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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Upcoming Slackware 14.1 is Looking Good

The Slackware "Current" development branch is leading up to a new release, and of course I've been running it since early this year to check out the progress. I am happy and impressed, as always. "Current" has updated this partition in a rolling fashion ever since, sometimes with a hefty amount of packages after going two months without.

I can't vouch for the server side but on the desktop everything appears in order. There were some anomalies that crept in with widgets in KDE not displaying several updates ago. I put this down to the huge software collection KDE is and over that many version updates I'ld frankly be surprised if everything went as expected. Anyway, at heart I'm not a KDE guy and a couple of days ago I decided to remove it from my system again. It was only there for completeness sake while testing. QT will be retained and in fact I have compiled and added qBittorrent, Clementine and UMplayer which I am using on all distributions across the board. I tend to use the same set of applications now so the base rarely really matters, as long as it's stable. Plenty of applications and all the necessary multimedia codecs have been added from the 14.0 repository at Slackbuilds.org - there is no repo for 14.1 yet as officially it is not out. Most are running fine as they have been built with the "Current" tool set, however a newer Graphviz package did not compile so I was unable to update my version of Wireshark. These sort of issues should be resolved once the repo for the new release is up. Qtgzmanager, a newish graphical packaging tool, a diary, Osmo and Fbreader plus a few more are rounding off the install. That makes it functional enough for my needs.

Slackware with Xfce 4.10 and more plugins from Slackbuilds.org *
My standard desktop on Slackware and most others is Xfce. I've also installed the SlackE-17 package for 14.0 and it never complained. In fact it makes me forget KDE and its glitz and glitter. I was going to write a response to this article in netrunner-mag by Dedoimedo to highlight how distribution specific the experience can be and that it is more subdued and at the same time better looking on Slackware. But then, that's what I would say, or not? Perhaps the issue is that the SlackE team seem to put some extra time in to make sure it gels perfectly and adjust a few things here and there, so in the spirit of the distro animations do not jump straight at you. They've even included their own theme. E-17 will never be my first choice for getting things done and is more in the same category as KDE 4 - installed out of curiosity and for the occasional glance, but it's nice from time to time.

Choosing KDE icon set for the desktop
Smokin' - a custom theme for E-17 for Slackware 
Now all that's left to do is to configure my Openbox setup to resemble that good ol' 13.37 Slackbang look. I don't think much has changed so the instructions should not need updating.

*Background from Softpedia and processed with the GIMP.


  1. Well, actually the SlackE17 *team* is just myself :-D
    Happy to see you had a good experience using the packages. It's now available for Slackware 14.1 too.

    1. Hey, good to hear and thanks for letting me know. Keep up the good work.


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