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June ’15 security releases for Adobe Flash

adobe_flash_8s600x600_2Yesterday I uploaded packages for the flashplayer-plugin and chromium-pepperflash-plugin packages, based on the latest Adobe Flash security bulletin: apsb15-11.

 

The updated Slackware package for chromium-pepperflash-plugin has version 18.0.0.160. The updated flashplayer-plugin has version 11.2.202.466.

Download locations:

Eric

KDE 5_15.06 with a few useful fixes

Yesterday there was a new release for the KDE Applications. I know that I updated my KDE 5 package set barely a week ago, but there were a few updates that I wanted to push anyway, so adding the updated Applications packages seemed like the proper thing to do.

So here is my first (there will probably a second) June release: KDE 5_15.06. Components are Frameworks 5.10.0, Plasma 5.3.1 and Applications 15.04.2. The updates to Applications contain KDE 4 Long Term Support (LTS) releases of kdelibs, kdepimlibs, kdepim, kdepim-runtime and kde-workplace.

What’s new in KDE 5_15.06?

The highlights of 5_15.06 (June release) are:

  • KDE Applications have been updated to 15.04.2 (a maintenance release containing the aforementioned KDE4 LTS updates)
  • KDE 4 Extragear has one package now: kdeconnect4, a barebones version of the kdeconnect-kde package that comes with slackware-current. It contains just those files that are required to access your Android device’s filesystem through Dolphin (which itself is still KDE 4 based). The rest of the old KDE 4 extragear is now part of slackware-current itself: grab these extragear packages (calligra, k3b, kdev-python, kdevelop, kdevelop-php, kdevelop-php-docs, kdevplatform, kio-mtp, kwebkitpart, oxygen-gtk2, oxygen-gtk3, partitionmanager, skanlite) from any slackware-current mirror.
  • KDE 4 based package kactivities no longer ships with the daemon kactivitymanagerd. The daemon is incompatible with the Frameworks version of kactivities, and in some cases this file overwrote the Frameworks version of kactivitymanagerd, causing severe desktop crashes.

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 not difficult this time, especially if you already are running KDE 5_15.04 or later. 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.

Note:

If you are using slackpkg+, have already moved to KDE 5_15.01 or newer 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)
# removepkg sddm-theme-breeze (gone after KDE 5_15.01)
# removepkg libmm-qt5 (gone after KDE 5_15.03)
# removepkg qt-gstreamer0 (gone after KDE 5_15.04)
# slackpkg reinstall qt-gstreamer (ensure that none of the overlapping files of qt-gstreamer0 are left)
# slackpkg reinstall kactivities-framework (ensure that you are using the frameworks version of kactivitymanagerd)

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 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

New calibre packages – finally

calibreicoIt’s been nearly ten months since my last package for Calibre. What’s Calibre again I hear you ask? It is the highly popular E-book library management program with support for any E-Reader you can think of. I doubt that anyone who tried Calibre will ever switch back to one of the proprietary library management programs that commonly ship with E-Reader devices because Calibre transfers your E-books to and from your E-Reader device with ease. Calibre also contains an excellent E-book reader program for your desktop – even an EPUB editor comparable to Sigil. It will let you convert E-books from one format to another and allows you to subscribe to lots of news sites.

Last year august, the Calibre software switched from Qt4 to Qt5 for its user interface, and I was not yet prepared to follow suit. Running up to that month I had been working long and hard on the new KDE 5 preview and that was my first encounter with Qt5 – I decided to wait a bit for the new Calibre to mature and also I wanted to wait with adding Qt5 to my slackbuilds repository (the qt5 in ‘ktown_testing’ was just that, for testing KDE 5 and nothing production-ready).

During the previous couple of weeks I enjoyed several long weekends due to national holidays, and so it happened that I could spend some time re-visiting the calibre.SlackBuild and updating it so that it was able to compile a package for Calibre 2.x.

I wanted as few external dependencies as possible. The exception would be Qt5 which should be a proper package in its own right – it is too big to become a mere part of a calibre package. I ended up with just “podofo” and “qt5” as dependencies and I am now in the process of uploading the qt5 packages for slackware-current… something I forgot earlier this week. I borrowed them from my ktown_testing repository in order to compile Calibre.

But I also want to keep the older Qt4 version of Calibre (the 1.x releases) around for those who like that better or do not want the big Qt5 on their computer. So I renamed my SlackBuild for the 1.x version to “calibre1.SlackBuild“. I then recompiled calibre-1.48.0 for Slackware-current because the previous build of the package was broken after the recent big update and I still needed to address that issue. That is why you will find a “calibre” as well as a “calibre1″ package in the repositories for Slackware 14.1 and -current. Take your pick.

Enjoy a shiny new Calibre 2.28.0 on Slackware (14.1 and -current)!

Eric

KDE 5_15.05 packages are available for slackware-current

qt-kde-620x350I am trying to keep up with a monthly release of KDE 5 (Plasma5) packages for Slackware-current. So far, so good, and every month I have been able to make a significant difference. Today the KDE developers released an update to Plasma 5 while earlier this month you could have noticed updates for Frameworks and Applications. Time for some new packages for Slackware land!

Therefore, you can now download my May release of KDE 5_15.05. Components are Frameworks 5.10.0, Plasma 5.3.1 and Applications 15.04.1 which includes the latest updates of the KDE 4 Long Term Support (LTS) packages kdelibs, kdepimlibs, kdepim, kdepim-runtime and kde-workplace.

What’s new in KDE 5_15.05?

The highlights of 5_15.05 (May release) are:

  • KDE Frameworks have been updated to 5.10.0 (maintenance release, no new frameworks)
  • KDE Plasma has been updated to 5.3.1 (also a maintenance release)
  • KDE Applications have been updated to 15.04.1 (yet another maintenance release)
  • KDE Extragear is still empty (this started with my KDE 5_15.04 release): you must grab the extragear packages (calligra, k3b, kdev-python, kdevelop, kdevelop-php, kdevelop-php-docs, kdevplatform, kio-mtp, kwebkitpart, oxygen-gtk2, oxygen-gtk3, partitionmanager, skanlite) from regular slackware-current itself.
  • No new or udated “deps” packages this time, but one has been removed. I got rid of the “qt-gstreamer0” package because I believe there is nothing that uses it. Also, the package content was conflicting with the “qt-gstreamer” package. So after you have removed qt-gstreamer0 be sure to reinstall qt-gstreamer.
  • I have added several policy files to the “powerdevil” package which bring back the Shutdown/Reboot and Suspend/Hibernate options in Plasma 5. Thanks to luis (suspend/hibernate) and manciuleas (restart/shutdown) who came up with the solution in a discussion following an older post.

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” (currently empty), “frameworks” “plasma”, “plasma-extra” and “applications”.

Upgrading to this KDE 5 is not difficult this time, especially if you already are running KDE 5_15.04. 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.

Note:

If you are using slackpkg+, have already moved to KDE 5_15.01 or newer 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 “ktown_testing”):
# 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)
# removepkg sddm-theme-breeze (gone after KDE 5_15.01)
# removepkg libmm-qt5 (gone after KDE 5_15.03)
# removepkg qt-gstreamer0 (gone after KDE 5_15.04)
# slackpkg reinstall qt-gstreamer (ensure that none of the overlapping files of qt-gstreamer0 are left)

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!

My observations after upgrading

Again, some peculiarities I ran across when starting the freshly upgraded desktop that I want to share with you (there are some more observations in my previous KDE post):

  • At first the desktop would not even start and all kinds of Frameworks related programs were crashing. Re-installing all packages solved that. Something got corrupted the first time? No way to find out.
  •  I switched from wmsystemtray to trayer-srg as the solution for supporting old-style Xembed tray icons like Dropbox with the commandline “trayer –edge bottom –widthtype request –align right –distance 30 &” which places it lower right, directly above the Plasma taskbar. However – and I don’t recall what I did – on all subsequent logins, trayer would start before the rest of the desktop. As a result of that, trayer would cover the full task bar area. The task bar, including the KDE menu, were made inaccessible and invisible. At first I thought “yet another crash of plasmashell” and restarting plasmashell would indeed fix the issue. It was only later that I found out that they were all running, but trayer was in the way of the task bar. So I created a “trayer.desktop” file in ~/.config/autostart where Plasma5 looks for applications it has to start automatically when you login – and it will start these applications after the full desktop environment has loaded. That fixed it. By the way, the file has to end with “.desktop” or else it will be ignored. Inside it should look something like this:
[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Exec=trayer --edge bottom --widthtype request --align right --distance 30
Terminal=false
Hidden=false
NoDisplay=false
Name=Trayer

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

Running Slackware 14.1 in an OpenVZ VPS

Last year I rented a OpenVZ based Virtual Private Server (VPS) for a discount price. I needed a new host to experiment with. My other Internet machine, the taper server (a QEMU virtual machine donated to me by a Slackware fan) is not meant for tinkering. It is running the Slackware Documentation Project, and I like to keep that online 24/7.

OpenVZ is a container-based virtualization service for Linux which has widespread use among hosting providers, because it is easy to setup and manage. I did not have prior experience with it, but the pricetag was compelling and I thought, I would find a way to install Slackware on it eventually.

OpenVZ works with an OS “template” which is basically a tarball of a directory tree that holds a complete working OS installation. When renting such a VPS, the usual default choices for your OpenVZ template are Ubuntu, CentOS or Debian. There is a repository of community-supplied templates, but the most recent Slackware template is a very bare-bones Slackware 13.37. So I settled for CentOS 6 in order to see how an OpenVZ based VPS was different from a fully virtualized solution like a QEMU VM and use that experience to create a working Slackware template.

I meant to create a new template based on Slackware 14.1 and the hosting provider was willing to co-operate once I had a tarball ready. However, I had a few doubts which I expressed in a Google+ post. The reactions to that post did not help feeling more confident, and I was convinced that I needed access to the local console of the VPS to be able to debug any boot-up issues that would prevent the SSH daemon from starting (thus preventing remote access). In an unfortunate chain of events, the hosting provider switched from SolusVM to an inhouse developed control panel exactly at that time, and providing (serial) console access was not a first priority for them. So I decided to wait patiently until a serial console was added. Actually, their Control Panel is a nice piece of work, and some months ago they finally made a local console available as well. But at that time I was consumed with getting Plasma 5 packages production ready. And time slipped away silently.

Last week, I decided to pick up my old initiative, dusted off the template creation script that I half-finished last year and using that script I created a first version of a 64bit Slackware 14.1 template. HostUS, my provider, set me up with a VPS for free based on that tarball I gave them so that I could test and debug the template without harming my paid-for VPS. I was very grateful for that, because it turned out the VPS was not booting. An OpenVZ container is limited in certain ways that the Slackware boot scripts do not expect. For instance, the VPS is running on the host kernel (“uname -a” returns: Linux brin 2.6.32-042stab094.7 #1 SMP Wed Oct 22 12:43:21 MSK 2014 x86_64 Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU L5639 @ 2.13GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux). The filesystem is writable on boot; there is no hardware clock; there is no eth0; etcetera.

It took me a little while to get rid of the boot-up bugs and I definitely needed the access to the VPS console to stop it from dropping to the emergency shell, but then I ended with a Slackware VPS that booted out of the box.

I created a template for 32bit Slackware 14.1 as well, provided HostUS with both template tarballs and a Slackware logo bitmap, and then they added Slackware 14.1 (32bit and 64bit) as choices for VPS installation:

Slackware_OpenVZ_2

Hooray! Support was amazing, no silly questions asked, these guys are friendly and cooperative. Minutes after adding Slackware as an option in their VPS control panel, they tweeted:

Slackware_OpenVZ

I guess they were as excited as I am about the new offering :-) I told them last year that I wanted to run Slackware on their VPS and that I intended to host a new Slackware mirror there but was a bit afraid of exceeding my monthly bandwidth quota; taper serves more than 5 TB per month to you guys, which equals to my monthly quota limit at HostUS. They immediately responded and (without me having asked) increased my monthly bandwidth TEN-fold. For free. That shows the level of their support I guess.

Some technicalities: the script that created these templates is available on slackware.com. It builds a minimal installation of Slackware 14.1 (89 packages in total). That includes gcc because I do not take a Linux installation seriously which does not ship with a C compiler. This will occupy some 365 MB on your VPS disk once it is running. You could trim this down quite a bit more I guess, but there is a difference between minimal and barebones. My definition of minimal is that you should get a lot of useful tools on a console-based Slackware out of the box, not something that will boot and not much more.

This OpenVZ template comes with slackpkg pre-configured, using the generic URL “mirrors.slackware.com” so that your packages will always be downloaded from a mirror near you. OpenVZ is a bit peculiar in the sense that it knows a little bit about how Linux distros are being configured. So the OpenVZ control panel is the place where you configure the hostname, IP address and root password of your VPS. In order to make the Slackware installation internet-aware out of the box, I added two Google DNS IP addresses to its “/etc/resolv.conf” file. The result? Once provisioned, the VPS starts fast and mere seconds after booting I was able to login as root to my new machine.

I will use the long Pentecost weekend to setup some initial services and seed a Slackware mirror. And you can consider the option of renting a Slackware 14.1 VPS for yourself 😉 No, I am not getting paid when you do that.

Have fun! Eric