Tuesday, October 4, 2016

GNOME From Scratch Project

This morning i got an email from Rafael Tavares about his new project, GFS (GNOME From Scratch), a personal project that makes possible to use GNOME on Slackware GNU/Linux operating system without systemd or wayland programs. The GFS project will attempt to bring GNOME 3.22 to Slackware Linux. This is the latest version of GNOME available at this moment.

I'm very happy to see more and more Slackware users are contributing to the Slackware Linux community by providing better access to upstream projects. This enables other Slackware users to use their favorite apps/DE which are not provided in the main Slackware repository.

Before you attempt to try this project, please note that GNOME 3.22 REQUIRES new version of GTK-related libraries compared what we have in Slackware 14.2 or current. This project have provided a list of packages that will be upgraded during the process:
  • NetworkManager
  • adwaita-icon-themes
  • at-spi2-atk
  • at-spi2-core
  • atk
  • atkmm
  • dconf
  • dconf-editor
  • gcr
  • gdk-pixbuf2
  • glib-networking
  • glib2
  • gnome-keyring
  • gnome-themes-standard
  • gobject-introspection
  • gsettings-desktop-schemas
  • gst-plugins-base
  • gst-plugins-good
  • gstreamer
  • gtk+3
  • gtkmm3
  • gvfs
  • libsigc++
  • libsoup
  • pango
  • pangomm
  • upower
If you are ready, run this steps:
In console, type:
  1. git clone https://github.com/slackport/gfs
  2. cd gfs
  3. ./gfs.SlackMeta
  4. After compile and install, reboot your system.
  5. Use 'startx' to choose Gnome3 (or Flashback).
I'm building a new VM to test this project at this moment and will start to build and leave it while i go to work. Hopefully when i got home later, all is done :)

Big thanks to Rafael for his efforts

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

OpenSSL Security Advisories

OpenSSL has released two advisories in short period of time (4 days apart) and so does Slackware due to the same reason. The openssl package is now upgraded to 1.0.2j for 14.2 and current and 1.0.1u for 14.1.Another security advisory was about PHP which is now upgraded to 5.6.26.

Other changes happening in current is that the kernel stock is now raised to 4.4.22, the latest -stable LTS kernel for 4.4 branch. A new package is introduced in -current as well, which is sshfs. Michiel maintained that package in SBo repository and it will be removed in the next development cycle of SBo. pkgtools also got a little update to fix some issue when removing filenames containing "%" character.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

digiKam 5.2.0 and new Red-Eye Effect Reduction

digiKam developers has just pushed digiKam 5.2.0 for public and it contains fixes for over 42 bugs listed in their bug tracker. Another good news about this new release is that red-eyes effect reduction process:
it introduced a new red eyes tool which automatize the
Faces detection is processed on whole image and a new algorithm written by a Google Summer of Code 2016 student named Omar Amin is dedicated to recognize shapes and try to found eyes with direct flash reflection on retina.

This new tool is available in Image Editor and also in Batch Queue Manager to be able to process a set of photos at the same time. The algorithm have been very optimized for speed efficiency and for small memory fingerprint. End user can adjust just a single parameter about the reducing level of retina red color to the average of blue and green channels. The default threshold have been tested successfully with a trial and error basis from a large data-set of images. So typically, no user interaction are need with this new version of this tool compared to older one, where no red eyes detection was performed, and a lots of manual settings was required to process this kind of correction.
I have pushed the change to my SlackHacks repository in order to build digiKam 5.2.0 along with the arch switch for x86. It will default to i586 instead of i486.

Feel free to test the new digiKam 5.2.0 :)

Friday, September 23, 2016

MATE 1.16 GTK+3 Build

Since MATE 1.16 has been released and binary packages have been published yesterday, i have some time to build MATE 1.16 GTK+3 build only today and publish it under current directory as usual.

One of the reason for providing this binary packages is for users who wanted to help MATE devs testing the GTK+3 build as it will be the future of MATE development. As we can see from several MATE release, more and more MATE components are now being ported to GTK+3 only with a long term of fully supporting GTK+3. By removing old GTK+2 code, the developer can finally implement new features such as:
  • Wayland support
  • HiDPI support
  • Migrate libunique to GtkApplication
Please visit http://slackware.uk/msb/current/latest/x86_64/ to get the latest binary packages of MATE 1.16 GTK+3 only. As usual, only x86_64 is provided at this moment because it can be used with AlienBOB's Slackware Live ISOs. You can always build the packages yourself by checking out GTK3 branch from our github repository.

Note that GTK+3 is still considered experimental, but the future of MATE will fully utilize GTK+3 so it's a good idea to test them early. By the time next Slackware release is available, i believe we are ready to fully use GTK+3 build.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

MATE Desktop 1.16 Released

Roughly six months of development cycle has been completed and a new release of MATE Desktop 1.16 is finally published by the developers. This new version brings more MATE components to GTK+3 build only and focused on bringing better support for newer GTK+3, mainly 3.20 and 3.22 (which should be the final GTK+3 release).

Here are the headline changes in MATE 1.16 (detailed changes can be seen in MATE 1.16 announcement):
  • Improved GTK3+ support across the entire MATE Desktop.
  • Application and theme support for GTK+ 3.22.
  • More applications build against GTK3+ only:
    • Engrampa
    • MATE Notification Daemon
    • MATE PolKit
    • MATE Session Manager
    • MATE Terminal
  • Some applications have been decoupled from libmate-desktop:
    • Engrampa
    • MATE Applets
    • MATE Netbook
    • MATE Power Manager
    • MATE Terminal
    • Pluma
  • Work has started to port applications to GApplcation:
    • Engrampa
    • MATE Applets
    • MATE Netbook
    • MATE User Share
  • Many bugs and deprecations are fixed.
  • Translations are updated. Thank you to our team of translators!
GitHub and GitLab repository has been updated with the latest code and a new branch has been created (14.2-mate-1.16). From this branch, I have prepared the x86 and x86_64 binary packages compiled against Slackware 14.2 + latest patches and it's now available in the main repository (slackware.uk). You can use slackpkg+ to help you upgrading to this new version. Please note that there are THREE new packages introduced in this release, so make sure to run slackpkg install-new:
  • libgxps
  • vala
  • vte3
Since 1.16 has been released, current directory is now removed temporarily and i will prepare a new build for current soon. Related to our policy of supporting only latest Slackware/MATE release, 14.2-mate-1.14 will no longer be updated and we will only support the new 14.2-mate-1.16 branch. The MSB Website will be updated soon with a new screenshots from MATE 1.16 release.

We hope that you enjoy this latest release of the MATE desktop.  Please let
us know of any issues by posting in our Github repo or sending an email to


Chess Griffin
Willy Sudiarto Raharjo

Security Update: firefox, irssi, pidgin

Three security updates were released for today:
  • firefox: Upgraded to 45.4.0esr for 14.1 and 14.2 and 49.0 for current
  • irssi: Upgraded to 0.8.20
  • pidgin: Upgraded to 2.10.11, 2.10.12, and 2.11.0 for all stable Slackware releases depending on their support
Some minor update in current:
  • mkinitrd: Add dmsetup support
  • emacs: Upgraded to 25.1
  • qt: Fix multilib issue 
  • network-scripts: Fix minor issue

Friday, September 16, 2016

Security Update: curl, mariadb

This week, we received two security advisories in Slackware for mariadb and curl packages. They were updated for Slackware 14.0 and newer (mariadb) and Slackware 13.0 and newer (curl).

Meanwhile in current, Patrick is still accepting requests in LQ by pushing some packages towards new release:
  • texinfo: Upgraded to 6.3
  • libXfont: Upgraded to 1.5.2
  • mesa: Upgraded to 12.0.2
  • vim/gvim: Upgraded to 8.0.0005
  • bash: Upgraded to 4.4.0
  • btrfs-progs: Upgraded to 4.7.2
  • e2fsprogs: Upgraded to 1.43.3
There are some packages that gets rebuilt to bug fixes such as pkgtool, guile, and sdl.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Security Update: gtk+2, gnutls

Two security updates were released today and they are gnutls and gtk+2. Even though GTK+2 was released few years back, the developers are still taking care of this branch as some projects are still using the old codebase rather than migrating to GTK+3.

Regarding gnutls update, some third party projects now require 3.4.15 version of gnutls in their build system (eg. FileZilla), so make sure to upgrade gnutls in your system. If you are using older release of Slackware (14.1 and older), you may not be able to upgrade to newer version of FileZilla unless you patch the configure.ac.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Security Update: php

PHP package was updated to 5.6.25 for Slackware 14.0, 14.1, 14.2, and current and considered a security update. It's the latest release of 5.6.x branch of PHP, while the main release of PHP is now at 7.0.10 and they are working on 7.1.x branch.

Interesting thing happening on current branch:
  • kernel: Upgraded to 4.4.20
  • python: Rebuilt using ucs-4, requiring all python-based package to be recompiled
  • util-linux: Upgraded to 2.28.2
  • hplip: Upgraded to 3.16.8
  • nano: Upgraded to 2.7.0
  • vim/vim-gvim: Upgraded to 7.4.2342
  • Cython: Upgraded to 0.24.1
  • mercurial: Upgraded to 3.9.1
  • boost: Upgraded to 1.61.0 (this build the soname so every third party packages linked to boost will probably need to be recompiled as well)
  • sip: Upgraded to 4.18.1
  • samba: Upgraded to 4.5.0
  • brltty: Upgraded to 5.4

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Planning for MATE 1.16

MATE developers have agreed to release MATE 1.16 this month to catch up with Fedora 25 and Ubuntu 16.10 release schedule. Ubuntu 16.10 is scheduled for October 13 while Fedora is scheduled for November 15 (assumed no more delays).

As promised, MATE 1.16 will bring more GTK+3 porting. This time, it will be engrampa, mate-notifications-daemon, mate-session-manager, mate-polkit, and mate-terminal. Due to short development cycle, maybe not all of the  TODO entries listed in the ROADMAP will be fixed in this cycle. Long term goal is still to have all code ported to GTK+3. It's still a long road ahead due to long list of showstopper bugs, but once we completed that milestone, we can have some new interesting features, such as HiDPI + Wayland support and libunique replacement with GtkApplication.

Although some Linux distribution have offered full GTK+3 only build (such as Fedora), for next 1.16, i will probably keep providing a mix build of GTK+2/3 due to showstoppers mentioned above. Full support will be given to Slackware 14.2 only and not for earlier releases. There will be 3 new deps added in MATE 1.16 which is not yet available in Slackware 14.2:
  • libgxps
  • vala
  • vte3
Few days ago, GTK+ team posted a blog post about their plan for future GTK+ releases. In short, GTK+3-3.22 will be their last minor release of the 3.x series and this gives hope for MATE developers as they have to support many GTK+3 releases at the same time and it may have some incompatibilities between each releases. With all Linux distribution stopped at GTK+3-3.22 someday, it would be easier for them to focus on porting the rest of MATE components to GTK+3 only, fixing the GTK+3 bugs, and adding more features into MATE itself. Support for GTK+4 can be added later when other Linux distribution have started to adopt it in their distribution.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Security Update: kernel, gnupg, libgcrypt

It's not a common thing for Slackware security team to release a new kernel for stable release, but since it has a huge impact and it affected the default kernel used by Slackware 14.2 (and current), Patrick has decided to bump the kernels in the stable and current to the latest version (still in LTS branch) that already got it fixed along with libgcrypt and gnupg security issues that were published last week. It's advised to apply the patches as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

In current branch, there are more fixes:
  • glibc: rebuilt to fix symlink problem
  • diffutils: Upgraded to 3.5
  • linuxdoc-tools: Upgraded to 0.9.72
  • screen: Rebuilt to fix configuration issue
  • binutils: Rebuilt to add more options. This fix build failure with some other packages (eg. google-go-lang in SBo).
  • glib2: Add upstream patch to fix libgio issue
  • network-scripts: Rebuilt to speed up boot time slightly
  • stunnel: Rebuilt to fix incorrect config file name
  • firefox: Upgraded to 48.0.1