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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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June 2018
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RSS Alien's Slackware packages

RSS Alien's unofficial KDE Slackware packages

RSS Alien's multilib packages

RSS Slackware64-current



HandBrake 1.1.0 – now also in a patent-friendly package

handbrake_logoA new release of HandBrake, the video transcoder/ripper. The version 1.1.0 (released last month) comes with a load of enhancements, bug fixes and new features. Read the announcement to get all the details.

And its GTK+-3 based GUI still compiles on Slackware 14.2. The devs must have done something right. Thank you! Still, it is sad that I can not compile the HandBrake GUI on Slackware 14.1 – or older – due to the GTK+-3 requirement (how I wish that the Qt based GUI was still an option). You could still build the CLI-only variant I suppose. But it might also be a good idea to upgrade to Slackware 14.2 if you thought of running the graphical HandBrake program…

I did not test the program’s functionality yet, mainly because I don’t have a need for a video ripper/transcoder myself, but I appreciate your feedback about the Slackware package. Note that my ‘handbrake‘ package does not have any external dependencies – unlike the version.
Install and run, it’s that simple. Everything you need is compiled statically into the package. The ‘HandBrakeCLI‘ program is the command-line variant, whereas ‘ghb‘ is the GUI variant of HandBrake, also found in the “Multimedia” menu of your desktop environment.

One important change compared to previous releases is that you’ll find a ‘handbrake’ package in my regular repository as of now. Similar to my ‘ffmpeg‘ and ‘vlc‘ packages, I have introduced a variable “USE_PATENTS” and set it to “NO” to disable the patent-encumbered AAC encoder. That produces a package which can be re-distributed without restrictions – including on the Slackware server in the US.

Packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current with AAC audio encoding support can be obtained from my “restricted” repository:

The variant which does not support AAC audio encoding can be downloaded from the regular repository:


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.


May ’18 security update for Adobe Flashplayer

Here’s the latest security update for Adobe’s Flash Player plugins.
The version of the flashplayer-plugin (NPAPI plugin for Mozilla based browsers) and the chromium-pepperflash-plugin (PPAPI plugin for Chromium based browsers) was released yesterday and you can find Slackware packages for it in my repository.

Those of you who still can not do without Flash should upgrade to this latest version.

Security update for Chromium

I have uploaded new packages for Chromium. The version 66.0.3359.139 is a security update addressing a critical bug (and some more bugs too) and you are advised to upgrade.

Get the chromium-66.0.3359.139 packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current:

Cheers, Eric

Plasma5 – April 18 edition for Slackware

One of my previous posts discussed “ABI breakage” and how that affects software to the point where it breaks and you need to recompile stuff to un-break it. Well… last week was most likely another, bigger, surprise to many of you. The Slackware-current ChangeLog.txt update of “Thu Apr 19 01:04:06 UTC 2018” started with:

Hi folks, and welcome to the third ever Slackware Mass Rebuild (and the
longest ChangeLog entry in project history). There were two primary
motivations for rebuilding everything in the main tree. The first was to
switch to the new C++ ABI. The second was to get rid of all the .la files

That was fun, seeing 1365 lines of ChangeLog and realizing how long the upgrade would take!
But in the end, this was a painless migration. WIth a simple “slackpkg update ; slackpkg upgrade slackpkg” to upgrade the slackpkg package itself. Don’t forget to check the new /etc/slackpkg/mirrors file to see if your mirror is still configured there! Followed by “slackpkg update ; slackpkg install-new ; slackpkg upgrade aaa_elflibs ; slackpkg upgrade-all” and a lot of patience. That’s about all there was to it and after a reboot the Slackware-current system would run as well as ever. A big accomplishment and hats off to Patrick Volkerding who used the past months to (mostly under the radar) update all the SlackBuild scripts and write wrappers to enable him to recompile all of Slackware from scratch, while gaining a lot on the efficiency and time management front. Kudos!

Ah well, a painless migration you heard me say…
Unless you have a ton of 3rd party software bolted onto your Slackware – like my Plasma5… because that came out pretty much broken. On the Slackware forum as well as here on the blog I already advised to hold off with upgrading for a day or so to give me the opportunity to at least recompile Plasma5.

And it so happened that the KDE developers already had all-new source code tarballs waiting for us. I compiled that on the freshly rebuilt Slackware-current and yesterday evening I uploaded my new set of Plasma5 packages to the ‘ktown‘ repository.
The KDE-5_18.04 release of ‘ktown‘ for Slackware-current offers the latest KDE Frameworks (5.45.0), Plasma (5.12.4) and Applications (18.04.0). The Qt5 was upgraded to 5.9.5. Read the README file for more details and for installation/upgrade instructions. Enjoy the latest Plasma 5 desktop environment.

So, what’s new?

  • I had to deal with a couple of packages that were broken after the massive upgrade in Slackware, so I took the opportunity to upgrade gpgme, mlt, poppler and qt5 to a newer version; and I added QScintilla to extend the package (already available in Slackware) with support for Qt5.
  • In plasma-extra the kdeconnect-framework package was updated.
  • Applications 18.04.0 is the start of a new round of improvements. Two new packages are available starting with 18.04: kamoso which is a webcam recorder, and a backup program kbackup. The instant messenger client Kopete was ported to KF5 and is contained in the source distribution, but I was unable to compile it. Perhaps more luck next month.
    Finally, the hex editor okteta moved to the ‘applications-extra’ section because its developer no longer wants to be tied to Application release windows.
  • In applications-extra I have upgraded the kdiagram and krita packages.

If you want to read more about the history of Plasma5 development for Slackware, with lots more detail, check out my older blog posts. If you think a git log is easier to read, check out my ktown git repository instead 🙂

If you are using slackpkg with the slackpkg+ extension, don’t forget to run “slackpkg install ktown” to get any new packages installed, because “slackpkg install-new” will not catch new packages in 3rd-party repositories like ‘ktown’.

I hope to get a new PLASMA5 variant of the Slackware Live ISO image out soon, containing all this new stuff! This depends on my ability to recompile LibreOffice 6.0.3 for 64bit. I ran into a bit of a snag there with gpgme-related compilation errors I have as of yet not been able to fix. Also, VLC3 needs a rebuild since that broke too… and I have not been able to find the time to address that.

Enjoy the new batch!