I’ve uploaded a GNOME 44 liveslak which features packages from https://reddoglinux.ddns.net/, N4t3R has gone above and beyond to get GNOME 44 running on Slackware by the date of release and rather than duplicate the effort, I figure I’ll just run forward with it. This new ISO will be offered along side my GNOME 43 Slackware system. I will continue work in that area myself (and a aarch64 repo is coming, I swear) but since my time is thin, I’m not going out of my way to add more x86 things to maintain. My focus is for aarch64 and I must regain my focus in that area going forward. I will also be updating the GNOME 43 ISO today as well, so keep a look-out for that.
Since GNOME 44 is the new hotness, I’ve put up a mirror (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1EPAmMfQuN7_uzaZXS1GzrylzqaLznbyI?usp=sharing) for the ISO on gdrive which may offer better download speeds, depending on where you are in the world.
Moving forward, I’ll look to focus on the nwg-shell I maintain on SBo and sorting things for aarch64, which hopefully before long, I can offer a nice selection of software for.
I’ve slowly been going through these packages and running them through the sbo-maintainer-tools, not to prepare them for submission (-current packages cannot be added) but to help me find issues/errors in them. I am maintaining 3 branches of scripts and things tend to get lost in the shuffle. I’ve found some errors and fixed things along the way for a few packages that have been bothering me for some time now. Flatpak should now correctly place it’s shell script in /etc/profile.d (before it always kept the .new suffix), I’ve re-built xdg-desktop-portal-gnome again finally fixing regressions in the package. This package controls the xdg-portals within GNOME mostly for flatpak packages. I’ve updated Epiphany to 43.1 (along with webkit2gtk 2.38.5), and I’ve added Gradience – this application themes GTK4 apps and is becoming very popular. It has a repo of themes and soon will be able to theme gnome-shell as well, for a complete desktop feel. GNOME 43 has settled down and is a bit more stable now than at first, so I figured it’s a good time to add this one. I’ve also set the ISO to enable pipewire by default, which fixes the built-in gnome-shell screen recording functionality. You can now record video on your desktop without configuring pipewire on the ISO. This is not the default in Slackware, and is controlled by some shell scripts in /usr/bin. If you have issues with pipewire, you can disable it by running “pipewire-disable.sh” as root (it’s in your path). Note by enabling pipewire, Flashback/metacity will not operate, you must disable pipewire to use the GNOME Flashback desktop session. I don’t like shipping it in a semi-broken state, but I’ll assume most are not using the Flashback desktop (although I do quite like it), hopefully eventually Metacity will work with pipewire.
Along the way, I’ve removed a few Slackware packages, mostly ones that interfere with GNOME in some way. easytag is one that no matter the xdg setting, would always pop-up when I wanted to open Nautilus from a notification. Removing it fixes all my woes. I’ve also removed a bunch of legacy apps from the /xap series since the GNOME desktop mostly replaces them.
I’ve also added D-Spy, a d-bus explorer application that will show you what open apps are actively using d-bus services. This is mostly useful for debugging issues with applications, but could prove useful to a slacker.
I’m still submitting packages to SBo for the nwg-shell which I’m trying to get up before the end of the week, so liveslak things will be tapering off for a while. I’m working on the GNOME 43 packages for aarch64, which I’d like to have available before long. GNOME 44 will be out eventually, so that’s coming up, and I’m going to let this simmer for a bit for a change, instead of constantly updating the iso. Enjoy.
Refreshed the ISO today with the latest -current changes as well as the latest GNOME updates.Featuring gnome-software 43.4, evolution-3.46.4, and gnome-contacts 43.1, among other updates.
Changes in the latest GNOME-liveslak ISO are plenty this time around, as I try to fill out missing pieces I’ve skipped over along the way. I’ve added the extra optional “GNOME-Flashback”, Metacity-based throwback Desktop as an option. Select “GNOME-Flashback (Metacity)” from your GDM gear menu to load the Desktop. Metacity will use the current set theme for light/dark mode, and it will pick up your icon set as well. Slackware’s adwaita-icon-theme is missing some icons, as such, I’ve added a re-pack to the repo which fixes this as it effected menus in Flashback. I don’t know if it’s Adwaita to blame or issues with Slackware’s provided package, as I’ve yet to look into it.
I’ve also added “orca” the GNOME screen reader for visually-impaired users. My logs have been cluttered for months complaining this isn’t there when I login, so this should provide a fix for that, as well as making GNOME-liveslak now usable for people with visual impairments. I happen to be visually-impaired, but I can’t say I want my computer to talk to me but I do hope it’s useful for those who need it.
Additionally I’ve added apostrophe, a WYSIWYG markdown editor which I’ve been too lazy to get building for months now. But this is an amazingly useful MD editor and since I’m still planning on moving this site to a MD-based site at some point, this will prove useful to me at least, maybe you as well!
The ISO has been updated with other package updates as well as the latest -current, now on kernel 6.1.8, Firefox 109, gstreamer 1.22 and more. As of today, Slackware has offically updated gjs,mozjs102, and polkit, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about these changes finally getting in -current! I’m going to continue refining and doing housekeeping as I go, and we already have the 44 Alpha release in our hands so eventually the ISO will be brought to that branch. If you wish to stay on 43, the option will exist as well if you have an installation or just no longer update anything on the ISO. The 43 repo will still receive updates while we work toward 44.
Outside of all this, the nwg-shell repo has seen some updates in preparation for the ability to auto-update nwg-shell on Slackware. There are still a few kinks there, but it’s a very solid DE. I’ll soon have package sets for x86_64 15.0 and for aarch64-current in repos since it’s moved on from being a work-in-progress to a viable desktop option, so look out for those updates soon!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!