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Slack

liveslak-1.3.10 and new ISO images for Slackware Live Edition

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Slack

The previous batch of ISOs for Slackware Live Edition is already a few months old, so I decided to generate new images.
The ISO files are based on Slackware-current of “Wed Sep 8 18:07:38 UTC 2021” and using the liveslak-1.3.10 scripts, where passwordless login is a new feature.

Slackware-current has the label “15.0 Release Candidate 1” since August 16th but considering the amount of non-trivial updates since that date, I wonder whether the phrase “release candidate” has any relevance here. No sign that we are anywhere nearer to a final 15.0 release.

Let’s hope for the best, and in the meantime fresh ISOs for the Slackware Live Edition can be obtained at download.liveslak.org .

I refreshed he ‘bonus‘ section as well. There you find several squashfs modules you can use with your persistent liveslak USB stick. Copy these module into the ‘addons’ directory on the USB drive. They expand the functionality of the Live OS and allow me to keep the ISO file size within reasonable bounds.
Among these you’ll find the binary nvidia driver (already contained in the CINNAMON, DAW and MATE ISOs by the way); Wine 6.12, multilib, the DAW package collection, and a set from my own repository (chromium, libreoffice, veracrypt, vlc etc).

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Easy-Slackware 15.0 RC1 experiment

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Slack

A couple of intense days getting there, finally booted "Easy Slack" to a desktop, built from Slackware 15.0 RC1 binary packages. A snapshot:

After all that effort, have decided to take it no further. Various reasons...

Slackware is supposed to be "lean and mean" and I expected the final easy-*.img.gz file to be small, at least smaller than the Easy-Buster Debian-based build. But, it is 610MB, bigger.

The Slackware repository is quite small. SalixOS have some extras, but important packages are missing, such as LibreOffice and Inkscape. Perhaps they intend to add them?

To fill the gaps of missing packages, I used some from Easy Dunfell-series, those compiled by me in OpenEmbedded. But ran into library version hell. Simply creating symlinks to libraries of a different version is very iffy.

Anyway, got a desktop, wifi works. Sakura terminal works, but the "back arrow" key deposits strange characters on the screen. Perhaps because sakura is from Dunfell and vte is from Slackware repo, with a vte library version mismatch.

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Slackware 15.0 Coming Soon With RC1 Released

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Not only did Debian 11 make it out this weekend, but Slackware 15 is finally up to its release candidate phase as the next major installment of this long-running Linux distribution.

While Slackware is one of the oldest still-maintained Linux distributions out there, it doesn't often see new updates and doesn't have nearly the manpower of more modern alternatives. It's been nearly one decade since Slackware 14 but Slackware 15 is about to ship.

Back in February marked the release of Slackware 15.0 Alpha and then in April was the Slackware 15.0 Beta. Now in August is the first release candidate of Slackware 15.0 while the stable release shouldn't be too far out.

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Direct: Current (pre-release) ChangeLog for x86_64

Is Slackware the Right Linux Distribution for You? What You Need to Know

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Debian might be the oldest popular distribution but it's tied with Slackware as the oldest one still in existence. The Slackware project started in 1992, a year after Linux was initially released, as a way to install a Linux system that already included some core packages: the kernel, the X Window System, and other utilities.

Since then, the distribution honestly hasn't changed much. Its maintainers seem to have an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality in their design decisions.

Patrick Volkerding created Slackware out of his frustrations with what was the most popular early Linux distro, Softland Linux System (SLS). SLS was widely used among the early Linux community, but it was buggy. Volkerding, a computer science student at Minnesota State University Moorhead, decided to start his own distribution.

Debian and OpenSUSE have similar roots in their founders becoming frustrated with SLS, so SLS in some way may be a common ancestor to most modern Linux distros.

Volkerding was a member of the parody religion, Church of the SubGenius, and decided to name his new distro "Slackware" in reference to the SubGenius concept of "slack," and the rest is history. The SubGenius connection furthered with the logo of Tux with SubGenius mascot J.R. "Bobb" Dobbs' iconic pipe.

Volkerding still exerts a lot of influence over the project to this day as its BDFL or Benevolent Dictator For Life. The pace of releases slowed down in the 2000s owing to Volkerding's health issues. The current LTS release as of this writing is 14.2, released in 2016.

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Slackware 15.0-beta is out now

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Slack

  • Current (pre-release) ChangeLog for x86_64
  • Slackware 15 Beta Process Begins - Phoronix

    Back in February Slackware 15.0 went into alpha, nine years since Slackware 14.0 made its debut or even five years since Slackware 14.2. Now Slackware 15.0 is up to its beta phase.

    In the two months since the alpha start, Slackware 15.0 has seen many package updates and is ready enough to be called beta. Slackware 15.0 Beta is using the GCC 10.3 compiler, a newer revision of the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel, and many other package updates like the newest KDE desktop components are available.

  • Slackware Linux 15.0 Beta, The Legend Is Back

    Is Slackware dead? The answer is no! Patrick Volkerding has announced that Slackware 15 moved to stage of beta testing.

    Slackware is a Linux distribution created by Patrick Volkerding in 1993. For many early Linux users, Slackware was their introduction. After more than a quarter century and 30-plus versions later, Slackware is the oldest actively maintained Linux distribution, but now it is not nearly as popular as it was a decade or more ago. The features of the distribution are the lack of complications and a simple system of initialization in the style of classical BSD systems.

    We haven’t had any Slackware news since the release of Slackware Linux 14.2 in July 2016. Till now.

  • Phew! The Oldest Active Linux Distro, Slackware, is Not Dead Yet

    Slackware is one of the earliest distributions before any mainstream option was popular. You will be surprised to know that this year marks its 28th year. It is mostly suitable for experienced Linux users who want the stability and ease of use.

    Slackware hasn’t seen a new release in years, the last release being in 2016. That left people guessing if the oldest maintained Linux distribution was on the verge of being discontinued.

How to ‘un-google’ your Chromium browser experience

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Google
Slack

On March 15th 2021, Google is going to block non-Google chromium-based browsers from accessing certain ?private Google Chrome web services? by unilaterally revoking agreements made with 3rd parties in the past.
Meaning, every Chromium based product not officially distributed by Google will be limited to the use of only a few public Google Chrome web services.
The most important service that remains open is ?safe browsing?. The safe browsing feature identifies unsafe websites across the Internet and notifies browser users about the potential harm such websites can cause.

The most prominent feature which will be blocked after March 15th is the ?Chrome Sync?. This Chrome Sync capability in Chromium based browsers allows you to login to Google?s Sync cloud servers and save your passwords, browsing history and bookmarks/favorites to your personal encrypted cloud vault inside Google?s infrastructure.
Extremely convenient for people who access the Internet using multiple devices (like me: Chrome on a few Windows desktops, Chromium on several Slackware desktops and laptop and Chrome Mobile on my Android smartphone) and who want a unified user experience in Chrome/chromium across all these platforms.

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Absolute64-20210302 released

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Slack

Based on Slackware64-current.
Slack recompiled everything due to gcc update...
Stuff that I did NOT recompile still works, go figure.
SpaceFM and ROX-Filer (arox) get me occassional complaints
due to their age/ lack of updating...
but they work for me and I still don't even use gvfs or udisks,
like a default Slackware install.
[But Slackware still resists systemd, YEAH!]

Pulled Kodi and GMT from the installer --
Kodi I never use, so timely updating becomes an issue.
GMT (generic mapping tools), no one besides me ever uses.
These ommissions trimmed the ISO filesize a bit.
Still a lot of development libraries included
so the download is not small.
But remember, although the distro has lots of files -- it runs lite Smile

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Slackware 15.0 alpha1

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Slack

Hold the press! There’s good news on Slackware development front.
Slackware 14.2, the last stable release, saw the light on 30 June 2016. Since then, it has received many security patches but nothing has changed functionally and although 14.2 is super stable, it is also getting stale, in particular its default KDE desktop.
In all that time since the release of Slackware 14.2, the distro has been heavily worked on, and the slackware-current development release is a joy to work with, containing the latest tools and desktop environments.

The frequent and sometimes intrusive updates to -current are keeping the less knowledgeable Slackware users at bay, they prefer 14.2 since that requires minimal maintenance and won’t break after a careless upgrade.

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A Long Wait Will Soon be Over: Slackware 15.0 Coming Up

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Slack

As Slackware fans will have duly noted the team around the BDFL are finally one step, actually untold steps, closer to nearing the long awaited 15.0 release. And high time it is as outdated as 14.2 now is something like 4.5 years into its life. Is anyone actually still running this, except on servers? On 7 December 2020 it was announced that alienBOB's latest Plasma 5 packages made it into the Slackware-current branch for testing and with that they finally fully replaced KDE 4. Shortly after XFCE 4.16 followed and now even includes the Whisker menu.

That was soon followed by a mass rebuild against glibc-2.32 which is a pain of you're running current or just installed somenthing like Slackel which is tracking Slackware-current. Never mind, that's why it's called a testing ground. Currently the kernel is Linux 5.10.12. With such a modern base that seems like a good position for an upcoming release.

I have to admit that with stable getting so old I have switched to other distributions years ago and which are also running nicely. Mostly based on another old favorite, Debian/Devuan, but also Mageia and openMandriva for testing. They didn't make the cut though. Until recently I got my Slackware fix only via alien's LiveSlak project, the Plasma edition, which is in all honesty a good way to run Slackware and almost a distribution in itself. You get a ready made vanilla Slackware enhanced by a few choice packages from alienBOB. In between some quick testing of where Slackware development was at with a quick install from a Slackware FTP server and since recently the release of the aforementioned Slackel 7.4 with Openbox, a perfect base to add Plasma packages.

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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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Programming Leftovers

  • Announcement : An AArch64 (Arm64) Darwin port is planned for GCC12

    As many of you know, Apple has now released an AArch64-based version of macOS and desktop/laptop platforms using the ‘M1’ chip to support it. This is in addition to the existing iOS mobile platforms (but shares some of their constraints). There is considerable interest in the user-base for a GCC port (starting with https://gcc.gnu.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=96168) - and, of great kudos to the gfortran team, one of the main drivers is folks using Fortran. Fortunately, I was able to obtain access to one of the DTKs, courtesy of the OSS folks, and using that managed to draft an initial attempt at the port last year (however, nowhere near ready for presentation in GCC11). Nevertheless (as an aside) despite being a prototype, the port is in use with many via hombrew, macports or self-builds - which has shaken out some of the fixable bugs. The work done in the prototype identified three issues that could not be coded around without work on generic parts of the compiler. I am very happy to say that two of our colleagues, Andrew Burgess and Maxim Blinov (both from embecosm) have joined me in drafting a postable version of the port and we are seeking sponsorship to finish this in the GCC12 timeframe. Maxim has a lightning talk on the GNU tools track at LPC (right after the steering committee session) that will focus on the two generic issues that we’re tackling (1 and 2 below). Here is a short summary of the issues and proposed solutions (detailed discussion of any of the parts below would better be in new threads).

  • Apple Silicon / M1 Port Planned For GCC 12 - Phoronix

    Developers are hoping for next year's GCC 12 release they will have Apple AArch64 support on Darwin in place for being able to support Apple Silicon -- initially the M1 SoC -- on macOS with GCC. LLVM/Clang has long been supporting AArch64 on macOS given that Apple leverages LLVM/Clang as part of their official Xcode toolchain as the basis for their compiler across macOS to iOS and other products. While the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) supports AArch64 and macOS/Darwin, it hasn't supported the two of them together but there is a port in progress to change it.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: tidyCpp 0.0.5 on CRAN: More Protect’ion

    Another small release of the tidyCpp package arrived on CRAN overnight. The packages offers a clean C++ layer (as well as one small C++ helper class) on top of the C API for R which aims to make use of this robust (if awkward) C API a little easier and more consistent. See the vignette for motivating examples. The Protect class now uses the default methods for copy and move constructors and assignment allowing for wide use of the class. The small NumVec class now uses it for its data member.

  • QML Modules in Qt 6.2

    With Qt 6.2 there is, for the first time, a comprehensive build system API that allows you to specify a QML module as a complete, encapsulated unit. This is a significant improvement, but as the concept of QML modules was rather under-developed in Qt 5, even seasoned QML developers might now ask "What exactly is a QML module". In our previous post we have scratched the surface by introducing the CMake API used to define them. We'll take a closer look in this post.

  • Santiago Zarate: So you want to recover and old git branch because it has been overwritten?
  • Start using YAML now | Opensource.com

    YAML (YAML Ain't Markup Language) is a human-readable data serialization language. Its syntax is simple and human-readable. It does not contain quotation marks, opening and closing tags, or braces. It does not contain anything which might make it harder for humans to parse nesting rules. You can scan your YAML document and immediately know what's going on. [...] At this point, you know enough YAML to get started. You can play around with the online YAML parser to test yourself. If you work with YAML daily, then this handy cheatsheet will be helpful.

  • 40 C programming examples

    C programming language is one of the popular programming languages for novice programmers. It is a structured programming language that was mainly developed for UNIX operating system. It supports different types of operating systems, and it is very easy to learn. 40 useful C programming examples have been shown in this tutorial for the users who want to learn C programming from the beginning.

Devices/Embedded: Asus Tinker Board 2 and More

  • Asus Tinker Board 2 single-board computer now available for $94 and up - Liliputing

    The Asus Tinker Board 2 is a Raspberry Pi-shaped single-board computer powered by a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and featuring 2GB to 4GB of RAM. First announced almost a year ago, the Tinker Board 2 is finally available for $99 and up. Asus also offers a Tinker Board 2S model that’s pretty similar except that it has 16GB of eMMC storage. Prices for that model start at about $120.

  • Raspberry Pi Weekly Issue #371 - Sir Clive Sinclair, 1940 – 2021

    This week ended with the incredibly sad news of the passing of Sir Clive Sinclair. He was one of the founding fathers of home computing and got many of us at Raspberry Pi hooked on programming as kids. Join us in sharing your Sinclair computing memories with us on Twitter and our blog, and we’ll see you next week.

  • cuplTag battery-powered NFC tag logs temperature and humidity (Crowdfunding) - CNX Software

    Temperature and humidity sensors would normally connect to a gateway sending data to the cloud, the coin-cell battery-powered cuplTag NFC tag instead sends data to your smartphone after a tap. CulpTag is controlled by an MSP430 16-bit microcontroller from Texas Instruments which reads and stores sensor data regularly into an EEPROM, and the data can then be read over NFC with the tag returning an URL with the data from the sensor and battery, then display everything on the phone’s web browser (no app needed).

  • A first look at Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle RISC-V development board - CNX Software

    Formally launched on Crowd Supply a little over a year ago, Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle (codenamed MPFS-ICICLE-KIT-ES) was one of the first Linux & FreeBSD capable RISC-V development boards. The system is equipped with PolarFire SoC FPGA comprised a RISC-V CPU subsystem with four 64-bit RISC-V (RV64GC) application cores, one 64-bit RISC-V real-time core (RV64IMAC), as well as FPGA fabric. Backers of the board have been able to play with it for several months ago, but Microchip is now sending the board to more people for evaluation/review, and I got one of my own to experiment with. That’s good to have a higher-end development board instead of the usual hobbyist-grade board. Today, I’ll just have a look at the kit content and main components on the board before playing with Linux and FPGA development tools in an upcoming or two posts.

  • What is IoT device management?

    Smart devices are everywhere around us. We carry one in our pocket, watch movies on another while a third cooks us dinner. Every day there are thousands of new devices connecting to the Internet. Research shows that by 2025, more than 150,000 IoT devices will come online every minute. With such vast numbers it is impossible to keep everything in working order just on your own. This brings the need for IoT device management. But what is IoT device management? To answer this question we first need to understand what the Internet of Things (IoT) is.

  • Beelink U59 mini PC with Intel Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake coming soon - Liliputing

    Beelink says the system ships with Windows 10, but it should also supports Linux.

  • Beelink U59 Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake mini PC to ship with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD - CNX Software

    Beelink U59 is an upcoming Jasper Lake mini PC based on the Intel Celeron N5095 15W quad-core processor that will ship with up to 16GB RAM, and 512 GB M.2 SSD storage. The mini PC will also offer two 4K HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, WiFi 5, as well as four USB 3.0 ports, and support for 2.5-inch SATA drives up to 7mm thick.

Graphics: Mesa, KWinFT, and RADV

  • Experimenting Is Underway For Rust Code Within Mesa - Phoronix

    Longtime Mesa developer Karol Herbst who has worked extensively on the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver as well as the OpenCL/compute stack while being employed by Red Hat is now toying with the idea of Rust code inside Mesa.  Karol Herbst has begun investigating how Rust code, which is known for its memory safety and concurrency benefits, could be used within Mesa. Ultimately he's evaluating how Rust could be used inside Mesa as an API implementation as well as for leveraging existing Mesa code by Rust. 

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  • KWinFT Continues Working On WLROOTS Render, Library Split

    KWinFT as a fork of KDE's KWin X11/Wayland compositor code continues making progress on driving fundamental display improvements and ironing out the Wayland support.  KWinFT has been transitioning to use WLROOTS for its Wayland heavy-lifting and that process remains ongoing. KWinFT has also been working on splitting up its library code to make it more manageable and robust.  Among the features still desired by KWinFT and to be worked on include input methods, graphical tablet support, and PipeWire video stream integration. Currently there are two full-time developers working on the project but they hope to scale up to four to five full-time developers. 

  • Raytracing Starting to Come Together – Bas Nieuwenhuizen – Open Source GPU Drivers

    I am back with another status update on raytracing in RADV. And the good news is that things are finally starting to come together. After ~9 months of on and off work we’re now having games working with raytracing.

  • Multiple Games Are Now Working With RADV's Ray-Tracing Code - Phoronix

    Not only is Intel progressing with its open-source ray-tracing driver support but the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" has been rounding out its RT code too and now has multiple games correctly rendering. Bas Nieuwenhuizen has been spearheading the RADV work on Vulkan ray-tracing support and after more than a half-year tackling it things are starting to fall into place nicely.Games such as Quake II RTX with native Vulkan ray-tracing are working along with the game control via VKD3D-Proton for going from Direct3D 12 DXR to Vulkan RT. Metro Exodus is also working while Ghostrunner and Doom Eternal are two games tested that are not yet working.

Audiocasts/Shows: Full Circle Weekly News, Juno Computers, Kali Linux 2021.3