My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Tag: beta (Page 1 of 2)

KDE Plasma6 Beta2 (but the Live ISO won’t work)

Hi folks.

I have a nice set of packages ready for KDE Plasma6 Beta2 which was just announced two days ago.
As you see from below screenshot, it runs nicely as a Wayland session, both logged in via the SDDM login manager and by running “startkwayland” from a console in runlevel 3.

A few issues that I see may be related to running this test in a QEMU virtual machine, connecting to its VNC server interface from inside another remote VNC session… maybe that’s overdoing the complexity, I don’t know. I can not logout from either the X11 or the Wayland session, the virtual display freezes and I have to login via ssh and reboot the VM or do a back-and-forth switch between runlevels 3 and 4.

Another problem I am facing is the fact that I cannot yet test this on real hardware. I intend to generate and release a KTOWN variant of liveslak, i.e. an ISO image containing this Plasma6 Beta2 release. Unfortunately, the ISO I generated refuses to start either X11 or Wayland sessions, complaining about Qt6 interfaces that are missing or corrupt. I compared the Plasma6-specific package list in the ISO to what I have installed in this QEMU VM, and they are identical.
I will continue my troubleshooting and hope to fix this before Christmas. If not, then this will have to be delayed until after the family visits.

Happy Christmas!

KDE Frameworks 5 and Plasma Next

qt-kde-620x350The KDE4 series is still actively developed (in August we will see the release of KDE SC 4.14) but the KDE developers have been working long and hard at the next generation desktop. I wrote some generic phrases in the past about KDE Frameworks 5 (the successor to the KDE Platform aka kdelibs) and Plasma Next (the Qt5 based successor of the Plasma Workspaces of KDE4 which uses Qt4 for its graphical splendor).

But in the next few months we will actually see the first stable release of the Frameworks and the Plasma 2. There are beta sources available now and I grabbed those in order to re-write Slackware’s KDE.SlackBuild build harness. That took a lot more effort than I anticipated but I am glad I did it in an early stage (I don’t usually concern myself with KDE beta releases). My scripts are ready and it’s mostly empty slack-desk files which need some more attention.

I won’t be sharing more than screenshots at this moment. The KDE-5 desktop is just too crash-prone in this beta stage, and I want to spare Slackware the disaster of pushing an unstable desktop. Just think of how the “big distros” handled the release of KDE 4.0 which was basically a “technology preview” but got added to distros anyway, much to the chagrin and frustration of their endusers.

Some interested parties have received a link to the new packages to try them out and give me feedback. My first attempt was missing a lot of things (missing icons, menus, application entries) but thanks to the feedback, my second compilation attempt (using the sources for Frameworks 5 Beta3, to be released tomorrow, and git snapshots of  Plasma Next) looks a lot better:


KDE 5 startup (Breeze theme)


The KDE 5 menu – Qt5 co-esisting with Qt4


The OpenGL Window Compositor has become intelligent

This is just a taste of things to come in the summer, I hope!


Slackware 14.1 Beta1 has arrived


Yesterday, Patrick Volkerding made the following announcement in the ChangeLog.txt of Slackware-current:

Wed Sep 18 02:56:19 UTC 2013
Hey folks, I’m calling this a beta! Really, it’s been better than beta
quality for a while. There will probably still be a few more updates
here and there (and certainly updates to the docs). Enjoy, and please test.

As usual, it was picked up quickly on LinuxQuestions (ok, I created the thread myself…) and even Phoronix posted a surprised-sounding message about it. Distrowatch wrote  a blurb as well. I looked at the all-time-low place of Slackware in the Distrowatch distro raking, and said to myself “that site is no longer attracting serious users” 😉


This update of Slackware-current contains rebuilt glibc packages (providing a patch for CVE-2013-4332), and therefore I also updated my multilib repository with new builds of glibc for Slackware versions -current, 14.0 and 13.37 . I also refreshed the “slackware64-compat32” subdirectories for those Slackware versions; in there you find a pre-packaged set of 32-bit compatibility packages which will make almost any 32-bit software work on multilib Slackware64.

Read here if you do not know what multilib is:

Enjoy! Eric

Steam for Linux Beta opens to everyone


The Steam for Linux beta program has just opened its doors to the general public.

When I looked, there were 48 games in the Steam catalogue, paid-for ans well as free-to-play. Part of opening up the Steam for Linux beta is moving their bug tracker to Github, which allows for a better interface than the old bugtracker which was used during the closed-beta phase.

Here is the official announcement:

An Early Holiday Gift!
added by Frank @ 01:13AM on December 20, 2012

The Steam for Linux beta program is now open to the public! In order to participate in the beta, you must download the latest Steam Linux client (found here) or upgrade your existing Steam for Linux client to the latest version. In addition, we will now track Steam for Linux client bugs using GitHub. This provides a better interface for tracking bugs than the forums used in the closed beta. The Steam for Linux repository (currently empty) is public, allowing anyone with a free GitHub account to create a new issue and edit or track it and search the existing bug database. The repository contains a readme file ( detailing how to create a new issue (it describes the same format used in the closed beta). The team will continue working through existing issues in the forum but it is strongly recommended that any new issues be entered using GitHub’s issue tracking interface. The sub forums will remain open so that people can join/continue existing discussions about the Steam for Linux client. And last but not least, we now have a steam installer package repository. There is a mailing list for announcing updates to the steam installer package. To subscribe, use the public mailman page located here: Here’s the change list for this release:

  • The Steam for Linux client closed beta transitioned to an open beta.
  • Linux – Fixed excessive CPU usage by the Steam client when running Team Fortress 2
  • Linux – Fixed overlay crash when starting Cubemen
  • Big Picture – Improved back navigation behavior throughout user interface
  • Big Picture – Added discount timers and other user interface to store

Remember, my Steam Client package for Slackware can be found here: . I will have to look into the new installer repository to see if I have to update the download link for my own package but that may have to wait until the weekend.

This thread is still being used for discussions and bug reporting.

Cheers, Eric

KDE 4.6 first release candidate

It’s that time again! Nicely following the KDE release schedule, a series of tarballs was uploaded to the KDE ftp server, containing the first release candidate of what will become KDE Software Compilation 4.6.

The Slackware packages I created and had silently uploaded to my server, have already been noticed… but anyway, better late than never, so here is my official announcement:

Your gift for Christmas: grab Slackware packages for KDE 4.6.RC1 (4.5.90 is the official version) here: or on any of my mirrors ( or These packages are not fit for Slackware 13.1. You have to be running an up-to-date Slackware-current! This is still beta software, use at your own risk, yada yada.

Follow the instructions in the accompanying README for installing these packages, or upgrading from an earlier release.

Lots of bugs will certainly have been squashed, although I have not experienced all that many. You can read my previous article on KDE 4.6 beta here: KDE no longer needs HAL, but if you disable it, the k3b CD-writing software will complain about not being able to find an optical drive. Still some work to be done for these guys. If you don’t care for k3b I invite you to disable HAL (chmod -x /etc/rc.d/rc.hald) like I did, and see how that works out.

What’s important to know is the announcement by the PIM team (read the story) that the 4.6 version of kdepim which should accompany the official release of KDE 4.6 has been delayed. At the time when KDE 4.6 is released, there will be an update to the PIM 4.4.x series which is compatible with KDE 4.6 (look out for kdepim 4.4.9, sources are already available I think, and I will certainly package them along with the final KDE 4.6).

In the meantime, I ship packages for the third beta of kdepim 4.6 along with KDE 4.5.90. Please share your thoughts on requiring PIM version 4.6beta3 or  4.4.9 with KDE 4.6. One of the two will have to go into some sort of “testing” directory.

Have fun, Eric

PS: rsync is available as always:

  • rsync://
  • rsync://
  • rsync://
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