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Old 06-12-2015, 01:32 PM   #1
mdooligan
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Arch Linux Rocks!


I haven't had this much fun installing a system since Slackware in the 90s, boot floppies over 14.4 modem, and 486 pc. Every distro comes with so much automagic and eye-candy these days I always want to rip it apart, strip it to bare metal, but with Arch I'm taking baby steps learning about brand-new-generation Linux from the bottom up. It's come a long way in the 10 years since I installed Mandrake10 on my trusty old laptop in 2005.

I acquired a Dell OptiPlex 755 about 3 years old that is in desperate need of a new OS. Someone already had the sense to nuke the Fisher-Price(tm) OS that it came with. It still has the sticker on the top that declares Proof of License and Certificate of Authority, along with a mystical 25 digit number that will solve all your problems, maybe cure your asthma too. My box has been blessed by the Big G himself, or at least one of His angelic minions. Woo hoo

Anyhoo, I like the assembly of hardware that is now reborn under the constellation of Linux. I think it'll live a good service life and keep me educated and entertained for a few years, hey, maybe a decade, like it's older brother who's retiring to remote-login-land print-server. Basically nap in the corner until the Samsung-ML1660 packs it in.

Over the past few weeks I've gone through about 10 different distros. All of them have been unsatisfactory to me in some way or another. Mostly useless cruft and over-complicating basic things. I won't mention any names of the worst offenders (cough-selinux-cough...) but I'd like to give a shout-out to the clever peeps at ArchLinux HQ that put this together.

Thank you.
 
Old 06-12-2015, 01:39 PM   #2
Head_on_a_Stick
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Amen brother, preach it!
 
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:17 AM   #3
ondoho
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amen & hallelujah!
couldn't agree more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdooligan View Post
Someone already had the sense to nuke the Fisher-Price(tm) OS that it came with. It still has the sticker on the top that declares Proof of License and Certificate of Authority, along with a mystical 25 digit number that will solve all your problems, maybe cure your asthma too. My box has been blessed by the Big G himself, or at least one of His angelic minions. Woo hoo
thanks for this. it didn't make my day, but it surely spiced up this linuxquestions session .
keep'em coming!
 
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:38 AM   #4
mdooligan
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Indeed.

I'm still getting my head around udev/systemd. My last systems were all devfsd/sysvinit. Without the ability to hack around as root in runlevel3, rebooting constantly and watching dmesg/journalctl, I'd still be mystified by it all. The thing reboots in 30 seconds, from reboot to login. Sweet.

Once everything is working to my satisfaction, making it look pretty with XWindows is no big deal. The only thing I need X for is web browser and office suite, maybe some fun stuff like dosbox.

At first I was cursing systemd, until I got to know it a bit better. "WHERE'S MY !@#$% LOGFILES!!!" heh heh. It's pretty clever, I have to say. Udev is weird. I'm still working on that one, but I've only been at it a few days.
 
Old 06-16-2015, 03:43 PM   #5
Germany_chris
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Come back and tell us this after you have to roll back a few packages after a pacman -Syu

I stray but I always come back to Arch because it's more flexible but I dunno about the best thing since sliced bread
 
Old 06-17-2015, 09:33 AM   #6
mdooligan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
Come back and tell us this after you have to roll back a few packages after a pacman -Syu

I stray but I always come back to Arch because it's more flexible but I dunno about the best thing since sliced bread
Yeah. I'm getting to see some of Arch's annoyances. But still, just the option of near-complete customization is such a relief after so many auto-magic installs that are never what I want.

Re pacman -Syu: I'm not sure I'd even try that. Everywhere I go I see complaints about stuff not working after the auto-magic is done it's thing.

I've been installing packages individually as I need them, and even then I get fails. For example, when I went to install archlinux none of the repos had screen-4.2.1-3, which was required. I don't need screen, so I told it to ignore. But what if this happens during -Syu? Also ffmpeg package downloaded everything BUT ffmpeg. Nobody has ffmpeg-1:2.6.3-3-i686. Ergo, the package fails.

This is annoying. I can get source and compile it (ffmpeg is a pain to compile, but I've done it before). Where do I get this particular package to satisfy package deps if the repos don't even have it?
 
Old 06-17-2015, 11:07 AM   #7
Germany_chris
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pacman -Syu is how you update your system which is something you should be doing quite often.
 
Old 06-17-2015, 02:09 PM   #8
Head_on_a_Stick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdooligan View Post
Re pacman -Syu: I'm not sure I'd even try that. Everywhere I go I see complaints about stuff not working after the auto-magic is done it's thing.
Arch is like a bike -- it's only stable when it's rolling.

You should use `pacman -Syu` regularly.

If there are any problems with updated packages (and there *will* be at some point) then they will be much easier to troubleshoot and track down if the list of upgraded packages is relatively short, ie, if you have kept the gap between updates small.

If there are any problem packages it is very simple to downgrade to the previous version:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php...ading_packages

Best practice is to upgrade your system every time you install a new package:
Code:
# pacman -Syu $PACKAGE
Make sure you read the news page first in case any user intervention is required.
https://www.archlinux.org/news/

EDIT: https://www.archlinux.org/packages/extra/x86_64/ffmpeg/
Seems to work on my system:
Code:
empty@Arch ~ % ffmpeg
ffmpeg version 2.7 Copyright (c) 2000-2015 the FFmpeg developers
  built with gcc 5.1.0 (GCC)
  configuration: --prefix=/usr --disable-debug --disable-static --disable-stripping --enable-avisynth --enable-avresample --enable-fontconfig --enable-gnutls --enable-gpl --enable-libass --enable-libbluray --enable-libfreetype --enable-libfribidi --enable-libgsm --enable-libmodplug --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopencore_amrnb --enable-libopencore_amrwb --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libopus --enable-libpulse --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libspeex --enable-libssh --enable-libtheora --enable-libv4l2 --enable-libvorbis --enable-libvpx --enable-libx264 --enable-libx265 --enable-libxvid --enable-shared --enable-version3 --enable-x11grab
  libavutil      54. 27.100 / 54. 27.100
  libavcodec     56. 41.100 / 56. 41.100
  libavformat    56. 36.100 / 56. 36.100
  libavdevice    56.  4.100 / 56.  4.100
  libavfilter     5. 16.101 /  5. 16.101
  libavresample   2.  1.  0 /  2.  1.  0
  libswscale      3.  1.101 /  3.  1.101
  libswresample   1.  2.100 /  1.  2.100
  libpostproc    53.  3.100 / 53.  3.100
Hyper fast Audio and Video encoder
usage: ffmpeg [options] [[infile options] -i infile]... {[outfile options] outfile}...

Use -h to get full help or, even better, run 'man ffmpeg'

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick; 06-17-2015 at 02:15 PM.
 
Old 06-18-2015, 07:59 AM   #9
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdooligan View Post
Nobody has ffmpeg-1:2.6.3-3-i686. Ergo, the package fails.
what?
i have it:
Code:
$ uname -m
i686
$ pacman -Ss ffmpeg
extra/ffmpeg 1:2.6.3-1 [installed]
    Complete and free Internet live audio and video
    broadcasting solution
(actually i have a slightly older version because i haven't made a "pacman -Syu" on this sytem for a while)
if you can't install it it's probably a consequence of keeping your system only partially up-to-date.
if you posted this on archlinux forums, you would pretty soon get a moderator response: "Partial updates are not supported."
 
Old 06-21-2015, 03:20 AM   #10
mdooligan
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Yeah. That's about the only way to support a given distro. There's the basic Linux support, then distro support, then individual package support. 3 competely different things, from completely different places.

Frankly, I think it's kinda magic that I can just type a simple command and it goes out and fetches the freshest software available for my system. I'm used to digging through CDs and archives looking for a reasonable match for whatever I need. Then the compiling process, fetching all the libs and utilities and stuff. In the end it's nice, but the process can be frustrating.

There's a few things I insist on compiling myself, but for most stuff it's best when it just works.
 
Old 06-24-2015, 04:20 PM   #11
bruinshockey
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i've been a slacker for years, decided to give arch a try in a virtual machine. got it working with xfce. Decided to move it over to my main desktop and had it up and running with X in about 40 minutes max.

very impressed so far.
 
Old 06-24-2015, 04:22 PM   #12
Head_on_a_Stick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruinshockey View Post
i've been a slacker for years, decided to give arch a try in a virtual machine. got it working with xfce. Decided to move it over to my main desktop and had it up and running with X in about 40 minutes max.

very impressed so far.
Welcome to Arch!
 
Old 06-25-2015, 07:24 AM   #13
mdooligan
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It been 2 weeks since I made the original post, and I'm still happily banging away at Arch.

I'm on my 4th install: 1st one I borked trying to understand this new-fangled systemd stuff. 2nd one I borked messing with udev. 3rd one got borked installing grub to flash drive and it rudely stomped partition table on sda1. Bad doggy. (That incident had nothing to do with Arch). This one is pretty much borked hacking at security, so next install will likely be in a day or 2.

Let's see what I can break next...

Addenda: There are some very interesting things about the system (that may or may not have much to do with Arch itself) that seem worth mentioning:

I like the new filesystem heirarchy, all libs in one place, all the bins pointing to the same thing. Nice. Never did make much sense the old way. Artifacts of small hard drives.

The package handling system kicks ass. It's cool to see the growth of package handling since rpm came out. Then deb. Then broadband and repos. I like tarballs with metadata you can ignore if you like, but they install like rpms otherwise. Very clever, and simple.

I'm still on the fence with systemd. I like sysvinit for it's essential simplicity. Systemd tries to do too much I think. Do one thing and do it well. It's a good motto for programming, and Linux in general. I'm not so keen on all the binaries in /lib/systemd. They should be perl scripts.

Udev is cool but config seems over-complicated. I have permissions problems in /dev constantly. Udev seems to like changing permissions on things when it's bored. Maybe it's something else changing permissions. Could be pam, that's what I'm banging on now. Does somebody have a link to a GOOD tutorial on udev? Or is there some tidbit I've overlooked?
 
Old 06-25-2015, 02:15 PM   #14
Head_on_a_Stick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdooligan View Post
I'm still on the fence with systemd.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/OpenRC

Also: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Udev
 
Old 06-26-2015, 06:17 AM   #15
mdooligan
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Excellent. This Arch n00b thanks you for the good links.

I might just play with OpenRC. Maybe bork my system again See, I have this little problem: Arch just sorta works, and then I have nothing to fix, so I get bored and start poking around...
 
  


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