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#1 2006-01-19 23:29:59

mac57
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From: St. Somewhere
Registered: 2006-01-06
Posts: 302
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Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

A week and a half ago, I took the plunge and installed Arch 0.7.1 (Noodle). I posted a thread here on that day called "And the Odyssey Begins - First Impressions of Arch Linux".

It is a week and a half later, and I am a confirmed believer. I have retired my previous distro (SuSE 9.3) and use Arch exclusively. Noodle is amazing. It is the FASTEST linux distribution I have ever used: fast in terms of boot time from grub prompt to full desktop and fast in terms of the speed with which applications launch and run. Everything is significantly, noticably faster than it was under SuSE on the same hardware. Truly amazing.

But that is not all. By and large, everything I have tried on Noodle JUST WORKS! All my physical devices JUST WORK, including the usually troublesome ones like my webcam. I have had almost no issues getting everything up and running. I had a brief issue with sound (my fault - didn't add my non root user to group "audio"), but that was it.

...and multimedia - it all JUST WORKS. I can't tell you how much trouble I had to go to in order to get other distros to do basic stuff like play MP3s or MPGs. In Noodle, I installed XMMS, MPlayer and gxine, and all my media JUST WORKS. Again, amazing.

...and then there is package management. Why can't everyone have a package manager that is as simple, fast and effective as pacman? pacman is a real winner! ...not to mention the impressive selection of packages that are available. I have been able to find almost everything I normally use in the repository. The few I haven't been able to find I have been able to build from source easily, without all the usual fussing about.

Arch is the linux I have been looking for. It is fast, stable, capable and supported by a great bunch of folks here in the forums. My hat is off to those who created and maintain this great distro, and to everyone here in the forums. I have found a new home.


Cast off the Microsoft shackles Jan 2005

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#2 2006-01-19 23:37:11

T-Dawg
Forum Fellow
From: Wilmington, NC
Registered: 2005-01-29
Posts: 2,734

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

mac57 wrote:

...not to mention the impressive selection of packages that are available. I have been able to find almost everything I normally use in the repository. The few I haven't been able to find I have been able to build from source easily, without all the usual fussing about.

well thats a first. Normally most people's complaint is the lack of package selection. There's also AUR which has about 2,000 unsupported packages.

Glad you like Arch and welcome!  8)

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#3 2006-01-19 23:43:40

iggy
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From: Germany, L.E. - Leipzig
Registered: 2004-10-17
Posts: 367

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

welcome!!! big_smile

yeah, i began as a noob with arch! it was hard, but in a half year i can use and manage arch! pacman, abs, community and features are amazing! great distro!

@mac57:

believe me, you will find more great things! do you know

abs

?
there are pkgbuilds of all packages! so you can easily edit available packages!

cya


sorry for my bad english smile

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#4 2006-01-20 01:06:20

elasticdog
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From: Washington, USA
Registered: 2005-05-02
Posts: 995
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Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

mac57 wrote:

The few I haven't been able to find I have been able to build from source easily, without all the usual fussing about.

As Penguin said, the AUR has a ton of packages that are not in the official repos, so be sure to check there for stuff you can't find.  Also, if you're compiling things yourself, give the <code>ABS</code> system a try so that even those programs can be managed by <code>pacman</code>.

Glad to have ya aboard!

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#5 2006-02-01 22:08:27

Sigi
Member
From: Thurgau, Switzerland
Registered: 2005-09-22
Posts: 1,121

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

Arch just rocks!

If you often use the AUR, have a look at "qpkg" if you haven't done so already.
->     pacman -S qpkg

Greez Sigi


Dammit, haven't been here in a while. Still rocking Arch. smile

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#6 2006-02-01 22:13:40

Gullible Jones
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Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

Not any more... It's in Unsupported, so you can't download it with pacman, and it happens to be orphaned too.

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#7 2006-02-01 22:17:33

mac57
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From: St. Somewhere
Registered: 2006-01-06
Posts: 302
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Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

Can you expand on that? What does qpkg do?

I had one bad experience with AUR and haven't gotten back to it yet. I followed the instructions I found somewhere (Wiki, forum, somewhere - don't remember any more), dowloaded the package, and attempted to build. My screen flooded with compile errors and I just gave up - I figured that if I had to fight with compile errors, I might as well do it with the good 'ol

./configure, make, make install

route, rather than adding the complexity of a (to me) unknown build system on top of it. So far, I haven't needed to go back. Arch is *so* good (i.e. follows normal standards, everything is where it should be) that pretty much everything I have tried to build from source the usual way has worked like a champ.

I think it was qamix that I was trying to build this way, by the way. Eventually I built it myself from source via the ./configure, make, make install route. There were *lots* of compile errors this way too, but I fixed them all and got it to build. Perhaps the version in AUR was suffering from the same problems.

If qpkg is in AUR, and it sounds interesting, perhaps I will give this a whirl again.

Meantime, to get back on topic for a moment, it is a few weeks later now since my Arch install, and I remain incredibly impressed with it. The best part is the speed. I feel like I've gotten a new CPU that is twice as fast. Arch not only ROCKS, it RACES!


Cast off the Microsoft shackles Jan 2005

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#8 2006-02-02 01:29:42

Snowman
Developer/Forum Fellow
From: Montreal, Canada
Registered: 2004-08-20
Posts: 5,212

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

qpkg (like aurbuild) are wrappers script that basically, in one command, download the tarballs from AUR, untar them, then use makepkg and pacman to build/install them. They wouldn't have helped you with your compiling problems. 

When using PKGBUILD from AUR, you need to keep in mind that these are submitted by users having various computing background.  Therefore, it's possible that the package doesn't build/install/work properly.  In these case, you need to fix the PKGBUILD (similar to what you did to build it with configure make make install) to make it work. Once that's done, post a comment with your fix  in AUR so the package contributor will know about it and fix the package.

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#9 2006-02-09 04:29:41

MartinZ
Member
From: Chiloé, Chile
Registered: 2005-06-10
Posts: 374

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

mac57 wrote:

Meantime, to get back on topic for a moment, it is a few weeks later now since my Arch install, and I remain incredibly impressed with it. The best part is the speed. I feel like I've gotten a new CPU that is twice as fast. Arch not only ROCKS, it RACES!

I guess you're using a current + extra box?
If this is the case, you will find that the impressive speed you got is nothing compared with what you can obtain with some little more work.

I'm using kernel26archck +  suspend2 (with hibernate-script) + reiser4 with xfce4 and still can't believe when my whole system boots up to exactly how i left it in 13 seconds!! And i have just a Sempron 1.6 GHz with 256 MB RAM.

Everything runns faster and more stable than in any computer i've seen until now. Arch is by far the best distro (and Linux the best OS) i've tried, I'm really happy with the decision I made 1 year ago to left Micro$oft.


All your base are belong to us

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#10 2006-02-09 16:22:33

mac57
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From: St. Somewhere
Registered: 2006-01-06
Posts: 302
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Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

This sounds VERY interesting. I did a little poking around on the web, and wonder if you might provide a bit more input on suspend2. First of all, it doesn't appear to be available in the usual Arch repos or in AUR, and there is nothing in the Arch Wiki. So, I am guessing you got it from the suspend2 website and built/installed per the suspend2 website??

I am using the stock 2.6 kernel 2.6.15-ARCH. From the suspend2 website, it would appear that suspend2 should be built in, hence no need to patch the kernel?

If all of the above is true, could you provide "instructions for dummies" on how to use this feature? A 13 second boot sounds AWESOME. I would love to try it out. Thanks!


Cast off the Microsoft shackles Jan 2005

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#11 2006-02-09 18:26:33

jaboua
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Registered: 2005-11-05
Posts: 634

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

According to the link below, suspend2 is in ArchCK:
http://iphitus.loudas.com/archck.php

try "pacman -S kernel26archck" if you have the community repo enabled in /etc/pacman.conf.

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#12 2006-02-09 18:29:39

MartinZ
Member
From: Chiloé, Chile
Registered: 2005-06-10
Posts: 374

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

This stuff is very easy, don't be scarred:

1.- kernel26archck (from community) has built-in suspend2, so you just have to switch your vanilla-kernel to archck-kernel. It has lots of nice features (such as reiser4 support, fbsplash and Con Kolivas patch), just take a look in the forum.

2.- Modify your bootloader:
lilo

append="everything-you-already-had resume2=swap:/dev/hdXY (your swap partition)"

grub

kernel everything-you-already-had resume2=swap:/dev/hdXY

3.- Install hibernate-script from community

4.- (Optional) Install sudo. Then as root run visudo and add a line containing

username hostname= NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/hibernate

With this, you just execute sudo hibernate as normal user and you system saves the RAM into your swap partition (it should be bigger than your RAM, as usual). As you boot up again, the info in swap is reloaded to your RAM in very little time. Voila!      8)

However, I would recommend to read this before proceeding http://www.suspend2.net/HOWTO-2.html


All your base are belong to us

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#13 2006-02-09 20:42:02

mac57
Member
From: St. Somewhere
Registered: 2006-01-06
Posts: 302
Website

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

You say "don't be worried" and "install new kernel" all in one breath. Phew! The last system I tried installing a new kernel on reduced itself to ashes, and it tooks hours of nailbiting effort to get it to boot again. Granted, that was on Yoper, not Arch. Life is likely smoother on Arch, but the fear remains!

If I install this new kernel, does it overwrite or in any way invalidate my current stock kernel? Is this as simple as ADDING a new set of stuff to /boot without REMOVING any of the current stuff? If so, I feel better.

As for this new kernel, what vintage is it? The stock is running 2.6.15. Is the new one also 2.6.15, but with extra goodies added? Does it support SMP? I have a Pentium IV, so SMP really helps. What about modules? I use the nvidia and pwc modules, among many others. I single out these two because both are notoriously fickle about being compiled against the kernel that is running. Do I have to re-build these modules after I run the new kernel, or will pacman take care of this for me? Are there others like this that will need attention post new kernel?

I really appreciate the input, and I am not trying to give anyone "the third degree" here - just being VERY cautious after a VERY bad experience with kernel replacement in the past. Thanks.


Cast off the Microsoft shackles Jan 2005

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#14 2006-02-10 14:06:41

jaboua
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Registered: 2005-11-05
Posts: 634

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

You have to reinstall the nvidia driver after booting up the new kernel AFAIK.

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#15 2006-02-10 15:01:40

MartinZ
Member
From: Chiloé, Chile
Registered: 2005-06-10
Posts: 374

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

Ha, ha, ha!!!      lol

Indeed, mac, you may keep both kernels while you test archck. Just take care of keeping both entries in grub/lilo too.


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#16 2006-02-11 18:37:42

briancurtin
Member
From: Chicago, IL
Registered: 2006-02-11
Posts: 132
Website

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

mac57 wrote:

The stock is running 2.6.15. Is the new one also 2.6.15, but with extra goodies added? Does it support SMP? I have a Pentium IV, so SMP really helps.

do you have a dual processor setup, or hyperthreading? i was under the impression that SMP only mattered to those two things, and that a kernel for symmetric multiprocessing wouldnt matter on a single processor. is that right, or am i wrong?

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#17 2006-02-12 17:56:13

mac57
Member
From: St. Somewhere
Registered: 2006-01-06
Posts: 302
Website

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

I have hyperthreading - default on all P4s. I understand that the stock kernel supports SMP. Certainly on other distros the SMP kernel has usually run much faster than the non SMP. This *is* a kernel option, which is why I am asking the question.


Cast off the Microsoft shackles Jan 2005

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#18 2006-02-13 05:30:08

iphitus
Forum Fellow
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: Arch Linux Rocks! A Follow Up

hyperthreading is not on all P4s, only the last generation or two. Plenty of people have P4s from before them that do not have hyperthreading.

As for extra goodies, the Arch kernel is practically vanilla. If you want some extras, try kernel26archck in community.

iphitus

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