Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to PV

Today is the birthday of Patrick Volkerding, maintainer of Slackware Linux. Personally, i would like to say Happy Birthday and thank you for all his efforts maintaining Slackware up to now. It's not an easy job, but with supports from all Slackware contributors around the world, i'm pretty sure that he's able to do it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Installing OOo 3.0 on Slackware 3.0.0 has been released officially and it's time to upgrade to get the benefit of the new major version of the most popular Office suite application in GNU/Linux platform.

Just like the previous release, there are no native package for Slackware. The best we can get is the RPM compressed on tar.gz format. You have two options here, either using rpm2tgz to convert those RPMs into tgz's Slackware native format or use SlackBuilds script to get it done.

Using rpm2tgz
Slackware comes with rpm2tgz command which convert RPM packages into tgz, Slackware native format. For some package, it works but no guarantee that it will work forever. I have used this command to install OOo 2.4.x and Opera and so far, it works just fine. OOo 3.0 can be installed using this approach, but i ended with a system where i can't use my navigation keys (arrow keys, home, end, page up, and page down).

The problem lies due to truncation of file names. There are some files which should have .xml extension truncated into .xm causing the problem appeared. The solution is to look for this directory (/opt/ and rename the .xm files into .xml files. It's suggested that you remove your preferences (~/ and restart your OOo to have fresh configuration.

If you also had problem with the dictionary, you should install the dictionary manually (See below).

Using SlackBuild
After rpm2tgz failed, i switched to SlackBuild script which works perfectly. They even modified the desktop menu shortcut to makes it integrate better with Slackware and also place the files on the standard directory just like any other Slackware packages. Other advantage of using this script is that you will get a single Slackware package instead of multi files if we used rpm2tgz (because the original files from OOo came with several files).

Installing Dictionaries Manually
One problem i encountered during using the first release of SlackBuild for OOo 3.0 was that the Spellchecker and thesaurus were broken (reported by Phillip in SlackBuilds-users mailing list). I rechecked my system and confirmed that it was broken. It didn't happened when i used rpm2tgz to install OOo. So here's the solution:
Open Extensions Manager (Tools > Extensions Manager) and then add the dictionaries manually from /opt/openoffice.org3/share/extension/install/. There are three files there, dict-en.oxt, dict-es.oxt, and dict-fr.oxt. Install the dictionaries you need. Restart OOo and voila... you have thesaurus and spellcheker works again.

I have put this tutorial on Indonesian Slackware's Wiki also (it's in Indonesian though).

Update (16 October 2008): The problem with SlackBuild script has been fixed by Robby Workman on the latest batch updates on SlackBuild mailing list. You must remove the previous package (including the preferences in ~/ and rebuild the OOo 3.0 package with the updated SlackBuild script available on SlackBuilds Project (build number: 2 or above).

Update (17 October 2008): Thanks to Vinicius who give a hints on the truncation problem and thanks to akus from LQ forums for trying and confirming the solution for rpm2tgz.

Flash Player 10

Adobe has released their final release of Adobe Flash Player. Curious about the features? Check it here. For Slackware, get the tar.gz format and extract them. Put on plugins directory of Firefox, SeaMonkey and Opera installation directory and that's it. Check about:plugins to verify that you already used the latest version. Here's mine:

Shockwave Flash

File name:
Shockwave Flash 10.0 r12
MIME Type Description Suffixes Enabled
application/x-shockwave-flash Shockwave Flash swf Yes
application/futuresplash FutureSplash Player spl Yes

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More DST Fixes

More DST fixes coming up these days. It's the fourth time in the last few weeks. Things sure does change quite frequent. Here you go:
Mon Oct 13 13:40:09 CDT 2008
a/glibc-solibs-2.7-i486-14.tgz: Recompiled.

a/glibc-zoneinfo-2.7-noarch-14.tgz: Rebuilt using tzdata2008h for more DST fixes. Hopefully this will do it, because patch packages for older versions of Slackware are going out based on tzdata2008h.

l/glibc-2.7-i486-14.tgz: Recompiled.

l/glibc-i18n-2.7-noarch-14.tgz: Rebuilt.

l/glibc-profile-2.7-i486-14.tgz: Recompiled with tzcode/tzdata updates.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Setting Up Git Server

Git is now becoming more and more popular. Thanks to Linus who wrote the original code and Junio who maintained it up to now. Well, some people still don't understand how easy it is to set up a new git server, so here's a small article which describe how easy it was. Check it and proof it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Updates Coming Up

Ok folks, time for another Slackware updates. This time, KDE 4.1.2 coming up on -Current (still on /testing) and also other packages get updated. There were two new packages on this batch and here they are:
Thu Oct 9 22:09:08 CDT 2008
a/ntfs-3g-1.2918-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to ntfs-3g-1.2918.

a/reiserfsprogs-3.6.20-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to reiserfsprogs-3.6.20.

a/udev-130-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to udev-130.

ap/cdrtools-2.01.01a50-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to cdrtools-2.01.01a50.

d/ruby-1.8.7_p72-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to ruby-1.8.7-p72.

l/desktop-file-utils-0.15-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to desktop-file-utils-0.15.

l/gst-plugins-base-0.10.21-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to gst-plugins-base-0.10.21.

l/gstreamer-0.10.21-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to gstreamer-0.10.21.

l/libcap-2.11-i486-1.tgz: Added libcap-2.11.

l/libglade-2.6.3-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to libglade-2.6.3.

l/librsvg-2.22.3-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to librsvg-2.22.3.

l/shared-mime-info-0.51-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to shared-mime-info-0.51.

n/mcabber-0.9.9-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to mcabber-0.9.9.

n/vsftpd-2.0.7-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to vsftpd-2.0.7 (this now requires libcap).

testing/packages/kde4/deps/libspectre-0.2.1-i486-1.tgz: Added libspectre-0.2.1.

testing/packages/kde4/deps/QScintilla-2.3-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to QScintilla-2.3.

testing/packages/kde4/deps/qimageblitz-r868728-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to qimageblitz-r868728.

testing/packages/kde4/deps/qt-r869114-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to qt-copy-r869114.

testing/packages/kde4/extragear/amarok-1.92.2-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to amarok-1.92.2.

testing/packages/kde4/extragear/guidance-power-manager-4.1.2-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to guidance-power-manager-4.1.2.

testing/packages/kde4/extragear/kaudiocreator-r869103-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to kaudiocreator-r869103.

testing/packages/kde4/extragear/ktorrent-3.1.3-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to ktorrent-3.1.3.

testing/packages/kde4/kde/*.tgz: Upgraded to KDE 4.1.2.

testing/packages/kde4/kde-l10n/*.tgz: Upgraded to KDE 4.1.2 l10n packages.

Missing Battery Information

In the last few days (or should i say weeks), i encountered strange problems on my laptop. I enabled the battery monitor on my KDE and i loaded battery modules, but after few hours of working with it, i lost the information about the battery. I asked ID-Slackware community but nobody experienced this. At first, i thought it was only happening on my system, but in fact, it's not. Everybody else has reported this on this and this (and probably more). It happened after i used 2.6.26.x kernels.

The solution is already on the latest Stable kernel, after reading commit from Intel developer, Zhao Yakui. Here's the commit info:
commit e6908f26e33567ebd565fad04096537a5853fec0
Author: Zhao Yakui
Date: Tue Sep 23 13:38:13 2008 +0800

ACPI: Avoid bogus EC timeout when EC is in Polling mode

commit 9d699ed92a459cb408e2577e8bbeabc8ec3989e1 upstream

When EC is in Polling mode, OS will check the EC status continually by using
the following source code:
clear_bit(EC_FLAGS_WAIT_GPE, &ec->flags);
while (time_before(jiffies, delay)) {
if (acpi_ec_check_status(ec, event))
return 0;
But msleep is realized by the function of schedule_timeout. At the same time
although one process is already waken up by some events, it won't be scheduled
immediately. So maybe there exists the following phenomena:
a. The current jiffies is already after the predefined jiffies.
But before timeout happens, OS has no chance to check the EC
status again.
b. If preemptible schedule is enabled, maybe preempt schedule will happen
before checking loop. When the process is resumed again, maybe
timeout already happens, which means that OS has no chance to check
the EC status.

In such case maybe EC status is already what OS expects when timeout happens.
But OS has no chance to check the EC status and regards it as AE_TIME.

So it will be more appropriate that OS will try to check the EC status again
when timeout happens. If the EC status is what we expect, it won't be regarded
as timeout. Only when the EC status is not what we expect, it will be regarded
as timeout, which means that EC controller can't give a response in time.

Signed-off-by: Zhao Yakui
Signed-off-by: Zhang Rui
Signed-off-by: Andi Kleen
Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman

Guess what? It's only two line of patches big grin

drivers/acpi/ec.c | 2 ++
1 file changed, 2 insertions(+)

Index: linux-2.6/drivers/acpi/ec.c
--- linux-2.6.orig/drivers/acpi/ec.c
+++ linux-2.6/drivers/acpi/ec.c
@@ -196,6 +196,8 @@ static int acpi_ec_wait(struct acpi_ec *
return 0;
+ if (acpi_ec_check_status(ec,event))
+ return 0;
pr_err(PREFIX "acpi_ec_wait timeout, status = 0x%2.2x, event = %s\n",

For those who had problems with battery information, i suggest you to upgrade to this version or just go straight to 2.6.27 which has just been released by Linus and let's hope you will find the cure for your problem. I haven't upgrade yet, since it just came out, but i will upgrade to check whether the solution is fixing my problem or not.

It's one of the advantage of reading Kernel changelog, even though i don't understand the rest of the changelog big grin.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

SlackBook 3.0

Good news from Slackbook authors. They are working on a major release: 3.0. This version is a complete re-write and should use the latest Slackware (probably 12.1) as the base. This version is predicted to come out in Mid 2009, but we will never know. I hope it's synced with the release of Slackware 12.2 in 2009.

The new book is being written with vi in Docbook format. Complete instructions for building HTML and pdf versions of the book will also be provided at the site, along with any extra Slackware packages (and source code of course!) if any special tools not included in current versions of Slackware aren't included in Slackware.

Changing One Person at a Time

Today, i have a mission to accomplished, related to Slackware. One of my student got frustrated because he couldn't get his Ethernet card and W-LAN devices recognized by the OS on his Toshiba laptop. With his skill, i'm sure that he won't have any problem installing Linux, so i know that the problem was not on his skills. He already tried Fedora 9, Ubuntu 8.04, OpenSuSE 11.0 and everything failed.

So my journey today started by installing Slackware 12.1 on his laptop. Installation phase was no big deal, as i can finish it up in less than 20 minutes (he got quite a good spec of laptop). Next, i started to check the main system. Everything works just fine, except for those two he mentioned above (Ethernet card and W-LAN device). I checked dmesg and found nothing on it.

My first attempt is by recompiling the kernel. I compiled, the latest kernel available currently with some hope that newer kernel will be able to detect that devices. No problem on the kernel installation, but it ended with kernel panic at the end worried. I hacked the fstab and lilo.conf but still no luck. So i reverted it back to the original configuration and i had to find another way.

Finally, i decided to use Slackware's huge configuration kernel and use it as a base for the's configuration. There were lots of questions i had to answer since those kernel were quite different in number of features. I recompiled it and voila.... it boots nicely big grin. But still the Ethernet card and W-LAN devices were not yet detected.

I checked lspci results and found that his card was Marvel's, so i find the driver from the Internet and found one of them which worked and in just few minutes later, the Ethernet card was detected. One problem solved. Next challenge was the W-LAN device. At the beginning, i didn't know the chipset, since it's not on the dmesg list. I checked on lsusb and i found Realtek. I googled and i found a site which contain a modified Realtek source code with some patches for Kernel 2.6.24 and above. I tried the file and it worked. Finally, he can enjoyed his W-LAN device on Slackware.

Beside that, i also installed Slackware on my other student's laptop. This time, it's ACER and everything works out-of-the-box. Sound, USB, W-LAN, everything works. He's very happy to replace his Mandriva installation with Slackware big grin

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Slackware + Compiz Fusion

Slackware is known to be a Linux distribution with minimum patches from upstream source code. Meaning that you won't see fancy cosmetics accessories when you installed Slackware. Everything is build using the upstream code (aka vanilla source code). Sometimes, patches are done in the code, not in the UI, so basically all the UI are still genuine from the upstream.

But that doesn't prevent Slackware users to improvise their machine to be pure plain. You can change that. Wants some proof? Check this movie on YouTube. It's based on Slackware 12.0, but i guess it can be used for Slackware 12.1 as well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Timezone Updates

Another updates on the timezone makes PV has to recompile all glibc packages. That's the updates for today (perhaps there will be more, but that's what visible in the -Current changelog right now).
Mon Oct 6 18:47:33 CDT 2008
a/glibc-solibs-2.7-i486-13.tgz: Recompiled.

a/glibc-zoneinfo-2.7-noarch-13.tgz: Rebuilt using tzdata2008g. Of course there were problems with tzdata2008f, and tzdata2008g was released today.
I'm not sure why this happens right after timezones get updated here. ;-)

l/glibc-2.7-i486-13.tgz: Recompiled using tzcode2008g and tzdata2008g.
Thanks to Pablo Santamaria for the quick alert to newer tz* versions.

l/glibc-i18n-2.7-noarch-13.tgz: Rebuilt.

l/glibc-profile-2.7-i486-13.tgz: Recompiled.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Glibc Recompiled

Glibc in -Current has been recompiled and upgraded to sync with the latest Time Zone updates. There are also xdg-utils and imagemagick on the batch of updates list as well to fix problem with /etc/mailcap and perl modules.

Here's the latest -Current changelog:
Sun Oct 5 19:34:22 CDT 2008
a/glibc-solibs-2.7-i486-12.tgz: Recompiled.

a/glibc-zoneinfo-2.7-noarch-12.tgz: Recompiled. Upgraded to tzdata2008f to keep up with more DST and other timezone changes.
Thanks to Gerardo Exequiel Pozzi.

l/glibc-2.7-i486-12.tgz: Recompiled. Upgraded to tzdata2008f to keep up with more DST and other timezone changes. Thanks to Gerardo Exequiel Pozzi.

l/glibc-i18n-2.7-noarch-12.tgz: Rebuilt.

l/glibc-profile-2.7-i486-12.tgz: Recompiled.

x/xdg-utils-1.0.2-noarch-2.tgz: Do not output errors from the first install script grep -- /etc/mailcap may not exist yet. Thanks to Stuart Winter.

xap/imagemagick-6.4.3_10-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to ImageMagick-6.4.3-10 and recompiled with --disable-openmp to fix a problem with the perl Image::Magick module. Thanks to Zielony for the bug report, and Piter Punk for the fix.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lots of Mini Updates

After few days without any updates, today most of base packages are upgraded to the latest version available. I don't think this will continue in the next few days so keep watching the -Current changelog big grin
Sun Oct 5 01:41:22 CDT 2008
a/device-mapper-1.02.28-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to device-mapper-1.02.28.

a/e2fsprogs-1.41.2-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to e2fsprogs-1.41.2.

a/grep-2.5.3-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to grep-2.5.3.

a/lilo-22.8-i486-13.tgz: Recompiled against new device-mapper and lvm2.

a/lvm2-2.02.40-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to lvm2-2.02.40.

a/pcmciautils-015-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to pcmciautils-015.

a/udev-128-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to udev-128.

a/xfsprogs-2.10.1_1-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to xfsprogs-2.10.1-1.

ap/mysql-5.0.67-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to mysql-5.0.67.

ap/rpm- Upgraded to rpm-

ap/sqlite-3.6.3-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to sqlite-3.6.3.

ap/texinfo-4.13a-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to texinfo-4.13a.

d/autoconf-2.63-noarch-1.tgz: Upgraded to autoconf-2.63.

d/automake-1.10.1-noarch-1.tgz: Upgraded to automake-1.10.1.

d/doxygen-1.5.7-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to doxygen-1.5.7.

d/libtool-1.5.26-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to libtool-1.5.26.

l/beecrypt-4.1.2-i486-1.tgz: Added beecrypt-4.1.2.

l/dbus-1.2.3-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to dbus-1.2.3.

l/dbus-glib-0.76-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to dbus-glib-0.76.

l/dbus-python-0.83.0-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to dbus-python-0.83.0.

l/hal-0.5.11-i486-2.tgz: Rebuilt.

l/hal-info-20081001-noarch-1.tgz: Upgraded to hal-info-20081001.

l/parted-1.8.8-i486-2.tgz: Recompiled with LVM2 support.

n/lftp-3.7.4-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to lftp-3.7.4.

n/links-2.2-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to links-2.2.

n/ncftp-3.2.2-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to ncftp-3.2.2.

n/nmap-4.76-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to nmap-4.76.

n/wget-1.11.4-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to wget-1.11.4.

xap/fluxbox-1.1.1-i486-1.tgz: Upgraded to fluxbox-1.1.1.
Thanks to Piter Punk for updating device-mapper, lvm2, pcmciautils, udev, and parted. Thanks to Robby Workman for pretty much everything else. :-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Segmentation Fault at Liferea

I tried to fired up Liferea, my favorite RSS reader and it didn't come up. Then i tried to execute it from console and i got a segmentation fault. I think i know the reason why it ended with segfaults. Few days ago i upgraded my wxGTK application and Liferea depends on this application. So when Liferea is opened and it was trying to access the library, it failed, because it may have changed or moved.

The solution is simple: recompile Liferea and it will find the new wxGTK libraries and voila... it will work normal again.

Next time you encountered a segmentation fault, check your history and make sure that every packages that depends on the library you just upgraded is recompiled to make sure it won't caused you segmentation fault like i just had.

New Poll

XMMS player has been re-instated in -Current after being out for a while. The last time it was seen was one year ago when Pat removed the package and hoping for better XMMS release in the future (i think he was hoping for XMMS2).

I don't know the reason, but one year later, he re-added XMMS as part of the official Slackware packages (even it's still on -Current and things might changed later on. We never know that).

So this month's poll is about XMMS. Please give your vote and we will see the results next month.

Poll Results

September is past and here comes October. As usual, i will write something about the poll results that lasted for about one month. The question was about the new logo that appeared in the main Slackware site and also in the Changelog site. I asked about people's opinion about that logo and here's the result:

I like it. It's cool 16 (13%)
I prefer the old one 67 (57%)
It's complicated 16 (13%)
I don't care as long as it's still slackware 15 (12%)
What? Slackware? What's That? 3 (2%)

Majority of the voters vote the second option and they like the old logo (not the flippy one). Well, they got what they asked for now. Pat has changed the logo back to it's original. Please note that it's his decision to change the logo. It has nothing to do with this poll. I'm running a poll just for curiosity and i wanted to know what other thinks about particular things happening in Slackware development. If the poll results is the same with what happened in reality, it's just a coincidence and purely luck.