Saturday, June 30, 2012

Scanning Problem Fixed

Pat has issued two small update to fix scanning problem. It seems that the needed group in order for users to be able to scan is lp instead of scanner. This has been changed in the shadow package and also in the sane.

Here's a lengthy explanation from Pat:
Changed udev rules to use group lp instead of scanner. It turns out that this is likely what's been interfering with printer detection since we switched CUPS to use libusb instead of the usblp kernel module. SANE would come along and switch the group on multifunction printer/scanners to "scanner", and then CUPS would no longer be able to use them. The kernel module wasn't affected by this since it didn't use the raw USB device node and didn't care who owned it. Anyway, making this switch gets things pretty close to how they were before. The good news is that printers should be detected and configurable without having to look at lsusb output or writing custom udev rules, however, users will need to be in group lp in order to use the scanner. We'll do this automatically for console logins.

Friday, June 29, 2012

More Bug Fixes and Improvements

Another update has landed on -Current and things are going progressively positive. A lot of bug reports has been closed day by day, including with this update.

Several basic applications are now upgraded to the latest one, including acl, attr, file, coreutils, dcron, kbd, less, logrotate, sdparms, xfsprogs, diffutils, lsscsi, and sudo.

There has been some changes in this batch, so please be careful:
  • A new package has been introduced: kmod to replace module-init-tools. First, installpkg kmod, then removepkg module-init-tools, and then use installpkg kmod once again just to make sure everything is working as intended (i learned from previous mistake)
  • ntfs-3g now already includes tools from ntfsprogs, which is now removed, so please apply the same routines as describes above, installpkg ntfs-3g, removepkg ntfsprogs, installpkg ntfs-3g. Also this new changes will make a symlink to mount.ntfs-3g, so no need to create any symlink again and NTFS drives will be mounted in read/write condition afterwards.
  • libusb are now split into two packages: libusb and libusb-compat. Upgrade libusb first, and then install libusb-compat
  • It's not mentioned in the ChangeLog and this only applies to 32 bit tree: Pat accidentally put x86_64 packages for recordmydesktop in 32 bit directory, so if you have installed that package previously, you might want to perform upgradepkg to the correct recordmydesktop package.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

KDE 4.9 RC1 for Slackware-Current

KDE team has announced KDE 4.9 RC1, just a day after they decided to tag and release their tarballs sources to the KDE packagers. This might be frustating for the packagers to provide a package to it's users, but fortunately, Eric has made it so that KDE 4.9 RC1 packages for Slackware(-Current) users  are now ready at his KTown repository.

Please note that there are three new dependencies compared to previous Beta release, and they are akonadi, soprano, and shared-desktop-ontologies). They are located in the deps/ directory.

What's nice about this RC is that it should fix incompatibilities with Slackware-current’s new attica and python packages. After upgrading to KDE 4.9 RC 1, you can remove the old attica-0.3 and stays compatible with Slackware-Current (and slackpkg will not complaint anymore).

It seems that Slackware 14 will be shipping with KDE 4.8.x (it could be .4 or .5 later if it's decided to be released by KDE team) and not KDE 4.9 since it still need time to be considered stable enough for mass deployment. IMHO, they are stable enough, but my opinion might be different with Pat's decision. Anyway, you can upgrade to KDE 4.9 maintained by Eric, so no big deal.

You can get them at these repositories:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No PulseAudio Yet

Ivandi posted a thread in LQ about the new update of blueman which requires PulseAudio as the runtime dependencies, and Pat has decided not to pull PulseAudio into Slackware at this moment thus reverting PulseAudio back to previous git version which can be run without PulseAudio.

Lynx is now compiled using --enable-ipv6, so it should now support web sites that already switched to IPv6. The last changes in today's update is in shadow. Pat decided to upgrade the security of the checksums algorithm by introducing SHA256 in /etc/shadow. You can change the parameter into more paranoid settings by setting it to SHA512 in your /etc/login.defs

Slackware 14 Pre Orders

For those who's interested with Slackware 14, Slackware Store has a good news for you. They are now taking pre-orders for Slackware 14, both in CDROM sets or DVD sets (dual 32/64 bit edition). Both CDROM and DVDROM sets cost you about $ 49.95, so i guess you should go with the DVD version, but that's up to you actually :)

This is one way to help Slackware Project to survive in the future, but you can help in other ways too, such as helping testing packages in -Current, helping others when they have problems with Slackware, bringing up a local community to support local Slackware users, and many more. Even answering or asking in LQ is probably one of the best method to support Slackware.

We are all anxious about when will Slackware 14 be released, because it has been more than a year without any release, but i have no doubt that Slackware 14 will be as solid as past releases, but with more features of course :)

More Minor Update

Some more changes in -Current tree are introduced, such as:
  • syslinux upgraded to 4.0.5 to support btrfs support
  • patched cifs-util to fix broken mount.cifs
  • rebuilt cmake and PyQT to fix missing files
  • nmap upgraded to 6.0.1
  • imagemagick upgraded to 6.7.7_9
  • rdesktop upgraded to 1.7.1
We have more updates in the past next few hours since my rsync script has catch up another activity. The packages gets upgraded this time is:
  • curl
  • xz
  • grep
  • pycurl
  • aaa_base (rebuilt)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Next Slackware Release: Slackware 14

It has been confirmed that the next Slackware release will have a version number of 14. Pat has upgraded aaa_base and bumped /etc/slackware-version to 14. Basically this is the final confirmation about the release version of Slackware, but NOT meaning that Slackware 14 is released. There are still some time before Slackware 14 can be released as a stable release.

There are a huge list of changes in today's update, such as new kernel packages, gcc 4.7.1, KDE 4.8.4, lots of WiFI driver removals, several new applications gets introduced, library updates, and also development tools/library major updates, such as Python 2.7.3. There are too many of them to list here, but you can just see all of them in the ChangeLog.

There are still some packages left which i hoped to be included in Slackware tree before it gets released, such as:
  • Gimp 2.8
  • GTK+3
  • GTK+2 updates (with all of it's related packages)
  • XFCE 4.10
Any other application you would like to be included in Slackware which is already available on Slackware-Stable ? I can't guarantee that your wish list will be granted, since the decision is on Pat, not me :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Updated Wireshark SlackBuild Pushed

I have pushed an updated Wireshark SlackBuild to my SlackHacks repository to fix the problem with newer automake that was described in yesterday's post. I have tested on my desktop and workstation and on both machine, it compiles nicely.

I also added some notes about requirement for Wireshark. Since c-ares in SBo package is a little bit out of date, i added a new SlackBuild for c-ares into my SlackHacks as well. I don't add GeoIP since the latest version in SBo matches the same version upstream. PortAudio and libsmi are also available on SBo, so i just mention them on the README.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Strange Bug Caused by Automake

For those who have been using my SlackHack repository, this may not be a good news, but still i need to warn you before you got yourself into trouble and send me problem reports. This is a known issue for me and i need some time to fix this problem.

Recently, i added Wireshark SlackBuild on my SlackHacks which should build 1.8.0 on your machine. The SlackBuild worked fine on my primary desktop at home, but when i wanted to install the same package on my workstation, it failed at make install command with an error message like this

/usr/lib/gcc/i486-slackware-linux/4.7.0/../../../../i486-slackware-linux/bin/ld: ui/gtk/libgtkui.a(libgtkui_a-plugins_dlg.o): undefined reference to symbol 'g_module_name'
/usr/lib/gcc/i486-slackware-linux/4.7.0/../../../../i486-slackware-linux/bin/ld: note: 'g_module_name' is defined in DSO /usr/lib/ so try adding it to the linker command line
/usr/lib/ could not read symbols: Invalid operation
collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status

Another problem that i found is related to GTK+3. I tried to recompile GTK+3 from my SlackHacks repository and in the end of the compilation process, i got this error message

make[4]: /tmp/package-gtk3/usr/share/themes/Default/gtk-3.0: Command not found

I suspected that this is caused by the new automake 1.12 which was included in -Current in the last few updates. So far, i'm still unable to find any real fix for this problem and i'm still searching. The strange thing is that the same SlackBuild works on my desktop. I  tried to re-execute the SlackBuild and it compiles nicely on my machine, but not on my workstation, even though both are running the same Slackware-Current.

For those who have found a fix for this problem please let me know so that i can post an update to the SlackHack as soon as possible.

For temporary solution: please downgrade to automake-1.11 from Slackware-13.37 if you encounter like above problems

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird Upgraded

Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird gets a stability update after Mozilla released a minor revision on Firefox just to fix some problems with Flash player, Hotmail not loading, and rendering of hebrew text. While on Thunderbird, the new version fixed the FileLink feature.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

NVidia New Driver: 302.17

NVidia has released a new branch of it's Linux NVidia driver 302.17. This version brings a horde of new features and bug fixes compared to the 295.59 which was introduced few days ago.

Here's the highlights:
  • Made nvidiaXineramaInfoOrder consistent with the RRSetOutputPrimary and RRGetOutputPrimary RandR requests: changes to either nvidiaXineramaInfoOrder or RandR OutputPrimary will be reflected in the other.
  • Fixed an interaction problem between RandR 1.2, ConstrainCursor, and panning that prevented panning from working properly.
  • Fixed a bug that caused RandR RRNotify_CrtcChange events to not be generated when switching between MetaModes with the same total size but different layout of display devices. This bug caused some window managers to not update their layouts in response to switching same-sized MetaModes.
  • Added support for desktop panning when rotation, reflection, or transformation is applied to a display device (either through RandR or through the MetaMode syntax); panning would previously be ignored in that case.
  • Added an "EDID" property to RandR 1.2 outputs. This property contains the binary contents of the connected monitor's extended display identification data, which allows applications such as the GNOME display properties dialog to query information about it.
  • Fixed a bug that caused audio over HDMI to not work on some GPUs after querying the RandR configuration (e.g., `xrandr -q`).
  • Added the "nvidiaXineramaInfo" X configuration option to report the layout of multiple display devices within an X screen. This is enabled by default. When disabled on X servers with RandR 1.2 support, the NVIDIA X driver will report one screen-sized region. When disabled on X servers without RandR 1.2 support, no Xinerama information will be reported. For backwards compatibility, the "NoTwinViewXineramaInfo" option disables nvidiaXineramaInfo.
  • Added the "nvidiaXineramaInfoOrder" X configuration option as a replacement for "TwinViewXineramaInfoOrder". For backwards compatibility, "TwinViewXineramaInfoOrder" is kept as a synonym for "nvidiaXineramaInfoOrder".
  • Added the "nvidiaXineramaInfoOverride" X configuration option as a replacement for "TwinViewXineramaInfoOverride". For backwards compatibility, "TwinViewXineramaInfoOverride" is kept as a synonym for "nvidiaXineramaInfoOverride".
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the use of some SLI Mosaic topologies.
  • Added the "MetaModeOrientation" X configuration option as a replacement for "TwinViewOrientation". "TwinViewOrientation" is kept as a synonym for "MetaModeOrientation", for backwards compatibility.
  • Added support for calculating the physical size and DPI of each RandR 1.2 Output using the EDID Detailed Timing Description.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented a workaround for the invalid EDID in certain AUO laptop flat panels from being applied, leading to an 800x600 desktop repeated several times across the screen.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the link configuration of DisplayPort devices to be reported incorrectly in nvidia-settings.
  • Fixed a bug that caused OpenGL programs to leak file descriptors when calling exec() on themselves.
  • Fixed rendering corruption at the start of new X server generation.
  • Added X driver support for RandR 1.2 and RandR 1.3. See "Support for the X Resize and Rotate Extension" in the README for details.
  • Extended the MetaMode X configuration option syntax with the following new attributes:
    • "Rotation" : specifies the display device's rotation
      "Reflection" : specifies the display device's reflection
      "Transform" : specifies a 3x3 transformation matrix to be
      applied to the display device
      "ViewPortOut" : specifies the region of the mode in which to
      display pixels
      "ViewPortIn" : specifies the size of the region in the X screen
      to display in the ViewPortOutFor example, "DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select { Rotation=left }".
      See "Configuring Multiple Display Devices on One X Screen" in the
      README for details.
  • Removed the "TwinView" X configuration option; the functionality it provided is now enabled by default. Previously, the NVIDIA X driver only enabled one display device for an X screen unless "TwinView" was enabled. Now, the NVIDIA X driver enables, by default, as many display devices as the GPU supports driving simultaneously. To limit how many display devices are driven by an X screen, use the "UseDisplayDevice" X configuration option.
  • Added a "CurrentMetaMode" attribute to the nvidia-settings command line, to query and set the current MetaMode.
    • As an example, these two commands are equivalent:
      xrandr --output DVI-I-2 --mode 1280x1024 --pos 0x0 --output DVI-I-3 --mode 1920x1200 --pos 1280x0
      nvidia-settings --assign CurrentMetaMode= "DVI-I-2: 1280x1024 +0+0, DVI-I-3: 1920x1200 +1280+0"
  • Removed overscan compensation configurability from NV-CONTROL and nvidia-settings. This can be configured, with finer granularity, through the ViewPortIn and ViewPortOut MetaMode attributes.See "Configuring Multiple Display Devices on One X Screen" in the README for details.
  • Altered mode validation such that for digital display devices the X driver only allows, by default, modes which are reported in the EDID. Previously, the NVIDIA X driver allowed other modes, but implicitly scaled those other modes to one of the EDID modes. Now, only the modes in the EDID are validated and the X driver does not do any implicit scaling. Any desired scaling can be configured explicitly through the new "ViewPortIn" and "ViewPortOut" MetaMode attributes. See "Configuring Multiple Display Devices on One X Screen" in the README for details.
  • Removed Flat Panel Scaling configurability in nvidia-settings. Any desired scaling can be configured through the new "ViewPortIn" and "ViewPortOut" MetaMode attributes.
  • Hotplug events (specifically, the RRNotify_OutputChange RandR event) are now generated when display devices are connected and disconnected from the GPU. Many desktop environments automatically
    resize the X desktop in response to these events.
  • Added display device name aliases, such that X configuration options that use display device names can refer to a display device by one of several names, including the RandR Output name for the display device. The X log reports the list of aliases for each display device.
  • Updated EDID parsing to include more complete support for EDID 1.4 and more recent versions of CEA-861.
  • Removed the "Rotate" X configuration option. This was used to statically rotate the X screen. Its functionality is replaced by the "Rotation" MetaMode attribute and RandR 1.2 rotation support. See the README for details.
  • Removed the "RandRRotation" X configuration option. This enabled configurability of X screen rotation via RandR 1.1. Its functionality is replaced by the "Rotation" MetaMode attribute and RandR 1.2 rotation support. See the README for details.
  • Removed support for the following NV-CONTROL attributes:
  • Improved rendering performance for RENDER bitmap text.
  • Enabled the OpenGL "Sync to VBlank" option by default.
  • Added a new option, --restore-original-backup, to nvidia-xconfig. nvidia-xconfig creates a backup of the original X configuration file when modifying an X configuration file that does not appear
    to have been previously modified by nvidia-xconfig. This option restores a backup of the original X configuration file, if such a backup is found.
  • Expose the following additional FSAA modes via NV-CONTROL, nvidia-settings, and through X visuals and GLXFBConfigs:
    • 16X multisample FSAA on all GeForce GPUs
      Coverage sample FSAA on G80 and above GeForce GPUs
      32X multisample FSAA on G80 and above Quadro GPUs
      64X multisample FSAA on Fermi and above Quadro GPUs
  • Enabled conformant texture clamping by default in OpenGL.
  • Removed support for the GVO Clone mode NV-CONTROL attributes:
  • Added a new, higher resolution icon for nvidia-settings.
  • Updated the NVIDIA X driver's handling of X configuration options that affect an entire GPU, not just a particular X screen running on a GPU (e.g., "NoPowerConnectorCheck"): for such X configuration options, the X driver will now honor the option on any of the X screens configured on the GPU. Prior to this change, the NVIDIA X driver only honored such options on the first X screen configured on a GPU.
  • Added a checkbox to nvidia-settings to control the texture clamping attribute. When the box is checked, OpenGL textures are clamped according to the OpenGL specification. When it is unchecked, GL_CLAMP is remapped to GL_CLAMP_TO_EDGE for borderless 2D textures.
  • Removed the "Display" and "X Screen" tabs from the "X Server Display Configuration Page" of nvidia-settings, and added a new "Selection" dropdown menu for selecting X screens or display devices. This makes it easier to select X screens/Displays that are hidden.

Friday, June 15, 2012

VMWare 8.0.4 and Linux Kernel Patches

As promised, i have VMWare Workstation on my machine and the same routine applied to the new version:

First off, remove your old VMWare installation by removing all files under these directories:

Next, start your VMWare installation using --ignore-errors parameter like this:
./VMware-Workstation-Full-8.0.4-744019.i386.bundle --ignore-errors

After that, you download the patch that you can fetch on my SlackHacks repository. Extract it and open file. Edit the vmreqver line and change it into 8.0.4. Give execute permission to the bash script and start it using ./ (use root)

It will patch and recompile all VMWare modules and in the end, it should work again :)

Note: I failed at first attempt, but i tried to start over and having it compiled on second attempt. I don't know why it failed, but glad it's working just fine.

*Tested on Linux Kernel 3.4.2, Slackware-Current 32 bit, per June 15*

Security Update: Seamonkey

Four security update has been released this morning (Indonesian time) and three of them are Mozilla-related products, Seamonkey, Firefox, and Thunderbird. They are now at the latest version. The other security update is Bind. This update traverse back to Slackware-12.2 because it's still widely used in almost all Slackware version.

Other updates happening on -Current is that XOrg now being upgraded to XOrg 1.12.2 and X11R7.7. Emacs also gets a major upgrade to 24.1. The requested libdvdread on LQ has been fulfilled too. The basic development tool automake and autoconf gets an upgrade along with ddrescue.

It's nice to see another update in -Current after almost two weeks without any update.

We can also expect XFCE 4.10 will be integrated in -Current "soon enough". You know who to say thanks to right? :)

Skype 4.0 for Linux + SlackBuild Script

Skype has finally updated their Skype client for Linux after sticking with their version 2 for so many years. They bumped the version to 4 and it has a codename Four Rooms for Improvement. Four new features that are highlight to this version are:
  1. A new Conversations View where users can easily track all of their chats in a unified window
  2. A brand new Call View
  3. Improvement on Call quality
  4. Improvement on video call quality and also extended support for more cameras
Of course, they have other small improvements and fixes. Some of them are worthy to mention:
  • improved chat synchronization
  • new presence and emoticon icons
  • the ability to store and view phone numbers in a Skype contact's profile
  • much lower chance Skype for Linux will crash or freeze
  • chat history loading is now much faster
  • support for two new languages: Czech (flag:cz) and Norwegian (flag:no)
Note, the very first time you start Skype for Linux 4.0 might take a few minutes (depending on how lengthy your chat history is). Please do not close Skype during this time. Subsequent starts will load much more quickly.

Go get Skype for Linux, but there are no static release anymore on the download page. They only provide packages for several distribution, such as Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSUSE, and Fedora.

Don't worry, as the static and shared binary packages are still available if you know the direct link and thanks to ArchLinux team, we know the URL links now. They are available on here and here (static).

I have a Skype SlackBuild script ready at my SlackHacks repository. I updated the original SlackBuild on SBo project to reflect the changes upstream.

Note: Skype 4 requires libtiff-4.0.x which is now available on my SlackHacks repository. It's an upgraded version from -Current packages which is still at 3.9.6. I have also updated the README to add this note.

VMWare Workstation 8.0.4 and Player 4.0.4 Released

VMWare has released an update to their Workstation and Player release. They are now reaching 8.0.4 and 4.0.4 respectively. The Workstation's Release Notes said that this version has two security fixes and 5 bug fixes:

General Issues

  • Linux guests running the Linux kernel version 2.6.34 or later could not be pinged from the host via an IPv6 address.
  • On rare occasions, Linux guests would suddenly fail to Autofit or enter Unity.
  • Unity mode would exit if the title bar of an application contained certain non UTF-8 encoded extended ASCII characters.
  • On Windows hosts, the VMware Workstation user interface sometimes became unresponsive when minimized from full-screen mode if the suggestion balloon was being displayed.
  • On Windows hosts, the user interface sometimes became unresponsive if the application was rendered on an extended display that was abruptly disconnected.

Security Issues

  • VMware host Checkpoint file memory corruption
    Input data was not properly validated when loading Checkpoint files. This issue could have allowed an attacker with the ability to load a specially crafted Checkpoint file to execute arbitrary code on the host.
    The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project ( has assigned the name CVE-2012-3288 to this issue.
  • VMware virtual machine remote device denial of service
    A device (such as CD-ROM or keyboard) that is available to a virtual machine while physically connected to a system that does not run the virtual machine is referred to as a remote device. Traffic coming from remote virtual devices was incorrectly handled. This issue could have allowed an attacker who was capable of manipulating the traffic from a remote virtual device to crash the virtual machine.
    The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project ( has assigned the name CVE-2012-3289 to this issue. 
I'm in a process of downloading it and will see if the patch that works for 8.0.3 still applies to this version. I will post a new blog after installing it on my machine later on.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New NVidia Driver: 295.59

NVidia has released a new NVidia driver, 295.59. This driver adds support to a variety of NVidia new products, such as
  • NVS 5400M
  • NVS 310
  • GeForce GT 620M
  • GeForce GT 640M
  • GeForce GT 640M LE
  • GeForce GT 650M
  • GeForce GTX 660M
  • GeForce GTX 670M
  • GeForce GTX 675M
  • GeForce GTX 555
  • GeForce GTX 560 SE
  • GeForce GT 415
  • GeForce GTX 460 v2
Other changes are
  • Disabled the use of certain OpenGL optimizations with Autodesk Maya and Mudbox, due to conflicts between these applications and the optimizations. Some performance loss in Autodesk Maya and Mudbox is possible, as a result.
  • Fixed a behavior issue where redundant DPMS state transitions were leading to unexpected screen blanking on DisplayPort displays.
They also released an update for L4T, their "Linux For Tegra" platform, for those using NVIDIA's ARM hardware. Linux For Tegra 15 is using the Linux 3.1.10 kernel, supports OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0, EGL 1.4, RandR 1.3, and X.Org Server ABIs 5/6/7/8/10/11/12.

KDE 4.9 Beta 2 Released

KDE team has released KDE 4.9 Beta 2 and this will be the final Beta release before they will start hard freeze period by releasing two RC releases and the followed by the final version of KDE 4.9. According to the release schedule, if everything goes smoothly, it should be out to public on August 1.

There are still lots of things to be tested in this version, so KDE team called another bug hunting session for this release following their Beta 1 bug testing initiative call. We hoped that everything listed in the Feature Plan can be integrated and released by the time KDE 4.9 gets released.

Eric has packaged KDE 4.9 Beta 2 for Slackware-Current users on his KTown repository and on this release, there are two added dependencies, soprano and shared-desktop-ontologies, compared to Beta 1. These two packages were added in the last minute, but just before the final release, so it could make it.

Please note that there has been a reorganization in the KTown repository structure. Now, all KDE sources (from 4.6.5 up to 4.8.90) goes into source directory. Eric has also added KDE 4.7.4 sources which is the last stable KDE that can be compiled against Slackware 13.37 without adding too many new dependencies. All binary packages will goes into 13.37 and current directory so that people won't be confused again. In the past, even though it has been mentioned on the README, people didn't read it and just upgrade the packages for -Current into -Stable release and got a broken system and blame Eric for a broken package or blame KDE for a bad release.

You can get the KDE packages from this mirror sites:

Friday, June 8, 2012

KDE 4.8.4 Released

The monthly update for KDE stable release: 4.8.4 has been released by KDE and Eric Hameleers has provided the Slackware native packages for public on his KTown repository.

This is probably the last series for KDE 4.8.4, even though there might be an option to add another series for KDE 4.8.5 because there might be some time gap before KDE 4.9 gets stable releases. It will be decided later, but for now, just enjoy the latest KDE stable release.

Grab it on one of these mirrors:
Don't forget that these packages are built against -Current, so make sure you have been running -Current before upgrading to these release.

Eric Hameleers also have KDE 4.9 Beta 1 packages if you want to test it. I have been using it personally on all of my machines i own and so far, i haven't had any single problems with it. It's stable enough for me.

SlackBuild Script for digiKam 2.6.0

Finally, another major update to digiKam, an open source digital photo management application for KDE has been released. This release came after more than six months after their previous major release, 2.5.0.

According to the announcement posting, besides having a bunch of bug fixes, this new version also introduces some new features such as:
  • Progress manager to control all parallelized process running in background
  • A new Maintenance Tool have been implemented to simplify all maintenance tasks to process on your whole collections
  • A new tool to export your collections to ImageShack Web Service 
  • Porting to LCMS version 2 color management library 
  • A new tool dedicated to manage colors from scanned Reversal Films 
For those who wanted to build this package, you might want to visit my SlackHacks repository where i put my SlackBuild script for this package.

I have added two additional packages on my SlackHacks, OpenCV and Lensfun. OpenCV is required to compile digiKam, so i suggest you download and compile them as well. It has been updated to the latest version, 2.4.1. Lensfun is an optional package, so it's not mandatory.

If you ever wanted to get the full features of digiKam, i would suggest you to have a peek on the README inside the source. You will see a list of extra components that are required to get more features, such as Face Detection, Geo Mapping, and many others.

Update: (June 10, 2012): I have added some notes on the README about the requirement to compile digiKam. Basic requirement that you must met to compile digiKam 2.6.0 is libkdcraw that is part of kdegraphics library, ffmpeg, OpenCV, and QJson. The last four are optional dependencies.

Interview with Patrick Volkerding Released

Jeremy has posted a new entry in the Interview Section and this is what we are waiting for: Interview with Patrick Volkerding of Slackware. Enjoy the interview as it's quite lengthy and well written by Pat himself. You can learn more from his past and how end up creating Slackware and maintaining it up to today.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Interview with Patrick Volkerding

Jeremy of LQ has announced that he will post the results of the interview with Patrick Volkerding, the creator and maintainer of Slackware Linux within 24 hours in the Interview Section of LQ. It took almost 1.5 months for Pat to answer all of those questions, but i believe he took his time because he also had to merge all those changes in -Current while maintaining stability and security of previous releases -Stable releases as well.

Due to the lengthy answers, Jeremy has decided to split it into two parts. I think it's the first time that an interview section will consists of two parts. Well, Patrick deserves it i guess :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Call for Testing: KDE 4.9 Beta 1

KDE Team 4.9 has asked KDE packagers on several Linux distribution to create an early KDE 4.9 Beta releases to public because they need a lot of man power to test for a new major release of KDE 4.9. Final release of KDE 4.9 is scheduled to be on August, 1, so it's two months before the release.

Several Linux distributions have prepared the packages and placed it on their testing-only repositories, such as ArchLinux, Fedora, and many others. As for Slackware, the only person who build KDE is Eric Hameleers and as usual, he placed it on his KTown repository which is mirrored to several other servers.

If you plan to help KDE (and also Slackware) by using and testing it, there are some notes about this KDE packages.

First, you MUST be running Slackware-Current since this packages are built against libraries available on Slackware-Current. If you want to use on top of other Slackware version, it's wise to build it on your own machine.

Second, the kdemultimedia package has been split into modular releases, so in the end of the upgrade process, you must remove the kdemultimedia package.

There's only one new dependency on this version so far and that's soprano, so here's an easy way to upgrade to KDE 4.9 Beta 1 from previous version of KDE 4.8.x:

  # rsync -av rsync:// .
  # cd 4.8.80

  On Slackware 32-bit:
  # upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new x86/deps/*.t?z
  # upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new x86/kde/*.t?z
  # removepkg kdemultimedia

  On Slackware 64-bit:
  # upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new x86_64/deps/*.t?z
  # upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new x86_64/kde/*.t?z
  # removepkg kdemultimedia

  If you already have one or more non-english language packs installed:
  # upgradepkg x86_64/kdei/*.t?z

  If you want to have a non-english language pack installed but none is
  currently installed, substitute your country code instead of the 'XX'
  in the next command:
  # upgradepkg --install-new x86_64/kdei/kde-l10n-XX-*.t?z

  Check if any ".new" configuration files have been left behind by
  the upgradepkg commands.  Compare them to their originals and decide
  if you need to use them.
  # find /etc/ -name "*.new"
  A graphical tool for processing these "*.new" files is slackpkg:
  # slackpkg new-config

Credit goes to Eric Hameleers.

I have been using KDE 4.9 Beta 1 since this morning and i found the upgrade process is smooth as usual.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

New Package Added: iftop

Pat has added a new package into Slackware-Current and that is iftop and it's used to display bandwidth usage on an interface. Besides this new package, Pat also updated several other packages such as slacktrack, gmp, libpcap, tcpdump, traceroute, libX11, and fixing xscreensaver by using the old xscreensaver-getimage-file from previous version to avoid more dependencies added.

Some words has been said by Eric on his blog post about how the server has been moved to another server and the website is coming alive again, but finally Patrick himself said a word about this in more detail about who's the one working on the code and in the infrastructure. He also appreciate all the ideas of porting, hardware donations, and other support for the website and also to the Slackware project itself. Unfortunately there are no spesific answers given on the ChangeLog. Perhaps we will see the results someday in the future.

Viva la vie Slackware!

LibreOffice 3.5.4 Packages by AlienBOB

As promised, Eric (AlienBOB) has uploaded his LibreOffice packages into his repository which contains the latest version that was released few days ago. This version is expected to bring many performance improvements in terms of speed. It should handle big and complex files more gracefully.

These are some of the highlights on this version:
* enable caching of grammar checker properties
* changing spelling preferences requires application restart
* comparing empty document with attached one crashes LO
* crash on "connect to existing database" wizard
* fix vertical text frame borders
* performance problems with very long paragraphs
* remove pointless forward moving of a table
* run SelectLanguage custom action during silent install, too
* error message when deleting pages
* Recent Documents empty
* cannot insert jpeg

Since last year, the LibreOffice developers has began hunting for dead code inheritted from their ancestor, and tried to remove them. With some help from Caolan McNamara of RedHat who made a beautifull tool called CallCatcher, they are able to spot the modules and removes them.

Here are the graphic until the end of last year. With LibreOffice 3.5.4, the dead code removal has been even better and optimized. We shall see more performance improvements on future LibreOffice releases in the future.

The LibreOffice packages are now ready at these mirrors:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Slackware Website Restored

Eric Hameleers has stepped up to announce that the Slackware Website has been restored (it's actually moved to the developer's server, connie) to it's original state and now it's running well. Now the developer can focus on Slackware development instead of debating about the Slackware is dying just because the website is down, while the main problem is the hardware, not the distribution itself.

He also mentioned about his future releases, such as LibreOffice 3.5.4, KDE 4.9 Beta 1, and VLC 2.0.2. We shall see his upcoming releases in a few days, except for KDE, which will take some time because of the changes made upstream that forced him to make some adaptation to his SlackBuild scripts.