Home > Linux > Arch Linux Founder Lays Out Plan Arch Linux Founder Lays Out Plan Eugenia Loli 2005-09-30 Linux 59 Comments Judd Vinet, Arch Linux’s founder, posted a message discussing the future of his distro and his plans. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 59 Comments 2005-09-30 10:07 pm yanik Keep up the good work. I used it a lot last year, it’s kind of a slackware/debian/gentoo mix (hard to believe, isn’t it!). I really liked it. Pacman is a very fast package manager and Arch runs very fast too. I swear I’ll come back for Arch 1.0. 2005-09-30 10:19 pm remenic Indeed, I have used Archlinux for a few months too. It’s really fast, and really easy to use (for experienced users). The distro seems to be put together with great care. Unfortunately, the software repository isn’t as huge as I’d like. I made packages myself, but in the end my lazyness got the best of me. I went back to Gentoo. 2005-09-30 10:31 pm Eugenia Loli When I am on Linux, I only use Arch. I agree that packages are not too many in the -Current tree (people don’t really like hunting elsewhere, like in the TUR stuff that some times break things) and so I find myself compiling the apps I need manually. I don’t do pacman packages as it is pretty involving (it is not as straight forward as on Slackware with Checkinstall) and I am lazy too. 2005-09-30 10:42 pm stavrosg I stuck on arch specifically because of the ease of making custom packages, and the fact that usually you get the latest stable version of any available app. I came here from slackware, so I am not afraid to compile things from source, but it is just… messy, and surely a pity for not letting pacman know about it. 😉 Your claim is valid, though, that’s why scripts like creapkg [ http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?t=14427 ] started to show up. 2005-09-30 10:50 pm actually as far as checkinstall goes, we have a couple of (more or less) equivalents i personally use creapkg: ./configure –prefix=/usr (prefix isn’t actually needed thats to keep it inline with the placement guidelines of arch) make make prefix=/location/pkg install creapkg and it will make a package for you, a little more work than check install but still less work than writing your own PKGBUILD although i wouldn’t call the abs ‘pretty involving’ compared to anything other than checkinstall and just standard make install actually i think the latest few versions will even do the building for you. http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?t=14427&start=0 Arch has actually has some pretty cool toys these days 2005-09-30 10:34 pm Joe User Eugenia, I suggest you give MS Linux a try: http://www.mslinux.org 2005-09-30 10:42 pm Is this a response to Eugenia’s blog entry? http://slashdot.org/~Eugenia%20Loli/journal/117306 Anyway, I like both Arch and Slackware, and Frugalware seems to combine the best parts of these two excellent GNU/Linux distros. Still, Arch is a small distro and it’s a bit strange that it receives such visibility at OSNews. Friends in the right places seem to be useful. :-p 2005-09-30 10:47 pm Eugenia Loli >Is this a response to Eugenia’s blog entry? Yes, it kinda is. After I wrote that blog entry, I filed a support request a few days ago asking explanations for the slow-going of Arch. Judd followed up with his announcement today and cleared up a few things. And to thank him, I posted his announcement here as I believe it was an important one. And yes, friends in high places always help, but this doesn’t mean that Arch was really helped by osnews. The last Arch Linux news story we had on osnews was many-many months ago (March to be exact). 2005-09-30 11:46 pm Yea, I think it’s precisely the context that makes this message a news-worthy item: OSNews editor questions the recent progress in Arch Linux and the chief developer of Arch Linux responds. Anyway, it’s good to hear that everything is fine with Arch Linux. 🙂 2005-09-30 11:32 pm Sound’s like Arch needs a dev force, such as Gentoo and Debian, to manage the repository. 2005-10-01 12:24 am Beresford Same impression I got, there are just not enough people to do all the work that needs to be done. But how can you fix that? 2005-10-01 12:22 am and one thread back from this post, a pacman dev throws in the towel.. interesting. 2005-10-01 12:33 am Beresford mm, strange. I haven’t heard anything bad said about the people that maintain Arch so maybe it’s just a coincidence? 2005-10-01 1:04 am Arch is more widely used than most people credit it for, I’d contribute to it but I have like ~0 time. 2005-10-01 2:21 am msg43 I am a loyal arch users. I agree that a few more devs might be useful but the devs we have now are great. They have been spending a lot of time in the testing repo because of gcc 4, qt 4, gnome 2.12, kde packages, and others. Arch is a great distro if you want the best of slackware and gentoo. 2005-10-01 2:57 am Note: This comment in no way represents the grammar skills of the Arch community. 2005-10-01 2:58 am are you for real, wow, seems that Arch users are certifiable retards 2005-10-01 2:23 am I use&love archlinux on 2 servers and one workstation. I think it’s the best ditro out there for advanced linux users. All people that praise apt-get should take a look on pacman. However, I’d love to see pacman using a better DB system. 2005-10-01 2:31 am well you could look at rubix or frugalware 2005-10-01 4:19 am jdrake Why would one use arch in particular? It looks like some great comments on how it is put together with care. I have gone from Debian to Ubuntu recently and found Debian -testing (etch) very stable and nice, just not too upto date on the gnome thing. Ubuntu seems to be nice, but not as ‘polished’ and stable as Debian. I have to remove Ubuntu likely. If I were to try Arch how does it compare? 2005-10-01 5:01 am re_re well, Arch is i686 optimized for starters and chances are that you will notice a significant difference in speed from debian proper. secondly, Arch tends to be a bit more of a power users distro than Debian, you have more options when installing a package than you do in debian. now, on the downside…. the Arch documentation is not as good as debian’s documentation which means more searching to get questions and problems resolved. Arch is my definitly in my personal top 3 distros (Gentoo, Arch, Debian) in that order. generally I use Arch on systems that are not fast enough to compile the whole system (Gentoo), and Debian stable on mission critical systems. 2005-10-01 7:32 am butters “now, on the downside…. the Arch documentation is not as good as debian’s documentation which means more searching to get questions and problems resolved.” Which gets me back to a primary theme I often express here: stop complaining and do something about it!! Everyone’s got their particular skillset. Not everyone has a degree in computer science or computer engineering. But everyone here knows how to write (some better than others). If you’re suggesting that Arch documentation is bad, then visit the Wiki and write an entry: http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Main_Page It’s a freakin’ wiki!! Click the edit button and do something!! 2005-10-01 11:29 am hornett well, Arch is i686 optimized for starters and chances are that you will notice a significant difference in speed from debian proper. Every time news about Arch is posted, this gets mentioned – does any body know of a benchmark prove it? I would of thought more distros would be built for i686 if it actually made noticable improvement. 2005-10-01 2:18 pm I don’t have benchmakrs, but I can tell you that Arch feels significantly faster than other distros…and I’ve tried quite a few. The difference, though, is not the optimizations, it’s the KISS ideology. Arch is the best Linux distro I’ve ever used. Since I tried it, I’ve gotten the itch to try a couple of other distros, but I always come back. My favroite OS! 2005-10-01 5:28 pm sepht I put together some bootcharts with Arch, If that counts as comparing them: http://geocities.com/sephiroth230 systemwise, it feels that firefox loads without serious hang issues at start only on Gentoo, Arch, Slackware, etc. on FC4, Ubuntu it seems to freeze for a few seconds for me. As for GLXGears, I did a quick thing with Gentoo and Arch, same nvidia drivers, same Xorg version, both running KDM+Failsafe WM. 160 FPS for Gentoo, 165 for Arch. Anyways, thats all my expirence, if you guys have had a different expirence, please post it. 2005-10-01 6:01 pm jaboua I had the same experience. Arch Linux boots faster on my box than gentoo. Pacman is neat, and beats the pants off apt-get. Bleeding edge packages, especially in testing. And as said, it feels a LOT faster… I have nothing else to say than this is the best binary distro I’ve ever tried! The only problems I’ve ever encountered with it was to find out how to search for packages (pacman -Ss didn’t appear to me, I was continuosly trying pacman -s package..) and when I once upgraded the whole system to -testing, installed the nvidia drivers and it would’nt load… It took a while to realize that I had to compile the kernel + the nvidia drivers with the same GCC :$ 2005-10-01 8:21 pm “I put together some bootcharts with Arch, If that counts as comparing them:” very interesting, and useful stuff. One thing I wonder though, when you say they are all on the same HD, do you mean they are all on the same partition (not at the same time obviously)? Where they are on the disk can make quite a difference, as you get much faster reads on the outer edge of the platter* I saw this in action myself when I moved debian from /dev/hda7 to /dev/hda1 and swap from /dev/hda8 to /dev/hdb1 (everything was at the end at first since I installed it in free space after windows. Once windows went away, I could move it to the beginning of the disk). I didn’t reinstall, just moved everything over, and speed bumped up very noticeably. Just something to take into account.. Obviously any differences there won’t overcome inefficient serial processing of startup scripts, or too many things running on startup, but you could run them all on the same partition to be sure. -MO * http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/geom/tracksZBR-c.html for example 2005-10-01 7:46 am butters “Why would one use arch in particular? It looks like some great comments on how it is put together with care… I have to remove Ubuntu likely. If I were to try Arch how does it compare?” The best I can do is point you here: http://www.archlinux.org/docs/en/guide/install/arch-install-guide.h… The beginning is the install documentation, not very exciting. The second half, where it describes how Arch is configured, how to install and manage packages, and how to build you own packages, is the interesting part. Like sweiss says, Arch is extremely simple. The entire project overcomes its small size by being easy to understand and easy to contribute to. Everything there is to know about Arch can be learned in less than an hour. Even less if all you care about it installation, configuration, and usage. 2005-10-01 4:29 am butters If you read OSNews comments a bit, you know I’m pretty much all over the map… I have my reasons. However in real life I’m a longtime Gentoo user who has gotten fed up with the post-drobbins direction of the project and switched to Arch. Why? Because Arch realized that developers want a source-based distro and users want a binary-based distro. So why not give everyone what they want? If you’ve ever felt like you have something to contribute, yet here you sit on the sidelines, Arch is the place for you. There is no community distribution that compared with respect to low barriers of entry. Although I could never figure out how to write a proper ebuild (it’s pretty complicated), it took me a few minutes to understand PKGBUILD. And you can use your PKGBUILD to produce a binary package that you can share with the community with a single command. Before I first installed Arch, I helped write an (alternate) installer, archbootstrap. Not only does it install a current base package set, but it can also produce a base tarball. I got the idea from Gentoo, and it took me a couple nights to apply the same concepts to Arch. The forums eerily remind me of the Gentoo forums cerca 2002. Within hours of my first posting, people were responding to encourage my work. Hopefully I can convince the Arch releng team to push up-to-date tarballs out to the mirrors so that releases like 0.7.1 are neither long-overdue nor completely necessary. Newbies suck the life out of community projects. That’s what happened to Gentoo. Too many leechers, not enough seeders. If you love slackware but want dependency resolution, if you love gentoo but want binary packages, if love debian but want to contribute, then come with me to where the grass is greener. If your Gentoo forums posts look like “Getting an error trying to emerge -uavD world,” then please reassess your priorities and try something else. 2005-10-01 6:02 am … is in a simple little server box I have. It’s only a Pentium 2 (200 some MHz), has 128mb RAM, and a 1.5GB harddrive. Arch was simply the best choice to set up a nice tiny server OS on. The installation process is a snap, it took far less time to fiddle around before I got everything up and running, and the package manager was quite speedy. I’ve got a Ventrilo, Web, and FTP server on there, and I can easily SSH in (no monitor connected, whoo) and do as I please. Took so little effort after using Gentoo, me likes. 2005-10-01 6:40 am well, Arch is i686 optimized for starters and chances are that you will notice a significant difference in speed from debian proper. I have an AMD64,FreeBSD,SuSE,Gentoo,just do fine. Why? Because Arch realized that developers want a source-based distro and users want a binary-based distro. Well some exeptions aside there aren’t much differences between the Gentoo users,almost all users are dev,scientist,student,sysadmin,or have been.Want ultimate freedom and or have more brains than cashflow?,go gentoo.This is even more true for FreeBSD.That’s why i like them both. 2005-10-01 7:16 am butters “Well some exeptions aside there aren’t much differences between the Gentoo users,almost all users are dev,scientist,student,sysadmin,or have been.Want ultimate freedom and or have more brains than cashflow?,go gentoo.This is even more true for FreeBSD.That’s why i like them both.” I appreciate the comparison to FreeBSD. Gentoo was supposed to be “FreeBSD for Linux.” A complete source-based system with an equal focus on binary packaging. A quote from the philosophy page (written by Daniel Robbins and not updated since): “It’s important that our tools support binary packages, because binary packages are widely used and widely in demand in the Linux community. If our tools don’t support binary packages, then we can’t claim that our tools are designed to allow a user to do anything he or she might want to do. If we purposely choose to exclude binary support, then we are attempting to interfere with how users might choose to approach particular problems, by instead imposing our own will or view of how they should approach a problem. And if we do not build binary packages, then we are not taking any steps to ensure that our tools actually work well with binary packages, nor are we taking steps to ensure that others can build binary packages, nor are we able to *demonstrate* that our tools work well with binary packages. Besides these philosophical reasons, there are many practical reasons to create binary packages.” But, for some reason, the direction of the project has changed to reflect a different philosophy. The developers have soundly rejected building binary packages unless they are already built by upstream (firefox, openoffice…). They’re understaffed, they say. The “new” leadership at Gentoo is getting at the fact that Portage isn’t flexible enough to allow for a user to produce a binary package when he runs emerge. With a tiny fraction of the developers, Arch has succeeded where Gentoo has failed. They have a powerful source-based system (which is more like FreeBSD Ports than Portage is, by the way), and they have found a way for users to leverage this capability to produce binary packages. All of this requires no skills beyond bash and make. There are differences between Gentoo users. They span the spectrum between Linux gurus with over 10 years of FOSS development experience to complete newbies installing Linux for the first time (masochists). The only market that Gentoo seems to have no intentions of grasping is the vast majority of users that don’t want to compile anything. Where’s the freedom in that? It exists only in the official Gentoo philosophy and nowhere else. I don’t wish to insight the wrath of Gentoo fanboys. You don’t want to get into this with me. I’ve installed Gentoo more times than you, I’ve administered more Gentoo machines than you, I’ve been using Gentoo longer than you, I have more posts on the Gentoo forums than you (most of you). I just want to point out that if you’re looking for ultimate freedom and a FreeBSD-like experience on Linux, then the answer is Arch, not Gentoo. At least on x86/x86-64 machines… 2005-10-01 7:19 am sweiss Arch is Arch. It is simple, in every respect. At least so it seems to me as an end user, and that is definitely a good thing. I like the clearness of /etc, I like the fact packages are nothing more than a tar.gz file. I like the fact I didn’t actually have to learn anything new in order to build proper packages. I like the fact you only have to edit one configuration file for the operating system, instead of wondering around the filesystem. In a way, Arch does not really offer anything new. But what it does offer, it offers with great and simple implementation. That is Arch. 2005-10-01 8:25 am I just want to point out that if you’re looking for ultimate freedom and a FreeBSD-like experience on Linux, then the answer is Arch, not Gentoo. At least on x86/x86-64 machines… Well if you want a FreeBSD like experience on Linux you might want to try Arch (for x86) or Gentoo (for alpha,x86,x86_64,ppc-32bit,ppc-64bit,SPARC..) :-0 What makes a X Linux distro (good)? I think it’s for some part the users perception,the other parts i think are;good documentation,a large user-base, a good (and fast) update and download server network worldwide,updates around the clock,”on time” patches,a nifty (powerfull) package manager,enhanced security tools/frameworks/technology,large easy accessible repository,a healthy and strict (written)code of conduct. The rest everyone can fill in for themselves i think. 2005-10-01 8:30 am the best source+bin+performance+easy-to-mantein distro.. but we need more packages!!! Like beagle, alexandria, eclipse plugins… 2005-10-01 6:19 pm jaboua At least you get some more packages if you enable the “community” (and “unstable” for unreleased software/in progress snapshots)respiratory… 2005-10-01 8:55 am well there is 586 and an amd64 port, the packages aren’t all there but i don’t think porting the packages is terribly difficult. i don’t know how easy a sparc port would be but as simple as arch is if there was significant interest in non x86’s it probably wouldn’t take to much (comparitive) effort. 2005-10-01 9:05 am zihui Before I move to Arch, I was in Suse. No offense to SuSe fans, but Arch is much more faster! Pacman is an “up2date + yum + rpm_ivh”, and it upgrades/installs things in a better way. Arch is extremely easy to use, but not that way as the rpm based Linux: There are no official GUI port for pacman. http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/The_Arch_Way — “Don’t let configure tools / GUIs control the system but be controlled by the user.” P.S. It’s so sweet that Damir, one of the maintainer add some of the best input methoods for Chinese/Japan/Korea guys like me. 2005-10-01 10:18 am Hi, * arch is fast * arch is clean * arch is simple * arch wants YOU to create your config files (as arch is simple and clean, those are not that much) * arch makes it easy to build packages and contribute * arch makes it easy to modify/upgrade existing packages for your own wishes * arch is a hell of up to date; it is easy to be even more up to date installing some packages by hand from testing/unstable (like gcc 4, openoffice 2) * arch has a very nice community, very helpful irc channels (#archlinux freenode.net) and good written HOWTOs in wiki * arch packages are well done * sending bugreports is no waste of time as they are worked on ==> If you know how to setup some cfgs (xorg is the most complicated) you will get a system that boots fast, works at it should and lets you get productive quickly. Also you will have the opportunity(!) to involve yourself more into the system you are running and its progress… BTW: I installed arch on several system of friends, brother, girls, and those are just running; no complaints nothing to do for me! Ford Prefect 2005-10-01 8:18 pm ==> If you know how to setup some cfgs (xorg is the most complicated) Actually it takes just a few seconds to (auto)configure X under Arch Linux: pacman -Sy hwd lshwd hwd -x …and a fresh xorg.conf is waiting for you at the /etc/x11 dir. More than that, it just works 98 times out of 100! 2005-10-01 3:54 pm It’s not only i686, its also stripping debug symbols. One could argue it’s not significant. My own experience with a celeron 533: Under debian I couldn’t work with any gtk2 app seriously, as they were slow as hell. I avoided them and stuck with gtk1 where I could. Then I tried out arch, where there were no gtk1 packages I could have set on “hold”.. so I had to use the gtk2 ones. But they were, while still being slow, fast enough to be usable. 2005-10-01 6:44 pm It’s not only i686, its also stripping debug symbols. No, Arch doesn’t do that, you’re thinking of Yoper. That would go against Arch’s KISS philosophy. Arch is i686-optimized and that’s it. 2005-10-02 8:16 am butters “It’s not only i686, its also stripping debug symbols. No, Arch doesn’t do that, you’re thinking of Yoper. That would go against Arch’s KISS philosophy. Arch is i686-optimized and that’s it.” Actually, he was right. Arch’s makepkg command strips debug symbols and removes other cruft as well. Although this might be a matter of opinion, I think that this feature is in line with the KISS philosophy. It is also in line with the classic engineering adage: perfection in design is reached not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove. 2005-10-02 12:27 pm Luke McCarthy Arch’s makepkg command strips debug symbols and removes other cruft as well. Unfortunately it doesn’t strip out the utterly useless .comment section (which just grows and grows with multiple copies of “GCC: (GNU) 3.4.3” or similar). Something they might consider — objcopy -R can do this. 2005-10-02 2:41 pm Unfortunately it doesn’t strip out the utterly useless .comment section (which just grows and grows with multiple copies of “GCC: (GNU) 3.4.3” or similar). Something they might consider — objcopy -R can do this. If you want some feature to be included, just use Arch’s bugtracker 😉 2005-10-01 9:05 pm Mystilleef Comparing Gentoo to Arch is a big joke. Here you are comparing the primer source based distro on Linux to … I don’t even know where to place Arch. I don’t partake in distro pissing contests, because I have better things to do. But you guys have crossed your boundaries. Where do I begin? Documentation, check! Hardware platforms, check! User base, check!, Knowledge base, check! Support forums and sites, check! Software repository, check! Internationalisation, check! Unprecedent number of software packages barring Debian, check! Resources, check! Experienced teams, check! If any distro is worth comparing to Gentoo, it is Debian. Arch is cute and all. But it transcends human logic to compare it to the number one source-based distro on Linux. 2005-10-01 9:32 pm I believe part of the point is that Gentoo is pretty much only source based, while arch offers binary packages as well for those who want them. If one is looking for binary packages, arch > gentoo. /haven’t used arch 2005-10-01 9:49 pm Mystilleef Arch’s competition is Debian, not Gentoo. And I wouldn’t put it on the same scale or caliber as Debian. How fanboys automagically compare Arch to Gentoo dumbfounds me. If you need to compare Arch to anything, begin with Ubuntu, or Fedora. Gentoo is not only out of Arch’s league, it is pointless to compare a source based distro especially for system administrators, developers, power users and enthusiasts to binary based distro that is just finding its feet. What next? If one is looking for binary packages, Ubuntu > LFS. Well, duh! 2005-10-02 6:17 am chip_0 Actually, you can use Arch pretty much like a gentoo stage 2, that is, get a precompiled base system, and compile the rest of the system from source, if you so wish. So comparing arch to gentoo is not so far off. You could just as well compare it to slackware or debian, but arch linux is after all something which takes the best from all three. For purely binary packages, debian would be a great choice, and for purely source ones, gentoo would win. But if you want the ability to choose what you want for a situation, then arch has the edge. Comparing it to Ubuntu is pointless, as ubuntu is a desktop distro with ease of use as its goal. Not so true about arch. Anyway, if you don’t like arch, feel free to use gentoo or whatever you like, but saying that gentoo is out of arch’s league is stupid. 2005-10-02 8:56 am butters “For purely binary packages, debian would be a great choice, and for purely source ones, gentoo would win. But if you want the ability to choose what you want for a situation, then arch has the edge.” Yes, this is exactly my point. Arch is the only distribution that offers users the choice to compile packages from source or install binary packages, both with complete support for dependencies. I concede that Gentoo’s source-based system is a little bit more elegant than Arch’s. However, you can still set your ricer CFLAGS, and you can edit the configure flags in the PKGBUILD files. Some aspects are better with Arch. For example, you don’t need an overlay to compile packages that aren’t in ABS, and you don’t need package.mask/unmask/provided/keywords files to override versioning or dependecies. The man pages for portage/emerge/ebuild total more than 140,000 characters. The man pages for pacman/makepkg total less than 35,000 characters. 2005-10-01 9:52 pm Mystilleef By the way, Gentoo does offer binary packages for prominent software. But that’s besides the point. Anyway this thread is getting off track. Back to Arch. 2005-10-02 12:08 am Beresford I think people are more comparing the speed and simplicity of the distro’s. 2005-10-02 12:20 am Mystilleef Except that speed and simplicity are relative attributes. Besides, isn’t Gentoo reputed to be one of the fastest if not fastest Linux distro? I don’t know any other distro that lets you tweak compiler optimizations like Gentoo. To the point where Gentoo users are reputed to be ricers, for better or worse. 2005-10-02 8:00 pm Come on, arch is a very low quality distro. Their packages are some of the lowest quality ones I’ve ever seen… That distro is for people who know little enough to never realise how broken their system is. This is certainly explained by the fact that most Arch devs and contributers are very young, often unexperimented geeks who don’t really master their subject. More importantly, security updates sometimes take weeks to show up, and there’s absolutely no security mechanism in place to guarantee you that the packages you install from your mirror have not been tampered with… All in all, the most hideously wasted bandwidth in the world 2005-10-03 11:57 am butters “Their packages are some of the lowest quality ones I’ve ever seen…” I don’t how you quantify package quality. In the end it comes down to the patches applied and the configure flags used to compile, I guess. If you have a problem with the way some other distribution does it, let’s say Fedora or one of Debian distros, then you have to build the package yourself. If you have a problem with the way the Arch developers do it, then you just add your patches and flags to the PKGBUILD and run makepkg. At least with Arch, you get a file that clearly lays out how the package was built. In the others, it’s pretty much anyone’s guess. “This is certainly explained by the fact that most Arch devs and contributers are very young, often unexperimented geeks who don’t really master their subject.” I don’t know how you determine the average age of Arch developers, or that of other distributions, for that matter. However, there are many teenagers out there with unbelievable skills. These kids grew up with home computers. Last week I had to explain a local stack vulnerability to a ~60 year-old UNIX developer who’s been developing network software in C for most of my lifetime (I’m 23). I didn’t have a computer with a hard drive until I was 13. The generation younger than me is going to be tough competition in the job market. “there’s absolutely no security mechanism in place to guarantee you that the packages you install from your mirror have not been tampered with… ” Yes there is. makepkg checks the md5 checksum of every source file when building packages, and pacman checks the md5 of the package tarball against the repository master list when installing binary packages. If a malicious party hijacks a mirror or sets up a rogue mirror, then I guess you could be tricked into installing a bad package. This is a risk you assume on pretty much any distribution that has network repositories. Compare this to installing some rpm, deb, pbi, exe that you download from a third-party website. “All in all, the most hideously wasted bandwidth in the world ” No, that would be spam, shortly followed by stupid blog postings. 2005-10-03 6:42 pm kierkegaard –> “most Arch devs and contributers are very young, often unexperimented geeks who don’t really master their subject.” Yes, that’s true: arch often experiments on its young. 2005-10-02 8:04 pm Poor arch users, see the light! Quit your Crappy shitstem, and switch toone of the only two decent distros out there… Fedora, or SUSE. Anything else is just a waste of your precious time, and you know it… 2005-10-02 11:20 pm May I present to you the mantra of open source: “If you don’t like it, don’t bitch about it, fork it” 2005-10-06 4:18 pm Really? I switched to arch since madrake and fedora always broke themselves (never tried SUSE since they made me lose faith in rpm) from a simple update and Gentoo gave me a bruise on my forehead from me banging my head on the desk waiting for kde to finish compiling. For some reference, what was the revision number at when you tried Arch? I started at nova (0.5) and never had a problem with the packages… none that didn’t make front page on the site, anyway. > This is certainly explained by the fact that most >Arch devs and contributers are very young, often >unexperimented geeks who don’t really master their >subject. Yeah, because there’s no such thing as an amazing young programmer…*mumble*DVD Jon*mumble* > More importantly, security updates sometimes take >weeks to show up, and there’s absolutely no security >mechanism in place to guarantee you that the >packages you install from your mirror have not been >tampered with… Speaking of not mastering the subject, the only time an update, security or otherwise, has taken weeks to be released was during the libtool-slay project. And even then, the updates were available in testing. And in the unlikely event that something like that were to occur, you could just modify the version number in the package build and compile the package yourself. >All in all, the most hideously wasted bandwidth in > the world Sorry, but that title goes to downloading all 15 (or whatever their up to now) of the debian CDs.