Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Tue 11th Aug 2009 00:47 UTC
Linux Hot off the compilation press, Arch Linux comes to its full 2009.08 grandeur with a myriad of new and updated features, including exciting new additions to be utilized in the AIF (Arch Linux Installation Framework) and more, detailed within.
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RE[3]: Congratulations Arch Linux
by lemur2 on Thu 13th Aug 2009 13:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Congratulations Arch Linux"
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Well, the toughest that can happen to you is that some services stop working because the configs you had are not compatible any more. Warnings about this are normally printed during the update and can also be found in the pacman (package manager) log file.

Back in the early days, there was a lot going on with udev as a replacement of devfs etc. which could even make your system fail to boot. Here, crucial changes had to be made, like editing grub config. All the changes needed to stay compatible in general have to be done manually.

So every time you do an update: Watch out the messages printed and perhaps gather additional information on the website/forums.

Situation has improved a lot in the last years:
1. big changes like the transition to udev which led to "breakage" of the whole system are over
2. pacman and packaging policies have been improved to make life easier for the user (compatibility warnings were not common back then, you had to read them on the website)
3. for really tricky cases, even Arch starts using transition scripts (lately: change from vt* to tty -- nothing to be done by the user to keep the system booting/running)

I have tried a lot of Linux distributions, so I thought I'd give Arch 2009.08 a try. Here are the "mandraulic" things I had to do, that I haven't had to do on other distributions.

1. On first install of the core, I had a command prompt, and had to log in as root. I used another machine, side-by-side, to view the "beginners setup" wiki page, and I followed the instructions I found there. A lot of people would stumble right here, before they have even begun.

2. The wiki page instructions allowed me to install xorg and test it. Good. I had to guess a bit with editing rc.conf, but it wasn't too bad ... but I had to just know to add myself as a user. I used adduser, and followed all the defaults, which was a mistake as it later turned out.

3. I went to the chakra-project wiki, and found out how to add the kdemod repositories. Another manual edit, as it turns out, this time for pacman.conf. But OK, fair enough, after a very large download I had KDE 4.3 installed.

4. I booted, and most everything worked but not sound. Bummer. I looked at the logs ... seemed OK. I looked at the sound diagnostic commands given on the wiki ... yes, drivers were loaded, but I had no mixer. alsamixer wasn't installed, so I found it and installed it ... it wouldn't run. I scratched my head for a long while before the penny dropped ... and I added myself to the audio group and all was well (this was my mistake in following the defaults in the initial adduser). Oh well, live and learn.

5. Shaman doesn't work currently ... it always reports corrupt packages downloaded. I've had to use pacman from the command line.

6. I added firefox. Incredibly ugly look (the default Raleigh GTK theme ... shudder). I happen to know the answer to this one though, so I installed gnome-themes and gtk-chtheme, I ran gtk-chtheme and selected the glossy theme. Much better ... now firefox fits in reasonably well with the rest of KDE 4.3.

All in all ... a nice enough distro, it runs very fast (especially with KDE 4.3) but it is very mandraulic and it doesn't score well IMO for "out of the box polish".

... but having said that, once you sort the issues and get it set up nicely ... it really does fly.

Edited 2009-08-13 13:06 UTC

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