My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Ktown Plasma5 packages for Slackware 14.2 will go offline soon

Hi all,

As you know, my ‘ktown’ project, providing an extensive and functional Plasma5 package set for Slackware, is mostly targeting the Slackware ‘in-progress’ version called “Slackware-current”.

For a short while after an official stable Slackware release, I keep providing ‘ktown’ packages for the most recent stable Slackware version (which is 14.2 at the time of writing) but once the stable and development releases of Slackware start to diverge too much, I stop updating the Plasma5 packages for the stable release. After all, ‘ktown’ is meant to be the bleeding edge playground for a future Slackware release.

I recently noticed that people are still downloading and installing my ageing ‘ktown’ packages for Slackware 14.2. Those packages have not been touched since end of 2017, they may contain security holes, and they do not represent the state of development of the KDE software today.

Therefore I am giving you a heads-up that this weekend end of May 2020, I am going to remove all the old packages on ‘ktown’ for Slackware 14.2 (that’s

If you want to run KDE Plasma5, you should migrate to Slackware-current.

Good luck! Eric


  1. Nobby

    sadly a sckware 14.2 is over 4 years old and well outdated, we had to change OS on some clients servers because security updates on POS software wouldnt build, it wanted new gcc new QT, and about 40 other new libs, was not worth it

    my desktop I am thinking to change too as many things I build are a PITA with such outdated libs, its so botched this desktop now that if 15 is ever released in my lifetime I will have to format and start again if I stay with slackware. I dont know what Pats doing, I dont even know if he’s still alive.

    Thanks for your hard work on ktown, its been appreciated.

    • alienbob

      Please direct your remarks towards Pat Volkerding, he is the only person who can release the next version of Slackware.

  2. Andrey

    “If you want to run KDE Plasma5, you should migrate to Slackware-current.”

    Better I would stop using Slackware altogether. Thanks.

    • alienbob

      You can of course download your own local copy of the ktown repository for Slackware 14.2 before this weekend, and you’ll never be without the packages. There was not going to be anything new in there anyway in future.
      Really, if you would rather stop using Slackware if I remove my repository then I can not keep you from doing that, but to be honest you are behaving like a drama queen.

    • Ricardo

      Why stop using Slackware?

      Despite being the development version, -current is very stable for day to day use.

      Of course, with third party packages there’s always a risk something important to you will break, but you can always delay you updates in case someone else reports some breakage.

      Anyway, those were my $0.02, cheers!

      • alienbob

        Hi Ricardo, I agree with your insight.
        When I decided to stop refreshing my Plasma5 packages for Slackware 14.2, this was based on the fact that after that point (end of 2017) the KDE developers would remove Qt4 support from Plasma5. This could cause issues for all those who are still using Qt4 based 3rd-party applications on their Slackware 14.2. I could not judge what the fall-out would be so I decided to stop there, and at least have a fully functional Plasma5 for Slackware 14.2.
        I could not anticipate that Patrick would stall for such a long time. My hopes back then were that Plasma5 would get added to Slackware-current in 2018. That never happened unfortunately, and I am still waiting.

      • Jen

        I’ve been pleasantly surprised by current. When my old computer died, my new one had to run current, since its newer hardware was better supported. I don’t think I’ve had a major problem, either, although OBS needed rebuilding once. (That’s kind of to be expected with current.) I certainly haven’t run into any gamestoppers in packages breaking, though. (More like a pause while something rebuilds and I get some coffee.)

  3. Brian in Ohio

    Could I migrate back to KDE4? Would the process be something like slackpkg remove kde then reinstall kde4 from slackware 14.2?

  4. _peter

    fair, expected, understandable.
    good choice there Alien Bob.

  5. solarfields

    Why not placing a README, warning about possible security issues, rather than removing the Ktown Plasma5 packages for Slackware 14.2 altogether?

    • alienbob

      As I said, you can download the complete repository to your local computer and if you use slackpkg with slackpkg+ you point it to your local copy.
      I do not want to keep a repository online which does not get any attention or updates – the KDE developers all moved on and the versions of KDE Applications are no longer supported, Neither are the Frameworks/Plasma dependencies.
      Worse, I noticed a topic on LinuxQuestions ( where people are actively suggesting that using my old ktown packages is better than sticking with the KDE4 in Slackware 14.2. I do not want to be responsible for that, as I would surely get follow-up support requests.

  6. solarfields

    Thanks for the clarifications! How about KDE 4 in Slackware 14.2? If your 2017 KTown is already old, would you recommend not using KDE4, as well?

    • alienbob

      Pat provides security updates for the packages in Slackware 14.2 and that includes the KDE4 packages. Even when KDE4 is surpassed by Plasma5 you can still safely use KDE4 on Slackware 14.2.
      People that have a need to use modern software that depends on Qt5, Plasma5 and/or newer libraries than Slackware 14.2 provides, may be better off migrating to Slackware-current instead. The -current is not an actual release and it has frequent updates, which means as a user you will be faced with a higher amount of time spent on maintenance. But it is a rock-solid system in its own right.
      That’s the trade-off you need to make at the moment.

  7. solarfields

    Thank you, all clear! Keep up the good work.

  8. Brian in Ohio

    Thanks for the help, rolled back to kde4 perfectly. Gives me time to decide if I want to go the ‘current’ route.

    • akimmet

      I switched to -current to support the onboard video of a Ryzen 2400G CPU i had bought. I too was apprehensive at first, but I have found -current to be stable enough. I have since switched all of my machines running 14.2 to -current and haven’t looked back.

      The most of problems I ever ran into were almost always upgrade related, usually because of a library version jump. I always used to break out in a sweat when I seen a boost or icu4c version jump. However; this is now rarely a problem because of the aaa_elflibs package keeping older library versions around, and Alien’s *-compat packages doing the same.

      In the rare occurrence I did genuinely run into a problem, someone on the Slackware forum probably had already worked out a solution.

  9. Lockywolf

    The -current git repo that you are maintaining on has a file related to git 2.17:

    The original slackware-current source has the new one (the same version as the git in slackware-tree, 2.26)

    I think this is a bug, but I am not sure.

    • alienbob

      Well, it (and several other .sign files) are a leftover from the initial days of writing which is what keeps this git repository updated automatically.
      I missed a couple of filetypes initially when pruning the repository in order to just keep the files that I wanted to commit to git. The .sign files got added to the repository in an early git commit.
      I removed all of them in today’s update.

  10. Max

    How to download the complete repository to my local computer ?

    • alienbob

      Max, after reading the README, if you still do not know the answer, let me know.

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