Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  


Visit our home page for VL info. For support and documentation, visit the Vector Linux Knowledge Center or search the Knowledge Center and this Forum using the search box above.

Author Topic: Learing to navigate Gslapt and downloads  (Read 2433 times)


  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 94
Learing to navigate Gslapt and downloads
« on: November 21, 2009, 07:39:48 am »

 I've been using Vector for about a day now. So now that I'm an "expert", it's time to figure out what makes this thing work. Here's what I've managed to get myself into.
 Installed system. Noticed that Opera is onboard, and I like Opera, so I go there. First screen that comes up says "A new and niftier Opera is available. Do you want to download it?" Sure. Hit download and it's a .deb. file. Poke around and see that "Alien" is a program that unwraps packages when native OS's can't. Sounds good, it's listed in Gslapt, so I download and install Alien.
 So great. Now I need to open the Opera.deb pacage. How do I do that, and how does this work? I'm not so concerned with the Opera download as I am getting familiar with the system itself.
 Two things I've come across. Here is Alien's (very good!) tutorial:
 And here's a post to the forum.
 The post has a response from Granny Geek saying to "You have to switch to the directory where RealPlayer10GOLD.bin  was downloaded to. Open a terminal in that directory." The concept of opening a terminal window AFTER being in a directory is new, strange, foreign and scary to me. Maybe I need to grow up and get with stuff, but I've never had to navigate to a folder or directory before opening a terminal. I'm sure I msiundertood what Granny Geek said, and it probably means open as su, log in as root, then give a file path, maybe /home/bin/ something.
 I did try the format as shown on the instructions from the tutorial. I logged in as root and entered "alien --to-slp" and the .deb file name, and it came back "command not found."
 I know this isn't rocket science. I'm just trying to scoot it back a little closer to my "not as smart as a fifth grader" level.


  • Administrator
  • Vectorian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1894
Re: Learing to navigate Gslapt and downloads
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2009, 08:40:35 am »

The command line (console, terminal, Cli) is
where the power in Linux really is.

So start small open a terminal and type:


That will tell where you are in the directory structure.

Now try moving around:

cd Desktop

Now find where you are with:


You have moved into another directory /home/<your user>/Desktop
just not in a graphical way.

So for Opera, first find where you downloaded it to. Then you
open a terminal and cd (which means change directory) to the
place where Opera is and then su to install it.

There are alot of places to find information like Linux newbies
the linux documentation project.

To start a program from cli type the program name and you
will see text informing you the startup process for that program.

A couple nice cli tools:

Midnight Commander (started with the command mc)
cat (for reading an concantonationg files)
more (file pager)
cd (change directory)
cp (copy)
mv (rename or move files or directories)
pwd (display current working directory)
whoami (the user you are working as)
df (disk space used)

There are many more.




  • Vectorian
  • ****
  • Posts: 1132
Re: Learing to navigate Gslapt and downloads
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2009, 09:25:44 am »

I think bigpaws has provided the most useful help in navigating the system.

Regarding Opera: the website doesn't always know the best package format for everyone. A deb file would be preferred for a debian-based system, but slackware-based systems work better with other package formats (tgz, tlz, txz, tar.gz). As the case may be, the best format you can get from opera is .tar.gz.  From their download options you would choose the Slackware-current option.  Once downloaded, in a terminal, navigate to the download directory. Unpackage the tarbell (tar -xvzf name-of-package.tar.gz). Change directories to the newly created directory (cd name-of-package-extracted-directory). As root, start the package installation routine (./, and follow the terminal prompts.


  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 94
Re: Learing to navigate Gslapt and downloads
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2009, 09:29:05 am »

 All right, thanks, I'll try it. Right now I'm about to install Vector to a friend's computer, so I thought I'd better get up to speed as quickly as possible. He's never figured out windows, and has a computer that's been trashed for a couple of years for reasons unknown. Vector works great straight out of the box, I just need to find my way around.
 As far as running the Opera download from the command line, since it was a .deb package, things went haywire when I "stabbed around at it" originally. Will try later and see what happens. Thanks for the info, I figured I neded to understand the file path and how the system saw the command as much as anything.  


  • Packager
  • Vectorian
  • ****
  • Posts: 2567
Re: Learing to navigate Gslapt and downloads
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2009, 09:07:52 pm »

Hey, have we all forgotten that the latest Opera (10.01) is in our repos? It's under testing.

In Linux it's always best to use a package created for your distro. So run Gslapt and see if what you want is available in a VectorLinux package. You may need to have the testing repo enabled because new versions are in testing first.

And here I want to disagree with standard advice given in this forum, namely, not to have testing enabled. You don't want testing enabled if you're going to Mark All Upgrades and then execute an update of everything for which an update is available. In that case, yes, be sure you don't have testing enabled when you run Update to find what's available. Similarly, if you have the autoupdate notification enabled and you routinely tell it to update whatever it tells you is available.

But if you're not going to do a universal upgrade, I think you *should* have testing enabled. All new packages go in testing first and they may linger in there for quite a while. Updates for Opera, Firefox, and SeaMonkey are in testing first. Do you really want to stick with the older version until the new version wends its way out of testing? Browsers are often updated because of security issues.

New versions of other programs often have desirable features added or bugs fixed. If you don't have texting enabled, you may not know the programs are available in Vector packages for months.

Note that when you do a Mark All Upgrades in Gslapt and then View menu, Marked, you can see where in the repo the package is. Just scroll down package by package and look at the bottom panel under Latest Available Version and if something is in testing, remember that means there might be issues that haven't yet been found. So yes, you are a bit of a beta tester when you use packages from testing, but Linux users are beta testers all the time because many programs never get to a 1.0 release (meaning it's considered stable and "done"). If you don't want a package, just uncheck it in Gslapt.

I would rather go through the bother of seeing what repo available upgrades are in than miss out on the latest versions of certain programs such as browsers. I usually pass on upgrades still in testing, but it depends on the program. Also, using programs that are in testing is a great service to VectorLinux because unless people *use* the programs, we'll never know if there are problems in the packages that should be fixed. So maybe you won't want to install packages in testing on your production machine, but fpr anything else  it's very rare that a program in testing will trash your system unless you do a system-wide upgrade that includes packages in testing. Need I mention "backups"? Nothing will trash your system if you can restore it from a good backup.

To get back to the original situation, don't use DEB packages. Even if you convert them, they may not put files in the same place as VectorLinux does. Opera has long offered packages for Slackware--if there isn't a package in our repo, which is a much better place to get it. We don't live in the Ubuntu world here.

If you do download a DEB, find it with Midnight Commander, highlight the file, and hit F2. One of the options is to convert the DEB to a Slackware TGZ.  Give that a try. Once it's converted, you'll need to su to root and run installpkg nameofconverted.tgz.
Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller