pkgtool Command: Tutorial & Examples

The Slackware package manager

To manage software in a Linux system, you need a package manager. For Slackware Linux and its derivatives, pkgtool is an interactive software management command. The pkgtool command allows you to install, uninstall, and manage software packages with ease.

How pkgtool works and its Importance

The pkgtool command works by reading the package metadata from a Slackware package file, which is typically a .tgz or .txz file. This metadata includes the list of files in the package, the version of the software, and any scripts that need to be run before or after installation or removal.

The importance of pkgtool lies in its simplification of software management. Instead of manually keeping track of which files belong to which software, pkgtool does this for you. This can prevent file conflicts and other issues that might occur when manually managing software.

Common Problems Solved by pkgtool

One of the typical problems solved by pkgtool is the removal of orphaned files. When a package is removed, its files are typically left behind unless you use a package manager like pkgtool to remove them.

Another problem that pkgtool can help solve is dependency resolution. While Slackware does not have automatic dependency resolution as some other Linux distributions do, pkgtool will still inform you of any missing dependencies when you try to install a package.

Examples of using pkgtool

Here are some examples of how to use the pkgtool command:

Installing a package:

pkgtool --install jdk-13.0.1.txz

Uninstalling a package:

pkgtool --remove jdk

Listing installed packages:

pkgtool --list

The output of the pkgtool --list command would look something like this:


Common Parameters of pkgtool

There are several command parameters that you can use with pkgtool:

  • --install <package>: Install a package.
  • --remove <package>: Remove a package.
  • --list: List installed packages.
  • --check <package>: Check if a package is installed.

Things to Be Careful About When Using pkgtool

While pkgtool is a very useful tool, there are some things you need to be careful about when using it. One of the main things is that Slackware does not handle dependencies automatically, so you need to make sure that all dependencies are installed before you install a package.

Another thing to be aware of is that pkgtool does not check for updates to packages. You need to do this manually or use a tool like slackpkg to check for updates.


The pkgtool command is an essential part of managing software on a Slackware Linux system. It simplifies the process of installing, removing, and managing software, making it a must-know command for anyone using Slackware or its derivatives. While it does have some limitations, such as the lack of automatic dependency resolution and update checking, it is still a very powerful and useful tool.

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