Sunday, April 29, 2012

XFCE 4.10 Released, Not Yet in Slackware-Current

Slackware 13.37 uses XFCE 4.6 as one of their supported DE besides KDE. There are a lot of small DE supported in Slackware, but KDE and XFCE are the most widely used DE currently (besides GNOME from GNOME SlackBuild Project).

One year since the last stable release, XFCE has been working so hard to improve and they have released two major releases since then, 4.8 and the latest one, XFCE  4.10 which was released yesterday (the same day as my birthday, April 28).

Robby Workman has been working on XFCE for some time and he offered XFCE 4.8 in his repository for those who wanted to test XFCE 4.8 on their machine, but it wasn't included in Slackware-Current until today (KDE made it to Slackware-Current two weeks ago).

Right now, XFCE is at 4.10 and i have a strong believe (and so does other people in LQ) that next Slackware will also include XFCE 4.10 and replaced the old 4.6.

To see what is the new features in XFCE 4.10, have a look on XFCE 4.10 Tour, and if you wanted to see the detailed changes, i would suggest you to look on the ChangeLogs

Friday, April 27, 2012

More Security Fixes

More security fixes are being released for both Slackware-Current and -Stable releases going back to previous version of Slackware. The latest update on -Current currently includes OpenSSL, Seamonkey, Firefox, and Thunderbird.

In this batch, gdb and lftp is also upgraded to the latest version.

Since Calligra 2.4.1 is now released, it's good to see this package gets included in Slackware-Current. They were pretty messed up in their first stable release (2.4.0) if they were compiled using GCC 4.7.0. Luckily this is spotted by the community and patch were quickly merged into the upstream source. Let's hope 2.4.1 is well prepared.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Do Not Use NVidia Driver 295.40

I liked NVidia graphics card because they are well supported in Linux. NVidia is always ahead of ATI in terms of release frequency and have better support for their Linux Drivers.

Recently, NVidia released a new update 295.40 which is supposed to fix security vulnerabilities. It does fixed the bug, but it also introduces a nasty regression that even the developer is urging NOT to use this driver in their forum discussion. The regression affects chip older than G80, inclusive. This includes the full GeForce 6 and 7 series as well as GeForce 8800GTX and first-gen 8800GTS. The symptoms can include graphical corruption, performance issues, crashes and temporary hangs.

Well, here's how i found it. I just upgraded my Linux Kernel to the latest version available, Linux Kernel 3.3.3. It was released by Greg yesterday and i wanted to use this Linux Kernel on my base. It was a good chance for me to get a new Linux Kernel that is build using the latest GLIBC and GCC on Slackware-Current.

As usual, i left the compiling process while i went to the office this morning and when i got home, i just need to finish the process by copying the images to /boot and update lilo configuration file and reboot. Next was re-installing NVidia driver, VMWare, and VirtualBox which need to be recompiled after the kernel changed.

After all of them were finished, i ran startx and i got a messed desktop. The KDE process didn't completed successfully, i got no task bar, and many other problems. I recall in Phoronix that the latest NVidia driver were having an issue and i tried to downgrade to 295.33 (luckily i still have the backup) and the problem is gone now. So it's true that NVidia 295.40 is the culprit.

For now, if you have NVidia graphic cards older than G80, please stay on 295.33 until NVidia update their Linux drivers.

Security Update: openssl

Pat has released another update on Slackware-Current and this time, it contains two security fixes, one for openssl which is potentially exploitable buffer overflows and the other one is from wicd, which is local privilege escalation.

Another packages that gets upgraded/rebuilt are gdb which is now built using --with-phyton. If you found any problem with this updated package, please report to Pat and if possible, include some solution or link to upstream patches.

Calligra also being rebuilt to include upstream patch that should fix the invalid document bug reported on LQ.

In the next few days, i think Pat will be busy answering all the questions that Jeremy has sent to him related to the LQ Interview Series. Last week, Jeremy asked the Slackware community in LQ for questions that might be asked to Pat and the community responded by adding questions and questions to Pat. When Pat answered all Jeremy's questions, he will put the answer in the LQ Interview Series page. Stay tune :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fixing Amarok "No Track Playing" Bug

AmaroK is my favorite multimedia player besides MPlayer. They have done a great job porting to Qt4 (IMHO) and make every release even better than previous version.

One bug that i encountered in the past is that i always got "No track playing" message after AmaroK finished playing one track. Even though i still have lots of entries in my playlist, AmaroK stopped after one song played.

If you encountered this kind of bug, here's my proposed solution:
  • install MPlayer, VLC, and Xine-Lib
  • change the backend (System > System Settings > Multimedia > Phonon > Backend) to MPlayer
  • restart AmaroK
See if this works for you. If it doesn't, try to change to other backend (VLC, GStreamer, or Xine-Lib)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Introducing SlackHacks

I just created a new repository in GitHub called SlackHacks. It's my virtual hack lab where i will place updated SlackBuilds that i maintained and used on my system that works for Slackware-Current.

For now, the content of my repository is not that much, but i hope there will more contents to be added in the future. I hope that this repository can be helpful to others. You can also propose some SlackBuilds that i should look and place it on my repository as well. I can't guarantee that all of your proposal will be granted though :)

It's also a good way to learn about GIT, a great source control management used by Linux Kernel developers and also many other open source projects.

Compiling Mono and MonoDevelop

Last night, one of the member of Indonesian Slackware Community opened up a thread about Mono. He was having a broken Mono after compiling from SlackBuilds. I raised some suspisions because usually SlackBuilds which are published on SBo projects are well-tested by the maintainers and also the admins, so i tested the package last night (using the latest version upstream - 2.11.1, not the version used in SlackBuild script - 2.10.9) and i leave the computer compiling all night because it took some time to complete.

This morning, i woke up and got the build process completely and see if it works by issuing mono -V and i got this results:
Mono JIT compiler version 2.11.1 (tarball Sat Apr 21 20:55:23 WIT 2012)
Copyright (C) 2002-2012 Novell, Inc, Xamarin Inc and Contributors.
       TLS:           __thread
       SIGSEGV:       altstack
       Notifications: epoll
       Architecture:  x86
       Disabled:      none
       Misc:          softdebug
       LLVM:          supported, not enabled.
       GC:            Included Boehm (with typed GC and Parallel Mark)

Sweet... that just works. After installing Mono, i had an idea about compiling MonoDevelop, the default IDE to build application that are based on Mono. I had problems installing Mono manually in the past, but right now, there's a SlackBuild script for MonoDevelop, so i wanted to give another shot.

Compiling MonoDevelop requires a lot of dependencies and some of them are GNOME-related packages, but rest assured, since all of them are already available in SlackBuilds projects. All you need is to locate them, download, and build them. I provided the list of packages i used to build MonoDevelop below for your reference.

Please note that i used the latest version upstream (if there's any newer version) rather than using the same version used in SlackBuilds project. I also compiled this on a machine using the latest update of Slackware-Current (per April 20 2012) using GLIBC-2.15 and GCC-4.7.0. Every scripts works without any modifications (except for version changes).

Here are the list of dependencies of Mono
Here are the list of dependencies and built order of MonoDevelop (
I compiled Mono package first (after installing it's dependency: libgdiplus), and then continued with compiling  requirement of mono-addins which is the gtk-sharp and then followed by compiling the main package of mono-addins and the list goes on until all dependencies are satisfied. When everything is done, you can start compiling MonoDevelop.

Please note that i didn't list the duplicate dependencies, because if you follow that order, you should have the packages installed in previous packages. Let me know if i missed some packages (probably because i have installed them prior building this packages)

Here's a screenshot of MonoDevelop that i just compiled

Saturday, April 21, 2012

htop and gdb upgraded

Two packages in Slackware-Current are now upgraded. They are htop, a ncurses-based process viewer which is more like an enhanced version of top, and gdb, GNU Project Debugger, a standard debugger used by many Linux distribution to debug problems related with memory dump when applications crashed.

Even though it might not be user visible update, but these two packages are still considered important because one of them is used to monitor processes (especially for administrators) and the other one is to debug applications that are faulty (for developers).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Slackware Website is Up and Running Well

The official website of Slackware is now up and running again after they are down for several days. This status should be a real answer to people who make a long discussion at LQ.

For now, there are no changes in the ChangeLog yet, but i believe there will be soon enough. One problem at a time and we are in a good course

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

digiKam 2.5.0 SlackBuild and GCC 4.7.0

After upgrading to the latest -Current update, one of the LQ member reported that digiKam is once again broken. Since i posted about an update to digiKam SlackBuild which should make digiKam 2.5.0 compilable on Slackware-Current, i'm curious to see if it affected my system. I tested my previous digiKam application on the system that is now running on latest GLIBC and GCC, and it still worked. So, the problem lies during compilation.

So i searched in Google and found this bug report along with the patch used to fix this problem. Right now, i'm working on the updated SlackBuild again and hopefully this time, it compiles perfectly on Slackware Current.

I will make an update to this blog post when i have completed the build process later on.

Update (1:30 PM): I have managed to build digiKam 2.5.0 on Slackware-Current. It seems that it requires some patches because of the changes in GCC and also in Boost which were upgraded few days ago.

So my digiKam SlackBuild is now updated with two additional patches. Please use my updated digiKam SlackBuild and patch1.diff don't forget to download the additional digikam-boost.patch and digikam-gcc4.7.0.patch. Run the SlackBuild and have some snacks because it will require some time to complete.

Oxygen-gtk2 Upgraded

There has been a report from one of the Slackware users that posted on AlienBOB's post saying that there's a bug in oxygen-gtk2 package included in the latest -Current update that crashed some of his application (namely FileZilla and OpenERP GTK Client). This is the only update for today.

I tried to reproduce the problem on FileZilla because i am the maintainer of FileZilla SlackBuild, but so far, the application works fine on my system. I didn't try OpenERP because i don't use it.

Anyway, the package is now upgraded and this should solve the problem for some users who had this same problem on their machine.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Calligra Rebuilt

Calligra has been rebuilt in -Current in order to built correctly and now it has a complete apps that were missing in the previous update. This rebuilt version also fixed some earlier problems like what's reported by Hitest in LQ.

I have confirmed that this crashing bug do occurred when Calligra 2.4 was introduced in -Current and i can also say that this crash is now fixed after using the rebuilt version.

So, go grab the rebuilt version and taste the new version of Calligra.

I personally like Calligra Flow since it's like MS Visio where we can draw a lot of symbols and notations such as DFD, Logic Gates, Cisco-based networks, and many more. I hope they could improve by adding more standards symbols used for software engineering, such as UML.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

KDE 4.8.2 Makes into -Current

Pat finally included KDE 4.8.2 into -Current along with other updates. I think most of the libraries used by Pat is the latest one. For those who have been using Eric's KDE packages, it's better to switch to -Current as i think Eric will delete his KDE packages once the packages are merged into -Current (to reduce duplication and confusion among users).

ModemManager (which is also part of Eric's work) has also managed to be included in Slackware. So now you have more options to work with networking besides wicd.

It will be a massive update on -Current today, so i'll just sync them right away

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Slackel: Another Spin of Slackware Current

Another Linux distribution that is using Slackware-Current is the base has been released. It's called Slackel and it's developed by Dimitris in Greek. It offers a variety of options for the users, such as ISO installation images and live CD/DVD.

The latest release of Slackel includes the latest Slackware-Current packages plus an additional KDE 4.8.2 and also Calligra Suite 2.4 which was released few days ago (Eric has built them for Slackware-Current users).

This distribution uses Salix's graphical system tool and also utilize slapt-get and GSlapt as their package management besides the traditional pkgtools. It's like a combination of Slackware and Salix to provide a stable and easy to use Linux distribution.

The root password for the live CD is “live”. Standard user login is “one” with no password

Friday, April 13, 2012

LibreOffice 3.5.2 Packages for Slackware

After so many build failures, finally Eric has been able to build LibreOffice package and it's already at the latest update, 3.5.2. He has uploaded his build into his repository and now it's being mirrored to several mirrors, including my server.

There has been a lot of changes compared to the previous build and that was caused by the removal of the old StarOffice code and also dependency to Java.

Anyway, good to know that this build finally works because i also tried to build this package and ended up with my machine running for 5 days, but it ended with a failure.

You might get the packages from this repositories:
There has been a change in the configuration file once again. The new config file will be in .config/libreoffice, so you might want to move the config there before starting a new session of LibreOffice by using this command:
mv ~/.libreoffice ~/.config/libreoffice

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Security Update: Samba, Pidgin

Samba received security update that fixed a serious problem in previous version allowing remote code execution as the "root" user. This is a serious problem and users running previous samba should upgrade to this update as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the system.

Meanwhile, Pidgin is also upgraded to fix a bunch of security vulnerabilities that are scattered beyond several versions. In total, there are 9 CVE entries listed in the ChangeLog, so it's marked as an important update as well.

The rest of the update were small and basic packages, such as curl, libmsn, ntp, and sendmail.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Slackware Remaster Edition

There's a new remaster edition of Slackware-Current called Exton-Slack Linux. It's not made by Pat, but by other person. The target of this distribution is to provide easy-to-manage Linux distribution which tries to model how Ubuntu Linux works in Slackware-based distribution.

The latest release of Exton-Slack was made yesterday which was called SlackEX 13.37 Xfce4/Razor-qt Live DVD. It's based on the latest Slackware-Current, but the author upgraded the Linux Kernel to 3.3.1 and also XFCE to 4.8. It also include Razor-Qt 0.4.1, a lightweight DE which is based on Qt, the same technology used to build KDE, and FluxBox 1.3.2.

Exton-Slack has a nice installer script called Slack-Installer which can be used to install this distribution to hard drive. It's best to put this image into USB stick so that you can bring it anywhere you go and you can save your documents on it. Make sure you have enough space on your stick.

The kernel being used is based on the huge kernel on Slackware-Current. That means it will have most of the modules loaded at startup. This way, it will surely detect most of the hardware that you used in your system.

For full information about this release, please visit the official announcement (it's in Swedish).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Change in Shell and Security Update

There's one security update released today and that is libtiff. This package is now upgraded to the latest version which fixed the problem.

Another change happening in the latest batch of update is the change of the shell being used in the installer setup script. In the past, Bash was avoided because it's considered bloated and at that time when floppy disks are still the main media, size does matter. So the choice goes to Busybox. Right now, the size is no longer a problem, so Pat decided to go back to Bash.

Another reason to change into bash is because there has been some report about a bug in the installer setup script since last month on LQ. Pat finally decided to go back to genuine bash and that should fix the problem away.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thunderbird synched to Firefox

Just a quick post about the latest development of Slackware Current. Pat has upgraded Thunderbird to 11.0.1 which is now synched with Firefox once again. He also upgraded acpid, the only single basic package that gets a lift on today's batch of update.

KDE 4.8.2 Monthly Update

KDE has announced KDE 4.8.2, a monthly maintenance update which targets ordinary users to provide bug fixes and translations updates. Again, this release is another great work from KDE developers who have been quite strict with their schedules lately.

For those who have been using Erik's packages, you can start mirroring his KTown repository as he has created packages as usual and posted on his blog. For those that were anxious to see whether Pat will include KDE 4.8 or not in the latest Slackware release, there's a chance for that as mentioned on Erik's post that Pat has grabbed his SlackBuild script to generate an official packages for Slackware-Current which hopefully are newer than the one used by Erik's (if they have updated packages or so).

Next Slackware release will be a big release :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Poll Results

It's been two months since my last poll and as usual, i will announce the results and make a new poll for the upcoming month. Most of the voters agreed that Slackware runs fast on their machine. It might not the fastest one out there, but in general, Slackware has a good reputation of being a fast distribution.

If you want to use faster Linux distribution, i would suggest you to try ArchLinux or Gentoo Linux. They are well known for optimized Linux distribution. They are also a rolling release distribution, meaning that they are always bleeding edge in terms if package releases, but sometimes there are times when certain packages can break your system. In Gentoo, users mostly build their package from source and they have a lot of options regarding what optimizations they are going to apply on their system.

Since i'm in Malaysia right now,i have some problem of posting new poll, so for this month, i'm not going to make a new poll. I will continue with the new poll starting next month when i have come back to Indonesia. Stay tune for future poll :)