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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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Lumina Desktop will be removed from my -current repository

The Lumina Desktop is part of the TrueOS project, a FreeBSD variant. I packaged version 1.4.0.p1 for Slackware and it is part of the Plasma5 variant of my Slackware Live Edition.

I noticed a while ago that Lumina would no longer start but it was low on my priority list to try and fix it.

Today I found the time to look into this, but a recompilation against the latest Qt5 and other libraries, altough error-free, would not make the Lumina Desktop start successfully: it will start to load, but then you’ll hear a beep and you’re dumped at the command prompt or at the graphical login screen without evidence of what happened.

A bit of research showed that apparently, Lumina stopped working on Linux with versions of Qt greater than 5.9 (gentoo discussion and lumina bug report). According to the developer Lumina works fine on FreeBSD, even with Qt 5.12, and the developer will not troubleshoot the Linux code according to what he posted in that bug report.

Therefore I am sorry to say (I really liked this light-weight Qt5 based Desktop Environment) that I will remove the lumina package from my slackware-current repository. If this issue ever gets fixed, I’ll be happy to re-add the package.

Eric

Valentine present for Slackers

Today is Valentine’s Day. A moment to give some extra attention to people that are dear to you.

In my case, that’s everyone who loves, uses, supports, advocates or develops Slackware Linux. For all of you, I uploaded “KDE-5_19.02” to the ‘ktown‘ repository. There’s some updates in there that might interest you, see below.
If you do not (want to) run or install Slackware-current, I will make sure that a new ISO of the Slackware Live Plasma5 Edition will be available around the weekend. That way, you can safely try it out without having to touch your hard drive.

As always, these packages are meant to be installed on a Slackware-current which has had its KDE4 removed first. These packages will not work on Slackware 14.2.

What’s new for February 2019

My February 2019 release of KDE Plasma5 for Slackware contains the KDE Frameworks 5.55.0, Plasma 5.15.0 and Applications 18.12.2. All this on top of Qt 5.12.1. Yes!

Deps:
This month, Qt 5.12.1 was introduced to the “deps” section of my ktown repository. This new Long Term Support (LTS) release of Qt5 is accompanied by the latest ‘libxkbcommon’, ‘sip’ and ‘PyQt5’ versions. The ‘qt5’ package update also mandated a recompile of the ‘qt5-webkit’ package.
Unfortunately I am not able to compile the latest (and final) PyQt 4.x release, and the same goes for the Qt4 support in QScintilla. So I stuck with Slackware’s ‘PyQt’ and dropped Qt4 support from ‘QScintilla’.
Other news? I added a base for speech support in KDE Plasma (and Slackware) with the “deps” packages ‘pcaudiolib’, ‘espeak-ng’, ‘pyxdg’, ‘dotconf’, ‘flite’, ‘speech-dispatcher’ and ‘qt5-speech’ (that’s the compile order).
The KDE packages that will pick up speech support are ‘kanagram’, ‘kmouth’, ‘knights’ (applications) ‘kpimtextedit’, ‘kdepim-runtime’ (kdepim) ‘ktp-text-ui’ (telepathy) and ‘knotifications’, ‘ktextwidgets’ (frameworks). Let me know if speech support is adding value to your Slackware desktop (running Plasma5 but also as an enhancement to Slackware itself). If it does not add value then Patrick can safely skip these new packages in case he decides to adopt Plasma5.
And finally, I added ‘libsass’ and ‘sassc’ packages as new dependencies for ‘breeze-gtk’.

Frameworks:
Frameworks 5.55.0 is an incremental stability release, see: https://www.kde.org/announcements/kde-frameworks-5.55.0.php

Plasma:
Plasma 5.15.0 is the first installment in the Plasma Desktop 5.15 release cycle, with a focus on User Interface and User Experience improvements. Integration with 3rd party graphics toolkits – think of GTK but also Firefox – has improved significantly. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.15.0.php

Applications;
Applications 18.12.2 is a stability and bugfix update for the 18.12 release cycle. See https://www.kde.org/announcements/announce-applications-18.12.2.php and if you want more detail about the 18.12 cycle you should also read https://www.kde.org/announcements/announce-applications-18.12.0.php .

Applications-extra:
In applications-extra I have upgraded ‘kmymoney’, and recompiled ‘krita’ with a patch to improve its compatibility with the new Qt 5.12.

Where to get it

Download the KDE-5_19.02 from the usual location at https://slackware.nl/alien-kde/current/latest/ . Check out the README file in the root of the repository for detailed installation or upgrade instructions.

I will upload a new Plasma5 Live ISO soon. You will find it in https://slackware.nl/slackware-live/latest/

Have fun! Eric

Casting to your ChromeCast in Chromium

I have a Google ChromeCast, it is an extremely convenient gadget to stream all sorts of audio and video to your television, regardless of its make or brand.
Today I learnt something new, so let me tell you about that. But an introduction first.

I have a media collection at home, stored on a big disk in my server, and I have a Universal Media Server (UMS) running on my Slackware LAN server to get access to my audio and video files.

Usually from my Android Smartphone (I have always only bought HTC phones and currently it’s a HTC 10) I connect to my movies using BubbleUPnP, a cool application for which I actually bought a license. BubbleUPnP is a UPnP controller, meaning it does not necessarily play video by itself, but it is able to connect a media source (the UMS server) and a media renderer (like a television) and control the playback as a ‘man in the middle’.
For this to work, your television must understand UPnP and be able to announce itself as such on your network, and act as a media renderer. Many of the ‘smart’ televisions sold today have this capability, but many older televisions need a bit of help.
Enter the ChromeCast, a smart Linux-powered device with a wireless network card which connects to your television’s HDMI port. Once connected to your Wi-Fi network, it acts as a UPnP media renderer which means you can stream audio and video to it. However dumb, your television receives the HDMI input from the ChromeCast and will ‘just’ play back what it receives.
The BubbleUPnP app on my phone manages this with great success, and other apps will suddenly also have an extra button on-screen. Such as your phone’s Netflix and Youtube apps, which allows you to watch Netflix or Youtube on a big tv-screen instead of your puny little phone screen.

Now on a laptop or desktop computer, it is a bit of a different story. Your application must be able to act as a UPnP client to allow it to find a ChromeCast and stream media to it. On Linux, I could not find many applications that will cast media to a UPnP renderer. VLC is one good example. Chromium is another good example.

Or so I thought, but I was unable to get Chromium to find my ChromeCast… I tried from time to time, and when it would not work, I would simply take my phone and stream from there. But today, I thought ‘I need to fix this’. So, some searching around on the Internet and I found the fix.

All that’s needed is to enable “chrome://flags/#load-media-router-component-extension“… just copy and paste that bold text into your Chromium URL entry field and you get this:

The default setting called “Default” obviously is not sufficient, so I set the value to “Enabled” and voila! My Chromium browser finds the ChromeCast and I can watch fullscreen movies from a browser tab.

I hope someone sometime searches for and finds this piece of information and benefits from it.

Eric

Updated multilib, chromium. Arriving soon: new libreoffice

The Chromium 72 code was released a few days ago by Google. I built new Slackware packages for Chromium 72.0.3626.81 during the weekend and they are ready for download now on slackware.com or slackware.nl, or any other mirror of course.
There’s a sizable number of CVE’s mentioned in the ChangeLog that were fixed in this release. Therefore it’s a good idea to upgrade today.
I verified that the Widevine CDM is still working, so your Netflix movie streaming is not affected by the upgrade.

 

 Patrick updated the glibc package in slackware-current to the 2.29 release, so I could not stay behind. A new multilib version of the glibc package (also 2.29) is now available in the ‘multilib‘ package repository. I also updated all the ‘compat32’ packages to their latest Slackware versions. Update and enjoy a hassle-free Slackware environment where everything ‘just works’.

 

The Document Foundation released version 6.1.4 of their office suite Libre Office back on 18 December 2018. I fell ill on the 18th so I missed all the fun. I am working my way back through important software releases and now is the time to start building this version of LibreOffice for Slackware.
I need to compile four sets of packages: for Slackware 14.2 and -current, 32bits and 64bits. That means lots of compile time, so don’t expect new packages in the next few days. They will arrive in the repository eventually. Subscribe to the RSS feed of my ChangeLog if you want to know when.

Have fun! Eric

Uploading 15 GB of new Slackware Live Edition ISO images

I finished generating ISO images for Slackware Live Edition 1.3.0.2. These ISOs are all based on Slackware-current “Thu Jan 17 04:52:06 UTC 2019” which means it will boot a Linux 4.19.16 kernel.

Available variants are:

  • Slackware (unaltered complete) in 32bit and 64bit flavors, ~3.5 GB in size
  • XFCE (minimalistic Slackware) in 32bit and 64bit flavors, ~700 MB in size
  • MATE (Slackware without KDE4 but with MATE added) is a 64bit ISO of 2.4 GB
  • PLASMA5 (Slackware without KDE4 but with KDE Plasma5 and a lot of other goodies added) comes in a 64bit flavor at 4.3 GB

The squashfs modules in the XFCE ISOs are compressed with ‘xz’ to keep them as small as possible (so they will fit on a CDROM medium). All of the other ISOs are compressed with ‘zstd’ which gives the Live OS a speed boost of ~20% at the cost of 10% increase in the ISO size.

There’s 15 GB to upload to slackware.nl so it will take a while to get there… even with 3 MB/sec upload speed. Rsync download is possible via rsync://slackware.nl/mirrors/slackware-live/ … you just have to be a wee bit patient.

In the meantime, if you feel bored, you can look at the development history in its git repository. If you want to read about what the Slackware Live Edition can do for you, check out https://alien.slackbook.org/blog/slackware-live-edition/ or any of the articles on this blog that followed.

Extensive documentation on how to use and develop Slackware Live Edition can be found in the Slackware Documentation Project Wiki.

Have fun!