A recent LinuxQuestions thread discusses the depreciation of the eudev fork which was created by Gentoo a few years back in order to keep systemd at bay. This step by Gentoo sparks some serious doubts among LQ members about what Slackware should do – is the inclusion of systemd near, now that eudev is dead?
Short recap: In November 2015 Slackware replaced its no longer maintained original udev with this new eudev (a standalone extract of udev out of the systemd sources but modified so that every dependency on systemd is removed). This change was actually my chance to announce the liveslak project as a ‘celebration to say farewell to udev‘.
In November of 2020, a similar event happened when Slackware replaced ConsoleKit2 with elogind – a standalone copy of the logind code extracted from systemd and with all dependencies to systemd removed. Both events were meant to keep Slackware free of systemd, at least for a while… who can stem the flow of water.
But there is good news. Yesterday, a collaboration between Alpine, Devuan and Gentoo contributors has announced their adoption of eudev and a new repository has been created where the new project will further develop eudev: https://github.com/eudev-project/eudev/blob/master/README.md . Let’s give these folk our best wishes!
The advice is to upgrade Chromium on your Slackware 14.2 and -current computers as soon as possible.
The ungoogled-chromium sources are lagging behind as usual, but I have hopes that a new source tarball will appear soon, now that we have a Chromium update which addresses multiple zero-days. Eloston, the project maintainer, seems AWOL but several contributors have a working patch set ready.
The previous batch of ISOs for Slackware Live Edition is already a few months old, so I decided to generate new images.
The ISO files are based on Slackware-current of “Wed Sep 8 18:07:38 UTC 2021” and using the liveslak-1.3.10 scripts, where passwordless login is a new feature.
Slackware-current has the label “15.0 Release Candidate 1” since August 16th but considering the amount of non-trivial updates since that date, I wonder whether the phrase “release candidate” has any relevance here. No sign that we are anywhere nearer to a final 15.0 release.
I refreshed he ‘bonus‘ section as well. There you find several squashfs modules you can use with your persistent liveslak USB stick. Copy these module into the ‘addons’ directory on the USB drive. They expand the functionality of the Live OS and allow me to keep the ISO file size within reasonable bounds.
Among these you’ll find the binary nvidia driver (already contained in the CINNAMON, DAW and MATE ISOs by the way); Wine 6.12, multilib, the DAW package collection, and a set from my own repository (chromium, libreoffice, veracrypt, vlc etc).
To end this post, I have a question for you regarding liveslak functionality.
At boot you can add any number of parameters to the kernel commandline, and some of these are used by the liveslak initialization. A subset of these parameters cause modifications of files in the live filesystem. For instance, “livepw=” will update /etc/shadow and /etc/passwd to update the password for the ‘live’ user. You can specify a domain name, custom hostname and a lot more which will cause modifications of files in the live filesystem.
Now the crux of the issue: if you have a persistent Live USB stick, do you want these parameters to make permanent changes to your Live filesystem? Or do you want them to be ignored if you are booting a persistent USB stick?
I can see good reasons for a limitation of the scope of these parameters, to just the non-persistent Slackware Live (i.e. when booting from a DVD). I also realize that it would be a functional change that can impact the way some of you work with a liveslak medium.
Let me know (in the comments section below) if you would like liveslak to ignore certain boot parameters if you boot a persistent medium.
This week, the Linux 5.13 kernel finally landed in the core distro of Slackware-current after having lived in ‘./testing‘ for a while. Actually it’s the 5.13.2 kernel which had some 800 patches applied compared to 5.13.1.
And with that new 5.13.x kernel series, it looks like a Slackware 15 release is again closer on the horizon.
To celebrate the occasion, I have generated a new batch of ISOs for the Slackware Live Edition. At download.liveslak.org you will find ISO images for the variants based on the latest release of the liveslak scripts (in this case, version 188.8.131.52 of liveslak).
These Live ISOs boot Slackware -current “Thu Jul 15 22:37:59 UTC 2021” with the new 5.13.2 mainline kernel: SLACKWARE (32bit & 64bit), XFCE (32bit & 64bit), CINNAMON, MATE, DAW and LEAN.
The ‘bonus‘ section contains a batch of squashfs modules you can use with your liveslak (copy them into the ‘addons’ directory of your persistent USB drive) if you want to expand the functionality of the Live OS.
Among these you’ll find the binary nvidia driver (already contained in the CINNAMON, DAW and MATE ISOs by the way); the Broadcom STA wireless driver, Wine 6.12, multilib, the DAW package collection, and a set from my own repository (chromium, libreoffice, veracrypt, vlc etc).
Someone asked how I achieved the refreshed look & feel on slackware.nl and download.liveslak.org with the fancier directory listings and a graph of the current network bandwidth usage at the bottom.
It’s not so difficult but if you are new at setting up a web site mainly oriented at content delivery and have not worked with dynamic page generation using server-side includes (SSI), it may be useful to have some kind of reference.
So I decided to write up a short explanation on how I configured Apache httpd for the above two web sites. We’ll just imagine that you want to serve a slackware-current mirror from http://darkstar.home.arpa/slackware/slackware-current/
Bandwidth usage graph
Let’s first look what I did to generate that graph of the network bandwidth usage. Actually I stole the idea from slackware.uk where I noticed it for the first time. I had no idea what kind of tool Tadgy was using there, so I applied my Google-fu and found bwbar, a nifty little program written by H. Peter Anvin. I applied a few patches to the source code and built a Slackware package for it and installed this on my online server.
Next step is to decide where bwbar should write its bandwith usage data so that my Apache webserver can display that data. For the sake of this instruction, let’s assume a completely default unmodified httpd configuration. This means, web content goes into “/srv/httpd/htdocs/”. My customizations will also go into “/srv/httpd/” but I want to keep those files outside the htdocs directory. That’s just me, I want to keep content and presentation separated.
Further down, you will see that I use “Alias” statements in the httpd configuration to bind these directories into the htdocs content area (the so-called DocumentRoot).
I chose “/srv/httpd/pres/” as the location where the web server will find its presentation data. I want the ‘apache’ user to own that directory so that it can write the bwbar output there:
Then a commandline added to “/etc/rc.d/rc.local” will start bwbar during boot-up (as the apache user) and make it generate and refresh a graph (ubar.png) and accompanying text (ubar.txt) every 60 seconds:
Once this commandline executes, you’ll notice it starts writing in “/srv/httpd/pres/”. It will keep running in the background and refresh the bandwidth usage data every 60 seconds.
Apache httpd configuration files are found below “/etc/httpd/”. Again, assuming a completely out-of-the-box installation, the following lines get added to the bottom of “/etc/httpd/httpd.conf”
# Use your own hostname here of course:
# Load the module that enables server-side includes (SSI):
LoadModule include_module lib64/httpd/modules/mod_include.so
# We only actually need SSI inside the 'presentation' directory:
# Make your .html page executable if you want httpd to parse it for SSI:
# This is where we will host our slackware-current mirror.
# We want every web page there to have a fancy header and footer,
# and the actual directory content inbetween:
# Our CSS files are outside the DocumentRoot so we need to bind them in:
Alias /css/ "/srv/httpd/css/"
Require all granted
# Our header, footer and bandwidth usage files are outside the DocumentRoot,
# so we need to bind them in:
Alias /pres/ "/srv/httpd/pres/"
Options -Indexes +Includes
Require all granted
# Our icon files are outside the DocumentRoot so we need to bind them in:
Alias /icons/ "/srv/httpd/icons/"
Options Indexes MultiViews
Require all granted
# And then we add a whole bunch of icons to represent the content we may serve:
AddIconByEncoding (CMP,/icons/compressed.gif) x-compress x-gzip
AddIconByType (TXT,/icons/text.gif) text/*
AddIconByType (IMG,/icons/image2.gif) image/*
AddIconByType (SND,/icons/sound2.gif) audio/*
AddIconByType (VID,/icons/movie.gif) video/*
AddIcon /icons/binary.gif .bin .exe
AddIcon /icons/binhex.gif .hqx
AddIcon /icons/tar.gif .tar
AddIcon /icons/world2.gif .wrl .wrl.gz .vrml .vrm .iv
AddIcon /icons/compressed.gif .Z .z .tgz .gz .zip
AddIcon /icons/a.gif .ps .ai .eps
AddIcon /icons/layout.gif .html .shtml .htm .pdf
AddIcon /icons/text.gif .txt
AddIcon /icons/c.gif .c
AddIcon /icons/p.gif .pl .py
AddIcon /icons/f.gif .for
AddIcon /icons/dvi.gif .dvi
AddIcon /icons/uuencoded.gif .uu
AddIcon /icons/script.gif .conf .sh .shar .csh .ksh .tcl
AddIcon /icons/tex.gif .tex
AddIcon /icons/bomb.gif core
AddIcon /icons/back.gif ..
AddIcon /icons/hand.right.gif README
AddIcon /icons/folder.gif ^^DIRECTORY^^
AddIcon /icons/blank.gif ^^BLANKICON^^
# Here is where it starts getting interesting.
# This 'IndexOptions' statement will already improve the look and feel of a directory index a lot:
IndexOptions FancyIndexing HTMLTable VersionSort NameWidth=*
# Some stuff we don't want to be visible to our visitors:
IndexIgnore .??* *~ *# HEADER* README.html RCS CVS *,v *,t favicon.ico
# And we want to spice up the index pages with some custom CSS (Cascading Style Sheets):
# Add a bit of metadata to our index pages to help people find them using online search;
IndexHeadInsert " \
<meta name=\"description\" content=\"Alien BOB's Slackware Linux mirror site.\"> \
<meta name=\"keywords\" content=\"Slackware,Slackware,Slackware Linux,alienBOB,alien\">"