May 10, 2009

Slackware Package Format Changed

 

Some people have asked why we don't pick a single extension, such as
.slk. While there's certainly a case to be made for that idea, the tools
would still need to support .tgz to handle older packages. Sticking with
".tgz" for everything makes no sense. Using extensions that reflect the
compression format used by the package envelope seems to be the most
transparent approach, and the one that best follows tradition.
As an example of the compression improvement with .txz, have a look
at the kernel-source package:
Before: kernel-source-2.6.29.2_smp-noarch-1.tgz (73808508 bytes)
After: kernel-source-2.6.29.2_smp-noarch-1.txz (49150104 bytes)
The size of the main package tree in /slackware has been reduced from
1.9GB to 1.4GB by converting most packages to .txz.
Most of the packages have been converted from .tgz to .txz, but we
will continue to make the gzip, pkgtools, slackpkg, tar, and xz packages
in .tgz format for the foreseeable future.
Enjoy! And thanks to Lasse Collin for the great work on xz. :-) 

 So, this means that the package extension , compression mechanism and size have changed. This is a good thing for Slackware users, as of the May 09, 2009 Changelog the complete size of the Slackware-Current(using txz) directory is 3.6 Gigabytes compared the Slackware-12.2(using tgz) size of 4.1 gigabytes.  This will allow Pat and the maintainers to include more optional packages and still maintain a size that fits on a single DVD. The increased potential for more out-of-the-box applications to be included in the standard installation is quite nice and interesting, if you consider all of the functionality that is possible with a full installation of Slackware 12.2 and think to the future there is a lot more that we will be able to do in the future releases of Slackware.

 

I thank the maintainers of Slackware for their hard work and look forward to all future changes that they will introduce.