VLC on Slackware 13.37

Not long ago, I installed VLC on my home desktop. I forgot how I did it. Time came I needed it on my work desktop and I went to sbopkg and started to install it. Good grief, I sunk into a morass of dependencies. I kept finding more packages that had to be installed and more and more, and then I stopped and though “It wasn’t this difficult when I did it at home.” I looked in /var/log/packages for vlc and saw

/var/log/packages/vlc-1.1.0-i486-1alien

Aha, that’s how I did it. I had downloaded Alien Bob’s pre-built vlc package and it had all the dependencies included. I looked to see if I had kept the original package download, but I must have deleted it in one of my cleaning frenzies.

Before I went looking for the package, I better clean up the mess I had started creating with the sbopkg packages. First of all, I ran

slackpkg clean-system

and it removed all the packages I had just installed in my futile attempt at installing vlc via sbopkg. I hadn’t added all those packages to /etc/slackpkg/blacklist yet, so they all got deleted. Nice clean up system.

I went to find Alien Bob’s package of vlc, but the link I had was http://www.slackware.com/~alien/slackbuilds/vlc/. It didn’t work. Some research indicated that www.slackware.com was out of action. Hardware issues. But they were working on it, and would have a new server up sometime. Never mind, there are always mirrors available. I found one at http://slackware.org.uk/. I downloaded the package, ran installpkg on it, and hey presto, I had vlc installed and running on Slackware 13.37 and all was well.

I like it when these applications (like Sigil and Calibre) have easy installation packages where all the dependencies are taken care of. I am coming to really dislike Linux applications that depend on a wide range of libraries, that might or might not be available, might or might not be the right version, might no longer compile or link. It gets too messy. I don’t mind if an executable is really big. It’s not like I am restricted to a 40 megabyte hard disk any more. I have gigabytes free. I would rather have a massive executable with all libraries statically linked into it, than run around and try and get a legion of libraries in sync so a small executable can run.

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