Let’s Build a SlackBuild

SlackBuilds are custom written installation scripts used to install non-native applications into your Slackware Linux operating system.

The SlackBuild Project is maintained by a small group of dedicated folks. Your assistance with new script submissions is always welcome.

For today’s little SlackBuild tutorial, I’m going to use a SlackBuild to install PysolFC, a collection of really cool card games and majong-type games that is maintained by my friend Matthew Fillpot. Matt is one of the lead gurus over at the Linux.com Community site. Stop on over for a visit sometime.

One of the first thing I do on any of my Linux installations is to create a hidden directory called .build in my /home directory that I use primarily for manual compiling of applications, or in this case in Slackware, installation of SlackBuild scripts (see Fig 1).

Figure 1 – /home/<user>/.build

OK, let’s get started. The first thing you’ll need to do is navigate to SlackBuilds.org in your favorite browser. In the small search window in the upper right hand corner, type in the application you’re looking for. In this case, that would be PysolFC. Once the search is completed, you’ll be on the pysolfc SlackBuild page (see Fig 2).

Figure 2 – Pysolfc SlackBuild Page

Now, the next thing you’ll need to do is download the source (PySolFC-1.1.tar.bz2) and the SlackBuild (pysolfc.tar.gz) into your .build directory (or wherever you want to build your stuff). Untar the SlackBuild script from the command line using this command:

$ tar -xvf pysolfc.tar.gz

Or you can unpack it using your favorite graphical decompression app like Ark or Xarchiver… use whatever you’re comfortable with.

You’ll now have an uncompressed directory called “pysolfc”. Move the source directory (PySolFC-1.1.tar.bz2) that you downloaded previously into your newly uncompressed pysolfc directory. That’s right. Just grab and drag that source directory right on into the pysolfc directory (see Fig 3).

Figure 3 – Inside the Pysolfc Directory

OK, then… Now for some fun command line stuff. I know you love working in the command line. Don’t be afraid. Just follow my directions. Alrighty…

1. Open your terminal application (Gnome Terminal, Konsole, etc.)

2. Type the following command to make the pysolfc SlackBuild script executable:

$ chmod +x pysolfc.SlackBuild

3. As root (to install globally on your Slackware system so all users can access), type the following command:

# ./pysolfc.SlackBuild

Special NOTE: If you’re running an x86_64 version of Slackware, you’ll need to preface the above command like this:

# ARCH=x86_64 ./pysolfc.SlackBuild

This will let the script know that you’re running a 64 bit system and it will install accordingly.

4. If all went well, the SlackBuild script will have created a .tgz application installer in your /tmp directory. Navigate to the /tmp directory in the terminal:

# cd /tmp

5. Check to see what’s there:

# ls

6. You should see a file called pysolfc-1.1-i486-2_SBo.tgz. That’s the baby! Install it using Slackware’s native pkgtool:

# installpkg pysolfc-1.1-i486-2_SBo.tgz

Voila! That’s it, folks. Easy-peasy. You’ll find an entry for PysolFC in your menu. Click on it and waste a few hours of your life playing some of those funky solitaire card games or that majong stuff.

Have FUN with it…


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