My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Plasma 5 for Slackware – April edition

During the past week (ever since the source tarballs for the new Applications were made available to packagers) I have been working toward an April 2017 release of my ‘ktown’ repository: KDE 5_17.04.
This new release contains: KDE Frameworks 5.33.0, Plasma 5.9.4 and Applications 17.04.0. All of this is still built on top of Qt 5.7.1.
A Plasma5 Live ISO image will follow shortly in the usual location.
NOTE: I will no longer be releasing Plasma 5 packages for 32bit Slackware 14.2.

What’s new in KDE 5_17.04?

  • The ‘deps’ section has one recompiled package (because of incompatible library updates in slackware-current): dvdauthor, and five upgrades: accountsservicefrei0r-plugins, gpgme, ninja and poppler.
    There’s also one new package (but only for the Slackware -current package set): qtav as a new dependency for digikam.
  • Frameworks 5.33.0 is an enhancement release. See
  • Plasma 5.9.4 is an incremental bugfix of the 5.9 series with small fixes only. See . At first I wanted to wait for the 5.9.5 release which is around the corner but decided not to waste another couple of days. I may add the 5.9.5 later on, since that will be the final iteration for 5.9.
    I am not sticking with the long term support (LTS) releases of Plasma 5.8, as I think LTS should be targeting stable Slackware. If you want to know more about the long term support plans, go read: .
  • Applications 17.04.0 is a new major release and marks the transition of yet another pack of applications from the old kdelibs4 to KDE Frameworks (KF5). I should check what’s still based on kdelibs4 sometimes… can’t be too many left. See . And the release notes give more detail about the changes in packages.
    Since k3b is now part of the Applications suite, I have removed the package that I had added to ‘applications-extra’ (which was based on a git snapshot). Another package which is no longer part of my ‘ktown’ set: kajongg (it requires python3 now which is not part of Slackware). And two packages are no longer shipped because their sources are no longer part of Applications: pim-storage-service-manager and kommander.
  • In ‘applications-extra’ I added the latest releases of krita, the KDEvelop suite and of kpmcore (the partitionmanager core libraries). I rebuilt digikam against qtav.
    The newest calligra was already added last week as part of a package rebuild, caused by slackware-current library updates. Worth mentioning is that calligra, krita, ktorrent, partitionmanager, skanlite and the KDE Development Suite in ‘applications-extra’ are all KF5 based.
  • In ‘kde4-extragear’ I have added audiocd-kio4 and libkcompactdisc4 which are built from the kdelibs4-based Applications 16.08.3 sources. All of audiocd-kio4libkcddb4 and libkcompactdisc4 packages are (only) required by Slackware’s kaudiocreator.

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.

You may want to check out the new Plasma 5 before installing. For this purpose, I have generated a new Live ISO for the PLASMA5 variant. Look for that ISO on .

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_17.03. 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_17.03 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

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. Ricardo J. Barberis

    Thanks, Eric!

    I’ll be upgrading this weekend 🙂

  2. Gérard Monpontet

    Work fine here 😉

  3. Eduardo

    Thank you Eric! So far it works OK

  4. Deny Dias

    So far, so good. Another interaction from the series ‘those things Eric does that just works.’

  5. dolphin77

    Thank you Eric.

    While everything works well, I found a small diffculty which I am unable to resolve myself. Maybe someone found a solution.

    If I set $QT_IM_MODULE as this:
    export QT_IM_MODULE=qtvirtualkeyboard
    and then I start kde app (for example kate), I see virtual keyboard on the screen, but it is not “active” when I try to press on it (either with touchscreen, touchpad or mouse), clicks are applied to main window of the program. Not to the keyboard.

    Looks like I am missing something.

  6. Mike Langdon

    Thanks Eric! I just rsync the 5 folder and upgrade, reinstall and new from there. Probably takes a bit longer, but I don’t have to worry about missing something. 🙂

  7. Owen Greaves

    Hey Eric,

    This release is the best one for me so far, all but one issue – and it’s Chromium related. Videos are buffering every 5 seconds, websites load real slow, and overall performance of Chromium has caused me to use FireFox….I know right? I don’t have the same issues with FireFox I might add. Not sure what might be causing the overall poor performance, but I’ll assume it’s got something to do with -current : )

    Anyway, good work again, thanks.


  8. alienbob

    dolphin77, it works for me.
    When I click in the text entry area of an application like for instance ‘kate’, the virtual keyboard pops up and I can click the virtual keys with my mouse (I do not have a touch screen). The clicks on keys are translated into characters that are entered into the ‘kate’ window. Mouse-clicking the ‘keyboard’ key at the bottom right makes the virtual keyboard disappear again. Normal physical keyboard input keeps working simultaneously.
    The ‘globe’ key to the left of the Space bar toggles through several input languages, several of those are RTL languages and ‘kate’ manages that well.

  9. dolphin77

    Hi Eric! Thank you for the feedback. It should be my setup then. Great to know that it works. Now have to figure out what is wrong with my configuration. mouse cursor is not even changing to an arrow when i point it above the keyboard. It remains the same like if it was above the text editing frame.

    simple removing of ~/.kde dir doesn’t help. Need to check if dpi or locale settings influence the keyboard. Will report if find out what it is.

  10. dolphin77

    Yeah it was old configuration files. After I cleaned plasma and kde related files in ~/.config, it finaly works as it should.

  11. Pete Christy

    Hi Eric, and thanks for all your hard work! I’ve just upgraded to the April KDE5 release and run into one problem. The PAN newsreader no longer works, complaining about a missing shared library: “pan: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory”

    Looking at your gpgme package it does seem that this is indeed missing. I tried recompiling PAN, but the compile fails with the same error. I’ve had a look at your source package, but can’t see why the pthread should be missing. I tried re-instating the patch that was commented out (clutching at straws here!) and that has also failed. Any pointers?


  12. Helios

    From “ldd /usr/lib64/qt5/plugins/calligra/formatfilters/” I get => not found

  13. Pete Christy

    PAN update: I’ve found the problem. Apparently libgpgme-pthread has been removed from the gpgme package upstream. It wasn’t PAN that was complaining about its absence, but one of its dependencies, gmime.

    Rebuilding and upgrading gmime before compiling PAN solved the problem.



  14. Gérard Monpontet

    Yes, calligra need rebuid with the new poppler package 😉

  15. Gérard Monpontet

    Just in case…, new krusader 😉

  16. pataphysician

    Thanks for the great update, I noticed you have breeze for kde4 applications built. I was wondering if you could also build oxygen for qt4 applications, which I think can be done in the same way as breeze. I prefer oxygen and still have some qt4 apps, and it’s kinda feels wrong to have my gtk2 apps in oxygen-gtk2 and then use qt4-config to choose gtk+ and then have my qt4 apps in oxygen via oxygen-gtk2. No biggee if you don’t have the time, I understand.

  17. Gérard Monpontet

    Eric, just for info if you update krusader, it need this compil option, for use kdesu (kf5 version):


  18. alienbob

    pataphysician I will see what I can do for the next update of Plasma 5.

  19. alienbob

    Gérard good catch about kdesu. I will add the new krudader in my next batch, and also I will recompile the 64bit calligra for Slackware-current.

  20. Gérard Monpontet

    in dep (current) json-glib, need update to the version needed for the new glib2, gtk+3 toolkit:

    perhap new krita also 😉

  21. Ricardo J. Barberis

    Hi Eric, I installed this update a couple of weeks ago and everything is fine, thanks as usual for a great job!

    I have one request though: would you be so kind to package kirigami 1.1.0?:

    It’s a dependency for lookandfeelexplorer, with which you can create/explore Look&Feel packs for Plasma5:

    I already compiled kirigami myself using SBo’s cmake template to make a package out of it, and lookandfeelexplorer works now, I used it to create a L&F pack out of my current setup so I can freely experiment with other packs and go back to my current one if I mess it all up 🙂

    Thanks again!

  22. alienbob

    Gérard – both json-glib and krita updates are scheduled here.
    My May 2017 ktown release will just have the newer Plasma 5.9.5 (plus sip, json-glib, krita, krusader and a rebuilt calligra).
    I do not know if I have time after this week so I am pushing the updates no later than this weekend.

  23. alienbob

    Ricardo, why not ?

  24. Ricardo J. Barberis

    Eric, it explicitly requires kirigami 1.0, which I guess 1.1.0 is compatible with:

    $ grep kirigami /usr/share/kpackage/genericqml/org.kde.plasma.lookandfeelexplorer/contents/ui/main.qml
    import org.kde.kirigami 1.0 as Kirigami

    I tried kirigami2 at first but it didn’t work, that’s when I found that import line and tried the older version.

  25. alienbob

    Ricardo, it does not make sense to just add kirigami 1.x. The 1.x versions are no longer developed. I would rather add both kirigami and kirigami2 at the same time. I understand that kirigami 1.x is still needed by the lookandfeelexplorer, but I also assume that that is bound to change in future.

    I’ll see what I do for my next batch of updates (the May updates just went out the door).

  26. alienbob

    Interestingly, the lookandfeelexplorer in plasma-sdk does require kirigami 2.x. See

  27. Ricardo J. Barberis

    I agree, no point in compiling both versions.
    But I took a look at your plasma-sdk-5.9.5 package and it still imports 1.0, it seems they ported to 2.0 only on master git.

    Maybe you could wait till plasma 5.10 comes out before packaging either version, as kirigami seems to be required by this program only.

  28. Vinícius

    Hey! Is anyone else having problems with the meta/super/windows key? Righter after logging in it works fine, but then it stops working and I can’t open the menu/launcher with the super key. Plasma 5.9.5, Slack 14.2.

    Btw thank you Alien for your packages!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2024 Alien Pastures

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑