My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Ktown in June ’18 – Plasma 5.13 in the ‘testing’ repo

It’s that time of the month again. KDE tarballs have all been refreshed, and so this presents the opportunity to release a new package set for the Plasma 5 Desktop Environment… but then I found out that the new Plasma 5.13 depends on a minimum Qt5 version number of 5.10. Currently I have Qt 5.9.5 in my repository, and this is a LTS release (Long Term Support). The next LTS release will be 5.12 and this will not be available before end of 2018. Also, the current Plasma 5.12 has Long Term Support and the new Plasma 5.13 has not.
I expect that Slackware will likely adopt LTS versions of Qt5 and the KDE software once it is time to replace KDE4, so that puts me in an awkward position. I have been maintaining Plasma 5 packages in this repository for almost 4 years now, with the hope of getting this included into Slackware. Should my repository remain compatible with Patrick’s estimated goals or should I ‘deviate’ and stick with the bleeding edge like I have always done?

The decision I made eventually is that I am not going to upgrade Qt and Plasma to the newest releases yet. At least, not in the ‘latest‘ repository. On the other hand, the ‘testing‘ repository is alive again, and that contains the new Qt 5.11.0 and Plasma 5.13.0. So you have a choice now. If you go with the ‘testing‘ repository, the new Qt 5.11.0 may cause breakage in packages that have a direct dependency on Qt5. That was  why I had to recompile Frameworks and Plasma against Qt 5.11 but could leave the Applications unmodified even though those had been compiled with Qt 5.9 on the system. You are warned.

The KDE-5_18.06 release of ‘ktown‘ for Slackware-current offers the KDE Frameworks (5.47.0), Plasma (still 5.12.5 like last month) and Applications (18.04.2) on top of Qt5 5.9.6 (which was released recently).
You can and should check out the README file for more details and for installation/upgrade instructions.
And KDE-5_18.06_testing has the KDE Frameworks (5.47.0), Plasma (5.13.0), Applications (18.04.2) with Qt5 5.11.0. It has a similar README.

News about this month’s package content:

  • In the deps section I updated the qt5  package to 5.9.6. In the ‘testing‘ repository I also had to update the PyQt5 package because of the new qt5 5.11 in ‘testing‘.
  • Frameworks and Applications updates are focusing on improved stability. No news here.
  • The Plasma in my ‘latest‘ repository has not been updated as explained in the article header. But in ‘testing‘ you get Plasma 5.13.0. See for all the news and videos regarding this release.
  • The kdeconnect-framework package in plasma-extra was updated.
  • In applications-extra I have updated the okteta, krita and kstars packages.

If you are using slackpkg with the slackpkg+ extension, you need to update slackpkg+ before any other package. The recent modifications to slackpkg broke the extension and you need the most recent version of slackpkg+.
And don’t forget to run “slackpkg install ktown” to get any new packages installed, because “slackpkg install-new” will not catch new packages in 3rd-party repositories like ‘ktown’.

I will try and get a new Slackware Live PLASMA5 ISO image built and released with the new Plasma 5.13 on it, so you can check out the new features. I will have to check the other stuff in the ISO first and recompile anything that got broken because of Qt 5.11.
But don’t hold your breath… I am pretty much occupied with attempting to move 20 years of scripts and data from my ageing server to the ‘new’ box (well new… it’s 9 months old already). Having two servers running 24/7 is hurting my wallet because of the electricity bill. And this migration’s complexity (lots of custom stuff) made me delay the move time and time again. Now, I am focused and determined to finish the job.



  1. Brian

    I installed your testing repo plasma 5.13.0 just a bit ago on a fresh copy of Slackware current. I followed the instructions from and everything is working perfectly so far.

    Thank you so much for all that you do for the Slackware community.

  2. Eduardo

    Thank you Eric! Since I’m curious, I’ll try ‘testing’.
    And I hope that Patrick can pick KDE real soon now.
    Hope everything goes well with the migration to the new server.

  3. LoneStar

    Thank you Eric….when Pat will add Plasma to Slackware, do you have plans to keep releasing non-LTS future versions or you’ll rather quit it until maybe 6.0?

  4. Darth Vader

    My usual adventures in Plasma5 are something like:

    – several times on a day, KWin claims that the compositor crashed and disable the effects. The result is a freaking “nice” scroll in web-browsers, making me going ballistic.

    – several times a day, something happens with the interface, and instead of icons and buttons, there are showed random polygons, with “something” on them. If someone is interested, I can do a screenshot while this really nice behavior.

    – After 12 major Plasma releases and 47 variants of Frameworks, Plasma666 still does not know yet to handle its own configuration files. To fill a bug report? Why?

    Master Eric-wan Kenobi, I willingly assumed the role of your personal beta-tester, hence I report you. I care no less about this mountain of smelling crap which is “This Thing”

    Honestly, I concluded that the guys who write this crap lives in a phantasmagorical world, with no connection with The Reality. They have wet dreams with Wayland and smartphones powered by their brain-child, and may other fancy things. Not sure if in their world aren’t dungeons and dragons too.

    OK, you will blame my computers as being Frankenstein. I agree, is something strange to have Buldozers x8 with 32GB RAM and a video card like Radeon HD 6450. BUT, this videocard is what I need, in fact what I need is a freaking desktop, to stay stable and to permit me to mess with an Editor and an Web-Browser. Tear-free is highly appreciated, too…

    Oh, and BTW, my Frankensteins behave really well with Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. 😉

  5. Darth Vader

    I leaved this specially for its own post:

    Not sure if it is their Delirium Tremens or your own “cross-breed 5.9-5.11 on the “testing” variant is glorious unusable at all for me, while the “latest” one at least behave as usual.

    I give to this tree an “Alpha ZERO”

  6. alienbob

    Darth Vader, I do not write the code for KDE Plasma. I compile and wrap that code into Slackware packages.
    If you have stability issues and crashes that I cannot fix (like the examples you mention here and in previous posts) then NOTHING is going to change to that code if all you do is complain in the Slackware forum and on my blog while refusing to create KDE bug reports in their tracker.

    i honestly do not care at all that your computer works fine with all flavors of Windows. The only thing I would like to know is: does a Plasma 5 install work on that hardware after a clean install from scratch? If the compositor has issues with the graphics drivers then that is something you need to report to KDE. You would be clouding the issue if you bolt Plasma 5 on top of a non-standard installation of Slackware (non-standard in the sense that the computer contains lots of other non-Slackware packages as well). And that case is what I would call a Frankenstein computer.

  7. chrisretusn

    Well I’ve been using Ktown since your first introduced it. I ran my update.ktown script and went off to do other things. I was considering just sticking with latest. I got home from my doing other things sat down and decided. To heck with it, I’m running Slackware64-current for crying out-loud… testing it is and here I am, posting from the testing branch. No issues so far. All running smooth.

    Unrelated to the ktown update, I’ve been having issues with baloo_file_extractor running up the CPU’s and fills up swap. Anyone else having similar issues?

  8. chrisretusn

    Oh and Thanks for all your hard work.

  9. F4b1ck

    Hi, I’ve the same issue of @chrisretusn with baloo_file_extractor, since the firsts releases of Plasma desktop. I don’t know why this appened, but usually I kill the process and continue to work. Just in case anyone have some suggestions about this bug

  10. Eduardo

    Hi Eric, just wanted to report that I’ve installed testing and so far it’s smooth sailing. Very stable and no problems seen. Thank you!

  11. Marcus_777

    When I start Chromium Notification say: Failed to connect to the native host. Make shure the” plasma-browser-integration” package is installed. I have installed v. 5.13.0.
    FF works well. Without this warning.

  12. alienbob

    Marcus_777, I have not myself tried the new Plasma browser integration feature.
    I assume you have installed this Chrome extension: which is needed to make this integration work.

    If you have that extension but Plasma Desktop does not have the ‘plasma-browser-integration’ package installed you will get that error. However you do have Plasma 5.13 installed and I did add the ‘plasma-browser-integration’ package to 5.13.
    Can you check that you actually installed this new package?
    A similar story is here:

  13. Ricardo J. Barberis

    Upgraded to testing, working fine so far.

    Thank you Eric!

  14. Marcus_777

    I have installed plasma-browser-integration-5.13.0-x86_64-1alient from ktown_testing repo. If I enable plasma integration extension in Chromium, the warning appears (As well as in the reference ocsmag).

  15. Radical Dreamer

    Thank you Eric! Its running great for me! There is a minor issue the new qt5 has caused in QMPlay2 which I reported to the developer here:

  16. Deny Dias

    Eric, as always, thank you for this ktown update.

    All went fine but dolphin. It is rendering thick borders around folders/files box. See:

    Have you seen something similar? Should I open a bug report for the KDE team or is this something I could fix with some configuration fiddling?

    PS: I hear you on your rant about bear maintenance. How much does it cost to you for a month? Taking into account the solely benefactor ou have, how much money still left to cover bear’s monthly bill?

  17. alienbob

    DenyDias, that Dolphin issue is exactly what is being described here:
    The thread does not have a satisfactory resolution.

    The server rent costs €10,88 per month, not a big amount, the electricity bill for my two build servers at home is higher… about 50 euro per server per month since they are running 24/7. That’s 2 Slackware DVD sets per month.
    That is the cost I am more worried about than the rental of ‘bear’. The monthly donation of 10 euro of my single Paypal subscriber will not cover that by far.

  18. Deny Dias

    Thanks for the link!

    So your monthly cost is about € 111/month and you get € 10 in donations already, right?

  19. alienbob

    I have one Paypal subscriber donating 10 euros/month indeed. And there are other people sending me one-time donations.
    But don’t take this the wrong way – I will not stop my servers and stop releasing packages if I don’t get any donations. This is my hobby and it’s OK if that costs money. And I got to know and talk to a lot of people during those past 20 years, and that can not be expressed in money. So I am happy whatever way. I am also not ‘fishing’ for money. I think that people should not feel uncomfortable downloading and using my stuff for free – it *is* free. Donate money only if you can spare it.
    The donations are heart-warming, yes, and a token of appreciation and that’s what I value, but the same is true for all of you who post your replies on this blog and give me a good time. The social aspect is very valuable.

  20. Deny Dias

    Oh no! I didn’t understand like that! I know you’ll keep them up and running and your things are here for free. 😉

    What I’m trying to do is to understand your cost matrix so I can study my financials and provide you with a monthly donation, just like that paypal subscriber you already have. In my case this is a bit more complex because I live in a country where exchange rate and taxes varies big deal, so I need to know the figures to find an amount that is reasonable even when those bureaucratic stuff goes crazy.

    My target is something like € 40 a month, but I still don’t know if this is reasonable in the long run. You’ll know the figure when it begin to come.

    I’m glad to keep your heart warm in the way I can… Until now it was a social thing. But I think it could be a bit more. You’ve earn it.

    PS: how do I subscribe to your PayPal donation? Does it have an special procedure or should I just use your email and set it to a subscription on checkout?

  21. alienbob

    I had to look that up… when you click the ‘donate’ button in the upper left, you’ll get to a PayPal page where you can enter an amount and there’s a checkbox that you can enable that says “Make This a Monthly Donation”.
    You would be required to have a PayPal account for that to work.

  22. Deny Dias

    Nice! I’ll look into it, Eric. Thank you so much!

  23. chrisretusn

    Using Slackware64-current with ktown-testing

    Decide to try the plasma-browser-integration with Firefox. Installed the Plasma Integration Add-on from the add-ons site. After installing I got this error:

    ‘Plasma Integration Error Failed to connect to the native host. Make sure the ‘plasma-browser-integration’ package is installed.’

    I verified that the package is indeed installed. I had a hunch and took a look were the package installed everything and found a ‘usr/lib/mozilla/native-messaging-hosts/’ directory with ‘org.kde.plasma.browser_integration.json’ in it. To verify my hunch I placed a symlink in ‘/usr/lib64’ which fixed the problem. Seems Firefox is looking in lib64

    The problem is in CMakeLists.txt ‘/lib/mozilla’ is hard coded. I created a patch and rebuilt the plasma-browser-integration. I submitted a bug report with the patch to

  24. chrisretusn

    Not sure if I could have posted the patch here, so I went the safe route and provided the link to the bug report.

    The patch fixes the problem.

  25. alienbob

    chrisretusn thanks for digging! The link to the bug report is indeed better than just that patch.
    I’ll see what comes out of this.

  26. Marcus_777

    A similar problem with Chromium. I found that file org.kde.plasma.browser_integration.json must be in etc/chromium/native-messaging-hosts/ . Not in etc/kde/chromium/native-messaging-hosts/.

  27. alienbob

    Marcus_777, chrisretusn thanks. I will incorporate your suggestions in an updated package.

  28. majek

    Eric, thank you for your great job.

    A note about power consumption. I also have 2 servers in my home and I could share what I learned during my fight with the bills.
    1. Measure everything 🙂 Sonoff POW is great gadget for this. Then you could verify every step toward lesser bills. You could also discover that most of the bill is because of refrigerator and fish tanks 🙂
    2. I changed power supply to 90+ type, it gave me more than 10% in power reduction comparing to stock one.
    3. I changed cpus to low power versions (Xeon if possible:-) ) and newer generation.
    4. I checked different motherboards – i found 2 comparable motherboards on the same chipset from 2 different vendors and they can have even 10W difference in power draw
    5. I changed UPS from APC Smart700 (20W power consumption) to newer model with only 8W power draw.
    6. My last invention: i have script on one server which monitors open sessions and load. When nothing is running/compiling and nobody is logged in, server goes into suspend to ram state after few minutes. When it’s needed, ‘main’ server sends WOL packet and within 2-3 seconds everything is ready once again.
    7. I run all services in LXC, so I’m not bound with anything to physical machine and I can migrate vms between hosts. It helps a lot, not only with power management.

    All these steps are maybe not very impressive, but summing everything, I reduced power consumption of main server by almost 40% and second even further as it sleeps most of the time.
    I spent also a lot of money on this, but as you said: it’s a hobby 🙂

    I hope something from above would be helpful for you 🙂

  29. Mike

    Trying to run slackware current x86 and testing plasma. All ok except Kontact and Kmail fail with a curious error which seems to belong to Chrome
    “621/] Failed to open file: /mnt/bigdisk/tmp/.gl5S0BtD (deleted)
    Error: No such file or directory
    [3904:3904:0621/] Running as root without –no-sandbox is not supported. See

    Has me beat. No chrome or chromium installed.
    Non testing version all OK

    Any ideas


  30. alienbob

    Mike, the error message comes from Qt5 which contains an internal copy of the chromium code for the QtWebengine.
    Are you indeed running that Plasma5 session as root? Don’t.

  31. mike

    Thanks Eric
    I am indeed trying as root.


  32. Darth Vader

    That “do not run Plasma5 as root” is a lame excuse for bad codding.

    BTW, what SuSE do?

    They have that YaST2 which I guess use some HTML engine for its help pages. And it should run as root.

    Anyways, this QtWebEngine failure to run as root is a very serious issue, considering that it is supposed to offer support for rendering HTML snippets of HTML for help pages or even code on whatever applications, some must to run as root. If example, a partition manager.

    AND, for me, failing to run as root of Plasma5 components is a serious ethical issue too.

    That Plasma5 should run fully as root, in my isolated and well controlled systems, or its usefulness is ZERO.

  33. alienbob

    Darth Vader, never heard of “kdesu”? There is no need to run the complete desktop as root, ever.

  34. Eduardo

    Hi Eric,
    Today’s -current update bumped poppler. I am deferring updating until you tell if Plasma (testing) would work OK with it.

  35. alienbob

    Several packages are being rebuilt, Eduardo.

  36. Eduardo

    Thank you Eric! Looking forward to the updates.

  37. chrisretusn

    They do not like my patch. Their fix is to use MOZZILA_DIR so for the SlackBuild you have to pass -DMOZZILA=/usr/lib$LIBDIRSUFFIX/moziila

    I think that is kind of lame. Perhaps I am wrong though. Not a programmer, I have built a lot of SlackBuild scripts though.

  38. chrisretusn

    Wish I could edit. 😉

    That should be -DMOZZILA_DIR=/usr/lib$LIBDIRSUFFIX/moziila

  39. alienbob

    Hi Chris

    Those replies are made by what I’d call blockheads.
    I would be OK with either ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/${KDE_INSTALL_LIBDIR} (your proposal) or ${CMAKE_INSTALL_LIBDIR} (the proposal in the phabricator entry) but not with what they are suggesting as being ‘a better alternative’ in the bug report.
    Well, we will see what happens. I used your patch for now.

  40. chrisretusn

    Thanks Eric, glad I’m not the only one thinking that. LOL

  41. m3lst4d

    Thank you so much for all you do! Using 5.13 now and it’s fantastic! Thanks!

  42. Deny Dias


    Just to let you and the others know: the Dolphin issue with cropped frames is solved by Plasma 5.13.3/Qt 5.11.1.

    Thanks a bunch!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2024 Alien Pastures

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑