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Please, donate to Slackware and Patrick

Published on 2018-08-01 at 22:10:15 by  Georgi Sotirov

As it become clear last week, Slackware's creator and maintainer Patrick Volkerding, is having financial woes after Slackware's Store stopped paying him money. The man is practically broke not being able to do home and car repairs, take care of his health and keep doing the Slackware project, which requires new hardware and spare time.

I never really liked the store and I now have the reason to hate it. I remember trying to buy something in the past. I placed the order, but then received nothing. Apparently, they didn't deliver to Bulgaria, which is fine, because I could always burn CDs or DVDs, print T-shirts, etc. Anyway, this really wasn't my way for supporting Slackware.

In the thread Donating to Slackware on LinuxQuestions a lot has been written in the past 10 days and I would save myself from suggesting how Slackware should be managed, how money should be raised, etc. The most important is that there is now an official way to donate money electronically, which is via Patrick's personal PayPal account. The other official way (if you are in the US) is to send money via the post. So to summarize the official ways for donating to Slackware and Patrick are:

If you use or used Slackware, if you like the distribution or if you are just a normal human please, consider donating to the project and help the man that build it and continues to develop it although in difficult financial situation. I hope more ways for supporting the project would be made available in future and published on, so that even more people could become aware and participate.

Please, support Slackware!

Slackware Linux turned 25 years old!

Published on 2018-07-17 at 19:21:20 by  Georgi Sotirov

On 1993-07-16 at 17:21:20 PST Patrick Volkerding released Slackware Linux 1.00, which was the first stable version (a pre-1.0 beta was released in April). So today we mark the 25-th anniversary of the distribution! Thus Slackware in still in the exclusive club of Debian and RadHat Linux as the oldest Linux distributions that are still active today (and it actually predates them).

In a quarter of century Slackware had released over 40 stable versions. Here below you'll find a list of them, based on official announcements, readmes and change logs:

Today, Slackware Linux is still valued for its stability and ease of use, which has always been the top priorities for the distribution. The distribution is regularly being updated with new software (although we're still waiting the next stable release), but it remains faithful to its traditions that are rooted in Unix. Like this Slackware continues to provide simplicity and ease of use while still providing the power and flexibility for being used like personal desktop, development workstation or server (or all together like in my case). For me Slackware is more than just a distribution, because through SlackPack, I'm feeling the distribution a big part of my professional life.

I started using Slackware in the university about 20 years ago and I would most probably continue using it until it's supported, because I'm quite used with it in first place, but also because for more than 13 years now I'm trying to extend the distribution with packages through SlackPack. Building packages is a tough job that requires you to stay informed (i.e. subscribe to hundreds of mail lists and other announcement channels), spare time and resources for preparing build scripts and other files, compile and test (i.e. have dedicated development environments - I run different Slackware versions as virtual machines on VMware ESXi hypervisor) and sometimes be a developer to fix failing builds, apply patches, etc.

Happy birthday Slackware! Live Long and Prosper!

More visibility to security fixes

Published on 2018-05-18 at 21:58:28 by  Georgi Sotirov

Security is more and more important nowadays and I'm regularly building packages upgrades that represent secuirity fixes. However, unless you follow the ChangeLog.txt file in the repostory you won't be able to understand whether the upgrades offered on SlackPack are addressing security issues or not. I have decided since some time to provide more visibitliy to security fixes on the site and I finally managed to do so.

The packages that are security fixes would be highlighted with red background in different places on the site in the following ways:

  • in Latest packages on main page;
  • in all the searches;
  • on packages details page:
    • a red box would appear at the top explaineding the special status of the package, suggesting to be installed as soon as possible (only latest builds). There are links to ChangeLog.txt file and the repository (from primary FTP);
    • in Package history and Other formats tables security fixes would be highlighted;
  • uppon registration packages would me marked as security fix or not.

I hope that like this you'll have more information about the pacakges that are security fixes, so you could prioritize your upgrades. I have always tried to provide pacakge upgrades as soon as possible and in the case where these address secirity issues, I try to build on the same day of upstrem release for which I'm following several houndreds of mailing lists, so now these would have better visibility on the site as well.

Stay secure!

Paramiko 2.2, Cryptography 1.8 and MySQL Workbench

Published on 2017-06-18 at 22:23:24 by  Georgi Sotirov

Like last December I have again omitted some new requirements for Paramiko 2.2 and Cryptography 1.8, so the functionality for SSH connections in MySQL Workbench was unfortunatelly broken again. Apparently, Parmiko 2.2.0 requires bcrypt and PyNaCl modules and in Cryptography 1.8 the module PyASN1 was replaced with asn1crypto. Since I'm trying to provide all the necesary dependncies I had to add 3 new packages to the SlackPack repository, so the depdency tree for Paramiko has effectively become:

Thus it's now necesary to install 3 Python pacakges more just for having SSH connections working in MySQL Workbench, but this should be handled by automtic tools.

Be happy!

All about MySQL

Published on 2017-03-12 at 20:15:00 by  Georgi Sotirov

With the addition of MySQL Shell earlier this week and MySQL Router in November last year, SlackPack 14.2 repositories now offer the whole range of current MySQL community software, inclduing:

This continues the tradition of SlackPack for offering the latest community software from MySQL no matter who owns the company. For older versions of Slackware SlackPack offers all of the above, except the two mentioned in the top paragraph, because they become available only later. Packages for some now deprecated and desupported software (such as MySQL Administrator, MySQL Control Center, MySQL GUI Tools and MySQL Query Browser) are still available although their usage is strongly disadvised as these are very old, not guranteed to work and were already replaced completely by MySQL Workbench.

All of the software listed above comes under the terms of GNU GPL license, version 2, so use it based on yor personal understanding and preferences for free software and software usability in general.


Split of latest packages for 32 and 64 bits and others

Published on 2017-01-07 at 17:42:13 by  Georgi Sotirov

Slackware is either 32 or 64 bit (unless you're using multilib) and SlackPack provides some packages (e.g. Skype) only in 32 bit version, because the vendor does not provide 64 bit version. So I decided to split the 'Latest packages' list in two - for 32 and 64 bit packages as you're normally interested in either, but not both. The old feed is still available, but you could now update the URL and use either of the feeds for 32 or 64 bit packages.

In addition to this Advanced search was fixed (so "Latest only" option works again). And News calendar is now groupped by years. Also many of the links on the site (and in the news) were fixed or updated to avoid not found (i.e. 404) errors or redirects.

Update 2017-01-09: A small adition to Quick search Advanced search is the possibiltiy for exact match of the terms between double quotes (").

Happy New Year! Keep the faith!

New domain - SlackPack.EU

Published on 2016-12-19 at 09:48:55 by  Georgi Sotirov

Since a week SlackPack is also accessible from a new domain - SlackPack.EU. I was considering this since long ago, but the name was already taken in most TLDs. However, recently I spotted a promotional offer for .EU and I couldn't resist giving it a try.

Give it a try yourself!

Paramiko 2.x and MySQL Workbench

Published on 2016-12-10 at 02:34:56 by  Georgi Sotirov

With the upgrade to Paramiko 2.0 for Slackware 14.2 four months ago the functionality for SSH connections in MySQL Workbench was broken. Apparently in Parmiko 2.0.0 the module PyCrypto was replaced with Cryptography, but I have omitted this and since I'm mostly using socket or SSL connections, so I have not noticed the problem until yesterday. After some struggle to build the new dependencies (see below) the site already offers all the necessary packages.

Effectively the dependency tree for Paramiko become as follows:

So 7 new packages for just having SSH connections working in MySQL Workbench, but it worth the late night stay, so that the software is fully functional on the latest Slackware. I really hope this issue with the Paramiko package have not caused troubles, because I really try to verify all the packages I built by actually using them, but I cannot catch everything myself.

I wish you trouble-less using of all my packages and if there is a problem, please do not hesitate to contact me to try resolving it or escalating it upstream. Cheers!

Ten years SlackPack!

Published on 2016-10-19 at 22:37:00 by  Georgi Sotirov

Ten years ago I opened SlackPack to public (see the first news). The site was actually available earlier in 2006th, but I was still experimenting with it, so I consider 2006-10-19 as it’s official opening date. I started building packages for Slackware Linux even earlier (somewhere since the end of 2004) and after some time decided to share them with the community as contribution, because I do believe that using prebuilt binary packages is the best option for fast and easy upgrading of Slackware systems including management of dependencies even for advanced and power users.

A lot of time has passed since then and the site had it’s ups and downs offering as much as 65 new packages in a single day and as less as none in several months. Last was due to my personal engagements giving me no time for working on build scripts and patches. Even though SlackPack survived and now offers over 2000 packages for 11 Slackware releases since 10.x in 2005. My plans are to keep it going as further as I can.

During those years the site has inspired at least one other Slackware packages repository (see SlackOnly) and is refereed on the download pages of several open source projects for prebuilt distribution packages (including VLC and Highlight with others to come). I warmly thank all of you who have written me with just some nice words, or to report problems with the packages or the site, or to ask me how I do this or that (BTW in this regards several years ago I started preparing a repository of all the SlackBuilds, which I plan to publish somewhere in the beginning of next year). I specially thank the ones that have donated money to the site (of course it is still ran on my own expense, but your support gives me the strength to keep it going).

P.S. Today is also my birthday, so happy birthday to me! Cheers!

Over 2000 packages!

Published on 2016-10-14 at 20:00:00 by  Georgi Sotirov

Since the beginning of the month the site offers over 2000 packages for 11 Slackware releases since 10.x in 2005. This comes as a result of my package building spree that started 3 months ago in the summer since when I build many new packages, rebuilt or upgraded even more others (somewhere over 900 in total). Previous milestone was in August 2014 when the site offered over 1000 packages (see the news).

Most of the packages are now available for all Slackware releases since I started building them, which eases the upgrades through automated tools like slapt-get.

There’s lot more to come, so stay tuned and meanwhile enjoy!