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

RSS Alien's unofficial KDE Slackware packages

RSS Alien's multilib packages


Multilib gcc updated to address changes in slackware-current


In slackware-current two inter-related packages were updated yesterday: libmpc and gcc. It turns out that the update of libmpc caused a library version change. Since the gcc compiler is dynamically linked to libmpc, the gcc packages had to be recompiled in order to make it link against the new library. Another reason for recompiling the gcc package was the missing libiberty.a file. The gcc.SlackBuild needed an additional configuration parameter to make it install into the package again.

Unfortunately that slackware-current update broke the multilib gcc packages which I have in my own repository, as several people noticed … the quick’n’dirty fix was (cd /usr/lib64 ; ln -s

I have recompiled the multilib gcc twice (after applying Slackware’s updates to the gcc-multilib.SlackBuild): first compilation was done with that symlink created like I just described. That resulted in the desired linkage to the new library. Then I removed the symlink which I had created earlier and compiled the gcc packages again, just to be sure (for Slackware, this double compilation was performed as well).

The new gcc packages are now online, along with an update to the script which is part of the compat32-tools package. Also I refreshed the set of 32-bit “compat32″ packages which I create from the official 32-bit Slackware package tree, because there were several updated packages in Slackware (again), and I added the libva-intel-driver-compat32 package on request.

Here is where you can find the updated packages:

If you wonder what this multilib is all about: it is needed if you want to use (binary-only) 32-bit software on 64-bit Slackware. Examples of that are Skype, Valve’s Steam Client, the WINE emulator, the Pipelight browser plugin, Citrix client etc.

Instructions on how to add or update multilib on your 64-bit Slackware can be found on the Slackware Documentation Project. Also, the slackpkg+ extension to Slackware’s own slackpkg contains the script “” which can help you in setting up multilib properly.


Enjoy! Eric

PS: The nice graphic at the top was taken from the page which is a Slackware related blog by Ismail.

First victim of slackware-current update 20150421 healed: LibreOffice

Three days ago, there was a massive update to Slackware’s development tree. More than 50% of all packages in Slackware have either been rebuilt, upgraded or added new.

The result of these massive (core) library updates was to be expected: all kinds of 3rd party packages stopped working because the libraries they were dynamically linking to, have disappeared. My KDE 5 packages definitely need a big make-over, but since those packages are considered “testing” anyway, even for Slackware’s development standards, I thought it was more important to concentrate first on a package which to many is a productive tool for every day use: LibreOffice.

Three weeks ago, a version of LibreOffice was released which I had not yet packaged: LibreOffice 4.4.2. For some time now, my LibreOffice packages which I am compiling on Slackware 14.1 would not run in combination with my Ktown packages of KDE 4.14.3 for Slackware-current – thanks to the updated harfbuzz package that I shipped together with my KDE packages. Users of LibreOffice could simply downgrade to the harfbuzz package of Slackware-current and LibreOffice would work again. A simple enouigh fix without serious consequences to their KDE desktop.

And now finally, all those KDE packages, including the latest harfbuzz, have been added by Patrick to Slackware-current itself… causing permanent breakage for LibreOffice. A libreoffice package compiled on Slackware-current was the only option to fix this.

I wanted to grab that LibreOffice 4.4.2 source I just mentioned, but noticed that the mirror carried 4.4.3 “prerelease” sources too. Since we are all happily beta-testing Slackware here, I thought that I should grab these 4.4.3 sources instead. And so I did, and built packages out of them. People on LQ have already confirmed that they work like a charm.

My LibreOffice 4.4.3 packages for Slackware-current are ready for download from the usual mirror locations (mirrors should be fully sync-ed in 24 hours, taper is already uptodate):

New packages for Slackware 14.1 will arrive too, eventually. But my first priority now, is to fix KDE 5 and whatever else is no longer working… not looking forward to compiling Qt 5.4.1 for two architectures. But, I may not wait until I have compiled all packages (both 64-bit and 32-bit). If the 64-bit packages for KDE 5 are done and I am satisfied that they run without issues, I will upload those right away. I don’t think there are that many people running Slackware-current with my Plasma desktop on 32-bit.

Have fun! Eric


VLC 2.2.1 “Terry Pratchett”

largeVLCThe first incremental update for the VLC 2.2 series is available now. The version 2.2.1. fixes a lot of bugs; numerous crashes (FLAC, SPC), codec issues (VP9, Atrac3, AAC), regressions and several issues (Resume, MP4 chapters, MKV over network). And it addresses some security issues too which makes this a recommended updgrade.

The source release was several days ago but the VideoLAN team has waited with the official announcement in order to double-check that this release does not contain unwelcome surprises.

In memory of Terry Pratchett, the famous writer of fantasy books who passed away recently, this release has been dedicated to him. VLC 2.2.1 has been nicknamed “Terry Pratchett (Weatherwax)“.

Where to find my latest VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror server: rsync:// .

For BluRay support, read a previous article for hints about the aacs keys that you’ll need.

Note  I compiled the packages on Slackware 14.1 which is the cause of one bug in the package if you use it on Slackware-current: the ProjectM visualisation plugin does not work because of a libGLEW library version error. I have not yet been able to find a fix for it, but the impact is fairly minor so I let it pass.

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

Have fun! Eric

Chromium: the answer to life, the universe and everything

Chromium and Widevine:

chromium_iconGeeks and Sci-Fi fans, as well as otherwise properly educated people, will recognize the blog title for what it is.

Chrome 42 is released. Big jump: a major version change. Mostly changes under the hood again it seems. The Chrome binaries for this version contain a new version of the PepperFlash plugin, which I have extracted for use with the chromium browser – see my earlier blog. The packages for Slackware 14.1 and -current are available for download so that you can enjoy the latest Chromium browser (and its optional Widevine plugin) in your trustworthy Slackware environment.

In the  Chrome Releases blog you can read the announcement for Chrome/Chromium 42 to the Stable Channel (full version is 42.0.2311.90).

The new packages for my chromium and chromium-widevine-plugin packages both have version 42.0.2311.90 – indicating that they should be used together. The Widevine plugin reports itself as version “” in chrome://plugins – same version as in my chromium-dev 43 package.

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). You would typically want to install the plugin if you have a Netflix subscription and want to watch your movies in a Chromium browser.

Download locations:

Have fun! Next on the blog: new packages for VLC, the VideoLAN media player!


April 15 Java security update: OpenJDK 7u79

icedtea A new release of IcedTea  is available. Version 2.5.5 of the “Java build framework” will create OpenJDK 7 “Update 79 Build 14” (resulting in a Slackware package openjdk-7u79_b14).

The release announcement can be found on the blog of release maintainer Andrew Hughes. The update synchronizes OpenJDK with Oracle’s April ’15 security updates. This will be Oracle’s final update to the Java 7 codebase. I expect that the next release of Icedtea will give us OpenJDK 8.

A list of  CVE’s is associated with the new release. Here are all security fixes mentioned in the post:

The new Java is properly detected by the java tester page at but Oracle’s Java version tester at only mentions that this version of Java is no longer supported (it wants us all to move to Java 8 on Windows I guess):


Note about usage:

Remember that I release packages for the JRE (runtime) 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. Get them here.

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 (which supports NPAPI plugins – this excludes Chrome & Chromium but you’ll be OK with all Mozilla [-compatible] browsers) then you’ll have to install my icedtea-web package too. While Oracle’s JDK contains a browser plugin, that one is closed-source and therefore Icedtea offers an open source variant which does a decent job.

If you want to compile this OpenJDK package yourself, you need to install apache-ant additionally. Note that the previous requirements of xalan & xerces packages have been dropped; ant will provide all required build functionality on its own now.

Have fun! Eric