[nSLUG] Debian X server help.

bdavidso at supercity.ns.ca bdavidso at supercity.ns.ca
Wed Mar 3 01:15:31 AST 2004


On Sun, 29 Feb 2004, Donald Teed wrote:

> > You can do ANYTHING with Slackware.
> > Love those easy installs too.
> > There's no doubt it's the most under-rated.
> Can you really do anything?  Try installing evolution 1.4
> under Slackware 9.0.

First, since last September 9.1 is the current Slackware version (aside
from "Slackware-current" which is sort of like the Debian "testing"), so
for bleeding-edge apps like evolution you probably want to be using the
latest of whatever distro you use.

Second, never one to shirk a challenge, I decided to take up the gauntlet
you hurled above.  Of course, I'm not running 9.0, but I am running
Slackware.  Herewith the details:

1) Go to ximian.com and look at supported OSes -- not surprisingly slak
isn't there, just RH, Suse, Mandrake.  All fine products, but not slak, so
a binary package is not available.

2) Source is available, so I go to developer.ximian.com, click on Source
Code, click on Mirrors, click on first mirror, get not found :(.  Try
another mirror, lots of directories but no source directory.  Try another
mirror, and another...

Long story short, the source is available from ftp.ximian.com, but the web
site doesn't say that and none of the mirrors I checked seemed to have the

3) OK, the web page also mentions CVS, so I use CVS to get the sources.
First evolution, then Berkely db-3.1.17 (required version) via ftp from
Sleepycat, then gal (which installs libgal-2.2.so.0.0.1 - there's a
confidence builder!), then gtkhtml because the version on my system is v2,
then the latest gnome-common because I don't have gnome-autogen.sh (which
you wouldn't need unless you are building from CVS), then something called
soup which provides libsoup-2.2 -- oops, we need libsoup-3 which comes in
package libsoup.  Build and install all the sub-packages then try to build
evolution, oops needs something called libecal, but that's not a package.
Do a little googling, and find this:

> > Does gnome/evolution depend on gnome/evolution-data-server ?
> Yes. And after that the compile fails in several places. After fixing
> those, you'll end up with an evo that barely works. Getting it from cvs
> is worth it, as it is usable (except that contacts and calendar is not
> imported from 1.4.x). See my cvs instructions in the list archive

Great, however get, compile, install evolution-data-server.  Configure
evolution OK this time, build it install it.

Now I have evolution-1.5.4 installed and running on my Slackware 9 system.
I still don't know about evolutio-1.4, which was your challenge.  Now I
know where in tarnation the frickin' source code is hidden I might try to
build from that on my laptop.

Anyway, the upshot is this:  Unless some kind soul out there has bothered
to build and distribute evolution for slackware (and they have), slak is
otherwise a bad choice if running evolution is important to you.  So are
most Linux distributions because ximian only supports less than a handful.
More to the point, this has nothing to do with slackware, at least at the
technical level.  Everything required to run that slow, fat, buggy,
not-yet-ready-for-prime-time application is present, at least as much as
on any other distro.  Installing it would be a lot easier if the ximian
website didn't suck.

But if you were maintaining several desktops running slackware and you
couldn't talk your PHB out of deploying evolution, it would be a small
matter to prepare your own package.

> Slackware has the weakest package management I've seen in any
> modern Linux distro.

Or most efficient?

> In Slackware you are trapped in a snapshot of time for
> a certain range of libc and other dependancies.

What does that mean?

> It requires
> an upgrade of the OS itself, not just packages, to get
> to a more graduated level of the core dependancies.

The "OS itself" IS packages.  I have upgraded libc using the slackware
package tools several times.  You can upgrade the packages glibc-solibs
etc just like any other distro.  I don't think you have ever used

> Sure you can manually compile your own base level of
> gcc, libc and friends, but you run the risk of an unknown
> number of applications breaking.

If you upgrade your gcc, either by compiling it yourself or via paackage
tools, and that breaks other apps, then you have done something other than
upgrade your compiler.

> Slackware is fine for setting up a machine with a couple of roles
> where you don't want a bunch of features, but for a desktop system,
> it is pain in the ass to set up.

No, it isn't.  You should try it sometime.

Bill Davidson
bdavidso at supercity.ns.ca

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