I have uploaded a set of fresh Slackware Live Edition ISO images. They are based on the liveslakscripts version 1.3.5. The ISOs are variants of Slackware-current “Tue Feb 18 05:20:50 UTC 2020” with the 5.4.20 kernel but without PAM.
The PLASMA5 variant is my february release of ‘ktown‘ aka KDE-5_20.02 .
Download these ISO files preferably via rsync://slackware.nl/mirrors/slackware-live/ (or its mirror rsync://slackware.uk/people/alien-slacklive/ but allow that 24 to sync up) because that allows easy resume if you cannot download the file in one go.
Liveslak sources are maintained in git. The 1.3.5 release has some improvements to the ‘setup2hd’ hard disk installer:
Include disk partitioning (cgdisk and/or cfdisk) in the setup2hd.
Create a non-root user and set the root password through dialogs.
Attempt to speed up the rsync from the squashfs files to the hard drive.
The Plasma5 variant has a nice customized “About the distro” dialog:
Please be aware of the following change in the Plasma5 Live Edition. The size of the ISO kept growing with each new release. Partly because KDE’s Plasma5 ecosystem keeps expanding, and in part because I kept adding more of my own packages that also grew bigger. I had to reduce the size of that ISO to below what fits on a DVD medium.
I achieved this by removing (almost) all of my non-Plasma5 packages from the ISO.
The packages that used to be part of the ISO (the ‘alien’ and ‘alien restricted’ packages such as vlc, libreoffice, qbittorrent, calibre etc) are now separate downloads.
You can find 0060-alien-current-x86_64.sxz and 0060-alienrest-current-x86_64.sxz in the “bonus” section of the slackware-live download area. They should now be used as “addons” to a persistent USB version of Slackware Live Edition.
Refreshing the persistent USB stick with the new Plasma5 ISO
If you – like me – have a persistent USB stick with Slackware Live Edition on it and you refresh that stick with every new ISO using “iso2usb.sh -r <more parameters>”, then with the new ISO of this month you’ll suddenly be without my add-on packages.
But if you download the two sxz modules I mentioned above, and put them in the directory “/liveslak/addons/” of your USB stick, the modules will be loaded automatically when Slackware Live Edition boots and you’ll have access to all my packages again.
What was Slackware Live Edition and liveslak again?
Extensive documentation on how to use and develop Slackware Live Edition (you can achieve a significant level of customization without changing a single line of script code) can be found in the Slackware Documentation Project Wiki.
OK folks, so today PAM finally landed in Slackware.
What does that mean? Not much actually. Your Slackware will keep functioning as before. The new functionality offered by the Pluggable Authentication Modules is not directly visible. Let me simply copy the ChangeLog.txt announcement verbatim:
Wed Feb 12 05:05:50 UTC 2020
Hey folks! PAM has finally landed in /testing. Some here wanted it to go
right into the main tree immediately, and in a more normal development cycle
I'd have been inclined to agree (it is -current, after all). But it's
probably better for it to appear in /testing first, to make sure we didn't
miss any bugs and also to serve as a warning shot that we'll be shaking up
the tree pretty good over the next few weeks. I'd like to see this merged
into the main tree in a day or two, so any testing is greatly appreciated.
Switching to the PAM packages (or reverting from them) is as easy as
installing all of them with upgradepkg --install-new, and if reverting then
remove the three leftover _pam packages. After reverting, a bit of residue
will remain in /etc/pam.d/ and /etc/security/ which can either be manually
deleted or simply ignored. While there are many more features available in
PAM compared with plain shadow, out of the box about the only noticable
change is the use of cracklib and libpwquality to check the quality of a
user-supplied password. Hopefully having PAM and krb5 will get us on track
to having proper Active Directory integration as well as using code paths
that are likely better audited these days. The attack surface *might* be
bigger, but it's also a lot better scrutinized.
Thanks to Robby Workman and Vincent Batts who did most of the initial heavy
lifting on the core PAM packages as a side project for many years. Thanks
also to Phantom X whose PAM related SlackBuilds were a valuable reference.
And thanks as well to ivandi - I learned a lot from the SlackMATE build
scripts and was even occasionally thankful for the amusing ways you would
kick my ass on LQ. ;-) You're more than welcome to let us know where we've
messed up this time.
The binutils and glibc packages in /testing were removed and are off the
table for now. I'm not seeing much upside to heading down that rabbit hole
at the moment. Next we need to be looking at Xfce 4.14 and Plasma 5.18 LTS
and some other things that have been held back since KDE4 couldn't use them.
Also today, I uploaded a fresh batch of Plasma5 packages to my ‘ktown’ repository. This time, the ‘latest‘ and ‘testing‘ versions of the repository are different!
The regular aka ‘latest’ repository content is meant for an up-to-date Slackware-current without PAM. The ‘testing’ repository on the other hand is compiled against a pam-ified Slackware and can be used if you have added the new ‘testing’ PAM packages of Slackware-current to your system.
The packages that picked up PAM support are: kscreenlocker and plasma-workspace (in the ‘plasma’ directory), and sddm-qt5 (in ‘plasma-extra’). A new package has been introduced as well: kwallet-pam (in the ‘plasma’ directory).
I expect that Plasma5 gets folded into the distro soon after PAM moves out of testing and into the core distro.
The new KDE-5_20.02 batch is now available for download from my ‘ktown‘ repository. As always, please remove KDE4 first (check the README for instructions if you still need those). These packages will not work on Slackware 14.2.
Plasma 5.18.0 is the first release of 5.18 LTS (Long Term Support). The focus for this new release cycle has been on improving the notification system, a much improved audio-volume systray widget, streamlining the desktop settings (no more ‘cashew’ menu in the top right) and a much better integration of GTK+ based applications with the Plasma desktop theme, through the use of client-side decorations. Also, the graphical performance has been tweaked with less graphical glitches and Nvidia GPU statistics displayed in KSysGuard. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.18.0.php for the full announcement including several video’s portraying the strong points of KDE’s desktop environment.
In plasma-extra I updated latte-dock and rebuilt sddm-qt5.
A new Plasma5 Live ISO is going to be available soon at https://slackware.nl/slackware-live/latest/ (rsync://slackware.nl/mirrors/slackware-live/latest/) with user/pass being “live/live” as always. I am still working on an improved ‘setup2hd‘ and depending on the amount of work (and setbacks) I may decide to leave the ‘old’ setup2hd script in the ISO for now.
Have fun! Eric
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