Daily Archives: August 1, 2020

KDE Plasma 5 August 2020 release for Slackware

New Plasma5 packages for Slackware-current are ready for download & installation. I skipped July (holiday season) and so here is KDE-5_20.08 aka my August 2020 release. Be sure to read the upgrade instructions very carefully to prevent  breakage, because starting with my June batch the goal is to remove Slackware’s ConsoleKit2 and replace it with elogind!.

It would not harm if you (re-)read my previous blog article about Plasma5, “Replacing ConsoleKit2 with elogind – first steps“. It has a lot more detail about the reasons for this move as well as guidance on using the Wayland Window Manager (as a test) instead of regular X.Org. Note that Wayland sessions still need a lot of maturing and X.Org will remain Slackware’s default choice.

A repeat from that article: with elogind as the session/seat manager instead of ConsoleKit2, you’ll see some new behaviour. A quite obvious change: if you run ‘startx’ or ‘startkwayland’ at the console, you won’t see a VT (virtual terminal) switch. In the past, your console TTY would usually be tty1 but your graphical session would start on tty7 and you would automatically be switched from tty1 to tty7. This is no longer true – the graphical session will re-use your console TTY.
SDDM is still starting on tty7 but only because I make it do so via its configuration file.

What news is there to tell about KDE-5_20.08?

This August ktown release contains the KDE Frameworks 5.72.0, Plasma 5.19.4 and Applications 20.04.3. All this on top of the Qt 5.15.0 in Slackware-current.

The ‘deps’ section got a bit smaller again this month:

  • pcaudiolib, espeak-ng, hack-fonts-ttf, noto-fonts-ttf, and noto-cjk-fonts-ttf were moved into the actual Slackware distro. Things are progressing nicely in that regard.
  • flite has been removed since Pat decided we will go with just espeak-ng.
  • a new package ‘pipewire’ was added as a dependency for krfb and xdg-desktop-portal-kde.
  • The elogind-aware dbus package was upgraded to match the Slackware version.
  • Finally, qca-qt5 was upgraded and I recompiled mlt (to fix the broken kdenlive) and speech-dispatcher.

Frameworks 5.72.0 is an incremental stability release, see: https://kde.org/announcements/kde-frameworks-5.72.0. A new ‘kdav’ source tarball got added but that is actually the same package you’ll find in KDEPIM. Next batch, the actual kdav package will be built from Frameworks sources.

Plasma 5.19.4 is a further increment of the 5.19 cycle (5.19.5 will be the last, in September). See https://kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.19.4 and if you want to read more about the goals for 5.19 you should check out https://kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.19.0 .

In plasma-extra In plasma-extra I rebuilt sddm-qt5 to install man pages correctly, and upgraded plasma-wayland-protocols and wacomtablet.

Applications 20.04.3 is an incremental bug fix release, see also https://kde.org/announcements/releases/2020-07-apps-update/

For applications-extra, I updated digikam, krita, libktorrent and ktorrent, and skanlite.
Note that the size of the digikam source tarball ‘blew up’ due to the addition of new neural network facial recognition data files, but the actual package ‘only’ grew from 97 to 108 MB.

KDE Telepathy is no longer part of my ‘ktown’ distribution of KDE Plasma5.

KDE Sources:
Not so visible but important nevertheless is this month’s contribution of Patrick Volkerding who validated all the KDE slack-desc files and enhanced/polished a lot of them. He also cleaned out the ‘patches’ directory and removed all the obsolete patches that are not being applied anymore. As you also will have noticed, Pat is slowly picking packages out of my ‘deps’ and adding them to Slackware. Even espeak-ng which I had not expected to happen.

Where to get KDE Plasma5 for Slackware

It should be obvious, but these packages will not work on Slackware 14.2. The old (KDE 5_17.11) Plasma5 packages that were still in my ‘ktown’ repository for Slackware 14.2 were removed in May 2020 because they were un-maintained and had security issues.

Download the KDE-5_20.08 for Slackware-current from the usual location at https://slackware.nl/alien-kde/current/ or one of its mirrors like http://slackware.uk/people/alien-kde/current/ .

Check out the README file in the root of the repository for detailed installation or upgrade instructions.

BIG FAT WARNING: Read these README instructions carefully if you do not yet have elogind installed (i.e. if you did not install the ktown June 2020 release previously)!
In short:

  1. UPGRADE TO THE LATEST slackware-current first.
  2. Then, REMOVE the ConsoleKit2 package if you had not installed my June ktown batch before.
  3. Next, install or upgrade the KDE5 package set.
  4. Change to directory /usr/share/sddm/scripts/ and move the Xession.new & Xsetup.new files into place (remove the .new extension) after carefully checking that you are not overwriting your own customizations in the Xsession & Xsetup scripts. Note: because “slackpkg new-config” only looks inside the /etc/ directory it will miss the two scripts in /usr/share/sddm/scripts/.
    You’ll still have to manually check /etc/ for some critical *.new files that need to be put into place if you are not using slackpkg (which does this *.new check at the end of its run).
  5. Finally, REBOOT.

Development of Plasma5 is tracked in git: https://git.slackware.nl/ktown/ and this month’s development took place in the ‘elogind‘ branch. I will fold these elogind developments back into the master branch soon.

A new Plasma5 Live ISO will 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.

Have fun! Eric