SlackwareThis Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.
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I don't want to open a can of worms here. But I've been a slackware user for some time and consider myself at least an intermediate.
I think we've all had our fingers burnt with swaret. It's okay if you keep it on a tight lead, but can cause you problems if not. To be fair, if one took the time to read change logs and depandencies, one would have far fewer issues. But who always does that?
Anyway, I've discovered that there is a nice utility called slackpkg in /extra in the current tree of the slack packages that does the same job as swaret, but it somewhat superior. I used it for the first time recently, and was pleasantly surprised by the way it asked me about my config files.
It doesn't offer massive functionality and safety above swaret, but I don't see a reason for using swaret when this utility is around. So any I would point any noobs in the direction of this rather than swaret or slap-get etc.
It must be decent if Pat is prepared to put it on the CD....
Slackpkg is a prety decent tool, yes.. Ill just post a few pointers here for would-be users of slackpkg..
Do note that it supports only one mirror at a time. So, uncomment the _mirror_ closest to you from the config. slackware.com is extremely busy, so youll get no ghood speeds from there.
Remember, that unlike with other slack package downloader thingys, with slackpkg you have to make a difference between installing a fresh package and upgrading it. So, it will not let you install a package if what you need to it is an upgrade, use upgrade instead..
Just to lessen the amount of inquisitive noobs running up with these problems.. (:
Originally posted by xushi hmm, i'm not too happy with it.
From what i can see, i'll have to find out what latest packages are updated, then manually update each one
slackpkg update <package1>
slackpkg update <package2>
With swaret, i like how it lists all the files to be upgraded/updated, downloads them all for you, and does all the work. (taking into consideration you know wtf you're doing)
If you make searches upon the packages with slackpkg, it will show beside every package what its status is, so there you will also see if the package could be upgraded.. Also you can pretty much install large amounts with it by wildcarding..
But yeah, its chaining isnt too good yet, thats why its prolly still in /extra..
Originally posted by xushi I wonder if anyone here has tried Slackins (GUI), or might recommend a possible better alternative..
Well, I tried it.. It does what its meant for, and does a pretty good job at it.. But, it still is a crappy alternative for using the native tools on the commandline.. So, I wouldnt recommend it to anyone.. As an alternative I recommend the holy trinity, installpkg, upgradepkg and removepkg.. (; Also ls /var/log/packages/ is something worth using.. (:
Just a note, the actual netinstaller part slackinsup is just a gui frontend to swaret that hides all the valuable debug and warning info, so thats a definate no no..
I think we've all had our fingers burnt with swaret.
To be fair, if one took the time to read change logs and depandencies, one would have far fewer issues. But who always does that?
Everything is going to have its pros and cons. Some people like it and some don't. I appreciate your suggestion of an alternate tool. Swaret saves me time and lets my upgrade several boxes easily.
There have been many anti swaret posts but I don't think they are fair. I one uses a tool he should know how it works. Same thing for dropline gnome. Many people here love it and many do not. It certainly has some disadvantages in my thinking but people need to try it for themselves (I did). Most people who are using slack realize they have to be adventurous and try things out for themselves. If you practice careful data policies the worst thing that happens is you have to reinstall. However, you will be a bit wiser the next time around.
Slackpkg is no different from Swaret, they both do the same things. Though, Slackpkg does ask if you want to overwrite, Swaret simply places new config files with a .new extension on them for you to change manually if you desire.
You still have to read all the changelogs and available information with both utilities, or you'll continue to get "burnt".
Good to hear all your opinions. I think the main point here is that there isn't a tool on any distro that will upgrade 100% perfect 100% of the time. I think swaret only 'destroyed' my system in the early days when i didn't know how to fix it. Now, I always manage to resolve the issues.
And lets all be honest. 95% of the time there is no need to upgrade. I just get bored and want to download the latest thing. Come on own up! Then you wish you hadn't......
I normally just remove a package then add the latest version. Okay most of us aren't like coffeedrinker, but I respect his/her thoroughness. I think most of us lie somewhere in the middle. Not reckless, but not always 100% carefull.
And lets also face it. You learn the most when there is a problem. And I think learning is really what I love about linux. Even if the problems are self inflicted.
Okay that's my two pence/two cents worth.
To be honest. I haven't really seen a good Slackware HOWTO. I am thinking of using some webspace to explain stuff like where all the files live on a system. Sounds simple, but it isn't to a noob. And how to use vi. I know it's all out there. But I might try and pull it together. The unoffical slack book is laughable. Who care's about lynx? People want to know there inittab from their elbow......And their /dev/null from their..... err....
The main reason being that since Slackware doesn't apply half a ton of patches to it's software or kernels, and doesn't start trying to decide it knows better than the developers as to where software goes, in most cases, the documentation that comes with that software is more than adequate.
I've used Swaret from day one of my Slackware installation and over that time period it has not given me a single problem. Not once. I pull from the "current" repos and I update everything available, including X, glibc, and the desktop environments. From my time in doing this, and listening to others complain that they got burned or lost their system, I've noticed two common things:
These same people: 1. Do not read the changelogs.
2. Do not bother looking at their config files.
Now, if you are running Slack and are unwilling to do just those two very simple things, then I'm sorry but to be honest you really don't need to be trying to update your installation, or even running Slack at all. There really is no application at your disposal which will save you from yourself. These individuals are not wanting to spend the five minuets it takes to do just the basics of managing their system, but yet will get angry when they have to spend a few hours getting everything back in place after a botched upgrade session.
And then after all this they tend to not even blame the person which really did the damage, which is themselves, but instead want to gripe about an application that they used improperly and with outright ignorance.
I hear you, Xian. When I was a newbie (which was only early last year, in a lot of ways I still am), I managed to hose my system twice with both Swaret and Slackpkg. Once I learned to check those changelogs, config files, and read the documentation to know precisely WHAT I was upgrading, it never happened again.
Of course, I also developed a sacred rule about upgrading or changing packages - If I don't know precisely what it does, know why I need a new version, and haven't read the app docs over, I don't touch it.
Distribution: Slackware 11.0; Kubuntu 6.06; OpenBSD 4.0; OS X 10.4.10
<quote>To be honest. I haven't really seen a good Slackware HOWTO. </quote>
That's funny to me. One of the reasons I went back to Slack a while back was because I got tired of trying to translate the HOWTOs at the Linux Documentation Project into SuSE-ese. The LDP is still one of the first places I check when I want to find out how to do something specific. It seems to me that one of Slack's most brilliant features is that Patrick doesn't try to amaze you with GUI configuration utilities that impress you with what he thinks your needs are.
Back on the topic of swaret, I have not had many problems with it, and the problems I have had have been more with what it didn't install rather than what it did. It has been several months since I tried dropline-gnome and decided I didn't want it, but I have yet to completely expunge it from swaret's exclusion lists.