My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Results of a few days of packaging software

I hinted at the upcoming packages in an earlier post. KDE release team had asked on the packagers mailing list if it would be possible for distros to make early betas available of KDE 4.9 because it needs a lot of testing. It took me a while to find out how to build everything and to discover that not all of the split-off packages (the old “kdemultimedia” has been split up) would compile on Slackware. While I was busy with that, I discovered that there was a new IcedTea release too, which meant I could compile a new OpenJDK package.

KDE 4.9-beta1

The KDE team will officially announce the sources for the first beta of KDE Software Compilation 4.9 on monday 4 june, after some delay which was caused by a missing soprano package. However, I do not have time for a blog post on monday, being too busy at work, so I will make my packages and scripts available one day earlier.

Keep in mind that the packages for this beta have been compiled on Slackware-current. The upgrade from Slackware’s KDE 4.8.2 to the 4.9-beta1 release (the version number is 4.8.80) should be trivial. There is only one updated dependency (the aforementioned soprano) and none of the “extragear” was upgraded – I focused on the KDE core. If you are interested, grab them, install them, try out as much of the desktop environment as you can, and report the bugs you find!

Get my packages here:

The accompanying README file contains detailed installation/upgrade instructions.

Note: KDE 4.8.4 packages will be hot on the heels of this package set. I am already compiling it, and will wait until the official announcement on with making them public.

OpenJDK 7u4

 The newest release 2.2 of IcedTea builds the fourth update to the Java 7 platform. Icedtea is a “build harness” – it provides an enhanced way of compiling OpenJDK sources, adding a lot of patches which are not present in the original OpenJDK sources and offering an additional Java web browser plugin, icedtea-web.

I built the OpenJDK 7u4_b21 packages for you, along with the icedtea-web plugin package. Note that Slackware (as with all other distros) is no longer allowed by the new terms of Oracle’s license to distribute the official Oracle binaries of the JDK and JRE. Therefore you have not seen an update to the Java packages in Slackware for a long time. You can update using my native (i.e. compile on Slackware) packages of OpenJDK (the open sourced version of large parts of Oracle’s Java code), or download Oracle’s official binaries yourself and use the official Slackware build script to wrap those binaries into a Slackware package. The choice is yours!

You can test the installed packages here for instance:

Upgrade to my OpenJDK package now!

Note: you will find a JRE (java runtime engine) and a JDK (java development kit) package. Only install one of those! The JRE is sufficient if you just want to run Java based applications. You need the JDK if you want to be able to compile Java code. Also, grab the icedtea-web (optional) and rhino (required) packages.

Better even: download them from one of the mirrors. Since the web server is up and running again, we have applied a download cap to the team’s member pages which will slow down your retrievals. For instance, you could use my or Darren Austin’s UK mirror .

Have fun! Eric


  1. amigib

    Thanks, so far everything works fine, except QTCurve and Crystal themes :/

  2. escaflown

    Thanks Eric!

  3. peter

    Dear Eric,
    with Your openJDK packages minecraft does not work, but with the old java packages in slackware-current. So I want to try to build packages from theo oracle java binaries. But can You please tell me, where I find the official Slackware build script? The location is nowhere mentioned.
    Best regards from Peter

  4. Mike Langdon (mlangdn)

    Thanks, Eric. Just finished the upgrade and all seems well. Even went to check out java for workability. The 3d molecular thingy was pretty cool!

  5. C. Wizard

    Sorry to report the Java packages do not work. I’ve tried the JDK and JRE packages, separately, along with icedtea and rhino and, sorry, no joy.

  6. alienbob

    Hi C. Wizard

    Can you be more explicit than “Java packages don’t work”? They work for me here, on Slackware 13.37 and -current (64-bit).


  7. alienbob

    Hi Peter

    That is strange, because I run a Minecraft server 24/7 on my Slackware64-13.37 server and minecraft runs perfectly on my Slackware64-current laptop as well as my -current desktop.

    Did you remove the old Slackware jre _and_ jdk packages? Did you install only _one_ of the two openjdk/openjre packages? Did you logout and login again after installing the new Java package?


  8. Hannibal


    I have same problem but with previous Eric build (7u3). The problem was with java wgl library bundled with minecraft. Buiding it manually and place it where minecraft want’s to fix it.

    However this is newer build, and you can hit something different.

  9. C. Wizard

    Running Slackware64-current.
    Your previous Openjdk package worked just fine. I tried both of the new packages, separately and each time, re-boot the machine, came back to this page and ran the “tests” you posted in the article. No joy. Don’t know what else to tell you. I’ve gone back to the jdk package from slackware64-current/extra.

  10. alienbob

    C. Wizard –

    Can you be specific please? What errors do you see when visiting those pages? What is the output of these commands (the second will only work if you have the JDK installed):
    $ java -version
    $ javac -version


  11. peter

    Dear Eric,

    I think what Hannibal says is correct. I get
    this error message:
    java -Xmx1600M -Xms800M -jar minecraft.jar
    27 achievements
    182 recipes
    Setting user: pr144, 825267180489978546
    Exception in thread “Minecraft main thread” java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: /home/qubrp01/.minecraft/bin/natives/ /home/qubrp01/.minecraft/bin/natives/ wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS32 (Possible cause: architecture word width mismatch)
    at java.lang.ClassLoader$NativeLibrary.load(Native Method)
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadLibrary1(
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadLibrary0(
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadLibrary(
    at java.lang.Runtime.load0(
    at java.lang.System.load(
    at org.lwjgl.Sys$
    at Method)
    at org.lwjgl.Sys.doLoadLibrary(
    at org.lwjgl.Sys.loadLibrary(
    at org.lwjgl.Sys.(
    at org.lwjgl.opengl.Display.(
    at net.minecraft.client.Minecraft.a(SourceFile:184)

    There is an ELFCLASS32 error. This error does not exist
    with the old 1.6-27 java package. What could I do?

    Best regards

  12. alienbob

    peter, Hannibal:

    I have been running minecraft successfully on three different machines:

    1) slackware64 13.37 with openjdk-7u4_b21, running remotely in a VNC session.
    2) slackware64-current with multilib added, Intel graphics card, openjre-7u4_b21.
    3) slackware64-current with multilib added, Nvidia graphics with the binary blob, openjre-7u4_b21.

    No problems whatsoever. The same is true for my previous 7u3 package.

    I am using my own minecraft package, which downloads the minecraft.jar from the site when you install the package (I am not allowed to distribute the .jar file). See (the package requires OpenAL too). This package installs a minecraft wrapper script which you definitely need.

    One thing to check: if you first installed a jre package, then install the jdk package after that and finally remove that jre package again, you end up with a broken installation. Best to run “upgradepkg –reinstall openjdk-7u4*.txz” to fix that.


  13. escaflown

    Running KDe 4.9 beta1 and so far no bugs: I’m impressed!

  14. Hannibal

    I had different wgl error – there was a missing java class which was moved in openjdk or something like that.
    From your error, i think you have architectural problem. Either using 32bit minecraft and 64 bit system, or 64bit minecraft and 32bit system. Probably deleting “~/.minecraft/bin/natives” helps, as game should redownload it in proper architecture. Also make sure you install proper open jdk version.

    It is possible, that bundled wgl is upgraded in minecraft, so now it is running without problems.

    BTW Thanks for your work 🙂

  15. Ivan

    Thanks Erik! I’m planning to massively upgrade my Slackware64 these days, it has been a while since last completely upgrade to current. Of course, yours packages are part of standard upgrade. I’m very glad because you packed the newest jdk, and tested it against Jmol, one of my favorite programs coded in java, together with Fiji (ImageJ).
    Regards, Ivan

  16. C. Wizard

    In answer to your questions:

    bash-4.2$ java -version
    java version “1.7.0_04-icedtea”
    OpenJDK Runtime Environment (IcedTea7 2.2) (Slackware)
    OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.0-b21, mixed mode)
    bash-4.2$ javac -version
    javac 1.7.0_04

    At the first test site there is no indication that Java is even installed on this machine. No box is displayed,
    just a couple of lines and then,
    “If you cannot see your machine info listed above, please check these additional configurations:
    Enable Java through your Web browser
    Enable Java through the “Java Plug-in Control Panel”
    Clearing your Web Browser Cache
    Firefox 3.6 and above requires Java 6 Update 10 or above
    Java and Google Chrome Browser
    Supported System Configurations
    If you are unable to perform any of the steps above due to an error, please reinstall Java. Download and installation instructions”

    At the Jmol site nothing happens after clicking “here” to show the animation. The console reports the “linked script is not loaded.”

  17. peter

    Dear Eric,
    my minecraft problem with openJDK is solved!
    If I set
    export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=”/usr/lib64/java/jre/lib/amd64″
    in my environment, minecraft works. You and the community thank You for Your helpful advices.
    Best regards from Peter

  18. alienbob

    Hi peter

    Yes, setting LD_LIBRARY_PATH is one of the things which my minecraft wrapper script does… you can find it here: . My minecraft package installs that as “/usr/bin/minecraft”.


  19. alienbob

    Hi C. Wizard

    Looking at your command prompt “bash-4.2$ ” I wonder if you are perhaps not running a login shell there. It is important that you do, because that is how /etc/profile gets executed which in turn initializes the JAVA environment through /etc/profile.d/ or /etc/profile.d/


  20. chrisretusn

    Just installed KDE, so far no problems. Compiled and installed OpenJDK, it too is working fine.

  21. Alan Phillips

    Just installed KDE in a VM. Working great!

  22. C. Wizard

    You wrote:
    “Looking at your command prompt “bash-4.2$ ” I wonder if you are perhaps not running a login shell there. It is important that you do, because that is how /etc/profile gets executed which in turn initializes the JAVA environment through /etc/profile.d/ or /etc/profile.d/”

    Sorry, you have lost me here. I have no idea what this means. Why would I have to run those commands at all if the package were working properly?
    Just installed (upgradepkg) your second build of openjdk and there is no change from the first when testing it at the links provided.

  23. alienbob

    Hi C. Wizard,

    I am looking for clues and possibilities because you are having issues with my Java packages while other people don’t have these issues.

    When I saw a prompt “bash-4.2$” I concluded that this is a shell which was started bare, i.e. without sourcing the profile. That put me on the wrong foot… because in your case that shell was started in an X terminal and then your login environment has already been configured (which is proven by the fact that “java -version” actually produced output).

    So, please ignore my previous post. I need to look into another direction in order to help you. When you type “about:plugins” in your browser, does the Java plugin actually show up in the page? Do you have the icedtea-web package installed?

    Remember that Oracle’s Java contains the browser plugin but that plugin have not been open-sourced. OpenJDK uses a 3rd party technology contained in my separate icedtea-web package to add a browser plugin.


  24. BroX

    I noticed there is no ksecrets in 4.8.80. Does this imply that it should be removed when upgrading to 4.8.80?

  25. alienbob

    Hi BroX

    Indeed, I forgot to mention that ksecrets has been removed for KDE 4.9… thanks for mentioning it.
    I will update the README.


  26. BroX

    AFter upgrade to 4.8.80 I get a default empty workspace. What is worse, I can not access ‘Workspace Appearance’ in ‘System settings’.

    Could this be related to QtCurve-KDE4 possibly not working in 4.8.80? I tried reinstalling but it does not compile. This is also mentioned on the QtCurve homepage:

  27. alienbob

    I do not use QtCurve-KDE4 so I cannot tell. Other people installing 4.8.80 did not complain about this issue you are having, so indeed it can be related to 3rd party software you have on your system.


  28. BroX

    Oops, just had to select the right ‘activity’ for my daily desktop to sort the default workspace.

    Apparently the inaccessible “Workspace appearance” is unrelated. System settings just closes when I click “Workspace appearance”.

  29. C. Wizard

    Alien Bob said,
    “When you type “about:plugins” in your browser, does the Java plugin actually show up in the page? Do you have the icedtea-web package installed?”

    It shows, IcedTea-Web Plugin (using IcedTea-Web 1.2 (Slackware-13.37.0-x86_64))

    Thank you for all your help.
    The hard work you have put into Slackware is greatly appreciated (as always 🙂 ).

    I’m starting to think, but really don’t have any idea, that my recent Internet related problems are caused by the ISP, i.e., the connection. I have access to two wireless connections. One is much faster than the other as the router is about 12 feet away. The other is in the building and is slow and not always available. When I’ve tried to do upgrades to ms-winblows Xp (in another partition) it usually fails with the faster connection and I get an error message that translates into “you have connection problem.” On the rare occasion that the slower connection is working there is no problem doing the Xp upgrades. Two different routers, but the same ISP. Who knows why the difference? 🙂

  30. jaycee

    Hey Eric! I just looked through your KDE 4.8.80 packages, and noticed that you packaged libktorrent 1.2.0, even though it’s already in Slackware Current, and you didn’t package KTorrent. May I enquire as to why? Also, just so you know, bugfix releases of KTorrent and libktorrent were issued last week – 🙂


  31. alienbob

    Hi jaycee

    Yes, it was not necessary to include that in the 4.8.80 package set but I forgot to remove it. Please see my most recent blogpost which announces packages for the new KDE 4.9-beta2. No libktorrent in there.


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