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Slack

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.

Newly-Built Software for Slackware

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Slack
  • What if gcc 7 gives you headaches?

    In Slackware-current we use version 7.1.0 of the gcc compiler suite. These advanced compilers can sometimes be quite a bit more strict about what they accept as valid code. As a consequence, you will regularly run into compilation issues with software. Not just the software made with the scripts on slackbuilds.org, but also some of the software in the Slackware core distribution requires patches in order to get them to compile.

    Until now, I have been lucky to find the patches I needed in the repositories of other distributions, or else developers patched their software themselves. But there will be corner cases where solutions and patches are not readily found, or the developers will simply not support gcc 7. Pale Moon is such a piece of software where the developers recommend compiling with gcc 4.x or as a last resort, gcc 5.

  • Plasma 5 for Slackware – June release

    Slackware64 14.2 users will have to wait another day, but I have uploaded my latest set of Plasma 5 packages for Slackware-current to the ‘ktown’ repository. KDE 5_17.06 contains: KDE Frameworks 5.35.0, Plasma 5.10.2 and Applications 17.04.2. I based this new release on Qt 5.9.0 (at least for Slackware-current… for 14.2 I will stick to Qt 5.7.1).
    NOTE: I will no longer be releasing Plasma 5 packages for 32bit Slackware 14.2.

  • LibreOffice 5.3.4 packages for -current

    When looking for package updates in preparation for a new Slackware Live PLASMA5 edition, I noticed that the Document Foundation had released LibreOffice 5.3.4 without updating their blog with the news – it’s only mentioned on the download page.
    I have built and uploaded Slackware-current packages for libreoffice-5.3.4. If you are on Slackware 14.2 you will probably have to skip this one, as I will not have time for compiling packages the coming weeks (allocates one virtual machine for one day per build, since I can only check on progress in the evenings).
    The package for -current needed to be (re-)built anyway because of the library issue with Slackware’s updated libGLEW which prevented Impress to start.

Slackware Packages and Security Fixes

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Slack

Eric Hameleers on Slackware

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Slack
  • Some thoughts on the recent updates in Slackware-current

    Last week, a new LTS kernel (4.9.26), new glibc (2.25) and a new gcc compiler suite (7.1.0) landed in Slackware-current. Note that gcc no longer contains the Java compiler (gcj): subsequently Slackware’s gcc-java package has been removed from slackware-current.
    We are at the head of the herd again folks. There is not yet any other distro that ships with the gcc-7 compiler by default. This will certainly pose some challenges for people who compile their stuff themselves – the SBo team warned their community about scripts that require patches to compile against gcc-7.

  • liveslak 1.1.8 and new ISO images

    Not much news of late about my ‘liveslak‘ scripts. I occasionally tweak them but the modifications these days are fairly minor. I stamped a new version on the repository this week: liveslak 1.1.8 on the occasion that I wanted to generate and upload a fresh series of Slackware-current based Live ISO images. After all, liveslak is meant to be a showcase of what Slackware-current is all about, and with the recent updates to kernel, gcc, glibc and more, a refresh was more than welcome.

  • Palemoon browser

    The Pale Moon browser was forked off the Mozilla Firefox codebase a couple of years ago, before Firefox switched to the Australis User Interface. Since then, the project has steadily been diverging from the Firefox codebase, optimizing its Gecko layout engine and rebranding that to ‘Goanna’ (which is the name of just another lizard). The community has a large vote in the direction the Pale Moon browser’s features are taking.

  • Chromium packages refreshed with v58

    I really like my new job. It is exciting, rewarding, but also demanding, and I find that I have a lot less free time at hand these days than I used to when I was with IBM. Hacking Slackware is becoming a luxury. Simply, because I realized how easily I can lose my job when an administrator puts my name in a spreadsheet… so I work my ass off and try to convince everyone that I am indispensable. Works so far.

  • Adobe Flash security update May ’17

Slackel 7.0 "Live Openbox"

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GNU
Linux
Slack

Slackel 7.0 Live Openbox has been released. Slackel is based on Slackware and Salix.

Includes the Linux kernel 4.4.38 and latest updates from Slackware's 'Current' tree.

The 64-bit iso image support booting on UEFI systems.
The 32-bit iso image support both i686 PAE SMP and i486, non-PAE capable systems.
Iso images are isohybrid
Iso images can be used as installation media.

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Slackel 7.0 Live Openbox beta1

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Slack

Slackel 7.0 Live Openbox beta1 has been released. Slackel is based on Slackware and Salix.

Includes the Linux kernel 4.4.38 and latest updates from Slackware's 'Current' tree.

The 64-bit iso image support booting on UEFI systems.
The 32-bit iso image support both i686 PAE SMP and i486, non-PAE capable systems.
Iso images are isohybrid
Iso images can be used as installation media.

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Slackware Current

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Slack
  • For your Slackware-current: KDE 5_17.03 with lots of goodies

    Those of you who follow my repository RSS feeds have already noticed, but many people rely on the announcements I make on this blog (plus, I can give a lot more detail here).
    I uploaded the packages for the March 2017 release of my ‘ktown’ repository: KDE 5_17.03. Actually, there is a lot of interesting stuff going on in this release, because I decided to do some things that were on my TODO for a long while. Read more about that below in the “NEWS” section.
    What you get in this new release is: KDE Frameworks 5.32.0, Plasma 5.9.3 and Applications 16.12.3. All of this is still built on top of Qt 5.7.1.
    This Plasma 5 release targets only Slackware-current for the moment, because of the PLASMA5 Live that I release in parallel. But packages for Slackware 14.2 (only 64bit) are already being compiled at the moment, so updates will be visible in my 14.2 repository in a couple of days at most.

  • Last week’s package harvest and more

SlackEX Distro Is Based on Slackware 14.2 and KDE 4.14.27, Uses Linux 4.10.2

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After announcing the availability of a custom Linux 4.10.2 kernel for Slackware 14.2 and Slackware-based distributions like Slax, Zenwalk, and SlackEX, developer Arne Exton informs us today about the release of SlackEX Build 170314.

SlackEX Build 170314 is the latest ISO snapshot of the Slackware derivative, and, as expected, it ships with the same Linux 4.10.2 kernel that you can also download and install on your Slackware or Slackware-based operating system. The previous SlackEX Live ISO image was using a kernel from the now deprecated Linux 4.7 series.

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Slackware-Based Zenwalk Linux Gets New ISO Snapshot with GTK3 Build of Firefox

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The development team behind the Slackware-based Zenwalk GNU/Linux distribution have announced the release and general availability of a new ISO snapshot image with all the latest software versions and some exciting new features.

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More in Tux Machines

MX Tools - A year later, the toolbox got better

Roughly fourteen full phases of the moon ago, I wrote an article on MX Tools, a unique and useful bunch of dedicated utilities packaged with the MX Linux distribution. This toolbox offered the ordinary (or new) MX Linux user a chance to perform some common configuration tasks with easy and elegance. In general, MX-16 was a great player, and the recent MX-17 is even better - and at a first glance, so is the new version of MX Tools bundled with the system. Good stuff. So I set about testing, to see what has changed, and in what way this set of utilities has improved, if at all. But I'm positive. Let us commence. [...] MX Tools turned out to be a predictable gem, just as I'd expected. Well, I'm cheating, because I wrote this article after some rather thorough testing. But then, if you look across the wider spectrum of Linux home distributions, there aren't that many unique players with distinctive features. Quite often, it's the rehash of old and familiar with some extra color, polish and rebranding. MX Linux goes the extra mile (or kilometer, if you will) in making the newbie experience meaningfully different. Future improvements could potentially include an interactive walkthrough - so users will be actively prompted and helped along in their tasks. Then of course, there's the matter of visual appearance, in the UI itself. But in general, MX Tools TNG is better than we had before. More elegant, more streamlined, better looking, and most importantly, more practical. This is a good and useful toolbox, and it makes a solid distro even more appealing. Well worth testing. So do it. And take care. Read more

The story of Gentoo management

I have recently made a tabular summary of (probably) all Council members and Trustees in the history of Gentoo. I think that this table provides a very succinct way of expressing the changes within management of Gentoo. While it can’t express the complete history of Gentoo, it can serve as a useful tool of reference. What questions can it answer? For example, it provides an easy way to see how many terms individuals have served, or how long Trustee terms were. You can clearly see who served both on the Council and on the Board and when those two bodies had common members. Most notably, it collects a fair amount of hard-to-find data in a single table. Read more

Success for net neutrality, success for free software

We've had great success with the United States Senate voting in support of net neutrality! Congratulations and thank you to everyone in the US for contacting your congresspeople, and all of you who helped spread the word. However, it's not over yet. Here are more actions you can take if you're in the United States. Now that the (CRA) has passed the Senate, it moves to the House of Representatives. Just as we asked you to call your senators, now it's time to call your House representatives. Find their contact info here and use the script below to ask them to support the reinstatement of net neutrality protections. The timing hasn't been set for future votes and hearings yet, but that's no reason to wait: make sure your representatives know how you feel. Read more Also: GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 18 new GNU releases!

today's leftovers

  • 10 Reasons Why Desktop Linux Isn’t Mainstream – For The Record
    10 Reasons Why Desktop Linux Isn’t Mainstream. Yeah, the title is totally link-bait. However, it’s worth noting that I actually deliver what the title describes and then some. Linux is awesome, but sadly, most people haven’t heard of it. Here’s why.
  • Linux Works For You
    Linux allows YOUR computer to work for you, not against you. Wearing this shirt/hoodie demonstrates to all who see it that you are not a slave to your PC. You are in control and Linux is the reason for this.
  • Robin "Roblimo" Miller
    The Linux Journal mourns the passing of Robin Miller, a longtime presence in our community.
  •  
  • Pidgin / Libpurple SkypeWeb Plugin Sees New Stable Release
    SkypeWeb is a plugin that allows using Skype in Pidgin / libpurple chat clients. The plugin can be used to send instant messages and participate in group chats, but it does not yet support voice / video calling.
  • Feral's GameMode May Soon Have Soft Real-Time Capabilities
    Feral Interactive's Linux system tuning daemon, GameMode since being introduced earlier this year has primarily offered the ability to easily change the CPU scaling governor when gaming but not much more. Though a new feature is now in the works for GameMode.
  • Mini DebConf Hamburg
    Last week I attended the MiniDebConfHamburg. I worked on new releases of dracut and rinse. Dracut is an initramfs-tools replacement which now supports early microcode loading. Rinse is a tool similar to debootstrap for rpm distributions, which now can create Fedora 28 environments aka chroots.
  • Android and Automotive Grade Linux battle, as car becomes a data center
    Volvo’s decision to pick Intel’s Atom automotive system-on-chip (SoC) to run in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) for its new XC40 SUV highlights the intensifying competition among chipmakers in this fast growing sphere. The decision to base the system on Android also illuminates the evolving operating system scene for cars, with Linux the primary alternative in its AGL (Automotive Grade Linux) variant. However, given the complementary strengths of Android and Linux, it looks more likely that both will be deployed by many automobile makers in hybrid packages, so that they can take advantage of Android’s huge app ecosystem, encouraging plenty of third party enhancements, as well as harnessing the independence and enterprise scale of Linux. As cars become mini-data centers or edge compute…
  • Vending machine boardset works with UP or UP Squared boards
    Aaeon’s “AIOT-MSSP01” is a vending machine boardset powered by a PIC32 MCU that’s optimized to work with the UP or UP Squared SBCs. It offers vending-friendly I/O like MDB, EXE, and DEX, as well as motor controllers and 6x USB ports. The AIOT-MSSP01 is an industrial-grade vending machine controller (VMC) solution designed to run 24/7 “without a glitch,” says Aaeon. The boardset is optimized for use with the UP or UP Squared SBCs, but works with standard PCs and “most computer boards on the market.” There’s no mention of OS support for the connected computer, but the UP SBCs support Linux, Android, and Windows.