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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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April ’16 security fixes for Adobe Flash

adobe_flash_8s600x600_2Yesterday Adobe issued a new Flash player  security update .The update addresses a zero-day vulnerability which is actively exploited – installing crypto ransomware on Windows computers. No idea about the relevance of that for the Linux platform but I created packages anyway.

There’s a new Linux Flash Player plugin as well as a Chromium PepperFlash addon. The new plugin for the Chromium browser (chromium-pepperflash-plugin) has the version number 21.0.0.213. The plugin for Mozilla browsers (flashplayer-plugin) has version 11.2.202.616.

My download locations for the Flash plugin packages are as always:

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

Eric

Bear is live

alienIn the evenings of the past few days I have been working hard on getting a new server setup to replace the buckling taper.alienbase.nl server.

I proudly announce bear.alienbase.nl , no longer a virtual machine but a real physical server I am renting at online.net. Thanks to many people donating money to ensure that I can pay the server’s rent for a long time to come, and thanks to kikinovak and the support staff at online.net for helping me with getting Slackware installed (it is not an official installation option). So:

Linux bear 4.4.6 #2 SMP Wed Mar 16 14:17:03 CDT 2016 x86_64
Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU C2350 @ 1.74GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

Bear is running Slackware64 14.2 RC1 and has a 2.5 Gbps (shared) connection to the internet. I managed to get 94 MB/sec downloads from slackware.uk, which means I saturated the full bandwidth of this UK mirror. Downloading content should easily give you speeds in the order or 20 MB/sec if you have that bandwidth at home, meaning a Slackware Live ISO should be downloaded to your computer in about two minutes.

Speaking of Slackware Live Edition, there’s another bounty associated with running a 64bit Slackware-current OS on this server – bear can generate the Live ISOs by itself. So I wrote a script (inspired by mirror-slackware-current.sh) called “create_liveslak_iso.sh” which works the same way: every time there is an update to the Slackware64-current ChangeLog.txt this script will create a 64bit Slackware Live ISO from scratch. It’s already scheduled in cron, and its output can be found at http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/slackware/slackware-live/slackware64-current-live/ . Note that the ISO creation process takes roughly two hours, so before starting a download please check the logfile to see if the process has finished (last line should be “— Cleaning up the staging area…“)

This weekend, if I have time (plans for Easter are still prone to change) I will migrate the SlackDocs Wiki (docs.slackware.com) from taper to bear and then taper will no longer run a critical part of my services. The cgit web interface to the git repositories is already up and running at http://bear.alienbase.nl/cgit/ and after Easter, the actual git repositories at taper will stop being accessible on taper when I move them over to bear.

Summarizing: all of you who were using taper.alienbase.nl for downloading Slackware related stuff, please switch to bear.alienbase.nl. The new server offers http, https and rsync access to all content and does not apply black- or whitelisting. Everyone is welcome to use it. The server has unlimited data transfers so I do not have to be afraid of hidden costs.

taper.alienbase.nl will probably also stop acting as a HTTP mirror

The virtual machine which runs “taper.alienbase.nl” as well as “docs.slackware.com“is still crashing under the load caused by massive downloads. The server’s rsync access is already limited to a few known sources but when half the community is downloading my Slackware-current install ISOs and the Live ISOs using HTTP, this is still killing the server. I have to hard reset it at least once a week.
On top of that, the bandwidth usage is still between 50 and 200 Mbit/sec continuously, causing financial issues for the person who donated the use of this virtual machine.

I am afraid I have to take additional measures, and prohibit future access to the ISO images. I am thinking about how I can still make the slackware-current install ISOs available – probably they will get mirrored on slackware.uk where you already can download the Live ISOs.

I wanted to rent a small VPS at online.net which offers unlimited bandwidth for a fixed monthly price but they are currently not able to deliver. So currently I have no real options for moving my repositories.

Again my apologies for the inconvenience caused.
However I consider the downtime for docs.slackware.com which is caused by the frequent crashes unacceptable – just as much as I think my pal should not suffer from financial backlash as a result of the growing popularity of these ISO images.

Eric

LibreOffice 5.1.1 for Slackware -current

libreoffce_logoLibreoffice 5.1.1 was released last week, check out the Document Foundation blog article. I Was busy with Plasma 5 updates and the Live ISOs but here they finally are: packages for Slackware -current (actually we have a release candidate! It’s now officially “Slackware 14.2 RC1″).

The Document Foundation statement about this release: “LibreOffice 5.1.1 is targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users. For more conservative users, and for enterprise deployments, TDF suggests the “still” version: LibreOffice 5.0.5“. Which means I should update my LO 5.0.4 packages for Slackware 14.1 soon…

LO_5.1.1

Highlight for LibreOffice 5.1.1 is the implementation of a feature request that has been waiting since 2002 (!) according to the release notes:

  • LibreOffice 5.1.1 offers a long awaited feature in Writer – the first request dates back to 2002 – as it allows hiding the white space between pages to provide a continuous flow of text. This feature is extremely useful on laptops.

Packages can be obtained from these mirror sites and probably others too (if you have a fast, up-to-date and reliable mirror outside the US or UK I’d like to hear from you):

Cheers! Eric

KDE 5_16.03 for Slackware-current

plasma5_startup KDE 5_16.03 is available. I used the latest KDE releases: Frameworks 5.20.0, Plasma 5.5.5 and Applications 15.12.3. You’ll find this also as part of the Slackware Live Edition ISO images based on liveslak-0.7.0 (the PLASMA5 variant) which I uploaded a day earlier.

What’s new in KDE 5_16.03?

  • Frameworks 5.20.0 is an enhancement release and no new Frameworks were added. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/kde-frameworks-5.20.0.php .
  • Plasma 5.5.5 is the last release of the 5.5 series; since there is an interdependency between development of Frameworks and Plasma, two packages were added as ‘plasma-extra’ to cover for the period between release of Frameworks 5.20.0 and release of Plasma 5.6.0: kactivities-workspace and kactivitymanagerd. Their content will be split into Frameworks 5.21.0 and Plasma 5.6 so the two packages will be removed from the ‘ktown’ repository in the next round. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.5.5.php .
  • The Applications 15.12.3 is a bugfix release. For a full list of changes to applications, read this page.

Not much else to mention at this time, but I would like to hear from people who experience a strange screenlock behaviour. I managed to get this once in a virtual machine after leaving the Plasma5 session idle for prolonged time after which the screenlocker activated. WTF!!!! Slackware does not have a steenking systemd you crazy KDE developer:

kscreenlocker_broken_plasma-5.5.5_20160312

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_16.02. 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.

Note:

If you are using slackpkg+, have already moved to KDE 5_16.01 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_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)
# removepkg xembed-sni-proxy ktux amor kde-base-artwork kde-wallpapers kdeartwork (they don’t exist in the repo anymore)
# 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: 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 “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