My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Tag: chromium (Page 1 of 19)

Chromium 121 for Slackware… don’t hold your breath

Chromium 121 sources were released yesterday, and as much as I would like to tell you that the Slackware packages are ready, in fact it appears that you will have to wait for them for an unspecified amount of time.

I found out that the build of Chromium now needs Google’s custom version of the Rust compiler, next to Google’s custom version of the Clang compiler. Those Rust and Clang versions are intertwined and Google advises packagers to simply use their own pre-compiled binaries which they provide for download.

You guessed… those binaries are not available for a 32bit OS. Nothing new, and it is for that exact reason that as part of compiling Chromium for Slackware, the complete LLVM toolchain is built from Google’s sources first. For every package I release. Tweaking the LLVM/Clang compilation so that they work for 32bit Slackware took a lot of time – after all, no one at Google tests their sources for 32bit build compatibility. So I patch here and there and every time feel lucky that it still works.

Until today, when I ran into the new Rust requirement. And after the umptiest iteration of a Chromium package build using a variety of changing options, I still fail to even start compiling a Rust binary.

I am taking a break from this to consider my options. My aim is to keep supporting the 32bit Slackware package. I just need to figure out how Google messed this up again and find a way around it. In the meantime, don’t hold your breath – I only have a few hours each evening to do the troubleshooting. A new package will appear when it’s ready.

All the best, Eric

Update 2024-jan-29: I have buillt 64bit packages for Chromium (also -ungoogled) version 121.0.6167.85 and uploaded them to my repository.
Note that I can not currently compile their 32bit versions because until now I have not been successful in building Google’s custom llvm and rust from source. I had to revert to downloading and using Google’s pre-compiled binaries which they only supply for 64bit systems.

I am still determined to find a way to compile these llvm and rust compilers from Google’s own sources. But I have no ETA on that unfortunately.

Google fixes the 8th zero-day in Chromium in 2023

Chromium 120.0.6099.129 for which the source code was released two days ago repairs a zero-day vulnerability.

Zero-day means that the vulnerability is already actively exploited in the wild. Hopefully the last time this year, but it is already the 8th zero-day which was reported and fixed in Chromium. The new zero-day is labeled CVE-2023-7024.
It’s therefore highly recommended to upgrade your chromium and also ungoogled-chromium packages.

Find the updated Slackware 15.0 and -current packages both for chromium and chromium-ungoogled in my repository and its mirrors (like my own US server and in a short while, the UK mirror).

Cheers, Eric

KTOWN: live ISO with Plasma6 Alpha. Also, chromium now supports HEVC/AC3 playback

I have uploaded a 5 GB ISO file containing a new KTOWN variant of Slackware Live. This is the KDE Plasma6 Alpha release. Play around with it and perhaps you will be able to contribute to an improved Beta by finding and reporting the bugs you encounter.

Get the ISO from my NL or my US server (US ISO still uploading at the moment). There’s also an MD5 checksum and a GPG signature file in those same locations if you want to validate the download.

A lot of packages did not compile yet for various reasons. I am not too concerned about that, next update hopefully will be more complete. A lot of work still needs to be done however (by the KDE developers) to port the remainder of KDE Gear (formerly called Applications or Software Collection) to Qt6.
Not ported to Qt6 as of yet are: artikulate cantor cervisia juk kamoso kde-dev-utils kdenlive kdesdk-thumbnailers kdev-php kdev-python kdevelop kget kgpg kig kio-gdrive kipi-plugins kiten kmix konversation kqtquickcharts krfb ktorrent ktouch kwave libkipi lokalize marble okular parley poxml rocs umbrello.

Still, I was impressed with the fully working and stable Plasma6 Wayland session when I tested an unreleased KTOWN Live ISO a week ago. Of course, as things go, I seem to have broken the Wayland session in this public release of the KTOWN Live.
The version of SDDM graphical session manager should also be Wayland-capable but I will test that in a future ISO.

Let me know in the comments section below what you think of this Alpha release.

News about my chromium package (also its ungoogled sibling).

I was finally able to get the HEVC video and AC3 audio codec support working. There’s a patch set on github, maintained by StaZhu but I did not like the complexity and I am not really interested in GPU hardware-only support. The browser’s internal ffmpeg libraries playback HEVC just fine, taxing your CPU a bit more than in the case of a supported GPU.
Now, the Thorium Browser is also Chromium based and its developer Alex313031 used StaZhu’s patches and wrote some of his own to add not just HEVC video but also AC3 playback support.
Again, I did not like the complexity of his solution (documented on github) but could not get around using some of the patches provided by both. I simplified some of the others into a bunch of ‘sed’ commands. And that made it work for me.

The browser will now playback HEVC and AC3 media formats, as long as the container file is a MP4. I have not found how I can convince Chromium to also support MKV containers.
The chromium-119.0.6045.123 package is already available in my repository, and chromium-ungoogled is still compiling (the ungoogled patch kit only became available earlier today).

You can test the new HEVC playback capability here: if you select any MP4/HEVC sample (none of those have sound) or Thorium browser test page: (those have AC3 audio).

Have fun!

Chromium 118 (also ungoogled) is a security update

I uploaded new 64bit packages for Chromium 118.0.5993.70 (also the un-googled variant) for which the sources were released a few days ago. This first release in the 118 series addresses a critical vulnerability (CVE-2023-5218) so it’s wise to upgrade.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, future 32bit package updates will have a lower frequency: one update per month. Google has increased the frequency of its Chromium releases dramatically (one per week) and I just cannot keep up. If you need that 32bit package badly now, you can of course grab the sources and my SlackBuild and build it yourself.

Looking at this 118 major release, one thing you need to be aware of is the changed behavior of “Enhanced Safe Browsing” which you can enable in the browser’s security settings (chrome://settings/security). Probably most of you already have this enabled. This is what changed:

Google will be able to disable an installed browser extension remotely if it determines the extension is labeled as ‘malicious’ and the extension was not installed via the Chrome Web Store.
The browser’s security checks of downloaded online content have been enhanced with so-called ‘deep scanning’ meaning the browser may now ask you for a password to open a protected archive you just downloaded. Note that the scanning occurs in Google’s datacenter – when you enable ‘enhanced safe browsing’ you consent to uploading some of your data to Google for the specific purpose of scanning and analyzing it for malicious content.
Also with ‘enhanced safe browsing’ enabled, the browser will send telemetry data about installed browser extensions using the chrome.tabs API to Google’s servers for analysis. This is meant to improve the “detection of malicious and policy violating extensions”.

It is up to you to decide which way the tradeoff between enhanced security and sharing data with Google works for you. If you don’t feel comfortable with this and you value your privacy, then you need to disable (or not enable) ‘Enhanced Safe Browsing’ in the settings.

Find the updated Slackware 15.0 and -current packages both for chromium and chromium-ungoogled in my repository and its mirrors (like my own US server and in a short while, the UK mirror).

Cheers, Eric

Chromium package and release update

You have surely noticed an increase in the frequency with which I am releasing new chromium and chromium-ungoogled packages. This is caused by a new release policy from Google, with an update every week and a bump in the major version (currently 117) every month.
I have tried keeping up with that schedule, but I am giving up.
My reasons? One chromium or chromium-ungoogled package takes 11+ hours to compile (part of the Chromium compilation involves compiling Google’s customized clang compiler). Every update, I need to compile 4 packages. It takes away the fun in updating them to be honest. I don’t know for whom I actually create the 32bit packages still.

So, from this moment onwards, my own package release policy changes as follows. I will keep up with the Google source release cycle, but only for the 64bit packages. My 32bit packages for chromium and chromium-ungoogled will be updated no more than once per month, unless there’s a big security hole to be patched.

By the way, I uploaded new chromium packages for 117.0.5938.149 yesterday and today I added its chromium-ungoogled sibling (64bit only).

Find the updated Slackware 15.0 and -current packages both for chromium and chromium-ungoogled in my repository and its mirrors (like my own US server and in a short while, the UK mirror).

Cheers, Eric

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