Sunday, September 29, 2013

Security Update: seamonkey

One security update has been released for Slackware and that's Seamonkey package. It's coming late as Firefox and Thunderbird updates has been released some time ago.

On Slackware-Current, there has been some minor updates:
  • lm-sensors is upgraded to 3.3.4, avoiding hardware breakage as reported on their official website. This update is backported back to Slackware-12.2.
  • m4 is upgraded to 1.4.17
  • sendmail and sendmail-cf are upgraded to 8.14.7
  • traceroute is upgraded to 2.0.18
  • udev is rebuilt to fix compilation

More Packages on MATE 1.6 for Slackware 14.1

I have been working on MATE 1.6 for Slackware 14.1 in the last four days to make it even more complete desktop environment by adding packages that are not yet included in MATE 1.6 for Slackware 14.0. The reason for that was because MATE 1.6 for Slackware 14.0 has entered a maintenance phase, meaning no added packages are added and only receive bug fixes and maintenance updates only.

Things were quite different with the same package but aiming for Slackware 14.1. We still have some time frame to add more packages to provide users more options and basic applications to work with MATE desktop. So, as a result, here are some changes that are added into MATE 1.6 for the upcoming Slackware 14.1:
  • Mate-media is now buildable, but it will not allow you to add volume control applet from their desktop. This is caused by newer glib in Slackware 14.1 which deprecates the gst_mixer
  • dconf and xdg-utils patch are now removed as they are included in Slackware 14.1, but running two commands to associate caja is still needed to be done manually. It's a one-time command, so run it and forget it. See the KNOWN_ISSUES.TXT for more information about this.
  • Moved mate-system-monitor in /extra. This will allow you to monitor your system's process, resources, and file systems.
    Unfortunately, it comes with a number of new dependencies that are now provided in /extra as well (previously users will need to download and build this dependencies themselves from SBo Project):
    • libsigc++
    • glibmm
    • cairomm
    • pangomm
    • atkmm
    • mm-common
    • gtkmm
  • We are still testing for a new package: mate-system-tools, which is a cross-platform tools to manage your desktop/workstations for basic configurations, such as managing users, time and date, services, shared folders, networking, and printing. It will add several new entries in System > Administration menu.
    They are now merged to current-mate-1.6 and master.
    This package also requires some new dependencies that are provided as well:
    • perl-xml-twig
    • perl-net-dbus
    • system-tools-backends
    • liboobs
  • We are planning to move mate-bluetooth to /extra as it works and no reports so far, so hopefully it will be moved once we are finished with mate-system-tools process.
That's all we got for now and we will keep updating the git branch regularly to optimize and fix bugs before Slackware 14.1 gets released.

For those who wanted to help, just clone our GIT repo and switched to current-mate-1.6 branch and start building all of them into your machine. Tell us about your experience on MATE 1.6 on top of Slackware-Current (aka 14.1).

Friday, September 27, 2013

MATE 1.6 For Slackware-Current (14.1)

As Slackware 14.1 is getting closer to gets released by Patrick, i'm also preparing a binary packages for the upcoming Slackware 14.1. We (me and Chess) have been discussing about our roadmap for MATE and since MATE 1.8 will not be available before Slackware 14.1 gets released, we will provide MATE 1.6 for Slackware 14.1 for now.

We have arranged a new git branch called current-mate-1.6 in our GIT repo that will serve as the base for building binary packages for Slackware-Current until Slackware 14.1 gets finalized. When it's released, we will rename the git branch into 14.1-mate-1.6 and this will be the new stable branch that are officially supported by us.

What will happen with the "1.6" git branch? We will rename it into 14.0-mate-1.6 (to be consistent) and we will leave it as it is. You are free to checkout this branch and use it to update your MATE packages if you are still running Slackware 14.0, but no binary packages will be provided once Slackware 14.1 gets released. You can still build your MATE packages from this branch.

When MATE 1.8 gets released (probably next year), we will move on to support MATE 1.8 on Slackware 14.1 (or 14.2 or 15.0 when it's released) and a new branch will be made for that purpose.

Speaking about MATE 1.6 for Slackware-Current (14.1), i have tested here with virtual machines on both arch (32/64 bit) and they are working fine as expected. They are the latest Slackware-Current updates per 25 September 2013. The number of packages included in MSB has been reduced since there was some packages that are now included in the default Slackware installation.

For those running -Current, you can also try this version by checking out the current-mate-1.6 branch and start building MATE packages.

Here are some screenshots of MATE 1.6 running on 32 bit (above) and 64 bit (below).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Small Changes

There aren't so many interesting updates on Monday's update. Links is upgraded to 2.8, which was released just yesterday, dejavu-fonts-ttf is also upgraded to 2.34 (Request from LQ).

The rest of the packages are just rebuilt. Samba is rebuilt to add talloc.h, pytalloc-util.pc, and talloc.pc files, while sysvinit-scripts is also rebuilt to fix entropy carry in rc.S and rc.6, since /proc/sys/kernel/random/poolsize.

Friday, September 20, 2013

X Packages Upgraded

Lots of packages in x/ directory gets upgraded, including xorg-server-1.14.3. This will ensure that Slackware 14.1 will have the latest version available during it's release and it should be stable enough until the next release and hopefully support as many hardware as possible.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Testing efibootmgr

Patrick has moved efibootmgr-0.6.0 to testing since it was reported that it failed to write new variables to UEFI, but the old version worked, so he downgraded to previous version which worked. As he can't test this tool currently, please help with testing this tool if you are running UEFI-based system on a clean installation of Slackware-Current.

Several packages gets upgraded on this batch of updates:
  • lrzip to 0.616
  • cdrtools to 3.01a17
  • transfig to 3.2.5e
  • xfig to 3.2.5c
  • imagemagick to 6.8.6_10
  • windowmaker to 0.95.5

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Slackware 14.1 Beta

Patrick Volkerding has labeled BETA per 18 September 2013. This sets a new milestone for Slackware 14.1 development progress. Even though it's labeled as BETA, i found it very stable and found no problem at all during normal activities. I used Slackware-Current on all of my desktops and laptop and also 2 virtual machines.

The latest update bring Linux Kernel 3.10.12 as the default kernel stock, upgraded to Firefox 24 ESR, Thunderbird 24, gnome-theme-standard-3.8.4, and system-config-printers-1.3.13.

This update also brings in several security fixes in GLIBC besides Firefox and Thunderbird. The patches are backported to earlier Slackware releases back to Slackware 13.0.

One surprise is the inclusion of GRUB 2.00 into Slackware's main tree. In the past, LILO has been the default Linux Loader for Slackware and for Slackware 14.1, users will have more options for it. You can now pick LILO or GRUB 2.

Slackpkg has been patched to fix problems when searching overlapped package names and dconf is also rebuilt to not attempt to restart D-Bus from installer.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

More Fine Tune

Several packages has been upgraded on the latest batch of updates and some of those are requested by some members in LQ. Here are the recap:
  • New packages added: efibootmgr and help2man
  • dosfstools, kernel-firmware, brltty, and emacspeak are upgraded
  • infozip is rebuilt to add BZIP2 support and fixed UID/GID
  • taglib is rebuilt to silence messages intended for developers
  • xf86-video-fbdev is also rebuilt
I was late on posting this news since i was out of town for few days (even though i read them on my cellphone's browser) and i just got back today.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

MSB Repository New Directory Layout

After discussing with Chess, observing some other repository, hacking the gen repo script, executing the changes, testing the new layout, and confirming that it works, we finally finished restructuring our MSB directory structure that conforms with slackpkg+. Here are our new directory structure:


It doesn't really changed much from our previous structure, but what's changed is our thought for future releases. Our policy is that we only maintain MSB for the latest -Stable release. With our previous directory layout, we will not be able to provide different MATE version within one -Stable release (e.g MATE 1.8 for Slackware 14.0), since it will overwrite all current packages with newer version of MATE.

With our new directory structure, it should be easy to do that as we will just build our MATE 1.8 packages and place it under any Slackware version supported (e.g 14.0 or 14.1). So, here's what our directory structure might probably look like in the future:

So, what's next? You can start using slackpkg+ to install/upgrade MSB packages through slackpkg by installing slackpkg and adding MSB repository into your /etc/slackpkg/slackpkgplus.conf. Here's how to do it:
  • Download and install slackpkg+ from the original website
  • Open /etc/slackpkg/slackpkgplus.conf
  • Add msb in the REPOPLUS line and remove others that you don't use. Mine is like this : REPOPLUS=( slackpkgplus msb )
  • Add the MSB repository information (pick according to your Slackware version, MSB version, and your machine architecture)
    • Slackware-14.0 (32 bit)
    • Slackware-14.0 (64 bit)
  • Run slackpkg update gpg && slackpkg update
  • MSB Repository should be manageable from slackpkg by now
The new repository is now live, up, and running :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

xcb-util Upgrade Requires Some MSB Packages to be Rebuilt

If you are using MSB from GIT and also running on top of Slackware-Current, you might experience some problems after running the latest batch of update from Slackware-Current per September 9. This happened due to xcb-util was upgraded and they have bumped the shared library version. This will break several packages on MSB since they are built against that library.

The good news is that you only need to recompile some of the broken packages and you are all good. Here are the packages needed to be rebuilt :
  • base/mate-file-manager
  • base/mate-control-center
  • extra/mate-image-viewer

Monday, September 9, 2013

Security Update: subversion

Patrick has issued one security advisory (SSA:2013-251-01) related to subversion which applicable to Slackware 14.0 and -Current. In both trees, subversion is upgraded to 1.7.13. The latest version of subversion is 1.8.3, but i guess Patrick is playing safe at this point by not upgrading to newer version to minimize of breaking other applications.

Lots of packages are upgraded in -Current tree and there are two new packages being added. Here are the summary:
  • Added two new packages: os-prober and xcb-util-cursor
  • Upgraded Linux Kernel to 3.10.11
  • Upgraded hdparm to 9.43 (Request in LQ)
  • Rebuilt lilo to use os-prober to detect unbootable Windows partition
  • Upgraded man-pages to 3.53
  • Upgraded development tools (gdb-7.6.1, git-1.8.4, perl-5.18.1)
  • Rebuilt glibc to remove pt_chown to fix CVE-2013-2207
  • Upgraded gnome-icon-theme to 3.8.3
  • Rebuilt libwnck, startup-notifications, blueman, and bluez
  • Moved xorg-server-1.14.2 into main tree and rebuilt all related driver
  • Rebuilt lots of xfce-related packages 
I think the base toolchain and libraries are all set in Slackware-Current and we only need a few more rounds of testing before labeling it into another stable release of Slackware-14.1.

I just wished that Patrick is willing to take gtk+3-3.8.4 into -Current soon.

    Sunday, September 8, 2013

    Call for Tester: MSB with Slackpkg+

    Slackpkg is one of the best tool available for Slackware users to manage their own system in terms of package management. Unfortunately, this tool only works well with official Slackware repository and it doesn't work with other (third party) repositories, such as AlienBOB's repository, MSB repository, Kikinovak's repository, and many others.

    Matteo Rossini (aka zerouno) created a new tool called slackpkg+ which add support for the original slackpkg tool to work with multiple repositories, so you can use the same slackpkg command to manage your packages that you retrieved from third party repositories.

    Currently, MSB repository is not fully supported by slackpkg+ due to the directory structure differences. Well, that's what we are going to change in the future.

    Chess and I have been working to update the MSB repo generation script, borrowed from Eric Hameleer's original script and adapted from Kikinovak's MLED script. It's still in early phase, but i guess it's working well on my system, so i think it's best for preliminary public testing for those who are using MSB on their Slackware system.

    So, here's what you have to do in order to make MSB repository searchable and manageable from slackpkg:
    • Download and install slackpkg+ from the original website
    • Open /etc/slackpkg/slackpkgplus.conf
    • Add msb in the REPOPLUS line. Mine is like this
      REPOPLUS=( slackpkgplus msb )
    • Add the MSB repository (pick according to your architecture)
      • Slackware-14.0 (32 bit)
      • Slackware-14.0 (64 bit)
    • Run slackpkg update gpg && slackpkg update
    • MSB Repository should be manageable from slackpkg by now
    If things going well, we might change the directory structure for the official MSB repository soon.

    The above URL is only for testing purpose. Our official repository is still and and it's mirrored on several mirror sites, such as When the changes has been applied into the official mirrors, above URL will be deleted and you will have to change your slackpkgplus.conf file to point to the official MSB repository.

    Let us know about this changes :)

    Update (10 September 2013): We made some changes into the directory structure, so please run slackpkg update again prior upgrading your packages from MSB repository

    Saturday, September 7, 2013

    digiKam 3.4.0 Released

    Scheduled to be released on first of September, digiKam 3.4.0 was finally released nearly a week after. This version is now properly synced with KDE 4.11 branch even though previous version is working properly with KDE 4.11 as well.

    Some of the highlight of this new version are:
    • Added interroperabilty with Capture NX about Color Labels support
    • Added new options to select Albums and Tags to process
    • Added multi-threading and multi-core CPU support for Metadata Synchronizer, Thumbs Generator, and Fingerprint Generator tools
    This version also fixed some bugs:
    • 276092 - Change defaults for noise reduction.
    • 323271 - Face Recognition doesn't work.
    • 323253 - When face tag scanning, digikam exhausts all memory on computer.
    • 318198 - Failed to process item - rw2 to jpeg batch queue manager conversion.
    • 323165 - Delete pictures and folders are not removed from table-view
    • 323498 - (Some) Image Editor Color tools hang when starting them.
    • 323062 - digikam (core): Schema update to V 7 failed! 
    • 268688 - Write metadata to all images does not remove obsolete tags.
    • 324375 - XMP Metadata tab shows "Label" set by VIewNX, but Filter does not recognize. 
    I have updated my digiKam SlackBuild on my SlackHacks repository to this version and it compiles fine here using KDE 4.11.1 from Eric Hameleers. 

    Friday, September 6, 2013

    xorg-1.14.x in the main tree possibility

    Patrick has asked some opinion from Slackware-Current users in LQ about the performance of xorg-server 1.14.2 which currently residing in testing/. Some of the main reasons why it was placed on /testing was because it lack of driver support (ATI at that time) and also it is still causing some problems for some people.

    Time passes and xorg-server gets minor improvements and it seems that most of the bugs has been fixed and there has been a proper driver support for both ATI and NVidia for the default kernel used in Slackware-Current (3.10.x branch).

    I, myself has been using the xorg-server 1.14.x since it was released and it was working fine here on all of my machines (desktop, workstation, laptop), so i had no problem of it. Some other people also say the same thing.

    At the end of the thread, Pat is considering to move xorg-server 1.14 back to the main tree and move forward with it. It's not happening yet, but i guess it should be on the next batch of update.

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    Patched kde-runtime package

    Since upgrading to KDE 4.11.1, i have experienced a simple annoying bug, and that is clicking an application window on the taskbar requires double click instead of single click. I never changed the KDE configuration, so i'm pretty sure it was a regression since 4.11.0. I reported this to Eric just before KDE 4.11.1 gets released, but he never had this issue on his machines, so i guess it's a problem on my own machines.

    Later, i found out that my bug report is valid and it's really a regression, thanks to chrisretusn who found out a discussion on KDE Forum and that points to a bug report on KDE bug tracker. A patch has been issued and commited to the maste branch of KDE 4.11.x and it will be included in the next KDE 4.11.2.

    Eric generously rebuild the kde-runtime package and include the patch into this build and upload it on his KTown repository. You should grab this package and upgrade your machines with this update. Log out from KDE and login again to have it fixed.

    Finally i'm able to enjoy my KDE desktop again :)

    Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    New Poll: Virtualization

    Usually i asked questions related to Slackware on this blog's poll, but right now, i am going to ask about what Virtualization Product that you used in Slackware. I have provided most of the common products that are available on the market. You may choose more than one pick at the same time and it will be running for the next two months (until end of November).

    Go start voting for it :)

    Poll Results

    After two months, the poll has ended and there were 140 votes. Big thanks to all voters and here are the results:
      15 (10%)
      11 (7%)
      14 (10%)
      12 (8%)
      11 (7%)
      5 (3%)
      5 (3%)
      3 (2%)
      2 (1%)
      1 (0%)
    Over 100 packages
      61 (43%)

    It seems that lots of people are utilizing SBo project to help them installing the third party applications that are not part of the default Slackware installations. Nearly half of the voters have over 100 packages installed from SBo repository, which is impressive.

    A new votes will be published shortly, so stay tune :)

    KDE 4.11.1 Packages for Slackware-Current

    The first maintenance release of KDE 4.11.1 has been released according to their release schedule and it brings over 70 bug fixes across all modules. Expect some performance improvements after upgrading to this version as the developers are busy polishing this KDE branch.

    Eric Hameleers has published has KDE packages on his KTown repositories which has been mirrored out to several servers. As usual, this packages are intended only for Slackware-Current (or future Slackware 14.1) users. Please read the README provided for instructions on how to upgrade  to this version.

    Here are the mirrors:
    Have fun with KDE 4.11.1 and give your big thanks to Eric Hameleers :)

    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    Linux Kernel 3.11, VMWare Workstation, and NVidia Legacy Drivers

    So, just one week after the 22nd celebration of Linux Kernel, Linus pushed the final version of Linux Kernel 3.11, marking a new merge window for the next two weeks and start the development of Linux Kernel 3.12. Detail information about Linux Kernel 3.11 can be seen at KernelNewbies

    I have downloaded this new kernel this morning and build it on my main desktop machine and it's running well here. VMWare Workstation 9.0.2 and also legacy NVidia Driver 304.xx works well here too, which is good news for me. I already searched for patches long before the final version come up, since patches can usually be found during RC-2 until RC-4.

    For VMWare Workstation, it's best to start with patches for Linux Kernel 3.10 which can be downloaded from my vmware-3.10 SlackHacks repository. If you have been using this patches, then you only need to use a single patch for Linux Kernel 3.11 which is also available on my vmware-3.11 SlackHacks Repository (it contains two files, but one of them is the automatic script to execute the patch). You can run the .sh file to start extracting the module source, patch it, and repack it again and start rebuilding all modules, or if you prefer to run it manually, use this steps:
    1. cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source
    2. tar xvf vmblock.tar
    3. cd vmblock-only
    4. patch -p1 < /path/to/vmblock-3.11.patch
    5. cd ..
    6. tar cvf vmblock.tar vmblock-only/
    7. vmware-modconfig --console --install-all

    As for NVidia Legacy Driver, i upgraded from 304.88 to 304.108 which works well with Linux Kernel 3.10 (without any patches needed) plus a single patch which is now available on my new NVidia section on SlackHacks Repository. Currently i only support 304.108 since i only have NVidia GPU at the moment and it's supported only by 304.xx driver. I think the same patch can be used for any other driver (especially the new 325.xx branch). Use this steps to patch your NVidia driver"
    1. sh --extract-only
    2. cd NVIDIA-Linux-x86-304.108
    3. patch -p1 < /path/to/nvidia-3.11.patch
    4. ./nvidia-installer

    Everything above is tested on my machine which is running Slackware-Current (32 bit) with Linux Kernel 3.11. Some modifications might be needed for 64 bit machines.

    Let me know if you have any problems with the steps above.