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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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November 2015
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RSS Alien's Slackware packages

RSS Alien's unofficial KDE Slackware packages

RSS Alien's multilib packages


LibreOffice 5.0.3 and new steamclient

libreoffce_logoTwo weeks ago, a new version of LibreOffice 5 became available. On their blog the Document Foundation mentioned that apart from version 5.0.3 there has been a (final?) release in the 4.x series: 4.4.6 sources were made available as well. I will find time to compile 4.4.6 for Slackware 14.1 soon, since there are security fixes too, but there were more pressing matters to attend to, and therefore I limited myself to the new 5.x release for the moment.

This is what the Document Foundation wrote about the two versions: “LibreOffice 5.0.3 is more feature-rich, and as such is targeted to tech enthusiasts and power users, and LibreOffice 4.4.6 is targeted to more conservative users and enterprise deployments as it has been in widespread use for a longer time, and as such offers a better experience for document production

The new LibreOffice 5.0.3 packages have been compiled for users of Slackware-current only. The 4.4.5 packages that I have for Slackware 14.1 should also work on -current, but I have not tested that. I hope that this package for LibreOffice 5.0.3 survives the day… Pat is planning another (possibly intrusive) update to slackware-current which may break the package.


The package was yet again compiled against gstreamer-1.x, so I would like to hear if the issues that were reported about embedded multimedia files are still there.


Then there was a new release of Valve‘s steamclient. The changes are minor – adding udev support for new controllers. And anyway, your Steam run-time gets updated automatically anyway when you go online. The package is useful when installing the Slackware OS from scratch so I provide the updated package in my repository. Remember people, there is a Slackware community on Steam too! And no, I do not want to hear the moaning about a closed-source platform. Valve does more for Open Source and Linux in general than many other game companies.

Get your packages from any of these sites (there are probably more mirrors than these but I am unaware of them):

Cheers! Eric

GCC 5.2.0 multilib

I had a bit too much to do, so creating multilib versions of the new GCC compiler suite in Slackware-current was not on the top of my TODO list.

Today I finally built GCC 5.2.0_multilib packages and uploaded them to the server. Along with the new compilers, I also refreshed the set of “compat32″ packages which give your 32bit applications a working 32bit support layer.

All of that can be downloaded from:

Have fun! Eric

KDE 5_15.11 for Slackware-current – visual improvements

plasma5_startup In one of my previous articles,  where I wrote about the upcoming Slackware Live edition, I added some premature screenshots of the Plasma 5 packages I am announcing today. Just when I was preparing for upload, Pat released his big November 14th batch of updates to Slackware-current (including new kernel, compilers and X.Org), dubbing it “almost a beta”. That delayed the release process for my November Plasma 5 packages because I needed to check the impact of these updates to my already compiled packages.

Here it is finally, since I could not find any showstopper bugs: KDE 5_15.11 . It contains the following updates: Frameworks 5.16.0, Plasma 5.4.3 and Applications 15.08.3.

What’s new in KDE 5_15.11?

  • Frameworks 5.16.0 is an enhancement release. Interesting are the two new Frameworks: breeze-icons and oxygen-icons5. They were moved here from other collections, and the visual enhancement they cause on the Plasma desktop is immediately visible. Lots more colored icons that are replacing the bland and boring Plasma icons of previous releases. Still, the bland systemtray icons remain but I hope that something will be done about that. You can read the details on
  • Plasma 5.4.3 is a bugfix release and should be the last before 5.5.0. See .
  • Applications 15.08.3 was released last friday. It is a bugfix release. Note that I did not recompile the Telepathy applications this time!


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” and “telepathy”.

Upgrading to this KDE 5 is not difficult, especially if you already are running KDE 5_15.10. 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.


If you are using slackpkg+, have already moved to KDE 5_15.10 and are adventurous, you can try upgrading using the following set of commands. This should work but feel free to send me improved instructions if needed (assuming in this example that you tagged my KDE 5 repository with the name “ktown_testing” in the configuration file “/etc/slackpkg/slackpkgplus.conf“):
# slackpkg update
# slackpkg install ktown_testing (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_testing (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 that I do not want to repeat here, but if you want to read them, here they are:

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 “testing” repository):

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/ 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

Last week’s security updates

adobe_flash_8s600x600_2Adobe released updated Flash player plugins last tuesday, but I was too busy with other things to write a blog post about it. However, I did release updated packages the day after! The updates are for chromium-pepperflash-plugin (to be used together with my chromium package) with new version, and flashplayer-plugin which now is at version

The PepperFlash plugin was extracted from Google Chrome 46.0.2490.86 but I did not compile a new Chromium package from the sources bearing that version this time. You’ll have to wait for the next stable release.


icedteaVersion 2.6.3 of IcedTea was also released last week. This version of IcedTea will compile OpenJDK 7 “Update 91 Build 02“. The release adds one missed security fix from Oracle’s october updates to OpenJDK. I could not find the announcement on the blog of release maintainer Andrew Hughes but here is his post on the mailing list instead.

The CVE which has been addressed and fixed:

  • S8142882, CVE-2015-4871: rebinding of the receiver of a DirectMethodHandle may allow a protected method to be accessed.

Note about OpenJDK usage:

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.

The Java package (openjre as well as openjdk) has one dependency: rhino provides JavaScript support for OpenJDK.

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 binary JDK tarball 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.

My download locations for these updated packages are as always:

If you are using the slackpkg+ extension for slackpkg, then you just run “slackpkg update && slackpkg update flash”. Alternatively, you can subscribe to my repository RSS feed to stay informed of any updates.

Have fun! Eric


Almost a beta

Well here it is… almost.

Sat Nov 14 21:35:57 UTC 2015
Please enjoy "almost a beta." Sorry we missed Friday the 13th this time.

Yet another 200+ lines of updates in the ChangeLog.txt of slackware-current.  It’s obvious that Pat has been watching the LinuxQuestions threads closely. And we are again very bleeding edge, with the Gnu Compiler Collection 5.2.0!

The update of tigervnc (in ./extra … with fltk as a new dependency) as well as the addition of the squashfs-tools are Pat’s nod to the Live version of Slackware that is in the making here at home. The Live ISO can now be created with and by Slackware-current without the need for 3rd party software.

Have fun! I had my ktown packages ready but now I need to find out if this update breaks stuff even before I released it… sorry guys.

Also, new gcc-multilib packages need to be made now. That too, may take a day or so.