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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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April 2015
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Long Term Support (LTS) for KDE 4

qt-kde-620x350 Some folks asked whether the new KDE4-based packages in my KDE5 repository would also apply to KDE 4.14.3. The answer: no they probably won’t, so you better not try what happens.

The updated sources that appeared with regular intervals were all part of KDE Applications, and for the past months I only focused on using those for my KDE5 repository. I did not want to forget users of KDE4 however.

Therefore I refreshed my KDE 4.14.3 repository today (packages for Slackware-current, not for 14.1) with the latest Long Term Support (LTS) sources that I took from KDE Applications 14.12.3.

KDE 4.14.3 was the last release of KDE4. It came with a promise that the developers would provide Long Term Support for this particular release.  Which is why I finally took the new sources for kdelibs, kde-workspace, kdepimlibs, kdepim and kdepim-runtime and built these on top of Slackware 4.14.3. These updated packages are available for you as per direct. As a bonus, they are accompanied by the latest Calligra office suite. There are also a couple of changes in the “deps” directory for KDE 4.14.3. You will find two all-new packages: librevenge and libodfgen, and two updates for stock Slackware packages: grantlee and libwpd. The kdepim package needed a newer grantlee, and the other three are required by the new calligra package.

Users of slackpkg+ have it easy:

# slackpkg update
# slackpkg upgrade-all
# slackpkg install deps

The moment KDE 4.14.3 gets officially added to Slackware-current, I will rebuild all of KDE 4.14.3 for Slackware 14.1 so that people with a taste for stability will have something new to chew on too.

Something funny: when I sat down to write this article, I went searching for my initial announcement on the blog of KDE 4.14.3 packages (released on 11 Nov 2014.). To my amazement, there is no such article! It seems I forgot to write a blog post about KDE 4.14.3 back in November… probably had too much to do at the time, but I can not remember. Apologies for that… I hope you have noticed that there were new packages nevertheless ;-)

Have fun! Eric

KDE 5_15.03 for Slackware-current

qt-kde-620x350Here’s the latest and greatest of KDE’s software collection (Frameworks, Plasma, Applications). SInce my last ‘ktown’ release, all of KDE’s sources have been renewed, and today I am making public a package set for KDE 5 aka Plasma 5 with version 5_15.03: my March ’15 release.

This incremental release of KDE 5_15.03 consists of Frameworks 5.8.0, Plasma 5.2.2 and Applications 14.12.3 plus the latest updates of the KDE 4 Long Term Support (LTS) packages kdelibs, kdepimlibs, kdepim, kdepim-runtime and kde-workplace.

About Plasma 5

Slackware-current will stick with KDE 4, and therefore the next version of Slackware will likely ship with KDE 4.14.3 plus the latest LTS updates. KDE 5, or Plasma 5 as many people like to call it, is not yet fit for the average user. It is stable, has some nice new concepts but if you are not the curious or tinkering kind, you will be better off with Slackware’s KDE 4.10.5 or my own KDE 4.14.3.

If you are curious and like to tinker, and don’t care if some functionality is temporarily missing from Plasma 5 that you were used to in KDE 4, then my Plasma 5 packages will be a nice and interesting update for your Slackware-current computer (32-bit or 64-bit).

Much has been said and written about Plasma 5, not all of that has been positive, but like with so many things, sometimes you need to look for yourself and make your own judgement instead of having to rely on others. You can also read some of my older posts on the blog that give you a good introduction about why I started this KDE 5 project for Slackware even though it may take years to see its appearance in Slackware. These posts contain notes and tips that enable you to transision to Plasma 5 more easily. Worth reading them all if you haven’t yet:

So after installing these packages there will no longer be a KDE 4 desktop on your computer. There is no choosing between KDE 4 and Plasma 5 – KDE 4 will be mostly replaced (I say “mostly” because there are still a lot of KDE 4 applications in this release – wait for Applications 15.04 to see more applications transition to Frameworks 5).

I run this Plasma 5 desktop on my laptop all the time and it’s getting better with every incremental release. Don’t worry, if you are disappointed with Plasma 5, you can always revert to one of the KDE 4 releases (Slackware’s or mine).

The highlights of this 5_15.03 March release are:

  • KDE Frameworks have been updated to 5.8.0 (includes two new Frameworks: KPeople and KXmlRpcClient)
  • KDE Plasma has been updated to 5.2.2 (bugfixes only)
  • KDE Applications have been updated to 14.12.3 (bugfix release, no new KF5 ports)
  • KDE Extragear was updated with version 2.9.1 of the Calligra office suite
  • The “deps” directory for this release contains two updates to stock Slackware packages: libwpd and grantlee. These version bumps are required by the new versions of calligra and kdepim respectively
  • And there’s two new “deps” packages as well: librevenge and libodfgen. Both of those are required for the new version of libwpd

Installing or upgrading Frameworks 5, Plasma 5 and Applications

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” “plasma”, “plasma-extra” and “applications”.

Upgrading to this KDE 5 is non-trivial. You will have to remove old KDE packages manually. If you do not have KDE installed at all, you will have to install some of Slackware’s own KDE 4 packages manually. I can not guarantee that there will be no deal-breakers for you (missing functionality or persistent crashes).


If you are using slackpkg+, have already moved to KDE 5_15.01 or newer and are adventurous, you can try upgrading using these four commands, this seemed to work (assuming in this example that you tagged my KDE 5 repository “ktown_testing”):
# slackpkg update
# slackpkg install ktown_testing
# slackpkg upgrade ktown_testing
# removepkg sddm-theme-breeze

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

March Flash updates

adobe_flash_8s600x600_2 New Flash security bulletin from Adobe: apsb15-05.

Available for immediate download as a Slackware package are the plugin for chromium (PPAPI) as well as the plugin for mozilla-compatible browsers (NPAPI). If you have pipelight installed, you should run “pipelight-plugin –update” as root to get the latest MS Windows-based Flash installed automatically the next time the browser loads the pipelight plugin.

The updated Slackware package for chromium-pepperflash-plugin has version The updated flashplayer-plugin has version

Download them here (probably mirrored elsewhere too, but these I at least know about):


Chromium 41

Chromium and Widevine:

chromium_iconI prepared packages for you (Slackware 14.1 and -current) for the latest Chromium browser and its optional Widevine plugin. In the  Chrome Releases blog you can read the announcement for Chrome/Chromium 41 to the Stable Channel (full version is 41.0.2272.76).

Chromium 41 is a major version upgrade with attention to security and performance. I could not find new functionality that needs mentioning though.

The new packages for my chromium and chromium-widevine-plugin packages both have version 41.0.2272.76 – indicating that they should be used together. The Widevine plugin reports itself as version “” in chrome://plugins .

You don’t have to install the Widevine plugin. Chromium without Widevine plugin is a pure and open source browser, even the Widevine “adapter module” inside the Chromium package is open source. The Widevine library itself is a closed-source Content Decryption Module (CDM) which therefore is not part of the Chromium package but separately packaged (after extracting it from Google’s binary download of the Chrome browser with the same version number).

Download locations:

Note for the curious: Widevine is a Content Decryption Module (CDM) used by Netflix to stream video to your computer in a Chromium browser window. With my chromium and chromium-widevine-plugin packages you no longer need Chrome, or Firefox with Pipelight, to watch Netflix.

Have fun with it! For me, it is bed time after a long working week, and time to bake some good sourdough breads during the weekend. After the weekend I hope to take a look at the new KDE Applications 14.12.3 tarballs and TigerVNC. Considering the promise of sun and high temperatures during the weekend, I would rather spend time walking outside with my wife than spend time alone behind this computer :-)


LibreOffice 4.4.1

A new LibreOffice is here – the first bugfix release for the 4.4.x series. Over a hundred bugs were fixed since version 4.4.0 saw the light a month earlier.

My LibreOffice 4.4.1 packages for Slackware 14.1 and -current are ready for download from the usual mirror locations:

Have fun! Eric