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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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Java 7 (openjdk) gets a security update

icedteaMany people who have a need for Java, will already have switched to Java 8. Nevertheless there are still many places where Java 7 is preferred or even required. So, I am riding on the Q4 security updates for OpenJDK and used the recently released icedtea 2.6.8 to compile OpenJDK 7u121_b00 or “Java 7 Update 121 Build 00”. As always, there is a JDK and a JRE package.

Andrew Hughes has posted about this new release, and I copied the security related changes here:

Obviously, you are strongly urged to upgrade your OpenJDK 7 to this new release. Download locations for the JDK and JRE packages (Java 7 version):

The “rhino” package (implementation of the JavaScript engine used by OpenJDK) is an external dependency for OpenJDK 7, you can find a package in my repository.

Note about usage:

My Java 7 and Java 8 packages (e.g. openjdk7 and openjdk… or openjre7 and openjre) can not co-exist on your computer because they use the same installation directory. You must install either Java 7 or Java 8.

Remember that I release packages for the JRE (runtime environment) and the JDK (development kit) simultaneously, but you only need to install one of the two. The JRE is sufficient if you only want to run Java programs (including Java web plugins). Only in case where you’d want to develop Java programs and need a Java compiler, you are in need of the JDK package.

Optionally: If you want to use Java in a web browser then you’ll have to install my icedtea-web package too. While Oracle’s JDK contains a browser plugin, that one is closed-source and therefore Icedtea offers an open source variant which does a decent job. Note that icedtea-web is a NPAPI plugin – this prevents use of Java in Chrome & Chromium because those browsers only support PPAPI plugins, but you’ll be OK with all Mozilla [-compatible] browsers of course.

Have fun! Eric

Transitioning to a new GPG key

 

I have generated a new GPG key to replace my old one which was based on a 1024-bit DSA primary key. The new primary key is 4096-bit RSA. I will be transitioning away from my old one.

The old key will continue to be valid, but i prefer all future correspondence to use the new key. I would also like this new key to be re-integrated into the web of trust. The online version of this message is signed by both my keys (old and new) to certify the transition.

The old key was:

pub 1024D/A75CBDA0 2003-01-17
 Key Fingerprint = F2CE 1B92 EE1F 2C0C E97E 581E 5E56 AAAF A75C BDA0

And the new key is:

pub 4096R/769EE011 2016-08-21
 Key Fingerprint = 2AD1 07EA F451 32C8 A991 F4F9 883E C63B 769E E011

To fetch the full key (including a photo uid, which is commonly stripped by public keyservers), you can get it with either of these two commands:

wget -q -O- http://slackware.com/~alien/alien.gpg.asc | gpg --import -
 wget -q -O- http://alienbase.nl/alien.gpg.asc | gpg --import -

Or, to fetch my new key from a public key server, you can simply do:

gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-key 769EE011

If you already know my old key, you can now verify that the new key is signed by the old one:

gpg --check-sigs 769EE011

If you don’t already know my old key, or you just want to be double extra paranoid, you can check the fingerprint against the one above:

gpg --fingerprint 769EE011

If you are satisfied that you’ve got the right key, and the UIDs match what you expect, I’d appreciate it if you would sign my key:

gpg --sign-key 769EE011

Lastly, if you could upload these signatures, i would appreciate it. You can either send me an e-mail with the new signatures (if you have a functional MTA on your system):

gpg --armor --export 769EE011 | mail -s 'GPG Signatures' alien@slackware.com

Or you can just upload the signatures to a public keyserver directly:

gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --send-key 769EE011

Please let me know if there is any trouble, and sorry for the inconvenience.

Eric

Some reading material in case you too want to transition to a new key or even want to start using GPG:

Note:
The above text is based on a “gpg-transition-document” template which seems to be pretty widely used on the Internet for purposes of GPG key transitioning. My own text (the one of this blog post) can also be found here: http://www.slackware.com/~alien/gpg_transition_20160821.txt . That text file has been digitally signed with my old and new keys so that you can verify the correctness of my statements.

 

Slackware Live Edition 1.1.4 – based on slackware-current of 4 Nov 2016

blueSW-64pxToday I conclude my packaging frenzy with a new release of ‘liveslak‘. Version 1.1.4 is ready with only some minor tweaks. Users of the “iso2usb.sh” script on non-Slackware distros should be happy that the script finds all the required programs now.
I made a set of ISO images for several variants of the 64bit version of Slackware Live Edition based on liveslak 1.1.4 and using Slackware-current dated “Fri Nov  4 03:31:38 UTC 2016”. These ISO images have been uploaded and are available on the primary server ‘bear‘. You will find ISO images for a full Slackware, Plasma5 and MATE variants and the 700MB small XFCE variant.

Here are some screenshots of the PLASMA5 variant:

plasma5_login_5.8

SDDM login screen

plasma5_login_5.8_2

The new Plasma loading animation

plasma5_login_5.8_3

Plasma 5.8.3

plasma5_login_5.8_4

The logoff/shutdown

If you already use a Slackware Live USB stick that you do not want to re-format, you should use the “-r” parameter to the “iso2usb.sh” script. The “-r” or refresh parameter allows you to refresh the liveslak files on your USB stick without touching your custom content.

To find out what’s on the ISO you downloaded, try this command:

isoinfo -d  -i your_downloaded.iso | egrep “Volume id|Publisher id|Data preparer id|Application id”

And if you want to know what ISO was used to create your USB stick, check the content of the /.isoversion file in the root of its Live partition (partition number 3).

New in the ISOs

The new ISOs are based on the latest slackware-current with Linux kernel 4.4.29.

The SLACKWARE variant contains exactly that: the latest slackware-current and nothing else.

The MATE variant (a Slackware OS with KDE 4 replaced by Mate) has a refreshed ‘msb‘ package content,  I synced my local ‘msb‘ mirror with the official package repository at http://slackware.uk/msb/current/ which means you get Mate 1.16, the GTK3 version.

The PLASMA5 variant (Slackware with KDE 4 replaced by Plasma 5) comes with the latest Plasma 5 release “KDE-5_16.11” as found in my ktown repository. This ISO also contains the LXQT and Lumina Desktop Environments. Both are light-weight DE’s based on Qt5 so they look nice & shiny. The Plasma 5 packages inside the ISO already satisfy most if not all of their dependencies. Let me know what you think of Lumina and LXQT!
One word of caution when using the Lumina DE:

  • The network applet is not enabled by default, and you may have to enable the network manually. I used “nmtui” in a terminal window but you can try enabling the networkmanager-applet instead. I did not find out how, yet.

 

The changes between liveslak scripts 1.1.3 and 1.1.4

The ‘1.1.4’ tag was mainly applied to accompany the release of the new ISOs.

  • iso2usb.sh: get rid of hard-coded program pathnames in favor of searching a hard-coded $PATH . This should improve the usefulness of the script on non-Slackware distros.
  • make_slackware_live.conf: make the filename ‘min.lst’ customizable for Live distro developers.
  • PLASMA5: use the ‘latest’ instead of the ‘testing’ repository.

Download the ISO images

The ISO variants of Slackware Live Edition are: SLACKWARE, XFCE, PLASMA5 and MATE. These ISO images (with MD5 checksum and GPG signature) have been uploaded to the master server (bear) and should be available on the mirror servers within the next 24 hours.

Download liveslak sources

The liveslak project can be found in my git repository: http://bear.alienbase.nl/cgit/liveslak/ . That’s all you need to create a Slackware Live ISO from scratch. Documentation for end users and for Live OS developers is available in the Slack Docs Wiki.

Have fun! Eric

Q4 2016 fixes for Java 8 (openjdk)

icedteaThe icedtea project have released version 3.2.0 of their IcedTea build framework. This was done to mirror Oracle’s recent Critical Patch Update which brings OpenJDK to version 8u111_b14 or “Java 8 Update 111 Build 14”  (and the JRE too of course).

Here is the long-ish list of security fixes and CVE‘s as taken from the announcement on Andrew Hughes’s blog:

Download locations for the JDK and JRE packages (updates for Slackware 13.37 and 14.0 are still pending):

http://www.slackware.com/~alien/slackbuilds/openjdk/

http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/slackbuilds/openjdk/
(rsync URI: rsync://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/slackbuilds/openjdk/)

If your applications are not yet ready for Java 8, I still maintain the Java 7 packages under new names:”openjdk7″ and “openjre7”. Note that my Java 7 and Java 8 packages (e.g. openjdk7 and openjdk) can not co-exist on your computer because they use the same installation directory.

There is no more need for a separate “rhino” package (implementation of the JavaScript engine used by OpenJDK) because in OpenJDK 8, this functionality is provided natively using the internal “nashorn” library.

Note about usage:

Remember that I release packages for the JRE (runtime environment) and the JDK (development kit) simultaneously, but you only need to install one of the two. The JRE is sufficient if you only want to run Java programs (including Java web plugins). Only in case where you’d want to develop Java programs and need a Java compiler, you are in need of the JDK package.

Optionally: If you want to use Java in a web browser then you’ll have to install my icedtea-web package too. While Oracle’s JDK contains a browser plugin, that one is closed-source and therefore Icedtea offers an open source variant which does a decent job. Note that icedtea-web is a NPAPI plugin – this prevents use of Java in Chrome & Chromium because those browsers only support PPAPI plugins, but you’ll be OK with all Mozilla [-compatible] browsers of course.

Have fun! Eric

KDE 5_16.11 available for Slackware 14.2 and -current

plasma5_startupBack after a hiatus due to my changing employment status: KDE 5_16.11 is my November release of the combined KDE Frameworks 5.27.0, Plasma 5.8.3 and Applications 16.08.2 for Slackware, built on top of Qt 5.7.0. You can use the latest KDE 5 on Slackware 14.2 and -current.

My intention is to keep releasing versions of the stable Plasma 5 software through the “14.2/latest” and “current/latest” URLs. I still carry a “testing” repository but that does not get updated nearly as often and is currently outdated. So please disregard that “testing” area until further notice and be sure to check your automated package management programs for the correct repository URL.

What’s new in KDE 5_16.11?

  • Frameworks 5.27.0 is an enhancement release with no new frameworks this time. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/kde-frameworks-5.27.0.php
  • Plasma 5.8.3 is an incremental bug fix release for the 5.8 series. Note that this is the first Plasma 5.8 that goes into my ‘ktown’ packages as you will notice straight away when starting a Plasma session. There is a new ‘loading’ animation again.
    Plasma 5.8 is labeled a Long Term Support (LTS) release. In part this has been done because the developers think that 5.8 marks the point where users who loved KDE 4 and turned away from Plasma 5 should re-evaluate this desktop environment and hopefully want to stay.
    The 5.8 LTS release should work with Qt 5.6.1 but I think it is better to stick with the Qt 5.7 which I already used for the previous ‘ktown’ iteration.
    See https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.8.3.php and if you want to know more about the LTS, go read: https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.8.0.php
  • Applications 16.08.2 is a maintenance upgrade. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/announce-applications-16.08.2.php .
  • Upgrades for kdeconnect and sddm can be found in the ‘plasma-extra’ subdirectory, while a newer skanlite can be found in ‘applications-extra’.

This upgrade should be straightforward if you already have Plasma 5 installed. See below for install/upgrade instructions. And if you want to check it out before installing, I will be generating a new Live ISO’s soon for the PLASMA5 variant. Look for that ISO on http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/slackware-live/latest/ soon. Check the timestamp of the “slackware64-live-plasma5-current.iso” ISO.

Installing or upgrading Frameworks 5, Plasma 5 and Applications

You can skip the remainder of the article if you already have my Plasma 5 installed and are familiar with the upgrade process. Otherwise, stay with me and read the rest.

As always, the accompanying README file contains full installation & upgrade instructions. Note that the packages are available in several subdirectories below “kde”, instead of directly in “kde”. This makes it easier for me to do partial updates of packages. The subdirectories are “kde4“, “kde4-extragear“, “frameworks“, “kdepim“, “plasma“, “plasma-extra“, “applications“, “applications-extra” and “telepathy“.

Upgrading to this KDE 5 is not difficult, especially if you already are running KDE 5_16.08. You will have to remove old KDE 4 packages manually. If you do not have KDE 4 installed at all, you will have to install some of Slackware’s own KDE 4 packages manually.

What I usually do is: download all the ‘ktown’ packages for the new release to a local disk. Then run “upgrade –install-new” on all these packages. Then I check the status of my Slackware-current, upgrading the stock packages where needed. The slackpkg tool is invaluable during this process of syncing the package installation status to the releases.

Note:

If you are using slackpkg+, have already moved to KDE 5_16.08 and are adventurous, you can try upgrading using the following set of commands. This should “mostly” work but you still need to check the package lists displayed by slackpkg to verify that you are upgrading all the right packages. Feel free to send me improved instructions if needed. In below example I am assuming that you tagged my KDE 5 repository with the name “ktown” in the configuration file “/etc/slackpkg/slackpkgplus.conf“):
# slackpkg update
# slackpkg install ktown (to get the newly added packages from my repo)
# slackpkg install-new (to get the new official Slackware packages that were part of my deps previously)
# slackpkg upgrade ktown (upgrade all existing packages to their latest versions)
# slackpkg upgrade-all (upgrade the remaining dependencies that were part of my repo previously)

And doublecheck that you have not inadvertently blacklisted my packages in “/etc/slackpkg/blacklist“! Check for the existence of a line in that blacklist file that looks like “[0-9]+alien” and remove it if you find it!

Recommended reading material

There have been several posts now about KDE 5 for Slackware-current. All of them contain useful information, tips and gotchas that I do not want to repeat here, but if you want to read them, here they are: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/tag/kde5/

A note on Frameworks

The KDE Frameworks are extensions on top of Qt 5.x and their usability is not limited to the KDE Software Collection. There are other projects such as LXQT which rely (in part) on the KDE Frameworks, and if you are looking for a proper Frameworks repository which is compatible with Slackware package managers such as slackpkg+, then you can use these URL’s to assure yourself of the latest Frameworks packages for Slackware-current (indeed, this is a sub-tree of my KDE 5 repository):

The same goes for Frameworks for Slackware 14.2 (change ‘current’ to ‘14.2’ in the above URLs).

Where to get the new packages for Plasma 5

Download locations are listed below (you will find the sources in ./source/5/ and packages in /current/5/ subdirectories). If you are interested in the development of KDE 5 for Slackware, you can peek at my git repository too.

Using a mirror is preferred because you get more bandwidth from a mirror and it’s friendlier to the owners of the master server!

Have fun! Eric