Arch Linux Newsletter

Feb 19, 2006
Jason Chu
Jason "CanyonKnight"


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

Front Page News

  1. Upgrade path to Xorg for testing users

    Due to a limitation, bug, feature or whatever you call this in pacman, the upgrade path for testing users to the new xorg will be a bit troublesome. Pacman will complain about existing files in /usr/share/X11/xkb/ compiled for xorg-server and existing files in /etc/X11/xdm for the xorg-xdm package.

    A complicated workaround:

    pacman -Sy
    pacman -Rd xorg-server xorg-clients
    pacman -Sf xorg-xdm
    pacman -S xorg-clients xorg-server
    pacman -Su

    If you use xdm and you have made customizations to /etc/X11/xdm configuration files, make sure you make backups of them before performing these operations.

    Another bug might show up in pacman after the upgrade of xorg-clients: several files which used to be in xorg-clients are gone due to movements between packages. To resolve this, reinstall all packages xorg-clients depends on.

  2. Udev Changes

    Hey all,

    There's been a lot of flux in our favorite package, Udev. Since hotplug's deprecation, it has taken on the role of the coldplugger, hotplugger, and general headache-causer.

    To alleviate some of this, please see Udev wiki page for some common problems and solutions.

    If you still have issues, please use the Bugtracker.

  3. Mozilla (and thus firefox) application changes

    Archlinux is switching towards XULRunner for applications that want to use the Gecko engine as an embedded library. XULRunner is more API stable than firefox and should give us less problems in the future.

    While upgrading your system, you might notice pacman wants to remove firefox and install xulrunner: this is a bug in pacman, upgrade to mozilla-firefox- first and it won't complain about removing firefox anymore.

    Another change that has been made in the structure of mozilla applications is the move of plugins from /opt/mozilla-plugins to /opt/mozilla/lib/plugins. The reason for this is that we want to have all mozilla related stuff INSIDE /opt/mozilla, not somewhere else. Most plugins have been updated to reflect this change. Please report bugs when you find plugins that install in /opt/mozilla-plugins anyways.

  4. Udev changes, upgraders please read!

    will activate autoloading modules during boot process + autoloading of modules after boot (aka cold/hotplugging)

    MOD_BLACKLIST=(moduleA moduleB) and MODULES=(!moduleA !moduleB) is the same now!Udev will not load the module for you if autoloading is activated!

    Please remove the OSS compatibility modules from else your soundcard may fail to load!

    /dev/discs etc. is no more! Please update old devfs name scheme to new layout!

    YOU NEED A KERNEL >= 2.6.15, else udev will not work!!!


  1. Everything is going smoothly (though slowly) getting the second server ready for us. Soon the problems will be a thing of the past.
  2. James Rayner (iphitus) has joined the dev team to work on kernel stuffs. Expect archck in extra soon enough!
  3. We are currently looking for another developer to replace Mark Rosenstand who is leaving the dev team because of a lack of time. If anyone is interested in becoming a gnome packaging monkey... er... person, please contact Judd (

Forum Highlights

  1. newgargamel revived a thread discussing XGL. The main focus was trying to get parts of the cvs to work.
  2. Cerebral noticed that the ATI drivers are kernel dependent unlike the Nvidia drivers which are kernel independent. His goal is to provide the ATI drivers in the same manner as the Nvidia drivers.
  3. hackmeiser posted the reminder that Judd would be interviewed on the The Linux Link Tech Show. If you missed the show, they provide links to listen to the interview.
  4. mac57 posted an interesting award list that acknowledges all those great applications that are light and fast.
  5. Trained.Monkey used Arch as a base for a very small livecd that could be used for a ftp installation of Arch, or as a lightweight Linux distro.

Mailing List Highlights

  1. A changing in permissions for the file .ICEauthority, is caused by the permission unaware sudo. Gksu and Kdesu, are however capable of knowing the differences.
  2. The announcement for changes in Udev was made on the mailing list and featured responses on what this means for custom kernels and the use of the uevent patch.
  3. The use of direct links to Sourceforge instead of the redirect is because mirrors are sometimes down or do not have the correct file.

Package Highlights

  1. The AUR has passed 2000 packages in the unsupported category and the number of users is on the verge of passing 1500. Congratulations to all the developers, trusted users, and the community members who make it so great!


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.


To Participate, visit:

Number of registered systems: 629
Longest recorded uptime: 496 days, 9 hours, 22 minutes, 38 seconds.
Average uptime: 11 days, 17 hours, 35 minutes, 43 seconds.
Least packages installed on a system: 65
Average installed packages: 378
Most packages installed on a system: 2539
Lowest Bogomips: 266.19
Average Bogomips: 3559.71
Highest Bogomips: 6914.04


To Participate, visit:

Members: 16
Total credit: 148,810.92


Arch Linux Team Page

Team Number: 45032
Members: 33
Score: 295613
Ranking: 883 of 42843



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