Friday, December 25, 2015

Slackware Live Edition - Beta 3

Eric Hameleers has published his latest work on Slackware Live Edition - Beta 3. Many have suggested improvements and suggestions following up Beta 2 announcement. It seems that many people are interested in this idea and they helped on testing it, which is a good sign. It has been requested by some people long long time ago and with squashfs-tools being added into current, this long wishlist has become a reality.

More boot options are now supported in this release:
  • 0|1|2|3|4|5|6|S|s|single (Select another runlevel to start with; the default is 4 for graphical login)
  • lang=nl_NL kbd=nl tz=Europe/Amsterdam (Example of language, keyboard and/or timezone customization)
  • nop (No persistence, i.e. boot the virgin installation in case your ‘persistence’ directory got corrupted)
  • nomodeset (Boot with kernel mode setting for graphics — needed with some machines)
  • load=nvidia (Load and configure binary Nvidia drivers that are present in some of the ISOs)
  • rootdelay=10 (Add 10 second delay to give the kernel more time to initialize USB – try this if the Live OS fails to boot)
  • hostname=aliens (Change the hostname for the OS; default hostname is “darkstar
  • livepw=”somestring” (Change the password for the ‘live’ user)
  • rootpw=”somestring” (Change the password for the ‘root’ user)
  • load=mod1[,mod2[…]] (load one or more squashfs modules that are present in the directory “/liveslack/optional”; by default none of the modules in the “optional” directory are loaded)
  • noload=mod1[,mod2[…]] (Prevent loading of one or more squashfs modules that are present in the directory “/liveslack/addons”; by default all of the modules in the “addons” directory are loaded on boot)
  • rescue (After initialization, you will be dropped in a rescue shell where you can perform lowlevel maintenance; the same happens anyway if the OS fails to boot)
  • debug (During init, pause at strategical locations while assembling the overlay filesystem and show relevant mount information)
  • swap (Allow the Live OS to activate all swap partitions it finds on the local hardware; by default, the hard drive will not be touched at all)
  • livemedia=/dev/sdX (Tell the init script which partition contains the Slackware Live OS you want to boot; this can become necessary if you have another copy of Slackware Live already installed to another drive partition)
  • livemain=directoryname (Use this if you copied the content of the ISO to a different directory than the default “liveslak” directory)

In this beta 3, all packages are updated with the latest -current update per December 23, KDE 5_15.12, and also MATE 1.12 (switched back to GTK+2 build). These ISOs should give you a real snapshot of what -current looks like at these moments. Cinnamon ISO was deleted due to disk space limitations, but it wasn't changed so if you have the old one, it's still the same.

Go get them now from these sites:
If you wish to create your own custom Slackware ISO, get the scripts here:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

MATE for 14.2 Will be Based on GTK+2

After testing the GTK+3 build of MATE 1.12 in Slackware-Current for few weeks and discussed many things with upstream developers, i decided to cancel the migration to GTK+3 build for next Slackware release and switch back to GTK+2 build. The reason is simple: we don't want users to have bad user experience when they upgraded to the new version. While GTK+3 build is pretty solid, it still have many major blocker such as glitches theme preview, color change problem, panel freeze after adding shortcut, no python plugin support in pluma and eom, and many others. You can see all the GTK+3 issues in Github. I think it's enough reason to postpone the idea until it's stable enough.

Even though the MATE developers wanted to kill GTK+2 code someday, it will not happen soon as GTK+3 build is still so buggy and with every GTK+3 releases, they have to adapt changes made by upstream project. For that reason, in the next major release (1.14), MATE developers will set a minimum GTK version that they support to minimize the load of maintaining several GTK releases. See the roadmap for more information.

So, what happened to MSB repository? Since all the good changes happening on GTK3 branch, i cherry-picked them to master branch already and push it to github. There were some conflict but i managed to fix them locally before it gets pushed, so you will get a clean history in master branch. Just run git pull on master branch and you will get the latest changes in MATE 1.12.x tested for slackware-current.

Unfortunately for those who have been using GTK3 branch, you will have to make some extra steps since GTK3 branch is rebased from master after the big changes and there were some conflicts and i had to fix them and used force option. So here's what you need to do if you want to grab the latest GTK3 branch:
git checkout master
git pull
git branch -D GTK3
git checkout GTK3
If you noticed in the commit logs, i have removed the NUMJOBS parameter. For those who have many CPUs, you can override your MAKEFLAGS environment variable to compile using more than 1 CPU.

At the moment, i'm rebuilding latest MATE 1.12.x on top of latest -current update (Dec 23) and will upload it to usual testing location (GTK+3 build will be removed) but probably only for x86_64. This will be used as a base packages for the next Slackware Live Beta 3 from AlienBOB.

Update: The repository is now updated with GTK+2 build for x86 and x86_64 packages.

WARNING: The testing repository will contain GTK+2 build. If you happened to install GTK+3 build already, you need to remove all MATE packages first before installing/upgrading the new packages.

Security Update: blueman, thunderbird

There were 2 security updates released in the last two days: blueman and thunderbird. They were applied for Slackware 14.1 and current (thunderbird) and for Slackware 13.37 and newer (blueman).

Meanwhile current keeps rolling with new updates and bug fixes reported by many users in LQ. Here are some of the highlights:
  • blueman-2.0.3 (requires new package: Cython)
  • bluez-5.36
  • cups-filters 1.5.0
  • curl-7.46.0
  • fuse-2.9.4
  • ghostscript-9.18
  • libssh-0.7.2
  • libxml-2.9.3 
  • links-2.12
  • lvm2-2.02.138
  • mesa 11.0.8
  • pixman-0.33.6
  • rpm 4.12.0
  • rsync-3.1.2
  • sbc-1.3 (Added)
  • sharutils-4.15.2
  • ModemManager-1.4.12 and NetworkManager 1.0.10
  • Fixed random crash issues on Firefox by changing optimization level
  • package removal: obexfs and obex-data-server

Friday, December 18, 2015

Security Update: libpng and grub

Two more security vulnerabilities are fixed in latest batch of update in Slackware-Current: libpng and grub. Grub applies to Slackware 14.1 and current, while libpng applies to Slackware 13.0 and newer.

In current, more packages are updated. Here are some the highlights:
  • glibc restructurization
  • gnupg and all related libraries (gpgme, gpa, libassuan, libgcrypt, libgpg-error, libksba, pinentry, keyutils, M2Crypto)
  • joe 4.1
  • os/device related packages (pcmciautils, sdparm, usbutils, mcelog, os-prober)
  • ulogd 2.0.5
  • Updated bash-completion-2.1

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Security Update: firefox, libpng, bind, openssl

Slackware has released security advisories for 4 packages: firefox, libpng, bind, and openssl. They were targetted for different releases:
  • firefox applies to Slackware 14.1 and current
  • libpng, bind, and openssl applies to all supported Slackware releases (13.0 and newer)
Things are moving forward again in current after Pat pushed many packages to public repository in the latest batch of update. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Kernel 4.1.15
  • GCC 5.3.0
  • OpenSSL-1.0.2e
  • cgmanager-0.39
  • CUPS 2.1.2
  • nano 2.5.0
  • qpdf 6.0
  • cmake 3.4.1
  • flex 2.6.0
  • git 2.6.4
  • python 2.7.11
  • cairo 1.14.6
  • gtk+2-2.24.29 and gtk+3-3.18.6
  • bind 9.10.3_P2
  • dnsmasq 2.75
  • ethtool 4.2
  • samba 4.3.2
  • wget 1.17.1
  • mesa 11.0.7
Meanwhile, Robby Workman has started another thread in LQ about requests for -current after this batch of update, closing the previous thread since it's long enough and probably getting harder to track.

NOTE: the thread are meant for input for next Slackware release. We don't have any timeframe when will the next Beta or next Slackware gets released. Only Patrick himself knows about it and as always, it will be released when it's ready.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Cinnamon Version of Slackware Live

I mentioned about the possibility of adding Cinnamon version for Slackware Live edition and now the ISO has been generated by Eric Hameleers last night. It consist of latest cinnamon 2.8.x packages taken from my CSB repository (development tree).

Besides adding cinnamon version, Eric also fixed the login loop issue along with adding an option to set the default runlevel during the ISO creation. This should give you plenty of options when you want to make your own custom ISO in the future.

I'm going to test the cinnamon version later today. I just tested the MATE version and it's working very nice indeed.

As always, please download the latest ISO here:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Slackware Live Beta 2 + MATE Version

Eric Hameleers have published his Beta 2 of his Project X - Slackware Live edition. On this release, some new options have been added after getting feedback from many users and based on his personal TODO list.

One interesting comment was asking whether there will be MATE/Cinnamon based Slackware Live. Eric pinged me via IRC last night and we decided to try to make MATE version of Slackware Live. I also used this chance to rebuilt all MATE packages after that big batch of update, including latest MATE 1.12.1 updates that were released yesterday.

I quickly create a new VM based on latest -current update and soon after that, build all MATE packages from scratch so that it's fresh from the VM. Last part is uploading the binary packages. While Eric built the ISO from 64 bit packages, i started the build for 32 bit and in the end, i have all 32/64 bit packages updated in the repository provided by Darren Austin this morning.

If you happened to use previous packages, please use upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new to make sure everything is reinstalled since it's rebuilt against latest slackware-current update. Some packages were removed as well, so it might be best to look for the commits in the github.

Even better news, i created another new VM this morning to test the new Cinnamon packages for Slackware Current. I don't know whether it can be included for Slackware Live or not, since it uses PAM even though it only installed just to satisfy all deps required by cinnamon. It's building cinnamon 2.8 at the moment and if nothing goes wrong, it should be ready when i got home later today.

Please enjoy MSB version of Slackware Live and again, big thanks to Eric Hameleers for his great work on Slackware Live Project.

You can download the ISOs here: