Thursday, October 31, 2013

Post RC 3 Status

Since RC 3 has been announced, there wasn't much addition or changes happening on -Current, which means that the final release is just a matter of days. Here are the changes happening between RC 3 and today:
  • Calligra upgraded to 2.7.4 along with it's translations
  • elilo is rebuilt to add some error message in eliloconfig
  • mkinitrd is rebuilt to add hid_generic module (in addition to usbhid) is USB keyboard is detected
  • xscreensaver is rebuilt to pick up GPL Text 
  • Mozilla Firefox is upgraded to 24.1.0 (ESR)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Slackware 14.1 RC 3: Last Call

This is your last call for users who wanted to test Slackware 14.1. We are now at RC 3. This hopefully the last RC before the final Slackware 14.1 gets released by November. Here's the recap of changes:
  • grub is rebuilt to terminate EFI several times to solve buggy UEFI implementations
  • lilo is rebuilt to test for Windows partition better and add commented "compact" in liloconfig
  • sysvinit-scripts is rebuilt to check for devtmpfs and remove obsolete reference to rc.optimal-symlink in rc.M
  • pm-utils is rebuilt to  set all the hooks in the power.d directory to non-executable
  • poppler is upgraded to 0.24.3
  • gnutls is upgraded to 3.1.5
  • xine-ui is upgraded to 0.99.7
  • isolinux and usb-and-pxe-installer are rebuilt to not list the USB installer partitions in the FAT/NTFS partition menu

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pending Updates

I have been away and i just got back from Singapore after staying there for 4 days. During these four days, there has been some updates on Slackware-Current and here they are:
  • usb_modeswitch upgraded to 2.0.1. This allows newer devices to be detected by this version
  • mesa is upgraded to 9.1.7, providing latest bug fixes
  • transfig and xfig is rebuilt to fix permission
  • kernel packages is rebuilt to make CONFIG_USB_UHCI_HCD modular in the huge kernels
  • lftp is reverted to 4.4.9 to fix mirror function
  • pciutil and usbutils are upgraded to the latest version
  • acct is rebuilt to fix the broken sa output
  • scim is rebuilt to put Qt module in the proper input method directory
  • xterm is upgraded to 297

Monday, October 21, 2013

Slackware 14.1 RC 2 Announced

It looks like there are still some bug that creeped into RC 1, so Pat issued another RC state and we are now in RC 2. There has been some changes in the toolchain and also in some applications. Here's the recap:
  • GCC is upgraded to 4.8.2
  • Kernel is rebuilt with newer GCC
  • kdelibs is rebuilt to revert 3 upstrem commits which broke KDE in displaying some icons
  • libtool is rebuilt to detect correct GCC version
  • Qt is rebuilt to make sure that libwebcore doesn't end up in QtWebKit.pc
  • mutt upgraded to 1.5.22
  • Samba rebuilt to add symlink to and
  • MPlayer is rebuilt to  add a patch to fix subtitles in the case where MPlayer is recompiled on a system that has libass
  • RDesktop is rebuilt to fix crash with -P and/or -N
  • Correct typos for slackpkg man pages
Please report any problems you encountered on LQ so that it won't be part of Slackware 14.1 that we have been waiting for :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Kernel and Security Update: hplip

Patrick bumped the default kernel stock to the latest 3.10.x branch releases: 3.10.17. This will surely be the final update to the kernel as we are getting closer to the final release. I'm really glad that Patrick decided to take 3.10.x branch as the default kernel stock. It has matured in terms of compatibility with other proprietary drivers; it's also considered as a LTS kernel, so that it will be supported for a couple of years by Greg.

Other update is hplip which is now bumped to 3.13.10 that should fixed Insecure Polkit use (CVE-2013-4325). This update are propagated back to Slackware 12.2.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cumulative Updates

Since the changes in the previous releases are small, i decided to skip them and wait for more updates before i sum it all. Well, it seems that security fixes are now released as well, so i guess it's time to push a news about it.

Here are the recap:
  • elilo is now rebuilt to remove old entries and display the new boot entry after installing it and also fixed some path problems.
  • memtest86+ package has been upgraded in the installer image to 5.01
  • more security patches from Mancha. This time, libtiff and yp-tools are upgraded and rebuilt to include those fixes
  • ModemManager is rebuilt with a new configure parameter --with-polkit=no
  • NetworkManager is upgraded to
  • OpenSSH is also upgraded to 6.3p1
There is one request left on LQ and that's hplip-3.13.10 (i also requested this directly to Pat), but if it's possible, please add Calligra 2.7.4, which has just been released and also git-

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Post RC 1 Updates

There has been some reports after RC 1 came out yesterday and Pat has responded by upgrading and rebuilding some packages in the current tree, including the changes in the kernel configuration options. Here are the recap:
  • Kernel is rebuilt to properly build VMWare and Hyper-V modules that were not built due to regression when the configuration parameter has changed
  • Upgraded Samba to 4.1.0. This is a big release, but Pat took it after looking at previous releases from the upstream that has pretty good quality.
  • Upgraded mercurial to 2.7.2, the latest version available currently.
  • Upgraded tk and tcl to 8.6.1
  • Upgraded several packages in networking area (gnutls, iproute2, iptraf-ng, iputils, mtr, tftp-hpa)
  • Rebuilt mozilla-nss and Recompiled with NSS_ENABLE_ECC=1.

MSB Git Branches Changes

As Slackware 14.1 getting closer by the announcement of RC 1 status, we (me and Chess) have decided to use our new consistent naming scheme for our GIT branches.

There are 3 branches right now on GIT:
  • master: serves as testing ground for future releases of MATE. Things might be partially broken when building from this branch as not all MATE packages are compatible with previous releases as development cycle is still on going. Currently, this branch will install a mix of MATE 1.6 and 1.7 packages, and some of the older packages are not yet fully compatible with 1.7, so the build might break.
  • 14.0-mate-1.6: serves as replacement for 1.6 branch in the past. This is the currently supported branch for Slackware 14.0. Binary packages for Slackware 14.0 are built from this branch. This will soon be obsolete once Slackware 14.1 gets released.
  • 14.1-mate-1.6: serves as replacement for current-mate-1.6 branch in th epast. This will be the next supported branch for Slackware 14.1 when it has been finally released.
If you have been using 1.6 or current-mate-1.6 branch, just use git checkout command to switch to the new GIT branches and optionally, you can delete the old branches:
  • git checkout 14.0-mate-1.6 or git checkout 14.1-mate-1.6
  • git pull to get the latest changes 
  • git branch -D 1.6 or git branch -D current-mate-1.6

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Slackware 14.1 RC 1

Patrick has announced the availability of Slackware 14.1 RC 1 through Twitter and also through the Current ChangeLog. Soon after this, many Slackware users are retweeting his tweet (including me) and also posting some update on LQ (Astrogeek is the first one posting on LQ, but then onebuck posted another thread from Distrowatch).

As usual, there are now ISO currently, as Slackware only provides ISO for final releases only. Fear not, as you can grab AlienBOB's ISO which is built everytime there's a new changes happening on Current tree. They can be grabbed from here (32 and 64 bit).

So, after 11 days without an update, Pat finally cleared of his top priority TODO list and here are the recap:
  • Default kernel stock is now bumped to 3.10.16
  • aaa_base is bumped to 14.1. Now your /etc/slackware-version is at 14.1
  • aaa_elflibs is bumped to 14.1 to sync with all libraries shipped with 14.1
  • All UEFI-related tools are being upgraded or rebuilt to include better support for installing in UEFI-based system (elilo, gptfdisk, and lilo)
  • pkgtools is rebuilt to remove makebootdisk script and replace it with make USB boot stick instead
  • Several base packages are rebuilt and upgraded (logrotate, shadow, sysvinit-scripts)
  • All request from LQ are being fulfilled (mc, diffutils, cmake, guile, dconf, alpine, ntp, and openvpn)
  • Several new packages gets included on this batch, mostly are related to networking (tmux, gc, libevent, libunistring, conntrack-tools, ebtables, ipset, libmbim, libmnl, libnetfilter_{acct, conntrack, cthelper, cttimeout, log, queue}, libnfnetlink, libqmi, nfacct, ulogd)
  • tightvnc is replaced with tigervnc
  • many packages get upgraded: php, xf86-*, xauth, rdesktop, sane, network-manager-applet, lftp, iptables, imapd, epic5, ModemManager, NetworkManager, libarchive, calligra, powertop)
At this moment, it can be considered a frozen state of the development and nothing will changes unless there's an important reason for doing so (security vulnerabilities, critical bugs, regressions, etc).

Happy testing and enjoy Slackware 14.1 RC 1 :)

Slackware Security Advisories

Patrick has released so many security advisories today along with the announcement of Slackware 14.1 RC 1. I will post a separate post about the RC1 changes, and this post is all about security updates only. There are 5 security advisories released today and they are:
  • libgpg-errors: Needed to support newer GnuPG2 that is backported to previous Slackware releases. Applicable to Slackware 13.37 and newer
  • GnuPG2: Fixed possible infinite recursion in the compressed packet parser [CVE-2013-4402] and Protect against rogue keyservers sending secret keys. Applicable to Slackware 13.37 and newer
  • gnutls: This update prevents a side-channel attack which may allow remote attackers to conduct distinguishing attacks and plaintext recovery attacks using statistical analysis of timing data for crafted packets. Applicable to Slackware 12.1, 12.2, 13.0, 13.1, and 13.37.
  • GnuPG: Fixed possible infinite recursion in the compressed packet   parser. [CVE-2013-4402] and Protect against rogue keyservers sending secret keys.Applicable to Slackware 12.1 and newer.
  • xorg-server: Patched a use-after-free bug that can cause an X server crash or memory corruption. Applicable to Slackware 12.1 and newer.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Server is Back Online

After finding out that the server had a failure on it's drive (it was probably a SATA controller issue), Robby Workman went to the datacenter to restore the server, but it seems that both disk (configured to be RAID) are dead, but some of the data on the second disk can be retrieved, so it took him a while to set up a new OS (definitely Slackware) and bring all of the contents back online.

So far, AlienBOB's blog has been restored and so does several other sites, such as Robby's webpage, sbopkg, SBo's mailing list, and Slackware's mirror site.

Let's take this chance to realize how valuable a backup can be and thanks to mirrors worldwide, most of the contents on that server can be fully restored in no time, especially Slackware repository and ISO's.

Big thanks to Robby Workman and Rob0 for their efforts working on restoring this server

Monday, October 7, 2013

LibreOffice 4.1.2 for Slackware 14.0 and Current

LibreOffice 4.1.2 has been released few days ago and finally Eric Hameleers has finished updating his SlackBuild script to work with the new 4.1.x family and uploaded his LibreOffice packages to his miror sites (, while the main server ( is currently down since the hosting machine (harriers) had a SATA controller failure (see his Tweet).

It's been some time since LibreOffice 4.0.5 as his last updated packages for Slackware and this release (4.1.2) is provided for Slackware 14.0 and Current (aka 14.1). For Slackware 13.37, you should continue to use the older version or upgrade to Slackware 14.0 or Current to enjoy the latest LibreOffice package.

LibreOffice 4.1.2 brings so many new features compared to 4.0.5, but only bug fixes compared to 4.1.0 and 4.1.1. List of changes since 4.1.1 can be seen on the RC1, RC2, and RC3 ChangeLog, while new features on LibreOffice 4.1 can be seen on the official announcement and features page.

For now, LibreOffice built by Eric can be downloaded from this mirror sites:
Big thanks to Eric Hameleers for providing this excellent office suite for Slackware users.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

More Bug Fixes

Patrick has heard many reports and requests that are posted on LQ and he fixed some of them on the latest batch of updates. Here are some recap:
  • getty-ps is patched with a corrected patch from Mancha (LQ)
  • etc is rebuilt to add /lib{64} and /usr/lib{64} on /etc/ (LQ)
  • vim and gvim are upgraded to 7.4.050
  • sed is upgraded to 4.2.2
  • pkgtool is upgraded to 14.1
  • rsh is upgraded to 5.9.0 (LQ)
  • mozilla-nss is upgraded to 3.15.2 (LQ)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

KDE 4.11.2 for Slackware-Current (14.1)

It's a new month and KDE developers has finished polishing KDE 4.11.2 and released it yesterday after they pushed the sources to the packagers a week before. It's now available on their mirror sites and also to several distributions, including Slackware, which is packaged by Eric Hameleers.

This KDE version is a bug fix version, so no new features are added, just bug fixes and translations updates. You can see all the list of bug fixed on this releases by going through their Bug Tracker. It contains more than 70 bugfixes, including improvements to the Window Manager KWin, the file manager Dolphin, the personal information management suite Kontact, and others.

KDE 4.11.2 will be offered to Slackware-Current (14.1) users only, not available for previous Slackware release (14.0), so it's recommended to upgrade to -current if you haven't done so since the release of Slackware 14.1 is also getting closer.

Eric is also adding three new packages in order to test the new networkmanagement widget which is going to be included in the next KDE major release.

As always, the binary packages are available through several mirrors:
Enjoy KDE packages and again, big thanks to Eric Hameleers for providing this packages.

Default Stock Kernel Upgraded to 3.10.14

Pat upgraded the default stock kernel in the future Slackware 14.1 release to the latest -stable kernel released by Greg today, 3.10.14. This update brings many improvements to radeon, HID, and many other aspects of the Linux kernel.

Other interesting thing is the inclusion of rsync-3.1.0 into -Current. I saw the changelog and it was huge changes, but nevertheless, Pat took it and include it on this batch of update. ca-certificates is also upgraded to the latest version from Debian's repository, bringing the latest digital certificates to Slackware 14.1. mc is now upgraded to 4.8.10 and gmp is upgraded to 5.1.3.