This weeks slightly delayed because of laziness update brings a new package thanks to Nathanial Russell – Endeavour. Endeavour is a personal task manager application for GNOME. I’ve also added pipewire-jack and it’s deps with scripts from Alien Bob’s repo as requested by rizitis. I’ve also moved the ISO to use the 6.1.1 kernel from testing/ on -current, since I’m sure many would like to try out that kernel on their systems. Here’s a perfectly portable reason to do so! – Happy Holidays!
Month: December 2022
Because today’s changes/updates were so major, I didn’t have the time to get to some things I wanted to add (there’s always next week). I have a request to add AlienBob’s pipewire-jack scripts, so they’ll likely make it in next week, and a few others if time allows. Get it from the usual spot: here.
Boost update and breaking things…
The -current boost package upgrade yesterday broke many things. If you’re running the liveslak and updated with slackpkg, you’ve likely run into this issue. If you haven’t upgraded packages yet… don’t. I’m working on package updates to safely upgrade the system and I’ll post a new iso with them today. If you happened to download and install the boost upgrade and broke your live system, the only real fix is to wait or remove the boost upgrade manually from your persistence folders (likely more effort than it’s worth).
I’ll be posting some rebuilt packages in the repo as well as a new iso at some point today. Again, sorry if your system broke, I have no way to know when Slackware will ship a system breaking library upgrade, I can only adapt to the changes as soon as time allows and hope many users were not bitten by the changes. The best way is to refresh your usb stick with the new (yet to be posted) iso, or upgrade from cli on an existing iso. In either case, taking care of the persistence folders is important, if one has conflicting files, it will wreak havoc on your system.
Before the liveslak was GNOME 43-centric, it was a GNOME 42 system. With the recent 42.7 release, I have updated a few SlackBuilds on github to coincide with that. I don’t offer up a 42-based iso any longer but if anyone’s following along, or still has that liveslak on a usb, I wonder, should I update the now hidden repo with those updates?
I’ll ponder that instead of actually doing it for a while. But it’s buildable from a 43 running system if anyone is bored and really wants to go deep on homegrown Slackware systems 😉
New extension manager, who dis?
I’ve caught mentions of some fancy new extension-manager for GNOME on Reddit for some time now. This new manager appears to replace the combo of using a Firefox plugin and the Extensions application to manage your extensions. Featuring a interface reminiscent of Cinnamon’s theme installer, you can now search, install, and remove extensions right from within this app. It was built upon the newest tech in GNOME; gtk4 and libadwaita, so it’s sleek and will always match your desktop. It’s been available on flathub for a while now, but I’ve taken the liberty to bring it to our live system natively so it’s shipped as standard for all installations (or usb sticks) now.
I’ll include it on the next ISO build, but for now you can always add it from a root shell with “slackpkg install gcs43” and it should pick up the 4 new packages (blueprint-compiler, extension-manager, libbacktrace, and text-engine) to install on your live system for you.
I’m also looking at a RSS extension to include which will notify users of new package updates right on the system so one doesn’t need to run slackpkg constantly hoping for gnome-boxes to drop (I’ll likely never ship it on this liveslak system).
Outside of keeping up with Slackware and GNOME changes, there isn’t too much more I’d like to add to this, or that I can even think to add to this. A nice graphical installer (calamares?) would be nice, and I’ve looked into it a few times, but the project hasn’t come together for me yet. Including PackageKit would be another dream come true, so the entire system can be managed from within gnome-software (much like Fedora can do), but Slackware doesn’t make use of PackageKit and the support for the distro is left unmaintained and lacking in areas that would likely require a coder with some sort of talents to get that up and going. I’m unfortunately not the man for the job, as those are areas I’m not proficient in. I can build a complete system that is beautiful and complete, but I can’t figure out that mess for the life of me.
It may end up quiet here for the next few weeks with holidays and many, many extra work hours coming my way. But I hope everyone has a chance this holiday to sit down and try this GNOME-based system, and if you do, I’d love some feedback on the experience and what you thought about it, any issues, compliments, complaints… I’ll take em all!
bugs and updates
I know it was short lived, but the epic project name “gnackware” shall be nothing more than a distant memory soon. I didn’t go very deep with the name change, and as a result, it broke local installs of the iso image. So I reverted to the original (and timeless) name of Slackware. I do not wish to customize the OS (outside of providing GNOME). I want it to remain a vanilla install, so users can be assured the Slackware featured here is the same Slackware the rest of us use. And silly names change that.
Outside of that, these new images are currently up to date (and local installs work again!) but I’ve also temporarily removed the kooha package, as it is broken. I hadn’t tested the script here. I just realized I had made this months ago and hadn’t used it in some time. Recent changes seem to have broken it. Kooha will be back when I work out what went wrong.
Next ‘evolution’ of GNOME liveslak…
Since I continued the work of the hacker rizititis on these liveslak systems, I had a goal of improving the live environment beyond a basic GNOME install to a usable upon first boot live system. Today I think I’ve achieved that goal.
I compared many other distros and what they ship as a GNOME Desktop and devised my set of “must-have” apps with GNOME. Then I set out to include all of their latest releases into the GNOME Liveslak.
Outside of the standard GNOME Desktop applications, the LIVESLAK now includes the following fine apps built-in for your live USB system:
- LibreOffice v7.4.3– This is almost expected to be present on a distro install, and now we have it and all the apps with our Desktop out of the box! The full featured free alternative to MS Office features a word processor, spreadsheets, drawing, presentations, and more. And it’s natively a gtk3 app, so the suite fits right in here. This script is from AlienBob’s repo, I built a new copy without his API keys, without java, and on -current, so we don’t need any compat libs for this. I’ll post the extra language files in the extra repo for internationalization support as well (as soon as I covert them all)
- Brasero v3.12.3 – Not much on this. It’s a cd burning application. I’ll assume many Linux users still have cd/dvd drives to utilize and might even still use them!
- Evolution v3.46.1 – Full featured email/rss reader. I built this with the extra Exchange support for all of you who use Exchange because of your employer, it’s here for you. Many thanks to Ozan Türkyılmaz for his scripts which are too recent to be used on SBo, so I put them to work here.
- File-Roller v43.0 – The default archive manager for GNOME, extracting downloads has never been easier!
- Fragments v2.0.2 – Using the transmission library as it’s backend, Fragments is a native GTK torrent program that fits right in on your Desktop. Using transmission also means it’s rock solid with years of development nder it’s belt.
- Authenticator v4.1.6 – Everyone is doing the 2FA thing these days, you should too.
- ufw v0.36.1 & gufw v22.04 – The firewall app famous from Ubuntu and it’s fancy easy to use GUI application are right at home on your Slackware GNOME Desktop!
- kooha v2.2.2 – Slick screen recording, now right from your live system.
- pika-backup v0.4.2 – built on top of the robust Borg Backup software, Pika-Backup can encrypt local or remote backups of your user dir. A perfect way to ensure you don’t lose the data from your live system if your USB happens to get the ghost.
- Rhythmbox v3.4.6 – standard iTunes-like audio player. Features all the usual play options, full tagging support, and management of your audio library.
- Seahorse v43.0 – manage your GPG encryption keys, so you can sign your packages when you upload them to your repo! (ok, maybe that’s just for me…), you can sign the emails you send in Evolution!
- Secrets v7.0 – an awesome free password creation and storage solution for your KeePass v4 password database.
There’s still a few more things I’d like to add at this time. A larger wallpaper selection, and the new extension app I’ve seen mentioned around reddit and parts a few times for starters. I’m sure there might be a few more things yet to do/add.
If anyone has any more suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Now go try out the new Codename: GNACKWARE LIVE! I’ve uploaded everything to the repo as well, so if you’ve an existing system, you can install any of the new packages on your existing live-iso, but with all the dependencies, I’d just write a new usb stick with this one. Enjoy!
Check the ChangeLog.txt for a list of all the new packages and the extras to add into the addons folder!