Arch Linux Newsletter

December 05, 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. kde 3.3.2 in testing
    the new kde version is now in testing
    that are prepackages but if nothing changes they will be the final one
    please test them and report errors
    here is the forum thread:

    changes since 3.3.1 can be found here:

    changes from my side:
    kdebindings now compile again with java support
    added qscintilla to kdebindings

    the startkde script has been changed again!
    please the guys with tcsh problems test it

    added /opt/kde/lib/pkg-config to
    modified arch splash screen a little bit
    cleaned up and added depends

    enjoy new kde 3.3.2 release
  2. FTP Repo URLs
    In an effort to improve our FTP directory structure, the URLs for our package repositories have changed. Actually, it changed several months ago and most of you already have the new URLs.

    Please check your /etc/pacman.conf and /etc/pacman.d/* files and make sure the server paths look something like the following:
    Server =
    The old, incorrect version is like so:
    Server =

    If you are using the old URLs, update your configuration files or you won't be able to --sysupgrade.
  3. nvidia drivers new package in testing
    i patched the current nvidia driver with some patches from nvidia forum. all people with problems please test them if it solves your problems: known issues are people with 440mx chipsets and tnt2. also cedega users should test them, and surely all others too that these patched driver will not break your setup.

    here a forum link for discussion
    or contact me directly
  4. ardour and some mono packages new in extra
    Despite it's beta status, ardour is in extra now. Some people who tested it encountered some rough edges, but as one of the best developed audio applications around it is in the official repos. It's not really self explanatory so reading the documentation pdf on is mandatory. It is recommended to run jack and ardour as root to get realtime capability. This causes some serious security problems on your system. Make sure you know what your doing and better get disconnected from the net with that box during your ardour session.

    Also monodevelop has made it to extra now. As a dependency of gecko-sharp it requires mozilla-firefox. With Arjan and Jan's efforts to find a better place for mozilla and friends, monodevelop will have to be restructured a bit but currently it works as is fine.

    Last but not least, the xsp server is in extra now. XSP is a mono-based HTTP server that can serve ASP.NET. Currently only xsp is in the repos and that is not for production. mod_mono, the connector between XSP and Apache, which will give you a production quality application server for ASP, is still under testing but will be made available soon. Read the post_install message to get started.

This Week in Devland

  1. JGC has been accepted as our newest developer. He will be helping Blaasvis maintain the gnome related packages and hopefully helping pick up some other slack too.
  2. Dusty will be stepping down as documentation guy after Christmas. This means we'll probably be needing another official documentor to manage the wiki and whatnot. Better dust off your resume...
  3. DP is looking to release a gcc-g77 package. I'm not quite sure what else he needs to look at there.
  4. I'm nearly finished my degree, so you'll probably see more activity from me everywhere. Let's see if we can finish off all these projects!

Archstats Update

To Participate, visit:

Number of registered systems: 754
Date first system was registered: 20031017
Most recent update occurred: 20041205
Longest recorded uptime: 312 days, 10 hours, 22 minutes, 38 seconds.
Average uptime: 6 days, 19 hours, 1 minutes, 42 seconds.
Lowest kernel version: 2.4.21
Highest kernel version: 2.6.9-stefan-ARCH
Least packages installed on a system: 44
Average installed packages: 290
Most packages installed on a system: 1157

Seti@Home Update

To Participate, visit:

Members: 23
Results Received: 12709
Total CPU time: 4.180 years
Average CPU time per work unit: 2 hr 52 min 51.1 sec

Forum Highlights

  1. dp wanted to know about pacman-CPAN integration. He felt it would ease the installation of TeX and Perl modules.
  2. skeeterbug has created PKGBUILDS for some useful tools for USENET.
  3. tpowa has posted how to use OpenOffice-KDE. This allows OOo to integrate better with KDE.

Mailing List Highlights

  1. Essien has posted a patch to pacman/makepkg that provides basic transaction (rollback) support. Many people have requested this, and Essien found a simple way to do it.
  2. Matthias-Christian Ott requested translations for pacman, and many people responded. Volunteer if you know another language.
  3. GPG package signing was requested again. This question is asked often, and it is not expected to be in pacman any time soon. Read the thread to see the developers' response.

TUR Update

Many people have been mailing us PKGBUILDs. This is wonderful. Unfortunately, all the TUs have been very busy. A few left, and the rest are loaded with work. So please don't think you're being ignored. We keep all the PKGBUILDs and will test them when we have a chance. Of course we're also trying to fix/standardize the submission/approval process, and that may take awhile.

Because we have so many PKGBUILDs to work on, the most useful packages will be selected first. So if no more than one or two people would use that package, don't expect it to get into the repos. Remember, it is easy to submit a PKGBUILD, but every one we accept requires a permanent strain on us. We don't just have to make it once, we have to update it every single release. This starts to add up as the repos grow. So it's basically more work for us than for you ;). Over the Christmas break more work should get done.

Package Highlights

  1. Mozilla Firefox 1.0 was packaged. This is the big stable release. Check out the Firefox homepage for all the details.

New Packages


Q: Should I download the BASE ISO or FULL ISO?
A: There's not much reason to get FULL, really. BASE contains just enough packages to get a running system. This is better, because the packages on FULL become very out of date very quickly. With BASE, you're downloading everything fresh from the repos. This will make sure you have the latest packages, and save a lot of bandwidth. If you download FULL, you'll download 650MB of packages, only to download another 600MB of updates.


Bugs Closed

Bugs Opened


If you are interested in helping out with the newsletter, specifically writing one section every two weeks, please email Jason or myself. We could use some more volunteers.

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