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Slack

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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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

Filed under
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

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  • Hans de Goede: Changing hidden/locked BIOS settings under Linux

    This all started with a Mele PCG09 before testing Linux on this I took a quick look under Windows and the device-manager there showed an exclamation mark next to a Realtek 8723BS bluetooth device, so BT did not work. Under Linux I quickly found out why, the device actually uses a Broadcom Wifi/BT chipset attached over SDIO/an UART for the Wifi resp. BT parts. The UART connected BT part was described in the ACPI tables with a HID (Hardware-ID) of "OBDA8723", not good. Now I could have easily fixed this with an extra initrd with DSDT-overrride but that did not feel right. There was an option in the BIOS which actually controls what HID gets advertised for the Wifi/BT named "WIFI" which was set to "RTL8723" which obviously is wrong, but that option was grayed out. So instead of going for the DSDT-override I really want to be able to change that BIOS option and set it to the right value. Some duckduckgo-ing found this blogpost on changing locked BIOS settings.

  • Test Day:2021-05-09 Kernel 5.12.2 on Fedora 34

    All logs report PASSED for each test done and uploaded as prompted at instruction page.

  • James Hunt: Can you handle an argument?

    This post explores some of the darker corners of command-line parsing that some may be unaware of. [...] No, I’m not questioning your debating skills, I’m referring to parsing command-lines! Parsing command-line option is something most programmers need to deal with at some point. Every language of note provides some sort of facility for handling command-line options. All a programmer needs to do is skim read the docs or grab the sample code, tweak to taste, et voila! But is it that simple? Do you really understand what is going on? I would suggest that most programmers really don’t think that much about it. Handling the parsing of command-line options is just something you bolt on to your codebase. And then you move onto the more interesting stuff. Yes, it really does tend to be that easy and everything just works… most of the time. Most? I hit an interesting issue recently which expanded in scope somewhat. It might raise an eyebrow for some or be a minor bomb-shell for others.

  • 10 Very Stupid Linux Commands [ Some Of Them Deadly ]

    If you are reading this page then you are like all of us a Linux fan, also you are using the command line every day and absolutely love Linux. But even in love and marriage there are things that make you just a little bit annoyed. Here in this article we are going to show you some of the most stupid Linux commands that a person can find.

China Is Launching A New Alternative To Google Summer of Code, Outreachy

The Institute of Software Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS) in cooperation with the Chinese openEuler Linux distribution have been working on their own project akin to Google Summer of Code and Outreachy for paying university-aged students to become involved in open-source software development. "Summer 2021" as the initiative is simply called or "Summer 2021 of Open Source Promotion Plan" is providing university-aged students around the world funding by the Institute of Software Chinese Academy of Sciences to work on community open-source projects. It's just like Google Summer of Code but with offering different funding levels based upon the complexity of the project -- funding options are 12000 RMB, 9000 RMB, or 6000 RMB. That's roughly $932 to $1,865 USD for students to devote their summer to working on open-source. There are not any gender/nationality restrictions with this initative but students must be at least eighteen years old. Read more

Kernel: Linux 5.10 and Linux 5.13

  • Linux 5.10 LTS Will Be Maintained Through End Of Year 2026 - Phoronix

    Linux 5.10 as the latest Long Term Support release when announced was only going to be maintained until the end of 2022 but following enough companies stepping up to help with testing, Linux 5.10 LTS will now be maintained until the end of year 2026. Linux 5.10 LTS was originally just going to be maintained until the end of next year while prior kernels like Linux 5.4 LTS are being maintained until 2024 or even Linux 4.19 LTS and 4.14 LTS going into 2024. Linux 5.10 LTS was short to begin with due to the limited number of developers/organizations helping to test new point release candidates and/or committing resources to using this kernel LTS series. But now there are enough participants committing to it that Greg Kroah-Hartman confirmed he along with Sasha Levin will maintain the kernel through December 2026.

  • Oracle Continues Working On The Maple Tree For The Linux Kernel

    Oracle engineers have continued working on the "Maple Tree" data structure for the Linux kernel as an RCU-safe, range-based B-tree designed to make efficient use of modern processor caches. Sent out last year was the RFC patch series of Maple Tree for the Linux kernel to introduce this new data structure and make initial use of it. Sent out last week was the latest 94 patches in a post-RFC state for introducing this data structure.

  • Linux 5.13 Brings Simplified Retpolines Handling - Phoronix

    In addition to work like Linux 5.13 addressing some network overhead caused by Retpolines, this next kernel's return trampoline implementation itself is seeing a simplification. Merged as part of x86/core last week for the Linux 5.13 kernel were enabling PPIN support for Xeon Sapphire Rapids, KProbes improvements, and other minor changes plus simplifying the Retpolines implementation used by some CPUs as part of the Spectre V2 mitigations. The x86/core pull request for Linux 5.13 also re-sorts and better documents Intel's increasingly long list of different CPU cores/models.

  • Linux 5.13 Adds Support For SPI NOR One-Time Programmable Memory Regions - Phoronix

    The Linux 5.13 kernel has initial support for dealing with SPI one-time programmable (OTP) flash memory regions. Linux 5.13 adds the new MTD OTP functions for accessing SPI one-time programmable data. The OTP are memory regions intended to be programmed once and can be used for permanent secure identification, immutable properties, and similar purposes. In addition to adding the core infrastructure support for OTP to the MTD SPI-NOR code in Linux 5.13, the functionality is wired up for Winbond and similar flash memory chips. The MTD subsystem has already supported OTP areas but not for SPI-NOR flash memory.