Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Xfce 4.10 Progress Report and SlackBuild

Just a quick progress report on my attempt to build Xfce 4.10:

 First, ralvex has written a SlackBuild for Xfce 4.10. All you have to do is untar the fat tarball and run his script in the directory above it. Now, your mileage may vary. Users at LinuxQuestions reported success with ralvex's script, but it didn't work for me. That said, I'm running Slackware64 + bits of Gnome SlackBuild + bits of Salix + a few modifications of my own design (I'll talk about this all in good time, friends). It may be something I've done that keeps it from running.


The build didn't go so well for me yesterday because I was tired and frustrated before I sat down to work on it. That said, with a little detective work, I found a place where the otherwise excellent documentation will lead you astray. The docs call for you to set $PREFIX before you get to building, but the Makefile looks for $prefix. So, if you've followed the docs precisely, your basic libs will get put in the wrong place and the next stages of the build will throw a fit about outdated files.


Now that I've set the environment variables properly, things are humming along nicely. I've never written a SlackBuild or made a Slackpackage, being a new Slackware user, but I'm reading up on it right now. I'm not a total newb to packaging, though: I used to make RPMs for a little program I wrote.


All that said, the Xfce build documentation is the most clear and concise I have yet to encounter. Kudos to them. Now if only we could get Clem to write build docs for his little desktop environment....


I'm busy having fun at the moment, but there's more to come, Slackers.

UPDATE: Sadly, Xfce seems to be inconsistent in the way it sets its path- and prefix-type environment variables. Xfce-panel throws up red flags when it looks for Exo or Garcon, and it depends on both of these. I'll get this sorted later, but I think a pause is in order so that I might better pursue Slack.

I would love to hear what you think of what I've written, or what you'd like to read about in the future. Please don't be shy about commenting on this page or about adding me on Google Plus, where I share more geeky/Linux things and fewer personal things than I do on other social networks, so I'm more comfortable adding Internet strangers (please don't ask to join my other networks, strangers). 

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