Updated packages in the past weeks: Plasma5, gcc_multilib, openjdk7 and more

I do regular updates of packages in my repository. I focus on the software that is popular, or relevant to Slackware. For the software with a high visibility I usually write a blog post to alert people to the new stuff.
During the last couple of weeks I have not been writing so much about updates due to personal circumstances, some of it has to do with the Corona outbreak.

I was also affected the death of Erik Jan Tromp (Slackware’s alphageek) early March just after I visited him for a final time in his apartment in Leeuwarden.

Anyway, here is a summary of what was refreshed during these weeks.

The new KDE-5_20.03 batch is now available for download from my ‘ktown‘ repository. As always, please remove KDE4 first (check the README for instructions if you still need those). These packages will not work on Slackware 14.2.
This March release contains the KDE Frameworks 5.68.0, Plasma 5.18.3 and Applications 19.12.3. All this on top of Qt 5.13.2.

The most interesting event this month is of course the addition of qt5 and its dependencies to Slackware-current itself. I could remove several packages from my own ktown ‘deps’ section: OpenAL (renamed to openal-soft in Slackware), SDL_sound (integrated to Slackware’s sdl package), brotli, hyphen, libxkbcommon, socat, qt5, qt5-webkit, wayland, wayland-protocols and woff2.
I also updated the sip package so its version matches again with that in Slackware (the ktown version has Qt5 support which the Slackware version still needs to pick up). The qca-qt5 package was updated to the latest version.

Frameworks 5.68.0 is an incremental stability release, see: https://www.kde.org/announcements/kde-frameworks-5.68.0.php.

Plasma 5.18.3 is the fourth incremental release of 5.18 LTS (Long Term Support). See https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.18.0.php for the full announcement including several video’s portraying the strong points of KDE’s desktop environment and https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.18.3.php for information on these latest updates.

In plasma-extra I updated latte-dock.

Applications 19.12.3 is a stability and bugfix update for the 19.12 cycle. Remember that I still call this ‘Applications‘ but KDE folk prefer the new name ‘Releases‘. See https://kde.org/announcements/releases/2020-03-apps-update/

In applications-extra I updated kstars and added a new package: labplot.

KDE Telepathy is no longer part of my ‘ktown’ distribution of KDE Plasma5.

PAM support

My ‘ktown’ has two sub-repositories. The ‘latest‘ sub-repository is always meant to be used with the official Slackware-current packages. and the ‘testing‘ sub-repository is where I test stuff that is not yet ready to be adopted by the larger population.

Since last month, Slackware’s own ‘/testing’ area contains a set of packages that add PAM support to Slackware. My regular ktown aka ‘latest’ repository content is meant for an up-to-date Slackware-current without PAM. The ‘testing’ repository on the other hand is compiled against a pam-ified Slackware and can be used if you have added the new ‘testing’ PAM packages of Slackware-current to your system.
The packages that picked up PAM support are: kscreenlocker and plasma-workspace (in the ‘plasma’ directory),  and sddm-qt5 (in ‘plasma-extra’). A new package has been introduced as well: kwallet-pam (in the ‘plasma’ directory).

Where to get KDE Plasma5 for Slackware

Download the KDE-5_20.03 from the usual location at https://slackware.nl/alien-kde/current/ or one of its mirrors like http://slackware.uk/people/alien-kde/current/ .
Check out the README file in the root of the repository for detailed installation or upgrade instructions.

Development of Plasma5 is tracked in git: https://git.slackware.nl/ktown/ .

A new Plasma5 Live ISO is available at https://slackware.nl/slackware-live/latest/ (rsync://slackware.nl/mirrors/slackware-live/latest/) with user/pass being “live/live” as always.

While I was working on new Plasma5 packages, Pat Volkerding released packages for gcc 9.3.0 for Slackware-current. When I told him I did not have the time to compile multilib versions for the new gcc because I was busy, Pat responded by updating the gcc-multilib.SlackBuild script and compiling a set of multilib gcc packages for me. So what you download from my multilib repository was actually built by Pat this time.

For those who still use the older Java7, I updated my openjdk7/openjre7 packages to 7u251_b02 with the help of IcedTea 2.6.21 release. This is a security bugfix release, as these Java releases always are I guess.
I get questions from time to time why I do not release packages for Java 11, and my answer always is: I do not see the need. I build my packages using IcedTea framework and when they add support for newer Java versions than 8, I will release packages for that too.

There were several Chromium 80 updates in rapid succession during the last month, and the most recent version you can get from my repository now is 80.0.3987.132. I realize that there’s even a slightly newer release available but there’s only so much time to work on Slackware.

The advantage of having Qt5 in Slackware nowadays, is that it becomes a lot easier to compile a Calibre package for slackware-current. Nevertheless, the calibre package for Slackware 14.2 is still big because my Calibre packages contain all the dependencies inside and the version for Slackware 14.2 includes qt5 libraries.

I am regularly updating packages that are part of my ‘Digital Audio Workstation’ collection.
During the past weeks I updated the MuseScore package (Musescore can create, playback and print music scores) and along with that I updated the Qt5 based JackQtl graphical interface to the Jack2 audio server.
For my own laptop and desktop, I am now starting qjackctl in Plasma5 on login and all my ALSA and Pulseaudio sound pipes through Jack into my speakers now, without the need to change anything to Slackware’s default ALSA and Pulseaudio configurations.

Have fun! Eric

55 thoughts on “Updated packages in the past weeks: Plasma5, gcc_multilib, openjdk7 and more

  1. Very sorry to hear about Erik. He struck me as a most courteous and intelligent man. What a sad loss — to Slackware and to the world.

  2. The loss of someone dear to us is suffering indeed. I didn’t notice the updates because I’ve been stocking my underground bunker with its nanotube air filter that catches anything larger than a molecule in response to the Wuhan Pneumonia. The flu is deadlier and more widespread, yet the planet is closed due to a cold?
    Obquote: “Dammit, Jim, I’m a scientist, not a politician.” -Doctor McCoy, attrib

    1. If you think the flu is deadlier… then my suggestion would be to educate yourself.
      And not only is Corona more deadly (with a factor of more than 30), a substantial percentage of those who don’t die are saved by acute Intensive Care. This to address respiratory problems of which you will die if not treated with induced coma, intubation and artificial ventilation.

      1. Here’s a few facts for those who think the flu is deadlier.
        According to the former Ethiopian Health Minister, who is now the director of W.H.O., this is the first ever pandemic caused by a coronavirus, and the first ever introduction of this particular virus into the general population. As you know, the coronavirus family includes the common cold. The Wuhan Pneumonia virus, a term coined by a Japanese legislator, is a mutation of a cold virus found in the population of bats inhabiting the caves near Wuhan China, where bat hunters pick them off the ceiling for sale in the live critter markets. This flavor of the cold virus is particularly virulent, it passes easily from person to person via miniature droplets exhaled in the breath. The body has never experienced anything remotely similar to the RNA proteins of the virus, so the immune system goes nuts, damaging other organs as it tries to overwhelm the invaders. This results in permanent lung damage among many survivors. The immune system does not produce the mucous necessary to wash out the dead virus-containing cells via coughing, the dry cough does nothing to relieve the lung congestion.
        Soap dissolves the lipid molecules of the virus fatty shell breaking down the virus; you don’t need alcohol, just soap. Most infected people don’t know they are ill, the symptoms are mild. a few spend a week of couch time. Only the severe illnesses go to the hospital, it is their test results that get banner headlines. Carriers may take two weeks before symptoms appear. For an analogy, One lily-pad in a pond doubles. Those two lilly-pads double to make four, It takes 38 days to fill the pond in lilly-pads. On which day is the lilly pond half full? … Day 37. That is why there is suddenly so many infected people overwhelming hospitals.

  3. Sorry about alphageek’s death.
    Thank you Eric! Installed the plasma (PAM-enabled) packages and everything so far is working good.

    Did I see in the README a subtle hint that Plasma 5 is about to get incorporated into Slackware or it’s just me…?

    1. It is my hope but it is not a certainty.
      My plan is to stop providing monthly updates for Plasma5 and that will probably happen next month. As I mention above, I had not even intended to release this March batch. If Pat picks up Plasma5 then that would hopefully lead to a seamless experience, but otherwise you may get stuck without updates for a while.

  4. Sorry to hear about alphageek, my condolences to all who loved him.

    About Plasma 5 and PAM, I had already switched to a PAM-ified Slackware64 a few weeks ago (no issues so far!) and yesterday I updated your packages and realized I’m not using your PAM-ified versions.

    Since I use slackpkg+ I added your testing repo as “ktownpam” alongside your regular “ktwon” repo and reinstalled kscreenlocker, plasma-workspace and sddm-qt5, and installed kwallet-pam

    Should I just replace ktown’s URL instead?
    It seems cleaner but I’m not sure which way is better 🙂

    Relevant sections from /etc/slackpkg/slackpkgplus.conf in case it’s useful:

    PKGS_PRIORITY=( slackpkgplus restricted ktownpam ktown alienbob )
    REPOPLUS=( slackpkgplus restricted alienbob ktownpam ktown )


  5. Eric, thanks for taking Plasma5 to a fully function environment. I notice great improvements in the background transparency and in the general layout. Sorry about your friend.

  6. Does MuseScore depend on something else?
    musescore: error while loading shared libraries: libportaudio.so.2: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

        1. After I posted I thought about it for a bit and figured you were probably updating a Slackbuild.

          That was the first I had heard of MuseScore, it came in handy as I was able to key in my daughters sheet music from band while she is home from school. Have you added anything else new to your Digital Audio Workstation?

          1. I realize I used the wrong the URL in the article and will fix that.
            My original DAW article has been updated several times since I wrote it, you’ll find these as “Update dd-mmm-yyyy” sections.

  7. Hi Eric,

    Slackware -current updated packages QScintilla, sip, gpgme with QT5 support and added PyQt5. I guess those same packages from ktown repository can now safely be replaced by the official Slackware packages.
    Am I correct?

    1. Yes. Once I remove these packages from the ‘ktown’ repository, you can safely upgrade your installation to the Slackware versions.
      If you use the slackpkg+ extension for slackpkg then the ktown packages will have higher priority than the Slackware versions, and that is OK. Until I remove the packages from my repository and then slackpkg will propose to replace them with the Slackware versions.

  8. Thanks Eric for confirmation.
    I’m using slackpkg+ and added the following lines in /etc/slackpkg/blacklist:
    SLACKPKGPLUS_ktown PyQt5
    SLACKPKGPLUS_ktown sip
    This allowed me to upgrade the packages to their Slackware -current version while they are still present in ktown repository. I will remove those lines when you remove the packages from ktown.

  9. Hello Erik
    I can’t help but ask you about this painful subject because if this alphageek is the same one I knew ages ago from IRC Linuxphere then I am saddened even more acutely since he was the major force in starting my journey with Slackware. I am a bit confused because the alphageek I knew and respected did indeed have his site on dyndns.org but iirc he lived in Newfoundland. I still have some photos of his beautiful cats. I recall he once showed me his desktop of which he was quitte deservedly proud that was built by him on top of a Blackbox framework but had icons, apps, and applets from at least three other WM/DEs, all integrated and organized. He was aptly named.

    I feel for you in the loss of your friend and if he is the same as who was once an important acquaintance of mine, then I feel it doubly strong and commiserate with you at such a loss. Be well. Stay healthy. You have my deepest respect and condolances.

    1. Hi James. Alphageek was born in Canada indeed. He moved to the Netherlands some yeara ago, together with his dad who is of Dutch origin. It’s the same guy you knew.

  10. Is the configuration for virtual desktops in system settings working? I’ve tried it on Slack Live and -current with ktown, but it always crashes upon opening the virtual desktops config page (the other pages seem to be fine).

    1. It seems I can load it directly from the Application Launch (going straight into Virtual Desktop settings), but never from the main System Settings window. So not such a big deal then, just odd.

      1. That’s funny… for me it is just the opposite. I can access Virtual Desktop settings just fine, time after time, from within the System Settings but if I try starting it directly from the Application Launcher, it crashes always.
        I had never before opened Virtual Desktop settings before btw.

        1. FWIW, I experience the same behaviour as alienbob, it’s been ages since I touched my virtual desktop settings but I did modify it from the defaults (3 virtual desktops, one in each row in the pager).

        2. Same as Dave. And as march 29, I tried to set date and time from the clock. It seems not to work although the help says that without systemd, it utilisies ntpdate ot rdate. Tried directly with ntpdate and works fine. So, not very bad, but …

  11. How to change the language settings of Plasma itself, for example if I want it to be all in French? I understand that KDEi is gone and language settings have been transferred into individual packages but I can’t find a way to change language for plasma itself. Going into system settings -> Regional settings just results in a crash of the system settings window. Thanks.

    1. Looks like the theming engine may have an issue.
      Try running System Settings this way, using the ‘material’ theme, from a terminal prompt:

      $ QT_QUICK_CONTROLS_STYLE=Base systemsettings5

      In this case, the window theme looks a bit different but the application no longer crashes and I can apply changes.

      1. Hi Eric,
        I do confirm that “QT_QUICK_CONTROLS_STYLE=Base systemsettings5” solves the crash issue when selecting regional settings in “System Settings”.

  12. I’m getting a lot of messages like:

    [system] Rejected send message, 1 matched rules; type=”method_call”, sender=”:1.121″ (uid=1000 pid=23151 comm=”/usr/bin/kcmshell5 khotkeys “) interface=”org.freedesktop.DBus.Introspectable” member=”Introspect” error name=”(unset)” requested_reply=”0″ destination=”org.freedesktop.UPower” (bus)

    None of my system tray programs appear in the system tray.

    Am I missing something?

  13. I hosed my kde5/plasma5. The 29 Mar upgrade included aaa_elflibs, which includes libicui18n.so.65. While troubleshooting why systemsettings5 virutaldesktops instantly segfaults, I did a upgradepkg –reinstall slackware64-current. kde5 requires libicui18n.so.56, which no longer exists. Perhaps you might include the necessary libraries in deps? Meanwhile, I’m wading through the ktown sources. I think I have to rebuild everything to include debug symbols in systemsettings. I’m writing this from xfce.
    I’m putting my helmet back on, climbing back under the bed to hide from the covid-19 google police.

    1. BTW, I opened a bug report at bugs.kde.org on the virtual desktops segfault. Works fine when I use kcmshell5, but systemsettings segfaults choosing virtual desktops. I was going to compile systemsettings with debug symbols to get the list of kirigami errors that appear in the tty from which I launched startplasma-x11.

    2. If you need libicui18n.so.65 (as opposed to 56) you can install icu4c-compat from Eric’s repositories.

      It contains, among others:


    3. I don’t know how you screwed up your system but libicui18n.so.65 still exists, it is a symlink pointing to libicui18n.so.65.1 and provided by the icu4c-65.1-x86_64-1 package in Slackware-current. Try re-installing that package.

    1. Can you tell me what program on your computer still requires icu4c-56? There should be none left.
      And your attempt to fix this by compiling icu4c-56 and thereby replacing the version 65.1 on your system… that would break even more stuff.
      There was a helpful hint by Ricardo a few posts back.

      1. Dr. Hameleers,
        I installed icu4c-56 as a separate install, did not replace version 65. I don’t recall which program required it, can’t startx because ksplashqml segfaults, so I get a black screen with a cursor.
        I’m running ldd on ktown packages with /usr/bin files, reinstalling the ones with no executables.
        Trying to build kde from your sources. ECM/find-modules/run-sip.py can’t find PyQt5.Qt, although PyQt5 is installed. I checked pip, it is in there along with PyQt4. I don’t know python, having been weaned on VAX assembler and C. What python modules are required for run-sip.py to work?

        1. I am not a doctor.
          The aaa_elflibs package by the way, was last updated on 15 March, and it does not contain any icu4c library. The previous package version, also did not include any icu4c libraries.
          The only recent version of aaa_elflibs that had icu4c libraries inside, was aaa_elflibs-15.0-x86_64-12.txz from October 2019.
          There actually has not been a icu4c-56.x for a long time now in Slackware-current, as it was replaced with icu4c-60.1 on Dec 6th, 2017.

          But there still is one in Slackware 14.2: icu4c-56.1-x86_64-2 was last updated in May 2016. Perhaps you have some packages on your computer that are from Slackware 14.2 instead of installing them from a Slackware-current mirror.
          Rather than trying to recompile all of my ktown packages and not fixing anything eventually, I think it is better to have a good look at your computer’s installed packages, and then run a “upgradepkg –reinstall –install-new” for all the ‘ktown’ packages after you have downloaded a fresh set.

          1. Not A Doctor Hameleers, ;->
            I got kde working again using the ktown packages. I added libqxcb.so from qt.io to /usr/lib64/qt5/plugins/platform, the absence of which was causing the starup crashes. Back to systemsettings/virtual desktops,
            `kcmshell5 kcm_kwin_virtualdesktops` works as advertised. I copied some messages from the tty used to launch startkde.
            header: RowLayout { <—cannot anchor an item that isn't a parent or sibling. Trying to show an empty dialog.
            FormLayout.qml:112:21 unable to assign [undefined] to a double
            QQmlEngine: setContextForObject() – object already has a context
            I haven't a clue why, but systemsettings segfaults every time virtual desktops gets clicked.

          2. The libqxcb.so library is part of the qt5 package. You have a broken system if you have an up-to-date system and that library is missing, is my guess.

  14. For info, Eric, for build future (applications) ‘grantlee-5.2.0’ is needed, tested here on release-service ‘20.03.90’, without this version ‘khelpcenter’ doens’t compil.

  15. Hi Eric,
    I recently update my slackware-current to updated packages, and your kde5 from 5_19.06 but X refuses to start reporting “libQt5Core.so.5 undefined symbol: u_strToUpper_64”.
    Unique change I applied form your istructions is to symlink ICU4c’s links ver 64 to 65 installed.
    Any suggestion about ? Thanks in advance , Devis

    1. Hi Devis,
      KDE5 5_19.06? That is nearly a year old. I must assume that your system is pretty much broken until you upgrade the KDE5 packages to their latest version. One of the changes is that Qt5 is now part of Slackware and the version you have installed as part of KDE5 5_19.06 (5.12.3) is not compiled against the libraries that Slackware-current wants.
      But it is possible that I did not interpret your message correctly and you did already do an upgrade from that old KDE5 from May 2019 to the latest release. Please check that the packages like qt5, libxkbcommon etc are now actually coming from Slackware and are not old versions from my repository.
      Also, when you upgrade from such an old release and skip almost a year, you need to check for all the new packages that have been added to ‘ktown’ during that time, and also there were many packages that got removed. If you use the “slackpkg+” extension for slackpkg then the easiest way is to:
      # slackpkg update
      # slackpkg install ktown
      # slackpkg upgrade-all
      # slackpkg clean-system <---- and that last command will show you a lot of packages that are not or no longer part of any repository. Inspect all of those carefully and *only* keep the ones selected that you actually want to have removed. The ktown README has details about what packages got removed in what months.

      1. Thank you for your reply Eric,
        meanwhile I found some hints on web bringing me suspicious about problem above might be referred to multilib; I replaced multilib packages with original from -current and now KDE5 works fine.
        But since I need multilib for an old executable, I’ll try slackpkg way you suggest in order to have a “cleaner” (and overall working) system.

  16. Another, due to new libdvdread current package, dvdauthor need rebuild, umbrello ‘20.03.90’ not compil herre, probabbly due to the new llvm, but not sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.