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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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Adobe Flash security update June ’17

adobe_flash_8s600x600_2This month’s security update for the Flash Player plugin shows that the player has moved to a new major version number: 26. Time to upgrade, folks – in case you still need Flash on your computer.
The new version is 26.0.0.126 for both the PPAPI (Google Chrome and friends) and the NPAPI (Mozilla Firefox and friends) based plugins.

You can find Slackware packages for the Flash plugins in the following locations:

Have fun.

Chromium 59 – a security update

chromium_iconGoogle released chrome/chromium 59.0.3071.86 earlier this week. This was accompanied by a rather big list of security updates.
Taken from the Red Hat Security Advisory: “Multiple flaws were found in the processing of malformed web content. A web page containing malicious content could cause Chromium to crash, execute arbitrary code, or disclose sensitive information when visited by the victim. (CVE-2017-5070, CVE-2017-5071, CVE-2017-5072, CVE-2017-5073, CVE-2017-5074, CVE-2017-5075, CVE-2017-5076, CVE-2017-5077, CVE-2017-5078, CVE-2017-5079, CVE-2017-5080, CVE-2017-5081, CVE-2017-5086, CVE-2017-5082, CVE-2017-5083, CVE-2017-5085)

Otherwise, Chromium did not receive new functionality that immediately jumps out at me, except that the Chrome Settings page has changed its look and feel to Google’s “Material Design“.

Remember when you want to compile Chromium yourself, you will need ninja and nodejs (fortunately ninja and nodejs are only needed for the compilation, not for actually running the browser).

The packages for chromium, and the chromium widevine CDM plugin, are available for Slackware 14.2 and -current in my repository or one of its mirrors:

Have fun! Eric

New VLC packages fix security hole in subtitle renderer

largeVLCThere was a recent upheaval about hundreds of millions of computers being at risk of being taken over completely by remote hackers. Not a kernel bug this time, but a weakness in the way that media players deal with subtitle files during video playback.
In particular, the KODI (XBMC) mediaplayer and VLC player were mentioned in a blog post by CheckPoint Software Technologies. Luckily, the developers of these multimedia players were informed well in advance of the public disclosure, so both KODI and VLC have updated their code and made new releases which plug the security hole. As the CheckPoint blog post mentions, vlc-2.2.5.1 fixes this vulnerability.

I released 2.2.5.1 packages for VLC (Slackware 14.2 and -current) yesterday, and when I was about to write a blog post about this security issue, I discovered that there was a VLC release 2.2.6, fresh from the press. Therefore I built new packages,  this time for Slackware 14.1 as well, and those were just uploaded to my repository.
Between my previous 2.2.4 packages and these new ones, almost 11 months passed… and I only skipped a single release (2.2.5). Like I have said in the past, development has slowed down because the team is not getting bigger but the VLC for Android is getting a lot of attention (and therefore resources). Not a problem in itself I think. I am still using VLC daily, to play audio and (less frequently) watch videos. The only thing I am waiting for (which should be in release 3.x) is proper detection and playback of UPnP media sources in the local network.

One thing to mention still: after the Fraunhofer patents on MP3 encoding expired last month, it is now perfectly legal to release software that is able to encode MP3 audio. The ffmpeg in Slackware-current, and my own ffmpeg packages, were already updated and include the LAME library. My new VLC packages are now all capable of MP3 audio encoding as well.
The AAC audio format is still patented and therefore, the AAC encoding capability is only available in my ‘restricted‘ packages.

Where to find the new VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror server: rsync://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

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 14.1, 14.2 & -current. I stopped creating packages for Slackware 14.0 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.

 

LibreOffice 5.3.3 packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current

libreoffce_logoAlmost two weeks ago the Document Foundation released LibreOffice 5.3.3. I silently uploaded Slackware-current packages for libreoffice-5.3.3 last week already and then concerned myself with some work on Plasma 5. And now, I have finally compiled a new LibreOffice for Slackware 14.2 as well, replacing the version 5.2.5 packages that I had in my repository.

So, you who run a stable Slackware release can finally taste LibreOffice’s Collaborative editing too. I briefly considered building LO 5.2.7 packages instead (it’s the ‘stable’ branch after all), but decided against that. If you really want to stick to a 5.2 release, just don’t upgrade…
Read about the new features in LO 5.3 if you want:  http://www.libreoffice.org/discover/new-features/.

The libreoffice packages for Slackware can be downloaded from a mirror like this one: http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/slackbuilds/libreoffice/.

Have fun! Eric

More May updates for Slackware’s Plasma 5 addon

Early May I published updates for my ‘ktown’ repository, mainly focused on Plasma5 whose packages I updated to 5.9.5 because this is the last release before moving to 5.10 next month. But there were new releases for Frameworks and Applications after that date, so I did a second May update: KDE 5_17.05_02.
It contains: KDE Frameworks 5.34.0, Plasma 5.9.5 and Applications 17.04.1 with Qt 5.7.1.

NOTE: I will no longer be releasing Plasma 5 packages for 32bit Slackware 14.2.

What’s new in KDE 5_17.05_02?

The remainder of this post is almost identical, every time I write about a new Plasma 5 release for Slackware. It contains the installation/upgrade instructions and other helpful remarks. If you are new to Plasma 5 for Slackware, I recommend reading on. Otherwise you are already knowledgeable, so have fun! You can stop reading now.

Non-ktown packages you probably want anyway

There are a couple of *runtime* dependencies that I did not add to the ‘ktown’ repository, but you may want to consider installing them yourself because they enable functionality in Plasma 5 that you would otherwise miss:

  • vlc: will give phonon another backend to select from.
  • freerdp: access RDP servers through krdc.
  • (only for Slackware 14.2) ffmpeg: used by several KDE programs.

All of the above can be found in my regular package repository.

In order for kdenlive to reach its full potential, you might want to consider replacing Slackware’s ‘ffmpeg‘ package by my version with extended functionality: more supported codecs including AAC and H.264 encoders.

Multilib considerations

If you install a 32bit program on a 64bit Slackware computer with multilib and that program needs legacy system tray support (think of Skype for instance), you will have to grab the 32-bit version of Slackware’s ‘libdbusmenu-qt’ and my ktown-deps package ‘sni-qt’, and run the ‘convertpkg-compat32 -i‘ command on them to create ‘compat32’ versions of these packages. Then install both ‘libdbusmenu-qt-compat32‘ and ‘sni-qt-compat32‘.
Those two are mandatory addons for displaying system tray icons of 32bit binaries in 64bit multilib Plasma5.

Installing or upgrading Frameworks 5, Plasma 5 and Applications

This upgrade should be relatively straightforward if you already have Plasma 5 installed. See below for install/upgrade instructions. For users who are running slackware-current, the most crucial part is making sure that you end up with Slackware’s packages for ‘libinput‘ and ‘libwacom‘. I had those two packages in the ‘current’ section of my repository for a while (they are still part of the ‘14.2’ section) but Slackware added them to the core OS. Failing to install the correct (i.e. Slackware) packages, may render your input devices (mouse and keyboard) inoperative in X.Org.

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_17.05. 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. Luckily, KDE 5 is mature enough that there’s almost nothing left from old KDE 4 that you would really want.

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_17.05 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. 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

Package download locations are listed below (you will find the sources in ./source/5/ and packages in /current/5/ and  /14.2/5/ 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