Tag Archives: stable

This week focuses on Slackware 14.2 packages

The admins over there at slackbuilds.org have updated their version of the Qt5 build script (targeting Slackware 14.2) to 5.9.6, i.e. the latest version of the Long Term Support (LTS) for Qt5.
That triggered me to provide the same service for my own package repository targeting Slackware 14.2. Since more and more software is depending on Qt5, a lot of people will have some qt5 package installed, either built from the SBo script or installed from my repository. In order to minimize breakage, I think it is good if SBo’s and mine are the same version so that it should not matter which one you have installed.

So, I did a chained upgrade: libwacom (0.31), libinput (1.7.3), libxkbcommon (0.8.2), qt5 (5.9.6) and qt5-webkit (5.9.1) in that order to take care of dependencies. The latest releases of these packages are now available for Slackware 14.2. Note that for the 32bit Slackware 14.2, the libwacom package is a new dependency for both libinput and qt5. My repository contained a pretty old 32bit qt5 package (5.7.0) which was not built against libwacom.

I did not look too hard, but I found one package that was broken after these updates: the calibre package. So I updated that too for Slackware 14.2 (to version 3.32.0). A package for slackware-current will follow soon, but first I want to continue with some more overdue package updates for Slackware 14.2. LibreOffice is the next one on the list (6.1.2) and it is currently compiling on the 32bit OS; the 64bit packages are already done.

I’ll have a look in the repository ChangeLog.txt to find what more needs to be done.
Stay posted! Eric

Slackware 14.2 released

Yep

Slackware 14.2 has been released today, July 1st of 2016. Don’t fall off your chairs.
More than two and a half years have passed since the previous stable release 14.1 but the long wait was definitely worth it. Actually, the timestamp for 14.2 finalization is “Thu Jun 30 20:26:57 UTC 2016” but Pat needs time to prepare ISO images, torrent trackers, set up mirrors, write the announcement blurb etcetera… plus the team is spread over several timezones which makes it hard to pick a time to raise the glass.
This is a stellar release, go read the release announcement, and start preparing your upgrades. People whose computers have been in sync with slackware-current are in fact already running 14.2 at this moment. CD and DVD masters have been sent to the replicators and official ISOs can be expected to show up on mirrors soon.

No doubt there will be another festive thread on LinuxQuestions.org, I am sorry there was no “guess the release date” contest this time around. It would have been a hard one to win anyway, considering the fact that Slackware’s first Beta release for 14.2 happened on January 13th… five and a half months ago, which is about the length of a typical release cycle for some other software projects out there.

Let’s mention some more Slackware goodness. Check out the Wiki of the Slackware Documentation Project where content is being added all the time. The Wiki’s virtual server had some serious stability issues last year, so it was replaced with a real-iron one with lots of CPU and bandwidth to spare. Thanks to all for the donations which allowed me to rent it for years to come. Another project that saw the light last year was Slackware Live Edition. This new approach to creating a live version for Slackware allows you to take the distro out for a test drive (in a virtual machine, or using bootable DVD or USB media) without having to install it first. Slackware Live Edition comes in several variants, containing desktop environments not found by default in Slackware: Plasma 5 (the cutting edge of KDE) and Mate (an enjoyable Gnome 2 fork). An ISO image for Slackware Live 14.2 is here: http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/slackware/slackware-live/slackware64-14.2-live/ .
And don’t forget the SlackBuilds.org project. It contains a wealth of package build scripts for just about any software you can think of.

If you are the owner of an ARM computer like the Raspberry Pi or a BeagleBoard or such, the latest Slackware ARM 14.2 created by Stuart Winter will become available soon. Stuart announced that this release will be his last, but you never know.

What’s new in Slackware 14.2?

The new stable release of Slackware contains X11R7.7 (X.Org server 1.18.3), KDE 4.14.21 (KDE 4.14.3 with kdelibs-4.14.21 and modularized i.e. many more – but smaller – packages), XFCE 4.12, the Linux 4.4.14 kernel as default, but with sample kernel configs for newer 4.6 kernels included as well. Slackware now uses PulseAudio in order to support bluetooth audio devices properly. ALSA is also still supported. And tonnes of other upgrades can be found too.
Time for some statistics: in the 970 days since Slackware 14.1 was released, only 259 packages out of a total of 1332 (not counting /extra and /testing) have remained untouched. The other 1073 packages were either added , upgraded or recompiled.

And what’s not…

We still do not include systemd – we are quite happy  with Slackware’s init system. In order to remain competitive, Slackware’s udev was replaced with eudev and ConsoleKit was replaced with ConsoleKit2. That should keep the distro fit for the future.
During the next development cycle I am going to look into elogind (another component of systemd which was forked and made independent just like eudev). It is needed for KDE Plasma’s Wayland support. Indeed, Wayland is not part of Slackware 14.2, as we think X.Org is doing a good job.

Upgrading

People upgrading from Slackware 14.1 have multiple options. You should definitely read the CHANGES_AND_HINTS file to get a good picture of the many package additions and removals. The UPGRADE.TXT file is an invaluable source if you want to perform a manual upgrade. The Slackware Documentation Project contains an article called “upgrading Slackware to a new release“. It describes how to use the slackpkg tool (which is part of Slackware) to perform the upgrade with a large degree of automation.

Get Slack

Download your official ISO images from any of the Slackware mirrors. We use mirrorbrain to ensure that a visit to mirrors.slackware.com will lead you to a server that is near to you. In light of previous load issues with Slackware’s primary server at slackware.com, Akamai have generously provided Slackware Inc. with extensive global content caching and Internet routing performance enhancements, allowing us to keep the site up, even at peak times.

You can use bittorrent too if that allows you to download at larger speeds. Our tracker is ready on http://www.slackware.com/getslack/torrents.php.
Torrent files for the Slackware Live Edition are available too: http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/slackware/torrents/slackware64-14.2/slackware64-14.2-live.torrent (64bit edition) and http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/slackware/torrents/slackware-14.2/slackware-14.2-live.torrent (32bit edition).

Or you create the ISO image yourself: our buddy alphageek created a set of “sligdo” templates which is a fast way to recreate a bit-for-bit copy of the official Slackware DVD ISO using the “jigdo” tool and a full copy of a Slackware release directory structure. The MD5 and GPG signatures will check out OK for an ISO created with sligdo. I have copies of all the sligdo files in case alphageek’s computer is offline.

And please consider buying a subscription at the Slackware Store – it will help keeping the distribution alive. You must understand that Pat is the only one in the core team who is financially dependent on the sales of Slackware DVD’s and other merchandise. I do not think anyone who ever used Slackware wants to see this great distribution die through lack of funding. The rest of the team does this for fun, not for profit – we buy our own subscriptions from the Store, just like you do.

Have fun! Eric

 

Go go! New stable release of Slackware is available: 13.37

It took way too long to my liking, but I should not complain, it was a lot of fun helping to create it. Eleven months after the previous stable release here we have the next installment of Slackware Linux. The additional polishing in the past three months certainly paid off with regard to stability and features.

From the ChangeLog.txt:

Mon Apr 25 13:37:00 UTC 2011
Slackware 13.37 stable is released!

Read all about it in the official announcement or check out the ANNOUNCE.TXT directly.

Slackware is forever free to download with no strings attached, but if you like the product and want to see it survive then I recommended that you consider buying a copy of the DVD or CD-set. It really helps funding the development of the distro (and I am not getting any money out of that). It is not mandatory of course. The ISOs are available for free, and Bittorrent is the fastest way to get them: http://www.slackware.com/getslack/torrents.php. Slackware comes with two Bittorrent clients such as the graphical ktorrent (part of KDE) and the console-based bittorrent (not installed by default but available in the /extra directory). You can find further rsync/http/ftp download links for the ISO images on this page (mind you that not every mirror carries ISO images): http://alphageek.dyndns.org/linux/slackware-mirrors/

I have my own fast mirror too (also available through rsync):

Alphageek’s “sligdo files” are a very fast way of creating byte-exact copies of the official ISOs in case you already have a local mirror-copy of the full Slackware 13.37 tree. The ISOs you create with sligdo (http://alphageek.noip.me/linux/sligdo/) will pass the GPG verification test. He should have those sligdo files ready for download in time. If not, I have copies here: http://alien.slackbook.org/sligdo/ .

If you want to know more about how to create a Slackware USB installer if your computer does not have a CD or DVD drive, read this older article of mine: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/installing-slackware-using-usb-thumb-drive/ – or for the Windows users: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/welcome-windows-user/

If you install or upgrade to the 64-bit version of Slackware 13.37 and want to have a system which is capable of running 32-bit software too (Slackware64 itself is a pure 64-bit distro), then you can make your Slackware64 multilib capable. Read all about the multilib process (which is painless, fairly easy and straight-forward): http://alien.slackbook.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=slackware:multilib

In the spirit of an Easter release (which is right behind us now) I also managed to sneak in an Easter Egg (with Pat’s approval). Tell me if you managed to find what I added to Slackware 13.37 in secret. Drat! Pat spilled it in the announcement on the website…

Have fun! Eric

Edit 01-jun-2-16: Alphageek’s URL changed from http://alphageek.dyndns.org/linux/sligdo/ to http://alphageek.noip.me/linux/sligdo/ .