed in future releases.
  • kded5 might consume a lot of CPU resources after some time
Here are the usual mirror sites that host KDE Framework and Plasma 5 packages:
The packages are placed under current/5.0.1 and there's a symlink for current/testing -> current/5.0.1.

Have fun with KDE Framework and Plasma 5 :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

KDE Framework and Plasma 5 and New Poll

Eric Hameleers has posted in his blog that he is working on publishing his latest work on KDE Framework and Plasma Next 5 to public. We (me and Eric) had been doing some private testing about this packages and so far, the result is quite promising, despite there were some known bugs by upstream which will be fixed in future release.

As mentioned, this packages should be installed on a machine running Slackware-Current (not stable) with KDE 4.13.3 (or newer). This can be considered a preview of future KDE releases, so don't expect it to be bug free.

Eric has made a big effort on making sure that KDE Framework and Plasma 5 can coexist with KDE 4, so you only need to switch to Plasma to test it and if you want to switch it back to KDE 4, logout and switch back to KDE 4 and that's it. It's that simple.

I wanted to know if you are interested to get down with KDE Framework and Plasma Next 5? Use your votes :)

Poll Results

The poll is closed, but i completely forgot about it. Here's the result from 77 voters:
3.15 11 (14%)
3.16 9 (11%)
3.17 4 (5%)
3.18 3 (3%)
3.19 50 (64%)

So most users believe that next Slackware users will end up using the 3.19 Linux Kernel. The latest version available is now 3.16 and currently, Slackware-Current is still using 3.14 as the default stock of kernel. 

Security Update: openssl

One security advisory has been released for openssl update which fixed quite a lot of security vulnerabilities according to CVE entries related. This update is applied to all supported Slackware release, back to Slackware 13.0. There are 2 versions:
  • Slackware 13.0, 13.1, and 13.37 will get 0.9.8zb update
  • Slackware 14.0, 14.1, and current will get 1.0.1i update
In current, Pat welcome pi kernel (3.14.16), which is the latest stable (and long term release) of Linux kernel released by Greg yesterday. There are no other updates for this batch besides the kernel and openssl.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

LibreOffice and VLC Update

Eric Hameleers has published his work on LibreOffice and VLC on his blog. VLC is now upgraded to VLC 2.1.5, while LibreOffice has jumped to another major release LibreOffice 4.3.0, while users wanted to build older LibreOffice 4.2.6 are given the build script available.

Many new and interesting features can be found on the new LibreOffice release, mainly better compatibility with other document format, better comment management, more formula supported, and of course there are tons of other new features that can be found Release Notes, Announcement or other blog post by Michael Meeks and Charles-H. Schulz.

As always, you can always get the packages (and source code) from these mirror sites:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Security Update: samba and dhcpcd

Two security advisories has been released few days ago (i forgot to make a post about it due to traveling). They are samba and dhcpcd.

Dhcpcd update was applied back to Slackware 13.0 and it was only a small patch, but for samba, it was only applied to Slackware 14.1 and current.

Besides security updates, both stable and current update has another package being changed, which was xscreensaver. In stable branch, it got upgraded to 5.29, while in current, it was patched. Both were to fix the nag screen that display a warning that a system is too old. It happened for those who have the system installed more than 12 months (1 year) since the rebuilt.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

More Updates

Pat has released more updates to some development tools, X-related libraries and drivers and app. 

Here's the latest changes from current changelog:

Wed Jul 30 00:08:00 UTC 2014
d/gdb-7.8-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
d/guile-2.0.11-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/libXext-1.3.3-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/libXi-1.7.4-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xf86-video-geode-2.11.16-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xf86-video-intel-2.99.914-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xterm-310-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

dropline GNOME 3.10 Released

For those who prefer to use GNOME 3 instead of GNOME 2 (in form of MATE), there's a good news for you. After releasing the BETA version in January, dropline GNOME developers has finally announced the final version of dropline GNOME 3.10.

In order to install dropline GNOME, download the PackageKit package which will then be used to download all remaining packages and install it into your system. Get the installer for each architectures:

Run these command to start the installation and download process:
# installpkg PackageKit-0.8.17-i686-3dl_install.txz
# pkcon refresh force
# pkcon install dropline

Kudos to Eugen Wissner (aka Belka), saxa and Bart Van Der Hall (aka Tyrael).

Friday, July 25, 2014

Patrick Won O'Reilly Open Source Awards 2014

Slackware founder and maintainer, Patrick Volkerding has won O'Reilly Open Source Awards - OSCON 2014, but he was unable to attend the event. Still the committe showed his old photo on the screen.

See the video from O'Reilly on YouTube:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Security Update: httpd, firefox, thunderbird

Three security advisory were released today to fix security vulnerabilities found in httpd (Apache), mozilla-firefox, and mozilla-thunderbird. Interestingly, httpd update was backported back to Slackware 13.0 even though they have different version. Slackware 13.0 - 13.37 got update to 2.2.27 while Slackware 14.0 got 2.4.10.

Meanwhile in -current, the default kernel stock has been raised to 3.14.13 and there are several minor update, nano upgraded to 2.3.6 and emacs is rebuilt to rename ctag manpage to avoid conflict. There's also a cosmetic changes to the installer as well after a bug was reported in LQ.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Slackware is 21 Years Old

On July 16 1993, Patrick Volkerding announced the availability of Slackware 1.00 on comp.os.linux usenet and since then, Slackware has become one of the oldest Linux distribution that are still actively maintained up to now.

These is his official announcement at that time:

From: Patrick J. Volkerding (bf703@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
   Subject: ANNOUNCE: Slackware Linux 1.00
   Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
   Date: 1993-07-16 17:21:20 PST

 The Slackware Linux distribution (v. 1.00) is now available for
 anonymous FTP. This is a complete installation system designed for
 systems with a 3.5" boot floppy. It has been tested extensively with
 a 386/IDE system. The standard kernel included does not support SCSI,
 but if there's a great demand, I might be persuaded to compile a few
 custom kernels to put up for FTP.

 This release is based largely on the SLS system, but has been enhanced and
 modified substantially. There are two main disk series, A (13 disks) and
 X (11 disks). Some of the features:  

 Series A:
   About what you'd expect from SLS series A, B, and C. Plus:
   Source for the Linux DOS emulator version 0.49.
   The FAQ for kernel level 99pl10.
   Kernel source and image at .99pl11 Alpha.
     [compiled with these options: math emulation support, normal hard drive
     support, TCP/IP, System V IPC, -m486, minix fs, ext2 fs, msdos fs, nfs,
     proc support, and PS/2 style mouse support. You may need to recompile if
     you have some other type of busmouse. The kernel was compiled with libc
     4.4.1, g++ 2.4.5]
   The new keytable utilities.
   The NET-2 networking package, preconfigured to use loopback.
   A public domain version of ksh, and tcsh 6.04 (with the bugs worked out)
   GNU gcc, g++, and Objective-C at versions 2.4.5
   Includes and libraries at version 4.4.1
   mailx, quota utilities, experimental winapi source, sound drivers.
   The TCL toolkit and samples.

   In addition, the installation program has been improved to offer more
   information about the packages (and the installation procedure itself)
   as you install.

   The install program can also automatically install LILO, configuring it
   to boot either from your master boot record or from OS/2's Boot Manager.

 Series X:
   Also, all the packages you would get in the SLS X series, plus:
   XFree-86 version 1.3.
   Open Look Virtual Window Manager made the default window manager.
   XS3 server offers support for S3 based video cards.
   XV 3.00 Image viewer is included.
   PEX files from the XFree-86 distribution are included.

 Although TEX support is not included in the Slackware release, the you may
 install the SLS T series from the install program.

 At this point, the install disk itself is running .99pl8. I'm working on it :^)
 Also, installation from other than a 3.5" floppy has not been tested, but might
 work. 5.25" floppy will not work because of file sizes. At this point, I have
 no plans to support a 5.25" version.

 How to get the Slackware(tm) release:

 The Slackware release may be obtained be anonymous FTP from in directory /pub/linux/slackware. At least initially,
 this release will be in the form of 3.5" disk images which should be copied
 to floppies using the RAWRITE.EXE program, or dd under Linux.

 Please note that our FTP software does not support limiting the number of
 concurrent anonymous logins. PLEASE try to go easy on this machine. If things
 get out of hand, access may be restricted.

 Other sites are, of course, welcome to help out with the load by mirroring
 the distribution.

 If you find any problems with the distribution, or if you have any suggestions
 for improvements, please let me know. If you know of more up-to-date versions
 of software in the distribution, I'd like to hear about that, too.

 Patrick Volkerding
Happy Birthday to Slackware Linux Project !!
Big thanks to Patrick Volkerding !!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

KDE 4.13.3 for Slackware-Current

Eric Hameleers has just released his KDE 4.13.3 packages into his KTown repository. KDE 4.13.3 is a maintenance release, fixing more than 50 bugs, so it should be a safe pleasant upgrade for anyone.

Eric also upgraded kdeconnect and calligra in his packages.

You can always get the updated KDE packages here:

Major X Updates

Pat has pushed major XOrg updates today and this is the biggest update since some time ago. The XOrg is now upgraded to 1.15.2 and Mesa is upgraded to 10.1.5. Most of the proprietary drivers already have support for this version, so grab the latest version of your proprietary driver before upgrading to this version if you are using NVidia/ATI and use the proprietary driver.

Other than X update, there are some other packages that are upgraded:
  • lxc upgraded to 1.0.5
  • automake upgraded to 1.14.1
  • llvm upgraded to 3.4.2
  • calligra upgraded to 2.8.5
  • lesstif removed and replaced by motif
  • tetex rebuilt against new motif
  • ddd rebuilt against new motif
  • xpdf upgraded to 3.0.4