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Old 09-04-2011, 07:23 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2010
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Do Linux experts have as much trouble installing softwares?

When I try to install a software, none of them seems to install on the first try... at first ./configure, it gives off a whole bunch of error messages, then I scourge the internet to fix them, then after fixing them, the make files don't work... I get a different version of the software... then make it again, it doesn't work... then I search the forums... it says that something somewhere need to be patched... patch it... doesn't work... search the forums again... then suddenly, on a random try after a prayer to god, it works.

is this just how installing stuff on Linux is? Am I doing something wrong, or do experts go through such processes to install programs as well? I'm quite frustrated right now.

By the way, I'm using the latest Slackware.
Old 09-04-2011, 07:29 PM   #2
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Most people do NOT build SW from scratch; we use the repositories setup by the distributor. If you have a GUI, it'll be a menu item in there, otherwise you'll need to know the name of the 'package mgr' for your distribution and enter the relevant cmd as root user.

Just for clarity, can you tell use exactly which version of Slackware?
Try these cmds
uname -a

cat /etc/*release*

cat /etc/*version*

Old 09-04-2011, 07:43 PM   #3
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If you are building software from source, what you describe often happens to casual users. However if you are building from sources on a regular basis, you quickly learn what are the gotchas. Believe me, they are plenty of them! Generally the older the sources, the more likely you are to run into problems.
Old 09-04-2011, 10:07 PM   #4
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This is what some persons call "dependency hell."

Slackware does not resolve dependencies; it leaves that to users. It's part of the Slackware way.

You may want to try using Slackbuilds. It is probably the closest thing to an unofficial repository in Slack world.

One way to avoid many dependency issues with Slackware is to install Gnome, even if you plan never to use the Gnome desktop. That way the GTK dependencies will already be on your hard drive; with today's hard drives, space is not an issue. I prefer the Gnome Slackbuild for this purpose.
Old 09-04-2011, 10:23 PM   #5
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I am not familiar with slackware, but other distroes (in example debian, centos) have online sources or even on DVD/CD for installing packages which are already built for you, and will install required dependencies.

Building from source is a "waste" in my opinion unless you require something specific.
Old 09-04-2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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You might be better off with a distro that has a good package or software management app. It takes care of most of what a normal user would need.

Experts may have some issues by they generally know how to look for a fix.
Old 09-05-2011, 02:58 AM   #7
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First of all, try looking at these sites for anything you want:

For easier processing of's SlackBuilds, get sbopkg:

And if you really need to build from source, get src2pkg:
Old 09-05-2011, 07:39 AM   #8
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It's not a good idea to manually install software, since it won't be tracked by the package manager. This means that you won't easily be able to uninstall it, and will likely get into dependency hell since the package manager doesn't know about you program, what it depends on, and what depends on it.

Anyway, if you know how to program and how the build process works, it's possible to fix most of those errors yourself.

Last edited by MTK358; 09-05-2011 at 07:41 AM.
Old 09-05-2011, 10:26 AM   #9
Registered: Sep 2009
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Yes but they never let on.

A Vital Linux subject for intermediate users is something Called (AutoTools). Google search here. Make is both an application and has it's file referred to as "make" so you have to figure out the context from syntax which they are talking about.

I don't believe that building from source is the primary rout but is mostly a learning tool or If you are not aware of a big Repsitories like Fedora ,Debian ,Mandriva etcetera, have. To a large degree a Package Manager and a Repository is the Distro.
Old 10-07-2011, 10:32 PM   #10
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I don't think there's a need these days to start learning Linux with a distro such a Slackware (which I love btw). You can aim for a more pleasant experience with a distro that manages the dependencies for you, and provides you with quite up-to-date binary packages like all the majors do. Then you can use Slack in a partition/VM and fiddle around for a more barebones experience. But I don't agree that it is mandatory to approach Linux from the low level if that's not comfortable, more than anything it would get in your way.
Old 10-07-2011, 11:18 PM   #11
Registered: Oct 2010
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Since the time of my first post (which was several months, I gather), I have familiarized myself more with the practice, and have improved significantly, mostly with help from your suggestions.

Thank you for all the generosity


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