Where the Slackware Package Manager Fails

February 4, 2007 at 3:14 am Leave a comment

If you ask any Slackware user what they like about Slackware chances are the package manager will wind up in there top 10. I am no exception. I love pkgtools, but the one itch that it can’t really scratch is when I want to try out a new program. A lot of times the app I want to try doesn’t have a Slackware package availiable. This stems from the fact that the number of active Slackware users isn’t as large compared to other distros (my own perception, not a statistic) so there aren’t as many people to use different programs and to make packages for them. Another reason is that the Slackware community is very fragmented. Unlike debian, Suse, Fedora, and other distros there is no real central place to store packages. People tend to either open up their own personal repositories to the world or submit packages to their favorite site. (Usually linuxpackages.net or slacky.it) So to try out a new package you have to compile it yourself. (and any dependancies) You also have to do any configuring that needs to be done to get the program usable. This is a very time consuming and tedious process.

It might be worth it for me to have some debian derivative (probably Xubuntu) sitting on a separate partition for just this purpose.

* on a separate note: making Slackware packages is way easier than some of the other package formats I’ve looked at. (deb, rpm, ebuild)

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