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girvinh 03-06-2013 05:48 PM

Slackware 14.0 KDE 4.8 compatible with legacy KDE3 applications?
I am contemplating upgrading from Slackware 12.2 to 14.0. Some time ago, I had trouble with Slack 13.0 KDE 4 running my KDE 3 legacy apps. At that time Slack 13.0 had a set of KDE3 compatibility packages to allow KDE3 apps to run under that KDE4. I now see that Slack 14.0 no longer has those files, nor is the compatibility problem noted in the release notes. Does this mean that the KDE 4.8 packaged with Slack 14.0 is now backward compatible with KDE3 legacy apps?
Thanks in advance.
Girvin Herr

Woodsman 03-06-2013 07:46 PM

Short answer is no. Longer answer is probably, but only if you hunt down all patches needed to build KDE3 with the latest tool chain. Last I had read some folks at openSUSE was supporting KDE3 but you'll have to track down whether that remains true. If true then those folks will have a current patch set. I was able to build KDE3 with Slackware 13.1 but gave up after that because the tool chain kept changing and finding patches became to challenging.

There is the Trinity project, a modified version of KDE3, which is compatible with the latest KDE4. I don't know of any Slackers who are publicly supporting Trinity where you could grab packages. The Porteus people were but they dropped that support. Nonetheless, you might be able to find build scripts from them. Check the forum for links where some people had posted packages for 13.37. Those packages might still be available.

With that all said, you might want to share what specific needs you have for keeping KDE3 alive. Perhaps viable solutions exist with other software.

BTW, until recently I had 12.2 installed on my HTPC with KDE3. 12.2 was one of the sweet releases, :) but will reach end-of-life this coming December.

girvinh 03-07-2013 06:48 PM

Thanks for the info, although it wasn't what I wanted to hear. It looks like I am going to have to do some work to see if my apps will work with KDE4 or not. So far, LibreOffice is stated to be compatible. My other legacy apps are:
Datavision, digikam, Easytag, Filezilla, gEDA, usbview
First, I will check their websites for KDE4 compatible versions. I know Datavision is no longer supported, so that may be a problem for me. But I see KDE4 (Calligra) now has a database report generator which could replace Datavision. Lots to do...

I have been using Slack 12.2 for some time now and I agree - it is sweet. It is bullet proof. However, as you say, it is reaching its end. 12.2 is now at the bottom of the security updates list and I expect there will be no more security updates for it soon. That, and the fact that now even eBay is complaining about my Firefox being out of date, is driving me to upgrade. I tried building the later Firefox with 12.2, but it would not compile due to library dependencies. That was a real PITA.

Thanks for the leads. If I find any of my apps that I depend on don't work with KDE4 and/or the developers do not have a KDE4 version, I will look into your leads.
Thanks again for your response.
Girvin Herr

david63025 03-07-2013 08:11 PM

I can verify that digiKam and EasyTag work with 14.0 (KDE 4.8.5). I used Slackbuild scripts to build those packages.


Woodsman 03-07-2013 08:12 PM

I know the feeling. Some folks like the latest bling and others just want to keep the computer running as is. :)

Keeping Firefox updated is straightforward. When I was using Slackware 12.2 and 13.1 I used the respective build scripts and I downloaded the compiled binary from the Mozilla web site ( Then I'd make my own package just like Pat used to do. That way there is no need to compile from source as Pat now does. If you update to 14.0 you won't have to do that, just wait for the latest Firefox to be uploaded to the Slackware mirrors. If you don't want to update Firefox every six weeks or so, use the long term version.

digiKam is at version 3.x in the KDE4 series.

LibreOffice is available from and Eric (Alien Bob). The former requires using a nominal build script and the latter is a premade binary package. So no need to be out of date with that either. For Slackware releases older than 14.0, you might want to use the version from as that version is nothing more than a repackaged version of the official RPM release.

Filezilla, geda, and usbview are available at for Slackware 14.

So much for apps. Regarding desktop environments, I used Trinity for a long time but recently switched to KDE4. KDE 4.10.1 is fast, responsive, easy to configure and thus far, a pleasure to use. From my perspective, 4.10.x is the KDE everybody has waited for these past five years. In another thread Eric (Alien Bob) wrote that he was building 4.10.1 packages for Slackware 14.0. You could update your system to 14.0, then download Eric's KDE 4.10.1 packages and be set for a long time. (If you use slackpkg then be sure to blacklist the packages. :) )

If you are fortunate to have disk space or a second computer, then you can continue using 12.2 while you get your new shiny 14.0 system configured, including KDE. Slackware 14.0 came with KDE 4.8.5 but you can start configuring that version and when ready download the 4.10.x packages from Eric. I had 12.2 and 13.1 installed on different partitions and each day I'd use 13.1 more and 12.2 less until I no longer used 12.2. I did likewise with my transition from 13.1 to 14.0. Each time I used a virtual machine to get familiar with the newer release before installing. In other words, I took my time and was methodical about updating. I also skipped releases because I did not have the time or energy to update every 9 months. In other words, create a check list, take your time, migrate settings and preferences a little each day and eventually you'll be updated to 14.0. :)

girvinh 03-08-2013 02:51 PM

Thanks for that info. I did check the required libraries against the Slack 14.0 versions and discovered that Slack 14.0 has most of the libraries needed for these apps.

I generally compile from source to be sure the library interfaces are compatible. Although I have been successful repackaging LibreOffice binaries, I have never done that with Firefox. The later Firefox versions required an upgrade to the core liberies of 12.2 and I fear that would break my system. If I have any insurmountable problems with 14.0, I will try a binary Firefox. But from what i am hearing, it looks like that possibility is remote.

I have my own SlackBuild script boilerplate, which I use to package packages into Slackware packages. My SlackBuild scripts do much more than the scripts on or the official scripts from Slackware. For instance, my scripts allow building in non-root mode from the command line, so that I can test if the package stomps on any root directories, files, or permissions, or does anything else uncivilized. That way, I can catch any such bad behavior before it brings my system down after installing as root. Being boilerplate, there are a lot of features in my scripts to configure it for most tarball packages.

Thanks for the info about Filezilla, gEDA and usbview.
Same for Trinity and KDE 4.10. I will keep an eye on them in case I need them.

Oh, I never overwrite my current Slackware system with the new system. Like you, I am very methodical about my upgrades, considering the effects very carefully. It doesn't take much to bring the whole system down. Even something as innocent as copying the old /etc/fstab to the new system brought it down once. I hadn't realized that when I fdisk'd the new drive, I changed partitions slightly from the old partitions! So swap and root were exchanged! I am currently writing a step-by-step 14.0 upgrade plan, so I don't forget anything and I don't screw up a sequence. I use hard drive removable carriers and swap the system drive for a spare and install on that spare. I then keep using the old system while installing the new system by swapping the drive carriers. When I have the new system running satisfactorily, then I install the spare permanently and the old system drive becomes the spare for the next upgrade (also a backup in case I missed something). The only thing that needs to be done is to not configure email on the new system until the end. Otherwise, syncing email is a problem.

I thank everyone for the help.
Girvin Herr

Woodsman 03-08-2013 04:40 PM


The later Firefox versions required an upgrade to the core liberies of 12.2 and I fear that would break my system.
Yes, now that you remind me, version 17.x was the last version compatible with 12.2. I ran into that problem with some old systems I occasionally tinker. I believe the 17.x series is still the current ESR version so that might provide you some breathing room as well as a current version that is maintained.


The only thing that needs to be done is to not configure email on the new system until the end. Otherwise, syncing email is a problem.
Yup. :) I still have not migrated my kmail1 setup to kmail2 in KDE 4.10.1. Typically that is one of the last things I do and not until I'm comfortable with the remainder of the desktop and have everything configured the way I want.

Alien Bob 03-08-2013 05:45 PM

I am glad you came to like KDE4, Woodsman.


Woodsman 03-08-2013 06:16 PM


I am glad you came to like KDE4, Woodsman.
Almost. :D --- KDE Dolphin and Places Panel.

On a side note, I never expected KDE 4.0 to be much --- I had realistic expectations about that first release. I was content to wait. Conversely, I never expected to wait five years for KDE4 to mature (to my liking). I tried KDE4 several times along the way and although each release improved, I always found too many bugs, limitations, or work-arounds for my style of work flow.

I guess the next step is to figure out how to quash the remaining wrinkles and "paper cuts," such as I linked above. :)

vivanguarda 03-08-2013 09:16 PM

Woodsman, I am using kde3 and your Trinity on slack 13.37 yet. Thanks a lot for packages and opposition ideas.

However, I did a slack 14 install and kde4, in 4.8.x version, was already different... Good!

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