Tag Archives: live

KDE 5_18.07 for Slackware, includes Plasma 5.13.3 and Qt 5.11.1

Last week, Slackware-current updated its poppler package . The ‘ktown’ repository for Plasma5 contains a custom built ‘poppler’ package, one that includes Qt5 support. That means that the ‘ktown’ version needs to be kept in sync with the Slackware version to prevent breakage in your Slackware installation. Therefore I recompiled my ‘poppler’ and at the same time, I used the opportunity to grab all the latest sources from the KDE download server and built a whole new and fresh Plasma5 experience for Slackware.

Important to know is that I have bridged the ‘latest’ repository to the ‘testing’ repository. Meaning: I have said goodbye to the LTS (Long Term Support) versions of Qt5 (5.9.6) and Plasma (5.12) and will focus again on the bleeding edge of KDE’s development.
I did this after talking to Patrick to see what his ideas are about Plasma5 and whether he would adopt LTS releases of the software, or perhaps stick with the latest and greatest. Based on discussions in the LinuxQuestions.org forum it was clear that the latest Qt (5.11) combined with the latest Plasma Desktop (5.13) gets rid of bugs that have been annoying Slackware users who have been installing my ‘ktown’ packages. So that settled it, and the difference between ‘latest’ and ‘testing’ is gone again. In future I will probably use the ‘testing’ repository to test Wayland usability in Slackware, like I did in the past. For that reason, it’s best if you point your package manager (slackpkg+ comes to mind) to the ‘latest‘ URL instead of using the ‘testing‘ URL.

What’s new

If you had not yet installed the Plasma 5.13 from my ‘testing’ repository then you will see a fresh new Plasma Desktop with a lot of visual and under-the-hood changes. Read more about those in the official releasenotes. Highlights:

  • browser integration: you need to install a browser extension from the respective browser web store, and then your Firefox, Chrome or Chromium will be tighter integrated into the desktop. Plasma media playback controls will operate on browser tabs; etcetera.
  • re-designed System Settings
  • re-designed login and lock screens
  • fall-back to software rendering if the OpenGL drivers fail
  • plugging in a new monitor will cause a configuration window to popup

Apart from the new Plasma 5.13.3, the other updated components are Frameworks 5.48.0 and Applications 18.04.3. There’s also some updates in the ‘extras’ section for Applications: I rebuilt ‘calligra’ and ‘kile’ because of the newer poppler library incompatibility and updated ‘krita’ and ‘okteta’ to their latest versions.

Go get it

The KDE-5_18.07 is running smooth & stable here on the Lenovo T460 laptop, and I am interested to hear about your experiences. As always, the README file in the root of the repository will tell you all you need to know about installation or upgrade.

I have updated the ‘qt5’ package in my regular repository to 5.11.1 as well, to prevent surprises when you upgrade to the latest ‘ktown’ but stick with qt5-5.9 by accident, like I did today. That was a bit scary for a moment, seeing the new Desktop Environment break inexplicably on the laptop (I had already tested all of it in a virtual machine).

A new Plasma Live ISO is currently being generated, based on the latest slackware-current with kernel 4.14.59. I hope to upload that one later today so that you can check out the new Plasma Desktop without having to install it to your computer.

New set of Live ISOs

blueSW-64pxI have uploaded a fresh set of ISOs for the Slackware Live Edition. They are all based on my ‘liveslak‘ scripts and contain the latest Slackware-current dated “Sat Jun 23 04:57:41 UTC 2018“).
The available ISO variants on https://slackware.nl/slackware-live/latest/ (remember to add support for CACert to your system if you see certificate warnings!) are:

  • Full unmodified Slackware (32bit and 64bit).
  • Stripped-down XFCE (32bit as well as 64bit), this ISO will fit on a CDROM medium.
  • Slackware with MATE 1.20 instead of KDE4 (64bit). Thanks to Willy Sudiarto Raharjo for the packaging.
  • Slackware with Plasma 5 instead of KDE4 (64bit) to showcase the Plasma 5.13.1 release. This ISO also contains LibreOffice 6.0.4 and VLC 3.0.3 among many others.

The new liveslak version 1.2.0 has a couple of updates, most related to changes in package lists and work to keep the XFCE ISO below 700 MB, but there is one update that I should mention. I have added – but have not yet tested myself – the possibility to create a configuration file “/liveslak/slackware_os.cfg” and in that file, define some of the variables you would otherwise have to set through boot commandline parameters. Those variables are:
BLACKLIST, INIT, KEYMAP, LIVE_HOSTNAME, LOAD, LOCALE, LUKSVOL, NOLOAD, RUNLEVEL, TWEAKS, TZ, XKB and you define them, each on their own line, as “VARIABLE=value

Wayland?

This time the ‘testing’ branch in my ‘kown’ repository is focusing on the new Plasma Desktop 5.13, so there is no Wayland support in it now. For a future ‘testing’ release I’ll most likely re-visit Wayland but I want Patrick to add Plasma 5 to Slackware first so I can do my own stuff in just the ‘latest’ branch again and use ‘testing’ for actual tests.

Refreshing your USB stick instead of re-formatting

If you already use a Slackware Live USB stick that you do not want to re-format, you should use the “-r” parameter to the “iso2usb.sh” script. The “-r” or refresh parameter allows you to refresh the liveslak files on your USB stick without touching your custom content. If you want to modify other parameters of your USB stick, use the script “upslak.sh“. It’s main feature is that it can update the kernel on the USB stick, but it also can replace the Live init script. As with most (if not all) of my scripts, use the “-h” parameter to get help on its functionality.

Historical info on liveslak

More detail about the features of Slackware Live Edition can be found in previous posts here on the blog.

Have fun!

New Live ISOs for Slackware-current 20180209

blueSW-64pxI have uploaded a fresh set of ISOs for the Slackware Live Edition. They are (of course) based on the ‘liveslak‘ scripts and contain the latest Slackware-current dated “Fri Feb 9 19:59:54 UTC 2018“), which sports the new 4.14.18 kernel which is mitigated against the Meltdown and Spectre v1 vulnerabilities.
The ISO variants you will find at the download URL https://slackware.nl/slackware-live/latest/ (remember to add support for CACert to your system if you see certificate warnings!) are:

  • Full unmodified Slackware (32bit and 64bit).
  • Stripped-down XFCE (32bit as well as 64bit), this ISO will fit on a CDROM medium.
  • Slackware with MATE instead of KDE4 (64bit) to showcase the new 1.20 release of just 2 days ago. Thanks to Willy Sudiarto Raharjo for the packaging!
  • Slackware with Plasma 5 instead of KDE4 (64bit) to showcase the Plasma 5.12 Long Term Support (LTS) release. This ISO also contains LibreOffice 6.0.1 and VLC 3.0.0.

The new liveslak version 1.1.9.6 has seen only a few updates since the previous tag, they are related to the package additions in Plasma 5.

Wayland and X.Org

The PLASMA5 ISO image does not feature Wayland support this time, but if you want you can build an ISO version that does! Download my liveslak scripts and use the following command to generate a PLASMA5 ISO (you will find it in /tmp afterwards) with the additional packages from my ‘testing’ repositories that add Wayland support:

# git clone --depth 1 git://bear.alienbase.nl/liveslak.git
# cd liveslak
# ./make_slackware_live.sh -d PLASMA5 -m plasma5wayland -M -X

If you run a Wayland-enabled Slackware Live, you can login to a regular X.Org Plasma5 session but you can also choose the “Plasma – Wayland” session from the SDDM dropdown menu.

Refreshing your USB stick instead of re-formatting

If you already use a Slackware Live USB stick that you do not want to re-format, you should use the “-r” parameter to the “iso2usb.sh” script. The “-r” or refresh parameter allows you to refresh the liveslak files on your USB stick without touching your custom content. If you want to modify other parameters of your USB stick, use the script “upslak.sh“. It’s main feature is that it can update the kernel on the USB stick, but it also can replace the Live init script. As with most (if not all) of my scripts, use the “-h” parameter to get help on its functionality.

Historical info on liveslak

More detail about the features of Slackware Live Edition can be found in previous posts here on the blog.

Have fun!

What’s new for January? Plasma5 18.01, and more

When I sat down to write a new post I noticed that I had not written a single post since the previous Plasma 5 announcement. Well, I guess the past month was a busy one. Also I bought a new e-reader (the Kobo Aura H2O 2nd edition) to replace my ageing Sony PRS-T1. That made me spend a lot of time just reading books and enjoying a proper back-lit E-ink screen. What I read? The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams, A Shadow all of Light by Fred Chappell, Persepolis Rising and several of the short stories (Drive, The Butcher of Anderson Station, The Churn and Strange Dogs) by James SA Corey and finally Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. All very much worth your time.

And then work began in all earnest, and I tried to do the packaging activities for Slackware in the wee hours of the night:

  • wine got an update to 2.21 (the final one before the 3.0 release which I intend to package when the staging patches are also available)
  • chromium was updated to 63.0.3239.132 accompanied by the usual security fixes (these Google guys are pretty good at exposing vulnerabilities… think Meltdown and Spectre most recently)
  • Flash plugins for Mozilla and Chromium based browsers were updated to 28.0.0.137 – also accompanied by a security advisory
  • Lumina Desktop was updated to 1.4.0.p1 and I added two supporting packages as well: poppler-qt5 and acpilight.
  • Pale Moon got an update to 27.7.1

And most recently, I finished the January ’18 set of Plasma 5 packages for Slackware -current. My KDE-5_18.01 contains: KDE Frameworks 5.42.0, Plasma 5.11.5 and Applications 17.12.1. All based on Qt 5.9.3 and exclusive for Slackwarecurrent because as explained in the previous post, I stopped providing Plasma 5 updates for Slackware 14.2.
There’s again a choice of ‘latest‘ and ‘testing‘ where the ‘testing’ repository contains 17 recompiled packages that provide a Wayland compositor stack. This means you can have a working Plasma5 Wayland session if you use ‘testing‘ as opposed to ‘latest‘.
The ‘testing‘ repository is for… testing. Do not use those packages on a production environment unless you are familiar with Slackware, debugging graphical sessions and know your way around slackpkg/slackpkg+.

I will be short about the updates in this latest Plasma 5 package set: all the major components got stability fixes and it’s all not so exciting. In the ‘applications-extra’ division I updated most of the big boys: digikam, krita, partitionmanager, kstars, and the Kdevelop Suite. The kdevplatform package has been removed as it has been obsoleted.

The accompanying README file contains full installation & upgrade instructions. I have some further reading material in case you are interested in the Wayland functionality of the ‘testing’ repository: README.testing.

Package download locations are:

If you are interested in the development of KDE 5 for Slackware, you can peek at my git repository too.

A new Plasma5 Live ISO image (based on liveslak-1.1.9.5) has been uploaded to http://slackware.nl/slackware-live/latest/ , in case you want to try the new Plasma5 desktop out first in a non-destructive way. And for the curious: I sneakily added a VLC 3.0 preview package to the Plasma5 Live ISO (vlc-3.0.0.rc6 to be precise). Much improved compared to the vlc-2.2.x releases!

Have fun! Eric

Live ISOs for Slackware-current 20171122

blueSW-64pxI have released an update of the ‘liveslak‘ scripts. I needed the tag for a batch of new ISO images for the Slackware Live Edition. These are based on the latest Slackware-current dated “Wed Nov 22 05:27:06 UTC 2017“) i.e. yesterday and that means, the ISOs are going to boot into the new 4.14.1 kernel.

The new liveslak version 1.1.9.3 has a few updates. Most are not worth mentioning but these are:

  • CACert root certificates are added to the OS so that you can visit the upcoming blog.alienbase.nl securely without nasty warnings about untrusted certificates.
  • The PLASMA5 ISO image features Wayland support. You can login to a regular X.Org Plasma5 session but you can also choose the “Plasma – Wayland” session from the SDDM dropdown menu. In order to keep the ISO size below the DVD medium maximum size, I had to leave the optional ‘wine’ module out of the ISO. You can still download the wine module from the ‘bonus‘ location.
    FYI, this was the command to generate that PLASMA5 ISO:

    # ./make_slackware_live.sh -d PLASMA5 -m plasma5wayland -M -X

If you already use a Slackware Live USB stick that you do not want to re-format, you should use the “-r” parameter to the “iso2usb.sh” script. The “-r” or refresh parameter allows you to refresh the liveslak files on your USB stick without touching your custom content. If you want to modify other parameters of your USB stick, use the script “upslak.sh“. It’s main feature is that it can update the kernel on the USB stick, but it also can replace the Live init script. As with most (if not all) of my scripts, use the “-h” parameter to get help on its functionality.

More detail about the features of Slackware Live Edition can be found in previous posts here on the blog.

Have fun!