I am happy to announce my February 2017 release of the ‘ktown’ packages: KDE 5_17.02. What you get in this new release is: KDE Frameworks 5.31.0, Plasma 5.9.2 and Applications 16.12.2. All built on top of Qt 5.7.1.
Soon, I will compile this version of Plasma 5 on Slackware 14.2 (only 64bit) as well, but I gave priority last few days to the new LibreOffice packages and a new PLASMA5 Live image. The packages that I am releasing today are for Slackware-current only (both 32bit and 64bit). As stated in my previous post, I will no longer be releasing Plasma 5 packages for 32bit Slackware 14.2.
What you also need to know is that I removed all packages and sources from my ‘ktown‘ repository that it still contained for Slackware 13.37 and 14.1. These were using up disk space that I needed on my ‘bear’ server. People who want the latest & greatest in KDE should upgrade to Slackware 14.2 or -current.
I also emptied the ‘testing’ area of the ‘ktown‘ repository. The packages in there were outdated and no longer gave you a working desktop environment. I plan to re-add some packages for testing there, once I have rebuilt the mesa / xorg-server / qt5 stack against Wayland so I can again check out the status on Slackware of the Wayland compositor in the Plasma Window Manager (kwin). But that is for another time.
What’s new in KDE 5_17.02?
- Frameworks 5.31.0 is an enhancement release. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/kde-frameworks-5.31.0.php
- Plasma 5.9.2 is the second iteration of the 5.9 series with small fixes only. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.9.2.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 .
This is my first release with Plasma 5.9 so it is worth mentioning some of the changes:
- You will experience various visual and usability improvements all across the board.
- A new network configurator was added to System Settings.
- Global menus have finally been implemented in Plasma. This means that the application menus can be separated from the application windows: the menu can now be shown either in a Plasma widget or via a handle tucked into the window bar.
- Applications 16.12.2 is an incremental fix-release in the 16.12 series. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/announce-applications-16.12.2.php .
- The ‘deps’ section has four updated packages: OpenAL, libxkbcommon, phonon, wayland; and one recompiled package: qt5. I will not upgrade qt5 to 5.8.0 until the KWin developer gives it the green light.
- Also worth mentioning: the KF5 ports of calligra, krita, ktorrent, partitionmanager, skanlite and the KDE Development Suite can be found in “kde/applications-extra” subdirectory. Packages for kjots (previously contained in KDEPIM) and kuser (which has been orphaned) have been moved into “kde/applications-extra” as well.
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‘. Failing to do so, 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 based on an intermediate liveslak-184.108.40.206 release. Look for that ISO on http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/slackware-live/latest/ . The timestamp of the “slackware64-live-plasma5-current.iso” file should be Feb
26 16, 2017.
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_17.01. 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_17.01 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