My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Package updates in the past days

I have been updating some of my Slackware packages in the past few days and at least some of them are important enough to write a bit about it.


Along with my packages for KDE 4.7.x I added an updated version of virtuoso “data management server” which powers a lot of the functionality in today’s KDE: However there was a regression in this version 6.1.3 which messed up the display of path names containing non-ascii (i..e Unicide) characters. See for more details about this issue. I applied a fix to my virtuoso-ose package which solves this.

Package available here in the 4.7.1 section: as well as all the usual mirrors.


Martin Graesslin wrote an email to the KDE packagers mailing list with the plea to apply a patch to all binary packages of kde-workspace after he discovered a bug in KWin’s handling of desktop effects which apparently has been present in all versions since 4.0. The bug would cause a performance degradation which becomes worse when more windows are open on the desktop. Martin’s blog article describes how he discovered the bug during his performance analysis of KDE 4.8 code. I have applied the patch he provided in his email to my KDE 4.7.1 kde-workspace package and I will wait for a backport to KDE 4.6.x before attempting to apply the fix to the kdebase-workspace package in there.

Package available here in the 4.7.1 section: as well as all the usual mirrors.


This is not a package update per sรฉ. I have been compiling the development version of the VLC media player for a long time (I think I started re-writing the vlc.SlackBuild script for the development snapshots in January 2011). I had varying success with the package, as my build script would “break” from time to time. When someone in the #videolan IRC channel wondered if the development code would work better for high-bandwidth H.264 movies (VLC 1.1.11 drops too many frames) and a VLC developer suggested that the development code has a lot of optimizations in this regard, I decided to release a package based on my SlackBuild script. I called the package directory “vlcgit” and the build script “vlcgit.SlackBuild” but the actual package is named “vlc” so that you can easily update from 1.1.11 to this development snapshot. The vlc program will identity itself as “1.2.0-git” when it starts. I think it is worth your while to try it out because there have been lots of enhancements and additional features in the past year.

VLC 1.2.0 is expected to be released before the end of 2011.

Packages here:ย (which is a US server so these packages do not contain the mp3 and aac encoders because of patent disputes) and at (for the version that includes mp3 and aac audio ENcoding capability). Also available on all the other mirrors of course.


The Adobe people are finally putting good effort into their Linux flash player plugin. One month after the “beta 2” release we now have the “release candidate 1” of the upcoming Flash Player 11. It looks like the releases for Linux and Windows platforms go hand in hand now, which is a reassuring sign that we Linux users are taken seriously.

Package available at


The calibre download page states that you should “not use your distribution provided calibre package, as those are often buggy/outdated. Instead use the Binary install described below“. Of course you are free to follow that advice, but if you prefer to know how your packages get built, like me, you can still grab the packages that I provide. There is a new release of Calibre every friday and I have been following that release cycle for the past months, releasing updated packages the same day. I use Calibre every day and am happy with my builds.

Get the package here:


If you are seriously into writing or converting e-books, then Calibre is the perfect management and conversion software for the task. But Calibre does not offer an actual epub editor. Epub is an open specification for electronic books and widely used all over the world except for the US apparently where Amazon dominates with the mobi format used for its Kindle. Both mobi and epub formats are quite similar, basically it is HTML text plus a book’s metadata, bundled together in a ZIP archive. Whether you are writing an ebook yourself, or need to clean up an ebook provided by someone else, there is one application which is best suited for this task: Sigil. Sigil is designed to edit epub format only. It contains an embedded HTML tidy which cleans up the book’s HTML code autimatically and an embedded Flightcrew, which assists you in validating your book to the EPUB specification.

The Sigil homepage offers pre-built binaries, but these are quite big. Since they have to work everywhere the binaries include a lot of libraries which we already have in Slackware. The new Sigil maintainer seems to be very responsive so I asked him if he could put up a page with distro-specific packages and add a link to my Slackware package there. He did that right away, and more distros have been added there since.

Get the package fir Sigil here: .


Good fun with all of this! Eric

Updateย Sun Sep 11 15:43:06 UTC 2011:


Willy Sudiarto Raharjo pointed out that there was another package update and I failed to mention it. The 32bit package “libbluedevil” was not tagged with my “alien” tag initially, and I fixed that by renaming the affected files in the repository.

Remember why tagging your packages is useful? If you use slackpkg to keep your Slackware up to date, then you can blacklist all my packages (since I apply the “alien” tag to all my packages) so that slackpkg does not “see” them anymore. Add this single line to the file “/etc/slackpkg/blacklist“:




  1. Willy Sudiarto Raharjo

    I think i missed the kde-workspace package on my post

  2. devjames

    Your vlcgit restrict link is broken because you have a trailing space in your link “” so that a firefox ‘Copy Link Location’ gives this: which gives a 404 error when followed.

  3. devjames

    P.S. Thanks very much for all of the work, the development and (especially) maintenance is appreciated. ;v)

  4. alienbob


    Thanks for pointing out the broken link, it’s been fixed now.


  5. escaflown

    I’m impressed with VLC. They’re still keeping the interface pretty simple while introducing various enhancements.

  6. Janis

    If there’d be a full-blown fb2 editor… the existing ones are for win only and poorly docummented. OO/LibOO plugin also does not help a lot.

  7. Nille

    So vlcgit is working good now ๐Ÿ™‚
    So they fixed the soundbugs then.
    I modified your vlc.SlackBuild to built the nightlies but i could use git as well if it now works for 1.2
    Thanks for all your efforts to bring us updated software Eric.

  8. greg

    Hello Eric,
    It’s been 3 weeks that there is no change reported in the ChangeLog of Slackware current. Can you tell us what is afoot. (I’m just curious)

  9. escaflown

    something big … ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. alienbob

    I wish too that there would be a bit more movement. Such is life, and Pat is busy with other things.

    I’ll just keep updating my KDE and LibreOffice in the meantime (updates to both should be around the corner).


  11. toudi

    what about firefox 7.0 :>
    it came out a few days ago and it seems nobody is interested in creating a package for it ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. ricky

    Just want to say thanks for the hard work maintaining these KDE packages, fantastic job you are doing.

  13. slackavod

    flash+firefox 7.1. flash plugin crashed in any sites. go back to flash-player-plugin- ๐Ÿ™

  14. alienbob


    I am running firefox 7.0 here (official Slackware-current package which has not yet been released to the public) with my flash-player 11.rc1 package, and I have not seen crashes yet (tried to see that it is recognized properly).


  15. Felipe Weber


    I’ve been using your packages for a long long time as of now, always successfully, thank you very much for your hard work and for making it available for the public.

    Regards, Felipe Weber.

  16. Kristian

    Hi Eric,

    Do you see any reason why the 4.7.1 packages couldn’t be built on 13.37? I fancy running them so am thinking about just building your source packages on my 13.37 machine. Thank you for the stirling work that you do on this!



  17. alienbob


    It is entirely possible to compile KDE 4.7.1 on Slackware 13.37. It’s just that my own target for new KDE packages is slackware-current since that is where they eventually should get included (once Pat updates his).

    At the moment Slackware 13.37 and -current still have not diverged too far. Once KDE is going to depend on newer libraries than Slackware 13.37 provides, you may have to update a few more dependencies than I already do (just look at the “deps” directory which is already full of updates to stock packages).


  18. Kristian

    Hi Eric,

    My goal this this machine is to get a slightly shinier kde experience without intruding too much on the core installation. This probably means that I should stick with your 4.6.5 sources and rebuild them to sort out the perl issues.

    What do you reckon?


  19. alienbob


    I have reporst from several people that my pre-compiled KDE 4.7.1 packages work well on Slackware 13.37 – you might want to try that first. There is not so much KDE stuff that actually uses Perl, so the “damage” will be very limited.


  20. slackavod

    Hi, Eric! Only one site crash this flash-player-plugin. Only one! ๐Ÿ™‚ New version going in coming soon? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sorry for my bad english! :-[

  21. alienbob

    @slackavod –

    You got lucky! I just uploaded some packages for the official stable flasplayer-plugin 11 … go get them!


  22. diwljina

    Hi, Eric!
    I installed your VLC package (1.1.12) and I’m having problem playing rtsp stream from IP camera. I see that live555 is compiled in, but this is the error I’m geting:
    Error: call to XSetErrorHandler((nil))
    Error: call to XSetIOErrorHandler((nil))
    Blocked: call to setlocale(6, “”)
    Error: call to XSetErrorHandler(0xb54578e0)
    Error: call to XSetIOErrorHandler(0xb5458bc0)
    Blocked: call to setlocale(6, “”)
    Blocked: call to setlocale(6, “POSIX”)
    Blocked: call to setlocale(6, “sr_RS”)
    Blocked: call to setlocale(6, “POSIX”)
    [0x82735e4] live555 demux error: RTSP PLAY failed 400 Bad Request
    [0x810e74c] main input error: open of rtsp://‘ failed: (null)
    [0x831387c] live555 demux error: RTSP PLAY failed 400 Bad Request
    [0xb2607b0c] main input error: open of rtsp://‘ failed: (null)

    Streaming server doesn’t have problem with this link.

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