Linked by Shahar Weiss on Thu 1st Mar 2007 18:58 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu I've been an Arch user for roughly 3 years. I'm pretty much familiar with it all - The way it boots, its configuration and its package management. I've also heard a lot of good things about Ubuntu, and wanted to try it for a long time. So, two weeks ago, I took the plunge. These are my findings.
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Arch not standards compliant?
by da_Chicken on Thu 1st Mar 2007 22:42 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

Arch Linux seems to do many -- possibly too many -- things its own way. I recently installed Arch (0.8 beta2) to see how it's shaping up, and it kinda surprised me that Arch saw my hard drive as sda while all other distros see it as hda. I also wondered why Arch installs so much stuff under /opt. Also the init system is strange but I don't mind that because Arch boots faster than most other distros.

Now, viewing the list of distros that are LSB compliant (http://www.linux-foundation.org/en/LSB_Distribution_Status ), I'm not really surprised that Arch isn't mentioned here. Can any of you Arch Linux users explain why Arch developers seem to think that it's not important to comply with standards?

This diverging from standards is the main reason why I don't have Arch installed on my computer any more. (Another reason is that Arch has too small package repository, IMO.) Arch has many excellent qualities but, personally, I just find it too weird to really like it.

I like Frugalware better (it's like Slackware with Arch's pacman and a bigger package repo) but Frugalware needs to improve their installer before it can actually become popular.

Reply Score: 2

lucke Member since:
2007-01-07

(s|h)da change was due to the introduction of a new PATa infrastructure (more precisely, move of IDE to libata) in kernel 2.6.19 (IIRC). If you stick to the old infrastructure, there should be no change there. I don't know whether this change of names is due to the upstream (i.e. kernel) change or udev/Arch tricks.

Arch uses a BSD-style initscripts, unlike most of the distros, who use SysV-style ones. They're simple and fast.

There has been pretty much discussion about /opt in Arch - I remember some arguing that Arch actually _is_ conforming to LSB in that regard, more than other distros. Well, seems to be controversial to say the least - I, personally, couldn't care less where KDE or GNOME sits. Since my first contact with LSB, I thought it was kinda out of place.

As for packages, I see ~3200 packages on Frugalware ftp (they might be hiding elsewhere). Currently Arch official repos host ~4000 of them and another 4000 pieces of software are available in AUR as PKGBUILDs. Thus, your point is not valid here.

Rereading your first words, I think it's actually kind of on the contrary - it's all those different distros offering their own GUI tools for all the possible tasks that are doing it their own way. Once you get familiar with one, you're lost in another. Arch tries to follow the KISS principle here, which makes it more transparent - once you learn how to handle it, you will know how to manage on other distros (or even other Unix-likes) as well.

And if you mean "shape up" as "mature", not much to see there. Those versions number are just bumped when there's some major improvement to the installation media. Arch matures together with the OSS community, 1.0 version ain't gonna be a breakthrough in any way.

Honestly, I don't know why I'm advocating for Arch so much ;-) Maybe because it has never let me down.

Reply Parent Score: 2

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

(s|h)da change was due to the introduction of a new PATa infrastructure (more precisely, move of IDE to libata) in kernel 2.6.19 (IIRC). If you stick to the old infrastructure, there should be no change there. I don't know whether this change of names is due to the upstream (i.e. kernel) change or udev/Arch tricks.

I have a sourcemage gnu/linux installation with the 2.6.20 kernel and it still sees my hard drive as hda.

Arch uses a BSD-style initscripts, unlike most of the distros, who use SysV-style ones. They're simple and fast.

Agreed.

As for packages, I see ~3200 packages on Frugalware ftp (they might be hiding elsewhere). Currently Arch official repos host ~4000 of them and another 4000 pieces of software are available in AUR as PKGBUILDs. Thus, your point is not valid here.

I didn't add the AUR repos when I tested Arch, they're not enabled by default. Still, you might have a point there. If I choose all the official Arch repos on their web site (http://www.archlinux.org/packages/search/?repo=all&category=all&q=&... ), I get about 2750 (11 x 250) packages.

On the Frugalware web site I can't do a similar package search but they have 2 DVD ISO images (4.1G + 1.9G) or, alternatively, 11 CD ISO images worth of packages. (http://www4.frugalware.org/pub/linux/distributions/frugalware/fruga... ).

The bottom line for me is that I can find most of the software I need from the Frugalware repos but not from the (official) Arch repos.

Rereading your first words, I think it's actually kind of on the contrary - it's all those different distros offering their own GUI tools for all the possible tasks that are doing it their own way. Once you get familiar with one, you're lost in another. Arch tries to follow the KISS principle here, which makes it more transparent - once you learn how to handle it, you will know how to manage on other distros (or even other Unix-likes) as well.

No, I meant that I find myself a bit lost on the command line in Arch when compared to the other distros I've used -- the file system hierarchy is different in some aspects (their use of /opt, for instance).

Honestly, I don't know why I'm advocating for Arch so much ;-) Maybe because it has never let me down.

Yeah, Arch seems to be a fast, reliable and decently up-to-date distro. I also like their KISS philosophy. But I just find some aspects of Arch a bit weird -- it all comes down to personal preference, I guess. If Arch would comply more closely with standards, I would like it even more than I currently do.

Reply Parent Score: 2

broch Member since:
2006-05-04

I have a sourcemage gnu/linux installation with the 2.6.20 kernel and it still sees my hard drive as hda.

I hope that you understand what would happen if Ubuntu would switch from hda to sda within 1 version release....
(hint 99% of ubuntu users with formerly hda devices would scream that kernel panics and can't boot)

Anyway, since 2.6.19 you can eaither select old way of device naming (separate hda and sda) or new (experimental) way of naming: all pata and sata are sda now.

This has not much to do with Arch but more to do with kernel development. Simply read lklm.

Reply Parent Score: 1