Arch Linux Newsletter

Jan 14, 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. screen and ncurses

    For anyone having upgrade issues with screen and ncurses, some files have changed hands. These terminfo files used to be under the control of screen, but are now included as part of ncurses.

    error: the following file conflicts were found:
    ncurses: /usr/share/terminfo/s/screen-256color: exists in filesystem
    ncurses: /usr/share/terminfo/s/screen-256color-bce: exists in filesystem

    If you get this error, please upgrade screen first, then continue with the ncurses upgrade.

  2. 0.8 Voodoo Alpha ISO release

    Hi Arch community, i'm sure you all saw the bump to 0.8 Voodoo yesterday, new release also means new installation iso :)

    Get the isos here:

    Forum feedback thread is here:

    Bug collector for showstoppers is here:

    Short summary what happened and what still needs to be done for final ISO: Changelog of ISO (compared to 0.7.2 install iso)
    - Full mkinitcpio support
    - Updated packages (including linux
    - Installation on PATA and IDE possible (PATA is default now) ide-legacy option included for old IDE subsystem
    - dropped install floppy support
    - switched from busybox to archboot usage
    - All parameters initcpio understands, new ISO does understand
    - Usb devices (keyboards/cd/dvd) should now work as they should else it's a kernel bug
    - Usage of hwdetect/udev autodetection during boot
    - Added memtest86+ to iso
    - Added installation support on cciss devices

    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 usefull 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

    - docs are still from 0.7.2 install iso
    - keymap HOOK bug, already fixed on CVS
    - timezone bug
    - switching to grub usage instead of isolinux

    now one big wish, please test those installation cds and report issues to the links posted above, on bug tracker, forum or ML

    please help us in finding the last bugs we missed, thanks arch community


  1. Damir used to be the guy who got emails from the bug tracker for unassigned bugs in unstable. If you would like to take the job, send Judd an email.
  2. James is gone from the 3rd to the 10th of January.

Forum Highlights

  1. neotuli began collecting user opinions for AUR2.
  2. brain0 posted some information about a beryl update.
  3. wrythe created psearch, a tool that can manipulate and refine a pacman search.
  4. arooaroo provided a link to an Arch review written by cactus.
  5. punkrockguy318 is working on an Arch setup as a living room gaming platform.
  6. freigeist made some customized versions of the Arch logo.

Mailing List Highlights

  1. Brainstorming on the mailing list for AUR2.
  2. Recovery after accidental pacman database deletion.
  3. Discussion on a pacman feature for the install package list.

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: 1154
Longest recorded uptime: 494 days, 3 hours, 29 minutes, 25 seconds.
Average uptime: 13 days, 18 hours, 19 minutes, 17 seconds.
Average installed packages: 461
Average system memory: 754MB
Slowest CPU (MHz): 133.00
Average CPU (MHz): 1751.88
Fastest CPU (MHz): 3596.98


To Participate, visit:

Members: 25
Total credit: 453,231.83


Arch Linux Team Page
Extended Team Statistics

Team Number: 45032
Members: 92
Score: 1513027
Ranking: 364 of 47183



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