My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Tag: upgrade

Short maintenance downtime window coming up

My “Alien Pastures” blog will be down for two or three hours on Thursday, 27 July 2017, starting around 1700 UTC.

The blog runs on a server in the Teklinks datacenter, and that will be replaced by new hardware. Since this involves driving to the datacenter and doing physical work (thanks Robby Workman!) the slightly longer-than-usual downtime is needed.

Additionally, the following services that are running on the same hardware, will also be down:

The http, ftp, and git services of will not be affected, as those are hosted on a different machine.

Cheers, Eric

OS upgrade for taper mirror aka docs wiki

Last night I upgraded the Operating System of my taper mirror (which also hosts the Wiki for to Slackware 13.37 plus patches. It has been running Slackware 13.1 reliably for two years now, but I do not want my public servers to be more than one OS release behind the most recent version.

With Slackware 14 around the corner this was the perfect opportunity to spend a sleepless night on an upgrade. Using slackpkg, I basically followed the procedure which I recently added to SlackDocs: using my own local package mirror.

No issues were encountered. I kept all services running, as long as they were in RAM they would not be affected by the package’s binaries being replaced on disk.

The upgrade to 13.37 was also a requirement for any future upgrade to the Dokuwiki software which I use for the Wiki. The pcre package in Slackware 13.1 lacks proper unicode support and that breaks the search function in the new beta of Dokuwiki. This is what you should see (and Slackware 13.37 does it right):

$ pcretest -C | grep -i unicode
Unicode properties support
\R matches all Unicode newlines

Nobody has noticed that I upgraded the OS 🙂 The server did not go down except for a reboot into the new kernel… all in all, the server was unavailable for 30 seconds. A Slackware system upgrade works flawlessly, which distro can beat that?!?


Here you go – KDE 4.5.2 for Slackware

KDE 4.5.2

You probably were aware that the KDE team had released version 4.5.2 of their software compilation a little while ago. I had other things to do at that time, so you did not see a package set for Slackware until now.

Yesterday I talked to Pat Volkerding to see what his short-term planning looked like,  and based on the conversation I decided to go ahead and build a set of packages for slackwarre-current (32-bit and 64-bit of course). Rest assured that Pat is working on something equally entertaining as building KDE packages 😉

Here they are, uploaded to my ‘ktown’ repository.

See the README file for installation or upgrade instructions. They are no different from any prior release. There is not even a single additional dependency to install this time, thanks to the fact that Slackware -current already contains KDE SC 4.5.1.

Have fun!


Blog maintenance

I took the opportunity to upgrade my blog software to the latest release of WordPress. As usual, the upgrade was a careful but straight-forward process with no hidden traps.

I use a special plugin, “Maintenance Mode” which shows a maintenance notice during the upgrade so that I could work without feeling the pressure.


No idea if you can spot the difference, but the admin backend sure changed!


My dokuwiki got an update

Today, I updated the Dokuwiki software that I use for my Wiki to the latest version, and installed a new version of the Monobook template as well. Also, no thanks to the spambots that were messing up the Wiki’s discussion pages, I installed a “captcha” plugin. You are now required to enter a few “hard to read characters” before you are allowed to edit any page. If the characters are indeed hard to read, you can playback an audio version (a voice reads the characters out loud one by one).

I believe that the upgrade worked well, but if any of you find something weird on the pages that you think should not be there, please drop me an email or reply to this post, and I will fix it.


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