Slackware's Dobbs Tux with Pipe logo - not created by me
Dave's Slackware Package Blog

Why am I doing this?

What makes a person want to dig into a huge number of Slackware Linux software packages?
Created: 2018-02-02 Updated: 2018-07-21

The PkgBlog is going to scratch a major itch I’ve had since sometime in the late 1990’s when I first installed Slackware.

Namely: Slackare Linux contains gigabytes of cool software, but how do you discover any of it?

  • The package descriptions don’t (and can’t) teach you how to use what’s contained in the package

  • There’s no (obvious or friendly) way to discover what’s installed on your Slackware system

There’s no central listing of manpage entries, docs, or any idea how to find out what the commands related to a package might be.

Questions I’ve often wondered:

  • How many text editors are already installed on my Slackware system?

  • How many graphic-manipulation packages?

  • Networking services and other daemons I could be running if I wanted to?


I have some specific goals:

  • Learn what’s in all those packages - I want to know at least a little bit about every single thing installed on my Slackware system.

  • Learn how to use the available tools - I want to have examples of usage for every (!) binary on the entire system.

  • Survey and catalog the packages by tagging them - I want to be able to click on the "text-editor" tag on this blog and see all of the packages which contain a text editor.

In short, I want to have an answer for the two most vexing questions facing any newbie such as myself: "What the heck is all this stuff!?" and "What can I do with this computer!?"

The challenge

"You’d PAY to know what you REALLY think." — J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs

There are over a thousand packages that come with Slackware. Some of those packages contain multiple related tools, each of which could justify a lengthy article (or even a book or three).

It would be idiotic to expect to be able to do justice to everything. But though I could never become an expert on everything that comes with this system, I can’t possibly fail to learn a lot!

Also, I think some of these packages and tools could really use some more description from a personal "user" perspective. I’ll try to do my part.

This is the sort of obsessive project that appeals to me on several different levels:

  • I will address something that has frustrated me for decades

  • I will learn a lot

  • It’s something I can work on over a long period of time in little pieces, eventually amounting to something big

  • I hope it will be interesting and useful to others

So wish me luck and see what I have so far. Happy hacking!