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Just installed Swaret and have some questions. Would appreciate your expertise
1. Where can you find a list of repositories.
2. Am I right in thinking these repositories contain a list of the standard packages that ship with Slack?
3. If the answer to 2 is yes then presumably I only require one functioning repository and can you get repositories with extra 'none standard' packages?
4. Does the REPOS_ROOT have to have a corresponding ROOT entry in the config file or can they be totally unrelated?
5. A little confused about the difference between the ROOT and REPOS_ROOT. What are these two entries for, exaclty and it terms a Homer Simpson like me can understand!!
6. Do you only need 1 ROOT or will Swaret use more if you supply them?
Thanks again in advance, all infor very much appreciated.
You will find some varying opinions regarding swaret here.
My own opinion is this:
This tool creates an illusion of Debian-like control over your system. This is not Debian. Third party package repositories have widely varying quality and can introduce dependencies that will have you scratching your head at some point.
Additionally, I believe it creates lazy slackware users who don't learn the importance of the changelog and run into trouble as a result.
There is also the issue that installing untrusted software on your machine seems to fly in the face of the very reason many people use slackware (and linux in general) in the first place. Honestly, if you want that, use Ubuntu.
I would suggest that you take a look at the following tools:
www.slackbuilds.org - this is a repository of "scripts" that allow you to build you own packages in the slackware-specific manner. The number of available scripts is growing and the site is well maintained by people who know what they are doing with regard to slackware. A very simple process that is well explained - really.
checkinstall - this is a tool that creates packages from source. You will find it in the /extra directory.
src2pkg - this is a package creation tool that has been created by a LQ member and seems to be getting some good reviews by users here. I do not have experience with this tool.
There are other tools like slapt-get and slackpkg which I know less about. I only mention these because I don't believe swaret is being actively maintained any longer. I might be wrong here though. These are also in the /extra directory. Notice that swaret is not shipped with slack - hint, hint.
I know this is not what you are looking for, but I think you would be better off with any of these options over swaret.
I used to compile everything but don't anymore. I actually use slapt-get at teh command line (check out qtswaret for an excellect package manager gui, btw) over and above gslapt (gui) and swaret and slackpkg.
Slackpkg is probably most useful if you're just wanting mainline slackware security updates.
Otherwise I'd look at http://linuxpackages.net that has info about slackbuild and about repos, etc., for swaret / slapt-get. Or, just do a search here should turn up lots of repos.
Compiling from source is fine, but I find now it takes too long on my 1G Athlon and so am preferring precompiled stuff. Yes there are security problems but I tend to filter the packages I'll install - first I do genuine slackware released packages, then ones from sources I trust (eg KJZ), then self-compiled, then other sources if I can't compile for some reason.
I like to compile most of what I use from SlackBuilds.org.
However, when they don't have something, I compile but use checkinstall as my last step. Checkinstall is in the Extras directory on one of the Slackware installation CDs. It will create a Slackware package that can be installed wtih Pkgtool (and the other native Slackware package commands),and more importantly, removed the same way.
I've found that being able to remove something I don't like or can't get to work is as important as being able to install it.
I think swaret is fine for getting packages and it helpes a little with the dependencies it's a great tool if you keep using your head. I never use X so I don't know if it works with the web of deps in X.
Also I like to do stuff myself. So important packages I compile myself it takes a lot of time and research but the result is that you end up with packages that are configured the way I like them. (Note: always test if there is a make rule for it)
Uninstalling is indeed a nice feature and I have found a darling little piece of software for that purpose. Called uninst all it does is make a list of files prior to "make install" and after it and compares those after that it spits out a little script rming everything that is new during install.