Tag Archives: pkgtool

Slackage Management, Baby!

There are those who say that Slackware Linux doesn’t really have a package manager. BAH! I say. It has two package management systems, actually.

The first is the older of the two. It’s good ol’ pkgtool. The rumor that Slack has no package manager is baloney. pkgtool is an outstanding little package management tool that serves its purpose wonderfully. The other rumor that pkgtool has no dependency checks is true, though. Slackware assumes you have half a brain and can determine which dependencies you need to fulfill to install Jumpin' Joe's Majong Marathon.

From the command line, you can installpkg, removepkg, or upgradepkg… easy-peasy, folks! Anyone familiar with compiling and installing SlackBuilds will have used the pkgtool when performing that job.

Slackpkg is the second, and newer, of the two Slackware package managers. It was introduced with version 13 of Slackware last year. It is the native manager for the new .txz compression format, which is based on the LZMA compression algorithm. Slackpkg has a few more usage options than the old pkgtool does, giving it some more usability.

Both of these tools serve their purpose admirably. It took me a little time to get used to the new Slackpkg for updating. I was used to using the old SwareT application with pre-13 versions of Slackware. SwareT was an outstanding tool. Unfortunately, when Patrick V. decided to go with the new compression method, SwareT was left by the wayside. The app hadn’t been updated in quite a few years, anyway.

There are third party package management tools out there, but SwareT was the only one I ever tried. Although, I did use Slapt-get in Zenwalk, a Slack derivative. They both worked well with the older .tgz format. I can’t say anything about the others out there because I’ve never used them. Slack’s native package managers are all I need. Oh, there’s no GUI front ends for them, so you’re stuck in the command line. WAAAAA! Sorry, GUI penguins.

So, the next time you hear someone say that Slack doesn’t have a package manager, you can tell them that’s baloney. It has TWO!

Until next time, folks…

~Eric

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