My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Tag: slackbuild (Page 2 of 3)

Using git for version control

I have always really hated the Git Version Control System (or VCS).

I am pretty comfortable working with other products like RCS, CVS and Subversion (SVN). I am not a developer, so my main use for a VCS is a to allow me to keep track of the changes in my SlackBuild scripts or my server’s log book. I use RCS for this, it is simple but effective.

Of course, in order to compile software it is often required to check out the source code for the program. This is how I got familiar with CVS, SVN, mercurial and git. Way back when I was “build manager” for a software company, I have used PVCS, Clearcase and Visual SourceSafe which are all commercial programs. So, I have been around.

Still, git still confused me after all that time as a end-user. Git uses some alien (to me) concepts which I did not grasp because I never took the trouble to dive into its documentation – I knew just enough to checkout source code from a git repository and did not need – did not want to – know more.

This changed recently. Because two of the projects I am involved with are preparing to use git as their Version Control System, I was forced to start learning how to approach the tool as a developer.

I quickly decided it was worth the while to run two parallel tracks: start reading documentation, and at the same time actually using git by setting up a server for hosting git repositories.

I found some places which host very good reading material.

  • The Pro Git book at . This book is hosted itself in a git repository and the language translations are coordinated using git. Well-written with lots of visual examples.
  • The Git Community Book at .

I’m halfway through the “Pro Git” book, retracing my steps a few times after the new concepts found a place in my brain. Indeed, git is starting to make sense now. Surely it has some very strong points which make it interesting not only for large projects with lots of developers who are scattered all over the place (like the Linux kernel developers) but also for small projects like those I am participating in.

Perhaps I will document more about my git activities in a future Wiki article – for instance how I am setting up an online git repository.

This made me think of something else: could it be beneficial to dump the history of my SlackBuild script repository (past and future) into a git repository? What do you think – will it help you if you are able to look at older revisions of my SlackBuild scripts? Some time ago I started copying the SlackBuild script into the documentation directory of every Slackware package I create, but I realize that once I release a newer package, the older scripts disappear from public view.

Leave your opinions in the comments section below please.


KDE Software Compilation 4.4 RC2

The KDE team are getting closer to the 4.4 release of the KDE Software Compilation (“KDE SC” is the new name of what used to be called just “KDE“).

The second release candidate has been released today (the release was delayed for several days). For Slackware Linux I have prepared 32-bit and 64-bit packages with the accompanying SlackBuild scripts. You will find those at http.// (Version “4.3.95” is the same as “4.4.rc2”).

As before, these packages are built for Slackware-current. You can safely install the KDE 4.4.rc2 packages if you are running a slackware-current from around 20 january 2010 or newer. Do not try to install these packages on Slackware 13.0.


  • Don’t forget to also install the updated or new dependencies! These “deps” packages can be found in the “x86_64/deps” directory.
  • The KDE 4.4.rc2 packages themselves can be found in “x86_64/kde
  • And of course, the localization packages (non-english language translations of KDE) are available in “x86_64/kdei“. For the first time, I was able to build all of the non-english language packs without errors.


  • Don’t forget to also install the updated or new dependencies! These “deps” packages can be found in the “x86/deps” directory.
  • The KDE 4.4.rc2 packages themselves can be found in “x86/kde
  • If you need a language pack, you can grab one from the 64-bit package tree.

Here are the steps on how you download the packages and install them. You can have an older version of KDE installed, but that is not required. You will end up with KDE 4.4.rc2 installed on your system. Instructions are for the 64-bit packages, I think you can figure out how to change them if you want the 32-bit versions:

  1. Download everything in the directory :
    # lftp -c "open ; mirror x86_64"
  2. Change into the directory “x86_64? which has just been created in your current directory:
    # cd x86_64
  3. Remove the no longer required kdelibs-experimental package if you still have that installed. It is part of KDE 4.3.x (i.e. Slackware 13.0 did not have this package). If you do not have kdelibs-experimental on your system, you will get a harmless error message that you can ignore:
    # removepkg kdelibs-experimental
  4. Install/upgrade the KDE 4.4 dependencies:
    # upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new deps/*.t?z
  5. Install/upgrade KDE4.4.rc2 packages:
  6. # upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new kde/*.t?z
  7. Install/upgrade a language package if you prefer to have the KDE interface in your local language (I used “nl” in the example command, you should substitute your own language code there):
    # upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new kdei/kde-l10n-nl-*.t?z

Of course, you should not run those commands while running KDE…!

A big project like KDE needs fast hardware in order to compile in a reasonable time, and I have only one machine (which also happens to be my desktop computer) where I can do this. I strive to have 32-bit packages available as well as 64-bit packages for the final 4.4 release of KDE SC like I did for this release candidate.

If you want to compile the packages from source like I did, that is entirely possible using the provided sources and build scripts.

Have fun, Eric

Alien’s SlackBuild Toolkit

Some time ago I posted a blurb about “AST”, which is my “Alien’s SlackBuild Toolkit”. It is a web-based application for people who want to build a package for Slackware and don’t feel comfortable writing a build script. AST will ask you a few questions and then produces a SlackBuild script and slack-desc file which will usually need only small final adjustments.

The SlackBuild script it produced was derived on the template I use for my own scripts (see Since my previous blog post, I have received feedback from users who wanted to have more choice in the template to use for their scripts.

So, I sat down at the drawing board and expanded AST. The result is that you can now choose from three templates. The default template is still my own, called “web“. The two others are “sbo” which is based on the template script, and “bare” which is modeled after the scripts being used in Slackware.

I hope you like it – feedback always welcome.

Have fun! Eric

Asleep at the wheel, or…?

I realize that I have not been updating my SlackBuilds repository at all that much lately. That does not mean that I stopped caring! On the contrary, I’d say.

Apart from several small-ish updates to articles in my Wiki (thanks for the feedback which enables me to improve the existing pages!) I have been busy in the background, following the progress of VLC developers who are working towards a 0.9.9 and eventually a 1.0.0 release, and in particular laboring on packages for the official Slackware tree. There are KDE 4.2.1 and XFCE 4.6.0 (both not officially released yet). And be prepared to see some other major updates in slackware-current as well, soon.

I do hope to get some time next month to skim through my repository and update packages that are popular. I was thinking about wine, ekiga, ffmpeg and adding avidemux, but I am open to suggestions about what other packages would need my immediate attention.

Cheers, Eric

Slackware 12.2 is nearing release

The Slackware ChangeLog.txt is full of frenzied activity these days. It may be obvious that the next official release is just around the corner. I was taken by surprise when I saw the ChangeLog entry of Mon Dec 8 22:31:55 CST 2008:

isolinux/initrd.img:  Added missing mount.nfs.
       Added INSSMB, an installer script to use a Samba source.
       Thanks to Eric Hameleers.

I had not expected to see the Samba network installation choice appear in this release… I wrote this fairly recently and it was targeted to be added only after 12.2 was officially released. Anyway, it is nice to see it appear now. All you need to use it, is a Samba share (using a Samba or even a Windows server) that does not require authentication.

This is how that looks when you are installing Slackware 12.2:

Network install options

Slackware 12.2 network install options

Hope you all like it! It will certainly make life easier for those who only have a Windows server to store the Slackware directory tree on.

A related note:

At the same time, we (the admin team) are working hard behind the screens to get all the SlackBuild scripts in our “12.1” repository validated for the new 12.2 release. We have asked all maintainers to test their own contributions when possible, and for those who do not have a slackware-current system available, we will do the validation ourselves. The web site is already prepared, so the update should be fast and painless.

Cheers, Eric

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