Arch Linux Newsletter

Jul 25, 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
  6. ArchStats
  7. Seti@home
  8. Package Highlights
  9. Bugs
  10. FAQ
  11. Closing

Front Page News

  1. Wiki Migration : Arch Wiki-Thon
    cactus has been working hard on the wiki migration, and it is now time to begin the migration. To quote his posting:

    We are left with approx 280 pages. Of which, I am sure there are some of the above that I missed (ie a few user pages, maybe some php wiki pages, etc.).

    I am hoping to start an Arch Wiki-Thon next weekend. This week, I will be breaking the pages into chunks of 10 pages. When someone asks to help, they will recieve a chunk. Only when they are done will the chunk be marked as "done". Then the user may request another chunk. If a chunk is partially finished, please notify me of its progress...etc.. I believe this is outlined in the migration-howto I posted earlier. For those that missed it:

    So..This saturday. If you can help, then please do. It is not brain surgery, but it is very important to the community. This posting will be reproduced on the forum. Information will be provided as to the url of the new wiki to the volunteers, and to the general list this saturday.

    I would like to hijack the #archlinux-aur channel for meeting and discussing migration this coming Saturday, as it is usually a pretty slow channel unless we are having a meeting. :)

    Plan for Saturday at 16:30 GMT/UCT in #archlinux-aur, or any time after that.

  2. Qmail Deprecation

    The use of qmail with Arch Linux has been a disaster for some time now. The state of the codebase, while incredibly safe if you manage to do everything right, is very hard to maintain, and the redistribution requirements for binaries are draconian, requiring all sorts of un-arch-like contortions in the PKGBUILD and installation process.

    Furthermore, the inability to maintain qmail and its companion packages has made using a qmail/vpopmail system a security risk.

    For these reasons, the developers hereby deprecate the use of qmail with Arch. As of 9/1/2005, the following packages will be removed from [extra]:


  3. scim and gcim in [extra]

    The Smart common input method platform SCIM was added to [extra] to support input methods for additional languages. The list of newly added pkgs to [extra] are:

    • scim --- core of SCIM
    • uim --- universal multilanguage input method lib
    • scim-uim --- the SCIM module for UIM
    • scim-tables --- tables to a lot of langauges for SCIM
    • scim-hangul --- hangul support (korean)
    • libchewing --- smart chewing IM lib for traditional chinese
    • scim-chewing --- the SCIM module to libchewing
    • scim-pinyin --- the SCIM module to pinyin (simplified chinese)

    There are detailed docs planed and will be in the new wiki system later.

    For a start here a micro how-to start with SCIM: To start SCIM, install scim package and an additional scim-[input method engine] package you want to use. Then you can add to ~/.xinitrc this lines before the call for your WM/DE:

    export XMODIFIERS=@im=SCIM
    export GTK_IM_MODULE="scim"
    export QT_IM_MODULE="scim"
    scim -f socket -c socket -d

    This should start it successfully. Note that the QT support will be in QT4 and is not yet available. Running X with this lines run, you can open a GTK2 application (e.g. abiword or gedit) and press left button in the input field. The GTK should offer you "Input Methods" dialogue. There you can choose "SCIM" from a list. Activating it, a icon should appear in your systray. There you can choose the input method engine you want to use. That should be enough for the start. As always you may find also additional help in the Forums. You may also directly contact me if you have a suggestion related internationalisation in ArchLinux. Have Fun!


  1. A lot of work is going into the gcc 4 update. Watch testing for more progress.

Forum Highlights

  1. Dusty's Ensmer project seems to be falling asleep or ported to Python. You can also find one more rant here.
  2. Mr Green started an Openbox resource thread.
  3. Cam wrote a game launcher for Enemy Territory.
  4. max_sipos wants more security in Arch.
  5. JGC is working on new mozillastuff releases.

Mailing List Highlights

  1. Lots of back-slapping following the successful completion of the wiki migration.
  2. David wanted to know why there are different settings for CONFIG_SECURITY_CAPABILITIES in the Arch kerrnel26 and kernel26-scsi packages.
  3. Damir escaped the lab to post what appeared to be gibberish - it turned out he was showcasing the new scim pkgs.
  4. Continued discussion of the new roaming network profiles, should the current wireless interface config in conf.d/wireless be dropped to simplify things?


  1. The AUR is really starting to take off. On a rough average we are getting about 5 new submissions a day. There is a feature request in the bug tracker for some frontpage AUR stats so that we can all see how things are progressing.
  2. xerxes has been accepted as TU, so congratulations to him :) He has kicked off with some ion3 pkgs in [community].
  3. There are some new AUR docs up on the new wiki. They are still being refined but we hope that they will soon become a valuable resource for AUR users: New AUR user guidelines, New AUR TU guidelines and New Arch CVS/SVN PKGBUILD guidelines. There is also a revised Packaging Guidelines document in the works.
  4. The TUs have now held several meetings on IRC in an effort to address some of the issues outstanding since the TU reshuffle. The TU Bylaws are under going some revision and therefore new applications are on hold. The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday 30th July 16.00 GMT.
  5. 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: 1191
Longest recorded uptime: 496 days, 9 hours, 22 minutes, 38 seconds.
Average uptime: 7 days, 9 hours, 31 minutes, 44 seconds.
Least packages installed on a system: 44
Average installed packages: 318
Most packages installed on a system: 1262
Lowest Bogomips: 388.09
Average Bogomips: 3247.55
Highest Bogomips: 7487.48


To Participate, visit:

Members: 4
Total credit: 576.80

Package Highlights

99 packages have been upgraded/added since the last newslettter. Scim, gcim, and a kernel update are but a few.


There have been approximately 43 new bugs opened and 27 old bugs closed since the last newsletter.


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.


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