My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Tag: networkmanager

KDE SC 4.11.2 and new networkmanagement applet for testing

As part of the 4.11 development cycle, the KDE Software Compilation 4.11.2 has been released yesterday.

I built the packages but (no) thanks to not feeling well, I was not able to get them ready in parallel with the source code release. Not a big deal really, since this is a minor bugfix release. The upgrade will be straightforward.

There is one thing I want to mention however. A Redhat team (as far as I know at least) is working on a replacement for the networkmanagement widget (which you can use in KDE to manage the Network Manager connections). The new  Plasma applet is written in QML/C++ and is meant to be a drop-in replacement for the older widget-based networkmanagement applet. The new applet is optimized for Plasma active (the touch interface of KDE) but should also work well with the Plasma desktop UI.

To this purpose, I have added three new packages to the kde/ directory: libmm-qt, libnm-qt and plasma-nm. If you install these, you will be able to add a new networkmanagement widget and remove the old NM widget. I have only tested this briefly on my own desktop with wired network (without issues), but I have no idea how it behaves on a laptop with wireless. Apparently this applet will be the way forward, so I added the packages for preliminary testing.

How to upgrade to KDE 4.11.2 ?

Note: you have to be running Slackware-current! These packages are not suited for Slackware 14.0.

You will find all the installation/upgrade instructions that you need in the accompanying README file. That README also contains basic information for KDE recompilation using the provided SlackBuild script You are strongly advised to read and follow these installation/upgrade instructions!

Where to find packages for KDE 4.11.2 ?

Download locations are listed below (you will find the sources in ./source/4.11.2/ and packages in /current/4.11.2/ subdirectories). Using a mirror is preferred because you get more bandwidth from a mirror and it’s friendlier to the owners of the master server!

Have fun! Eric

Slackware-current gets KDE 4.8.2, hooray

It was bound to happen, and while I was asleep Pat updated slackware-current with a fresh batch of packages… containing KDE 4.8.2 and all the stuff that it depends on!

The update to the ChangeLog.txt makes up almost 20% of the full ChangeLog length so far! Finally we have a beefy update to -current. It’s playtime for those who had not used my own unofficial “ktown” builds yet.

Note that Slackware’s version of Calligra (the successor to Koffice) is now at the official stable release, version 2.4. My own package was still a release candidate.

Also note that Networkmanager was added to Slackware! So, what I had kept separately in a “testing” directory because I was not sure what Pat would want to do with it, is now being used in the distribution after all. Enabling NetworkManager is done like in my own instructions: make the rc script executable (Slackware will ship NM disabled by default) using the command “chmod +x /etc/rc.d/rc.networkmanager”, and add the NetworkManager plasmoid (widget) to your KDE desktop in order to configure it.

The good old way of using rc.inet1 to configure your network is still available of course, this will not change! Also, you can still use WICD instead if you prefer that. Users of XFCE will want to stick with WICD anyway, since Slackware does not have a graphical configuration tool for managing NM connections, apart from the KDE widget.

Upgrade instructions:

If you are currently running “alien” packages for KDE 4.8.2 and want to upgrade to the official packages in Slackware-current, then you’ll have to be prepared for some manual labour. But it may not be that hard after all, except when you have a lot of my other packages installed as well (like multilib versions of gcc/glibc and lots of “compat32” packages).

  1. If you are using slackpkg to maintain your Slackware,  then probably you have blacklisted all of my packages.In this case, temporarily remove or comment the line in “/etc/slackpkg/blacklist” that goes “[0-9]+alien”. Then use slackpkg to upgrade to slackware-current as usual, with this condition: do not blindly accept the list of packages to be upgraded, but review every single package shown by slackpkg as a candidate for upgrading. De-select every package which you want to keep! All the “alien” packages related to KDE and its dependencies must stay in a “selected” state. Then let slackpkg do its upgrade work and you’ll end up with a proper slackware-current.
  2. If you want to upgrade using slackpkg but are not prepared to review lots of packages manually to see if they should be upgraded or left alone, then a very fast way of upgrading from my own to Slackware’s packages will be the following four commands followed by a regular upgrade using slackpkg (example paths are for 64-bit Slackware, so if you are running 32-bit Slackware then you have to ignore the “64”):
  1. upgradepkg /path/to/local-mirror-of/slackware64-current/slackware64/a/*.t?z
  2. upgradepkg /path/to/local-mirror-of/slackware64-current/slackware64/l/*.t?z
  3. upgradepkg /path/to/local-mirror-of/slackware64-current/slackware64/kde/*.t?z
  4. upgradepkg /path/to/local-mirror-of/slackware64-current/slackware64/kdei/*.t?z

Note that if you blindly ran these four commands and you are on a multilib system, you will have overwritten the multilib versions of the glibc packages with original (non-multilib) Slackware versions. You will have to download and upgrade to my multilib glibc packages again. Note that this will not break your Slackware installation… it merely disables the use of 32-bit software until you re-install my multilib glibc packages.

Have fun! Eric

KDE updated to 4.7.3

Another month passes, and another maintenance release of KDE.arrives, we are up to 4.7.3 now. As usual, here are my KDE 4.7.3 packages for Slackware hot on the heals of the KDE team.

For those who are trying my 4.7 packages for the first time and wonder why the hell am I offering so many packages, please read my earlier post about KDE 4.7.0 which explains more about splitting KDE for Slackware into many more (and smaller) packages.

My packages have been compiled on Slackware-current. My educated guess is that you can use them on Slackware 13.37 too (several people have reported in various places that they are running my KDE 4.7.2 on Slackware 13.37 successfully).


Read the accompanying README file for installation and upgrade instructions!

Some of the highlights of these KDE packages:

  • There are several updated dependencies compared to Slackware’s own KDE 4.5.5: PyQt, QScintilla, akonadi, attica, clucene, ebook-tools, hunspell, libdbusmenu-qt, phonon, polkit-qt-1, qt, raptor2, rascal, redland, shared-desktop-ontologies, sip, soprano, strigi, system-config-printer and virtuoso-ose.
  • In comparison with my previous KDE 4.7.2 the number of updated dependencies is a bit smaller: akonadi, grantlee, libbluedevil, libssh, phonon, shared-desktop-ontologies and upower.
  • KDE dpendencies that are not part of Slackware 13.37 at all (yet): grantlee, herqq, libatasmart, libbluedevil, libssh, phonon-gstreamer, phonon-xine, sg3_utils and udisks. Note that I added phonon-gstreamer and phonon-xine only after I had already released KDE 4.7.0 packages because people reported that they no longer had sound. These two packages solve that issue.

Not new since I added these to KDE 4.7.1 before (but if you are new to KDE 4.7 this will interest you):

  • You will find some additional useful new applications, which are not part of the KDE core set. They are new, compared to Slackware’s own version of KDE. I already added bluedevil to my 4.6.5 package-set. Bluedevil is the new KDE bluetooth stack with a nice GUI, based on the BlueZ libraries already present in Slackware. And with KDE 4.7.0, I included kplayer, a KDE front-end to MPlayer. With KDE 4.7.2, I added Quanta Plus, which disappeared from KDE4 because that migrated from Qt3 to Qt4. It is now being worked on again, but no longer as a standalone application – instead it is available as a plugin to the Kdevelop Platform. And this time, I added a native WICD applet for KDE, called “wicd-kde“. It can replace the GTK based “wicd-client” which is part of the wicd package.
  • I also added oxygen-gtk, which is not really an application, but a theme engine. It (optionally) makes GTK applications visually blend in with KDE’s own Oxygen theme. There is a README in its documentation directory which explains how to enable it.
  • And right after releasing my KDE 4.7.2 packages, I added a “test” directory. The same test directory is also present in the 4.7.3 package set. It contains Networkmanager, plus some other dependencies, that allow to create a package for “networkmanagement” which is an applet plus a kcontrol (i.e. a plugin for KDE’s systemsettings). This allows you to switch from WICD to NetworkManager as your basic network management service. The applet plus kcontrol make it dead easy to configure your network (wired, wireless, vpn, dsl and mobile broadband). No new Gnome libraries had to be added for this (NM itself plus its supporting tools have no dependency on the rest of Gnome). I have added NM installation/configuration instructions to the README.

A small aside I want to mention:

There was one bug that has been plaguing me ever since KDE 4.7.0 (and I may have had this occasionally before 4.7 but I cannot remember for certain). The bug seems to be ALSA related, but unsure is whether the fault is with ALSA or with KDE. The “kde deamon (kded4)” crashes every time when I login to KDE. Surely, it will automatically restart but it is ugly. It is still there in KDE 4.7.3 and it is described in these two bug reports:

There is a workaround though. If you disable “KMixD Mixer Service (kmixd)” from being started at logon, the crash does not occur anymore and so far I have not found any lost functionality. My laptop’s hardware volume keys still work, and the KDE mixer applet is still functional. Go to System Settings > Startup and Shutdown > Service Manager, and remove the check in the checkbox for KMix Daemon.

The KDE 4.7.3 packages for Slackware-current are available for download from my “ktown” repository and several mirrors (taper will be in sync when I post this, the other mirrors will have to catch up):

Have fun! Eric

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