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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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October 2016
« Sep    

RSS Alien's Slackware packages

RSS Alien's unofficial KDE Slackware packages

RSS Alien's multilib packages

RSS Slackware64-current


Sep ’16 Security fixes for Adobe Flash

adobe_flash_8s600x600_2New releases are available for Adobe’s Flash Player plugins. They are accompanied by Flash player  security bulletin APSB16-29.

The updated plugin for the Chromium browser (chromium-pepperflash-plugin) has the version number while the plugin for Mozilla browsers (flashplayer-plugin) is now at version (both 64bit and 32bit versions, remember).

Slackware packages for these Flash plugins are available for download & install in the following locations:

If you are using the slackpkg+ extension for slackpkg, then you just run “slackpkg update && slackpkg upgrade flash”. Alternatively, you can subscribe to my repository RSS feed to stay informed of any updates.


LibreOffice 5.2.1 for slackware-current

libreoffce_logoThe upgraded boost package in slackware-current last week had broken LibreOffice’s “localc” program. Which is typical because I compile LibreOffice with a “–without-system-boost” flag. Apparently a dependency on the system’s boost libraries gets added nevertheless. Patches to cure this behaviour are very welcome!

Thus it became necessary to compile new packages for slackware-current. Co-incidentally there was also a new LibreOffice release last week: a minor upgrade to the 5.2 series, check out the announcement on the Document Foundation blog . And note their designation of this release: “LibreOffice 5.2.1, targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users, provides a number of fixes over the major release announced in August. For all other users and enterprise deployments, TDF suggests LibreOffice 5.1.5 “.

Due to time constraints (this package takes a day to compile in my VM), I only created packages of this LibreOffice 5.2.1 release for Slackware -current. The 5.1.5 packages that I also have were created for Slackware 14.1 but will also work on Slackware 14.2 should you be in need of a stable version. I am not decided yet on new packages for Slackware 14.2, so you may have to stick to 5.2.0 there for the moment.

Get the packages here:

PS: the LibreOffice browser plugin (NPAPI based) has been removed in LibreOffice 4.4.0:

Have fun! Eric

Update 19-Sep-2016: I have added libreoffice-5.2.1 packages for Slackware 14.2 to my repository.


I am being laid off by my employer, IBM. Jobs in the Netherlands move to lower-wage countries like Poland and India, while IBM changes course towards a “cognitive” future in which there is less interest in the traditionally skilled technical IT jobs.

Unparalleled (because forced) job cuts in the Netherlands are the result of that change of focus. Almost 10% of the IBMNL work force is sent away in a “re-balancing” operation and I am out of a job per November 1st.
On an intellectual level I understand the reasons for this. It is nothing personal and it also has nothing to do with the appreciation of my performance. I have scored among the top 5% of IBM Netherlands employees during my performance reviews of the last couple of years, which is quite decent for someone aged 55 in a technical role. Nevertheless, I am affected personally and my close circle is affected too.

This requires a shift of focus for myself. I am the sole provider of income for my family, so I will have to work hard to find a new job ASAP. For that to be successful (i.e. get a similarly paying job as my current one at IBM) I have to refresh the deep technical knowledge I once had ready at my fingertips and which has mostly gone unused while I managed a global helpdesk for one of our customers during the past several years.

I am sacrificing one of my desktop computers to an install of CentOS 7 and will spend a lot of time training for a RHCE re-certification.
As long as I still work for IBM (seven weeks), I have access to Safari Books Online where I can freely access and use the available course materials which prepare for the RHCE exam. This will of course affect the time I can spend on Slackware. I commonly spend nearly every after-work hour on packaging, scripting and assisting people online and via email. That stops now. I do not have the luxury anymore of exercising my favorite hobby this extensively and I will work toward the goal of getting (re-)certified for at least RHCE and if possible, for some of the RHCA sub-exams as well. And achieve this goal before December 1st. I really need to be re-employed by that time.

That’s all I wanted to share with you for now. You’ll have to ride this one out on your own for a while.
I also cannot promise that – when I have found a new job – that I will be able to provide the levels of support that you may have gotten used to. I am being drawn out of my comfort zone with no idea of the efforts a new job will require of me.

Slackware Live Edition 1.1.3 based on Slackware -current 11 Aug 2016

blueSW-64pxLast time I wrote about Slackware Live Edition was when I released the version 1.1.0 of the scripts. And that was two months ago; lots of updates have been made inbetween. Today I released version 1.1.3 of ‘liveslak’.
I made a set of ISO images (during the last couple of days actually… it is time-consuming) for the Slackware Live Edition based on liveslak 1.1.3 and using Slackware-current dated “Thu Aug 11 18:24:29 UTC 2016“. These ISO images have been uploaded and are available on the primary server ‘bear‘.

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 “” script that allows you to refresh the liveslak files on your USB stick without touching your custom content.

Remember, 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).

As usual, you will find ISO images for a full Slackware (64bit and 32bit versions), 64bit Plasma5 and MATE variants and the 700MB small XFCE variant (64bit and 32bit versions).

New in the ISOs

Most obvious of course: the ISOs are based on the latest slackware-current with Linux kernel 4.4.17. That’s exactly what you’ll get with the SLACKWARE variant.

The XFCE variant’s ISO is ever so slightly larger than the official CDROM size specification dictates, but it should still fit hopefully… I will try to remove some more unneeded stuff before the next release. As it stands, the addition of tigervnc, cups and hplip to the XFCE ISO made it necessary to apply some aggressive pruning of ISO content to be able to stay below the 703 MB limit.

The MATE variant has a refreshed ‘msb‘ package content,  I synced my local ‘msb‘ mirror with the official package repository at

The PLASMA5 variant is a bit of a special case this time. Take note of the following before you download it.

  • I added 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. So now there’s two new desktop environments for you to try out. Let me know what you think of them!
    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.
  • I decided to base this release of PLASMA5 Live on a new ‘testing‘ branch of my ktown repository for slackware-current. This ‘testing‘ branch is not yet public because it contains some intrusive changes. It may have an adverse effect on your Slackware desktop. Why? Because my new ‘testing’ repository will be investigating Wayland support, and this is a work in progress, i.e. stability is not guaranteed.
    I think that as long as you do not attempt to start a “Plasma (Wayland)” session but stick to the default “Plasma” session, everything will work properly. But in order to compile support for Wayland into KWin, I had to do the following and you will understand that not everybody will want to follow – so that is why I provide this on a safe Live environment only:

    • rebuild Slackware’s ‘mesa’ package with wayland support
    • rebuild Slackware’s ‘xorg-server’ package with wayland support
    • add an ‘elogind‘ package. Elogind is the systemd project’s ‘logind’, extracted out to be a standalone daemon… quite similar to the ‘eudev’ package we already have in Slackware.
    • rebuild the ‘qt5’ package to add wayland support
    • build KWin on top of this all (it requires full wayland support all the way down to X.Org and it also requires a working logind implementation) to get a functional ‘kwin_wayland‘ executable.
  • I took the opportunity to upgrade Qt to 5.7.0 and upgrade to KDE Frameworks 2.25.0, Plasma 5.7.3 and the all-new Applications 16.08.0.

I am still pondering how to maintain a separation between two ‘latest‘ and ‘testing‘ repository branches. I plan to offer ‘latest’ as a bleeding edge Plasma5 but without the intrusive stuff like rebuilt mesa and xorg but I worry about the workload when also offering a ‘testing’ package set. I may have to reconsider my monthly release schedule of the ktown updates. And the git repository will have to be branched as well (the least of my worries).

In any case, this latest Slackware PLASMA5 ISO is definitely worth checking out.
In the first place it allows you to get a look at the latest Plasma and Applications, and then there’s the Wayland support. If you are interested in getting Wayland working on Slackware I really appreciate your help!
Because (big fat warning): Wayland is not working properly yet. The “Plasma (Wayland)” session gets stuck in a black screen when started from SDDM and when you start it from the console (select the ‘xinitrc.kwayland‘ entry in ‘xwmconfig‘) it seems to run in a framebuffer at a fixed 1024×768 pixel resolution.

The changes between liveslak scripts 1.1.2 and 1.1.3

Not so much has changed actually – small fixes and enhancements. The ‘1.1.3’ tag was applied to accompany the release of the new ISOs.

  • add safeguard against mistyping the LUKS passphrase.
  • add ‘-G’ parameter to generate ISO image from pre-existing file tree.
  • liveinit: allow modules to be organized in subdirectories.
  • XFCE: add tigervnc, cups and HP printer support.

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: . 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

Multilib updates: gcc and glibc for slackware-current

The update which was announced for slackware-current today mentioned new gcc and glibc packages alongside a new kernel. The 4.4.17 kernel should fix the issue with overlayfs which affected the Slackware Live Edition. The updated gcc-5.4.0 and glibc-2.24 packages warranted a similar update to their multilib versions.
New to multilib or don’t know what it is all about? Read the multilib article found in the Slackware Documentation Project.

So I built the packages tonight and they are accompanied by some updates to the “compat32” set for various Slackware releases. Download the new multilib packages here:


Have fun! Eric