June 2004


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Archive for June 1st, 2004

Arch Linux 0.6 – Quick Review

Posted in Geekery on June 1st, 2004

Ok, so far, I have gone through three different hard drives before I found one that would stick, but I don’t believe that has had anything to do with Arch. Finally got it working on an 82.3 gig, split kinda half-n-half for / and /home.

Not a bad little system. The pacman package manager works as advertised. A simple ‘pacman -Sy {packagename}’ gets you the latest version, checks (and downloads) all dependencies, then installs the whole kaboodle, all from the command line. (Anyone who has ever tried to install mplayer from scratch will appreciate that!)

This is still a young distro, so there (of course) are going to be some shortfalls in the package lists, but it looks to be fairly simple to build your own packages out of tarballs. The nice thing is that the packages that are on the list are right up-to-date. (I didn’t realize that Gaim had finally gotten the ymessenger snafu figured out until I installed it last night.)

Things I still need to figure out:

  • How to get the mouse wheel working in X
  • I need to see if XFree86 4.4.0 is the one with the stupid licensing
  • How to get user permissions for the media drives
  • How to get the sound working (the install notes cover this, but it didn’t work)
  • Nothing too major, but it will take some playing. The big irritant is that Arch uses the DevFS filesystem, which means the nomenclature is once again, different than what I’m used to, so I can’t simple copy over the /etc/fstab file from my working system. (/dev/hda1 is now /dev/discs/disc0/disc1 for instance)

    All-in-all, a distro to watch. A good middle step from the uber-user-friendliness of SuSE or Mandrake to the gotta-know-everything of Gentoo or Slackware. As they move towards the 1.0 milestone, things should get pretty sweet.