My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Let’s show some love to 14.2

With all the excitement going on about the disruptive changes in Slackware-current (migration to the new C++ ABI caused all of Slackware to be recompiled, and then the upgrade of openssl to 1.1 caused many packages to be recompiled again), I had to spend all of my time and CPU power to keep up with the changes and fix my packages for -current.
That meant, less attention to the package updates for Slackware 14.2. I realize I left the users of our stable release somewhat in the cold.
I am going to do something about that. During the next weeks I will try to bridge the gap that had been expanding for package versions in my own repository, between 14.2 and -current.

So let’s start with LibreOffice. A new version 6.0.4 was released two days ago. I built packages for Slackware 14.2 but not yet for -current. There’s a reason for that… until today I have not been able to compile libreoffice-6.0.4 on Slackware-current with its new openssl. I have hope that this will be resolved eventually.

I am also going to compile latest VLC for Slackware 14.2 and then I’ll check what else is getting stale.



  1. gauchao

    Thank you Eric! 14.2 is rock-solid and my daily OS. Much appreciated.

  2. kjhambrick

    Thank you Eric !

    I ran `upgradepkg libreoffice-6.0.4-x86_64-1alien libreoffice-kde-integration-6.0.4-x86_64-1alien libreoffice-dict-en-6.0.4-x86_64-1alien libreoffice-sdkdoc-6.0.4-noarch-1alien` on my Main Slackware64 14.2 + Multilib Laptop.

    Everything works as expected for my workload.

    — kjh

  3. Darth Vader

    I am really glad that the Landlord remembered by that poor Cinderella…

    Master Eric-wan Kenobi, did you are aware that with your almost exclusively push to -current you make many poor souls to jump in -current only to stay up2date, while they have no will and experience for beta-testing?

    Permit me to ask you (a bit) rhetorically: how many you believe that want for real to test slackware-current, and how many wants just to use the latest version, percentualy speaking?

  4. Darth Vader

    I reserved this intentionally for a separate post:

    Thank you for your hard work!

  5. anonymous coward

    Plasma on 14.2 is really stale? :*
    Just kidding ofc. Thanks for all the hard work Eric.

  6. alienbob

    Plasma5 for Slackware 14.2 is unmaintained, not stale… that is the one area where I want people to move to -current, in order to test Plasma5 sufficiently to allow it to be added to Slackware late in the game.

  7. alienbob

    Darth, I agree that I have a focus on slackware-current, but that’s because I use that OS on my laptop every day, and using it all the time is the only way to ensure a stable next release. If no one would test -current then all of a sudden everyone would find bugs *after* they upgraded from – say – 14.2 to 15.0. That’s not good.
    But mostly it is selfishness… I build that what I need myself and I am glad that other people find it useful. And since I run -current, that is where new stuff appears first.

    There’s a few packages I support all the way back to 13.37 (openjdk and flashplayer-plugin) and that too is born from selfishness… I run an old server on Slackware 13.37 and need those two packages there.
    But most people will be running the latest stable hopefully, so I tend to make packages always targeting the last stable release, as well as -current.

    I can not give percentages of users I want to have -current running on their computers. You may be right and many users switch to -current in an attempt to get to newer versions of the software they use. And I don’t even have an idea about how many people are using my stuff… for all I know it’s only those 10 people posting here regularly.

  8. supahawkfyre

    Talking about the new Slackware, Pat and the distro team have any plan to use GCC 8.1 instead 7.3? Greetings!

  9. Darth Vader

    Thanks for explanation, Eric.

    BTW, did you noticed this?

    Did you have plans for it?

  10. Willy Sudiarto Raharjo

    I don’t post here regularly nor i used KDE 5 from Eric, but i used slackware-current on all of my machines, except for servers and my wife’s desktop.

    It’s good thing that it will help next Slackware release gets a stable version of other projects such as MATE and Cinnamon and many others (including SBo).

  11. alienbob

    What Willy said is spot on. The release of a new Slackware is kind of an earthquake for all the 3rd parties that provide add-on software for Slackware. The admins at SBo have to test thousands of SlackBuild submissions and make sure that those are OK to build on the next Slackware release. If they waited until the actual Slackware release, it would take them weeks to sort it all out and SBo users would impatiently have to wait. That is why a branch of SBo is focusing on -current to make sure that the transition to Slackware 15.0 will be smooth.
    That is also why i target slackware-current with my liveslak project. By supporting many Desktop Environments that are not part of Slackware itself (including Mate, Cinnamon, Gnome3, Plasma5, Lumina, LXQT) any compatibility issues with Slackware can be resolved before the next release instead of after it.

  12. alienbob

    Darth, as a distro packager I am getting informed of the new KDE releases more than a week before the actual announcement, so yes I was aware 🙂

    But I limit my ‘ktown’ updates to once a month to allow all the parts to release new versions (i.e. not just Frameworks but also Plasma and Applications).

    I am fighting LibreOffice for a week now (refuses to compile on 64bit Slackware-current), so that eats away time I would otherwise have spent on Plasma5. But a new ‘ktown’ release in May is coming, regardless. We’re not even halfway the month…

  13. alienbob

    supahawkfyre, read where Patrick expresses his opinion that gcc 8.x will likely not be part of Slackware 15.0.

  14. LoneStar

    For adding to the statistics/poll, me too I use -current on all my systems.

    Actually when I think to Slackware I automatically think of -current. Stable I don’t even consider it. It even causes me some embarassing moment when I come to report of some issue or fix for something that I compile from SBo or anywhere else and people come at me with “This is intended to work on 14.2 not on -current” and I’m like “Uh?! Seriously you people keep using 14.2 until when next stable will come out after years?” O:-)

  15. gauchao

    Thank you for VLC 3.02, Eric. I was waiting for it to run under 14.2-stable since VLSUB plugin sometimes did not work in 3.0. Now everything is working nicely. Thank you.

  16. alienbob

    LoneStar – people don’t always have the time or the level of tech-savviness to keep up with the sometimes disruptive changes in slackware-current. If you need a computer that ‘just works’ for day-to-day productive work you don’t want to get hit by an upgrade that kills your critical programs.
    So, I always urge people to use a stable release, *unless* they are OK with regular breakage and are willing and able to wait for other people to fix their problems.
    I use -current on my laptop for obvious reasons (eat your own dog food), but I have several other machines that run a stable Slackware (mostly 14.2, one still at 13.37). The fact that 14.2 is almost 2 years old does not mean it runs obsolete software. Not everybody needs the bleeding edge. That’s left to the nerds.

  17. Drakeo

    You do good things keep it up.

  18. Brian Lawrence

    Don’t worry too much about us stable users, Eric. There are limits to what one man can do.

  19. alienbob

    Brian, the stable users are equally important – you are going to be come our next release’s users someday:-)
    The Slackware distro and its collaborators need to cater to the stable users in order to keep them on board, is what I think. And that can be done best by building/updating 3rd-party packages both for stable *and* -current.

  20. KG Hammarlund

    Wise words from Eric. It’s easy to see the need for both stable and -current and as long as Eric can find the time to maintain both we can just be grateful.
    I chose liveslak by chance after getting a new laptop allowing me to jump to slackware64, and by chance I found myself running -current, having kept it that way since. It can be stressful at times, after major upgrades, but so far I haven’t been completely stuck, and the problems that have arisen has been possible to fix, even if it takes a little time now and then.
    The worst that happened with the recent openssl update, for instance, was that the (unnecessary but convenient) clamav GUI clamtk broke – or rather the seven perl- packages that clamtk is dependent on, and these were in turn dependent on other perl- packages – 28 packages in all to rebuild.
    Nevertheless, when slackware 15 is launched I may do a fresh install and go stable instead. In that case I will of course appreciate if Eric keeps his stable repos up to date.

  21. LoneStar

    oh sure! I was not trying to put a blame or somehow diminish those who prefer using stable release. I was only explaining my own preference and the occasional moments of surprise 🙂

  22. Brian Lawrence

    Hi Eric, what I meant was, I don’t want you to feel you’re letting stable users down in any way.

  23. Fellype

    It is important to test a development version of a distro (-current for Slackware) as much as possible in order to provide a stable version as good as possible. I would like to use -current all the time, but… I really need a stable system to do my daily job. Then I usually install Slackware -current when a beta version is announced. But, at this point there are no much to report, since it works fine most of times 😀

  24. alienbob

    It’s mostly a smooth ride Fellype… but not all the time 🙂

  25. Pete

    I don’t post here regularly but I do use your packages. LibreOffice is key. I’m sure I use others but I’d have to check to be sure.

  26. Owen Greaves

    Howdy Eric,

    I’m still having issues with Libreoffice, all versions of 6.0 where 99% of icons do not show up. I’ve tried a number of things but I’m clearly not finding a solution. Any ideas?

  27. Owen Greaves

    Hi Again,

    It turns out that it’s Breeze Dark under Tools | Options | View that does not show Icons, I tried all the others and the Icons show up on all Menu’s.

    Sorry to bother you.

  28. John

    Read your update on 4.2. You’re freaking awesome, dude!

  29. Matt

    Thanks, Eric! I appreciate the 14.2 love. The new VLC also fixed a crash I was experiencing when playing certain DVDs. Happy days!

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