Arch Linux Newsletter

Apr 29, 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. kernel 2.6.21 hits testing

    Hi kernel 2.6.21 series is now in testing, it will be the kernel series for next release so please test this stuff well before it can go into current repository.

    - latest alsa hg stuff added
    - updated patches to fit for .21 kernel

    - Recent Changes:
    Upstream Changes

    have fun and report Showstoppers

  2. Pacman 3.0.3 in Testing and moving soon

    Pacman 3.0.3, the most recent release of pacman, was pushed to the testing repo earlier today. We are planning on sending this to current very soon, so PLEASE inform us of any problems. As of now, there are none holding us back.

    For more information on what has changed, see

  3. GNOME moves to /usr

    Just like XFCE did a week ago, GNOME will move from /opt/gnome to /usr. Together with this move, one package becomes completely obsolete: gnome-common. This package is only required for packages in /opt/gnome to stay functional. The GNOME environment in /usr won't depend on it anymore.

    For those who don't want to make the switch in one run (the upgrade includes +/- 150 packages, worth several megabytes), the upgrade procedure tries not to break these things. During the process of creating these packages, my test system was a mix of /opt/gnome and /usr packages, which works fine. Keep in mind that for these applications gnome-common will be required to operate. This is no longer a dependency however.

    Due to the changed paths some downsides will happen: profiles will have all gnome-panel launchers pointing to /opt/gnome. These launchers can't be loaded by the gnome panel in some cases, causing them to get lost. These launchers should be manually recreated.

  4. Upstream bug in openssl 0.9.8e

    A user has contacted us regarding a problem with the openssl 0.9.8e release, after investigating issues reported by EncFS users. The problem relates to Blowfish encryption, and the symptom is a failure to decrypt volumes created under previous openssl versions. Full details are in the following mailing list threads/posts:

    This issue is not included in openssl's known issues list, but it has been patched in their CVS repository. I have built openssl 0.9.8e-3 to include that patch, as per the mails above, and will put it in the testing repo until we are sure there are no unexpected issues with it.

    I also have the previous 0.9.8d package, if any user wishes to downgrade temporarily for rescue purposes. That is available here:

    My thanks to Valient Gough and David Rosenstrauch for their assistance with this issue.

  5. xfce-svn has moved to Community

    Users may have noticed that the xfce-svn packages formerly maintained by Shadowhand in the Unstable repo have not been updated since he resigned an an Arch developer. The principal reason for this is that no other member of the team has the time to adopt them.

    The preferred solution is, of course, to have them maintained somewhere, and we are grateful to wizzomafizzo for offering to look after them in the Community repo.

    If you wish to continue (or to start) using xfce-svn, please ensure that the Community repo is enabled in /etc/pacman.conf.

    The outdated packages have now been removed from Unstable.

  6. kernel acpi changes + alsa bump to 1.0.14rc3

    Hi folks,
    the new kernel has acpi modules as much modularized as possible, it was requested due to some people having problems with the monitoring modules in the kernel.

    I have written a small wiki about the acpi modules, you need to add them to your MODULES=() array in rc.conf.


    Also the alsa subsystem was bumped to 1.0.14rc3.

  7. fakeroot + coreutils bug breaks makepkg

    Since the update to coreutils 6.9-1, chmod and fakeroot didn't work together any more. This resulted in wrong permissions in packages built with makepkg. The commands 'chmod', 'cp -a', 'install -mXXX' and similar didn't work properly in the build() function in some cases, which may also affect the 'make install' command.

    All Developers, TUs and AUR users, please update to the fakeroot package to the latest version (1.5.10-2) and check all packages you built since the coreutils update. If there are permission errors in them, rebuild them.


  1. Paul has started spearheading the Arch SCM Layout and Repo Management project. Our goal is to replace the old way we use CVS for the developers and TUs and implement a more developer/TU/user/pacbuild friendly system. See for more information.
  2. Jan suggested that we start using a games group ( This has been brought up multiple times in multiple places. I don't remember why it wasn't well received. If you remember, please contact Jan.
  3. Jason started a thread about having project managers ( These people would be in charge of holding the developers accountable for changes they said they'd make and holding users accountable for testing new packages (especially ones that sit in testing for a long time). If you have any comments or are interested in being that person, please contact Jason.
  4. James wants feedback on his network scripts ( Feel free to test it and give any feedback (and support!) to James.

Forum Highlights

  1. nv brought up the naming scheme for development packages.
  2. AndyRTR posted a link to a review of Arch Linux 0.8 Voodoo under x86_64.
  3. kamagurka wanted a method of having the remove command follow symlinks.
  4. Shirakawasuna was looking for a way to automatically connect to wireless networks as they are nearby.
  5. cyprinus compared the performance of firefox and swiftfox.

Mailing List Highlights

  1. Support for 3D graphics with an intel card.
  2. Work on a server that would host bittorrent files for Arch.

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: 1457
Longest recorded uptime: 494 days, 3 hours, 29 minutes, 25 seconds.
Average uptime: 15 days, 8 hours, 37 minutes, 53 seconds.
Average installed packages: 475
Average system memory: 802MB
Slowest CPU (MHz): 175.00
Average CPU (MHz): 1780.24
Fastest CPU (MHz): 3596.98


To Participate, visit:

Members: 20
Total credit: 738,659.89


Arch Linux Team Page
Extended Team Statistics

Team Number: 45032
Members: 122
Score: 2033063
Ranking: 339 of 63268



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