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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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July 2014
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RSS Alien's Slackware packages

RSS Alien's unofficial KDE Slackware packages

RSS Alien's multilib packages


LibreOffice 4.2.4 came along

After I had built the new KDE, I discovered that there is also a new release of LibreOffice. The LibreOffice 4.2.4 announcement (codenamed ‘Fresh’) states that the new release “is suited for early adopters willing to leverage a larger number of innovations. For enterprise deployments and for more conservative users, The Document Foundation suggests the more mature LibreOffice 4.1.6“. Damn… I only have 4.1.5 packages  in my repository under the “14.0″directory - built on Slackware 14.0 and working well on Slackware 14.1 and -current. I will have to build 4.1.6 at some point and make all you conservatives happy.

Back to the 4.2.4 release now:

Packages for Slackware 14.1 and -current are ready for download from the usual mirror locations:

Note that if you are on KDE and simply “upgradepkg” the libreoffice package, your application may suddenly look very out of style, having switched to a GTK look & feel. All you need to do is “installpkg” the new libreoffice-kde-integration package (I split the KDE support out of the big LO package and into its own separate package for LO 4.2.3, so it’s possible that you already have it).


New: KDE 4.13.1. For Slackware-current users.

There is an update available for people running Slackware-current. No, not Pat’s updates, although he is quite busy lately too, and I am glad of that. Today, there is a fresh push of packages into my ‘ktown‘ repository: following on the announcement of KDE SC 4.13.1!

I had added three new “dependency” packages for KDE 4.13 (xapian-core, qt-gstreamer and eigen3), and now for 4.13.1 I have refreshed one of the other ‘dependencies’ to match the version of the same package in the KDE 4.12.5 set (for Slackware 14.1). LibRaw got updated to the latest version. I am seriously pondering the update of libssh when KDE 4.13.2 becomes available in four weeks, so that the “sfp” kioslave will be built again (the libssh in Slackware is too old). In fact,  the libssh sources are already in the “source/deps” directory but I have not used them for now.

As already stated, I built these new KDE packages on Slackware-current. I have not tested them on Slackware 14.1 and will not guarantee that they are even useable on Slackware 14.1. Now that Slackware-current development seems to have picked up a serious pace, it will of course bring you fun and excitement to switch to the development version and join in the bug hunt :-)

What’s new in KDE 4.13.1 ?

In KDE 4.13,  the semantic search program Nepomuk has been replaced by Baloo, which performs better and avoids the data duplication currently seen in KDE (copies of the same data, think of emails, get replicated between nepomuk, akonadi and virtuoso leading to large homedirectory storage needs). The best news for everyone who complained about Baloo, is that it is now possible to disable desktop search using a checkbox in the System Settings… the developer originally thought that nobody would want to not use his software… a bit naïve considering the upheavals caused by the semantic search feature in KDE in earlier days. I will leave the nepomuk package in the distribution as long as the developers will ship its sources along with the rest of the Software Compilation. I expect that that means, all remaining iterations of KDE 4.13. You can read more about what’s new in my previous blog post about KDE 4.13.

There were some more updates: I have added the same KDEvelop packages as were already  added to the KDE 4.12.5 package set. I have updated oxygen-gtk2 to 1.4.5 and libkscreen to 1.0.4, both these releases fix crashes in applications.

How to upgrade to KDE 4.13.1 ?

You will find all the installation/upgrade instructions that you need in the accompanying README file. That README also contains basic information for KDE recompilation using the provided SlackBuild script.

You are strongly advised to read and follow these installation/upgrade instructions!

Where to find packages for KDE 4.13 ?

Download locations are listed below (you will find the sources in ./source/4.13.1/ and packages in /current/4.13.1/ subdirectories). 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

New multilib versions of glibc and gcc for slackware-current

There were a couple of nice updates in the Slackware-current ChangeLog today – new kernel (3.14.3), new binutils (, new glibc (2.19) and a rebuilt gcc. Not to speak of two new packages: libnftnl and nftables, which bring a new packet filtering framework on Linux.

It’s my birthday today and I took a day off to be with my family, so there was time enough to build new versions of multilib glibc and gcc :-). They are at their usual download locations:

Remember, a multilib configuration is needed if you want to use binary-only 32-bit software on 64-bit Slackware – think of Valve’s Steam Client, the WINE emulator, the Pipelight browser plugin, Citrix client etc.

If you are looking for instructions on how to add or update multilib on your 64-bit Slackware, check out our Slackware Documentation Project which has this information and much more.

Cheers, Eric


Recipe: rice pie (limburgse rijstevlaai)

When I started baking breads last Christmas holiday, it was mostly because I wanted to know if I could make three particular products: a foccaccia (to revive a memory from an amorous holiday trip with my girlfriend, now wife), a “limburgse kersenvlaai” (a cherry pie) and a “limburgse rijstevlaai” (a pie with rice & egg filling).

I made the foccaccia long ago (and like it a lot), the cherry pie a few weeks ago and last weekend I created the final one on my “bucket list”: the “rijstevlaai“.


Both pies are made with enriched bread dough. In the old days (centuries ago) fruit pies were a way to preserve the produce of the land (grain, fruits, eggs, milk)  in the region where I was born: Limburg in the southern Netherlands. Rice pies were an influence of the Spaniards invading the southern part of the Netherlands and Belgium in the 80-year war.

The rice pie is relatively complex to make because it needs the right mix of ingredients to produce a good filling:  the cooked rice must be exactly moist and sweet enough.
I must say, the result is great! It’s just a shame that nobody in the family likes it… it’s a typical “Limburgian” treat and the “Hollenders” have a hard time appreciating the taste.

Here is the recipe for those who want to try and repeat it. I took it from an old recipe book (Vlaai en ander Limburgs gebak van Wil en Netty Engels – Geurts) and adapted it slightly (less egg, less sugar).


The dough:

  • 250 gr flour
  • 6 gr fast-action yeast
  • 1 dl milk
  • 25 gr butter (soft)
  • 15 gr caster sugar
  • 4 gr salt

The filling:

  • 1 liter full cream milk
  • 100 gr pudding rice
  • 100 gr caster sugar (70 gr for the rice and 30 gr for the egg mix)
  • 10 gr cornstarch
  • 3 eggs (large, ~200 gr total)


Preparation of the filling:

  • Bring the milk to a boil in a pan with a thick bottom, and add the rice and the sugar. Let it come back to a boil, stirring constantly;
  • Turn down the heat as much as you can, cover the pan with a lid and let the rice cook until tender (about 1 hour). Stir the mixture occasionally.
  • Make sure the rice grains are tender and that the rice porridge is thick enough;
  • If you still see some unbound milk in the pan, take 5 to 10 gr cornstarch , mix with a little cold milk and add to the rice while stirring; bring the rice back to a boil and keep it at boiling point for a little bit while stirring constantly;
  • Then take the pan from the fire;
  • Let the rice cool down a bit.

Preparation of the dough :

  • Mix the flour in a bowl with the melted butter, sugar, yeast, milk (I use my hands, not a machine), until it comes together as a rough ball after 2 minutes;
  • Then add the salt and knead into a smooth and elastic dough for 8-10 minutes;
  • Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl; cover with clingfilm and let rise for about 1 hour (until doubled in size).

Creating the pie:

The dough:

  • Transfer the dough to your workbench, gently press the air out with the knuckles of your fists and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a circle of 3 mm thickness that is larger in diameter than the flan tin  (28-30 cm tin);
  • Gently place the dough flap into the greased flan tin. Make sure the dough can bounce back and a piece hangs over the edge;
  • Roll along the sharp edge of the tin with the rolling pin to remove the excess dough;
  • Prick holes in the the dough with a fork to prevent air pockets while baking, and place the tin in a warm place to rise (the dough  becomes thick and fluffy).

The filling:

  • Separate the eggs into yolks and whites and mix the yolks with 30 g sugar until frothy; Beat the egg whites until stiff;
  • Spoon the egg yolk / sugar mixture into the cooled rice porridge;
  • Then fold half of the egg whites carefully through the rice mixture;
  • Spread half of the rice mixture onto the bottom of the pie;
  • Fold the rest of the egg whites gently through the remaining rice;
  • Then spread this again over the pie.

The baking:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 220°C;
  • Place the pie in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The pie is done when the filling and the bottom are brown and the dough separates from the tin.
  • Remove the pie from the oven. Carefully lift it out of the tin and place on a cooling rack.

Don’t cut the pie until it is completely cold.

The rijstevlaai is baked in a tin like this one:



Note: I posted this earlier on Google+’s “the art of bread” community where it was not visible for everyone.

Enjoy! Eric

KDE SC 4.12.5 for Slackware 14.1 (and -current if you want)

What is supposed to be the last increment in the KDE 4.12 release cycle: the new KDE Software Compilation 4.12.5 was announced earlier today, again a stability updates for the Applications and Development Platform. The Plasma Workspaces version to accompany this KDE SC release is 4.11.9.

I was in a serious calamity at work and was not able to devote any attention to the release until now, late night, safely situated in the living room with the dub sounds of Bim Sherman flowing out of the speakers. I have a busy day ahead, but I prepared the packages during the weekend (thanks to early access to the sourcecode) and this article is a nice conclusion of a hectic day.

I followed up on my promise to build these packages for the final KDE  4.12, on Slackware 14.1. The packages are available in the “14.1″ directory of my ‘ktown‘ repository… not in the “current” directory because I have KDE 4.13.0 available for you Slackware-current users.

Still, KDE 4.12.5 will work fine on Slackware-current if you want this, rather than the more rough & unpolished 4.13.

What’s new in my KDE 4.12.5 packages?

I updated three of the “dependency” packages: LibRaw, akonadi and soprano. I also updated Calligra to the 2.8.2 version which I had already added to my KDE 4.13.0 package set. Upon request, I have added the latest (several months old, but still) KDevelop and even added a new package: “kdev-python” which brings python language support to KDE’s integrated development environment.

I do hope that all of this will get into Slackware-current at some point, but until that time, enjoy my packages and give me feedback about their stability.

How to upgrade to KDE 4.12.5 ?

You will find all the installation/upgrade instructions that you need in the accompanying README file. That README also contains basic information for KDE recompilation using the provided SlackBuild script.

You are strongly encouraged to read and follow these installation/upgrade instructions!

Where to find packages for KDE 4.12.5 ?

Download locations are listed below (you will find the sources in ./source/4.12.5/ and packages in /14.1/4.12.5/ subdirectories). Using a mirror is preferred because you get more bandwidth from a mirror and it’s friendlier to the owners of the master server! And let me say “thank you!” to the mirror admins who provide such an appreciated service to the community.

Have fun! Eric