Originally Posted by drkstr
I've always liked gentoo's portage, but you might find one you really like. I'm interested now, to see if portage could work in slackware. I wouldn't see why not.
Yea, I really like portage as well. I think of it as a beefed up swaret that has a lot more choices on how to configure it. I think most people would probably say it is a bit more reliable for gentoo than swaret is for slackware, but any automated package tool can result in a broken system if not configured and used correctly. The advantage of portage, though, is that I can just stick to the security updates if I want to (some package managers do this by updating programs with SUID bits- I'm not sure what method Gentoo uses within portage).
As far as porting portage to Slackware...I did a little looking around and found out that this has already been done. The Emerde Project (currently Beta) is working on this (http://emerde.freaknet.org/)
. I would wait to use this until it is more stable, however, unless you just use it on a test box.
Also I found a thread in the Gentoo forums that contains a script to port portage to any linux distro (http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=125553)
. It's quite a long thread and should probably be rewritten into a tutorial, but from the little bit that I have read some people have used it for Slackware. Based upon this thread the easiest way to install portage is to use the rescue tarball to essentially emerge portage onto your system.
HOWEVER, after reading some more threads it seems that trying to use portage in slackware usually results in a broken system since Portage doesn't always recognize the native packages you already have installed on your system. The solution to me then would be to have all installed packages from portage instead of pkgtool. This would require a lot of unistalling and sounds like a waste of time as you would essentially be using a different distro at that point.
Of course using any type of package manager in slackware is bastardizing the distro so if a package manager is truly needed then so is a different distro. You should keep an eye out on Voltalinux (http://www.sicurezzarete.com/voltalinux/
) as it is a slackware derived distro that uses NetBSD's package system.
Have ever heard of Stratdate? Wikipedia sites it as tool to update Slackware to current "using official Slackware tools and by using officially mandated upgrade methods for a safe upgrade". It may be worth looking into.
Swaret actually seems to be the best automated update solution for Slackware currently as it seems to have a lot more rich features than programs such as slapt-get. A couple of the features that come to mind are having the option to check for dependencies (can be turned off so people should see this as a down side), it supposedly can find user installed packages that others miss, and it gives you the option to compile from source when downloading as well.
Overall, I think the ideal solution for me is to simply keep up to date using the posted security patches while using ckinstall or SlackBuilds to help keep track of new programs. Occasionally, I might use something like swaret to update to -current so I don't have to reinstall my system or manually update everything. Then again, maybe something like Voltalinux would be a better distro for me. I don't think I could leave slack though
If you find anything else about these matters or have further comments on this maybe a new thread should be started as I believe the topic for this one is done. If you do please email me (with a clear message hearder) as I am very interested in this.