Home > Linux > Arch Linux 0.7 beta2 released Arch Linux 0.7 beta2 released Submitted by Platypus 2004-11-01 Linux 38 Comments The second beta of Arch Linux 0.7 code named Wombat has been released for public consumption and testing. Kernel 2.6.9 is included. Get it from the download mirrors. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 38 Comments 2004-11-01 5:22 am If you’re a slackware fan and you have newer than P1/K6-2 hardware (i686+), this is a distribution you really should check out. It’s got one of the simplest package build formats out there so you can easily build from source most of anything. You can be making your own packages for pacman within minutes of studying the existing scripts from the arch build system (they are nearly 90% shell script). You get the latest build scripts for all of the available packages extremely quickly using one command, abs – a shell script which uses cvsup to grab the package build files. ArchLinux uses a rolling release, so if you have an installed system you can easily stay up to date to the latest using one command, pacman -Suy. Versions are just a way to provide a milestone in the progression of package versions as well as to create an official cd iso to release. For this reason the community generally suggests downloading the base iso instead of the full as you’ll want to do a pacman -Suy anyway and then add packages you want one by one. Also great to checkout, but not well enough advertised on the front of the site, is the wiki at wiki.archlinux.org – if you need step by step help that is the best [first] place to go. Second being the irc channel and the great support the people there provide. If you’re into customize it yourself distributions, arch is a great starting point. You can easily transform arch into a distribution that is fully customized and only upgrade packages you want to. It’s also a great distribution for those that are into alternative UIs (ion/etc) and not just another desktop like gnome or kde. The package system is so flexible and simple you can easily create custom repositories for yourself or others. Check out the TURs (trusted user repositories) list page on the archlinux.org site for some other extra packages. Arch makes for a good multimedia OS too since you can simply install most common codecs with the ‘codecs’ package. You can run Arch as lean as you want. It even comes without info pages and lots of other /usr/share data that isn’t very necessary by default. For gentoo fans you can easily rebuild all packages you want to from source with build customizations put into one file, makepkg.conf under /etc. There’s also an extra util called srcpac for automating building from source as well as makeworld which is already included. 2004-11-01 5:34 am I used arch linux for awhile (.5-.6). The packages are always up-to-date, and there is a good selection. The dependency checking, however, was a little broken, and some of the packages were broken. Overall, a fun distro, but not stable enough for me. YMMV 2004-11-01 5:49 am Yes, the sync deps solving is forever broken, but you get used to just doing full upgrades or checking deps yourself. The package quality has improved a lot recently. I just installed a system with it today, took me a few hours and now I have a vnc/nfs server setup on an old PII. 2004-11-01 6:34 am To me Arch was ( tried it back at .5 ) and still is the GTJD ( Get The Job Done ) distro. It has always been reliable for me, tho IMO some packages could do with a little shine up. Good job Judd and gang ! 2004-11-01 6:49 am this is the only distribution that transform a computer into a server or a workstation within 30 minutes. i never had any problems with dependancies whatsoever. and if u need a new package you can always create a PKGBUILD and submit it. 2004-11-01 7:32 am Can someone tell me which Arch package carries the KDE Plastik theme? My Arch installation of KDE 3.3.1 doesn’t show Plastik among its themes. 2004-11-01 7:37 am Forget it, got it. 2004-11-01 7:42 am As a Debian user of 2-3 years, I switched to Arch last month and haven’t looked back. It’s great. 2004-11-01 7:56 am you know like mp3, wmv, dvd movie decoding support and other file format support for players ? Are their packages to address these issues ??? 2004-11-01 8:16 am I’ve used it for quite some time, but the main reason that made me turn away from it, was the stupid policy to remove ALL documentation (except the man-pages), all extra scripts, examples etc. that come with a program. Stupid. 2004-11-01 8:34 am Based on this: http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Apache%2C%20PHP%2C~… apache’s config file /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf do you know where apache2 will installed to ? php’s config file /etc/php.ini would not it be better /etc/php4/php.ini Based on my little FreeBSD experience, I liked that the packages config files are put under /usr/local/etc, the first thing I look for a distro is its hierarchy. 2004-11-01 8:47 am I switched from Slack to Arch about a year ago, but am dropping it now. I’ve grown to be a desktop user and expect more and more stuff to ‘just work’. With Arch I have much more problems than with other distros (about half of the bugs I encountered were not upstream issues). Also, Arch still uses the DevFS naming scheme (even with udev) and installs stuff like Gnome in /opt, both causing quite a lot of problems. Right now I’m switching to Fedora, and that’s where I plan on staying for a while. So overall, Arch is pretty nice, but should stick to the standards and make sure the packages are without major issues. 2004-11-01 8:56 am If you wonder where Apache2’s config file is located, all you need to do is: pacman -Ql apache | grep conf Often the ./configure script has an etc-prefix option, apache probably places its config files in httpd/config/ relative to the prefix. It would not make sense to place all config files under /usr/local/etc because nothing installed by the distro should go into /usr/local. If a similar scheme was to be used, programs installed to /usr should have configs in /usr/etc, core packages with executables in /bin and /sbin should have configs in /etc, and packages that use /opt/$pkgname should have config files in /opt/$pkgname/etc. 2004-11-01 9:23 am Quote: As a Debian user of 2-3 years, I switched to Arch last month and haven’t looked back. It’s great. I can fully support your oppinion on that one. Debian had its upsides, but imho Arch Linux is the better distribution! cheers, lightnin 2004-11-01 10:01 am Arch linux doesn’t compile packages the way programmers wanted it. i.e software are not splitted into several packages or merged either. plastik theme is in the kdeartwork package as you can find it out on the kde website 2004-11-01 10:03 am Sorry i meant it DOES compile software the way programmers want…:D simplicity 2004-11-01 10:29 am Don’t worry, archlinux got it all Just install mplayer or xine and you’ll be ready to watch your DVD’s 2004-11-01 10:31 am What makes Arch Linux in your point of view ” better” then Debian?I’m just wondering. 2004-11-01 10:49 am For starters: – up-to-date software – i686 optimized packages – perhaps the easiest package building system around – simplicity (easy to configure, lean/fast system) 2004-11-01 10:50 am I like this distro more than others (this is relative, I don’t think I could ever actually like Linux), and I have settled with Arch for a while. Sometimes the packages break, which is a bit annoying (e.g. not too long ago JuK had library problems, I think they’ve solved that now). One thing that does annoy me is when I update the KDE packages, it deletes my KDM settings which I have set-up to auto-login on boot, so I have to set them up again. It also overwrites xinit settings in /etc/X11, but when I complained all I got back was people telling me that’s the way it should be. Found that rather odd. 2004-11-01 10:56 am Arch Linux is a wonderful distribution. It’s perfect for i686 machines and it’s my binary Linux disribution of choice. It isn’t very mature yet but more mature than enough for anyone to be able to use it even if they have no idea what Linux actually is. It is very like Slackware but has a proper package management that in some way reminds me of Gentoo’s Portage, which is actually my absolute distribution of choice. I have my own reasons for them both and I don’t want to initiate preference based flames. If you enjoy using any other distribution it’s your ultimate right. I would advise Arch Linux to anyone who’d love to run Gentoo Linux but doesn’t like to compile most packages. 2004-11-01 11:03 am Quote: “One thing that does annoy me is when I update the KDE packages, it deletes my KDM settings which I have set-up to auto-login on boot, so I have to set them up again” Did you try to add the kdm config file to the “NoUpgrade” option in your pacman.conf? 2004-11-01 11:31 am I gues i will stick to debian for various reasons.It has the largest package repository.It has apt-get which is in my point of view an awsome package manager.None of the packagesi installed, which is quite a lot,was broken.That said it’s also a myth that debian lacks current versions.If you would add the flavor unstable to /etc/apt/sources.lstyou have de facto all the packages the other distros have considered to be stable, that means kernels included.Nevertheless i wish every enthusiast all the bestwith finding the holy grale.I further think Arch is a fine distro,will have a few shots at it later on. 2004-11-01 1:19 pm Trying to get a Dell laptop with a prism54-based 802.11g with WEP to take a Linux distribution. Haven’t had joy getting gentoo universal 2004.2 or Fedora Core 3 test 3 going. Not to bash either distro, I’m sure this is doable; just not by a medium-weight like me. Will have a go at this. The < 250MB size is attractive. Who really uses 4 CDs-full of text editors, anyway? 2004-11-01 1:19 pm It hadn’t occured to me to do that. Cheers. 2004-11-01 2:26 pm I moved from Gentoo to Arch, mainly because I found that Gentoo moved away from being a simple to use, minimilist developers system to a do-it-all system. Gentoo’s design didn’t scale up to that in my experience, too many USE flags constantly needed changing. If you like to tinker Gentoo is great, but I want to work. Arch does require some tinkering, but I find I spend more time working in it than any other distro I’ve used. Loved Arch straight away, but within in weeks I stopped using the forums. Unhelpful, often rude answers from people who haven’t read the post correctly and its fashionable to bash Gentoo unfairly. The wiki can be pretty good though. 2004-11-01 2:39 pm I tried ArchLinux month ago on a new machine but was dissapointed how many packages have wrong or missing dependency information and how, after upgrading, my system stopped working due to bad versions of some libraries. I replaced it with Slackware and with slapt-get it works like a breeze. I see in ArchLinux a good potential but now it’s rather a toy for some curios desktop user. 2004-11-01 2:51 pm Arch is great but it still shares the common problems of small hobby distributions. For example, if I was searching for a reliable and secure Linux distro for business use, Arch might just not seem secure, stable and trustworthy enough yet. Debian, Slackware and Gentoo are, however. Maybe true trustworthiness can be earned with time only, and Arch still has a long time even to reach its 1.0 release. But I’d like Arch Linux team to start to pay more attention to such things: trustworthiness, stability & security. If those goals could be reached better, then Arch Linux could become really popular, even among business users etc. Also, starting to develop an AMD64 port might be wise some time in the future. 2004-11-01 3:02 pm within in weeks I stopped using the forums. Unhelpful, often rude answers from people who haven’t read the post correctly Sometimes those forums may seem very friendly and helpful, othertimes the opposite… It may have something to do with the fact that most of the people there, at Arch forums, lists etc, also including the lead developers, seem to be rather young, the result: easy flame & ego wars, sometimes rude or shortsighted replies, lack of patience and understanding etc..? But like I said, oftentimes the Arch community can be very friendly and helpful too. 2004-11-01 3:44 pm Simply a GREAT distribution! I have used it since 0.5 and it has been great with no major breaks. I can certainly recommend it. I switched from Gentoo to Arch and I will never look back. 2004-11-01 4:00 pm There are no limits in there so don’t forget to put on the flamesuit before you enter. You can discuss everything from quantum physics to US elections and Linux kernels. Just a little tip: Don’t forget to RTFM before you post.:) 2004-11-01 4:09 pm Whether you are source-based distro freak, a nosy researcher, or just a plain binary-based junkie – Arch is for you. u want to compile all your packages using the proven configs Arch uses, plus adding your own compiler parameters? no problem – one command (srcpac) and you are there. want a complete linux desktop optimized for i686 installed in less than an hour (n00bs might take few…)? u got it. but most important – want to learn linux while running a desktop at the same time (ie, dont wait 28 hours for kde compilation), and having total control over it (ie, dont rely on clumsy frontends to do what 1 bash line can do) – then choose Arch linux. i know i did. and dont forget the amazing package manager (yes, he had his labor issues, but dont they all?) which simplify your package dependencies and allow you to create your own packages in seconds… just give Arch a try – maybe its not for you. maybe it is. 2004-11-01 6:20 pm I like pacman, and I like the simplicity of Arch overall. What I don’t like are many of the small things, which may or may not be a problem now but in my mind may present a problem in the future. The Bad: I found the system to be fast, but with stability problems here and there. I don’t like the old devfs naming scheme Arch uses, it causes little problems with some programs such as cdplayers for example. I have to manually set the program to look in /dev/cdroms/cdrom0, it’s default being /dev/cdrom. Totally not a problem, just annoying. I don’t agree with placing all what is considered to be large programs in /opt such as gnome… This causes problems. Now it wouldn’t be so bad if it were just the large programs, but bittorrent installs there and so do the browser plugins… those are very tiny and being placed there is going off from the standards. The forums are full of uncalled for Distro bashing, namely Gentoo. I’m not trying to defend Gentoo or anything, but that’s not cool to do. Bashing tends to lead to disinformation and false statements about the other distro, which most of the time the bashing is done by people who have little to no real experience with the distro, they usually just repeat bad things they hear from other bashers. One more thing that really bothers me is the whole “we don’t want a lot of advertising of Arch” “it needs less publicity”, this to me is a big mistake to do, especially for young projects. The more people hear about Arch the bigger then potential is to attracting more developers to help out and a growing community makes it easier (not in every case) for the dev’s, as there will be more people helping out in the forums and the doc’s for the distro may actually be written… (lack of doc’s isn’t much of a problem for Arch now) Enough of the bad stuff. The good. I love the one config for the main things in the system. Such as modules, and system wide settings. Nice and clean. I like how I can install a base system and build from there. Keeps it clean. Very fast distro and pacman is very lovely. Arch is amazing when it comes to simplicity and cleanliness lining the base system. Which gives me hope. The base is solid and clean, giving Arch the potential to grow into something amazing. *NOTE* Only my opinion, plz don’t yell at me if you don’t agree. Thank you. 2004-11-01 6:57 pm just a few prism54 pointers – make sure you have firmware, and make sure it’s the appropriate firmware for your card; there’s some firmware download links on the prism54 page, but they don’t work for every card. Make sure you have hotplug installed on whatever distro you’re using (prism54 uses hotplug to load the firmware). dmesg output is very, very helpful in determining what’s happening with network card loading. and if all else fails (as it did for me; I have a prism54-variant chip that prism54 just doesn’t seem to like, I got everything set up right in the end but it just craps out with an IRQ error), use ndiswrapper… 2004-11-01 6:58 pm I gave a try to Arch about two months ago… It’s *very* promising but I eventually went back to Gentoo after three days as it still lack some polishing for everyday’s use (IMHO). I would not be surprised if there was not any quality check with some packages. I don’t mind toying with one broken package or two but I don’t really like to play with a broken glibc or stuff like that. Current branch or not, you don’t commit packages before checking if they are alright. There are also many packages that are missing but I can’t really blame them… The community isn’t as big as, let’s say, Debian. Like some posters said, the ultra-clean and lean userland would also benefit from more compliance with directory standards and a better layout of the configuration files in /etc. Of course, I know that helping the community would be more productive than whining in a public forum but I simply don’t have the time right now. No, really. Nevertheless, pacman is, by far, the best package manager I have used. Portage might be more versatile with its USE flag but pacman is simple. Binary packages is also a big plus. I have fairly powerful computers and I really don’t care if ls outputs the listing of a directory 0.01% faster… The installer is also quite easy to use for an experienced user. I will defintely keep an eye on Archlinux. I know it will eventually become my favourite distro… It only needs some maturity. 2004-11-01 7:03 pm btw, you can rebuild packages from any RPM-based distro with your own compiler options with one command. You can use ~/.rpmmacros and ~/.rpmrc to define your build directories and the flags to use, and then get a .src.rpm and use rpm –rebuild to build it. 2004-11-01 7:13 pm Thanks. Half the battle is figuring out which little utilities and log files pertain to a problem. Hopefully LSB and user feedback can standardize these things and prove to vendors that there is cold, hard, quid to be made supporting GNU/Linux from the outset. 2004-11-02 4:59 am Arch is my distro of choice. I love it. No other distro matches its simplicity and ease-of-use all from the command line. It’s fast, easy and no-frills, which is everything I want. It’s perfect for me. The only problem has been in the past in updating packages. The package quality seems to be remedied now, though. Arch is great!