Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 22:33 UTC, submitted by Rich Morgan
Slackware, Slax Open Addict reviews Slackware Linux 11.0, and concludes: "The latest Slackware release is more of the same pure Slackware goodness from Patrick and Company. It doesn't drastically diverge from 10.2 but adds some new software packages and includes some newer kernel support. Hardware detection is pretty much as basic as it can be with much of the configuration and tweaking on you - the end user. Thankfully, it isn't hard to configure Slackware through its easy to find textfile-based configuration files, but newbies might be lost."
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Slackware package management
by JeffS on Thu 23rd Nov 2006 14:47 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

As if I haven't sang the praises of Slackware enough already, I have another thing I'd like to gush over:

tgz

Yes, installing Slack formatted packages in tgz form, using pkgtool, installpkg, slackpkg, etc, is turning out to be a complete breeze, and somewhat of a revelation.

Using tgz with pkgtool, et al, has worked with both the official packages from the Slackware package browser (from which I installed the Java sdk, and K3b), and from LinuxPackages.net, both flawlessly, without going into "dependency hell", or without something else getting borked.

First, Slackware installs by default (with a complete install), pretty much every supporting library any package could ever need. So dependency resolution is usually not necessary. Second, if a package requires a library that's not already there (a rarity for me so far), it's a simple matter of launching the program in the command line. The resulting error will tell you exactly what's missing. Then just install that missing thing, and you're good to go.

Also, and most importantly, I have found that in my experience, and automatic dependency resolver like apt-get is not always a great thing. For a few years, I had a big time enthusiasm for Debian and Debian derived distros, due to thinking that apt-get was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I went through the gamut - Ubuntu, Kanotix, Mepis, Knoppix, Freespire, Debian stable. And quite often, while installing and/or updating packages, something would become screwed up. This was with being very careful, looking at the warnings apt/Synaptic would give, etc. It would seem that apt's aggressiveness on resolving dependencies would cause it to override existing libraries that other packages depended on, causing those other packages to not work properly anymore. The only time this did not happend was with Debian stable (where the pools are very stable and consistent and the packages won't step on each other's toes), and Freespire (where they do extra testing and integration with their Click-n-Run warehouse).

Anyway, the problem with an automatic dependency resolution is the packaging itself, and apparent lack of sane defaults (don't override existing dependencies). It's too easy for a package maintainer to not properly mark dependencies, or to have it not override existing dependencies.

This has been my experience. Fans of apt feel free to correct me.

Patrick Volkerding said in the most recent interview that he is not a fan of automatic dependency resolving systems, due to what I described above. Simply, it's dangerous. Now, they do have Slackpkg, which is less aggressive then apt, and maintains a more stable system.

Long post (sorry) short, tgz with pkgtool is a dream. It's super easy and it keeps your system from becoming screwed up.

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