Arch Linux Newsletter

Mar 05, 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. The newsletter is now also valid XHTML 1.0 Strict.

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. Donation Drive: We won! Just in case you weren't around for the last few days, we had a donation drive and it was awesome. The community came through in spades, and now we have more than enough to get a fancy-pants new server.

    For the curious, here are the specs of the new machine:

    2 x 2.8Ghz Xeon 4 GB DDR2 ECC RAM 2 x 146GB SCSI

    Once again, a huge thank-you to everyone who has helped us out. If you missed the fun and still want to kick in a bit of cash, you can find a Donate button on the Donations page.

    Give yourselves a pat on the back, Mr. Community -- you rock.

  2. Important glibc locale change in testing

    Starting with glibc 2.3.6-1, locales will no longer be included as a pre-generated locale archive. This means that on default glibc installation, the only locale available is the "C" locale. Instead of shipping a 50MB locale archive, glibc switches to locale-gen, a script that generates locales found in /etc/locale.gen.

    After upgrading to glibc 2.3.6-1, users should enter wanted locales in /etc/locale.gen and run the locale-gen script afterwards.

    By default /etc/locale.gen is an empty file with commented documentation. Once edited, the file won't get touched again and locale-gen runs on every glibc upgrade, installing all the locales specified in /etc/locale.gen.

    The /etc/locale.gen is not completely clear about which locale to specify. If you use a locale like en_US.UTF8, you should put it in locale.gen as following:

    en_US.UTF8 UTF-8

    locale gen will strip the .UTF8 part when assembling the locale data, but will put it in the archive as en_US.UTF8.

  3. Server Donation Drive

    On the Archlinux Mailing List, Judd posted the following:

    Hey all,

    I'm sure you all already know this, but we've kinda hit a brick wall, growth-wise, and that wall is dragon -- our ailing, underpowered server.

    There's nothing more frustrating than trying to get a bugfix package uploaded when the server is unresponsive. And I'm sure it's equally (if not more) frustrating to be sitting on a broken Arch box with no access to the wiki or forums because the whole server is down.

    Well, let's fix it then! Dale Blount's company has graciously offered us some rack space in their facility, and Paul Mattal's company has graciously donated part of the funds required to purchase the hardware. We're looking at about 2500 bucks total. With Paul's help and existing donation money left over from existing server expenses, we have about $1100, leaving us with another $1400 to pull out of the air.

    So here is my public plea to all of you for some financial help. If you've already donated, or can't afford to help out, that's cool -- we understand. But if you have some bucks kicking around that you were just going to use as scrap paper or paper-airplane material, then please consider sending it our way instead.

    Many thanks to everyone for helping to keep us afloat. If this fails, we have to resort to auctioning off our developers for random housechores and general abuse. Phrakture drew the short straw, so he's first.

  4. Xorg7 Moves to Current

    Xorg7 has finally moved into Current. The upgrade is pretty smooth, but you'll have to make a few path changes in your xorg.conf to make things happy.

    See the Xorg7 wiki page for upgrade instructions.


  1. After the xorg7 upgrade settles down, we will putting together the 0.7.2 release, following the new release guidelines talked about in the last meeting. Jan wants to try to get glibc 2.3.6-1, gcc 4.0.3-2, and kernel 2.6.16 into that release as well.
  2. As you saw on the front page, we raised way more money than we ever expected. The new server to replace dragon ( will be super skookum. I just wanted to send out my own thanks to the community for all the donations. Now I just have to convince Judd to purchase some build machines for pacbuild...

Forum Highlights

  1. rafal wants to who uses Arch Linux for scientific purposes and what applications to look into.
  2. Jacek Poplawski wants to know how much success people had with XGL His focus was different from last newsletter as it was more about how it was working for people rather than getting it to work.
  3. Dusty wants a simple way to backup data and have it ready in case he ever loses data in an inadvertent mistake.
  4. nggalai wants to know if there is anything that needs to be cleaned up after the Xorg upgrade.
  5. drakosha was working on a way to sort mirrors by using a script written in python.

Mailing List Highlights

  1. There was discussion about getting a desktop environment working that is featured in Symphony OS.
  2. When someone fell into the trap of not setting the RGB path, the reason was explained. Xorg hardcodes the path unless you specifically set it, which is why the RGB path has to be in the config file correctly.
  3. After someone had an error in rosegarden, it was stated that this is caused by the default timer resolution in the kernel. The default is set to be friendly for server use.

Package Highlights


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 upstream or has a licensing problem. Last but not least, no TU wants to do it.


To Participate, visit:

Number of registered systems: 651
Longest recorded uptime: 496 days, 9 hours, 22 minutes, 38 seconds.
Average uptime: 13 days, 3 hours, 41 minutes, 9 seconds.
Least packages installed on a system: 40
Average installed packages: 398
Most packages installed on a system: 6581
Lowest Bogomips: 266.28
Average Bogomips: 3548.46
Highest Bogomips: 6914.04


To Participate, visit:

Members: 17
Total credit: 167,247.31


Arch Linux Team Page

Team Number: 45032
Members: 38
Score: 334077
Ranking: 817 of 43098



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