My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Last week’s updates: Chromium and VLC

Last week the Chrome (and Chromium) update to release 69 was in the news. The UI changed significantly, sporting more of Google’s material design elements. Also the password manager has been improved: it will suggest random passwords in cases where you have to create a Web account and will offer to remember the random password in its vault so you don’t have to write it down or remember it (you’ll have to be signed into your Google account to be able to use this feature though).
The ‘omnibox‘ (the area where you type your URLS and search queries) is more powerful now, showing many more related results while you are typing.
My package for Chromium supports direct playback of H.265/HEVC video by the way, and has done so for the past releases. Check it out for instance on . Not many other browsers (even other distros’ Chromium browsers) will do that.

Not just UI changes/improvements in version 69.0.3497.81 but also many (some severe) bugs were addressed in this release. Read all about that in the Google blog post.

A package for Slackware 14.2 (32bit) took a bit of time because I kept having segafaults in clang++ but an update to the latest patches for Slackware 14.2 put an end to these segfaults. Packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current are awaiting your download.

FYI: Just today an update was posted and a new version 69.0.3497.92 of the Chromium source code was released. I will see when I can compile packages for that, but it will probably not be this week.

And then there was a new release of the VideoLAN media player, VLC, last month. I took a while to reserve some time on the build box to create packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current, but they are done now. The release 3.0.4 did not get any attention on the VideoLAN news page (yet?), but there are plenty of fixes that are relevant for Linux users.
Remember that this VLC depends on Qt5 – you’ll need libxkbcommon, qt5 and qt5-webkit packages, and on Slackware 14.2 additionally libinput and libwacom (those two are already part of -current).

You know where to download the packages, don’t you? The new versions of Chromium and VLC are also present on the latest Plasma5 Live ISO image for Slackware.

Have fun! Eric


  1. kjhambrick

    Downloaded and installed and ‘tried’ chromium and vlc ( restricted ) on Slackware64 14.2 + MultiLib + the NVIDIA 390.87 Blob.

    Both programs work from the command line as expected without error.

    Chromium did complain:

    [7321:7321:0912/] Error: /etc/machine-id contains 32 characters (32 were expected).

    I’ve got no such file ( and my machine id is none of google’s business 🙂 )

    Thanks as always Eric !

    — kjh

  2. Joonas

    Thank you Eric for your great work and interesting blog!

    I was struggling with VLC’s dependencies, because when running “slackpkg info vlc” I’d only see libxkbcommon, qt5 and qt5-webkit as required packages. But now I build libinput and libwacom as you suggested in your post and it works! 🙂

    Best regards,

  3. Lysander

    Fantastic work, Eric. Thank you very much as always. The new Chromium is much faster than version 63 [which I was previously running] on this 32bit machine. Looks and works great.

  4. Eduardo

    Thank you Eric!

  5. kjhambrick

    Oops … I just mentioned this on LQ …

    I googled ‘linux machine-id’ and found a bunch of systemd gibberish on the page but at the end of the page under History it says that /var/lib/dbus/machine-id may be a symlink to /etc/machine-id.

    I do have a 33-byte /var/lib/dbus/machine-id file and it contains a UUId-looking string so I eliminated chromium’s complaint about /etc/machine-id like so:

    # ln -s /var/lib/dbus/machine-id /etc/machine-id

    I meant to report it but I did it and forgot about it …

    — kjh

  6. Luke

    I finally upgraded to Chromium 69, and I’m having a small problem. I can’t get Chromium to remember which audio output I want it to use. Even if I pause a video on YouTube and come back a few seconds later, I have to go into Pulse Audio Volume Control to change the output. This doesn’t happen with VLC, for example. Do you know if there is something different about this build that would explain it?

  7. Lysander

    Luke – I’m having exactly the same issue, I just noticed this tonight.

  8. Luke

    Lysander – my primary reason for switching to Chromium in the first place was the superior video playback as compared with Firefox. With Firefox 60, video seems as good as it has been in Chromium.

  9. Lysander

    Thanks Luke, you’re right, Firefox 60 works great. It’s an excellent backup option though I’ve downgraded to version 68 of Chromium for now. I’m hoping the sound issues [and stability] will get sorted out by the next update.

  10. alienbob

    Looks like Pulse Audio in Chromium 69 and above is at least partly broken:

  11. Luke

    Thanks, Alienbob. Looks like the Chromium developers are going to be stubborn and try to shove the fault for this onto the pulse team. Seems odd to me since every other program I have installed “remembers” the last audio sink it was assigned. If the pulse patch addresses the chromium issue, do you think Pat will update pulse 14.2 ?

  12. Lysander

    Thanks for looking into this, Eric. I will stay with your build of version 68 for now. By the way, after ‘upgrading’ to version 68 I kept getting an error message when I started Chromium saying my profile could not be opened correctly. This message was stopped by simply renaming the file .config/chromium/Default/Web\ Data [apparently it can be deleted but I simply renamed it to Old, a new one is then automatically generated on restarting Chromium].

  13. KG Hammarlund

    I’ve noticed a small but irritating problem with vlc-3.0.4 in full screen mode. Moving the cursor does not always get the controls to show up – they may flicker but disappear again. Also I can’t get out of full screen mode by hitting “F”. Then suddenly it works again for some time.
    Downgraded to 3.0.3 and that version works just fine.

  14. alienbob

    Well, I do not have this problem. Display driver issue perhaps?

  15. KG Hammarlund

    Might be, but if so no other application is affected and there must be something in the 3.0.4 upgrade that expects more from the display driver than it can deliver since the problem doesn’t occur in vlc-3.0.3
    Intel driver:
    bash-4.4# lspci -k | grep -EA3 ‘VGA|3D|Display’
    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Haswell-ULT Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0b)
    Subsystem: Lenovo Haswell-ULT Integrated Graphics Controller
    Kernel driver in use: i915
    Kernel modules: i915

  16. alienbob

    Not much different here:
    # lspci -k | grep -EA3 “(VGA|3D|Display)”
    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Skylake GT2 [HD Graphics 520] (rev 07)
    Subsystem: Lenovo Skylake GT2 [HD Graphics 520]
    Kernel driver in use: i915
    Kernel modules: i915

    When you run “vlc -vvv” from the terminal do you see any errors that might relate to your full-screen issues?
    What Desktop Environment are you running?

  17. KG Hammarlund

    Couldn’t find any error messages in the (huge) output of vlc -vvv

    I’m running MATE.

    Googling reveals that others have had similar issues on other distros but all of them running older versions. One thread related it to qt5, but again an older qt5 version. Still, that made me think of the fact that your latest qt5 upgrade came after vlc-3.0.4 – but again, then others ought to have the same issue.

    Not a disaster, though. If I right-click I can get hold of the controls. And your vlc2 package runs fine, too (turned out to be a better alternative than the 3.0.3 package I found that misses a lot of codecs, e.g. for subs)

  18. Marcus_777

    VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 06)Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller
    Kernel driver in use: i915
    Kernel modules: i915
    VLC 3.0.4 works without this issue.
    Strange is that lspci says Xeon E3-1200. in fact I have a Pentium G3460(Haswell) 🙂

  19. alienbob

    KG Hammarlund please inform me what codecs are supposedly missing. I did not think I left any out of the 3.x releases.

  20. KG Hammarlund

    Dear Eric, your builds never lack the necessary codecs! But since I hadn’t saved the old package and didn’t find it among your slackstuff (do you have an archive with old versions?), I installed slackonly’s vlc-3.0.3.

  21. Leon

    “Looks like Pulse Audio in Chromium 69 and above is at least partly broken”

    Could this be the reason why I can no longer choose HiFi lossless audiostreaming in Tidal’s webplayer?

  22. Leon

    Reply to self: No, that’s not the case. When creating a google-chrome package with Ruario’s script Tidal works as it should.

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