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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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December 2017
« Nov    

RSS Alien's Slackware packages

RSS Alien's unofficial KDE Slackware packages

RSS Alien's multilib packages

RSS Slackware64-current


Rebuilt packages for Plasma5 (ktown)

The updates in Slackware-current this week (icu4c, poppler, libical) broke many programs in my Plasma5 ‘ktown’ repository, to the extent that the complete Plasma 5 desktop would no longer start.

That is the fun of using the bleeding edge – if something disruptive happens in slackware-current you’ll have to wait for the 3rd party repositories to catch up. And I am one of those 3rd party packagers.

I have researched the list of packages that needed a recompilation, and in some cases I performed an upgrade at the same time (qt5 went up to 5.9.3, poppler synced to the 0.62.0 in Slackware-current, qtav went up to 1.12.0). The 64bit packages have already been uploaded but if you are running 32bit Slackware-current (why are you doing that?) you’ll have to wait another day because I just started the compilation there.

What has been updated in the ‘ktown’ repository? Here is a list, mostly in order of compilation:


Every package in kdepim? Well yeah, there were many broken packages and it was simply faster to recompile all of kdepim and be done with it.

Users of slackpkg+ will be up & running fast with these updates; the others probably just need to download the individual packages I listed above from a mirror like

When the 32bit package set has been finished The 32bit packages have now been recompiled and uploaded to the repository.

I will also recompile whatever is needed in the ‘testing’ repository (that’s where the Wayland related packages are stored).

Other – not related to Plasma5 – updates/rebuilds are coming soon have finally been uploaded too. Those are LibreOffice, Pale Moon, Calibre; these programs are also affected by the updates in slackware-current but the urgency was lower than with the Plasma5 desktop.

Security update for OpenJDK7

icedteaIcedTea release manager Andrew Hughes (aka GNU/Andrew) announced the announced a new release for IcedTea. The version 2.6.12 builds OpenJDK 7u161_b01. This release includes the October 2017 security fixes for Java 7. The announcement page contains a list of the security issues that have been fixed with this release. It is recommended that you upgrade your OpenJDK 7 to the latest version. If you have already moved to Java 8 then this article is obviously not relevant for you.

Here is where you can download the Slackware packages for openjdk7 and openjre7:

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 OpenJDK7 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.

VLC 2.2.8

largeVLCLast week, Robby Workman alerted me to a new release of the VLC media player by the VideoLAN team. I must confess that I had stopped following the development of my (yes, still) favorite media player. Looking a bit more closely, not only have they released version 2.2.8 without informing the world on their homepage (where they are still offering downloads for the now deprecated 2.2.6) but there’s now also a git repository called “vlc-3.0-git” and even a “vlc-4.0-dev” which seems to have been split off the 3.0 branch. I assume this is an indication – finally – that there is life beyond vlc-2.2.x and a 3.0 release is actually a possibility.

I built the 2.2.8 packages for VLC (Slackware 14.2 and -current) and uploaded those earlier today. Finishing these packages was a process that took longer than I had anticipated. The reason for that is that I wanted to apply some serious refreshing of the supporting libraries which I link statically into the package.
I usually follow the decisions of the VideoLAN team quite closely when it comes to the versions of supporting libraries to be used. For that reason, my vlc-2.x packages have historically been using a ffmpeg-2.x snapshot. But now I have finally updated the internal ffmpeg codebase from 2.x to 3.x, switching to the git snapshot which is being used in the (future) vlc-3.x. Since the vlc-2.x code does not support the use of ffmpeg-3.x I had to find and adapt the patches to make that possible.
There are several other libraries that did not make it into the new vlc packages: orc/schroedinger (no longer developed), libggi (obsoleted, unsupported), aacenc, faad2/faac (not used anymore by vlc nor ffmpeg).
And finally, it took me many days to try and link the libva and libvdpau libraries statically into the package. I failed, because even though the VLC player would work, several of the VLC plugin libraries had unresolved symbols related to libva and libvdpau. I could not guarantee that hardware acceleration would work. Therefore I reverted to a dynamic, runtime linking of the system libva and libvdpau libraries (both are present on Slackware >= 14.2). Problem solved.

Where to find the new VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror server: rsync:// .

For BluRay support, read a previous article for hints about the aacs keys that you’ll need.

Note that I only built packages for Slackware 14.2 & -current. I stopped creating packages for Slackware 14.1 and earlier because of the effort it takes to build 4 packages for every Slackware release.

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode AAC audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.


I acquired the domain. More precisely, the domain was given to me – for free – by its previous owner whose name I will not divulge unless he gives me permission to do so (someone sympathetic to Slackware but no longer using Slackware himself). Thanks!

So, I setup some server configurations using for stuff I am hosting under (mostly)

Note: you may want to add the CACert root certificate to your machine to get rid of warnings that the SSL certificate of is not trusted.

Live ISOs for Slackware-current 20171122

blueSW-64pxI have released an update of the ‘liveslak‘ scripts. I needed the tag for a batch of new ISO images for the Slackware Live Edition. These are based on the latest Slackware-current dated “Wed Nov 22 05:27:06 UTC 2017“) i.e. yesterday and that means, the ISOs are going to boot into the new 4.14.1 kernel.

The new liveslak version has a few updates. Most are not worth mentioning but these are:

  • CACert root certificates are added to the OS so that you can visit the upcoming securely without nasty warnings about untrusted certificates.
  • The PLASMA5 ISO image features Wayland support. You can login to a regular X.Org Plasma5 session but you can also choose the “Plasma – Wayland” session from the SDDM dropdown menu. In order to keep the ISO size below the DVD medium maximum size, I had to leave the optional ‘wine’ module out of the ISO. You can still download the wine module from the ‘bonus‘ location.
    FYI, this was the command to generate that PLASMA5 ISO:

    # ./ -d PLASMA5 -m plasma5wayland -M -X

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.

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

Have fun!