Arch Linux Newsletter

Aug 8, 2005
Jason Chu
Jens Persson
Aaron Griffin
Philip Dillon-Thiselton


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. Devland
  3. Forum Highlights
  4. Mailing List Highlights
  5. AUR - Arch User Repository
  6. ArchStats
  7. Seti@home
  8. Package Highlights
  9. Bugs
  10. FAQ
  11. Closing

Front Page News

No front page news this time.


  1. The developers talked about optional dependency support in pacman. We all agreed, logically, it would be a nice to have, but the way it's actually implemented isn't something we want to worry about right now. Most of the optional depends implementations we've seen haven't been very helpful. Pacman should stay as non-interactive as possible. With the advent of libpacman and graphical interfaces, this may change. See for more details.
  2. There was talk of adding sha1 sum support to makepkg, but we need to find a way to keep the PKGBUILD looking clean.
  3. The talk about a Security Task Force caused quite a stir in the developer community. There was a difference of opinion over whether the STFUs (Security Task Force Users) should be notifying the developers directly and then announcing fixes or talking openly with the community about security issues and then announcing fixes. Discussion is basically at a stand still, so I suspect it all depends on what the STF actually does. See the wiki for more informatio:
  4. Talk started about multiple architecture support in pacman. An arch-ports mailing list was also created where people can talk about ports of arch to other architectures. Subscribe here:

Forum Highlights

  1. What is big and bloated?
  2. Gullible Jones has problems with fonts in Torsmo.
  3. ganja-guru can't get automounting to work in KDE.
  4. Should we use automatic voting in AUR?
  5. jMCg wondered if it would be possible to use a Centeralized User Registration system.

Mailing List Highlights

  1. Matthew G wondered if people like him.
  2. Christer Solskogen posted some opinions on what he wants Arch to become.
  3. Dimitrios Apostolou wants smartmontools added to Arch' repos.
  4. Daniel G. Siegel was looking for a backupprogram.

AUR - Arch User Repository

  1. kritoke and punkrockguy317 have officially resigned as TUs. We'd like to thank Matthew and Lukas for all their hard work for Arch and wish them all the best for the future.
  2. Numerous updates (1.2, 1.2.1) to the AUR interface in the last two weeks, some of them a little buggy but nothing too serious and quickly fixed, so many thanks to Paul and Jaroslaw. If you do have suggestions for minor improvements to the AUR interface remember you can submit a feature request in FlySpray.
  3. A major new feature in the AUR is the "Safe flag". TUs can flag pkgs that they have checked for malicious code as safe. Of course we do still advise that you check through all PKGBUILDs yourself and remember that these pkgs have not been built or tested.
  4. Damir has escaped the lab yet again to make some major improvements to the AUR wiki docs so many thanks to him
  5. Following a successful vote TUs will now use the forums to vote anonymously. The result will, of course, be made public.
  6. The last TU meeting was fairly useful though attendence was quite low, you can read the log here. The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday 27th August 16.00 GMT.
  7. If you are interested in becoming a TU we strongly advise you to join up to the mailing list so you can get to know the system and the other TUs, and we can get to know you too :)


To Participate, visit:

Number of registered systems: 1236
Longest recorded uptime: 496 days, 9 hours, 22 minutes, 38 seconds.
Average uptime: 7 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, 44 seconds.
Least packages installed on a system: 44
Average installed packages: 320
Most packages installed on a system: 1262
Lowest Bogomips: 388.09
Average Bogomips: 3266.55
Highest Bogomips: 7487.48


To Participate, visit:

Members: 5
Total credit: 3,542.20

Package Highlights

New releases of Firefox and Thunderbird have been added to Testing.



Q: What is the difference between AUR, COMMUNITY, and UNSUPPORTED?

A: AUR(Arch User Repository) is the name of the whole new system which is maintained by the TUs(Trusted Users). It lets anybody that signs up to upload PKGBUILDs to UNSUPPORTED but only TUs have access to COMMUNITY which is a binary repo that you can use with Pacman.

Q: Why aren't all packages in UNSUPPORTED added to COMMUNITY?

A: There are several reasons for that. The most important is that the package hasn't got many votes. It's also important that you vote for packages that already are in COMMUNITY, otherwise they could be disowned by the TUs and moved to UNSUPPORTED. Other reasons could be that the package is unmaintained upstreams or got a license problem. Last but not least, no TU wants to do it.

Q: I want this very cool feature A added to AUR and also this B thing would be nice. Can you do that?

A: There is a team of developers coding on AUR and they will for the moment focus on getting the current featureset bugfree instead of adding new things. AUR is still pretty young so there will be more features added as time goes by. :)

Q: I behaved like an ass on some of the Arch community channels (irc, forums etc) and is now banned. Does this mean that I'm not welcome anymore and that Arch moderators hates me?

A: No, it does not. You can normally just apologize and the ban will be closed. However, it's important to learn how to discuss in a PROPER way. It's allowed to flame if you can back up your stuff with some descent facts, but it's NOT allowed to behave like an ass for no reason at all. Not even if some other guys are doing it to you.


That's it for this time folks. If you have any opinions on the newsletter or have some things you wanna add, just send us a mail and we'll look into it.
Very best regards / Team Arch