[nSLUG] Upgrade tools, or... (choosing a new distribution)

Daniel Morrison draker at gmail.com
Tue Sep 11 17:39:20 ADT 2007

On 11/09/2007, D G Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 9/11/07, Daniel Morrison <draker at gmail.com> wrote:
> > All this talk about dependencies, Debian, Ubuntu, and RH/Fedora - My, my!
> >
> > In Slackware, there is no dependency management. Install what you need,
> > leave out what you don't need.  If you forgot something, install it.  The
> > default distribution is small enough by today's standards that you may as
> > well install all of it.
> This is not true.

Sorry, which part of my text that you quoted are you referring to?

> Any more complicated package will have
> dependencies.  If you are installing ipcalc, then perhaps
> little is required to put that in, but on the other end of
> the scale, something like a DVD player package for X
> has many dependencies.  Libraries, tzdata, etc. are
> a fact of life in computing which eliminate reinventing
> the wheel for every program, and thus there will be
> dependencies in all OSes.

I don't disagree with any of this... certainly there are dependencies
between packages in Slackware.  Many packages are grouped in sets (e.g.
kde, TeX, development tools, etc...) to simplify the task of selecting
what you want without leaving anything out.  All the official Slackware
distribution packages together are a set as well.

If you want to install something that isn't available in the default
Slackware distribution, then it's up to you to ensure it's requirements
are met.  You can compile from source, and worry about the dependencies
yourself.  Or get someone else to do it - download packages from
linuxpackages.net, for example, where the packager usually lists (and if
you're lucky, also makes available) the required packages.

Finally, because Slackware uses stable releases of standard software
compiled as much as possible according to the software maintainer's
instructions (and the file system standard), packages are very often
compatible across distribution releases.  Very often I don't bother
recompiling my custom packages between Slackware releases, because the
"old version" packages still work just fine.


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