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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monodeldiablo
Member since:
2005-07-06

It appears to me that your major hangup is the use of /opt for, as the Arch Packaging Standards call them, "Large self-contained packages" (see http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_Packaging_Standards#Direct... ). If you'll give the LSB a read-through, though, you'll see that, actually, this is the preferred use of /opt (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard ). Thus, I don't feel it's fair to accuse the Arch developers of not being "standards compliant". Technically speaking, Debian and its derivatives violate the LSB by not using RPM, if you want to be nit-picky ;)

Also, a straight-up and simple package count (using Pacman) gives me 8,035 packages in Arch's repos (including the 'community' repo). Frugalware gave me 3,296. Even without including the 'community' repo, Arch still has 5,426 packages available. Hopefully this resolves any confusion over repo size (although I encourage everybody to check my numbers).

Of course, I'd be interested in which packages you can't find in any of Arch's repos. I'd recommend you give the AUR a look-through and, if you don't find what you like, submit something (making packages for Arch is so ridiculously easy, I almost prefer it to binary installs... almost).

Regarding the hda->sda debacle, I believe that this is, indeed, due to an underlying change in the kernel structure (see http://www.archlinux.org/news/272/ ). Maybe SourceMage is doing some magic (no pun intended)?

And finally, I've found most of the devs and maintainers to be helpful, affable, flexible folks. If there's something you don't like, the community seems pretty open to debate and criticism (assuming you don't come out swinging with accusations, presumptions and foregone conclusions).

Arch *does* comply with standards, arguably more closely than any other major (or minor) distro. I think you might just be confusing "standards" with "your comfort zone", in which case, the entire OSS world isn't complying with Microsoft's "standards" ;)

Give it another go. I think you'll like it once you get used to its eccentricities (like any other distro).

Reply Parent Score: 1

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

It appears to me that your major hangup is the use of /opt for, as the Arch Packaging Standards call them, "Large self-contained packages"

It's just that very few distros install Mozilla and/or the DE's under /opt. In this sense I find the Arch solution non-standard and inconsistent.

Regarding the hda->sda debacle, I believe that this is, indeed, due to an underlying change in the kernel structure

Maybe you're right. It seems to be a recent change in Arch and if I see a similar change happening in other distros, then I'll admit that it's not specific to Arch alone.

Of course, I'd be interested in which packages you can't find in any of Arch's repos.

There were several pieces of commonly used software that I couldn't find from Arch repos using pacman's search function. Unfortunately I've already forgotten what I searched for. Terminus-font, at least, was one of those that I missed -- it's my favourite font for terminals.

Reply Parent Score: 2

monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

It's just that very few distros install Mozilla and/or the DE's under /opt. In this sense I find the Arch solution non-standard and inconsistent.

Again, as I said, just because Arch is different doesn't mean it doesn't comply with standards. By the definition of the LSB, large, standalone, 3rd party add-ons should be installed in /opt (take a look at the link I posted earlier, as well as any number of discussions on the FHS).

The "standard" you're applying is as arbitrary as saying that, because Firefox doesn't render pages like IE5, it's not standards-compliant. Arch *is* complying with the standard, arguably better than the big boys, which seems to be the source of your gripe.

Perhaps what you meant is that it's not "familiar", in which case, I would agree. However, I think Judd and the Arch devs chose this for a very good reason. I and many others (i.e. the entire Arch dev team and maintainership) find this rule very helpful. Need to find a Gnome/KDE/Mozilla-related file? It's a hell of a lot easier with the /opt layout than the /usr/each_project_has_its_own_whacked_out_structure layout.

I was with Arch in the early days, when the /opt rule wasn't heavily enforced and /usr was a hellish backwater of symlinks and redundant directories. It was ugly and it *required* an `slocate x` to find what you wanted. We live in enlightened times.

It seems to be a recent change in Arch and if I see a similar change happening in other distros, then I'll admit that it's not specific to Arch alone.

It is. A simple Google search will turn up forum discussions (and complaints) about this change in Debian, Knoppix, Suse and many others.

There were several pieces of commonly used software that I couldn't find from Arch repos using pacman's search function. Unfortunately I've already forgotten what I searched for. Terminus-font, at least, was one of those that I missed -- it's my favourite font for terminals.

Enable the 'community' repo in /etc/pacman.conf and perform a search for 'terminus-font'. Alternately, check the AUR online (here's the package: http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?do_Details=1&ID=4809 ). Note that, in my numbers earlier, I failed to mention the thousands of packages in the AUR that aren't even in the 'community' repo for lack of widespread interest. If you can't find a package, chances are high it doesn't exist or it's changed its name ;)

As always, I'd recommend checking the AUR and the main package search. It only takes a moment and prevents you from being able to claim that Arch "doesn't have many packages".

Reply Parent Score: 1