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So I was donated an old Slackware CD and am currently working on getting it to be able to run Firefox3 and Pidgin. I've currently got pango 1.20.5, Glib 2.16.5 and GTK 2.12.11 tar.gz's saved and ready to be uncompressed. My concern is that if I uncompress these files and ./configure, make, make install them if that will cause a conflict with the packages installed at the creation of the OS. I am slightly aware of an updatepkg command, but that's pretty much the extent of it. What sort of process should I go through to get this three-year old distro up to date?
Please, keep in mind that I'm a total Linux newbie (which would explain why I'm posting in this forum) so use of clear, hand-holdingesque instructions would be much preferred. Thanks
What you're trying to do is fairly easy if you know what you're doing but it's the sort of thing where there are quite a few variables which mean that what works for one person may not work for you without a little extra work. Try this guide http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/mikewilli.../of_firefox_3/
It's written for SLED 10 but the principle is the same regardless of distro.
Depending on how old the Slackware version you are using is, then you may find it's a lot easier to get the latest version and use that instead. Also Slackware is far from the most newbie friendly distro from what I've heard. The latest versions of Ubuntu/Kubuntu and openSUSE come with Firefox 3
Dial up is certainly a hindrance to moving to a different distro but it's a hindrance to doing anything that involves downloading anything and so many things require downloading stuff these days. Getting Firefox 3 running on a distro that does not include a new enough version of GTK is not trivial. You're going to have to download stuff, though you seem to have downloaded most what's needed already.
The link I gave you will tell you how to build what you have without overwriting the system libraries. You just need to use the --prefix option with configure. Though the guide also requires you to have sources for ATK and Cairo but it you managed to get sources for newer GTK, Glib, and Pango you can presumably manage to get ATK and Cairo. If during the build process you find you have missing dependencies (like CUPS headers) that cause the build to fail you can probably get them off the Slackware CD.
Ubuntu will ship you a CD for free though it can apparently take a couple of months or more to get delivered. https://shipit.ubuntu.com/ Maybe someone here who lives on the same continent and is a really nice person would burn something and ship it you. Or is there a local collage or library with a decent connection 'net connection who's facilities you could use to download stuff?
You probably will get into dependency hell trying to do what you are trying with such an old distro.
That said, compiling and installing your tarballs will usually place them in /usr/local while your distro probably put the original packages in /usr.
So you probably won't conflict, but you also won't find the libs you are trying to access unless you do some work. You could symlink to them from /usr/lib in order to pick them up, and if this causes you a problem, you can remove or change the symlinks.
You probably also need to pick up libcairo, libgdk, and libxml2, at a minimum, to do what you are trying to do.