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Slack

Slackware-Based Slackel 7.4 Released with Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS, Full Portability

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Slack

Coming six months after Slackel 7.3, the Slackel 7.4 release is now available in a lightweight form with the Openbox window manager by default. KDE Plasma and MATE editions may follow in the next days or weeks, but for now let's have a look at the general changes that apply to all of them.

First and foremost, Slackel is now powered by the latest and greatest Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series, which means top-notch hardware support. Slackel 7.4 includes the recently released Linux kernel 5.10.4 by default, and also comes with all the latest updates from Slackware’s ‘Current’ tree for the best possible Slackware Linux experience.

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Today, Plasma5 replaces KDE4 in Slackware

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KDE
Slack

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.

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Slackware-Based SlackEX Linux Now Ships with Latest Enlightenment Desktop

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Slack

Based on Slackware 14.2, the new SlackEX Linux release drops the lightweight Xfce desktop environment for the even more lighter and beautiful Enlightenment desktop environment/window manager. In fact, SlackEX appears to be the only live system that uses the latest Enlightenment release, version 0.24.2.

But that's not all that' new in the latest SlackEX Linux release, which is now powered by the Linux 5.9 kernel series. This not only means better hardware support, but it also means you won't find another Slackware-based live system running Linux kernel 5.9.

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Ktown becomes Vtown

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KDE
Slack

So it is finally happening.
On US Election Day 2020, Pat Volkerding added “vtown” into the ‘testing’ directory of Slackware-current.

The “vtown” in Slackware is essentially my ‘ktown’ repository containing KDE Plasma5 plus its dependencies, with a few exceptions, a number of my packages removed, some caveats and a couple of renamed packages.

A lot of useful information from early adopters can already be found on linuxquestions.org in the dedicated thread about vtown.

One of the benefits of this testing version of Plasma5 in Slackware is the merging of several Slackware and ktown packages.
Mostly because I needed to provide Qt5-supporting versions of existing Slackware packages, I needed different names for the ‘ktown’ versions that I was going to provide. I could not risk that people would end up with old Slackware Qt4 based packages which would break Plasma5.
So to avoid clashing with packages like “plasma-nm”, “attica”, “baloo”, “kscreen” etc… I had to use alternative package names like “plasma5-nm”, “attica-framework”, “baloo5”, “kscreen2” and several (actually, many) more.
Here is the full list of my packages that got merged back into packages with the original Slackware names...

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Distros: Absolute64, OpenMandriva, and Ubuntu

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GNU
Linux
MDV
Slack
Ubuntu
  • Absolute64-20201103 released

    Based on Slackware64-current.
    Keeping up with wholesale library changes (especially python) and kernels, etc...
    (Will there ever be a Slackware 15?)
    Edited some utilities to adjust to new libs.
    Tighten up the UI/mime/icons.

  • Progress on OMLx 4.2

    Work continues on OMLx 4.2. It is anticipated that Beta release should be happening in the next week or two.

  • Accessibility audit of Vanilla framework | Ubuntu

    The team behind the Vanilla Framework has a background in development, UX and Visual Design. We all care about accessibility, but none of us is an accessibility expert.

    We were interested in evaluating how well the framework complies with accessibility standards. We decided to start with an internal audit, fix any issues we find, then look for a third-party service to evaluate the framework from the perspective of real-world users with disabilities

The Earliest Linux Distros: Before Mainstream Distros Became So Popular

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GNU
Linux
Slack

In here we have tried to explore how the idea of popular distros such as Red Hat, Debian, Slackware, SUSE, Ubuntu and many others came into being after the first Linux kernel became available.

As Linux was initially released in the form of a kernel in 1991, the distros we know today was made possible with the help of numerous collaborators throughout the world with the creation of shells, libraries, compilers and related packages to make it a complete Operating System.

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LibreOffice 6.4.5 finally for Slackware 14.2

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LibO
Slack

The Document Foundation recently released version 7.0.0 of their Libre Office suite of applications. The packages for Slackware-current can be found in my repository. But the situation for Slackware 14.2 used to be different – I got stuck after LibreOffice 6.2 because the newer source releases (6.3 and onwards) require versions of system software that our stable Slackware 14.2 platform does not offer.

From time to time during the last year, when there was time and the build box was not compiling packages, I messed around with the libreoffice.SlackBuild script in futile attempts to compile recent versions of LibreOffice on Slackware 14.2. I failed all the time.
Until last week. After I had uploaded the new KDE Plasma5 packages to ‘ktown‘, I had an epiphany and decided to use a new approach. What I did was: question all the historic stuff in the SlackBuild script that got added whenever I needed to work around compilation failures; and accept that the compilation needs newer versions of software than Slackware 14.2 offers. The first statement meant that I disabled patches and variable declarations that messed with compiler and linker; and for the second statement I stuck to a single guideline: the end product, if I were able to compile a package successfully, has to run out of the box on Slackware 14.2 without the need to update any of the core Slackware packages.

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Porteus 5.0-rc2 Released: Slackware-Based Fast And Portable Linux Distro

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Linux
Slack

More than a year later, the Dev team of Porteus Linux has finally announced the second release candidate (RC-2) for its upcoming version 5.0. This means you can now try the new testing version Porteus 5.0-rc2.

For those who don’t know, Porteus is based on one of the oldest Linux distros, Slackware. It was also formerly known as Slax remix when it started as a community remix of Slax OS.

Porteus aims to provide a portable, fast, and light operating system that you can boot directly in less than 15 seconds (in the case of LXDE desktop) from CD, USB flash drive, hard drive, or other bootable storage media.

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KDE Plasma 5 August 2020 release for Slackware

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KDE
Slack

New Plasma5 packages for Slackware-current are ready for download & installation. I skipped July (holiday season) and so here is KDE-5_20.08 aka my August 2020 release. Be sure to read the upgrade instructions very carefully to prevent breakage, because starting with my June batch the goal is to remove Slackware’s ConsoleKit2 and replace it with elogind!.

It would not harm if you (re-)read my previous blog article about Plasma5, “Replacing ConsoleKit2 with elogind – first steps“. It has a lot more detail about the reasons for this move as well as guidance on using the Wayland Window Manager (as a test) instead of regular X.Org. Note that Wayland sessions still need a lot of maturing and X.Org will remain Slackware’s default choice.

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Slackel 7.3 Mate beta1

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Slack

Slackel 7.3 Mate beta1 has been released. Slackel is based on Slackware and Salix.

Includes the Linux kernel 5.4.50, Mate-1.22.1 and latest updates from Slackware's 'Current' tree.
Added support to do a real installation to an external usb stick or usb ssd or usb hard disk.

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More in Tux Machines

Devices: Xtra-PC, Arduino and Inventor Coding Kit

  • Xtra-PC Reviews – Best Linux USB-Stick? - Product Review by Rick Finn

    The Xtra-PC Linux USB-Stick might be your solution if you have problems with your old and slow PC. It's a small flash drive stick and it's using Linux OS to boost you PC's operations. Check out now.

  • Arduino Blog » Old keyboard turned into a new children’s learning toy

    Peter Turczak’s toddler son loves “technical stuff,” especially things like keyboards and computers that adults use. After discussing this with other likeminded technical parents, the idea of giving new life to an old (PS/2 or AT) keyboard as a teaching tool was hatched.

  • SiFive Helping To Teach Kids Programming With RISC-V HiFive Inventor Coding Kit

    SiFive in cooperation with Tynker and BBC Learning have launched a Doctor Who themed HiFive Inventor Coding Kit. This Initial HiFive Inventor Coding Kit is intended to help kids as young as seven years of age get involved with computer programming through a variety of fun exercises and challenges involving the RISC-V powered mini computer and related peripherals like LED lighting and speaker control. [...] So for those looking to get their kids involved with computer programming and looking for an IoT-type device with some fun sensors and various themed exercises to get them experimenting, the HiFive Inventor Coding Kit is worth looking into further. More details on the programming platform can be found via Tynker.com and on the hardware at HiFiveInventor.com. The HiFive Inventor Kit is available from Amazon.com and other Internet retailers for $75 USD.

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (atftp, coturn, gitlab, mdbook, mediawiki, nodejs, nodejs-lts-dubnium, nodejs-lts-erbium, nodejs-lts-fermium, nvidia-utils, opensmtpd, php, python-cairosvg, python-pillow, thunderbird, vivaldi, and wavpack), CentOS (firefox and thunderbird), Debian (chromium and snapd), Fedora (chromium, flatpak, glibc, kernel, kernel-headers, nodejs, php, and python-cairosvg), Mageia (bind, caribou, chromium-browser-stable, dom4j, edk2, opensc, p11-kit, policycoreutils, python-lxml, resteasy, sudo, synergy, and unzip), openSUSE (ceph, crmsh, dovecot23, hawk2, kernel, nodejs10, open-iscsi, openldap2, php7, python-jupyter_notebook, slurm_18_08, tcmu-runner, thunderbird, tomcat, viewvc, and vlc), Oracle (dotnet3.1 and thunderbird), Red Hat (postgresql:10, postgresql:12, postgresql:9.6, and xstream), SUSE (ImageMagick, openldap2, slurm, and tcmu-runner), and Ubuntu (icoutils).

  • About CVE-2020-27348

    Well this is a doozey. Made public a while back was a security vulnerability in many Snap Packages and the Snapcraft tool used to create them. Specifically, this is the vulnerability identified as CVE-2020-27348. It unfortunately affects many many snap packages… [...] The problem arises when the LD_LIBRARY_PATH includes an empty element in its list. When the Dynamic Linker sees an empty element it will look in the current working directory of the process. So if we construct our search paths with an accidental empty element the application inside our Snap Package could be caused to load a shared library from outside the Snap Package’s shipped files. This can lead to an arbitrary code execution. It has been common to put a definition of the LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable into a Snap Package’s snapcraft.yaml that references a predefined $LD_LIBRARY_PATH as if to extend it. Unfortunately, despite this being common, it was poorly understood that SnapD ensures that the $LD_LIBRARY_PATH is unset when starting a Snap Package’s applications. What that means is that where the author tried to extend the variable they have inadvertantly inserted the bad empty element. The empty element appears because $LD_LIBRARY_PATH is unset so the shell will expand it to an empty string.

  • Wait, What? Kids Found A Security Flaw in Linux Mint By Mashing Keys!

    Security flaws can be incredibly stupid and dangerous. Of course, I’m not judging anyone, we are humans after all. But this little incident is quite funny.

Audiocasts/Shows: Blender 2.91, Server Security, Linux in the Ham Shack and More

IBM/Red Hat Leftovers

  • Davie Street Enterprises: A case study in digital transformation

    We would like to introduce you to Davie Street Enterprises (DSE). DSE is a fictitious 100-year-old multinational corporation that is beginning its digital transformation journey. In this post we will lay the groundwork for a series following DSE as an illustration of how some Red Hat customers are preparing for and succeeding at digital transformation to save money, become more efficient, and compete more effectively. The company isn't real, but its struggle is very real for many organizations. Throughout this series, we will explore the business problems any number of organizations are challenged with and how DSE, with the help of Red Hat and its partners, plan to solve those problems. To start, let’s learn more about DSE, its business, and some of the associates involved in its digital transformation journey.

  • Farewell 2020: A year of togetherness with our EMEA partners

    When reflecting on 2020, I do what many people do and think about what things were like prior to this year. For me, I immediately go back to a spring day three years ago. Red Hat was hosting our EMEA Partner Conference; a mix of distributors, independent software vendors (ISVs), system integrators and solution providers from across the region. Alongside the usual product updates and market insight sessions you might expect, we decided to do a little drumming. A lot of drumming, in fact — 900 people banging bongos and clashing cymbals. Other than the noise, what I remember was the genuine sense of togetherness; embarrassment and egos put to the side in the pursuit of the perfect tempo. It seems drumming is a good signal of solidarity. Even in a large group, it’s easy to notice someone beating to a different rhythm. Trainers and coaches use this drumming technique frequently to promote unity and coordination. Our coach that day later congratulated me on "having such a tight knit group of employees." When I told him they weren’t our employees but partners from 550 different companies, he couldn’t believe it.

  • Visualizing system performance with RHEL 8 using Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) and Grafana (Part 1)

    When it comes to performance metrics data collection and visualization on Linux, PCP metrics collection and visualization are key. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 provides an excellent framework for collecting performance metrics and visualizing them! The days of poring over command line output to try and figure out what is happening on a system are gone. In this series, I’d like to introduce the power of using Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) and Grafana to visualize system performance data in RHEL. By default, Performance Co-Pilot is not installed on RHEL 8. We believe in giving users choices and as such, you have to opt-in to using Performance Co-Pilot.