My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Tag: av1

Some recent package updates: chromium (-ungoogled), ffmpeg, handbrake, pipewire-jack

Chromium, regular and un-googled.

Google is speeding up its Chromium release cycle. Let’s see if I can keep up since I also build the -ungoogled variant. The latest update is 116.0.5845.140 and addresses a vulnerability.
You can now upgrade to my latest chromium and chromium-ungoogled packages. The updated Slackware 15.0 and -current packages both for chromium and chromium-ungoogled are available in my repository and its mirrors (like my own US server and the UK mirror).


A recent upgrade of Vulkan in slackware-current prompted a rebuild of the ffmpeg 5.1.3 distro package, and for the same reason I had to recompile my enhanced ffmpeg package for -current. I used the opportunity to add an embedded version of SVT-AV1, an open source AV1 video encoder originally developed by Intel in collaboration with Netflix and later adopted by the Alliance for Open Media. My ffmpeg package already contains an AV1 decoder: the dav1d library, but now you can have a go at creating your own video in AV1 format.
Get ffmpeg-5.1.3 for -current here (unrestricted distribution) or here (this version can encode AAC audio and hence restricted to distribution outside the US).


The version of this package targeting slackware-current also needed a recompile due to the Vulkan update in -current and here I used the opportunity to apply a minor version upgrade.
Get handbrake-1.6.1 here (unrestricted distribution) or here (this version can encode AAC audio and hence restricted to distribution outside the US).


In slackware-current, pipewire is a moving target. I know that a lot of people have switched from using pulseaudio and jack to just pipewire with varying levels of success. I keep offering the Jack Audio Connection Kit support libraries for pipewire which are not present in the Slackware pipewire package, simply because Pat compiles pipewire without jack installed.
Note: my pipewire-jack package is not replacing Slackware’s pipewire! It’s an add-on which depends on my jack2 package being installed as well. It’s quite similar in purpose to my pulseaudio-jack package which aims to add support for Jack in pulseaudio.
Get pipewire-jack-0.3.79 here.

Enjoy the weekend! Eric

VLC 3.0.18 packages for Slackware 15.0 and -current

largeVLCI have uploaded fresh packages for VLC 3.0.18, targeting Slackware 15.0 and -current.
I realized that it was already nine months ago that I did the last refresh of this mediaplayer package. The prior update also took a long time, 11 months to be precise. There’s not much exciting news about VLC 3.x to report about these days. The developers focus on version 4 of the VLC mediaplayer. The wait for that code to surface as a stable release has been ongoing for several years now. It looks like 4.0.0 is in “beta” but don’t hold your horses.

Apart from the version bump of VLC, I have also updated some of the vlc packages’ internal libraries: bluray, dav1d, ffmpeg, glew, libva, speex, upnp, vdpau, vlx and x265.
I did not consider the Alliance for Open Media’s aom codec yet; aom is a codec for the open and royalty-free AV1 video format, but my package already uses dav1d as an AV1 decoder. If someone needs VLC to be able to encode AV1 video through aom, let me know.

A note about dependencies for the new package:

My Slackware packages for VLC are mostly self-contained with all of the supporting libraries compiled into the package. This makes for a minimal dependency on external libraries/packages; a full installation of Slackware covers it all.
Let’s explicitly mention all those libraries that are statically compiled into my vlc package:

  • ffmpeg of course
  • audio codecs are provided by a52dec, vo-amrwbenc, opencore-amr, libdca, fluidsynth, gsm, lame, libmpcdec, opus, libshout, speex, speexdsp,  twolame
  • video codecs are provided by dav1d, libdvbpsi, libebml, libmatroska, libmpeg2, libvpx, theora, x626, x264, x265
  • subtitle and text rendering: libass, libkate, libtiger, srt
  • extension interpreter language: lua
  • digital media input: libdv, libbluray, libcddb, libcdio, libdvdnav, libdvdread, libdvdcss (only in the restricted package), libavc1394, libdc1394, libraw1394
  • visualisation: goom, projectM
  • file access and streaming: asdcplib, libdsm, libssh2, libupnp, live555, microdns, protobuf-cpp
  • miscellaneous: fribidi, glew, libva, libvdpau, pcre2, taglib

You’ll notice that I statically compile several libraries into VLC that are also present in regular Slackware (ffmpeg, lame, speex, theora, libvpx and more) but other libraries that are also present in Slackware (mpg123, openjpeg etc) are not included statically. I made an educated guess about the risk of breakage of my vlc package due to incompatible library updates in a Slackware release, and then I added all libraries statically that made me feel safer with regard to robustness of the resulting package. And of course, every library that I consider as mandatory for VLC that is not part of Slackware, is also added to my package statically.

A note on compiling:

When you want to compile VLC 3 yourself, be sure to install java11 and apache-ant or your build will fail.

Where to find the new VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror servers.
The patent-safe packages are found at rsync:// and rsync:// .
The restricted versions that support AAC encoding and encrypted DVD playback are available from rsync://

For BluRay support, read a previous article for hints about the aacs keys that you’ll need.

Enjoy! Eric

New VLC and Flash

Time for an update of Adobe’s Flash Player plugins folks! I uploaded Slackware packages for the version of the flashplayer-plugin (NPAPI plugin for Mozilla based browsers) and the chromium-pepperflash-plugin (PPAPI plugin for Chromium based browsers) to my repository. This release does not address security issues and instead resolves feature and performance bugs.

The VideoLAN media player, VLC, saw a new release a few days ago. I skipped 3.0.5 which is a lucky streak I guess according to the release notes for 3.0.6: “… fixes an important regression that appeared on 3.0.5 for DVD subtitles“.

Noteworthy to tell is that I added the ‘dav1d‘ decoder for AV1 video to this VLC package.
AV1 is a new video codec by the Alliance for Open Media, composed of most of the important Web companies (Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft, Mozilla…). AV1 has the potential to be up to 20% better than the HEVC codec, but the patents license is totally free. VLC supports AV1 since version 3.0.0 but I never added the ‘aom‘ decoder/encoder to my vlc package, since ‘aom’ is the reference implementation of the video format and it does not really perform.
The VideoLAN and FFmpeg communities are collaborating on ‘dav1d’ to make this a reference optimized decoder for AV1. Now that ‘dav1d’ has an official release I thought it would be cool to have in the VLC package. Mozilla and Google browsers already have the support for AV1 video playback built-in, so… overdue here.

Remember that this VLC package depends on Qt5 – you’ll need libxkbcommon, qt5 and qt5-webkit packages, and on Slackware 14.2 additionally libinput and libwacom (those two are already part of -current).

Have fun! Eric

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