Those of you who follow my repository RSS feeds have already noticed, but many people rely on the announcements I make on this blog (plus, I can give a lot more detail here).
I uploaded the packages for the March 2017 release of my ‘ktown’ repository: KDE 5_17.03. Actually, there is a lot of interesting stuff going on in this release, because I decided to do some things that were on my TODO for a long while. Read more about that below in the “NEWS” section.
What you get in this new release is: KDE Frameworks 5.32.0, Plasma 5.9.3 and Applications 16.12.3. All of this is still built on top of Qt 5.7.1.
This Plasma 5 release targets only Slackware-current for the moment, because of the PLASMA5 Live that I release in parallel. But packages for Slackware 14.2 (only 64bit) are already being compiled at the moment, so updates will be visible in my 14.2 repository in a couple of days at most.
NOTE: I will no longer be releasing Plasma 5 packages for 32bit Slackware 14.2.
What’s new in KDE 5_17.03?
- Let’s start with the ‘deps’ section this time as there are some interesting updates to be checked out. You will find two upgraded packages: phonon-vlc and qca-qt5. Also six entirely new ones to support digikam and kdenlive: lensfun, opencv, frei0r-plugins, vid.stab, dvdauthor and mlt. You may already have one or more of these installed from SBo, so make sure to upgrade to my ‘ktown‘ versions to prevent breakage in digikam and kdenlive. Notably, the SBo version of my ‘frei0r-plugins‘ package is called ‘frei0r‘.
The two packages that required the addition of these new dependencies: ‘digikam‘ (in kde/applications-extra) and ‘kdenlive‘ (in kde/applications) were on my TODO for a long time, but they depended on ffmpeg (amongst others) and although I have been adding many dependency packages to ‘ktown’, a ffmpeg package was one bridge too far. Now that Slackware (in the -current development tree) finally has its own ‘ffmpeg’ package, I decided to go ahead and investigate what else was required to finally add digikam/kdenlive.
- Frameworks 5.32.0 is an enhancement release. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/kde-frameworks-5.32.0.php
- Plasma 5.9.3 is the third iteration of the 5.9 series with small fixes only. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.9.3.php . I am not sticking with the long term support (LTS) releases of Plasma 5.8, as I think LTS should be targeting stable Slackware. If you want to know more about the long term support plans, go read: https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.8.0.php .
My observations about Plasma 5.9:
- Along with Plasma 5.9 a new network configurator was added to System Settings. The NetworkManager-openvpn plugin package I added to my regular repository and which I also added to the PLASMA5 Live Edition, allows you to define new OpenVPN connections in this Plasma network configurator. Unfortunately, when choosing “import existing vpn configuration” the editor always crashes the very moment I click on a openvpn configuration file. I can however create the desired VPN configuration using the GTK based “nm-connection-editor” instead. Afterwards, this new VPN definition is visible and usable in the Plasma 5. But I really would like the Plasma editor to work too. A bug report which I opened could not be confirmed by the developer because he can not reproduce it – apparently the cause is something in Slackware, or in my packages.
- Applications 16.12.3 is an incremental fix-release in the 16.12 series. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/announce-applications-16.12.3.php . I was finally able to compile the ‘libkface‘ and ‘kdenlive‘ packages now that their dependencies have been fulfilled. Kdenlive is a (free and powerful) non-linear video editor and having this in Slackware’s Plasma 5 is an exciting enhancement.
- Applications-extra contains two new packages: ‘digikam‘ and ‘krusader‘. Krusader is a KF5-based advanced twin panel (commander style) file manager with lots of data manipulation tools. I added this one on request of one of my readers. And Digikam is the well-known photo management suite for KDE. Its KF5 port needed some dependencies which I finally fulfilled so I could add it to my repository. And glad about that, too. Years ago I ranted about how the digikam developers made it impossible for packagers to fulfill the program’s dependencies on a stable platform like Slackware and at that time I made the decision to stop making packages for it out of sheer frustration at the lack of answers.
I have also added a beta release of k3b (now finally a KF5 port) which will see its first new official release as part of Applications 17.04 next month. Lastly I upgraded the kdevelop related packages.
- In plasma-extra I rebuilt the sddm-qt5 package, enabling the dutch translation and making sure that SDDM picks up your $LANG settings.
- Also worth mentioning: with every release of Plasma and Applications, the Qt4 legacy becomes smaller. Only a limited amount of qt4/kdelibs4 packages remains. And KF5 ports of k3b, calligra, krita, ktorrent, partitionmanager, skanlite and the KDE Development Suite can be found in the “kde/applications-extra” subdirectory.
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.
You may want to check out the new Plasma 5 before installing. For this purpose, I have generated a new Live ISO for the PLASMA5 variant. Look for that ISO on http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/slackware-live/latest/ .
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.
- python-twisted – required by kajongg to start & run.
- freerdp: access RDP servers through krdc.
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, MP3 and H.264 encoders.
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
You can skip the remainder of the article if you already have my Plasma 5 installed and are familiar with the upgrade process. Otherwise, stay with me and read the rest.
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_17.02. 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.
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.
If you are using slackpkg+, have already moved to KDE 5_17.02 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
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!
- http://alien.slackbook.org/ktown/ (the master repository, will be slow), rsync URI: rsync://alien.slackbook.org/alien/ktown/
- http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/alien-kde/ (my own new fast mirror), rsync URI is rsync://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/alien-kde/.
- http://repo.ukdw.ac.id/alien-kde/ (willysr’s Indonesian mirror), rsync URI: rsync://repo.ukdw.ac.id/alien-kde/
- http://ftp.lip6.fr/pub/linux/distributions/slackware/people/alien-kde/ French fast mirror thanks to Tonus.
- http://slackware.uk/people/alien-kde/ (fast UK based mirror, run by Darren Austin), rsync URI: rsync://slackware.uk/people/alien-kde/
Have fun! Eric