My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Today, Plasma5 replaces KDE4 in Slackware

Finally. It’s the major step towards a first Beta release of Slackware 15.0!

Pat used this past weekend to merge the ‘vtown’ packages in the Slackware-current testing area into the core distro. The result is a ChangeLog.txt entry that is 680 lines long… lots of package removals due to KDE4 having been replaced with Plasma5.

Mon Dec 7 21:49:58 UTC 2020
Goodbye vtown... we hardly knew you.
It is indeed the day of the Big Merge(tm) leaving nothing left in /testing (but
I'll try to work on that soon). In addition to merging packages from /testing,
Qt4 and related packages have gone away, along with some other libraries that
were only used by KDE4. Perhaps someone will want to take up maintenance of Qt4
(but I'm also pretty sure that SBo wouldn't touch that build script with a ten
foot pole). ConsoleKit2 is gone, replaced by elogind (which also takes over for
cgmanager and pm-utils).
Huge thanks to Eric Hameleers, Heinz Wiesinger, and Robby Workman for all the
help making this possible.
There's still more cleanup to do here, but that'll be easier with everything in
the main tree instead of maintaining side installs running the /testing
I'll look into what can be done about extra/pure-alsa-system/ soon.
Enjoy! :-)

Let’s see how quickly the remaining rough edges are smoothed out.
I don’t know when I’ll find the time to clean up the ‘ktown’ repository and generate new Slackware Live ISOs. At least, I prepared the liveslak sources already for the event. If only daytime job did not eat up all my energy. Also please tell me which packages in my repository need recompiling due to this major upgrade.

Addendum 2020-12-08 19:21 CET: How to upgrade?

Option 1:

If you never installed my ‘ktown’ Plasma5 packages before, and if you never installed the ‘vtown’ version of Plasma5 in the testing area of Slackware-current, then the upgrade is trivial if you are using slackpkg (the slackpkg+ extension is not needed):

# slackpkg update
# slackpkg install-new
# slackpkg upgrade-all
# slackpkg clean-system

The final “slackpkg clean-system” may be challenging for people who installed a lot of custom / 3rd-party packages, since those will be mixed into the output. See below for a one-liner command that will remove all packages from your system that are no longer part of Slackware since the switch from KDE4 to Plasma5.

Option 2:

If you installed Slackware’s ‘vtown’ version of Plasma5 from Slackware’s own testing area you will probably have edited “/etc/slackpkg/slackpkg.conf” to give the ‘testing’ packages priority over the regular packages. You need to revert this edit now. Meaning that this line:

PRIORITY=( testing patches %PKGMAIN extra pasture )

needs to be changed back to:

PRIORITY=( patches %PKGMAIN extra pasture testing )

If in addition you are using the slackpkg+ extension, you also need to edit “/etc/slackpkg/slackpkgplus.conf” to remove the priority for ‘testing:vtown’  by changing the PKGS_PRIORITY line. Suppose that line looks like this:

PKGS_PRIORITY=( multilib testing:vtown mylocal64 mylocal32 restricted alienbob mate )

then you only need to remove the ‘testing:vtown’ string:

PKGS_PRIORITY=( multilib mylocal64 mylocal32 restricted alienbob mate )

If you removed my ‘ktown’ repository from slackpkgplus.conf (check PKGS_PRIORITY, REPOPLUS and MIRRORPLUS statements) you can re-add it safely now. I cleaned the ‘ktown’ repository and it contains just one package now: phonon-vlc which did not get added to Slackware since that does not have vlc either.
This is all the preparation you need.
Next run the standard commands to perform a regular upgrade:

# slackpkg update
# slackpkg install-new
# slackpkg upgrade-all
# slackpkg clean-system

Again, that last command will scare some people who have a lot of 3rd-party packages installed and don’t want to check many tens of entries one by one to see what needs to be kept.


The final step is to remove all packages that got removed when KDE4 gave way to Plasma5. The ChangeLog.txt entry for this “Big merge” shows all of those with the tag “Removed.” at the end of the line. So here is a single very long commandline which fetches the ChangeLog.txt from the official mirror, finds the ChangeLog entry for the “Big Merge”, locates all “Removed.” lines and extracts the package names from them. That is then fed into a “removepkg” command so that all these packages are actually removed from your computer. This is a safe move.
Here we go. As root. run a test first (the ‘warn does not actually remove anything, it just shows you what it would remove):

# wget -q -O - | sed -n -e '/Mon Dec  7 21:49:58 UTC 2020/,/Sat Dec  5 20:36:27 UTC 2020/p' |grep 'Removed.' |cut -d: -f1 | rev |cut -d/ -f1 |cut -d- -f4- |rev |sort |xargs removepkg --warn

You will probably notice some “No such package: XXXXX. Can’t remove.” messages, those are harmless, you obviously did not have some (KDE4) packages installed anymore.

If you are confident about the command (ensure that there are TWO spaces after ‘Dec’ for instance) you run this:

# wget -q -O - | sed -n -e '/Mon Dec  7 21:49:58 UTC 2020/,/Sat Dec  5 20:36:27 UTC 2020/p' |grep 'Removed.' |cut -d: -f1 | rev |cut -d/ -f1 |cut -d- -f4- |rev |sort |xargs removepkg

Have fun – Eric


  1. solarwind

    Eric – huuuge thank you! This is all thanks to your amazing work:)

    Folks – we should celebrate this with a donation:)

  2. Justin T.

    Well done, Eric. It must be very satisfying to see years of your work finally being moved into official production. Thank you for your contributions.

  3. Matthew Miller

    Today is an awesome day! Finally KDE4, as great as it was, has finally been replaced by its worthy successor, Plasma 5, which, we all can agree, is much more memory-efficient than its predecessor. Happy Slacking, everyone!

  4. Regnad Kcin

    Plasma5 is a good thing and generally it is a real joy to use it.
    It is a lovely and efficient working desktop.
    With the muscle and simplicity of Slackware underneath it is a very soft landing indeed.
    Thanks to Bob and Mr Volkerding and all.

  5. Matthew Miller

    AFAICT, Plasma 5 is running smoothly…no need for any recompiled packages. Thanks for hosting it as long as you did, AlienBOB!

  6. Ricky

    Wow. Amazing day. Congrats to AlienBob and Co. can’t wait to try it out

  7. nameless internet troll

    If (when) you have any free time, could you write which packages need to be removed from multilib due to being also removed from the core Slackware?

    qt-compat32-4 , I guess, is the obvious candidate for removal, but I may be missing something else..

  8. Eduardo

    Thank you Eric. This is largely YOUR achievement!

  9. Alexey

    Great news! Thank you!

  10. _peter

    great news, proper communication on the changelog and the blog channels, thanks

  11. alienbob

    And the git commit is also telling:

    “Mon Dec 7 21:49:58 UTC 2020: 186 upgrades, 17 rebuilds, 274 additions, 162 removals, plus 1 critical security fixes!”

  12. Michael Langdon

    Great job, Eric!

  13. wirelessmc on LQ

    Eric, Did you help Pat with the package merging/integration? This was clearly a huge undertaking. KDE4 is gone (still in 14.2 tree though). Looks like all the packages that were in deps have now migrated to the slackware64/l folder. Indeed this is your baby. Nice to see your child growing and maturing! Thanks for all your efforts. Yes agree with solorwind – Now is a good time for a donation!

    Should we start a pool on the Slackware 15.0 release date ?? 😉
    Maybe we still have time for a 2020 release… but if I had to bet I would guess early 2021.

  14. Peter Christy

    Hi Eric,
    Everything Plasma5 is working smoothly following the latest update, but I am having a problem with your LibreOffice package. For some reason, I can no longer save in .odt format! I cans save as .docx (urgh!) and export as pdf, but if I try and save as .odt, it fails and I get a general error message. Three machines affected so far. Was all working fine until today!

    Any ideas?



  15. Peter Christy

    Update: The Libreoffice issue seems to be triggered by doing a “slackpkg clean-system”. I thought I’d been very careful not to delete anything installed outside of the main tree, but it looks like I have deleted something that Libreoffice uses. No idea what, though!


  16. alienbob

    I have added instructions for the upgrade to Slackware’s Plasma5 in the main article, including how to deal with the removed packages via a single commandline, if you think “slackpkg clean-system” is too icky to trust.

  17. Peter Christy

    Aaagh! I knew I should have waited for one of your excellent “how-to” commands! I printed out the changelog, highlighting the “removed” lines in red. Looks like I’ve still managed to remove something that Libreoffice depended on, though!

    Still investigating, and I’ll update if I find it. But why is it only .odt that is affected?



  18. gegechris99

    I also had the issue with Libreoffice not being able to save odt format (LO 6.4.5 here). To make it work again, I added back raptor2, rasqal and redland packages (the 3 packages are needed).

  19. Peter Christy

    Thanks for that update! I’m running LO 7.0.3, but same problem. I also had to keep the icu4c-compat packages. Now I have to find raptor2, rasqal and redland somewhere…


  20. ?htiyar Adam

    Eric, Slackware current (15.0) kurulumu yapt?m ama örnek ” libreoffice-7.0.3-x86_64-1alien.txz ” kurulmuyor art?k, Ne yapabilirim.

    • alienbob

      If you would write in english, that could help.

  21. gegechris99

    Pete, you can get the old packages in the cumulative repository at

  22. Joao Neto

    Hi Eric. Really a great work from you, Pat and everybody else, with current working very well. What is not working for me : 1) LibreOffice 7.x from your repository (libraries removed when cleaning system); 2) hplip (from Slack tree), for now being solved with recompilation (as informed by HP’s developer portal – how to install with qt5). Libreoffice 6.x using is OK. Thank you, my friend. Best Regards. 🙂

  23. Peter Christy

    gegechris99: Many thanks, but someone beat you to it and posted a link on linuxquestions!


  24. ZeroUno


    An important note about the upgrade from an older ktown to mainstream kde5:
    there are some *.new file in /usr/share/sddm/scripts
    slackpkg does not detect it so sddm login not work properly and you need to rename manually them to solve

    Another note, may be not sufficient to remove ktown/vtown if previously there was removed kde4 (manually or with slackpkg) to install ktown, since slackpkg install-new && slackpkg upgrade-all do not reinstall that packages
    So you should run
    slackpkg install kde
    slackpkg install slackware64 (n.b. tested only with slackpkg+)

    For example:
    kde4 had baloo-4.14.3
    an older relase of ktown had baloo5-5.69.0
    to install ktown you need to remove baloo-4.14.3
    newest kde5 has baloo-5.76.0 that is an upgrade of baloo-4.14.3, not an upgrade ov baloo5-5.69.0 nor an Added package.

    • Diniz Bortolotto

      Tks a lot ZeroUno!
      Your comment was very usefull!
      “slackpkg install kde” found some packages that upgrade-pkg didn’t.

  25. Eduardo

    Hi Eric, can you consider rebuilding LibreOffice to rid it of redland and other KDE4 dependencies, if possible? Thanks!

    • alienbob

      Yes that’s the plan. It’s just that there’s no time at the moment.

      • Eduardo

        Thanks Eric! No worries. Thanks for this impressive achievement!

  26. Steven Jacome

    Steam was asking for a 32-bit elogind. I ran convert32-compat on elogind-243.7-x86_64-2.txz

    • alienbob

      Hi Steven, an elogind-compat32 package was already added to my multilib repository.
      If you use slackpkg+ then you might just have to run “slackpkg install multilib”. You’ll notice that there were more additions than just elogind-compat32.

  27. Eduardo

    Hi Eric, thanks for the rebuilt LibreOffice packages!

  28. nacer

    Salem and Hi everyone , while This is another step towards Slackware 15 , I think it is a big step for all Slackusers, a big jumb to Alien’s orbit …, Congratulation !
    I m just newbie user but love Slackware so much .
    I m so happy to see finally KDE5 on current and soon will land on stable Repo.
    Good luck Mr Bob and thank you for your remarkable work it is just excellent !

  29. Peter Christy

    Thanks for the rebuilt Libreoffice, Eric!

    Now working fine without raptor2, rasqal and redland. I also removed icu4c-compat and re-installed Slackware’s icu4c package.



    • alienbob

      FYI, it is totally safe, maybe even recommended, to have both icu4c and icu4c-compat installed at the same time.

  30. StarSlack

    Great job! Thanks!
    I have a question – i can’ find online accounts in system settings. Is it my problem or this module is missing in that build?

    • alienbob

      Indeed some required packages are not part of Slackware. I dropped them way back when I stopped providing KDE Telepaty packages in ‘ktown’.
      From the ./source/kde/kde/modules/applications file in Slackware:
      # Not currently packaging due to deps needed for kaccounts-integration, and
      # more deps needed for those deps. Might check into it again later…

  31. gegechris99

    elogind-compat32 package messes up with rules in /lib/udev/rules.
    For ex, in late seat rule, executable is /lib/elogind/elogind-uaccess-command which overwrites the 64bit rule file which has /lib64/elogind/elogind-uaccess-command.
    During system upgrade, elogind-compat32 will be updated after elogind using slackpkg+, thus overwriting the /ib/udev/rules. I don’t know if it matters but I would tend to think that it does.
    I found out this issue when I had the same problem on my multilib system as the one mentioned in this LQ thread: but the error message said : “/lib/elogind/elogind-uaccess-command”

    • gegechris99

      Forgot to mention, that I reinstalled elogind package to get back /lib/udev/rules.

    • alienbob

      Thanks for this! I will update the compat32 package.

  32. Francisco

    Hi Eric.

    Safe migration to core slackware distro, after following your instructions.

    Thanks for this Xmas present: latest KDE in core Slackware.

    Merry Xmas Eric.

  33. Oskar van Eeden

    Congratulations on this milestone!

  34. Oberoid

    Plasma 5 has landed in my house. This is a huge improvement.
    Family computers are migrated smoothly to current.
    Also rediscovered digikam.
    I think I no longer need the Gimp for most of my editing.
    I’m gradually moving away from gnome.

    Eric, thanks for all the work you have done.

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