tech, tunes, and other stuff

Slackware Maintenance

Slackware has a reputation for being difficult to work with, but there are a couple of tools available that make it easier.


One such tool is called slapt-get.  This tool will go to a Slackware repository and then download and install new packages to keep your system up-to-date.  Simply download the utility, and as root install it using the installpkg (or pkgtool) utility.  There are a few slapt-get commands that you should know:

  • slapt-get -update       (retrieve pkg data from MIRROR)
  • slapt-get -upgrade     (upgrade installed pkgs)
  • slapt-get -available    list available pkgs
  • slapt-get -install     [pkg name(s)] – install specified pkg(s)
  • slapt-get -remove       remove a package
  • slapt-get -search       find a keyword in the package lists
  • slapt-get -dist-upgrade upgrade to newer release


There is another utility that I like called alien.  alien is a program that converts between Red Hat rpm, Debian deb, Stampede slp, Slackware tgz, and Solaris pkg file formats.  If you would like to try it out, download it from the slacky.eu site.  How do you use it?  Lets try it on a free office suite for Linux called Softmaker Office 2006.  You can download it: here.  (Softmaker also offers the newer Softmaker 2008 for Linux: here.)   You can only get it as a .deb package, so run alien on it to convert it to a Slackware friendly tgz package.  Install it using Slackware’s installpkg utility:

alien --to-tgz softmaker-office-2006_i386.deb
installpkg softmaker-office-2006-468.tgz