The Classic Way to Install Packages from Source in Slackware

The Classic Way to Install Packages from Source in Slackware:

In the past, most Slackware users built their packages from source, after downloading them from the package maintainers’ websites, rather than using pre-built/pre-compiled binary packages.

Nowadays while it is still being done more and more people use buildscripts to compile and install Slackware Packages, the most known buildscript repository is the website. And it seems to be the preferred way, Heck I prefer it. However there is still need or use for doing it the classic build from source procedure, and this is what this article is about.

To build from source, you open up the tarball and read the provided instructions (particularly the README and INSTALL files).

  1. Download the source package
  2. Extract the source package via command line - $ tar xvvf foo.tar.bz2
  3. Change into the extracted directory via commandline - $ cd foo
  4. Read any readme or text or instructional files included.
  5. $ ./configure –help
  6. $ ./configure plus any appropriate options from the last step
  7. $ make
  8. as root - #  make install 
  9. # make clean
  10. Get out of the current directory back to where you started - $ cd ..
  11. Move the package directory to a different directory so you may easily uninstall it nex time as mentioned below as root -  # mv foo /usr/local/src
When you want to uninstall it, you do the following:
  • cd /usr/local/src/foo
  • as root - # make uninstall 

* Note1: To install binary packages read about pkgtool and its suite of tools
* Note2: To Install from source easier/quicker use the tool src2pkg
* Note3: Nowadays most people use SlackBuilds or Build Scripts to automate the build/compile and install of slackware packages, However there is still use and worth knowing how to do it the classic way to build/compile and install the package from source, common place to get from is
* Note4: Check the tool sbopkg, its a commandline tool to help install packages from the website.
* Note5: Also there is a tool called slapt-get its a commandline tool that mimicks apt-get package manager from debian for slackware, handles dependency management, software could be limited depending on servers/repos online, however the SalixOS distro based on Slackware Linux uses this package manager and its packages supposed to be compatible to slackware provided the versions are the same as SalixOS releases are based on releases of slackware (example: salixOS version 13.37 is based from the orginal Slackware 13.37, so use packages made for versions of the same number scheme), by using the repos/servers of SalixOS one can have more software available via slapt-get for slackware if one chooses to use slapt-get for their slackware system/s.
* Note6: Another Package manager that hadles dependency management for slackware is emerde, a tool that mimicks the portage package manager of Gentoo Linux, from the website of
* Note7: Another way to repackage and install a .rpm binary to slackware tgz package, is to use the rpm2tgz tool.
* Note8: Another way to repackage  and install a .deb binary to slackware tgz package, is to use deb2tgz tool.
* Note9: Check the tool called Checkinstall - Installs a compiled binary package from the program's source directory, it's similar to src2pkg.
* Note10: Slackware Linux Package manager is pkgtool suite, but it doesn't feature dependency management its left to the user/admin to handle that manually, this is the slackware way, and its meant as a feature to not have that automatic dependency management, while there are package managers that do dependecy management automatically, they are not preferred by real slackware users nor are they offically sanctioned by the author/creator of slackware, as it completely devoids a major part of the KISS philosophy of slackware, simplicity in design not in ease for newbie use.


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