My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

February release of the Plasma5 Desktop for Slackware

Yesterday, I uploaded my Febrary’18 release of Plasma 5 packages for Slackware-current. The KDE-5_18.02 release contains: KDE Frameworks 5.43.0, Plasma 5.12.0 and Applications 17.12.2. All based on Qt 5.9.4 and exclusive for Slackwarecurrent because as explained in a previous post, I stopped providing regular Plasma 5 version updates for Slackware 14.2 (only security updates).
There’s again a choice of ‘latest‘ and ‘testing‘ where the ‘testing’ repository contains 17 recompiled packages that provide a Wayland compositor stack. This means you can have a working Plasma5 Wayland session if you use ‘testing‘ as opposed to ‘latest‘.
The ‘testing‘ repository is for… testing. Do not use those packages on a production environment unless you are familiar with Slackware, debugging graphical sessions and know your way around slackpkg/slackpkg+.

What’s new in this KDE 5_18.02 release

  • The ‘deps’ section has been graced with an updated qt5 package. I opted for qt5-5.9.4 which is the last one in the 5.9 series in the hope that Pat updates to qt5-5.10 when adding Plasma5 to Slackware.
    Also, I added two new packages here: cryptopp and cryfs. The Plasma Vault requires an encryption backend but I had not yet added one so the application was not useful. Cryfs seems to be the best choice (alternative backends would be encfs or tomb). I had ignored Vault for the past few releases but it looks like an interesting solution to store your data securely on cloud storage so I decided to make it functional.
  • Frameworks update is a stability release, see: .
  • Plasma is the highlight of the month. Version 5.12 is a Long Term Support (LTS) release, which replaces the previous LTS version 5.8. See .
  • Applications 17.12.2 is an incremental update for the 17.12 series and fixes some bugs.
    See .
  • In ‘applications-extra’ I have upgraded the packages for calligra and added calligraplan.

The accompanying README file contains full installation & upgrade instructions. I have some further reading material in case you are interested in the Wayland functionality of the ‘testing’ repository: README.testing.

Package download locations are:

If you are interested in the development of KDE 5 for Slackware, you can peek at my git repository too.

A new Plasma5 Live ISO image (based on liveslak- will be uploaded soon to , in case you want to try the new Plasma5 desktop out first in a non-destructive way.

Have fun! Eric


  1. Darth Vader

    As much I would love to bash the Plasma 5, instead I feel to come back with a question:

    How the heck you managed to ship a build much more stable than their own NEON release? 😀

    A brilliant stable release. I recommend to everyone! And congrats.

    Yeah, still having that that “bold font issue”, but how I figured out a workaround, no problem to wait for the next LTS series, when they maybe will bother to fix that thing, after they finish with all shadows, player buttons, window menus and so on…

    BTW, Eric…

    How you comment about KWin’s team statement that they will focus exclusively on Wayland for the future, and no more X11 development, even there appear breaking changes into X11 stack?

  2. alienbob

    Slackware is of course the base for the Plasma 5 stability 🙂

    I do think that Matrin Graesslin’s decision (the Kwin team is bigger but he calls the shots) to ignore X.Org and focus entirely on Wayland is short-sighted. Ubuntu recently reverted their earlier decision to move to Wayland, and they are back on X.Org. I would see that as a firm statement that Wayland is not ready.
    Also, Martin is strictly only supporting Open Source with disregard for all users who rely on Nvidia’s excellent binary drivers for their GPUs. If at one time there will be a Wayland-only KDE Desktop then I am certain that they will lose a lot of support because people will switch to Gnome instead, which does work with Nvidia binary drivers.
    Indeed, as it went before, dealing with the KWin developers is never without friction. We have to rely on other teams to come up with the necessary fixes and features that the KWin team is unwilling to add or support.
    We still have several years before this becomes relevant, though.

  3. LoneStar

    hi Eric,

    there is a typo in cryptopp-6.0.0 package.

    file /usr/lib64/pkgconfig/cryptopp.pc
    it starts with “prefix/usr” instead of “prefix=/usr”

    I found it because I couldn’t compile Clementine because it couldn’t find Cryptopp 😀

  4. alienbob

    LoneStar I’ll look into it, thanks.

  5. alienbob

    Darth, you never really answered when I asked you in the previous article, which of the old KDE4 packages are still required to run your KDE4-based software on Plasma5. What about that?

  6. IndiX

    Hi Eric,

    When I try to delete a file from Dolphin (shift + Supr) it crashes with a message that ends like this:

    (dolphin:24759): GStreamer-CRITICAL **: gst_object_unref: assertion ‘object != NULL’ failed
    WARNING: Phonon::createPath: Cannot connect Phonon::MediaObject ( no objectName ) to Phonon::AudioOutput ( no objectName ).
    KCrash: crashing… crashRecursionCounter = 2
    KCrash: Application Name = dolphin path = /usr/bin pid = 24759
    KCrash: Arguments: /usr/bin/dolphin
    KCrash: Attempting to start /usr/lib64/drkonqi from kdeinit

    [1]+ Stopped dolphin

    Also when trying to open a large file in Kate it crashes with a very similar message:

    (kate:5197): GStreamer-CRITICAL **: gst_object_unref: assertion ‘object != NULL’ failed
    WARNING: Phonon::createPath: Cannot connect Phonon::MediaObject ( no objectName ) to Phonon::AudioOutput ( no objectName ).
    KCrash: crashing… crashRecursionCounter = 2
    KCrash: Application Name = kate path = /usr/bin pid = 5197
    KCrash: Arguments: /usr/bin/kate
    KCrash: Attempting to start /usr/lib64/drkonqi from kdeinit

    [1]+ Stopped kate

    It didn’t happen with your last ‘ktown’ set of KDE 5_18.01

    I don’t know what it has to do with GStremer and Phonon.

    Anyone else experiencing this?

  7. alienbob

    I don’t know about Shift-Super (what key is the Super key on your keyboard) but with Shift-Del I can delete a file as expected (bypassing the Trash). No crash.
    What size is a large file?

  8. IndiX

    Sorry Eric,

    I’m using a spanish keyboard so the Supr key is in fact the Del key.

    As for the file size it happens with a 15M one.

    I think I’ve updated as always, so maybe I messed up somehow with other packages from slackware64-current.

  9. alienbob

    15 MB ascii text file? I don’t have them that big… or is it some other format?

  10. IndiX

    It’s actually an sql dump, UTF-8 Unicode text, with very long lines.

  11. alienbob

    OK, I cut the first 20 MB off my 1.1 GB mysql daily backup file and opened that in Kate. No problems at all, and this is the warning that is shown in orange on top of the file:
    The file /home/alien/Downloads/tttdump_20M.sql was opened and contained lines longer than the configured Line Length Limit (4096 characters).
    The longest of those lines was 1041415 characters long
    Those lines were wrapped and the document is set to read-only mode, as saving will modify its content.
    Followed by a button that says “Tamporarily raise limit and reload file”.
    When I click that button the second orange warning shows:

    The file /home/alien/Downloads/tttdump_20M.sql was opened with UTF-8 encoding but contained invalid characters.
    It is set to read-only mode, as saving might destroy its content.
    Either reopen the file with the correct encoding chosen or enable the read-write mode again in the tools menu to be able to edit it.
    … but no crash!

  12. IndiX

    Thank you Eric,

    Tomorrow I’ll try again with another pc and see what happens!

    From your tests it’s clear that the problem lies with my upgrades, I must have done something wrong.

  13. IndiX


    It’s all working great again!Login with another user worked perfect so I deleted all traces of plasma 5 on my /home/user logout, reboot (just in case) and everything is working again. Something was wrong in my .local/share, my .config/ and/or my .cache I write this here for anyone that may find in the same situation.

    Thank you for you work. You sure are one important reason why many people keeps using slackware.

  14. Matt

    Hi Eric,

    Yesterday there was an update for the 14.2 Plasma 5 packages. Only one file was updated. The problem is that since I upgraded it with slackpkg+, amarok no longer works because in settings->multimedia->audio and video->audio hardware setup it insists on trying to use the HDMI audio from my NVIDIA video card as the sound card. Unfortunately, I’m not using HDMI for video much less audio. It needs to be set on “built-in audio”. I can switch it and hit “apply” but as soon as I go back it is reset to HDMI. Only KDE-specific audio is affected. Thoughts?

  15. alienbob

    Matt I only provide security fixes for the Plasma5 packages for Slackware 14.2. The one package you saw was a critical security fix:
    It should not affect your audio configuration.
    Try creating a new user account for testing, and see if you see the same behaviiour there. There’s a possibility that your profile is corrupted.

  16. Matt

    Thanks for the quick response, Eric. I’ll try it with a new profile. I did delete all of amarok’s configuration to see if that was the culprit but it wasn’t.

  17. Matt

    I realized that I was misunderstanding what those settings were intended to convey. I also found the real source of the problem: VLC3. I’ll post about it under that post.

  18. lechuck

    Hi, any idea to what bold letter is related to? tried to fix changing fonts but sometimes the problem persist, Thanks.
    And great work alien.

  19. alienbob

    lechuck, read the comments below the previous Plasma5 article:

  20. Eduardo

    Thank you Eric! I was away these days but now I’m downloading. I assume Plasma would be awesome which is business as usual for you.

  21. Eduardo

    I was right. Plasma *is* awesome! Thank you Eric!

  22. Darth Vader

    Eric, you forgot something to add to build: KSnapshot

    You know, that little thing to make screenshots. How I live in a world of “pics or didn’t happen”, I realized with surprise that that application is no more in your Plasma5, compared with the seasoned KDE4.

    Talking about that application which rely on KDE4, I think that it is an modified KDevelop for KDE4.

    If we manage to make to work properly under Plasma the classic “KDevelop for KDE4”, shipped by Slackware, then will work also my software.

    In plus, there is also in that suite of applications (it is a bundle) something like the PIM, but I can live well without it, using directly the web interface.

    That PIM application gives you a calendar with tasks and, sadly, well… deadlines.

    Long story short, I had not enough time to work over that building back the KDE4, but meantime I work on a project which is about running X11 application from a LXC container.

    Thing which eventually I can speculate for my own build, so one of my options I think about is that running from a (full featured Slackware 14.2) LXC container.

    Running in the real kernel and via local network (even in the same system), there are no slowdowns with a X11 application running in a container.

    What really bite me and is fundamental for my work: Kate memory consumption, but it started to behave really better in your current (LTS) build. 😉

    IF that Kate improve as memory consumption in the future, it keep working as root and you add back that KSnaphot, I would be happy.

    OK, I would be even more happy to run my software under Plasma5, but as time passes I consider even non-standard options for.

  23. alienbob

    Darth, in Plasma5 the old ksnapshot has been replaced with the more featureful spectacle.

  24. alienbob

    And if you want to see if you can make the older KDE4 based Kdevelop work I guess you’ll need some of the old KDE4 based packages that I carried in the repository until November 2017. See;O=D for some, in the hope that they still run on -current. You’d probably need kdelibs, katepart4,konsolepart4 oktetapart4 (and maybe kde-runtime from
    I also assume that the old Kdevelop will clash with the new Plasma5 based Kdevelop, so remove that before installing yours.

  25. Darth Vader

    Eric, thank you very much for details!

    I got it about the Spectacle thing and in this weekend I will prepare a fresh installation of -current and Plasma5 on top of it, for working with your recette of Kdevelop4. 😀

    I will do that in one of my computers which is more powerful, for ensuring that the system has everything needed for building.

  26. Darth Vader

    Eric, please remember me how is called that hosting company which sell small servers. Where’s the Bear?

    You made even an article about installing Slackware on it.

  27. alienbob

    Darth, it is a french company, but they have datacenters also outside France. Bear is running on one of their “Personal” servers:

    Which go-live date, I notice now, is almost two years ago. Time flies.

  28. Darth Vader

    Brilliant, thanks you!

    Just I received a task to make the infrastructure for a presentation site made in Laravel, associated with a NodeJS based WebRTC signaling server and a Redis server for queues.

    And the client specifically asked for Slackware, then I promised a hosting where Slackware acts well.

    What’s good for our glorious Bear, would be perfect also for that project. So I will jump too in one of their “Personal” plans.

    Now to find how to install it. At least, it has some kind of KVM? no I do want a full remote control, but at least a serial console would be nice. 😉

    Again, thank you very much!

  29. alienbob

    I’ll find you the documentation on how to install. You get a remote browser-based console, and there’s also an option to boot a server into “rescue mode” which is basically a small Debian (IIRC) live environment.
    What I did (rough steps) was:
    * boot the rescue environment,
    * partition and format the server harddisk (I chose the 128GB SSD but alternatively you get 1 TB HDD),
    * download my mini ISO so I could extract its initrd.img to a custom new directory on the harddisk (for instance /alienbob)
    * chroot into the extracted initrd and run Slackware setup, telling the setup that it should not format the drive again
    * that’s about it. Wait for more details.

  30. Darth Vader

    Again, thanks you! That’s all I need.

  31. Regnad Kcin

    This version of plasma5 is very quick.

    Thanks for the discussion of Spectacle.

    The most irritating thing about Plasma 5 is the transparency of the menus. I found a way to make them more transparent by enabling alt-mousewheel control but that does not allow 100% or near-100% opacity. Any Ideas?

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