Arch Linux Newsletter

August 08, 2004
Jason Chu
Ben Mazer


Welcome to the Arch Linux Newsletter. This document attempts to give you an "at a glance" look at the world of Arch Linux.

Table Of Contents

  1. Front Page News
  2. Dev Land
  3. ArchStats
  4. Seti Update
  5. Forum Highlights
  6. Mailing List Highlights
  7. Tur Update
  8. Package Highlights
  9. New Packages
  10. FAQ
  11. Bugs
    1. Closed Bugs
    2. Opened Bugs
  12. Closing

Front Page News

No front page news this week...

This Week in Devland

  1. Damir has created an Arch logo for wombat. He is probably waiting till wombat is released before releasing it.
  2. A new version of readline has been released. We have to recompile a bunch of packages for it. The work is being done in testing. Feel free to add testing and make sure that everything you use still works.
  3. Damir has released a kernel26mm package. He uses it for his university stuff and has decided to share it with other people.
  4. All PKGBUILDs in extra (they haven't been tagged yet, but next time they're updated will reflect the change) have been updated to move the 'source' lines inside the build function. Doing this means that sourcing a PKGBUILD file doesn't mean you have to have the profile in /etc/profile.d (ie. the dependent package installed).
  5. Talk has started about goals for 1.0.

Archstats Update

To Participate, visit:

Number of registered systems: 547
Date first system was registered: 20031017
Most recent update occurred: 20040808
Longest recorded uptime: 189 days, 11 hours, 32 minutes, 0 seconds.
Average uptime: 5 days, 9 hours, 47 minutes, 29 seconds.
Lowest kernel version: 2.4.21
Highest kernel version: 2.6.8-rc2-love2
Least packages installed on a system: 44
Average installed packages: 269
Most packages installed on a system: 733

Seti@Home Update

To Participate, visit:

1) jakenull: 1.420 years
2) Pink Dracoi: 5514 hr 49 min
3) cgill27: 1.146 years
4) TORIN Daniel: 7401 hr 03 min
5) khaos: 2.058 years
6) Steady: 1183 hr 50 min

Forum Highlights

  1. Madhatter asked a question we get semi-often: How to get bluecurve (or any non-default theme) onto Arch? Well, user Mig has written a PKGBUILD for the redhat artwork, located in this thread.
  2. Tehdely posted another GNUstep update. Tehdely maintains a repository of the in-development Desktop/Programming Environment, GNUstep.
  3. Hypermegachi asked a common question as well. He wanted to know what the /dev/discs entries in /dev were all about. Basically, the default naming scheme for DevFS, which Arch and some other distros use is a little different than the standard static dev. Although some locations are different (and longer), symlinks provide compatibility. /dev/hda1 points to /dev/discs/disc0/part1 for example.

Mailing List Highlights

  1. Wojciech Szlachta has announced that he wants to create an Arch repository for servers. Security fixes will be backported, and "hardened" kernels will be offered. The project is still in the planning stage.

TUR Update

  1. Lukas Sabota (punkrockguy318) is the newest Trusted User. He already has twenty packages in his repository, and will also help maintain STAGING. Welcome aboard.
  2. Thanks to Sub_Pop for submitting dbus/hal/gnome-volume-manager packages. They were uploaded to STAGING this week, and need testing. See this post.

Package Highlights

  1. glibc was updated to the newest release. Although 2.3.3 introduced NPTL, Arch is staying with the old LinuxThreads until more testing is done, and the 2.4 kernel becomes unsupported. There is no timeframe set for this transition yet. If you want a preview, check out the NPTL repository.
  2. BASH 3.0 was released and packaged. It features mostly internationalization updates and syntax cleanup. Read the USENET post here.
  3. Pacman 2.8.3 was released this week. From the changelog:
    - Fixed a little makepkg bug with bash 3.0
    - Fixed resolvedeps to always prefer literals over provisios
    - Added --config option to specify an alternate config file
    - Added "Include" directive to include repositories from config files (inspired by Michael Baehr's patch)
    - Added patch from Jason Chu:
    - Even smarter file-conflict checking

New Packages


Q: How do I configure my sound?
A: Yes, although this question has already been answered in the Arch documentation, it still came up quite a bit recently on the IRC channel. There is a very nice Wiki Article on setting up ALSA, that will answer all of the common questions.


Bugs Closed

1232 drscheme package needs to be rebuilt for new glibc
1180 hotplug should depend on usbutils
1225 PostgreSQL JDBC support
1219 please update gzip i got some strange system freezes with makepkg and tar
1115 Nano vanishes after konsole resize
1228 PyGtk is out of date
1223 libpng
694 Mozilla package doesn't contain nss3 headerfiles
1173 udev suggestion
1040 Add mysql support to qt
1205 Add config file option to pacman
1184 pacman resolving in the wrong order
1217 hotplug excessive output
1218 Patch for even better symlink handling
1215 bluez-utils missing patch file
1134 Sqlite version 3 and version 2 can and should co-exist
1212 gaim should use /usr/lib/perl5/current instead of /usr/lib/perl5/$perlversion
1206 let user specify options for dhcpcd in rc.d/network
1195 [OFFICE: GNUMERIC] Add Gnumeric to compliment AbiWord
1079 glut has x-server as a makedepend
1139 libtar has a new URL
1086 clisp won't download
947 libglade 2.4.0-1 dependency
1085 scroolkeeper errors on update of catalogue
1015 mplayer - broken link
1106 ispell depends on ncurses
1112 ipfm uses /usr/var instead of /var
1138 ngrep has own website
1140 https support for lynx
1076 perlxml misnamed
1191 rip - No URL
1136 timidity has new URL
1187 xscreensaver show nothing in the options
1192 Add modules to apache httpd
1190 rssh has makedepend of openssh
1162 Coding errors in db.c
1182 Mplayer depends on lame

Bugs Opened

1236 CTRL-A does not select all in gtk2
1235 kdegraphics PKGBUILD states wrong file
1234 ypbind-mt needs to be upgraded on cvs
1233 gtkspell on gaim doesn't work
1231 announcements to show in pacman
1230 Roberto Carvajal isn't updating his packages
1229 xbindkeys_show requires tk
1227 glibc2.3.3 kills nvidia driver
1226 openbox & obconf depend on xfree86 which conflicts with xorg
1224 wireless lan drivers in install disk
1222 latest MonoDevelop is not a smooth update [see inside for quick fix]
1221 udev: uses binaries from /usr/bin
1220 rhythmbox - failed to create volume element
1216 libSDL linked against older glibc?
1214 Evolution 1.4.6 need patches with gcc 3.4.1
1213 Evolution should be compiled with LDAP support
1211 imagemagick should use site_perl/current instead of site_perl/$perlversion
1210 Licq creates home directory?
1209 xbindkeys requires guile
1208 pacman crash
1207 k3b does not work with dvd+rw-format 4.10 (not found)
1204 Gaim errors on upgrade
1203 VALGRIND 2.0.0 / NPTL
1202 samba please add symlink to cups backends
1201 tuxnes should be in emulators
1200 wireless_tools PKGBUILD
1199 libusb please add the symlink
1198 hylafax needs rebuild and update if possible
1197 GAIM-0.80-3 / PERL-5.8.5-2
1196 irssi rebuild for new perl version
1194 [SETUP: GAIM] gaim needs gtkspell during install


This is our first newsletter in the bi-weekly format. We hope it will have a little more content from now on. Please remember, if you have anything you'd like to be in the newsletter, feel free to email either Jason or myself. We don't always get all the interesting news.

That's it for this week, stay tuned for more exciting Arch Linux news.