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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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March 2018
« Feb    

RSS Alien's Slackware packages

RSS Alien's unofficial KDE Slackware packages

RSS Alien's multilib packages

RSS Slackware64-current


What all happened in March so far

I realize I have been a wee bit silent on the blog (not counting my replies in the comments section). This was due to private issues that drained the desire for social interactions. Nevertheless there was quite a bit of activity on the Slackware packaging front.

So, what new stuff?

First of all: yesterday, Adobe released a security update for their Flash plugins for Mozilla-compatible (NPAPI) and Chromium-compatible (PPAPI) browsers. Check the version installation status on You are encouraged to upgrade.

Chromium browser was updated twice… last week I made the final release in the 64 series available and today (repositories have not been updated yet) I am updating again, to the 65 release. Version 65.0.3325.146 comes with a large list of 45 security fixes, read the release notes to get the gist. Unfortunately, this new release has cost me a full week of recompiles, day & night, all the time running into new compilation errors. It was not trivial to come up with a set of patches that eradicated all the compilation errors. I wrote a couple myself, reverted a chromium commit and borrowed from Gentoo – thanks as always for these guys’ code troubleshooting skills. The discussion on the Chromium Packagers list has given me some ideas for the next iteration of the SlackBuild script that may not require this much patching. But I am pushing this version to my repository anyway, even though I just spotted a newer version on the Google blog… released yesterday. Damn.

Pale Moon browser got an update to  27.8.1. Many improvements and fixes over the 27.7.x versions, check their release notes for the details. Despite the fact that the new Mozilla Firefox is much improved as well, and a lot speedier since Mozilla switched to the Quantum codebase, people may still prefer the older codebase of Firefox from which Pale Moon was forked.

LibreOffice 6.0.2 was released last week and I built packages for Slackware 14.2 as well as -current. Still the best office suite available. I should try to build the LibreOffice online version sometime…

When Slackware 14.2 was graced with an updated set of gcc packages in the “patches” section (gcc-5.5.0 with a series of patches related to retpoline countermeasures for the recent Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities) I took the opportunity not only to give the multilib repository for Slackware 14.2 a refresher to gcc-5.5.0_multilib, but I also updated the gcc5 package for slackware-current in my regular repository to that 5.5.0 release – including the retpoline patches. Remember, my gcc5 package for slackware-current contains just the C, C++ and Java compilers and has two purposes: first it re-introduces  the GCC Java compiler which was removed in gcc-7; and second, compiling Pale Moon on slackware-current can not be done with its gcc-7 compiler… you need this gcc5 package.

E-book lovers with a fondness for organizing their collection using open source software will find a new Calibre package in my repository. Calibre 3.x for Slackware 14.2 and -current depends on libxkbcommon, podofo, qt5, qt5-webkit and unrar, and for Slackware 14.2 two additional dependencies are libinput and libwacom. All of those can be obtained from my repository as well. If you are not in need of an e-book catalogue and library program, then Calibre still has its usefulness as it includes a versatile E-book reader and a powerful EPUB editor.

Last but not least: I released a new set of Plasma5 packages. The KDE-5_18.03 release of ‘ktown‘ for Slackware-current offers the latest KDE Frameworks (5.44.0), Plasma (5.12.3) and Applications (17.12.3). Read the README file for more details and for installation/upgrade instructions. If you are adventurous, check out the ‘testing‘ variant of the ktown repository as opposed to the ‘latest‘ variant. In ‘testing’ you will find Wayland support. Note that this is experimental (hence the ‘testing’ tag of course) and not fit for day-to-day production work. The ‘latest’ repository contains a stable and productive, complete, and fun to use, Plasma 5 desktop environment.
One thing I want to mention is that I have added the new Falkon browser to the applications-extra section. Falkon is the renamed Qupzilla browser, based on Qt5, and it is destined to be added to the core Applications (not sure when precisely, probably later this year) and it will take the place of the venerable Konqueror. If you are using slackpkg with the slackpkg+ extension, don’t forget to run “slackpkg install ktown” to get the new falkon package installed, because “slackpkg install-new” will not catch new packages in 3rd-party repositories like ‘ktown’.

I promise to get a new PLASMA5 variant of the Slackware Live ISO image out soon, containing all this new stuff! Stay tuned for more.

Security updates for OpenJDK 7 and 8

icedteaAs you know, I use the IcedTea framework to compile my openjdk/openjre packages. Andrew Hughes (aka GNU/Andrew) who is the release manager has announced new versions of IcedTea: 2.6.13 which builds Java7 (OpenJDK 7u171_b02) and also icedtea-3.7.0 for Java8 (OpenJDK 8u161_b12). These releases sync the OpenJDK support in IcedTea to the January 2018 security fixes for Java.

The announcements will surely be posted on Andrew’s blog soon, but for now I leave you with the posts to the “distro-pkg-dev” mailing list: icedtea-2.6.13 and icedtea-3.7.0. These posts contain the list of security issues that have been fixed.

As always, it is very much recommended that you upgrade your OpenJDK or OpenJRE packages to the latest version.

Here is where you can download the Slackware packages for openjdk and openjre (this is Java8):

And the Slackware packages for openjdk7 and openjre7 (Java7 for those who still need this):

Note that 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.

If you want to compile OpenJDK (Java 7 or 8) yourself you will need apache-ant as well.

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.

New Live ISOs for Slackware-current 20180209

blueSW-64pxI have uploaded a fresh set of ISOs for the Slackware Live Edition. They are (of course) based on the ‘liveslak‘ scripts and contain the latest Slackware-current dated “Fri Feb 9 19:59:54 UTC 2018“), which sports the new 4.14.18 kernel which is mitigated against the Meltdown and Spectre v1 vulnerabilities.
The ISO variants you will find at the download URL (remember to add support for CACert to your system if you see certificate warnings!) are:

  • Full unmodified Slackware (32bit and 64bit).
  • Stripped-down XFCE (32bit as well as 64bit), this ISO will fit on a CDROM medium.
  • Slackware with MATE instead of KDE4 (64bit) to showcase the new 1.20 release of just 2 days ago. Thanks to Willy Sudiarto Raharjo for the packaging!
  • Slackware with Plasma 5 instead of KDE4 (64bit) to showcase the Plasma 5.12 Long Term Support (LTS) release. This ISO also contains LibreOffice 6.0.1 and VLC 3.0.0.

The new liveslak version has seen only a few updates since the previous tag, they are related to the package additions in Plasma 5.

Wayland and X.Org

The PLASMA5 ISO image does not feature Wayland support this time, but if you want you can build an ISO version that does! Download my liveslak scripts and use the following command to generate a PLASMA5 ISO (you will find it in /tmp afterwards) with the additional packages from my ‘testing’ repositories that add Wayland support:

# git clone --depth 1 git://
# cd liveslak
# ./ -d PLASMA5 -m plasma5wayland -M -X

If you run a Wayland-enabled Slackware Live, you can login to a regular X.Org Plasma5 session but you can also choose the “Plasma – Wayland” session from the SDDM dropdown menu.

Refreshing your USB stick instead of re-formatting

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. The “-r” or refresh parameter allows you to refresh the liveslak files on your USB stick without touching your custom content. If you want to modify other parameters of your USB stick, use the script ““. It’s main feature is that it can update the kernel on the USB stick, but it also can replace the Live init script. As with most (if not all) of my scripts, use the “-h” parameter to get help on its functionality.

Historical info on liveslak

More detail about the features of Slackware Live Edition can be found in previous posts here on the blog.

Have fun!

LibreOffice 6 packaged for Slackware

The new major release ‘6’ of LibreOffice was made available almost two weeks ago but I have been struggling with the 32bit build. Despite the fact that my 64bit -current packages for libreoffice-6.0.0 were online for a short while (almost nobody noticed), I did not have anything good to share so I removed those again.
And in the meantime, faster than scheduled because of some serious regressions and a security report, I noticed the release of version 6.0.1 two days ago. I had been busy with new Plasma5, VLC and GCC packages but with those out of the way I set myself again to the task of fixing the 32bit build. And I nailed it, so now I can finally announce packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current.

There’s a lot to write about what has been improved or added to LibreOffice 6, the release page names quite a few already and here is a selection of features that I found striking:

  • modernized look & feel of the user interface
  • gpg-based document signing & encryption, yay!
  • export to epub
  • better unicode font coverage by including a selection of noto fonts
  • improved spell-checker and custom dictionaries
  • improved help system
  • interactive form creation through a new ‘form’ menu in writer
  • impress templates are re-designed into 16:9 format
  • etc…

The Document Foundation has also recorded a video summarizing the best new features of LibreOffice 6. i invite you to take a look at it.

You can get the new libreoffice-6.0.1 packages from my repository or any mirror, like:

I have also added this release of LibreOffice to my just-uploaded PLASMA5 Live ISO which is based on Plasma 5.12 LTS.

February release of the Plasma5 Desktop for Slackware

Yesterday, I uploaded my Febrary’18 release of Plasma 5 packages for Slackware-current. The KDE-5_18.02 release contains: KDE Frameworks 5.43.0, Plasma 5.12.0 and Applications 17.12.2. All based on Qt 5.9.4 and exclusive for Slackwarecurrent because as explained in a previous post, I stopped providing regular Plasma 5 version updates for Slackware 14.2 (only security updates).
There’s again a choice of ‘latest‘ and ‘testing‘ where the ‘testing’ repository contains 17 recompiled packages that provide a Wayland compositor stack. This means you can have a working Plasma5 Wayland session if you use ‘testing‘ as opposed to ‘latest‘.
The ‘testing‘ repository is for… testing. Do not use those packages on a production environment unless you are familiar with Slackware, debugging graphical sessions and know your way around slackpkg/slackpkg+.

What’s new in this KDE 5_18.02 release

  • The ‘deps’ section has been graced with an updated qt5 package. I opted for qt5-5.9.4 which is the last one in the 5.9 series in the hope that Pat updates to qt5-5.10 when adding Plasma5 to Slackware.
    Also, I added two new packages here: cryptopp and cryfs. The Plasma Vault requires an encryption backend but I had not yet added one so the application was not useful. Cryfs seems to be the best choice (alternative backends would be encfs or tomb). I had ignored Vault for the past few releases but it looks like an interesting solution to store your data securely on cloud storage so I decided to make it functional.
  • Frameworks update is a stability release, see: .
  • Plasma is the highlight of the month. Version 5.12 is a Long Term Support (LTS) release, which replaces the previous LTS version 5.8. See .
  • Applications 17.12.2 is an incremental update for the 17.12 series and fixes some bugs.
    See .
  • In ‘applications-extra’ I have upgraded the packages for calligra and added calligraplan.

The accompanying README file contains full installation & upgrade instructions. I have some further reading material in case you are interested in the Wayland functionality of the ‘testing’ repository: README.testing.

Package download locations are:

If you are interested in the development of KDE 5 for Slackware, you can peek at my git repository too.

A new Plasma5 Live ISO image (based on liveslak- will be uploaded soon to , in case you want to try the new Plasma5 desktop out first in a non-destructive way.

Have fun! Eric