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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

SUSE/OpenSUSE Leftovers

  • OAK compatibility with all openSUSE

    While fcused on the openSUSE Innovator initiative as an openSUSE member and official Intel oneAPI innovator, I tested the OAK AI Kit device on openSUSE Leap 15.1, 15.2 and Tumbleweed. With all the work, we made available in the SDB an article on how to install this device on the openSUSE platform. More information can be found at https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Install_OAK_AI_Kit. The OpenCV AI Kit, that is, OAK, is a tiny, low-end hardware computing module based on the integrated Intel Movidius Myriad-X AI chip. In comparison to other GPU, CPU, FPGA or TPU-based AI acceleration solutions, Movidius is a VPU architecture with 4.0 TOPS computing capacity. And it is 80 times faster for CV and AI tasks than the well-known OpenMV project, which has only 0.05 TOPS based on the ARM Cortex M7 microcontroller.

  • SUSE’s acquisition of Rancher ushers in an innovative new brand

    In 2020 SUSE and Rancher joined forces with one shared vision: being known as the leading open source innovator in the world. Entrusted with the challenge of fusing two strong brands, the brand refresh needed to capture the heart and soul of both companies while aligning them to one strong, shared identity.

  • Content Management with SUSE Manager 4.1

    The concept of Content Lifecycle Management is not new and applies to any piece of digital content, following it from beginning, to middle, to end of creation. With SUSE® Manager, this idea is applied to software intended for rollout to production systems. Content Lifecycle Management allows you to customize and test packages before updating production systems. This is especially useful if you need to apply updates during a limited maintenance window. From within SUSE® Manager, you can select software channels as sources, adjust them as required for your environment, and thoroughly test them before installing onto your production systems. From beginning (original development), to middle (testing), to end (deployment).

Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

  • Fedora 34 Cleared For Btrfs Zstd Compression By Default, DNF/RPM Copy-On-Write - Phoronix

    The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee has unanimously approved several high profile features for the upcoming Fedora 34. The latest batch of Fedora 34 features that received unanimous approval ahead of tomorrow's scheduled FESCo meeting include: - Deprecating XEMacs and related packages. This is due to XEmacs not seeing a major release in over seven years and the upstream development essentially at an end. There is still an occasional commit but no meaningful additions being made and thus XEMacs is being deprecated.

  • 5 tips for configuring virtualenvs with Ansible Tower | Enable Sysadmin

    Virtualenvs are a great way to create isolated scenarios where you can experiment with different Python/Ansible modules.

  • 11 considerations for effectively managing a Linux sysadmin team | Enable Sysadmin

    Having worked as a sysadmin with many colleagues and later on as a sysadmins manager, I thought it would be good to share some of my experience in this area with hopes that current managers and managers-to-be might find some useful hints. Managing sysadmins is, in many aspects, no different from working with any other group of people: Planning vacations, discussing salaries, setting targets, making certain skills and tools are up to spec. Your management style reflects who you are, and the crew is that fantastic blend of personalities and abilities. Together you can deliver projects and maintain complex technical environments. There are, however, some things you should be aware of that will improve your ability as a manager when you interact with the sysadmins.

  • Call for Projects and Mentors: GSoC 2021 – Fedora Community Blog

    Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program focused on introducing students to open source software development. Students work on a 10 week programming project with an open source organization during their break from a post secondary academic program. Fedora has had great participation and we would like to continue to be a mentoring org this year too. We are currently looking for mentors and projects. Process of how to apply is described at the end of this blog after a brief info and new changes in GSoC program.

  • Storage and Distributed Compute Nodes: Bringing Cinder persistent volumes to the edge

    In part one of our series about Distributed Compute Nodes (DCN), we described how the storage backends are deployed at each site and how to manage images at the edge. What about the OpenStack service (i.e. Cinder) that actually manages persistent block storage? This post will dive into more details.

  • Sharing is caring: Building clearer contribution paths to your community

    One of the most important topics in the open source community is "how do we attract more people to our community?" This makes perfect sense because you can’t have a community without people. Given the importance of inviting people to a community—otherwise known as onboarding—you would expect a lot of discussion and debate applied to the topic. And yet, there are many open source community managers frustrated by a lack of new contributors. In this post, we’ll focus on 3 core principles of contributor onboarding.

today's leftovers

  • Parler Tricks: Making Software Disappear

    Much has been written and broadcast about the recent actions from Google and Apple to remove the Parler app from their app stores. Apps get removed from these app stores all the time, but more than almost any past move by these companies, this one has brought the power Big Tech companies wield over everyone’s lives to the minds of every day people. Journalists have done a good job overall in presenting the challenges and concerns with this move, as well as addressing the censorship and anti-trust issues at play. If you want a good summary of the issues, I found Cory Doctorow’s post on the subject a great primer. [...] This is part of the article where Android users feel smug. After all, while much more of their data gets captured and sold than on iOS, in exchange they still (sometimes) have the option of rooting their phones and (sometimes) “sideloading” applications (installing applications outside of Google’s App Store). If Google bans an app, all a user has to do is follow a list of complicated (and often sketchy) procedures, sometimes involving disabling protections or installing sketchy software on another computer, and they can wrench back a bit of control over their phones. Of course in doing so they are disabling security features that are the foundation for the rest of Android security, at which point many Android security experts will throw up their hands and say “you’re on your own.” [...] The Librem 5 phone runs the same PureOS operating system as Librem laptops, and it features the PureOS Store which provides a curated list of applications known to work well on the phone’s screen. Even so, you can use the search function to find the full list of all available software in PureOS. After all, you might want that software to be available when you dock your Librem 5 to a larger screen. We aim to provide software in the PureOS store that respects people’s freedom, security, and privacy and will audit software that’s included in the store with that in mind. That way people have a convenient way to discover software that not only works well on the phone but also respects them. Yet you are still free to install any third-party software outside of the PureOS Store that works on the phone, even if it’s proprietary software we don’t approve of.

  • Apple Mulls Podcast Subscription Push Amid Spotify's Land Grab

    The talks, first reported by The Information, have been ongoing since at least last fall, sources tell to The Hollywood Reporter, and ultimately could end up taking several different forms. Regardless, it’s clear that Tim Cook-led Apple — after spending the last two years watching rival-in-music-streaming Spotify invest hundreds of millions of dollars to align itself with some of the most prolific producers and most popular personalities in podcasting — is no longer content sitting on the sideline. “There’s a huge opportunity sitting under their nose with 1.4 million iOS devices globally,” says Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives, “and they don’t want to lose out.” Apple declined to comment about its podcasting plans.

    Much of the growth of the podcasting industry over the last decade can be traced back to Apple and its former CEO Steve Jobs, who in 2005 declared that he was “bringing podcasting mainstream” by adding support for the medium to iTunes. A few years later, the company introduced a separate Podcasts app that quickly became the leading distribution platform for the medium. But Apple, which netted $275 billion in sales in fiscal 2020, has refrained from turning podcasting — still a relatively small industry that the Interactive Advertising Bureau estimated would bring in nearly $1 billion in U.S. advertising revenue last year — into a moneymaking venture.

  • Blacks In Technology and The Linux Foundation Partner to Offer up to $100,000 in Training & Certification to Deserving Individuals [Ed: Linux Foundation exploits blacks for PR, even though it does just about nothing for blacks [1, 2]]

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and The Blacks In Technology Foundation, the largest community of Black technologists globally, today announced the launch of a new scholarship program to help more Black individuals get started with an IT career. Blacks in Technology will award 50 scholarships per quarter to promising individuals. The Linux Foundation will provide each of these recipients with a voucher to register for any Linux Foundation administered certification exam at no charge, such as the Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate, Certified Kubernetes Administrator, Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator and more. Associated online training courses will also be provided at no cost when available for the exam selected. Each recipient will additionally receive one-on-one coaching with a Blacks In Technology mentor each month to help them stay on track in preparing for their exam.

  • the tragedy of gemini

    While everything I have seen served via Gemini is friendly and sociable, the technical barriers of what-is-a-command-line and how-do-I-use-one are a fence put up that keep out the riffraff. Certainly, you can walk around the corner and go through the gate, but ultimately the geminiverse is lovely because it is underpopulated, slower-paced, and literate. It is difficult enough to access that those who can use it can be welcoming without worrying its smallness will be compromised.

    The tragedy is that I don’t think many of its denizens would claim that they only want to hear from technical, educated people, but in order to use a small [Internet], an August [Internet], they have let the fence keep out anyone else.

Devices: GigaIPC, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino Projects

  • Rugged systems provide IP67 waterproofing

    GigaIPC unveiled two compact, IP67-protected “QBix-WP” computers with Linux support and rugged M12 ports for 2x LAN, 3x COM, GPIO, and 9-36V input: one with 8th Gen Whiskey Lake and the other with Apollo Lake. Taiwan-based GigaIPC has announced a “QBiX-WP Series” of rugged embedded systems with IP67 protections: an 8th Gen Whiskey Lake based QBiX-WP-WHLA8265H-A1 and an Apollo Lake powered QBiX-WP-APLA3940H-A1. IP67 provides level 6 “dust-tight” protection against dust ingression and level 7 waterproofing against liquid ingress including immersion at up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

  • Deter burglars with a Raspberry Pi chatbot
  • Arduino Blog » 3D-printed mobile robot platform based on the Arduino Due

    Although an Arduino can be a great way to provide computing power for a mobile robot platform, you’ll need a variety of other electronics and mechanical components to get it going. In his write-up, computer science student Niels Post outlines how he constructed a robot that travels via two stepper motors, along with casters to keep it upright. The round chassis is 3D-printed and runs on three rechargeable 18650 batteries.

  • Arduino Blog » Making your own Segway, the Arduino way

    After obtaining motors from a broken wheelchair, this father-son duo went to work turning them into a new “Segway.” The device is controlled by an Arduino Uno, along with a pair of motor drivers implemented handle the device’s high current needs. An MPU-6050 allows it to react as the rider leans forward and backwards, moving with the help of a PID loop. Steering is accomplished via a potentiometer, linked to a bent-pipe control stick using a bottle cap and glue.