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How to use Slackware community slackbuilds

Written by Solène, on 13 November 2020.
Tags: #slackware

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In today article I will explain how to use Slackbuilds repository on a Slackware current system.

You can read the Documentation of slackbuilds for more information.

We will first install sbotools package which make the use of slackbuilds a lot easier: like a proper ports tree. As it’s preferable to let the tools create the repository, we will install them without downloading the whole slackbuild repository.

Download the slackbuild from this page, extract it and cd into the new directory.

$ tar xzvf sbotools.tar.gz
$ cd sbotools
$ . ./sbotools.info
$ wget $DOWNLOAD
$ md5sum $(basename $DOWNLOAD)
$ echo $MD5SUM

The two md5 string should match.

Now, run the build as root

$ sudo sh sbotools.SlackBuild
[lot of text]
Slackware package /tmp/sbotools-2.7-noarch-1_SBo.tgz created.

Now you can install the created package using

$ sudo /sbin/installpkg /tmp/sbotools-2.7-noarch-1_SBo.tgz

We now have a few programs to use the slackbuilds repository, they all have their own man page:

  • sbocheck
  • sboclean
  • sboconfig
  • sbofind
  • sboinstall
  • sboremove
  • sbosnap
  • sboupgrade

Creating the repository

As root, run the following command:

# sbosnap fetch
Pulling SlackBuilds tree...
Cloning into '/usr/sbo/repo'...
remote: Enumerating objects: 59, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (59/59), done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (59/59), done.
remote: Total 485454 (delta 31), reused 14 (delta 0), pack-reused 485395
Receiving objects: 100% (485454/485454), 134.37 MiB | 1.20 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (337079/337079), done.
Updating files: 100% (39863/39863), done.

The slackbuilds tree is now installed under /usr/sbo/repo. This could be configured before using sboconfig -s /home/solene which would create a /home/solene/repo.

Searching a port

One can use the command sbofind to look for a port:

# sbofind nethack
SBo:    nethack 3.6.6
Path:   /usr/sbo/repo/games/nethack

SBo:    unnethack 5.2.0
Path:   /usr/sbo/repo/games/unnethack

Install a port

We will install the previously searched port: nethack

# sboinstall nethack
Nethack is a single-player dungeon exploration game. The emphasis is
on discovering the detail of the dungeon. Each game presents a
different landscape - the random number generator provides an
essentially unlimited number of variations of the dungeon and its
denizens to be discovered by the player in one of a number of
characters: you can pick your race, your role, and your gender.

User accounts that play this need to be members of the "games" group.

Proceed with nethack? [y] y
nethack added to install queue.

Install queue: nethack

Are you sure you wish to continue? [y] y
[... compilation ... ]
+==============================================================================
| Installing new package /tmp/nethack-3.6.6-x86_64-1_SBo.tgz
+==============================================================================

Verifying package nethack-3.6.6-x86_64-1_SBo.tgz.
Installing package nethack-3.6.6-x86_64-1_SBo.tgz:
PACKAGE DESCRIPTION:
# nethack (roguelike game)
#
# Nethack is a single-player dungeon exploration game. The emphasis is
# on discovering the detail of the dungeon. Each game presents a
# different landscape - the random number generator provides an
# essentially unlimited number of variations of the dungeon and its
# denizens to be discovered by the player in one of a number of
# characters: you can pick your race, your role, and your gender.
#
# http://nethack.org
#
Package nethack-3.6.6-x86_64-1_SBo.tgz installed.
Cleaning for nethack-3.6.6...

Done, nethack is installed! sboinstall manages dependencies and if required will ask you for every required other slackbuilds to install to add to the queue before starting compiling.

Example: getting flatpak

Flatpak is a software distribution system for linux distributions, mainly to provide desktop software that could be complicated to package like Libreoffice, GIMP, Microsoft Teams etc… Using Slackware, this can be a good source of software.

To use flatpak and the official flathub repository, we need to install flatpak first. It’s now as easy as:

# sboinstall flatpak

And answer yes to questions (you will be asked to agree for every dependency required, there are a few of them), if you don’t want to answer, you can use -r flag to automatically accept.

We need to add the official repository flathub using the following command:

# flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

And now you can browse flatpak programs on flathub

For example, if you want to install VLC

# flatpak install flathub org.videolan.VLC

You will be prompted about all the dependencies required in order to get VLC installed, those dependencies are some system parts that will be shared across all the flatpak software in order to efficiently use disk space. For VLC, some kde components will be required and also Xorg GL/VAAPI/openh264 environments, flatpak manage all this and you don’t have to worry about this.

The file /usr/sbo/repo/desktop/flatpak/README explains quirks of flatpak on Slackware, like pulseaudio instructions or the polkit policy on slackware not allowing your user to use the global flatpak install command.

I found the following ~/.xinitrc to enable dbus and pulseaudio for me, so flatpak programs work.

start-pulseaudio-x11
eval $(pax11publish -i)
dbus-run-session fvwm2