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Welcome to the Slackware Documentation Project

This is an old revision of the document!

Installing Software


There are two basic ways to install software in Slackware: install a pre-build binary package, or make your own package. If you need to compile the package from source code, making it into your own package is easy and useful. Here's how both methods work.

Installing Pre-built Binary Packages

To install a package you first need to get the package.

  • Official packages can be found on the Slackware CD-ROM or the Slackware FTP/HTTP mirrors. The package browser can be found at http://packages.slackware.com/.
  • Unofficial, community contributed binaries can be found at sites such as http://www.linuxpackages.net/, http://www.slacky.eu and http://slackfind.net/. Usually the file name ends with .tgz, .tbz or .txz and looks something like “mozilla-firefox-14.0-x86_64-1.txz”. Make sure you get the Slackware package built with the correct architecture and made for your version of Slackware!

To install the package you need to change to the root user. Run either the command su - or sudo bash and enter your root password. Now run the command

  upgradepkg --install-new your-long-package-file-name

You should see a bunch of text running across your screen telling you about the package being installed, and possibly about an old package it might be replacing.

Make A Package

From Source

The recommended way to build packages from source is to use or create SlackBuild scripts.

However, there are other utilities such as src2pkg and checkinstall which automate the package creation process entirely (with a few user inputs), but these are not guaranteed to work with all possible kinds of source projects.

From third-party package formats

Binary packages from other distributions can be converted to Slackware packages by using conversion tools. Although building packages from source is always better, there are some situations which might warrant the use of these tools.

  • rpm2tgz can be used to convert .rpm packages to Slackware packages.
  • deb2tgz converts .deb packages to Slackware packages.
  • alien is a tool used to convert packages to and from different distribution package formats.

Compiling from scratch

Some users still prefer the traditional method of compiling from source directly and installing using make install or a similar command.

The generic steps for standard GNU Autotools Makefiles are:

 make install # as root

The configure script may take additional switches to enable or disable features or configure other build options.

Other build systems may involve different steps, depending on how the source project is set up. As always, it is best to read the upstream developer documentation to figure out how to compile and build a program for your system, including which dependencies to fulfill.


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