The previous update was targeted for August but due to the difficulties I had in compiling all packages, that release slipped to early September. That is why I can announce a second September release for my KDE 5 packages for Slackware. The KDE 5_15.09_02 update contains all new software: Frameworks 5.14.0, Plasma 5.4.1 and Applications 15.08.1.
I had a couple of complaints bout how my previous package set performed. The most annoying issue was the minute-long delay in displaying the “Leave” menu, and the minute-log delay in showing the Logout dialog when the Logoff widget was clicked. I found the cause. It was the LoginKit package which I had added because I hoped that it could help in keeping systemd out of Slackware. I have now removed LoginKit again, and the problem has disappeared. Anyway, ConsoleKit2 does what I hoped LoginKit would do: provide a useable systemd-logind compatible API. It looks like LoginKit will not be needed.
My other major annoyance has not been solved yet, and I am still in dubio whether this is being caused by the recent updates to slackware-current or by the recent Wayland-related code changes in KWin. The issue? Whenever the power saver kicks in and I am not paying attention, the screen of my Lenovo T400 laptop (Intel graphics) turns black. It looks like the backlight does not get turned back on when I move the mouse or press a key. I have to Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get to my Linux console, press the backlight-brightness button until I can see my screen’s content again, and then I can switch back to X using Alt-F7. Another thing: if the screenlocker started during this powersave period, the lock screen that stares me in the eye I switch back to the graphical console, is frozen. I can type my password but no visual feedback is provided, even when I press ENTER. But if I then press Alt-TAB, the screen suddenly refreshes and I see my Plasma 5 desktop in full glory. This looks like a desktop- or window refresh issue, which is why I think it may be related to KWin. I have not filed a bug report yet because I do not yet know against which component to file the bug.
Lastly, the progress bar which shows as part of the Plasma 5 startup splash screen, is not moving. Yet the desktop loads properly in the background and eventually the non-moving progress bar is replaced by the Plasma 5 desktop. Does anyone know if this progress bar is broken somehow? Does anyone know which software component draws that progress bar so that I can file a bug for this as well?
Let’s hope this will be addressed and get fixed eventually. Other than that, Plasma 5 is a fine desktop at the moment.
What’s new in KDE 5_15.09_02?
- ConsoleKit2 (a drop-in replacement for Slackware’s unmaintained ConsoleKit) has been rebuilt with several patches provided by Robby Workman. And plasma-workspace was patched to allow the screenlocker to use the systemd-logind API provided by ConsoleKit2. No systemd needed! SDDM will again start a ConsoleKit session by adding “ck-launch-session” to the session startup (was accidentally removed previously)
- As said earlier, I have removed the LoginKit package, it is not needed and did not play nice.
- One addition to the “deps” is a rebuilt version of Slackware’s libproxy package. I have removed KDE 4 support from that package. The original Slackware libproxy package (with KDE 4 support) is causing crashes in Frameworks 5 (KF5) software which calls functionality in libproxy. One example is the OwnCloud client, and KDE Telepathy will also use libproxy (I am working on adding that soon)
- I have removed the KDE 4 entry from “xwmconfig” because there is no more KDE 4 desktop session to start. Likewise, I have removed the “startkde4” script.
- Frameworks 5.14.0 is an enhancement release, you can read the details on https://www.kde.org/announcements/kde-frameworks-5.14.0.php
- Plasma 5.4.1 is a bugfix release, see https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.4.1.php . Nothing really stands out in the ChangeLog for this release.
- Applications 15.08.1 was just released today. It is a bugfix release for the 107 programs which have already been ported to KF5 . Let me know what you think of the KF5 port of the Kontact Suite (KDEPIM) which was also updated… I do not use it myself.
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, especially if you already are running KDE 5_15.09. 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.
If you are using slackpkg+, have already moved to KDE 5_15.09 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)
# slackpkg remove LoginKit (because I removed this package again, which was added to 5_15.09)
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!
- http://alien.slackbook.org/ktown/ (the master repository), rsync URI: rsync://alien.slackbook.org/alien/ktown/
- http://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/alien-kde/ (my fast US mirror), rsync URI: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/alien-kde/
- http://repo.ukdw.ac.id/alien-kde/ (willysr’s Indonesian mirror), rsync URI: rsync://repo.ukdw.ac.id/alien-kde/
- http://slackware.org.uk/people/alien-kde/ (fast UK based mirror, run by Darren Austin), rsync URI: rsync://slackware.org.uk/people/alien-kde/
Have fun! Eric