My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Tag: vlc (Page 3 of 9)

Two not-so-exciting updates but useful to some

Today I uploaded packages for VLC and LibreOffice. They are not for everyone, but let me explain this before you start scratching your head.

LibreOffice 4.1.5 was recently released and I maintain LibreOffice 4.1.x for Slackware 14.0. The newer Slackware releases (14.1 and the -current development tree) are treated to LibreOffice 4.2.x and currently I have libreoffice-4.1.2 packages available.

I finally came round to compiling libreoffice-4.1.5 on Slackware 14.0 and you can now download these packages.

Package locations:

I suspect that many people will have transitioned to Slackware 14.1 but there will likely be some left  who will benefit from a newer LibreOffice on Slackware 14.0. I am one of them.

largeVLCAnd a commentor on my previous blog post requested packages for the new VLC 2.1.4. Actually, there was not a lot of sense to that, since the changes between 2.1.3 and 2.1.4 are targeting Mac OSX only. The VideoLAN web site still offers VLC 2.1.3 packages for Windows prominently on their homepage.

In order to quell the voices that request packages for the newest VLC release, I decided to build this version anyway and update my repositories with it. The new vlc-2.1.4 packages can be downloaded from the usual locations.


The week in review

I have not been updating this blog for a couple of days, but that did not mean I was sitting on hy hands.

These are the package updates which landed in my various repositories during the last few days:


calibreicoNearly every week I have been updating my Calibre packages whenever Kovid Goyal released a new version. Especially the last couple of releases are really exciting. Perhaps you noticed (if you are an ebook lover or even an ebook writer) that the Sigil EPUB editor’s progress had stalled, in fact the software’s development is dead. I did not really care because Sigil had switched its Qt dependency from 4 to 5 and Slackware does not contain Qt5, so new Slackware packages were out of the question anyway. Now, Calibre has been enhanced with an ebook editor. Visually and functionally the Calibre ebook editor application shows similarities to Sigil, however it is a completely different program, and it integrates perfectly into the Calibre GUI. You can invoke it directly by running “ebook-edit” from a terminal or using the “Edit E-book” menu item in your Desktop Environment.

Calibre can also run as a Web Server with an OPDS interface, ideal for when you have an ebook reader with a Wireless network interface – you can download books directly from your library without the need for a USB cable. But it needs to be hidden behind an Apache reverse proxy to make it safe enough to use on the Internet. I recently installed COPS however, which is built from the ground up to be a replacement Calibre OPDS PHP Server. After some discussion with the developer, I talked him into adding an online web-based EPUB reader which is based on Monocle, so that I can read my ebooks directly on my ChromeBook without the need for downloads or browser plugins.



I already posted about my gripes with building the new LibreOffice 4.2.0. Well, I finally managed to make it work, and the resulting packages (for Slackware 14.1 and -current) are available. A significant bug was rapidly discovered in Calc when using a non-english language pack. It seems that other people suffered from this in earlier releases even, and not just on Slackware. Still, this is a release with many improvements. Read more about the new features and fixes on the announcement page. Interesting tidbit: LibreOffice 4.2 offers a new Start screen, with a cleaner layout that makes better use of the available space – even on small screens – and shows a preview of the last documents you opened.

Focus for the 4.2 cycle is performance and interoperability (yeah, when is it not) with MS Office.

Note that I ship my LibreOffice 4.1 and 4.2 packages with additional “libreoffice-dict-<language>” packages, containing dictionary and spellchecker support! If you are still running Slackware 13.37 there’s LibreOffice 3.6.7 for which I also have packages, and users of Slackware 14.0 are served well with LibreOffice 4.1.4.

Package locations:



chromium_iconAnother update to Chrome/Chromium brings this open source version of Chrome to 32.0.1700.107, and interestingly enough (but I disregarded this) another update appeared one day later which “upgrades” Chromium to 32.0.1700.103. A comment to that blog announcement questions the effective downgrade but there is no answer yet from the developers.

The SlackBuild was modified a bit (thanks dugan!), in order to solve several bugs in the interaction with vBulletin, which is the software powering (hoster of the main Slackware user forum on the Internet).

I have packages ready for the new chromium:


VideoLAN Player

largeVLCThe VideoLAN team released version 2.1.3 of their VLC player yesterday.

This is another maintenance release of the “Rincewind” release, “fixing numerous bugs, and improves decoders, notably for the new formats (HEVC and VP9). Important fixes involve Audio and Video output management on most platforms“. 2.1.3 also “improves the demuxer and decoders for most formats, and the various interfaces“.

Where to find the new VLC packages:

Rsync acccess is offered by the mirror server: rsync:// .

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.


Adobe’s Flash Player plugin

adobe_flash_8s600x600_2There was a minor version number update today, for Adobe’s Flash Player Plugin for web browsers. The update is accompanied by a security bulletin “apsb14-04

Packages for Mozilla compatible browsers are here (and the update to pepperflash plugin for Chromium should follow shortly):


A new release of the web browser plugin for OpenJDK is available since today. Version 1.4.2 finally makes Oracle’s Java version tester page work again (remember that you now have to explicitly allow the plugin to start inside your Firefox or Chromium browser):


Get the packages at




The latest  KDE Sofware Compilation is 4.12.2 which is available now and it accompanied by Plasma Workspaces 4.11.6. Mostly bug fix release, you should have no issues upgrading.

Contrary to what I had told before, I have built these packages on Slackware 14.1. I am running them on all my Slackware-current boxes without issues. The difference between Slackware 14.1 and -current is not so big yet, which is the rationale behind my decision to use Slackware 14.1 as the compilation platform this one time (for maximum compatibility)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!

My packages can be found in the ‘ktown’ repository which I maintain for KDE packages:


This concludes the week in review. I just finished baking a fresh loaf of bread and the smell makes me mad. Have to wait until the morning (it’s still hot and the time is just past midnight).


You can subscribe to the repository’s RSS feed (RSS for ktown and RSS for multilib available too) if you want to be the first to know when new packages are uploaded.

Have fun! Eric

So I finally packaged VLC 2.1. And what about LibreOffice?


Finally, the daunting task of compiling 12 packages for VLC has come to completion. I created packages for the latest VLC 2.1 (codenamed ‘rincewind’… who the heck keeps thinking that these half-arsed nicks are useful). Like with the release candidate which I packaged last month, the internally used libraries are up to date again (ffmpeg, fluidsynth, libass, libcdio, libdc1394, libdvbpsi, libebml, libmatroska, libva, opus, orc, schroedinger, vcdimager, vo-amrwbenc, and x264).

Those of you who are running Slackware 13.37, 14.0 and -current will rejoice 🙂 That being said, it is likely that this is the last major VLC update for which I will produce a Slackware 13.37 package – the effort is just becoming too big.

The 2.1 release is the culmination of nearly two years of work by the team, squashing over a thousand bugs (although it is not mentioned anywhere how many of those were caused by actually coding the 2.1 branch). More importantly, the commit history shows that VLC is very much alive, evidenced by the fact that 140 code committers do not belong to the actual VideoLAN team. Good news because my expericnce was that the 1.x and 2.0 development cycles have actually caused a decrease in the quality and robustness of VLC as an allround media player. Let’s see if 2.1 will turn this around. With a new audio core and lots of work on improving the ports to other platform, I really hope that much of the deficits of the video decoders which made me switch back to MPlayer as my video app of choice, have been addressed as well.

Where to find my new VLC packages:

Rsync acccess is offered by the mirror server: rsync:// .

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.


My latest LibreOffice packages (for Slackware 14) are version 4.0.5. In the meantime, those hard-working LibreOffice developers are almost at version 4.2.1… so what happened to the ‘alien’ builds of LibreOffice 4.1?

Well, during the packaging of 4.0 I noticed that the dictionaries which are now being offered as a source tarball, including many languages, needed another way of building and installing. I have been trying to find time to investigate and come up with proper packages, but I ran into a snag with the SlackBuild script and kept telling to myself that I would look into it right after the next KDE… OpenJDK… Calibre… whatever package would have been created. To be honest…. I am swamped with work during my paid daytime job and I spend more hours per week at work. It takes time to finish the bigger projects (like LibreOffice) in my spare time. Be patient, packages will be released eventually.

Oh yeah…

I helped my son today with the home-made pizza he had promised to create. I did something I realized I had never done before… I created the pizza dough from scratch: flour, yeast, water, olive oil, salt. Kneading the dough, seeing it rise and flattening it out to an oven-plate sized pizza bottom was very rewarding. Eating the pizza was rewarding as well! I have promised myself to finally bake that Focaccia bread which I have been wanting to try forever.

And finally:

Anyone with a Google Nexus tablet out there and experience with unlocking it, putting some brand of real Linux on it? I am going to pick up my own ARM port after Slackware 14.1 is released and besides my personal targets (getting it to boot on my TrimSlice and my ChromeBook) I was wondering how open the Google Nexus tablets really are with regard to having linux device drivers available. I am dead-curious about seeing how well Slackware behaves on a touch device… and both the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 look like they are awesome devices.

Be good! Eric



VLC 2.1 Rincewind about to enter the arena

For quite a long time now, I have been compiling VLC packages in the 2.0 series (nicknamed “Twoflower”). My standard way of working is to prepare tarballs with pre-compiled code for the internally used libraries (the “contribs” in VideoLAN terms – stuff like ffmpeg, matroska, dvdcss etcetera) and then leave those precompiled tarballs relatively unchanged while I update the VLC version between builds. That way I can kind of guarantee that the internal encoding and decoding capabilities do not break all of a sudden –  new bugs are usually easily tracked down to VLC bugs.

Also, compiling a new VLC package does not take long that way – I just “import” the contribs and link against the binary code. Remember, I have to create 4 VLC packages for every Slackware release: 32-bit and 64-bit packages, and for both architectures I create an “unrestricted” (in terms of distribution) version as well as a one containing the MP3 and AAC encoders, and the DeCSS library, all plagued by software patents.

Someone asked me via email if I could upgrade some of the internal libraries, and that was something I was not really looking forward to – updating the internals of the VLC package often results in compilation errors and hunting for patches to get everything to work nicely together again. But for a while, I had been eyeing the progress in the 2.1 branch of the VideoLAN git repository. The next release of VLC is nearing completion and a “2.1.0-pre3” tag has already been applied to the repository, indicating that the developers are getting serious about finalizing “VLC media player 2.1.0 Rincewind“.

So I set to the task of collecting new source tarballs and updating the vlc.SlackBuild script. Actually, the update went rather well. I used the newest versions of libraries like ffmpeg, fluidsynth, libass, libcdio, libdc1394, libdvbpsi, libebml, libmatroska, libva, opus, orc, schroedinger, vcdimager, vo-amrwbenc, and x264. My first attempt yesterday, uncovered a regression in saving the VLC advanced preferences (VLC would crash) but after some interaction with the developers in their IRC channel, the cause was found and a fix was quickly applied (thanks Edward Wang).

I now present you with the 20130819git snapshot build of the vlc-2.1 branch. In fact, the player reports a RC1 in its version information:

VLC media player 2.1.0-rc1 Rincewind (revision 7cbb328)

I was most pleased to see that the VAAPI (GPU hardware-assisted) video decoding of AVI files no longer crashes VLC (possibly caused by my update of the internal libva library to the latest release). Also, the preferences window finally is fully resizable. Oh, and the ProjectM visualization works again – that plugin was broken if you had a VLC installed on -current which had been compiled on Slackware 14.

Note that I built these packages only for slackware-current! If you want to try out VLC 2.1 on Slackware 14 you can use my sources and build script to create your own package. Depending on the time it takes for Slackware 14.1 to emerge versus the release of VLC 2.1.0, I may still decide to create packages for Slackware 14. However, this git snapshot is mainly used to test the code and get bugs resolved before the 2.1.0 release is finalized. Hence my choice for slackware-current which is what all you tinkerers should have running anyway 😉

Where to find my new VLC packages:

Rsync acccess is offered by the mirror server: rsync:// .

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

Have fun! Eric

And a “thank you” goes to…

… all of you who voted for my blog on FOSS Force. Actually, you Slackers pushed my blog all the way to top position in the second round. There is a third and final round which started today with a remaining 10 blog sites – can I ask you to please vote for me again? Much obliged!



VLC 2.0.6 (finally) released. New flash plugin too.

I almost finished a bottle of La Trappe Dubbel and before I pass out, there is just this one post to write at the end of another busy week.

VLC Media player

I don’t know how many times during the past two months I thought “I have to start preparing for a new VLC package build” only to discover that the developers side-tracked again and a new release was not going to come after all.

But finally, there it was this week: vlc-2.0.6. This is a bugfix release, notable changes for us Linux users include “support for Matroska v4, improved reliability for ASF, Ogg, ASF and srt support, fixed ALAC and FLAC decoding“.

I finally updated the npapi-vlc browser plugin. I noticed that version 2.0.6 was tagged in the repository and still no release tarball is being made available… get serious, you french! I heard good stories about the new version, so I decided to checkout a snapshot from git. I never really fancied the 2.0.0 release of npapi-vlc and use gnome-mplayer / gecko-mediaplayer instead.

Actually, this is the second build of the packages. Someone notified me that there was an issue with the libupnp plugin (uPnP service discovery) so I upgraded the internal library and applied a patch.

Where to find my new VLC packages:

Rsync acccess is offered by the mirror server: rsync:// .

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.



WIth all the fuss about vulnerable browser plugins (Java is the bad boy) I was quick to update my Flash Player packages. when I saw that Adobe had released a new security bulletin…See for the list of CVE‘s they plugged this time. Better safe than sorry folks – always watch out what web pages you visit!

After upgrading, use the following URL to check that you are indeed running the latest version of the Flash Player plugin: .

Have fun! Eric


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