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Slack

Slax Linux Distro Gets New Release After Two Years, Drops Slackware for Debian

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Slack
Debian

Slax 9.2.1 is now available for download as the latest stable release of the Linux distro, and it's the first to be based on Debian GNU/Linux. That's right, Slax no longer lives up to its name and drops Slackware for Debian. As its version number suggests, Slax 9.2.1 is based on Debian GNU/Linux 9.2.1 "Stretch."

"After several years of inactivity Slax project has been brought to life again in new version 9.2.1," said the developer in today's release announcement. "I've decided to go for Debian because it made my life much easier and I believe that it will make yours too."

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Slax Is Planning A Return, But Will No Longer Be Slackware-Based

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Slack

Longtime Linux users will likely recall the Slax distribution from back in the day that was Slackware-based, shipped with KDE, and offered a pretty nice live OS experience while being highly modular and made it easy to re-spin derivatives. Now it's coming back in new form.

Slax creator Tomáš Matějíček has been working on a new Slax release after being on a nearly half-decade hiatus. But in this renewed Slax, Slackware is no longer being used as a base but instead Debian. Tomas said he's moving to Debian out of "laziness" with Debian offering a much better and easier starting experience than Slackware in its current state. Debian's extensive package archive is another reported reason for choosing it.

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Slackware: Netsurf and Plasma5

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Slack
  • Netsurf, a lightweight browser, works on the framebuffer too

    Someone asked me to build a package for Netsurf. I had never heard of Netsurf before. It turns out that Netsurf is a cross-platform web browser which also runs on Linux. Its rendering engine is written from scratch, therefore the browser does not share code with any of the big browsers. Netsurf is actively developed and has a healthy community. A new version was released last week – 3.7.
    Functionally speaking, this browser is not as versatile or capable as other modern browsers, but its advantage is that it is small, fast, suited for low-end hardware, and more importantly: it works on the Linux framebuffer. This means that you can have a basic graphical web browser on your server console. It looks better than “links -g”.

  • Plasma5 Wayland works on Slackware

    Last year August 2016 I experimented with Wayland, the alternative to the X Window system. My goal was to see if it is possible to run a Plasma5 desktop session on a Wayland compositor instead of using X.Org.
    There was one big showstopper at the time. Kwin_wayland has a dependency on the ‘logind’ DBus API and at that time last year, this API was only provided by systemd-logind. Luckily, someone treated the logind component of systemd similarly to its udev component. Where Slackware already uses “eudev” which is a standalone udev source extracted from the systemd source, there’s also “elogind” which is the standalone logind sourcecode, extracted from systemd sourcecode. With some difficulty I managed to create a Slackware package for elogind and everything compiled. I just could not get a working Wayland session.
    As it turns out today, that failure to get Wayland working was an omission on my side… more on that later.

KDE: KWave and Plasma in Slackware

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KDE
Slack
  • Replacing Audacity with KWave

    KWave has been developed since 1998, yet few have heard of it. I only recently heard of it myself from writer and podcaster Marcel Gagné while I was setting up to do how-to-videos. Part of the reason for its obscurity might be that, despite its name, it only recently become an official KDE project in the last release. However, the major reason for its obscurity is probably that it has been overshadowed by the better-known Audacity — which is a pity, because in most ways, KWave is every bit as useful as an audio editor.

    Why would anyone want an Audacity substitute? For one thing, while Audacity is cross-platform, it is not well-integrated into Linux. Audacity handles its own resources, as you can tell by its lengthy load time. Often, Audacity frequently gives confusing options for input and playback sources, giving several names to the same device and offering irrelevant front and back options for mono devices, so that users can only find the one they need through trial and error. Sometimes, the necessary option for a particular source can change for no apparent each time Audacity starts.

  • October updates for the Slackware Plasma5 desktop

    There’s been updates to all the major components of the KDE Software Collection (I know they stopped using that name but I think it is still fitting). So I tasked my build box to compile hundreds of new packages and today I have for you the October ’17 set of Plasma 5 packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current. KDE 5_17.10 contains: KDE Frameworks 5.39.0, Plasma 5.11.0 and Applications 17.08.2. All based on Qt 5.9.2 for Slackware-current and Qt 5.7.1 for Slackware 14.2.

Refreshed ISO’s for Slackware Live Edition, and more

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Slack

When I released new Live ISO images almost two weeks ago, a bug in the init script which became apparent with the latest Slackware initrd broke the encrypted /home feature. Therefore I am releasing an updated set of ‘liveslak‘ scripts with version 1.1.9.1 .

The latest set of Slackware Live Edition ISOs are based on liveslak 1.1.9.1 and Slackware-current dated “Fri Sep 29 22:58:54 UTC 2017“). That means, the new Live ISOs contain the updates to TexLive and Python3 (well, no texlive in the XFCE image due to its size limit of course).

If you already use a Slackware Live USB stick that you do not want to re-format, you should use the “-r” parameter to the “iso2usb.sh” script. The “-r” or refresh parameter allows you to refresh the liveslak files on your USB stick without touching your custom content. If you want to modify other parameters of your USB stick, use the script “upslak.sh“. It’s main feature is that it can update the kernel on the USB stick, but it also can replace the Live init script. As with most (if not all) of my scripts, use the “-h” parameter to get help on its functionality.

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Slackware-Based SlackEX Distro Updated with Linux Kernel 4.12, KDE 4.14.35 LTS

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Slack

After informing us of the release of his CruxEX 3.3 2017 GNU/Linux distribution, developer Arne Exton recently brought to our attention that his SlackEX distro got a new important update.

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Slackware Security and Windows Insecurity

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Microsoft
Security
Slack
  • OpenJDK7 and Flash Player security updates (Aug ’17)

    On the blog of IcedTea release manager Andrew Hughes (aka GNU/Andrew) you can find the announcement for IcedTea 2.6.11 which builds OpenJDK 7u151_b01. This release includes the official July 2017 security fixes for Java 7. Note that the security updates for Java 8 were already pushed to my repository some time ago.

  • Kremlin's hackers 'wield stolen NSA exploit to spy on hotel guests in Europe, Mid East'

    Miscreants are using various techniques, including the leaked NSA EternalBlue exploit also wielded by the WannaCry malware, to hack into laptops and other devices used by government and business travelers, FireEye researchers declared on Friday.

It's Now Possible to Install the Linux 4.13 RC2 Kernel on Your Slackware Distro

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Linux
Slack

GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton is known for creating and maintaining a bunch of Linux-based operating systems, as well as for packaging the latest kernels for Slackware Linux.

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Netrunner, Slackware and Debian Updates

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Slack
Debian
  • Netrunner Rolling 2017.07 released

    The Netrunner Team is happy to announce the release of Netrunner Rolling 2017.07 – 64bit ISO.

  • July 17 updates – Plasma 5, Live ISOS and more

    To celebrate I have created some goodies for you. Nothing you can eat or drink…

    First, Plasma 5 updates.

    I have uploaded the July ’17 set of Plasma 5 packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current to the ‘ktown’ repository. KDE 5_17.07 contains: KDE Frameworks 5.36.0, Plasma 5.10.3 and Applications 17.04.3. All based on Qt 5.9.0 for Slackware-current and Qt 5.7.1 for Slackware 14.2.

  • Calibre and rar support

    Thanks to the cooperation with upstream authors and the maintainer Martin Pitt, the Calibre package in Debian is now up-to-date at version 3.4.0, and has adopted a more standard packaging following upstream. In particular, all the desktop files and man pages have been replaced by what is shipped by Calibre. What remains to be done is work on RAR support.

Slackware Turns 24 Years Old

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Slack

Today marks 24 years since the original release of Slackware, which continues to be led by Patrick Volkerding. Slackware releases are much more infrequent these days with the last official release being Slackware 14.2 from June of last year and before that was Slackware 14.1 in 2013. But development on Slackware does continue and its rolling-release code is currently on the Linux 4.9 LTS kernel and has many new packages compared to the v14.2 release.

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More in Tux Machines

Security: Amazon, Microsoft, and John Draper

  • Amazon security camera could be remotely disabled by rogue couriers

    However, researchers from Rhino Security Labs found attacking the camera's Wi-Fi with a distributed denial of service attack, which sends thousands of information requests to the device, allowed them to freeze the camera. It would then continue to show the last frame broadcast, rather than going offline or alerting the user it had stopped working.

  • Pentagon contractor leaves social media spy archive wide open on Amazon
    A Pentagon contractor left a vast archive of social-media posts on a publicly accessible Amazon account in what appears to be a military-sponsored intelligence-gathering operation that targeted people in the US and other parts of the world. The three cloud-based storage buckets contained at least 1.8 billion scraped online posts spanning eight years, researchers from security firm UpGuard's Cyber Risk Team said in a blog post published Friday. The cache included many posts that appeared to be benign, and in many cases those involved from people in the US, a finding that raises privacy and civil-liberties questions. Facebook was one of the sites that originally hosted the scraped content. Other venues included soccer discussion groups and video game forums. Topics in the scraped content were extremely wide ranging and included Arabic language posts mocking ISIS and Pashto language comments made on the official Facebook page of Pakistani politician Imran Khan.
  • Pirated Microsoft Software Enabled NSA Hack says Kaspersky
    Earlier reports accused Kaspersky's antivirus software which was running on the NSA worker's home computer to be the reason behind the Russian spies to access the machine and steal important documents which belonged to NSA hacking unit, Equation Group.
  • Iconic hacker booted from conferences after sexual misconduct claims surface
    John Draper, a legendary figure in the world of pre-digital phone hacking known as "phreaking," has been publicly accused of inappropriate sexual behavior going back nearly two decades. According to a new Friday report by BuzzFeed News, Draper, who is also known as "Captain Crunch," acted inappropriately with six adult men and minors between 1999 and 2007 during so-called "energy" exercises, which sometimes resulted in private invitations to his hotel room. There, Draper allegedly made unwanted sexual advances. As a result of the new revelations, Draper, 74, is now no longer welcome at Defcon. Michael Farnum, the founder of HOU.SEC.CON, told Ars on Friday afternoon that Draper, who had been scheduled to speak in April 2018, was disinvited.

Debian Developers

  • Joey Hess: stupid long route
    Yesterday, I surpassed all that, and I did it in a way that hearkens right back to the original story. I had two computers, 20 feet apart, I wanted one to talk to the other, and the route between the two ended up traveling not around the Earth, but almost the distance to the Moon. I was rebuilding my home's access point, and ran into a annoying bug that prevented it from listening to wifi. I knew it was still connected over ethernet to the satellite receiver. I connected my laptop to the satellite receiver over wifi. But, I didn't know the IP address to reach the access point. Then I remembered I had set it up so incoming ssh to the satellite receiver was directed to the access point.
  • I am now a Debian Developer
    On the 6th of April 2017, I finally took the plunge and applied for Debian Developer status. On 1 August, during DebConf in Montréal, my application was approved. If you’re paying attention to the dates you might notice that that was nearly 4 months ago already. I was trying to write a story about how it came to be, but it ended up long. Really long (current draft is around 20 times longer than this entire post). So I decided I’d rather do a proper bio page one day and just do a super short version for now so that someone might end up actually reading it.
  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, October 2017
    Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

Programming: GNU Nano, Software Engineering Talent Shortage, HHVM (PHP)

  • GNU Nano Latest Version 2.9.0
    GNU nano 2.9.0 "Eta" introduces the ability to record and replay keystrokes (M-: to start and stop recording, M-; to play the macro back), makes ^Q and ^S do something useful by default (^Q starts a backward search, and ^S saves the current file), changes ^W to start always a forward search, shows the number of open buffers (when more than one) in the title bar, no longer asks to press Enter when there are errors in an rc file, retires the options '--quiet' and 'set quiet' and 'set backwards', makes indenting and unindenting undoable, will look in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME for a nanorc file and in $XDG_DATA_HOME for the history files, adds a history stack for executed commands (^R^X), does not overwrite the position-history file of another nano, and fixes a score of tiny bugs.
  • GNU Nano Text Editor Can Now Record & Replay Keystrokes
    GNU Nano 2.9 is now available as the latest feature release of this popular CLI text editor and it's bringing several new capabilities. First up, GNU Nano 2.9 has the ability to record and replay keystrokes within the text editor. M-: is used to start/stop the keystroke recording session while M-; is used to playback the macro / recorded keystrokes.
  • 2018's Software Engineering Talent Shortage— It’s quality, not just quantity

    The software engineering shortage is not a lack of individuals calling themselves “engineers”, the shortage is one of quality — a lack of well-studied, experienced engineers with a formal and deep understanding of software engineering.

  • HHVM 3.23
    HHVM 3.23 is released! This release contains new features, bug fixes, performance improvements, and supporting work for future improvements. Packages have been published in the usual places, however we have rotated the GPG key used to sign packages; see the installation instructions for more information.
  • Facebook Releases HHVM 3.23 With OpenSSL 1.1 Support, Experimental Bytecode Emitter
    HHVM 3.23 has been released as their high performance virtual machine for powering their Hack programming language and current PHP support. As mentioned back in September though, Facebook will stop focusing on PHP 7 compatibility in favor of driving their own Hack programming language forward. It's after their next release, HHVM 3.24, in early 2018 they will stop their commitment to supporting PHP5 features and at the same time not focus on PHP7 support. Due to the advancements made by upstream PHP on improving their performance, etc, Facebook is diverting their attention to instead just bolstering Hack and thus overtime the PHP support within HHVM will degrade.

Linux 4.14 File-System Benchmarks: Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, XFS

Our latest Linux file-system benchmarking is looking at the performance of the mainline Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, and XFS file-systems on the Linux 4.14 kernel compared to 4.13 and 4.12. In looking to see how the file-system/disk performance has changed if at all under the newly released Linux 4.14 kernel, I carried out some 4.12/4.13/4.14 benchmarks using Btrfs/EXT4/F2FS/XFS while freshly formatting the drive each time and using the default mount options. Read more Also: Freedreno Gallium3D Supports A Fair Amount Of OpenGL 4.x