My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Month: July 2010

Wondering how to spend my computer cycles

I am beginning to feel the lack of computing power in my attic…

There is a pending KDE 4.5.0 release, which needs to be built for slackware-current. Then there is also VLC 1.1.2 which was released a few days ago… and those packages need to be built for Slackware 13.1 (so that they can join my main repository). I have only one “build box” which is fairly old and sporting a CPU without hardware virtualization capabilities.

Decisions, decisions… there’s only 24 hours in a day.

So I decided to start with building a test set of KDE 4.5.0 (the sources of which I already have) because that will be a big event for a lot of people, and leave the new VLC for another time. Don’t worry! Linux users will find that the 1.1.2 release of VLC does not offer anything worthwhile, except perhaps for some bugfixes in the DVB (digital video) module. The VLC 1.1.1 packages which I have created for Slackware are still very much OK.

Having to build packages for Slackware 13.1 as well as -current, and for two architectures (32-bit and 64-bit) is proving a bit too much for that old computer (which happens to be my home desktop as well), so I decided to use the donation money that has been accumulating and order an Athlon II X4 640 boxed CPU, along with an Asus M4N68T motherboard and 8 GB of RAM, completed with a 2 TB SATA hard drive. Once all that arrives on my doorstep, I will assemble a full computer using the case I have here (with a motherboard that caught fire last month because of a crappy condensator). That machine will become my new server.

Thanks to all of you who took the trouble to click my PayPal button – you know who you are, even if I did not thank you in person. Your gracious gifts will be spent with the purpose of making Slackware an even better experience.

By the way – I intend to use qemu-kvm to run a load of virtual machines on that computer, so that it will be easier to build in parallel. I have been considering VMware, VirtualBox and Xen as well. I decided against VMware for being closed-source. VirtualBox could still find its way onto the computer at some later stage; I decided against it because of the mixed license model where you get additional functionality only in the closed-source version. And Xen, well I am quite interested in how that works and performs, but unfortunately it requires a patched “xenified” kernel for the host and Linux guest. That was one bridge too far for me.

Nevertheless, there was a recent post from Chris Abela on the mailing list about the “The Xenification of Slack” which will most certainly help Slackware users get jumpstarted into the Xen world. Worth checking out, there is a tarball attached to that post with scripts and configuration files. Well done.

Enough of this, time for a beer.

Cheers, Eric

Release candidate 3 for KDE 4.5

A third and final release candidate is available now for the upcoming KDE SC 4.5. Target for the final release of KDE 4.5 is still august, 2010.

This time, the packages which I created are for Slackware-current only (32-bit as well as 64-bit). The packages are available in my ktown repository. Slackware 13.1 users who want to move to KDE 4.5 should take this opportunity to upgrade to Slackware-current now. If you want to stick with Slackware 13.1 but still want the latest stable KDE then your best shot will be my version of KDE 4.4.5 packages and dependencies that are good for Slackware 13.1 (I will keep those around for quite a while).

With regard to my new set of KDE 4.5-rc3 packages: there is one dependency which is not yet part of Slackware (libdbusmenu-qt) and a single dependency which got updated (soprano) but other than that, Slackware-current is fully up-to-date for KDE 4.5. You will find the libdbusmenu-qt and updated soprano packages in the “deps” directory.

The 4.5-rc3 packages are accompanied by a README which explains the straight-forward  installation/upgrade steps.

This will be your last chance to influence the quality and stability of this new KDE. Go and find bugs… and get them fixed  by reporting them on .

Cheers, Eric

Miscellaneous packages (vlc,wine,wiipresent)


Just a quick message before I hit the bed,

I uploaded some Slackware packages for your consumption.

  • vlc – the new stable release 1.1.1 became available for download today and my packages are now ready to be grabbed at (this UK mirror hosts the packages with export restrictions – they contain mp3 and aac audio encoders) or . Several bugs got fixed and features added. See the VLC ChangeLog for details.
  • wiipresent – this package needed a rebuild (actually the supporting libwiimote needed a rebuild) because of the updated BlueZ stack in Slackware 13.1.
    I use the wiipresent software for presentations (duh)… It allows me to use my son’s Wii controller (the wiimote) as a pointing/navigation device so that I can walk the stage comfortably.
  • wine – this was recently released in a stable 1.2 version, after lots and lots of release candidates. Please note that my wine packages will only run 32-bit Windows binaries. Even the package I created for Slackware64 ! If someone convinces me that it is worth the effort to add support for 64-bit Windows to my wine package, I will add that, but not before. Also note that wine on Slackware64 requires multilib. You could build wine on a pure 64-bit Slackware but then it would only run 64-bit Windows binaries. That is not what I chose to offer you.

I hope you enjoy these updates!


Second release candidate for KDE 4.5

The KDE team is relentless. There was a 4.4.5 release very recently, and the first release candidate for the upcoming 4.5 is not that old yet.

Still, already we have the next installment (and it was announced on the dot so fast that I was not able to finish compiling my packages in time)… the second release candidate of KDE Software Compilation 4.5!

The packages which I created for Slackware 13.1 (32-bit as well as 64-bit) are available in my ktown repository. Do not forget to check out and update the “dependencies” (non-KDE packages), Qt being the largest of those. Qt 4.6.3 is supposed to fix a few bugs that affect KDE’s plasma desktop. Yes, this time you really get qt-4.6.3… my initial mix-up  when I released packages for kde-4.4.5 has been resolved.

You will find the updated dependencies in the “deps” directory. These are the same packages as the ones I uploaded together with my KDE 4.4.5 packages – only the “libdbusmenu-qt” package is new – so that the transition should be easy.

The 4.5-rc2 packages are accompanied by a README which explains the straight-forward  installation/upgrade steps.

Target for the final release of KDE 4.5 is still august, 2010.

Enjoy! Eric

KDE SC 4.4.5 for Slackware 13.1

Well folks, we had short discussion about who would do the first build of KDE SC 4.4.5 for Slackware. But since Pat is on other duties at the moment, I took the opportunity to release a set of packages for the recently released KDE Software Compilation 4.4.5. ( KDE people, there is a lack of Slackware team members at Akademy this year… let us know in advance next year and I will make an effort to be there! )

Anyway, you can find the packages for Slackware 13.1 (32-bit as well as 64-bit) in my ktown repository. This time, there are several non-KDE packages which received an update, Qt being the largest of those. Qt 4.6.3 is supposed to fix a few bugs that affect KDE’s plasma desktop. You will find the updated dependencies in the “deps” directory.

There is a README which explains the straight-forward  installation/upgrade steps.

I expect that slackware-current will follow suit (soon-ish… perhaps in one of two weeks?) with an official set of packages from Pat, and with the same updates to non-KDE packages which should make the upgrade from my packages to slackware-current real easy.

I invite you to check out my KDE packages  before that time (your feedback gives us the chance to iron out any wrinkles before KDE 4.4.5 enters slackware-current).

In case you had not noticed earlier, there are koffice-2.2.0 packages too, inside the KDE 4.4.5 directory tree. I had built them after I uploaded KDE 4.4.4 but they never got a real good announcement. By the way, if you subscribe to my ktown RSS feed, you will not miss out on updates like that!

Now that koffice-2.2.1 is about to be released, I hope that Pat uses that for the next Slackware update.

Have fun!


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