Sunday, January 29, 2012

Merging into /usr

There has been a plan for some Linux distribution (started by Fedora) to follow what Solaris has been doing for the last 15 years (and fully completed with the release of Solaris 11) and that is the /usr merge process. In short, all directories containing binaries files should go to /usr and not being scattered in many places like what we had right now, such as /bin, /sbin, /lib, and many others. With this, /usr/bin and /bin will be the same position thus all binaries should be located on this directory.

So far, Fedora is probably working on this process and it's being documented on this wiki page. I assume many other will follow once this concensus has been reached. As an addition, please have a look on this article as well: Understanding the bin, sbin, usr/bin , usr/sbin split.

What about Slackware? Well, it's kinda difficult to predict what will happen in Slackware since all the final decision is made by Patrick himself along with other Slackware team members, but as long as it's beneficial to Slackware Project and it doesn't give too much burden to the team or Pat himself to do this changes, i think it's still possible to have it on Slackware. Basically this applies to all kinds of technology/features, not just spesifically the /usr merge process.

This is just my personal opinion as a Slackware users. It doesn't reflect Pat or any other Slackware Team Member's opinion.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Google Earth 6.0.3 on Slackware

It's just a few minutes after my previous post about a broken Google Earth 6.0.3 on Slackware and now i have found the solution for that kind of problem, so here's the solution to install the latest Google Earth on Linux (tested here on Slackware Linux):
./GoogleEarthLinux.bin --target /tmp/ge --noexec
cd /tmp/ge/setup.data/bin/Linux/x86/
cd /tmp/ge/setup.data/bin/Linux/x86_64/ (64-bit)
mv setup.gtk setup.gtk2
cd /tmp/ge
./setup.sh (it can be installed using root or normal account)
If for some reason you failed to launch the Google Earth, make sure you have created a symlink to comply with LSB that Google requires by running this as root:
ln -sf /lib/ld-linux.so.2 /lib/ld-lsb.so.3

Here's a screenshot to a working Google Earth installation on my desktop:

Updated Google Earth Stucked at LSB 4.0

There's a new Google Earth release and it's now 6.2. Unfortunately, the same version is not available in Linux and the latest one in Linux is at 6.0.3.2197. I once covered on how to install Google Earth on Slackware and it's working fine up to Version 6.0.2.2074.

Today, i downloaded the latest version and i saw an update there : 6.0.3.2197. I tried to reproduce the same steps i have been using to perform the installation of Google Earth in Linux, but this time, it failed me.
/GoogleEarthLinux.bin --target /tmp/ge
Creating directory /tmp/ge
Verifying archive integrity... All good.
Uncompressing Google Earth for GNU/Linux 6.0.3.2197.............................................................................................
This version of Google Earth requires LSB 4.0 support which you
do not seem to have.
./setup.sh: line 285: [: missing `]'
Unknown id: yum install redhat-lsb
I/O error : No such file or directory
setup.data/setup.xml:1: parser error : Document is empty

^
setup.data/setup.xml:1: parser error : Start tag expected, '<' not found

^
./setup.sh: line 158: 28089 Segmentation fault      "$setup" "$@"
I'm really sure that it was working in the previous version, but unfortunately, it's likely that Google changed it's requirement to have LSB 4.0 as the base

Friday, January 27, 2012

Updated digiKam SlackBuild

digiKam is one of my favorite application in KDE since i can use it to export my photos to Facebook directly and it has a lot of interesting features. Unfortunately, this package is not yet part of Slackware default packages, but it's still available on SlackBuilds project.

Another problem is that the maintainer hasn't updated the SlackBuild script to the latest version (2.5.0) and stuck at 1.9.0 up to now.

For those who wanted to try the new digiKam, you can download the original SlackBuild for digiKam from SBo package and replace the .SlackBuild script with the modified SlackBuild from my Box.net account and also a patch file to make it compilable. Put them in the digikam directory and start your engine to compile.

Please read the requirements for the new digiKam package as it adds more dependencies in the process.

Update (April 18): For you who have upgraded to Slackware-Current per March, 26 or newer (GCC 4.7.0 and Boost 1.49), please refer to my updated post about digiKam 2.5.0 and GCC 4.7.0. The digiKam SlackBuild has been updated and now it has two additional patches in order to build this package.

VMWare Workstation 8.0.2 and Linux Kernel 3.2 Patch

Jérôme posted a comment on my post about VMWare and Linux Kernel patch, saying that the patch i mentioned is not working with VMWare Workstation 8.0.2, the latest VMWare released by the vendor. When a stable kernel is released, normally, the patch should work normally, but in this case, i was wrong (at least my assumption), since the changes in the kernel affected the patch.

So i started a discussion at the patcher's blog and finally the author of the patch confirmed that there's a change in kernel source code which applies to his patch. He fixed the patch and submit it again into his blog post.

Unfortunately, the script still failed on me if i tried to use his script, but Ted, another people confirmed that it's working on his system but instead of using the bash script to do the job, he patched it manually, so i tried and it worked.

So here's the solution:
  1. Get the patch from the author's blog or from my Box account
  2. Extract it (assume in /home/willysr)
  3. Go to /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source
  4. Extract the source file (tar xvf vmnet.tar)
  5. Patch the source file (patch -p1 < /home/willysr/vmware3.2.0.patch)
  6. Create a new source file (tar cvf vmnet.tar vmnet-only/)
  7. Recompile VMWare again (vmware-modconfig --console --install-all)
  8. Voila.... everything works normally again
This patch should also be working for future Linux Kernel 3.3, so you probably don't need to search for more patch when Linux Kernel 3.3 released by Linus.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fixing Amarok Bug: Stop on Every Track

I didn't remember when i started to have this problem, but it's very annoying bug. Amarok will stop playing after it completed playing one track even though there are still a lot of files in the playlist. I assume it's another bug due to transition from previous release of Amarok that might caused this problem to surface.

Thanks to UbuntuForums, i found the solution and i tried it on my desktop and yes, it worked like charm. It seems my predictions was right and the solution is very simple, which is to remove the old configuration of Amarok by doing this steps (you might loose all your Amarok configuration):
mkdir ~/.kde/share/config/backup
mv ~/.kde/share/config/amarok* ~/.kde/share/config/backup/

Restart your Amarok and voila.... it will start playing all the playlist tracks

Fixing Sound Startup on KDE

For those who have been playing with KDE 4.8.0 that was released yesterday, you might noticed that your KDE will not ring any sound when you logged in anymore. I noticed this earlier, but i thought that there was some backend problem and i haven't had time to find the solutions for this.

AJ Field commented on Eric's blog post about KDE 4.8.0 and pointed a thread at ArchLinux Forum which should solve the problem. I tried to use the solution written there and it really work like a charm.

The problem only lies in the directory reading on Notification settings (System Settings -> Applications and System Notifications). Previously, you mentioned only the filename, but in KDE 4.8.0, i guess it should have been a complete path, so the solution is simple, just browse the file and pick the same file and it will give you the full path.

I'll show you before and after i changed the path using these two screenshots below. The first screenshot is the original condition:

This is what i got after i browse the file and pick the same filename.

I only need to save the changes and it will be back to normal again once you logged out and logged in again.

First Impression on KDE 4.8.0

I have just finished upgrading my desktop to use KDE 4.8.0, which was just released by KDE team few hours ago while i was sleeping. Thanks to Eric Hameleers, i could get the early release of KDE packages and downloaded this packages as i slept last night. When i woke up this morning, all i have to do is to make sure everything is already up to date by running the rsync script once again.

Next on, performed the command written on the README and performed the upgrade. Don't forget to have a complete look on the README as there has been a renamed packages. After i rebooted my machine, KDE started to be loaded and there was a new splash screen called Air and Ariya Splash Screen which is very minimalistic, but it does look more professionals.

If you have been using KDE 4.7, you won't get too much drastic changes, as it's based on previous releases. According to the announcement, there are a lot of areas which has been improved on this release:
I do feel that KDE 4.8.0 is faster than previous release, probably due to updated Qt which is now bumped to 4.8.0 to sync with KDE release version. You can also have better performance when you enabled desktop effects as there has been a lot of improvements on this area as well.

I used Kate a lot and on this release, Kate also got several new features and one of the new feature i like a lot is the new Line Modification Indicators. It really helps for developers to work in collaboration.

Another nice improvement from KDE is the Power Management System Settings which has been redesigned for simplification. It really helps for users carrying portable devices, such as laptop or netbooks.

KSecretService is taking it's debut on this release to provide new framework for sharing saved passwords and other credentials between a wider range of applications.

So far, i have no problems with this release, but even if there is a problem, it will soon be sorted out in the next monthly release which should be out in February and months following.

For now, i'll enjoy Slackware and KDE 4.8.0

KDE 4.8.0 For Slackware

KDE has been proven to be stable enough ever since they released the controversial 4.0 version few years ago. Since then, KDE has matured and i can say it's stable enough to be used in production machines (i used it on my desktop, laptop, and workstation). The previous current version was 4.7.4 and it was released on December 2011. This version was meant to be the last version of KDE 4.7.x series according to KDE

KDE communities never stop improving KDE and as the results, we could see KDE 4.8.0 by now and it's spreading to mirror sites around the world and most distribution vendors has started up to update KDE to the latest version to be included to the distribution packages.

Slackware at this point is still on hibernate status and there hasn't been any big changes on the public repository (-Current tree). Many people has feared that Pat will stop maintaining Slackware, but that's not true. We all know that Pat is very proud of Slackware and i'm sure he will try to maintain it as long as he can, but for now, he need to focus on other things besides Slackware and that results in the lack of updates in -Current. Hopefully that will change in the near future.

Meanwhile, Eric has continued to keep maintaining KDE packages for Slackware. He has done it for several releases back from KDE 4.0 up to 4.7.4 and now, he continues his tradition to provide KDE packages and this time, it's KDE 4.8.0, the latest version from KDE.

This new version of KDE has more packages then the previous version, thanks to the modularization made by the KDE release team. In total, Eric counted there are 90 tarball sources for this release, exploded from 71 sources from KDE 4.7. This gives more burden to the packagers, but it gives more flexibility to the users as they can pick which packages should be installed on their systems.

As always, KDE has been known to work without HAL and that will also likely to happen in Slackware, so try to stop depending to HAL for the time being until it's removed completely from Slackware which will be likely to be in the next release of Slackware since KDE and XFCE will be HAL-free for their next major release (KDE 4.8.0 and XFCE 4.8.0).

Eric mentioned that newer KDE needs mesa-7.10 or newer, and his KDE packages are built for -Current users, not for Slackware 13.37. The reason is simple. There has been a toolchain upgrade in -Current which affects the KDE packages shipped by Eric being incompatible with Slackware-13.37.

Due to a lot of changes in the package naming, it's suggested that you do exactly what's written on the README to perform this upgrade:
On Slackware 32-bit:
  # upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new x86/deps/*.t?z
  # upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new x86/kde/*.t?z
  # removepkg polkit-kde-1
  # removepkg kdeaccessibility
  # removepkg kdebase
  # removepkg kdebase-runtime
  # removepkg kdebase-workspace
  # removepkg kdebindings
  # removepkg kdeedu
# removepkg kdegraphics
  # removepkg kdeutils
  # removepkg konq-plugins

  On Slackware 64-bit:
  # upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new x86_64/deps/*.t?z
  # upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new x86_64/kde/*.t?z
  # removepkg polkit-kde-1
  # removepkg kdeaccessibility
  # removepkg kdebase
  # removepkg kdebase-runtime
  # removepkg kdebase-workspace
  # removepkg kdebindings
  # removepkg kdeedu
# removepkg kdegraphics
  # removepkg kdeutils
  # removepkg konq-plugins
You can remove the unneeded packages later on once it's proven to be running well.

If you upgrade from his previous packages (KDE 4.6 or 4.7), then please the end of the note about a change in the package's name:
* oxygen-gtk was renamed to oxygen-gtk2
* mobipocket was renamed to kdegraphics-mobipocket

In the end, credit should all go to Eric for his hard work of maintaining KDE packages for Slackware. I am only helping to distribute his work to Indonesian areas and for those who reads this blog.

If you need to keep KDE 4.7.4 on your system, please use the main repository (http://alien.slackbook.org/ktown/) or put an "exclude" command on your rsync script to prevent them to be deleted since in other mirror sites, KDE 4.7.4 has been deleted.

This set of KDE 4.8.0 packages is now available at UKDW Repository as well. Enjoy KDE 4.8.0 for Slackware.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LibreOffice 3.4.5 Released

LibreOffice 3.4.5 has been released by The Document Foundation. It's a maintenance release, so no new features added, but you can expect bug fixes on this release. If you have a bug reported on previous release, you might want to check the first and second changelogs.

Eric has compiled LibreOffice 3.4.5 for Slackware users and upload it to his repository. Please enjoy this release as this might be the latest release for 3.4.x series as the developer are now working on the 3.5.x series and they even started the second bug hunting for LibreOffice 3.5 that will commence on January 21 and 22, 2012. The decided to put a second session after a successfull first session that generates 70 bug reports from over 150 volunteers.

The next major release of LibreOffice, 3.5.0 is scheduled to be released on February, meaning it's less than 3 weeks from now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fixing LibreOffice Printing Problem

If you use LibreOffice and you are having problem to print in landscape mode, then you are not alone. Some people reported this on LQ and i myself also experienced this problem.

Some members reported a fix for this problem, but requires a lot of changes in the printer behaviour settings. Other member suggested that upgrading CUPS to 1.5.0 should fix this problem and this is what i choose.

Of course, it's not that smooth to upgrade to the latest cups. I had some problem building it and it was discussed on LQ, but finally i'm able to build cups by removing the old patches on Slackware-Current's SlackBuild script.

Now i'm able to build CUPS and fix the problem on LibreOffice. Hopefully this helps for those having same problems with me and with other Slackware users.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

ScreenFetch

Screenfetch is a bash script that shows your system information on the terminal as it's executed and also display your Linux distribution logos. Since it's a bash script, the only thing you need to do is to give it an execute permission and then put it on your PATH variables. In my case, i put it on my /usr/bin, but you can put it anywhere.

If you wanted to be displayed everytime you opened up your terminal, then put this line into the bottom part of your .bashrc (if you are using bash):
. /usr/bin/screenfetch
Notice the dot in front and there's a space gap between the dot and the executable script. Test it by close your terminal and fire up another one.

You can try to have a look on other distro's logo by using -D parameter, for example:
screenfetch -D 'ArchLinux'
screenfetch -D 'Mint'
screenfetch -D 'Ubuntu'

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Accepting Unresolved Domains in Sendmail

If you want to read your email messages from your local machine, you will need some packages to be installed:
  1. Fetchmail
  2. MTA (Mail Transfer Agent), it would be Sendmail in Slackware's default installation
  3. MUA (Mail User Agent), it could be pine or mutt in Slackware
If you configured fetchmail properly, then in short time, you will be able to receive your messages through pine and mutt for offline view.

Sendmail by default will reject an email from unresolved domains, because it is suspected as a spam. However, if you have difficulties with your DNS server, it might treat normal messages as unresolved as well. So, how do i configure Sendmail to get all email messages, including from unresolved domains?

You must edit Slackware's sendmail configuration file, rebuilt it, and put the new configuration file into the proper place and restart Sendmail. Here's how to do it:
  • Open up /usr/share/sendmail/cf/cf/sendmail-slackware.mc
  • Add this line FEATURE(`accept_unresolvable_domains')dnl
  • Copy the file to /usr/share/sendmail/cf/cf/config.mc
  • Go to /usr/share/sendmail/cf/cf/
  • Execute sh Build config.mc
  • Copy config.cf to /etc/mail/sendmail.cf
  • Restart sendmail: /etc/rc.d/rc.sendmail restart
You will now receive any incoming email messages through your inbox, including from spammers, so please use this feature wisely.

Monday, January 9, 2012

VMWare Workstation 8 and Linux Kernel 3.2

I have just completed compiling Linux Kernel 3.2, the latest release of Linux Kernel which was released early this month. Like always, new major release brings a lot of improvements which can be seen in KernelNewbies.

For those who would like to compile Linux Kernel 3.2, please pay attention when it comes to ethernet drivers. You must make sure that you have written down your ethernet card vendor as the configuration will ask you again and if you failed to answer (by typing no or picking the wrong vendor), you will end up with no ethernet driver loaded and if you are connected to the Internet using a wire, then you are out of connection. Luckily it can be solved by just recompiling the kernel and load the new module.

New kernel means new patch for VMWare and i have confirmed that a patch from Weltal's Blog is working like charm. All you need is to apply the patch included and it should go just fine. Please change the version according to the VMWare Workstation or VMWare Player version installed on your machine.

In case you find this error:
/tmp/vmware-root/modules/vmmon-only/linux/iommu.c: In function ‘IOMMU_AdjustMappings’:
/tmp/vmware-root/modules/vmmon-only/linux/iommu.c:180:4: error: implicit declaration of
function ‘iommu_found’ [-Werror=implicit-function-declaration]
/tmp/vmware-root/modules/vmmon-only/linux/iommu.c: In function ‘IOMMU_RegisterDevice’:
/tmp/vmware-root/modules/vmmon-only/linux/iommu.c:415:7: error: too few arguments to 
function ‘iommu_domain_alloc’
include/linux/iommu.h:68:29: note: declared here
Then, you can fix this problem by :
cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source
tar -xvf vmmon.tar
cd vmmon-only/linux/
vi iommu.c
add this lines on top of the file
#if LINUX_VERSION_CODE >= KERNEL_VERSION(3, 2, 0)
#include <linux/pci.h>
#define iommu_found() iommu_present(&pci_bus_type)
#define iommu_domain_alloc() iommu_domain_alloc(&pci_bus_type)
#endif
then finish it by saving it and then:
cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source
rm vmmon.tar
tar -cvf vmmon.tar vmmon-only/
vmware-modconfig --console --install-all
That's it. You can start your VMWare and voila... it's working again.

GSB Repository Is Back

After few days without any updates and also considered broken (missing packages), GSB repositories are now back serving all GSB users around the world. The mirror site has started to sync every packages that were previouly reported missing, including the updates found in the latest batch of updates.

You can start your sync again to GSB Repositories, including at UKDW

Sunday, January 8, 2012

SlackBuild Submission Halted Temporary

Submission to SlackBuild project is being halted temporary because they are now configuring a new machine that will replace the old machine. I hope the addition of this new hardware can improve this project's performance as more packages are being added into this repository.

Next in my queue line is an update to FileZilla which is now updated to 3.5.3. Please note that this update requires you to upgrade your WxGTK to 2.8.12 or higher in order to compile it from source. I have mentioned it on the README just in case you failed to compile.

Update (9 January 2012): They are back accepting submissions

OpenJDK Packages for Slackware

Eric has posted his OpenJDK and OpenJRE packages into his repository for public testing. This package are created from source rather than wrapping the binary executable from Oracle, since Oracle has stopped giving permission for operating system vendors to re-distribute JDK as well as JRE.

Please note that these packages may ben given different name if it is accepted by Pat someday in the future as inclusion for Slackware official package replacing JDK and JRE which will be removed in the future release of Slackware. I think Pat will just give the SlackBuild scripts to build the binary into the native Slackware package, which shouldn't break Oracle's licenses.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

GSB Repository Broken

It has been reported that GSB repository is broken after some people reported that their local copy of the repository is now gone (or precisely deleted due to --delete parameter on rsync command) since the upstream repository was gone from the official repository server.

This problem was reported on LQ and also on the GSB mailing lists and the developer is now investigating this problem.

For temporary workaround, Ponce has a local copy of x86_64 version of GSB-3.2 for Slackware-13.37 that you can use (sorry, not 32 bit copy yet).

Once the problem has been resolved upstream, the mirror will likely to get the updates within 24 hours and you can start syncing again with your local copy.

Update (7 January 2012): 32 bit repositories are now back online on UKDW Repo server. Meanwhile, the 64 bit remains not available at this time. Please refer to Ponce's server until this problem has been solved

Monday, January 2, 2012

Good News From Eric

Eric Hameleers, one of the Slackware Team has posted an update on his blog, giving updates on what he has done in the past month and what to expect from him in the future. Just like the others, Eric didn't release a lot of updates lately, except for monthly KDE release and also updates on his packages (mainly weekly Calibre release). But that's what we only see in the front door.

In the back door, he has managed to put his time working on the future KDE 4.8 release which should be out this month and also OpenJDK problem as i mentioned before in my previous post. He has managed to compile OpenJDK with gcc-java compiler and upload this set of packages to Pat's server so he can have a look later on and if he agrees, he will surely add this to Slackware-Current branch in the future and we can have a shinny OpenJDK package running on the next Slackware release.

His biggest goal is to add Java support on ARMedslack, Slackware porting project for ARM architecture, which is none currently. Why bother? Well, ARM is now getting more popular and with the future release of Rasberry Pi, it's all getting more interested to see Slackware running on those devices. So far, the progress shown a good sign even though there are still a lot of entries in their TODO list.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Poll

It's the first poll in this new year and i would like you (readers of this blog and of course, Slackware users) to rate Slackware's performance based on your own machine(s).

Slackware is known for it's fast performance (based on my own experience) and i would like to see whether it also exactly the same with others. I have been using Slackware since 2005 and used it in 2 desktops (running -Current), 1 laptop (-Current), 1 server (-Stable), and 2 virtual machines (-Current). I'm very impressed with it's performance so far.

Please do not compare to other Linux distributions such as ArchLinux, Gentoo, or any other optimized Linux distribution out there. Please rate Slackware as it is.

Poll Results

It's been 2 months since last poll was announced and since it's already start of a new month and year, it's time to announce the results. Without further ado, here they are:
Desktop 43 (46%)
Multimedia 39 (42%)
Networking 24 (26%)
Drivers 27 (29%)
Development 21 (22%)
Office 27 (29%)
Internet 21 (22%)
Libraries 19 (20%)
Publishing 8 (8%)
Others 13 (14%)

Even though Slackware has been quite aggresive on desktop section, most of the voters (nearly half of the 92 voters) pick the Desktop section need to be improved, followed by Multimedia section.

In my opinion, Slackware is a great combination between a desktop, server, and multimedia box since you can have it all in one full installation, without adding more packages (even though it's possible since everybody has it's own preferences). What new surprises will Pat bring this year? Only time can tell...