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Slack

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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EFF Appeals EME Travesty, Slackware Developer Weighs In

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Slack
Web
  • Encrypted Media Extensions on the World Wide Web

    Before I continue, I want you to fully realize that with Slackware Linux, your rights are not taken away. You are free to use – or not use – technologies that allow you to watch “protected” content like Netflix videos. Our browsers will work just as well if you choose not to use DRM technologies. The libraries which implement the DRM layer are separate from the Slackware packages containing the browsers (Firefox, Chromium) and are not distributed with the OS. It is up to you to add DRM extensions if you need them. You are and remain in control of your OS.

  • [Older] Amid Unprecedented Controversy, W3C Greenlights DRM for the Web [Ed: see "I know this isn't specifically Linux related, but I'm shocked we're not talking about this already."]
  • EFF has appealed the W3C's decision to make DRM for the web without protections

    Five days ago, the World Wide Web Consortium announced that it would go ahead with its project of making DRM for web-video, and that the Director, Tim Berners-Lee had overruled or decided not to act further on all objections about the dangers this posed to legitimate and important activities including security audits, accessibility adaptation and competition.

    The W3C has an appeals process, which has never been successfully used in W3C history. If 5 percent of the members appeal a decision by the Director, all members are entitled to vote, and if there's a majority in favor of overulling the Director, the decision is unmade.

  • Global Web standard for integrating DRM into browsers hits a snag

    Days ago, Ars reported on a controversial decision by the industry trade group that oversees the global development of Web standards. The decision by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to back a standard for implementing digital rights management (DRM) for Web-based content is now under appeal, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced Wednesday.

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Android Leftovers

Widora TINY200 Allwinner F1C200s ARM9 Development Board Support DVP Camera, Up to 512MB SD NAND Flash

Widora TINY200 is a tiny ARM9 development board equipped with Allwinner F1C200s with a DVP camera interface compatible with OV2640 / 5640 sensor, an audio amplifier, and various storage options from a 16MB SPI flash to a 512MB SD NAND flash. I first heard about the processor when I wrote about Microchip SAM9X60 ARM9 SoC last month, and some people noted there were other fairly new ARM9 SoCs around such as Allwinner F1C200s that also includes 64MB RAM so you can run Linux without having to connect external memory chips. Read more

Open Hardware and Devices With GNU/Linux

  • Instaclock | The Magpi 92
  • [Old] BrailleBox: Android Things Braille news display

    To create the six nubs necessary to form Braille symbols, Joe topped solenoids with wooden balls. He then wired them up to GPIO pins of the Pi 3 via a breadboard.

  • Sending my alerts directly to the keyboard

    As I learned while making this blog post, custom drivers are not always the best way to add custom functionality to USB devices on Linux, sometimes there are pre existing APIs that can make adding functionality a lot easier.

    Despite me ending up not using a custom USB driver in the final version, it was still quite interesting to play around with, if for no other reason than I now have another trick up my sleeve for future projects.

    And now thanks to my keyboard, I will never miss alerts again.

  • Onlykey review

    There’s a sort of soft rubber case around the key, you can get all kinds of colors (I just stuck with black). It also comes with the handy little carribeener to attach it to your keychain or whatever. So, once you have the firmware somewhat up to date, you can run the app. It will also update firmware as long as it’s not too old. The firmware is open source: https://github.com/trustcrypto/OnlyKey-Firmware On your first run (or if you factory wipe it), you have to do a bit of setup. You can enter 2 profile pins (sequences of buttons). They suggest that this might be ‘work’ and ‘home’, but you could use them for whatever you like. You can also enter a ‘self destruct’ profile pin, which wipes back to factory settings if you enter it. You can also tell it to do this if someone enters the wrong pin 10 times, but it will flash red and stop taking input after 3 failed pins. So to wipe it this way you have to enter 3 wrong pins, remove, insert, 3 more wrong pins, remove, insert 3 more wrong pins, remove, insert, 1 more wrong pin. You can also load a firmware called the “International Travel Edition” that has no encryption at all (it’s only protected by the pin).

  • Widora TINY200 Allwinner F1C200s ARM9 Development Board Support DVP Camera, Up to 512MB SD NAND Flash

    Widora TINY200 is a tiny ARM9 development board equipped with Allwinner F1C200s with a DVP camera interface compatible with OV2640 / 5640 sensor, an audio amplifier, and various storage options from a 16MB SPI flash to a 512MB SD NAND flash. I first heard about the processor when I wrote about Microchip SAM9X60 ARM9 SoC last month, and some people noted there were other fairly new ARM9 SoCs around such as Allwinner F1C200s that also includes 64MB RAM so you can run Linux without having to connect external memory chips.

  • Librem 5 January 2020 Software Update

    January saw development take off again after the end-of-year break, and following on from the Chestnut shipment of the Librem 5. Some of the activities below were already mentioned in their own articles in Purism’s news archive; others will be covered in more depth in future articles. This is just a taste of all the work that goes into making the Librem 5 software stack. You can follow development more closely at source.puri.sm.

  • ESP32-S2-Saola-1 Development Board is Now Available for $8

    Espressif ESP32-S2 WiFi SoC mass production started at the end of February 2020, and soon enough we started to find ESP32-S2 SoC and modules for $1 to $2 on sites like Digikey, but so far we had not seen ESP32-S2 development boards for sale. The good news is the breadboard-friendly ESP32-S2-Saola-1 development board has started to show up for $8 on resellers such as Mouser and Digikey albeit with a lead time of 8 to 12 weeks.

Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: This Month in Mutter & GNOME Shell | March 2020

During March, GNOME Shell and Mutter saw their 3.36.0 and 3.36.1 releases, and the beginning of the 3.38 development cycle. We’ve focused most of the development efforts on fixing bugs before starting the new development cycle. From the development perspective, the 3.36.0 release was fantastic, and the number of regressions relative to the massive amount of changes that happened during the last cycle was remarkably small. Read more