My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

May updates for Plasma 5 (Slackware)

The May 2017 updates for my ‘ktown’ repository are fairly minimal, but anyway here it is: KDE 5_17.05.
This new release contains: KDE Frameworks 5.33.0, Plasma 5.9.5 and Applications 17.04.0. All of this is still built on top of Qt 5.7.1.

NOTE: I will no longer be releasing Plasma 5 packages for 32bit Slackware 14.2.

What’s new in KDE 5_17.05?

  • The ‘deps’ section has two updated packages: json-glib and sip.
  • Plasma 5.9.5 is the final bugfix release of the 5.9 series before 5.10. The oxygen theme package is now extended with Qt4 support so that KDE4 applications can blend in with the Plasma 5 applications if you use the
    Oxygen theme. See .
  • In applications-extra I updated krita and krusader, and rebuilt calligra.
  • In kde4-extragear I added a patched oxygen-gtk2 package which should fix crashes in firefox-derived browsers such as Pale Moon.

This upgrade should be relatively straightforward if you already have Plasma 5 installed. See below for install/upgrade instructions. For users who are running slackware-current, the most crucial part is making sure that you end up with Slackware’s packages for ‘libinput‘ and ‘libwacom‘. I had those two packages in the ‘current’ section of my repository for a while (they are still part of the ‘14.2’ section) but Slackware added them to the core OS. Failing to install the correct (i.e. Slackware) packages, may render your input devices (mouse and keyboard) inoperative in X.Org.

Non-ktown packages you probably want anyway

There are a couple of *runtime* dependencies that I did not add to the ‘ktown’ repository, but you may want to consider installing them yourself because they enable functionality in Plasma 5 that you would otherwise miss:

  • vlc: will give phonon another backend to select from.
  • freerdp: access RDP servers through krdc.

All of the above can be found in my regular package repository.

In order for kdenlive to reach its full potential, you might want to consider replacing Slackware’s ‘ffmpeg‘ package by my version with extended functionality: more supported codecs including AAC, MP3 and H.264 encoders.

Multilib considerations

If you install a 32bit program on a 64bit Slackware computer with multilib and that program needs legacy system tray support (think of Skype for instance), you will have to grab the 32-bit version of Slackware’s ‘libdbusmenu-qt’ and my ktown-deps package ‘sni-qt’, and run the ‘convertpkg-compat32 -i‘ command on them to create ‘compat32’ versions of these packages. Then install both ‘libdbusmenu-qt-compat32‘ and ‘sni-qt-compat32‘.
Those two are mandatory addons for displaying system tray icons of 32bit binaries in 64bit multilib Plasma5.

Installing or upgrading Frameworks 5, Plasma 5 and Applications

You can skip the remainder of the article if you already have my Plasma 5 installed and are familiar with the upgrade process. Otherwise, stay with me and read the rest.

As always, the accompanying README file contains full installation & upgrade instructions. Note that the packages are available in several subdirectories below “kde”, instead of directly in “kde”. This makes it easier for me to do partial updates of packages. The subdirectories are “kde4“, “kde4-extragear“, “frameworks“, “kdepim“, “plasma“, “plasma-extra“, “applications“, “applications-extra” and “telepathy“.

Upgrading to this KDE 5 is not difficult, especially if you already are running KDE 5_17.04. You will have to remove old KDE 4 packages manually. If you do not have KDE 4 installed at all, you will have to install some of Slackware’s own KDE 4 packages manually. Luckily, KDE 5 is mature enough that there’s almost nothing left from old KDE 4 that you would really want.

What I usually do is: download all the ‘ktown’ packages for the new release to a local disk. Then run “upgrade –install-new” on all these packages. Then I check the status of my Slackware-current, upgrading the stock packages where needed. The slackpkg tool is invaluable during this process of syncing the package installation status to the releases.


If you are using slackpkg+, have already moved to KDE 5_17.04 and are adventurous, you can try upgrading using the following set of commands. This should “mostly” work but you still need to check the package lists displayed by slackpkg to verify that you are upgrading all the right packages. Feel free to send me improved instructions if needed. In below example I am assuming that you tagged my KDE 5 repository with the name “ktown” in the configuration file “/etc/slackpkg/slackpkgplus.conf“):
# slackpkg update
# slackpkg install ktown (to get the newly added packages from my repo)
# slackpkg install-new (to get the new official Slackware packages that were part of my deps previously)
# slackpkg upgrade ktown (upgrade all existing packages to their latest versions)
# slackpkg upgrade-all (upgrade the remaining dependencies that were part of my repo previously)

And doublecheck that you have not inadvertently blacklisted my packages in “/etc/slackpkg/blacklist“! Check for the existence of a line in that blacklist file that looks like “[0-9]+alien” and remove it if you find it!

Recommended reading material

There have been several posts now about KDE 5 for Slackware-current. All of them contain useful information, tips and gotchas. If you want to read them, here they are:

A note on Frameworks

The KDE Frameworks are extensions on top of Qt 5.x and their usability is not limited to the KDE Software Collection. There are other projects such as LXQT which rely (in part) on the KDE Frameworks, and if you are looking for a proper Frameworks repository which is compatible with Slackware package managers such as slackpkg+, then you can use these URL’s to assure yourself of the latest Frameworks packages for Slackware-current (indeed, this is a sub-tree of my KDE 5 repository):

The same goes for Frameworks for Slackware 14.2 (change ‘current’ to ‘14.2’ in the above URLs).

Where to get the new packages for Plasma 5

A Plasma5 Live ISO image will follow shortly on in case you want to try it out first (check the timestamp of the ISO on the web page).

Package download locations are listed below (you will find the sources in ./source/5/ and packages in /current/5/ and  /14.2/5/ subdirectories). If you are interested in the development of KDE 5 for Slackware, you can peek at my git repository too.

Using a mirror is preferred because you get more bandwidth from a mirror and it’s friendlier to the owners of the master server!

Have fun! Eric


  1. kjhambrick

    Very nice !

    And thanks, Eric !

    I’ll be updating my Current System this weekend and take a look-see.

    — kjh

  2. Janis


    The update did not touch full tree, did it?

    Thank you for your work!

  3. alienbob

    Correct, as stated in the “what’s new” only Plasma was updated to 5.9.5 and there were some individual package updates in deps and in kde/applications-extra/.
    It would take too long to wait for newer Frameworks and Applications, and at the end of May I won’t have time for a full update.

  4. pataphysician

    Thanks very much for providing oxygen for qt4, I really really appreciate it. Patrick just released the 4.9.26 kernel today, so it sorta feels like Christmas.

  5. Eduardo

    So far it’s working OK. Thanks for the Krusader update and everything else!

  6. Adriano

    Hi Eric, I’ve been following your work for a few years, mainly on KDE4 and KDE5. I use Slackware 14.2 current 64bit. I have been using KDE5 on my notebook and it has presented a problem I have been trying to solve which is the battery monitor, it has hours that it works and most of the time it does not. Can you tell me where I can solve this problem?

  7. alienbob

    Adriano, I would suggest that you open a bug report at because it does not sound like anything I can solve by modifying a package.

  8. 3DPACTE

    Thank you Eric!

  9. Joel

    Hi Eric!! Thanks for your hard work!! I can’t add my google account to korganizer, it gets stuck in a window that gives me a code and asks to “paste it in my application”. I think it’s a bug in the autorization mechanism.

  10. alienbob

    Joel – it must indeed be an authentication bug, I guess they are expressed by and commit

    Should be fixed in the next Applications release (17.04.1).

    I have the same issue with telepathy by the way.

  11. tobyl

    Hi Eric, I too have been enjoying your kde5 work, thank you!
    A couple of minor things. Up until recently, 17.03 I think, I could ‘kdesu dolphin’, but it fails with no response after the password now, is that your experience? While investigating that issue, I noticed that kdeinit/kdelibs seems to run kbuildsyscoca4. When I run kbuildsyscoca5 manually, it clears the mimetype errors until a reboot – could this be because I have not upgraded properly, or is it just a symptom of the staged transition of kdelibs?

  12. alienbob


    You’ve run into an unfortunate design choice of a KDE developer who thinks KDE should become more like GNOME in the sense that the user must be protected from herself.
    Read about why you are no longer able to run “kdesu dolphin” – same for kate and other applications.

    Try it like this and you see the explicit message from the developer to the user:
    alien@localhost $ sudo -s
    root@localhost # dolphin
    Executing Dolphin as root is not possible.
    root@localhost #

  13. Ricardo J. Barberis

    Thanks Eric!

  14. Owen Greaves

    The only thing I noticed, was that Pulseaudio sliders show – just the text, actual sliders or bar indicator. Otherwise, I’m all good.

  15. Owen Greaves

    Pulseaudio sliders DON’T SHOW : )

  16. alienbob

    Owen, the sliders in the window that pops up when clicking the “Audio Volume” widget in the system tray? They show up here. I am using the Plasma 5 default theme (Breeze) if you want to know.

  17. tobyl

    Thanks for your reply Eric. I notice that with version 2.6.0, Krusader has also stopped providing root-mode, ah well, guess I will stick with my old slackbuilds 2.5.0 version which does have it. I guess midnight commander will always work 🙂

  18. Owen Greaves

    Eric, it doesn’t matter which Theme I use, if I access Pulseaudio Volume Control via the Menu, under Multimedia, the sliders do not show up, I can’t adjust them. The Speaker widget in the taskbar does load up the sliders.

  19. alienbob

    Owen, I see what you mean now. Apparently the breeze theming for GTK3 applications is not working well for pavucontrol…
    If you change this in $HOME/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini :
    gtk-theme-name = Adwaita
    … then things will look a lot better.

  20. Owen Greaves

    Yep, that works – thanks.

  21. Radek

    Hi Eric,

    As I’m writing here for the first time, let me thank you for your invaluable input into our favourite distribution! Your work makes Slackware even better.

    Eric, is it only me or is your last (1.1.7) KDE release’s digital signature broken?
    I’ve tried to download the ISO file and corresponding signature for few times, but each time signature verification has failed.

    Also, the 14.2/5/x86_64/kde/kde4-extragear/libkcddb4-16.08.3-x86_64-1alien.txz package’s signature in your latest KDE packages repository seems to be broken as well. Apart from signature’s verification failure the package date is 18-Apr-2017 but signature is from 25-Jan-2017.

    I have checked files on bear and mirror.

    Thanks for your help,

  22. alienbob

    Radek, I have fixed the GPG signatures of the ISO images. There will be new ISOs soon, anyway.
    I’ll check out what happened to the libkcddb4 signature.

  23. bam

    Hi Eric,
    could you build plasma5-nm next time with OpenConnect installed? It will bring /usr/lib64/qt5/plugins/ along with other plugins.
    OpenConnect package could be installed from here:

  24. alienbob

    I never install packages from other people when I compile my software, so that is not going to happen.
    You could try talking to Pat Volkerding and have openconnect added to Slackware itself, similar to openvpn which is also part of Slackware.

  25. bam

    I understand Eric, but in this case it would not break any dependencies if openconnect is not installed on a target system – it just allows using it in plasma-nm if installed

  26. manciuleas

    For anyone interested: the following patch must be applied to libkgapi in order for kmail2 to work with Gmail IMAP.


  27. alienbob

    manciuleas – the Applications 17.04.1 which I hope to have compiled in a couple of days will also solve the Gmail issue – that patch was applied there.

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