Monday, February 28, 2011

Many DE Rebuilt to Supports ConsoleKit

There are a lot of DE (Desktop Environments) that are available on Slackware-Current are being rebuilt to add ConsoleKit support. This is due to the work of Robby Workman. Even though it's popularity is less than KDE or XFCE, it doesn't mean that they are abandoned. They are still supported even until Slackware 13.2

The last KDE 3.x packages that were still preserved in the previous Slackware 13.1 are now being removed in the latest batch of updates since it doesn't needed again. All KDE packages are now working without the old KDE packages.

Several packages are being upgraded to the latest version, such as sane and xsane, pcmciautils, mkinitrd, and vsftpd.

Probably you wandered why this blog is still updated? Well, good news that i have Internet connection at my hotel, so i can still update my blog whenever i'm back from my training. That means every evening i can start updating my blog if there something interesting to be reported Yahoo

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Out of Town

I will be leaving out of town for the next few days until next Friday. This means this blog (SlackBlogs) will be left outdated without any updates to Slackware-Current development progress and also any other interesting news about Slackware or my activities with Slackware. I will try to make any post whenever i can, but i can't guarantee that.

I think Pat is working hard to make this release as stable and secure as possible (as usual), but he still has some packages pending on his private repositories before he sends them to public. Let's just wait until the day arrived and he will give a surprise by announcing the first RC (Release Candidate) version of the next Slackware 13.2. I don't know when will that day come, but i'm pretty sure it will be soon enough thumbs up

I will try to keep my Twitter account updated whenever there's an update to Slackware-Current, so if you have Twitter account, please follow mine on willysr2804.

New Package: ddrescue

Pat has added one new package on -Current tree which is Ddrescue which is a data recovery tool. It copies data from one file or block device (hard disc, cdrom, etc) to another, trying hard to rescue data in case of read errors. It can be useful when you have a broken system caused by hardware failure.

Other packages that were part of this update are cpufrequtils and dosfstools and Firefox 4.0 Beta 12. It seems that Pat is eager to make Firefox 4 becomes the standard browser on Slackware 13.2, so that he waits for the next release patiently and include almost every beta version on -Current. It will be released by the end of this month, so we shall see the final version in few days Goodluck

Friday, February 25, 2011

Security Updates: BIND and Pidgin

Two security updates were released under -Current and also in -Stable back to Slackware 12.0. Pidgin 2.7.10 has been released some times ago, but it's now part of Slackware-Current and also ported back to previous version of Slackware.

Other interesting upgrade is glib and gtk+ which are now upgraded to 2.28 and 2.24 respectively. This will bring new excitement to other applications that requires newer gtk and glib packages in order to compile.

Several other packages gets rebuilt and upgraded but with less exciting changes, such as tin, mhash, wpa_supplicant, xterm, pan, and xfce. Still, it's worted to see this changes since it's making the next Slackware release becomes more stable and solid out of the box Banana Rock

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

X11: Maximum number of clients reached

Lately, i am having a strange bug on my desktop system. I can't open any more application and it would close instantly. I didn't change anything on the system, so the application is actually working just fine, but somehow there's something blocking it.

So i tried to run the application from Konsole to see what really happened (it's one of the most simple thing to do if you want to debug a non-working application). I tried to run kate (just an example) and i got this as a return:
Maximum number of clients reached kate: cannot connect to X server :0

From the error message i got, i started to find out some reason on Google and it turns out that XOrg has a configuration to set up the maximum client that is allowed to connect to the server and the default in 1.9.4 (the one i used in -Current) is 256. You can check it by running this command:
cat /usr/include/xorg/misc.h | grep MAXCLIENTS

When i checked how many sockets that XOrg has opened, i was surprised since XOrg opened a lot of sockets. Use lsof -p `pidof X` | wc -l as root and i got around 321 (the number may vary). It has surpassed the maximum number limit defined by XOrg. That's why i can't launch any application at all that requires GUI.

Logging out KDE would temporarily fixed the problem, but it's not the ideal solution. Robby thought there's something in KDE is buggy, but he has no idea on the real solution.

If you have any workaround, please share it on LQ. For temporary fix, you can increase the number in MAXCLIENTS definition

Update (16 March 2011): This problem has been solved at Slackware-Current tree. The culprit is the old, obsolete guidance-power-manager package which was included in Slackware 13.1. Please remove this package and you will be fine. The drawback of this is that you might lost some information about battery power. Just use KDE's battery monitor to track your batteries. I should have mentioned this update earlier. Sorry for that.

Monday, February 21, 2011

SMS - Superb Mini Server

I visited Distrowatch today and i saw an interesting Linux distribution which is based on Slackware. It's called SMS - Superb Mini Server. It's a simple operating system designed for a server that is easy to manage and configure. It's console-based (since it's being used for server only), so all the administration will be done via web interface (they provide webmin) and of course console Evil Grin

They have just released the latest version 1.5.6 which is synced with the latest update on Slackware-Current per February 16. They are now using longterm kernel along with many basic toolchain included in the Slackware-Current.

IMHO, this Linux distribution is a perfect one if you are looking for a Linux distribution which is based on Slackware to be used as a server as it has contain all the server-related packages you need:
  • Apache version 2.2.17
  • BIND version 9.7.2_P3
  • Dovecot IMAP version 1.2.16
  • ISC DHCPd version 4.2.0
  • Fetchmail version 6.3.17+SSL+NLS
  • HylaFAX+ Server version 5.5.0
  • MySQL version 5.1.55
  • OpenSLP version 1.2.1
  • OpenVPN version 2.1.1
  • OpenLDAP Server version 2.4.24
  • ProFTPd version 1.3.3d
  • Postfix version 2.8.0
  • OpenSSH_5.8p1
  • Samba version 3.5.6
  • Sendmail version 8.14.4, config V10/Berkeley
  • SpamAssassin version 3.3.1
  • Sarg version
  • Squid version 3.1.11
  • DansGuardian
  • VsFTPd version 2.3.2
  • PPPD Dialing Server version 2.4.5
  • CUPS Print Server version 1.4.6
  • Netatalk Appletalk File/Print server 2.1.5
  • UW-IMAP Server
You can choose to download the LiveCD first and then if you like it, you can download the Native CD which can be used to install the SMS distribution on your computer. You can also opt to download XOrg and KDE-related packages, which is included in a separate module. This way, you can have a KDE-based desktop environment using SMS Yahoo

Sunday, February 20, 2011

GPT Support Updates

As the last update of Slackware-Current showed that there will be a support for GPT (GUID Partition Table) for the next Slackware, perhaps it's good to know what GPT is all about. I believe Rod Smith's tutorial on his website should clearly describe what GPT is all about and how does it solve older MBR scheme limitations.

Eric Hameleers has added gdisk (GPT fdisk) to his repository to support GPT for new installation, but i think it will be included in -Current tree soon enough, as the current fdisk will not be able to detect or use GPT due to it's limitations.

For those who wanted to convert their partition scheme from MBR to GPT, please read this tutorial as there's a big difference on how both schemes works. As always, the man page is one of the best resources available on Open Source environment Evil Grin

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Beware of util-linux Changes

Latest update in Slackware-Current is a little bit tricky as it tried to remove util-linux-ng and replace it with the normal util-linux package. This could cause some problems for people who tried to remove util-linux-ng and then installing util-linux package as you need some commands which is included in util-linux-ng package in order to do the installations.

The safest way to update is by using one of these methods:
  • upgradepkg util-linux-ng%util-linux-2.19-i486-1.txz
  • if you use Slackpkg, use slackpkg install-new and then slackpkg remove util-linux-ng
  • installpkg util-linux-2.19-i486-1.txz and then removepkg util-linux-ng

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Displaying Decimal Number in Shell Scripts

Have you ever wanted to display a decimal number on your shell scripts? Bash by default is not able to display any decimal number and only plays well with integers.

There's a solution for this, which is by using bc, a simple calculator which is mostly provided in any Linux distributions. Let's play a bit with bc.

In order to display a decimal number using bc, you will have to define a scale variable. Please have a look on bc's manual page for detail. Use this command on your terminal to try it: echo "scale=4; 3/4" | bc -l. It will give you an output of .7500

Here's a simple script for a demo:


while true; do
echo -n "Enter your score [0-100] ('q' for quit): ";
read SCORE;
if (("$SCORE" < "0")) || (("$SCORE" > "100")); then
echo "Be serious. Come'on, try again: "
elif [ "$SCORE" == "q" ]; then
echo -e "Average rating: \c"
result=`echo "scale=4; $SUM/$NUM" | bc -l`
echo "$result"
NUM=$[$NUM + 1]

Try running it:
Enter your score [0-100] ('q' for quit): 1
Enter your score [0-100] ('q' for quit): 5
Enter your score [0-100] ('q' for quit): 4
Enter your score [0-100] ('q' for quit): q
Average rating: 3.3333

GPT Support on -Current

Thanks to a thread in LQ, next Slackware release now support GPT at installation phase. The same goes for bad behaviour of mhash.h which is also discussed on LQ. This is a proof that Slackware community plays its part on Slackware development by reporting it on LQ. Pat and other Slackware team does see your post and if they see it fit to be included on -Current, they will include it, just like two previous cases above.

Other updates on today's batch are upgraded Seamonkey to Seamonkey 2.1 Beta 2, XFCE rebuilt (upgraded some internal packages such as Terminal and xfce4-dev-tools), removal of util-linux-ng to util-linux, and some other libraries upgrades.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

KDE 4.6.0 Packages Rebuillt

Due to massive updates in Slackware-Current and thus several new libraries were upgraded, KDE packages outside the official packages (AlienBOB's KDE packages) were partially broken, so Eric has just rebuilt his KDE packages and uploaded to his normal KTown repository.

There were five packages which gets upgraded: kdeartwork, kdebase-runtime, kdebindings, kdegraphics, kdeplasma-addons

Updates on KTown repository has been synced on UKDW Repo Server:

GCC 4.5.1 Issues Gets Fixed

There were some problem with newer GCC 4.5.1 which need some patches and the patches are already on -Current as of today. As a result, some packages, including httpd, kdebase-runtime, and apr-* are being rebuilt to have those problem squashed away. Another package that gets upgraded was gkrellm which should now have better sensor detection based on newer kernel.

I couldn't give you any update yesterday since i was out of town, but luckily only one small update which was the re-instating raptor in default packages since some packages are still using it and not yet fully compliant with the new raptor2 package.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Longterm Kernel Upgraded and Security Fixes

Slackware-Current is now rolling again with new long term kernel which should have fixed some problems with Radeon GPUs and many more updated packages across all directories. The new longterm kernel has been recommended by many people as it contains so many fixes for Radeon GPUs and now it has been included. I think it's a good choice and Slackware 13.2 will be using it since i doubt there will be another long term kernel release in short time.

Another good news is that Mesa 7.9 is back on main package replacing the 7.10 which now reside on /testing and 7.8.2 on /pasture just for those who need a more stable package for Mesa. As for me, i don't have any problem with Mesa 7.10, so i will certainly upgrade to the latest stable. XOrg-server packages are now upgraded to 1.9.4, the latest stable release. I never thought it would get included but it is. Hopefully this should be a good solid candidate for the next Slackware release.

Other packages are being rebuilt, upgraded, and added in this batch of update. Please see the Changelog for some warnings/notes about it. Some of the highlights are glibc, alsa-*, MySQL, lvm2, and several libraries in l/ directory.

There are also some security updates with this update related to sudo, apr-util, expat, and openssl.

Firefox 4.0 Beta 11 is also included in /testing so for those who wanted to try this new Beta release, you can try it. The final release of Firefox 4.0 will be by the end of this month, so it might be included in next Slackware as well if the timeframe is met.

I also wanted to thank Patrick Volkerding for his special surprise for me this morning. Really appreciate it Worship

Monday, February 7, 2011

Possible Radeon Fixes

For those who have issues with Radeon drivers using the longterm kernels in Slackware-Current (, you might want to try updating your kernel using the latest Linux Kernel which has lots of bug fixes related to Radeon according to the Changelog.

Pat also suffers from this issues as discussed on LQ, and some people hoped that he will include as the default Kernel supported in next Slackware release. We will see about that in the next few days Goodluck

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Poll

I have added a new two months poll on this blog. It's about a normal questions about what actions will you do when the next Slackware release is available. I don't know when will that time be, but based on past experience, it should be coming soon enough, which makes me confident that it will be released before this poll ended in April.

So, see the Changelog if you are curious about what will be included in the next Slackware and if you can't wait for the final release, you can also upgrade to -Current or download the latest ISO which contains Slackware-Current updates (ask Google for it, as Slackware only provides you with the official release, not a snapshot or even RC release).

Poll Results

After two months running the poll, it's time to end this one as it has reached February. Here are the poll results:
Yes 46 (83%)
No 9 (16%)

So, with 83%, it's an absolute results of people wanting ProFTPD be removed from Slackware. I don't know when will it happened, but i guess i assume it will be removed in the next Slackware release (14.0).

Bunch of X Updates

Several packages in x/ directory are now being upgraded with the focus of upgrading xorg-server to the latest stable version 1.9.3. I never thought it would be included, but it did. Well, at least they managed to include the latest xf86-video-intel driver which should be good news for Intel card users.

Here are the list of updates on today's update:
x/dmxproto-2.3.1-noarch-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/evieext-1.1.1-noarch-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/libX11-1.4.1-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/libXaw-1.0.9-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/libXi-1.4.1-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/libXp-1.0.1-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/libXxf86misc-1.0.3-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/pixman-0.20.2-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/printproto-1.0.5-noarch-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/rendercheck-1.4-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/resourceproto-1.1.1-noarch-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/twm-1.0.6-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/x11perf-1.5.3-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xbacklight-1.1.2-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xbiff-1.0.3-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xbitmaps-1.1.1-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xcalc- Upgraded.
x/xdg-user-dirs-0.13-i486-1.txz: Added.
x/xeyes-1.1.1-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xf86-input-evdev-2.6.0-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xf86-input-synaptics-1.3.0-i486-2.txz: Rebuilt.
x/xf86-video-intel-2.14.0-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xf86-video-savage-2.3.2-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xf86driproto-2.1.1-noarch-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xf86vidmodeproto-2.3.1-noarch-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xineramaproto-1.2.1-noarch-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xkbevd-1.1.2-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xkbprint-1.0.3-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xorg-cf-files-1.0.4-noarch-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xorg-docs-1.6-noarch-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xorg-server-1.9.3-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xorg-server-xephyr-1.9.3-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xorg-server-xnest-1.9.3-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xorg-server-xvfb-1.9.3-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xorg-sgml-doctools-1.6-i486-1.txz: Upgraded.
x/xproto-7.0.20-noarch-1.txz: Upgraded.
xap/x11-ssh-askpass- Rebuilt.