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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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August 2016
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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

New packages for LibreOffice and Chromium

libreoffce_logoThere’s a new LibreOffice release with a lot of improvements: 5.2.0. The announcement on the Document Foundation blog shows quite a lot of extensive information this time because of the version number jump and the changes implied by it. I’ll mention just a couple of semi-random facts here:
Document classification has been added as a major feature. Two-factor authentication for Google Docs storage finally works in Writer. Interoperability (with the MS Office file formats of course) has been improved and an import filter for Word for DOS was added. In Calc, new functions were added along with tooltips showing context information about functions. Source code quality has been measurably improved again.

I’ll share a picture from that blog post. It is a timeline detailing the roadmap of the last 5 years (2011 – 2016) on how LibreOffice has matured after it was forked off of OpenOffice. From the onset, the developers have focused on code cleaning and refactoring; the codebase was old, originating in StarOffice with tens of thousands of lines of german comments that had to be translated to english, and the ancient build system was switched to GNU make. With the codebase at an acceptible quality level and ready for collaborative development using git and gerrit, the focus for the 5.x releases has been to improve the user experience through a better and more fuctional UI:

Michael Meeks wrote a presentation several years ago which offers more insight into this re-factoring process.
A series of short videos have been created to showcase the new and improved User Interface functionality.

Packages for the new LibreOffice 5.2.0 are now ready on mirror servers for Slackware 14.2 and -current. Note that according to the announcement this LO release is “targeted to early adopters and power users“. For better stability, the 5.1.x releases are worth considering, but I will gladly welcome any feedback about (lack of) issues you are encountering with this new version 5.2.0 if you decide to go with it.

Get the packages here:

PS: for those who had not noticed: the LibreOffice browser plugin (NPAPI based) has been removed in 4.4.0:

chromium_iconLet’s not forget that there was also a new release of the Chromium browser. This event is a lot more common than LibreOffice releases but since chromium is the single most used program on my computer apart from konsole, vlc and vim, it is worth mentioning… if just for my own sake.

The Google Chrome Releases blog mentions a list of vulnerabilities that were addressed with this release. Here are the ones that were contributed by external researchers as well as the Google team:

  • [$4000][629542] High CVE-2016-5141 Address bar spoofing. Credit to anonymous
  • [$4000][626948] High CVE-2016-5142 Use-after-free in Blink. Credit to anonymous
  • [$3000][625541] High CVE-2016-5139 Heap overflow in pdfium. Credit to GiWan Go of Stealien
  • [$3500][619405] High CVE-2016-5140 Heap overflow in pdfium. Credit to Ke Liu of Tencent’s Xuanwu LAB
  • [$4000][623406] Medium CVE-2016-5145 Same origin bypass for images in Blink. Credit to anonymous
  • [$1000][619414] Medium CVE-2016-5143 Parameter sanitization failure in DevTools. Credit to Gregory Panakkal
  • [$1000][618333] Medium CVE-2016-5144 Parameter sanitization failure in DevTools. Credit to Gregory Panakkal
  • [633486] CVE-2016-5146: Various fixes from internal audits, fuzzing and other initiatives.

Packages for Slackware 14.1, 14.2 and -current are now available from my repository. Be sure to upgrade!

Have fun! Eric

Pipelight update

pipelight-logoI decided to do an update of my “pipelight” package. I had not looked at it for a long time, basically because I do not use it anymore, but after I upgraded my “wine” package someone asked if I could please write up what could be done for wine-pipelight.

As you know, pipelight is a Linux plugin wrapper for Mozilla-compatible browsers which lets you install and use Windows plugins on Linux. This configuration enables you to access online services which would otherwise be unavailable to you on a Linux platform. The pipelight plugin wrapper uses wine to load the Windows software.
The pipelight developers created a series of patches for Wine which made all of this possible. They called this patch set “wine-compholio” which was later renamed to “wine-staging” and eventually was absorbed into the Wine developer community. Nowadays, wine-staging is the testing ground for Wine – stuff which has not yet been approved for inclusion into the main repository but looks promising.
Together with my “pipelight” package I offered a “wine-pipelight” package which contained a version of wine that had been patched with the “wine-staging” patch set and installed into a non-standard location so that only the pipelight plugin would find it.

Since then, my regular “wine” package has also been enhanced with the wine-staging patch set. In addition, I am applying the d3d9 (wine-nine) patch set which uses the gallium-nine state tracker in Mesa for added performance on some graphics cards.

Therefore a separate “wine-pipelight” is no longer required. I have reconfigured and rebuilt my pipelight packages (for Slackware 14.1 and newer) so that you can remove the old “wine-pipelight” package. Pipelight uses my regular wine package now. The “wine-pipelight” packages (for Slackware 14.1 and newer) have been removed from my repository.

That simplifies things a lot. I used to have a warning that you should not try to run programs simultaneously that use the wine and wine-pipelight programs – the two would interfere. That warning has become obsolete now that there is only one version of wine left on your system.

If you want to use someone else’s wine package instead of mine, you need to ensure that that wine package applies the wine-staging patches or else your pipelight will not work!

Good to know: you can always get the latest Windows plugin releases (an important feature in case of security fixes) without having to wait for me creating a new package. Just run the command “pipelight-plugin –update” as root. After doing that, the next time your browser loads the pipelight plugin, it will automatically download the newest version of your installed Windows plugin(s).
This feature depends on the pipelight developers updating their “install-dependency” script, so if they forget or are too busy, the above command will not give you the latest Windows plugin releases unfortunately…


In my original post about pipelight, you will find full installation and configuration instructions, as well as a troubleshooting section. That blog article is also referred to on the support page. Let me remind you that you need to go multilib if you want to use pipelight on 64-bit Slackware.

Packages can be downloaded from these locations:

Have fun! Eric


July ’16 security fixes for Java 8

icedteaOn the heels of Oracle’s July 2016 security updates for Java 8, the icedtea folks have released version 3.1.0 of their build framework so that I could create packages for OpenJDK 8u101_b13 or “Java 8 Update 101 Build 13”  (and the JRE too of course).

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

Download locations:

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