My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Month: April 2023

VLC 3.0.18 packages for Slackware 15.0 and -current

largeVLCI have uploaded fresh packages for VLC 3.0.18, targeting Slackware 15.0 and -current.
I realized that it was already nine months ago that I did the last refresh of this mediaplayer package. The prior update also took a long time, 11 months to be precise. There’s not much exciting news about VLC 3.x to report about these days. The developers focus on version 4 of the VLC mediaplayer. The wait for that code to surface as a stable release has been ongoing for several years now. It looks like 4.0.0 is in “beta” but don’t hold your horses.

Apart from the version bump of VLC, I have also updated some of the vlc packages’ internal libraries: bluray, dav1d, ffmpeg, glew, libva, speex, upnp, vdpau, vlx and x265.
I did not consider the Alliance for Open Media’s aom codec yet; aom is a codec for the open and royalty-free AV1 video format, but my package already uses dav1d as an AV1 decoder. If someone needs VLC to be able to encode AV1 video through aom, let me know.

A note about dependencies for the new package:

My Slackware packages for VLC are mostly self-contained with all of the supporting libraries compiled into the package. This makes for a minimal dependency on external libraries/packages; a full installation of Slackware covers it all.
Let’s explicitly mention all those libraries that are statically compiled into my vlc package:

  • ffmpeg of course
  • audio codecs are provided by a52dec, vo-amrwbenc, opencore-amr, libdca, fluidsynth, gsm, lame, libmpcdec, opus, libshout, speex, speexdsp,  twolame
  • video codecs are provided by dav1d, libdvbpsi, libebml, libmatroska, libmpeg2, libvpx, theora, x626, x264, x265
  • subtitle and text rendering: libass, libkate, libtiger, srt
  • extension interpreter language: lua
  • digital media input: libdv, libbluray, libcddb, libcdio, libdvdnav, libdvdread, libdvdcss (only in the restricted package), libavc1394, libdc1394, libraw1394
  • visualisation: goom, projectM
  • file access and streaming: asdcplib, libdsm, libssh2, libupnp, live555, microdns, protobuf-cpp
  • miscellaneous: fribidi, glew, libva, libvdpau, pcre2, taglib

You’ll notice that I statically compile several libraries into VLC that are also present in regular Slackware (ffmpeg, lame, speex, theora, libvpx and more) but other libraries that are also present in Slackware (mpg123, openjpeg etc) are not included statically. I made an educated guess about the risk of breakage of my vlc package due to incompatible library updates in a Slackware release, and then I added all libraries statically that made me feel safer with regard to robustness of the resulting package. And of course, every library that I consider as mandatory for VLC that is not part of Slackware, is also added to my package statically.

A note on compiling:

When you want to compile VLC 3 yourself, be sure to install java11 and apache-ant or your build will fail.

Where to find the new VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror servers.
The patent-safe packages are found at rsync:// and rsync:// .
The restricted versions that support AAC encoding and encrypted DVD playback are available from rsync://

For BluRay support, read a previous article for hints about the aacs keys that you’ll need.

Enjoy! Eric

Update available for Chromium 112 to address zero-day exploit

Chromium, regular and un-googled.

Two days ago on friday, Google released an out-of-cycle stable update. This 112.0.5615.121 update addresses and fixes a zero-day exploit (CVE-2023-2033) which is already actively abused. Since it is a bug in the JavaScript engine, a hacker can craft a HTML page in such a way that your browser will run malicious code on your computer just by loading that web page.

The updated Slackware 15.0 and -current packages both for chromium and chromium-ungoogled are available in my repository and its mirrors (like my own US server and in a short while, the UK mirror). Be sure to upgrade at your earliest convenience.

I still get the occasional question “what is this un-googled chromium“? I wrote two articles about it on the blog a while ago: “How to un-google your Chromium browser experience” and “Sync and share your (Chromium and more) browser data among all your computers“. Check those out!

Cheers, Eric

Chromium (also ungoogled) now at version 112

Last week the Chromium source code major version was upped to 112. According to the developer blog, this release addresses 16 security issues, none of them critical. Nevertheless, better safe than sorry, so the Slackware packages (15.0 and -current) for Chromium are now ready for downloading from my repository or any of its mirrors. Likewise chromium-ungoogled.

The regular as well as the Un-googled Chromium browser is now at version 112.0.5615.49.
Let’s see what version 113 brings next month – it should have enabled WebGPU by default on ChromeOS even though the Linux builds of Chrome seem to have to wait a bit longer. I wonder if it’s just compile options that I could try to exploit for my Chromium build. I am also curious to see where WebGPU is going to be used in 3D-rendered web applications.

Enjoy! Eric

Calibre 6.14.1 – I finally made it past 6.11…

News for people who no longer read paper books!
Well 😉 I guess everyone needs paper from time to time, but in all honesty, my eyes are getting worse and an E-reader is the optimal device for me when I want to read books – I can enlarge the font and it has a night light.

Calibre 6.x is a really cool-looking and versatile graphical Python3 application, using PyQt to build the graphical interface based on Qt6 widgets. It is the application to use if you have a collection of E-books and an E-reader, and want a decent library management program to move these E-books onto your E-reader. In addition, it offers a good ebook-viewer application for your computer and even an impressively powerful E-book editor.

As you may know, I have been creating native Slackware packages for Calibre for many years. However I had some issues with the compilation of any Calibre release past version 6.11.0. Kovid Goyal, the developer of this e-book management software, removed some of the content from his release tarballs and since version 6.12.0 requires that the build process generates these required files instead.

This meant that I had to study the changes in the Python files which are used to build Calibre to discover how the missing pieces where getting downloaded and compiled during a ‘bootstrap’ build. That took a while but I found a way to get these sources in place before starting the build.
So now again, Calibre packages for Slackware 15.0 and -current will be getting refreshes in my repository.

Download the new Calibre 6.14.1 packages from my repository or any mirror (like my own US mirror). No external dependencies, works out of the box on Slackware 15.0 or -current.


Have fun! Eric

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