Monthly Archives: April 2020

Chromium 81 – and the new build process for Slackware 14.2

Google released version 81 of their Chromium browser sources last week, after spending a lot of effort to bring security patches to the 80.x releases in the weeks before. As said before, Google is going to skip the 82 release entirely because of the staffing challenges resulting from the Corina crisis, and will jump straight to release 83 somewhere mid-May.
I uploaded packages for chromium 81.0.4044.92 a few days ago – but those were only for Slackware-current.

I found it impossible to compile the latest Chromium 81 code on Slackware 14.2 and I had been trying for days. Yesterday I finally succeeded after more than a week of trying since the sources were released. I can not sit behind my computer for long, but that was not too much of a setback in this particular case. I kept running into new compiler or linker errors, then I would think of a fix, set the box to compile again and had to wait for hours to see the result… and lie down in the meantime. For an entire week, I met failure upon failure.

I asked in the chromium-packagers group online, how to fix these issues I was facing – for Chromium 81 and onward, several of the libraries in Slackware 14.2 that Chromium wants, are simply too old.
I was told to try what Google also does when building their own Chrome binaries that are meant to run on a wide range of Linux OS-es: use a “sysroot”, essentially a core set of Debian Sid packages, extracted, tweaked and zipped into an archive. Apparently Chromium code can be compiled in such a way that it uses the Debian shared libraries, but the resulting Chromium binaries (for Slackware in my case) are not depending on these Debian libraries. If someone knows how that works, please enlighten me.

So, I set out to learn how this “sysroot” can be utilized on a Slackware computer. It took another bunch of iterations, but eventually the changes to the chromium.SlackBuild are not even that intrusive. And I produced a working chromium package for Slackware 14.2, only to discover that yesterday, Google released chromium-81.0.4044.113. So, I had to start over.

Anyway – the Slackware 14.2 packages for chromium-81.0.4044.92 have been uploaded for your enjoyment. I am building a new set of Chromium 81.0.4044.113 packages for both Slackware 14.2 and -current, in 32bit and 64bit flavors of course. Hopefully that will run its course event-free and you’ll have those in a day or so.

Enjoy the 81 release!