Arch Linux Newsletter

August 22, 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

  1. Kernel Upgrade: warning for SATA users:
    If you are using SATA drives, be aware that your drive designation may change when you upgrade to kernel, as it did for this user:

    After an upgrade to kernel26-scsi version from version 2.6.7-1 my system panicked on boot because my /boot/grub/menu.lst file listed my root SATA drive as "hde" instead of "sda" which the 2.6.8 kernel configuration strangely now requires. If I had known that this would happen I would have modified my /boot/grub/menu.lst file as well as my /etc/fstab with the new designation.

This Week in Devland

  1. The new version of readline has been added to current. If you have any problems with applications you run now, please submit a bug report. If you don't want things to break unexpectedly like this again, you could have added testing and known it would break before hand.
  2. There was a little bit of talk about a 64bit repo. We are interested in running one but don't have the resources yet. Blokkie, from IRC and the mailing list, offered to start it out. He's trying to get a working base repo for everyone else to work from.
  3. Roberto's been busy, so we've been trying to pick up his slack.
  4. wxpython is giving Tobias problems. To upgrade to any version higher than the current one (to add things like gtk2), he needs to use a cvs version of wxwidgets. If he does use the new version of wxpython, the one program that uses wxpython (bittorrent) doesn't work. The plan is to leave the current version in there until bittorrent works better and offer the new wxpython as a -devel package.

Archstats Update

To Participate, visit:

Number of registered systems: 579
Date first system was registered: 20031017
Most recent update occurred: 20040822
Longest recorded uptime: 194 days, 4 hours, 20 minutes, 15 seconds.
Average uptime: 5 days, 11 hours, 53 minutes, 45 seconds.
Lowest kernel version: 2.4.21
Highest kernel version:
Highest system swap: 2 GB
Least packages installed on a system: 44
Average installed packages: 272
Most packages installed on a system: 733

Seti@Home Update

To Participate, visit:

1) gusgizmo: 3.091 years
2) jakenull: 1.587 years
3) Pink Draco: 6062 hr 12 min
4) cgill27: 1.175 years
5) TORIN Daniel: 8500 hr 17 min
6) khaos: 2.249 years
7) Steady: 1183 hr 50 min
8) CrAsH: 399 hr 16 min
9) Atriqus: 66 hr 37 min
10) - : 59 hr 03 min
11) Drago: 0 hr 00 min

Forum Highlights

  1. Many people have been having problems with Mozilla Firefox's speed. There are a few tricks you can use to speed it up, including disabling IPv6. Not everyone is affected by these slowdowns.
  2. Discussion was raised about the organization of the Wiki. Punkrockguy318 thought the Wiki was too messy, and many others offered suggestions for a cleaner layout.
  3. JbNet asked about removing orphan packages not explicitly installed. This is a feature many have wanted for a long time, but has never been implemented. Pacman currently only tracks if a package is an orphan, not if a user specifically installed it (pacman -S foo).
  4. DPB and Tehdely have ported Pacman to FreeBSD. Woo?
  5. Tpowa has updated his package of the oo-installer. This provides multi-language options for OpenOffice, and should be useful for our international members. It is available in STAGING.

Mailing List Highlights

  1. Jason released Namcap 1.5.1 this week. Namcap is everyone's favorite pacman package analyzer. If you build Packages, you can't live without it.

TUR Update

There was lots of activity this week. Both Tehdely and Subpop were accepted as Trusted Users. They will maintain their own repositories with specialized packages, and will also take on the duty of maintaining STAGING (along with the other TUs).

Discussion took place on whether the new Nvidia Driver package in STAGING was allowed by the Nvidia EULA. A new clause in the EULA allows us to distribute the driver now. Go Nvidia.

Package Highlights

  1. KDE 3.3.0 was released this week. There are plenty of fixes and features. Read the changelog for a complete list of changes.
  2. Glabels 2.0.0 was released. This is a highly anticipated stable release, and everyone should upgrade.

New Packages


Q: What is the difference between pacman -Sy and pacman -Syu?
A: Although the Pacman man page explains this, many people on the IRC channel seem to be confused. the -y flag updates your package database. It simply updates the list of available packages. the -u flag updates the actual packages on your system to their latest version in the database. That's why the system update command is 'pacman -Syu'. First you update the package database, and then you update the actual packages. This is similar to Debian's 'apt-get update' and 'apt-get upgrade'.

Q: I just installed a new package, and the binary is not in my PATH. What happened?
A: If a package is installed into an odd location (like /opt), a new directory has to be added to your PATH. This is done through the /etc/profile.d mechanism. Your PATH only gets updated after your /etc/profile is read though. For the new PATH to take effect, either log out and log back in, or run: 'source /etc/profile'.


Bugs Closed

1240 python: adding /opt/gnome/lib/python2.3 to PYTHONPATH
1235 kdegraphics PKGBUILD states wrong file
962 kdelibs-3.2.2-3 doesn't apply patch correctly before build
1163 kwifimanager missing from kdenetwork package
1281 neverball segfaults
1274 AmaroK wont play with gstreamer
1128 k3b can't burn on the fly
1279 various liferea -3 bugfixes
1271 new liferea packages f*ck up gconf
1021 default grub config fails on default partition setup
1269 Makepkg archive formats
1272 Splitting netkit telnet
1150 hdparm won't compile with recent glibc
1270 Stray symlink in kernel modules dir
1277 Trouble with alsasink and osssink
636 bchunk permissions
725 Include usb cd and ieee cd drivers on install cd
1078 libtiff creates a usr/local directory
999 Automatic loaddisk during bootup fails if CD not in cdrom0
665 installer bug in mirror selection
1216 libSDL linked against older glibc?
1189 sdl doesn't compile
227 installer borks if mounting a partition at /tmp
136 possible filesystem creation bug on setup script
1017 Can't run ooodi2 (openOffice dictionary installer)
1204 Gaim errors on upgrade
1262 very old fwbuilder
1261 gnome-python: will it ever be updated?
1263 rhythmbox - no music
1255 qmake is bad symbolic link
1258 Samba needs rebuild with readline from testing
1053 gaim: no X usage idle time option
1194 [SETUP: GAIM] gaim needs gtkspell during install
1251 php can't build because of missing build dependencies
1135 Bug #756 -- still no-workie
1259 squirrelmail update error
1245 bash-completion package broken with bash 3.x
1229 xbindkeys_show requires tk
1209 xbindkeys requires guile
1207 k3b does not work with dvd+rw-format 4.10 (not found)
1250 Spamassassin needs to depend on perl-uri
1249 krusader doesn't need mesa dependency
1237 epiphany-extensions: needs recompile
1220 rhythmbox - failed to create volume element
1199 libusb please add the symlink
1153 GDM locks the keyboard when using udev
1244 postgresql plugin support in qt
1242 readline 5.0 breaks php on apache
1031 Add SCSI Tape support to kernel-scsi
862 kernel24 is missing Makefiles and Rules.make
1146 irda support in stock arch kernel?
1241 archstats can't resolve
1239 postgresql: --enable-innodb needless
1236 CTRL-A does not select all in gtk2
1234 ypbind-mt needs to be upgraded on cvs
1230 Roberto Carvajal isn't updating his packages
1116 Blender and Mozilla-Firefox incompatibility

Bugs Opened

1287 please add acpi patches to stock kernel
1286 kio_smb broken due to samba 3.0.6 update
1285 Ogg Theora enable Arch Linux
1284 mozilla postinstall adds wrong path to
1283 mozilla needs extra configure option
1282 Amarok and GSTREAMER won't crossfade
1280 suggestion for new build
1278 kernel 2.6.8
1276 kernel26 upgrade doesn't recognize my SATA drive
1275 Pacman Segfault with groups
1273 Pacman -Ss output
1268 tkcvs error when launcing
1267 eclipse should appear in the application menu
1266 PKGBUILD database
1265 kernel26-scsi upgrade failed on SATA root
1264 rhythmbox - no music
1260 PHP is compiled without --with-mime-magic
1257 mount /mnt/fl/ fails
1256 burning under kernel 2.6.8.x is only possible as root
1254 jade fails to build
1253 trap on nessus-mkcert
1252 /usr/include/asm/byteorder needs patch
1248 encryption support for zip
1247 pacman list.c sort on insert
1246 mozilla-thunderbird has a makedepend of zip
1243 new nbsmtp


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.