Installing new programs on Slackware Slackware, known to the Linux world as "Slack", has the reputation of being, on one hand, a flexible distribution that allows you to do practically anything you want and, on the other hand, one that is for "experienced" Linux users only. A lot of these considerations are "politically" motivated. Slackware lacks some of the "smooth" and "slick" graphic installation packages that are becoming standard fare in commercial companies' offerings but in the end, if you're willing to just use the command line utilities, it's just as easily updated as any other major distribution. Slackware's package format
Slackware packages come in *.tgz format. This a variation of the *.tar.gz format we've seen before. You can go to your favorite website and download new programs for your Slackware system and with a simple:
you have your new program installed.
If that particular package doesn't quite move you and inspire you too much, you can just remove it:
You can also add the option -warn between the installpkg/removepkg command and instead of installing the package, it will tell you what new files are going to get added to your hard disk. That's a good option for the "I wonder if I want this" moments of your life.
Upgrading packages You can upgrade programs to newer versions with this command:
Using other package formats If you're using Slackware and you can't find a package your looking for in the *.tgz format, you can also grab on to an *.rpm and convert it. The way to do this is:
This takes the "rpm" in question and converts it to *.tgz format. Then you can use installpkg on the new file you've created to install it. GUI does not necessarily = GOOD
Once again, there is a common misconception that just because something doesn't have a wonderful graphic interface that makes you say "oooh" and "ahhhh", it is somehow inferior. Don't let that missing GUI fool you here. A computer running Slackware is a tremendously flexible and configurable system. So what if you have to write things on a command line? That's what you've got a keyboard for, isn't it? Enjoy your "Slack" system!