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testing 11-19-2007 08:35 AM

Why Slackware isn't LSB compliant?
Hi guys,

I have looking for a answer in many Linux forums, in discussion lists, in the Slackware Official Site, etc. And unfortunately I did not find anything that would answer my question. So I would like to know why Slackware Linux is not LSB (Linux Standard Base) compliant? Or why LSB did not recognize Slackware Linux, yet?

p.s. I send a mail to but they did not reply.


evilDagmar 11-19-2007 08:38 AM

Well, for one thing, the LSB calls for packages to be installed via RPM, and Slackware has it's own package format.

As to the rest, read

pixellany 11-19-2007 09:11 AM

Perhaps because Slackware came first??

And---if, as noted above, LSB requires RPM, then I would it say it is flawed. What are all the apt/.deb users supposed to do?

redgoblin 11-19-2007 09:27 AM

Slight difference on that. LSB doesn't call for packages to be RPM. Rather to be LSB compliant a distribution must be 'able' to use RPM.

Debian has this as an issue as well. It still uses .deb packages* for all it's repositories. But as a nod toward LSB compliance it's capable of handling RPMs via the Alien system (essentially it converts it to a .deb and then tries to fill in the gaps).

Not really a Slackware user, but I recall reading somewhere that it was LSB compliant?

[ * A far better format I think, but I'm really not trying to start a flame war on this one]

Droo 11-19-2007 09:33 AM


Originally Posted by evilDagmar (Post 2964035)
Well, for one thing, the LSB calls for packages to be installed via RPM, and Slackware has it's own package format.

As to the rest, read

According to that wiki

the standard does not dictate what package format the operating system must use for its own packages, merely that RPM must be supported to allow packages from third-party distributors to be installed on a conforming system
I can't think of ever having any issues using rpm2tgz to convert rpm's to slackware tgz package formats. Then just installpkg the resulting tgz file.

At a guess it'd probably be something to do more with the file sys? personally I prefer slacks layout over rh etc.

evilDagmar 11-19-2007 09:49 AM

If you want another good idea of why not very many people who don't have piles of money to throw at the problem really want anything to do with the LSB, just try reading it.

They've basically frozen the ABIs for everything in stone, which is all well and good for them, but as a lovely side effect doesn't allow much wiggle room to fix anything that is later determined to be fatally broken.

gnashley 11-19-2007 10:44 AM

Yeah, there's lots of contradictions in the syntax required for many programs. And they don't always agree with the latest POSIX standards either. Most distros have been pushing the last couple of years for better POSIX conformance, but even that makes lot's of people angry as it breaks lots of programs and scripts even though the latest standard is from 2003. Add in differing opinions and conformance levels to FSF, OSS and GNU standards and it makes for a pretty mess -not to mention LFSH...

b0uncer 11-19-2007 10:58 AM

There are a lot of "standards" and capital character combinations that would help the mankind to have a better future..but I don't really think it's going to work like that. For Windows or OS X it's a must to have some rules on how to create the programs so they'll fit into the environment, but Linux based operating systems are a wider field..I'm not sure if it ever works out having a "standard" that says how things ought to be done. I think things ought to be done so that they work best for what they're made of; why make a program less efficient, simple or something else just to make it "compatible" with some standard?

Not to mention the other questions; why RPM and not DEB or TGZ, why this, why that? Yeah, (ex-Windows-)software companies would love to see a three-character mark that states a product is able to install a program in the form preferred by the software company, but how does it help the products - operating systems in this case? And if we now started turning every app into an RPM (and install it with different package managers and tweaks onto different operating systems), and eventually most of the software were packaged as RPM, and then one day it was found out it's really a lame thing, would it be sensible? And if software was distributed as source code (.tar.gz or something) and RPM, why not distribute it in the other forms also? A whole lot of questions raise up on one matter only, so I don't think I'll go for the rest of the deal..

Slackware works fine, even if it's not stated as "LSB compliant", so what's the problem? Some company can't get money because they're lazy and don't want to package their supercool-and-patented-and-proprietary software into Slackware .tgz?

reddazz 11-19-2007 12:11 PM

Another reason why Slack may not be classed as LSB compliant is because it uses BSD style init scripts. Most distros store scripts for their services and startup in /etc/init.d, but I think its /etc/rc.d for Slackware.

ledow 11-19-2007 12:12 PM

Simple answer:

It could easily be, it already is for most of the important bits, but why would you need it to be?

Slackware is a linux distro just like any other - it does some bits differently to the rest, otherwise it'd just be BlueHat or GreenHat - a carbon copy. It doesn't NEED to be LSB-compliant and there is very very little software that demands LSB compliance - and there are none can't be fixed. Plus, as others have pointed out, LSB isn't really a good standard anyway. Slackware gives a nod in it's direction with a symlink or two to comply with the LSB filesystem layout, but it doesn't have that much interest in LSB because, basically, neither does anyone else.

It's probably only the very-expensive, paid-for, closed-source programs that are run in large businesses that actually demand LSB-compliance, but none of them actually need it. And as time goes on, LSB will start to matter less and less.

evilDagmar 11-19-2007 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by reddazz (Post 2964253)
Another reason why Slack may not be classed as LSB compliant is because it uses BSD style init scripts. Most distros store scripts for their services and startup in /etc/init.d, but I think its /etc/rc.d for Slackware.

No. Slackware uses a SysV init, thanks.

gnashley 11-19-2007 12:56 PM

Yes, Slacware uses SysV init, but uses BSD-style init scripts- In the latest versions the initscripts package does install SysV-style init directories since some of the software included with Slackware requires some of those scripts including /etc/init.d/functions. Still the basic functionality and boot-time init scripts are *similar* to BSD init-style in that they do not have separate scripts which are run for each runlevel and most everything is located in /etc/rc.d and not in /etc/init.d.

H_TeXMeX_H 11-19-2007 01:17 PM


The Slackware Philosophy
Since its first release in April of 1993, the Slackware Linux Project has aimed at producing the most "UNIX-like" Linux distribution out there. Slackware complies with the published Linux standards, such as the Linux File System Standard. We have always considered simplicity and stability paramount, and as a result Slackware has become one of the most popular, stable, and friendly distributions available.

There you go. Also, I personally don't give a damn if it doesn't comply to the LSB standard in particular ... because I find it rather silly.

reddazz 11-19-2007 01:54 PM


Originally Posted by evilDagmar (Post 2964292)
No. Slackware uses a SysV init, thanks.

The Slackware site says they use BSD style scripts.

e.v.o 11-19-2007 02:14 PM

wiki says that the LSB has some std. packages that every LSB distro must contain.
but where do i find a list of these packages???

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