My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Forgot to tell you about the new LibreOffice 4.4.0 packages

I won’t bother you with the week in hell we are experiencing at the IT Helpdesk. It’s not over yet, and it leaves me exhausted every evening when I get home after long hours. I need to recharge my battered but faithful old Nokia work phone twice a day to be able to do all the emergency calls during office hours. Oh, but now I did bother you 😉

Rather than writing blog articles and helping people, I decided to wind down during the evenings by baking bread. The kneading process relaxes the mind while it exercises the muscles (and relieves back pains). My son does not mind… he eats all I bake anyway. Sourdough in the weekend and regular yeasted breads during the working week. The aromas coming from the oven right now are making me feel hungry again at 10:30 PM.

And so I forgot to write about the LibreOffice packages that I released a couple of days ago. I started working on 4.4.0 when it was released on 29 January, and I really had high hopes for fixing the harbbuzz issue which has plagued me and my LibreOffice package since the packages were released for my first KDE preview. The Plasma 5 needs a newer harfbuzz library than the version in Slackware. but LibreOffice chokes on the new package with a symbol error. Downgrading harfbuzz to the Slackware original fixes LibreOffice… and to be honest, I have not yet encountered issues in KDE Plasma 5 due to the downgrade, so that is a a fairly safe workaround when you are running Slackware with Plasma 5 and need LibreOFfice.

What I have been trying – but without success – was to compile the harbuzz library statically into the LibreOffice programs. That is a supported option, there is a configure switch for it, but regardless of what I tried, some of the other libraries would eventually pick up the Slackware harfbuzz as a dependency again… resulting in ICU related symbol errors. I talked to Pat about upgrading both harfbuzz and icu4c in slackware-current but he considers that a non-trivial upgrade with potential breakage of lots of programs. So, this upgrade will happen at a point where other programs in slackware-current need an upgrade or rebuild anyway. I put my money on a new KDE 4 😉

After a week of trying long and hard, and letting the virtual machine compile new packages during the day, I finally gave up and released LibreOffice 4.4.0 packages that work on Slackware 14.1 and -current, for as long as you do not upgrade your hardfbuzz package.

No, I can not just forget about a newer harfbuzz because it is required during compilation of Plasma 5.

Some news for LibreOffice 4.4.0 so that you know it is a good idea to upgrade (all the details are in the release notes of course): enhancements in the visual department should be mentioned (aka a User Interface redesign), as well as an improved Track Changes functionality, and better interoperability with the OOXML file formats of the big competitor.

My LibreOffice 4.4.0 packages for Slackware 14.1 and -current are ready for download from the usual mirror locations:

Have fun! Eric


  1. Mike Langdon (mlangdn)

    Thanks Eric! I saw this yesterday after running Slackpkg. I understand very well the work issues. Work is the reason I’ve not yet tried out KDE-5. But, things should settle down a bit soon. 🙂

  2. John Yost

    Even after mirroring the build directory I am getting this error
    sh ./libreoffice.SlackBuild –download
    ** Please examine the following output (enclosed in ‘-+-+-+’ lines).
    ** If you see any filenames there, it means that these are still missing.
    ** Since they will not be downloaded when LibreOffice starts compiling,
    ** you may run into problems later.
    ** NOTE: this indicates that this SlackBuild needs to be updated.
    Download complete.
    Any Ideas?

  3. Perseo

    Does anyone know where I can get the translations of help files for this version?

    Thanks in advance!

  4. Perseo

    Sorry my fault, i find it!

  5. Skaendo

    Thanks Eric!

  6. Janis

    Hi, Eric!

    I do not see mozplugin any longer – should it be so?

  7. alienbob

    Hi Janis

    I answered that earlier this week in the LibreOffice 4.3.5 article’s comment section but it will not be very visible there, so I repeat it here.

    The LibreOffice browser plugin (NPAPI based) has been removed in 4.4.0:

  8. alienbob

    Hi John

    The SlackBuild script does a crude attempt to check if any additional software is needed for the new version. It parses a file inside the LibreOffice sources for that. Unfortunately, the developers added some “Makefile complexity” to that file and that makes a simple parsing no longer possible. You can see that in the outut: The “*VERSION_MICRO” is now defined somewhere else in the file.

    I had already re-written the helper script that generates the SOURCE/SRCURL pairs inside the SlackBuild, and I need to find a way to apply those changes to the SlackBuild script as well.

  9. gauchao

    Thank you very much Eric. Your work for Slackware is very appreciated. And bread is good. I have some dutch friends in a small colony nearby that bake fantastic breads and cakes using family recipes. All the best!

  10. Mounir

    Hi Eric,

    Thank you very much for theses packages !

    I noticed a minor bug under Windowmaker : some dialog boxes like text color or text highlight color cannot be displayed (they vanish immediately), or they are but very very randomly (Slackware 64 14.1)… But I had to say I haven’t yet apply the last official patches.

    Does somebody reproduces this issue ?

  11. Matt

    When I try to print anything with 4.4.0, it freezes. A “Printing” dialog comes up but it never actually gets painted and it just sits there.

  12. BroX


    I notice the same behaviour (i3 window manager) when opening the dialogs from the Toolbar.

    The dialogs do however appear when selecting them from the menu Format -> Character or Format -> Cells.

  13. John Yost

    Hey Eric
    The slackbuild builds fine even with the message about missing/needed files I commented about previously.
    Great job

  14. alienbob

    Hi Matt

    When I select “Print” I get a printing dialog, and when I wait a second, that dialog also shows a print preview in the left pane.

  15. Mounir


    Thanks you, I sent them a bug report.


  16. Mounir

    My previous message was for @BroX, sorry.

  17. mick

    Re printing. I had the same trouble as Matt. Some searching on the net suggested that enabling “PDF as standard print job format” would fix this and it did for me. That setting is located in Tools–>Options–print. You may also need to go into “File–>Printer settings–>properties–>device” and change it there too or at least have these two places agreed which format they’re going to use. Don’t know why postscript printing is currently broken .
    As always a big thank you to alienbob for all the hard work he puts in.

  18. Matt

    @Mick Thanks for the info. Unfortunately that doesn’t help me. My printer (a Brother HL-2270DW) will not print landscape unless I choose Postscript instead of PDF. That’s a pretty big bug even for a .0 release.

  19. mick

    @Matt confirmed the issue with landscape. Unfortunately I don’t have a workaround for that. If it worked in previous versions I would suggest reverting to one for now. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

  20. Mounir

    @Brox, shows a quick fix.

  21. saul

    @matt, the solution proposed by Galan (unchecking “PDF as Standard Print Job Format” in Tool Options) worked for my Brother HL-2240D.

    @Alien Bob, thank you for all your efforts on maintaining LibreOffice, KDE, and flashplayer. While I in the past I never paid much attention to those projects, since the end-of-life for Windows XP last year, I am now providing support for a few friends and family who have switched to Slackware and your packages have helped immensely.

  22. BroX


    Cheers! That does the job.

  23. Matt

    @saul Yep, that’s what I’ve done for years. Unfortunately 4.4.0 locks up when printing unless PDF is the default. Since I didn’t have the previous version downloaded (I updated via Slackpkg+), I just downloaded AlienBob’s package for Slackware 14.0 which works fine.

    I will echo your thanks to AlienBob for all the packages he has provided for Slackware over the years. It means an awful lot to me!

  24. Renars

    Hello Eric. Thank You for so long keeping a live good OS.
    Well I Yesterday I upgraded on 32 bit pc with Slackware 14.1 libreoffice from 3.5 something for 14.1 to 4.4.0 for 14.1 and now have trouble with saving when chose file save and must show dialog box for saving libreoffice just die and after run again program it recoveries last document but after try to save same trouble. Also I did last maximum update for 14.1. Well of course KDE isn’t wersion witch came with 14.1 but higher from k-town installed about 6 or 7 month ago.
    Thanks in advance.
    With best regards.

  25. alienbob

    Hi Renars

    Glad you like Slackware, but I do not have an answer to your problem with the LibreOffice file saving dialog.

  26. Renars

    Thank You for answer. Well then I guess I need to find again 3.5 something and revert it back. Do You have link with Your 3.5 package for 32bit system?
    Thanks in advance.

  27. Sasa

    Hi, first of all thanks for your nice work on this LO thingy !
    I would like to understand why this 4.4.0 build does not work on my system. I have a dropline gnome install and probably something is missing. do you have any idea on where and how to start to work this issue out ?
    For now I can say that the LO 4.3.2 works ok, and upgrading it to the LO 4.4.0 at first start gives an error like:

    service not supplied: loading component library

    Any ideas ?

  28. alienbob

    Sasa, that error message should also mention the affected library file. Which file is it complaining about?

  29. Sasa

    Yes, the wordpress stripped it out, it is file://usr/lib64/libreoffice/program/../program/ anyway, I think I found the problem, and it seems we miss at least doing a ldd on some of the libs in that path I found that this is the one some of them complain about missing.

    Now this has nothing to do with your build, but most probably with the gdk-pixbuf we replace in dropline. Now I need to find out why this .so is missing in my gdk-pixbuf package. Will try to rebuild it and if it works out the problem is solved.

  30. alienbob

    Hi Sasa

    The gdk-pixbuf2 package in Dropline 3.10 does not contain – it should be a symlink pointing to, just like it is done for already.

  31. Sasa

    Eric, thanks, I have in some way forgot to add the –with-x11 configure flag in my build, therefore the libgdk_pixbuf_xlib have not been built. Added back that flag, rebuilt gdk-pixbuf package and everything works ok, at least so far. Many thanks.

  32. Renars

    Sorry for my noobiness. I guess after update and patching there was created big mess with qtlibs and or possible some other libs. So after re install all /l/ and kde/ All started work again. Well thank You any way for response.
    Best Regards.

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