Arch Linux Newsletter

March 2010
Daniel J Griffiths


Uh oh... this doesn't look quite right... This month's issue looks like a flashback to 2004! If you don't read anything else, read the closing to find out why.

Table Of Contents

  1. Front Page News
  2. Dev Land
  3. Forum Highlights
  4. Mailing List Highlights
  5. FAQ
  6. The Community
  7. Closing

Front Page News

  1. The new mkinitcpio 0.6 brings lots of changes, most importantly the removal of klibc in favor of glibc and busybox. Read more here.
  2. This release brings a completely new auto wireless/wired configuration. The old net-auto is deprecated and no longer included. There are also some very minor configuration changes that may affect a few people.
  3. Bug Day: Saturday, March 6: Since Saturday worked so well last time, we're doing it again. Thanks to all who helped last month, and in advance to those who will join us this month; it feels like we're starting to clean out some of the backlog.

This Week in Devland

  1. A discussion has started regarding coming up with a standardized coding style. Read more about it here.
  2. We have begun the process of migrating to support xz compressed packages. All of the developer tools as well as makepkg and pacman now include support. Read more about it here.

Forum Highlights

  1. Archer algorythm has started an official joke thread. This one could easily grow to epic proportions.
  2. Proving that not all Arch users are decent, law-abiding citizens, Bralkein put together this script which corrupts files. Why Bralkein?!?
  3. Peasantoid is at it again, this time pondering users' favorite method for cooking eggs.


  1. Q: I asked for help in the Arch IRC channel, but I got RTFM'd. Why did people call me a scallawag?

    A: Some Arch users have a habit of coming into the IRC channel angry. The best thing you can do is search the forum, wiki, and google before coming for help. If you've done that, and the taunting persists, just call them a scallawag back.

  2. Q: I see new packages on the front page of the Arch website, but when I re-sync in pacman, those packages aren't available. What's happening?

    A: It may take up to 24 hours for your mirror to re-sync with the main server. If after a long period of time updated packages aren't available, consider changing the mirror used in your pacman.conf.

The Community

  1. Back when I used PCManFM, a much lamented feature was the ability to create user-definable functions. Thankfully, IgnorantGuru has come up with a mod (aptly titled PCManFM-Mod) which allows just this!
  2. Frequent contributor brisbin33 has released a nifty little gadget that implements a bash notification daemon for mpd song changes. Titled Bashnotify, you can read more here.


Hopefully this little trip down memory lane caught the attention of the community. While I am well aware there are a handful of crusty old Archers that miss the days when the newsletter was released (weekly) in this format, I sincerely believe that the majority of our readers are generally pleased with where we are today. However, the more in-depth (and, I believe, more interesting) magazine format does come at a price.

Ever since I first started working with Kensai last year I have tried repeatedly to gain support from the community in the form of contributions. Usually, I get just enough to get through the month. Occasionally I actually receive more than I need. This month, I only received one. This deeply saddens me as the discussions threads on the forum have nothing but good things to say about the work we do, but few are willing to step forward and help. I have made every effort to make the contribution process easier, from setting up an #archlinux-magazine channel on freenode to setting up a wiki page that provides guidelines for authors, artists and translators and even has a few article ideas, yet few have stepped forward.

In closing, let me leave you with this... We will return to our standard format next month. How much content is included I leave up to the community. Even if you aren't sure what to write or would like to contribute in some other way, please visit the aformentioned wiki page and contact me through one of the methods posted there. As usual, I am looking forward to another (hopefully) great issue next month!