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.
Thread beginning with comment 217885
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
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

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

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 FHS link you provided doesn't say that "large, standalone, 3rd party add-ons should be installed in /opt". Instead, it says that "Add-on application software packages" go under /opt. What is considered "add-on applications" remains a matter of interpretation. Very few distros seem to think that important applications like Mozilla and the DE's are merely "add-ons" -- and hence they don't install those applications in /opt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard

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 just find it easier if the application executables go all consistently under /usr/bin, and so on. It's a matter of personal preference, I guess. I just don't like the Arch-specific way.

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".

Hmm... Is it possible to search these AUR archives via web browser? If I can find all my favourite apps (or their functional equivalents), I might give Arch another go (despite the weird /opt policy) when 0.8 comes out.

Reply Parent Score: 3

monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

It's a matter of personal preference, I guess. I just don't like the Arch-specific way.

That's fine, I didn't like it either, when I first used it. Our mutual dislike doesn't make it any less standards-compliant than any other distro, though (I believe RHEL is the only truly LSB-compliant distro, by the way).

Hmm... Is it possible to search these AUR archives via web browser?

It most certainly is! Take a gander at the main package search ( http://www.archlinux.org/packages/search/ ) and the AUR search ( http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php ). Bask in the warm glow of package-consumption bliss.

I might give Arch another go (despite the weird /opt policy) when 0.8 comes out.

Go for it. You might even like it. Don't bother waiting for 0.8, though. Arch has a rolling release system, so the numbers only indicate a new installer or ISO. You could install 0.7.2-base (or 0.1, for that matter) and then update all your packages to their most recent form with a single command (`pacman -Syu`).

It really is that simple ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1