Arch Linux Newsletter

Apr 01, 2007
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. 0.8 Voodoo ISOs finally released!

    Hi Archlinux Community,
    31th March, 14:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time)
    it's done final 0.8 Voodoo ISOs for i686 and x86_64 are ready :)

    Get Archlinux ISOs in /0.8/iso/{i686,x86_64} on your favorite mirror.
    Download Wiki
    Download Homepage

    Please don't forget to check md5sums.

    Torrents are already up and seeded. Metalink packages will be prepared soon.

    Changelog of ISO (compared to 0.7.2 install iso):
    - to boot the ISO 96 MB RAM are recommended, it breaks somewhere between 80 - 90 MB RAM.
    (calculated like this: kernel image + initrd size + decompressed initrd)
    - dropped install floppy support
    - switched from busybox to archboot usage
    - Updated packages (including linux
    - Full mkinitcpio support
    - Installation on PATA and IDE possible (PATA is default now) ide-legacy option included for old IDE subsystem
    - All parameters initcpio understands, new ISO does understand
    - Usb devices (keyboards/cd/dvd) should now work as they should
    - Usage of hwdetect/udev autodetection during boot
    - added memtest86+ to iso
    - added installation support on cciss devices
    - pacman is included to allow installation of any other needed package in install environment.
    - added /etc/rc.d/ and /etc/rc.conf support
    - added arch network support, including ssh,telnet and portmap services
    - added vpn support
    - added framebuffer modules to install environment
    - added cpufreq support
    - added iptables support
    - added grub and lilo to install environment
    - custom config files support:
    any media with /config directory and files will be copied to /etc/ install environment
    - loading packages as addons during boot:
    any media with /packages directory including pacman packages will be installed during bootup.
    - links and naim included to be able to communicate over the internet.
    - added kexec support

    Changelog of new setup (compared to 0.7.2 setup)
    - added some information dialogs
    - added some confirmation dialogs
    - added set root password
    - removed all kernel24 stuff
    - switched to initcpio only support
    - added locale-gen file for editing
    - only show devices that are useful in mountpoints selection, partitioning and network
    - possibility to select dm and md devices from setup (creation of lvm and md still needs to be done by hand!)
    - mkinitcpio autoconfiguration. This includes HOOKS autoconfiguration and hostcontroller configuration: ide/scsi/sata modules are put into MODULES= in mkinitcpio.conf to ensure right loading order and avoid device-swapping
    - network modules are put in the MODULES=() in rc.conf - again, this is done to avoid random swapping of multiple network interfaces
    - added http:// net install support

    Bug collector of fixed showstoppers is here:
    Fixed Showstoppers

    Forum feedback about 0.8 testing is here:
    Forum Testing

    Feedback about 0.8 final installations is here:
    Forum Final

    I would like to thank you all, who assisted in testing and of course finding/fixing bugs, you users/devs simply rock.

    Happy installing and have fun.

  2. GNOME 2.18 moves to extra

    Due to the low amount of bugs received on our GNOME 2.18 release in testing, this version moves to extra quite quickly.

    Some problematic packages stay in testing until there's a proper fix to get them working correctly as the old versions did.

    Some other packages will force us to redesign their PKGBUILD scripts, which takes some time. These haven't been updated yet while the previous version continues to work fine.

    For those who weren't using it from testing yet: Have fun with GNOME 2.18!

  3. Public Developer Mailing List

    I just wanted to let everyone know that, in the interest of creating a more open community, we have created a "public" developer mailing list.

    This list is read-only to non-developers (the list will reject your mail) but anyone can subscribe to it and see the archives.

    We're going to try to do most of our discussion and things on this list, so if you are interested in observing, or just seeing what we do, feel free to subscribe.

  4. Pacman 3.0.0 in Testing

    It's been a long time coming, but we just bumped pacman 3 into the testing repository where it will live for a few days before moving to current. PLEASE let us know if you find any problems with it by posting a detailed bug report to Flyspray or sending us an email on the pacman-dev mailing list.

    The pacman website should be updated in the near future with details on what has changed. That can be found at

  5. Throttling +

    We've run into bandwidth problems due to too many people using instead of a proper mirror. has been throttled and will be much slower from now on. Please find a mirror to use instead. has also experienced similar problems. Too many people (nearly 600, in fact) are using rsync to create full local mirrors when they probably have no need (I mean, c'mon, we had someone rsyncing through a gprs connection, use some common sense!). These unnecessary full mirrors are using up rsync slots and preventing our official mirrors from syncing in a timely manner. Thus, will soon be limited to official mirrors ONLY. If you still feel the need to mirror the entire repo, please use one of our official mirrors' rsync service instead. If you are running multiple Arch machines on a small LAN, then we suggest that you check out a solution like this one.

  6. GNOME 2.18 is in testing

    GNOME 2.18 has been packaged and is placed into testing. Some packages are still missing, these are left at the 2.16 version we have in extra. These packages will be added later this weekend.

    Please test this release very careful. I don't expect major issues with this release, as the changes are not as big as the previous version when gnome switched from Bonobo to DBUS.


  1. Lots of discussion is continuing. The majority of it has been moved to the new public list though (arch-dev-public). If you're that interested, it's all available there.
  2. Arjan is resigning as a package maintainer. His work was well appreciated and we wish him luck in all his endeavours.
  3. As part of trying to keep users informed of what developers are doing, we are trying to include status on our wiki pages:,,
  4. Jan has a new idea for db packaging. He wants to fix the compatibility problems we have when updating db.
  5. We're trying to create a standard naming convention for all the licenses in the licenses package. A stub has been created here:
  6. Aaron is working on expanding the /etc/services and /etc/protocols files. He's also looking at the /etc/mailcap file.
  7. James is working on new wireless and networking scripts. He has some great ideas and he's talking about them on arch-dev-public.

Forum Highlights

  1. dienadel posted some configuration options that may increase network speed.
  2. chell needed information on setting monitor refresh rates.
  3. deficite is working on an alternative method for installation.
  4. lilsirecho was looking for motherboards with USB boot support.
  5. FUBAR was collecting opinions on features of Linux to show off for a corporate point of view.

Mailing List Highlights

  1. Disscussion on the release of Voodoo!
  2. Solving an error that came up in encfs.

Package Highlights


Q: What is the difference between all the different repositories?

A: The [current] repository is the location of the packages available off of the install CD. The [extra] repository is the collection of packages that are outside of the install CD but maintained by the Arch Linux Developers. When a package is to be tested before release to [extra] or [current] it is placed in [testing]. [unstable] is the collection of packages considered to be unstable by the developers, but popular enough to be packaged for distribution. Finally the [community] repository is the location of packages that are in the AUR and have been adopted by a Trusted User who has packaged them for download.

More information here.

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: 1378
Longest recorded uptime: 494 days, 3 hours, 29 minutes, 25 seconds.
Average uptime: 15 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes, 14 seconds.
Average installed packages: 467
Average system memory: 789MB
Slowest CPU (MHz): 175.00
Average CPU (MHz): 1774.46
Fastest CPU (MHz): 3596.97


To Participate, visit:

Members: 19
Total credit: 650,150.70


Arch Linux Team Page
Extended Team Statistics

Team Number: 45032
Members: 113
Score: 1907120
Ranking: 335 of 48080



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