My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Some goodies to play with

Am I hearing sighs of relief yet?

Today, Pat Volkerding pushed out the work that has been accumulating for slackware-current behind the scenes during the past four weeks (make take a little while to reach the mirrors).
This triggered some updates to the multilib and KDE 4.4 packages which I maintain, so if you run Slackware64-multilib and/or KDE 4.4.0 then be sure to check for instructions further down!

With a ChangeLog entry that runs more than 500 lines, I think this is the largest single update yet. But that was for a very good reason, because there were updates to large subsystems:

  • Kernel: woohoo we have 2.6.33 now – the latest & greatest.
  • X.Org: this went up to 7.5 (X server version is now 1.7.5) – you can’t get it newer than this. There is no nouveau driver for now, but it should not be so hard to add this yourself because all its dependencies should be met by slackware-current.
  • KDE: has been updated to 4.3.5 – the latest “politically correct” version which is available… No PolicyKit for us yet.
  • The GTK ecosystem has been overhauled and slackware-current is now at gtk+2 version 2.18.7.
  • Because the upgrade of libpng was an incompatible change (I refrain from using bad language about this piece of software, but I invite you to examine the libpng.SlackBuild closely), every single package which depends on this library needed to be recompiled. D’ oh!
  • Lots of core packages were updated to their latest version as well – too many to write down here.

To get all of these updates working as a whole, took its time. I know that some of you complained that “the team is having all the fun in secret” but I assure you, you were not left out in the cold. The long silence was something that could not be avoided, as it would have been kind of stupid to write blog posts like “hey! we’re currently adding this new X.Org” in case it turned out that we could not integrate it into Slackware properly. I do think it was worth waiting for, but now is the time for the bigger test – by all of you out there.

Note for self-compiling folk:

Something you may experience when you compiled your own applications: some of them may suddenly refuse to show buttons/bitmaps. This is because the application is linked in an incompatible way with libpng… it means you will have to recompile it. For instance, I will have to update my own VLC package because the control interface is now showing empty grey squares… bummer.

Instructions for people running Slackware64 with my multilib packages and/or KDE 4.4.0 packages:

Multilib gcc/glibc packages (64-bit)

  • Due to the addition of a new kernel and the upgrade of the “png” library in slackware-current, the glibc and gcc packages had to be recompiled. My recompiled multilib versions of gcc and glibc for slackware64-current are available at the ususal place – please upgrade to these versions now: – if you forget this and instead upgrade to Slackware’s standard gcc/glibc packages, you will still have a fully functional 64-bit Slackware… just with a non-functional 32-bit subsystem.

KDE 4.4.0 (32-bit as well as 64-bit)

  • Due to the upgrade of the “png library” I also had to recompile some of the KDE 4.4.0 packages and their dependencies. I took the opportunity to also add a couple of fixes to the KDE packages. I also removed two dependencies which are now covered by Slackware-current (deps/libv4l and deps/libxklavier).
    Here is the list of my updated packages (for both architectures, 32-bit and 64-bit):

    • deps/libiodbc
  • To upgrade, you can either download only those packages I just mentioned from and use “upgradepkg” to upgrade them, or if you already have a local mirror of you can refresh this mirror and upgrade according to the article I wrote earlier: . Please note that I did not create an “update” or “patches” directory – the new packages have just replaced the old ones (with an updated build number).




  1. escaflown

    What a changelog!!!! You guys have been working really hard. Thanks for all the hard work.

  2. Willy Sudiarto Raharjo

    What a HUGE and massive updates. Thanks to Pat, You, Robby, and Piter, we would have a smooth updates til now ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Robby Workman

    Good writeup, Eric, and very diplomatic way of discussing libpng. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Andrew M

    So with new X , Kernel does this mean we have KMS is slack for intel?

  5. oldman

    I’m getting problems with a fresh install in vbox with libpng.

    root@darkstar:~# update-gdk-pixbuf-loaders –verbose
    Updating gdk-pixbuf.loaders for i486-slackware-linux:
    /usr/bin/gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders-32 \
    > /etc/gtk-2.0/i486-slackware-linux/gdk-pixbuf.loaders
    g_module_open() failed for /usr/lib/gtk-2.0/2.10.0/loaders/ /usr/lib/ undefined symbol: inflateReset
    root@darkstar:~# ls /var/log/packages/ |grep gtk

  6. piratesmack

    Wow, looks like you guys have been working hard.
    Thank you very much, Pat, Eric, Robby, and the rest of the Slackware team.

  7. alienbob

    Looks like libpng broke even more than we thought. I expect that this will be resolved soon , when everybody wakes up from a deep sleep after a long day’s work.


  8. alienbob


    > So with new X , Kernel does this mean
    > we have KMS is slack for intel?

    Yes exactly! There is no more need to add ‘i915.modeset=1’ to the lilo append line, KMS is the default now.

    My laptop has Intel graphics, and KMS works better than with the 2.6.32.x kernels. However, I have periodic glitches on my display now (as if the display loses sync for a fraction of a second) which I did not experience with the 2.6.32.x kernels… More distros seem to report this, not just us.


  9. fabio bas

    Hi alienBOB, thank you for your hard work ๐Ÿ™‚ it seems that your kdesc4.4 packages are still linked to , while the new official slackware package installs This breaks at least the kde keyboard layout management (“kcmshell4 keyboard_layout” aka

  10. alienbob


    Yes unfortunately you are right…I thought I had already upgraded to the libxklavier-5.0 when I rebuilt “kdebase-workspace” but obviously I did not.
    I’ll have to rebuild this package, unless I get KDE 4.4.1 packages ready this friday, in which case you have a better upgrade path.


  11. fabio bas

    No problem.. a simple and dirty ln -s will to the trick until kde 4.4.1 ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Thrash Dude

    I removed Slackware’s libpng12/14, and rebuilt it for only libpng14. Rebuild GTK+2, and everything works.

    Is there anything (In Slackware) besides emacs that needs libpng12?

  13. Crni

    So – are you guys aware that NVIDIA (proprietary) drivers are not working at all with the 2.6.33 kernel you just delivered with this update (as reported for example here:

  14. alienbob


    I do not see this as an issue. The NVIDIA driver will either be updated to work with 2.6.33 or the next kernel update is going to fix this. After all, this is an update to Slackware-current which is the development release. Things may break especially when this is in combination with 3rd party (closed-source even) software.

    By the way “not working at all” is not what I read in that LQ thread.

    I have a desktop with Nvidia card, perhaps I will get adventurous later this week.


  15. Mats Tegner

    I upgraded everything in -current except the kernel packages which are still I’ve also downloaded the latest Nvidia driver 195.36.08. I can write a quick note here if it works.

  16. Crni

    @Mats: Please do write a notice if it works this way (btw – is it possible to use removepkg/installpkg to “downgrade” the kernel packages only?). I’m going trough the kernel re-compilation at the moment – not fun at all, I wasn’t doing that for years…

    @alienbob: Yes, part (albeit small) of the problem is on NVIDIA side, but I found this practice in -current, for about last year or more, to be quiet for months, and then to drop huge bunch of updates in -current really lacking. I mean – I understand libpng update pulled the need for lots of re-compilations, and that kernel and KDE updates are huge. But – what was the issue with updating say Mercurial to 1.4.x (1.4.0 was available back then in mid-November, and I was really eagerly awaiting it to appear in -current); and this is only an example, I’d say number of other packages that get updated yesterday were actually not depending on these other big updates. So – more granularity in the update process would certainly help…

  17. Mats Tegner

    No, it doesn’t work. I have to revert to the stable version to get a working X-server.

  18. oldman

    “Comment from alienbob
    Time March 2, 2010 at 09:54

    Looks like libpng broke even more than we thought. I expect that this will be resolved soon , when everybody wakes up from a deep sleep after a long dayโ€™s work.



    OKAY, I’ll hang tight then. I’m not going to go any further until it’s fixed. All my pc’s (except my netbooks) are too slow to run upgradepkg/slackpkg so that’s why I do the full install when there’s this many updates.

    And knowing how libpng links to soooo much, I’ll wait before trying to do rebuilds on my gnome ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. saulgoode

    And I just compiled a 2.6.33 kernel last night…. O_O

    What a great update. I’m particularly pleased with the upgrade of GTK+; I was getting worried that the next SW would ship with 2.16 (which doesn’t support some of the upstream projects’ development).

    Many thanks.

  20. alienbob

    Stuff like the mercurial upgrade went in after a specific request by someone on IRC. Usually when me, Robby or Alan encounter someone on IRC or in the forums with a specific need, we discuss it with Pat to see if the request ca be fulfilled.
    So, it never hurts to just ask.


  21. oldman

    OK, the changes of “Tue Mar 2 19:07:31 UTC 2010” seem to fix the nasty output of libpng for me here.

    I upgraded all the packages in the changelog (except the aaa_elfs) and so far so good.

    Let’s hope my builds work ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. ccorbacho


    Is anyone actively working on removing the PAM rubbish from PolicyKit? I’ve had a quick look over it, and it doesn’t look too difficult to re-apply most of Piter Punk’s old work to remove the dependency (unless he’s already working on that?). If not, I’ll try to dig a bit deeper into it myself.


  23. ccorbacho

    My bad, I see that there was a patch sent out in January, but all quiet from the PolicyKit developers front on it.

  24. alienbob


    Hi Carlos, nice of you to visit here.
    There is a patch for the development version of polkit-1 which adds shadow-utils as a working (we hope) alternative to PAM. The author (NaCl on Freenode IRC) based his patch on PiterPUNK’s work but enhanced it too. That patch was offered for review to the polkit author a month or so ago, and that’s the last we heard from it…

    The dependencies for building polkit-1 are now all met by the latest Slackware-current as far as I know, so I guess that someone will start hacking on this soon-ish.

    By the way, NaCl is one of the wicd developers, you can find him in ##slackware and #wicd .


  25. oldman

    Maybe this is just on my end? but I’m finding that I have to add ” || true” to the end of these lines in *alot* of my SlackBuilds from SBo, and else where:

    ( cd $PKG
    find . | xargs file | grep “executable” | grep ELF | cut -f 1 -d : | \
    xargs strip –strip-unneeded 2> /dev/null
    find . | xargs file | grep “shared object” | grep ELF | cut -f 1 -d : | \
    xargs strip –strip-unneeded 2> /dev/null

    Otherwise, the buildscripts simply don’t proceed to doing the rest of what is written in the buildscripts, such as ‘makepkg’, etc.

    Just wondering, does anyone know why this is?

  26. oldman

    looks like the sources didn’t make their way out in last update Eric:

    from md5sum -c CHECKSUMS.md5 in source directory:

    ./x/fontconfig/fontconfig-2.6.0.tar.bz2: FAILED open or read
    ./x/fontconfig/fontconfig.SlackBuild: FAILED
    ./x/fontconfig/fontconfig.dejavu.diff.gz: FAILED
    ./x/fontconfig/fontconfig.font.dir.list.diff.gz: FAILED
    ./xap/gnuplot/gnuplot-4.2.5.tar.xz: FAILED open or read

  27. fabio bas

    Another small issue between -current and kde sc 4.4.0: kopete extension for windows live messenger can’t be loaded. Ldd says that /usr/lib64/kde4/ () is linked with the no-more-existing “ => not found”

  28. Crni


    It is not about Mercurial or any other particular package – if package or two badly needed, of course there is always a way to upgrade somehow, but I was objecting to practice of accumulating huge updates, so that it’s very hard to revert in case something goes wrong.

    Now, the latest update really ended up as a disaster for me. First I had these libgmp symlink problems, as mentioned here: I noticed it in the middle of the upgrade, so it happened that most of programs (like xterm or Firefox) are not able to start, now because of libpng updates. I managed somehow to get through it, though, but only to be greeted with NVIDIA proprietary driver installation errors upon completing upgrade and rebooting machine. I fixed this by patching the driver (patch could be found here: but then I got module loading errors for agpgart/nvidia (as discussed at the link I mentioned in my previous message: – I guess at least this last one is something that could be fixed in the next kernel update in -current. Then I tried with re-compiling the kernel, changing only the options mentioned in this last link I provided in the Slackware default configuration, but eventually I got a kernel that was crashing on boot. So I gave up; luckily I found some Slackware mirrors that haven’t picked up the latest batch of updates yet, so I’ve reinstalled from my 13.0 install DVD, and then upgraded using one of these mirrors – the net effect: the whole day of work lost, and I have no clue now how to proceed regarding upgrading my Slackware installation. So – pretty much a disaster experience (and also to mention, just in case: I do send donations on each Slackware release, and do try be active part of community – I contribute and maintain some build scripts over there at, etc.).

    But, as you said above: something like that is probably to be expected from time to time if someone is tracking -current. I guess it was just that the run was so good so far, so that I get used to doing “slackpkd upgrade-all” without giving it any further thought…

  29. alienbob


    That would require a rebuild of the kdenetwork-4.4.0 package.

    However, I have a better proposal for you: upgrade to KDE 4.4.1! See

    I will write a proper blog entry about the availability of these packages tonight, but it is a busy day at work.

    Good luck! Eric

  30. michelino chionchio

    Why don’t you add “libv4l” in your “” in compat32-tools” package?
    Thank you for all your “normal” and “extra” job in slackware “official” and “unofficial”

  31. michelino chionchio

    ….also “util-linux-ng”; both of them (libv4l and util-linux-ng) could be usefull (e.g.: skype)

  32. michelino chionchio

    (I’m sorry for duplicate posts, but the system said that something went wrong with security code)

  33. Michael


    Just wanted to say that I had no problems with
    the nvidia driver on my 2.6.33, selfcompiled some days ago.

    I used 195.36.08, which seems to be the new official driver. See:

    Thx Alien for your your extraterrestrial good work ๐Ÿ˜€

  34. alienbob

    @michelino: no problem, I removed the double posts. And yes, I could add libv4l and perhaps util-linux-ng to the script. I’ll give it some thought.


  35. Robby Workman

    Thanks for looking re PK/PAM. You might get in touch with NaCl about that, because he mentioned some minor issues with his patch; maybe you have some ideas about those. Also, assuming the patch is accepted by polkit upstream, there will still be a problem with runlevel 3 logins: /bin/login from shadow doesn’t know how to poke ConsoleKit when someone logs in/out, and polkit queries CK to find out if a session is active, so we’ll have to patch shadow to talk with CK; otherwise, things won’t “just work” except in runlevel 4 from either kdm or gdm.

  36. michelino chionchio

    I really appreciate ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Mats Tegner

    I’ve installed -current again plus the latest nVidia driver. It does require kernel and kernel-modules recompilation plus blacklisting of the nouveau module. Check the LQ thread again for instructions.

  38. Crni

    @Mats: Thanks!

  39. JK Wood

    Thanks much for the multilib stuff, Eric! As a token of appreciation, I’ve mirrored it all at – feel free to redirect people there to help save on bandwidth, I’ve got plenty.

  40. LoneStar

    uhm I have recompiled my Amarok 2.3b1 against the new libpng package, but still I see most of images as empty squares (mostly album covers). I guess it’s probably Amarok’s issue?

  41. BratPit

    Nice work but ……..
    a few impresions after upgrading in my desktop , and netbook.
    On desktop runs fine without problems less usage memory from X.
    but on acer one is 2 questions

    1. KMS works but I dont like it.Freeze console after a while.Maybe vesa framebufer in my custom kernel.
    Is there a trouble to compile intel 2.9.1 driver for folks like me.

    2. Shadow package after upgrade not work properly.
    In xfce I must add root to plugdev and power group to work .

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