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Slack

New Packages in Slackware

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Slack
  • LibreOffice updates for Slackware 14.2 and -current

    This month, I am building different versions for LibreOffice, for our stable Slackware 14.2 and for the -current testing ground. During my holiday, new versions became available and last week I built packages from those sources.

    The 6.2.6 release which was announced by the Document Foundation two weeks ago brings some security fixes to the 6.2 series. Therefore it was important to get rid of the old 6.2.5 packages. I built 6.2.6 for Slackware 14.2 and those packages have been available for download now since early last week. Go get them!

  • VLC 3.0.8 packages

    The Release Notes state that this releases provides fixes for several security issues among wich 11 which are CVE-worthy. Meaning that it’s prudent to upgrade your VLC to 3.0.8 soonest.

    I have the new packages available (for Slackware 14.2 and -current) in my repository since a couple of days. I used the opportunity to update the following internal libraries as well: bluray, dav1d, ebml, and matroska.

    You will also probably note that there is no “npapi-vlc” package. I decided to retire this VLC based NPAPI webbrowser plugin from my repository. Modern browsers are all moving away from NPAPI plugin support, and relying on HTML5 instead. Chrome/Chromium always only supported PPAPI based plugins anyway.

  • Chromium package updates

    There was a new Chromium source release last week, but there were other software releases that had priority to get packages out the door. Therefore I could only chromium packages this weekend.
    Chromium 76.0.3809.132 fixes 3 security holes. Note that the version before that (76.0.3809.100) also fixed 4 critical holes but I never packaged that as I went on holiday. So, upgrading now would be a good idea.

Slackware, the Longest Active Linux Distro, Finally Has a Patreon Page

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Slack

"Slackware is the longest active Linux distribution project, founded in 1993," writes TheBAFH (Slashdot reader #68,624).

"Today there are many Linux distributions available, but I've remained dedicated to this project as I believe it still holds an important place in the Linux ecosystem," writes Patrick J. Volkerding on a new Patreon page. He adds that Slackware's users "know that Slackware can be trusted not to constantly change the way things work, so that your investment in learning Slackware lasts longer than it would with a system that's a moving target... Your support is greatly appreciated, and will make it possible for me to continue to maintain this project."

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Games in GNOME, New KDE Plasma5 for Slackware and KDE Wiki

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KDE
GNOME
Slack
  • Andrei Lisita: Getting closer

    Since my last blog post I have been on a short vacation but I have also managed to make some progress on my GSoC project again with guidance from my mentor.

    [...]

    Every savestate also has a creation date which is displayed in the menu, but that’s certainly not as eye-catching as the screenshots.

    There are still many missing features and things that need improving (such as the date formatting) but with every commit I feel that I am getting closer to the finished project.

  • KDE Plasma5 for Slackware, introducing Qt 5.13 in the July’19 update

    Now that all major components of the KDE software stack have fresh new releases, I bundled them for Slackware-current and voila: KDE-5_19.07.

    I have uploaded KDE-5_19.07 to my ‘ktown‘ repository. As always, these packages are meant to be installed on a full installation of Slackware-current which has had its KDE4 removed first. These packages will not work on Slackware 14.2.

  • The new userbase wiki

    When you find a kool feature in KDE software, you can write a small tutorial or just a small paragraph about it and the KDE Userbase Wiki is the right place to publish it. You don’t need to know how to code, have perfect English or know how MediaWiki’s formatting work, to contribute. We also need translators.

Cinnamon 4.2 Early Testing

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GNOME
Slack

it's been a while since posted a post here, but that's because of my work load which was way so hectic, so i didn't have time to post an update on Slackware or other things related to Slackware, but for today, i will make an exception since it's time to play with Cinnamon 4.2, the latest release of Cinnamon, which is yet to be announced, but the tarballs are already released on their github project page.

There's no news yet on their blog, but i'm guessing they will release it soon after they mark it as stable. It took several minor releases to ensure stability and compatibility in Cinnamon based on past track records. We had some minor issue dealing with cinnamon-settings-daemon for Slackware-Current since they moved to support newer UPower 0.99 API while in Slackware, we still use the old UPower 0.9.23. In the end, upstream patched a bit, but i'm not really sure the power management component works best since i haven't tried it yet on a laptop (desktop is fine).

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Also new: Cinnamon 4.2.0

zenwalk current ISO for 02 06 2019

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GNU
Linux
Slack

New current ISO is ready !

In addition to the hundreds of packages updates from upstream Slackware Current and Zenwalk native, you'll get the new Firefox 67.0, latest XFCE 4.13, a new desktop theme, and a brand new Whisker applications menu.

For complete changelog see both Slack changelog on slackware.com and Zenwalk changelog on this site.

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Slackware Removal of Lumina Desktop and Additional New Packages/Versions

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Slack
  • Lumina Desktop will be removed from my -current repository

    The Lumina Desktop is part of the TrueOS project, a FreeBSD variant. I packaged version 1.4.0.p1 for Slackware and it is part of the Plasma5 variant of my Slackware Live Edition.

    I noticed a while ago that Lumina would no longer start but it was low on my priority list to try and fix it.

    Today I found the time to look into this, but a recompilation against the latest Qt5 and other libraries, altough error-free, would not make the Lumina Desktop start successfully: it will start to load, but then you’ll hear a beep and you’re dumped at the command prompt or at the graphical login screen without evidence of what happened.

  • Valentine present for Slackers

    Today is Valentine’s Day. A moment to give some extra attention to people that are dear to you.

    In my case, that’s everyone who loves, uses, supports, advocates or develops Slackware Linux. For all of you, I uploaded “KDE-5_19.02” to the ‘ktown‘ repository. There’s some updates in there that might interest you, see below.
    If you do not (want to) run or install Slackware-current, I will make sure that a new ISO of the Slackware Live Plasma5 Edition will be available around the weekend. That way, you can safely try it out without having to touch your hard drive.

    As always, these packages are meant to be installed on a Slackware-current which has had its KDE4 removed first. These packages will not work on Slackware 14.2.

Uploading 15 GB of new Slackware Live Edition ISO images

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Slack

The squashfs modules in the XFCE ISOs are compressed with ‘xz’ to keep them as small as possible (so they will fit on a CDROM medium). All of the other ISOs are compressed with ‘zstd’ which gives the Live OS a speed boost of ~20% at the cost of 10% increase in the ISO size.

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KDE4 and Plasma 5 for Slackware

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KDE
Slack
  • KDE4 and Qt4 deprecation in FreeBSD

    This is a reminder — for those who don’t read all of the FreeBSD mailing lists — that KDE4 is marked deprecated in the official ports tree for FreeBSD, and will be removed at the end of this year (in about 20 days). Then Qt4 will be removed from the official ports tree in mid-march.

    Since both pieces of software are end-of-life and unmaintained upstream already for several years, the kde@ team at FreeBSD no longer can maintain them. Recent time-sinks were dealing with OpenSSL 1.1.1, libressl, C++17, .. the code is old, and there’s newer, nicer, better-maintained code available generally by replacing 4 with 5.

  • KDE Plasma 5 for Slackware – end of the year edition

    I just uploaded a whole new batch of packages containing KDE Plasma5 for Slackware. The previous batch, KDE 5_18.10 is already two months old and has some library compatibility issues. The new KDE 5_18.12 for Slackware consists of KDE Frameworks 5.53.0, Plasma 5.14.4 and Applications 18.08.3. All this on top of Qt 5.11.3.
    Compiled on the latest Slackware -current, it’s running smoothly here on my laptop.
    I decided against upgrading to QT 5.12.0. This is a new LTS release, but I will wait for the other distros to find bugs in this new software. Next week, KDE will release KDE Applications 18.12.0 and that too is something I want to check a bit before releasing Slackware packages. Therefore it’s likely that a new batch of packages containing Qt 5.12 and KDE Applications 18.12 will see the light shortly after the New Year.

Absolute Linux: Testing Snapshot/15.0 Based on Slackware Current

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Reviews
Slack

Patrick, next Slackware and moving forward with KDE Plasma5

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Slack

I assume that many of you will have been reading the recent Linux Questions thread “Donating to Slackware” and in particular Patrick Volkerding’s reply where he explains that the Slackware Store (an entity independent of Slackware with which he has a business arrangement involving a percentage of sales profit and medical insurance) has not been paying him any money for the last two years and that most likely all the PayPal donations through the Store have gone into the pockets of the Store owners. Read that thread if you have not done so yet.
Basically Pat is broke. That thread lists a PayPal address which Pat eventually shared and where donations can be sent directly to him, so that he can fix his roof, his airco, his crashing server and his wife’s car. That would be a start.

That LQ thread is also perused to discuss possible ways forward for Pat (setting up a Patreon account, or a business PayPal account, etc) so that he can support his family and continue working on Slackware. To me it looks like the Store will be a thing of the past unless they change their attitude. Switching from a business model where revenue is generated from optical media sales, to a model where supporters set up a recurring payment in exchange for the prolonged existence of their favorite distro, and possibly get Pat to write up some hands-on stories as a reward, may ultimately benefit Pat, and Slackware, more than the way things are handled at the moment. If you are doubting the financial impact of a recurring payment through Patreon or PayPal, look at it this way: if you donate one euro per month, you will probably not even notice that the money is shifted out. But with 2000 people donating one euro per month, Pat would have a basic income (pre-tax) already. Not a lot, but it’s a start. The 2000 people is a rough estimate of the people who ordered a DVD or CD through the store: the owners told Pat that the earnings of the 14.2 release were 100K (and Pat got 15K out of that, go figure!). Divide that through ~50 euro per DVD, results in 2000 people. Then there’s all these people who donated money through the Store or bought shirts, caps and stickers. I think the amounts of money even a small community (like us Slackware users) can contribute should enable Pat to shed his financial worries. The fact that the Slackware Store basically has been ripping off the hand that feeds them is enraging and inexcusable.
This is all about a community standing up to provide support for what (or who) bonds us together.

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Stardew Valley, Overland and Wasteland 3

  • Stardew Valley is getting a nifty whole-farm screenshot feature in an upcoming update

    The developer of the sweet game Stardew Valley, ConcernedApe, has announced that a feature-filled update is coming. Coming with the update is a big variety of new things. Their main aim with it, they said is to "polish" the game more. So they're going through fixing various issues that have been hanging around and add a lot of quality of life features. They don't go into too much detail though as they said they don't want to spoil it all, but it sounds like a massive update. One thing they did say is that Wild Bait, as an example, used to be "essentially worthless" but now gives you a chance to catch double fish. Also, every spouse option now has a unique 14-heart event after marriage.

  • The latest Overland update should address some inventory management nuisances

    While I appreciated Overland as difficult as it is, certain parts of it did need improvements and this new update aims to address some of the pain points. First up, a refresher course: what is Overland? It's a tough turn-based survival game, where you take care of a group of travellers on a post-apocalyptic road-trip across the United States.

  • inXile's big party-based RPG 'Wasteland 3' launching May 19 next year, now up for pre-order

    Wasteland 3, the big new squad-based role-playing game from inXile entertainment has a new trailer plus a release date. Today, they confirmed May 19 next year for Linux, macOS and Windows. Moving away from the scorching deserts of post-apocalypse Arizona to the frosty mountains of Colorado, you've been promised aid to keep your own home alive if you help the self-proclaimed Patriarch of Colorado rescue it from the ambitions of their bloodthirsty children. inXile are promising it will be full of challenging tactical combat, exploration, a deep story full of twists and ethical decision making.

Android Leftovers

PyRadio: An open source alternative for internet radio

PyRadio is a convenient, open source, command-line application for playing any radio station that has a streaming link. And in 2019, almost every radio station (certainly, every one that has a web presence) has a way to listen online. Using the free PyRadio program, you can add, edit, play and switch between your own selected list of streaming radio stations. It is a command-line tool for Linux that can run on many computers, including Macintosh and tiny computers like Raspberry Pi. To some, a command-line client for playing music might sound needlessly complicated, but it's actually a simple alternative and one that serves as an instant text-based dashboard to easily select music to listen to. A little background about myself: I spend a lot of time browsing for and listening to new music on Bandcamp, on various blogs, and even Spotify. I don't spend time casually listening to app *radio* stations, which are really algorithmically-generated continuous streams of similarly tagged music. Rather, I prefer listening to non-profit, college and locally-produced independent radio stations that are run by a community and don't rely on advertisements to sustain themselves. Read more

Security things in Linux v5.3

In the continuing work to remove “uninitialized” variables from the kernel, Alexander Potapenko added new “init_on_alloc” and “init_on_free” boot parameters (with associated Kconfig defaults) to perform zeroing of heap memory either at allocation time (i.e. all kmalloc()s effectively become kzalloc()s), at free time (i.e. all kfree()s effectively become kzfree()s), or both. The performance impact of the former under most workloads appears to be under 1%, if it’s measurable at all. The “init_on_free” option, however, is more costly but adds the benefit of reducing the lifetime of heap contents after they have been freed (which might be useful for some use-after-free attacks or side-channel attacks). Everyone should enable CONFIG_INIT_ON_ALLOC_DEFAULT_ON=1 (or boot with “init_on_alloc=1“), and the more paranoid system builders should add CONFIG_INIT_ON_FREE_DEFAULT_ON=1 (or “init_on_free=1” at boot). As workloads are found that cause performance concerns, tweaks to the initialization coverage can be added. Read more