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#1 2023-07-17 19:14:53

avidseeker
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Registered: 2022-09-06
Posts: 39
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Your experience with "instability of Arch"

I recommended a friend Linux Mint, but he faced problems using Kdenlive (probably flatpaks messing something up). I'm used to Arch, so I was tempted to install him a beginner-friendly Arch distro. But it's often said that Arch Linux is unstable because of its rolling release cycle.

* Has anything broken with you while using Arch?
* Where do you keep up with Arch news so that you update system without having to worry about something breaking? E.g: I found archlinux.org front page and bugs.archlinux.org. Any others?
* What are your recommendations for out-of-the-box Arch distro/installer for beginners? (As I said, the purpose is to avoid flatpaks and their problems and stick to native installs which the AUR excels at).

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#2 2023-07-17 19:40:28

fch07
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From: Planet Earth
Registered: 2021-09-22
Posts: 63

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

My enthusiast linux user experience, using ubuntu since 2010 then tried many distros...using arch since 2021, in comparison to debian based distros, arch when it has a bug it's fixed very quickly, if you're using debian stable and you have some problem or some bug, you usually have to wait 2 years for it t be fixed. But on the philosophy aspect I prefer to stick to debian and arch. Help your friend to install arch, if you feel he has the will and capacity to manage it.

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#3 2023-07-17 19:43:34

Roken
Member
From: South Wales, UK
Registered: 2012-01-16
Posts: 1,250

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

I've been using Arch for the last 6 - 7 years (proper Arch - not a derivative) and can honestly say that breakages have been minimal (there have been a couple, but easy enough to fix) in that time.


Ryzen 5900X 12 core/24 thread - RTX 3090 FE 24 Gb, Asus Prime B450 Plus, 32Gb Corsair DDR4, Cooler Master N300 chassis, 5 HD (1 NvME PCI, 4SSD) + 1 x optical.
Linux user #545703

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#4 2023-07-17 19:58:24

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 48,750

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

What is "a beginner-friendly Arch distro"?
You're talking about some derivate? Would you not rather inquire the experience of the users of that derivate?

The "stability" of arch (anything, frankly) greatly depends on what packages you install.
The only time anything ever really broke for me was when arch transitioned to systemd, which was kinda incompatible w/ the preference to have /var on a reiserfs partition.
So I subscribed to the newsletter.

Frequently lurking the forum will likely be helpful: if you just show up and click threads that might concern you, you'll probably recognize when some shit hit the fan because a dozen people post the same question/problem.

Otoh, gnome breaks with every update. Mostly itself, recently also everything else. That's normal.
And if your derivate blesses the user w/ stuff like OMZ by default, you'll also have a lot of fun.
And you already noticed that flatpak sounded much better when it was just an idea…

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#5 2023-07-17 20:50:18

RandomRanger
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Registered: 2023-06-26
Posts: 38

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

I'm on week 3 of Arch. No major issues so far and I'm completely sold.


Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from science.

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#6 2023-07-17 23:30:57

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,365
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Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

avidseeker wrote:

it's often said that Arch Linux is unstable

citation needed?

Note that there is a lot of conflating of very different meanings / usages of the word "stable".  Arch linux does not have stable repos like a point release distro does.  But the antonym of this use of the word stable would not be unstable but rather rolling.

So inferring arch is "unstable" or has any "instability" from the fact that the repos are not "stable point releases" would be a fallacy of equivocation.  So for any source that actually says arch linux is "unstable" I would ask only whether they are engaging in this fallacy accidentally or intentionally (or if they perhaps might actually have reasons to back the assertion about this other meaning of stability).

avidseeker wrote:

Has anything broken with you while using Arch?

Sure.  But at a ridiculously trivial rate compared to when I used windows or macOS.

avidseeker wrote:

Where do you keep up...

For me, personally, just these forums.

avidseeker wrote:

What are your recommendations for out-of-the-box Arch distro/installer for beginners?

What are your recommendations for katana blades for people with uncontrollable spasms of their arms leading to flailing in every direction?

Last edited by Trilby (2023-07-17 23:33:13)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#7 2023-07-18 00:19:45

PutridPete
Member
Registered: 2021-10-25
Posts: 21

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

Before September 2021, my only Linux experience consisted of having installed Ubuntu once in 2012, and being back on Windows the same afternoon. Nearly 10 years later, I gave it another go: I tried Ubuntu once again and still hated it; later, Manjaro, which was even worse. But while troubleshooting something for it, I came across the Arch Wiki and began to read a lot about its philosophy and way of doing things. The first time I faced an Arch Installation screen I had no idea what the name of my shell was, what was systemd or even that my package manager was pacman. I was as green as you can ever be for a new user.

So what happened? Well, I followed the installation guide as best I could, put some effort into reading and assimilating the information that ArchWiki articles presented me, and never even had to ask anyone a single question about the issues I faced because a good internet search or a read-through of the manual always provided me with the answer I needed. I made many mistakes along the way, but I also solved all of them by a combination of patience, reading comprehension and proper internet search queries.

The question I would pose is: will your friend adapt in the same manner to issues arising from Arch or derivatives? It's not a matter of how much they know, but how willing the person is to do things on their own. That to me is the core of Arch: you do your own research and troubleshooting; you also must know your way around an internet search, can read and comprehend manuals and other form of documentation... etc. Asking if Arch or a derivative is suitable for a new user is, in my opinion, the wrong question to ask. I think a better one would be: is your friend the right kind of person for a rolling release distro model and to handle any issues that arise from that? Can they properly manage and secure their system in the long term? Will they even know how to handle anything that requires manual intervention?

There are long term users of Linux that are not ready, much like there are brand new users that are, such as I was. To reiterate: it's not about being new or not, it's about disposition to handle things on your own.

Now, is there such a thing as an "Arch made for newbies"? Consider that installing Arch is not the biggest hurdle an inexperienced person will have to get over, but instead troubleshooting, manual intervention and otherwise the majority of system configuration and administration that Arch lays on the hands of the user. For this, I simply conclude that the answer is no. Arch is neither for new or so called experienced users; it is for those that desire more choice and are willing to put in the time and effort. Derivates tend to simply automate installs and make some additional choices on top, which only muddies the waters even further. In the end, more involved distros like Arch tend to be "harder" for new users not because they require some godly knowledge, but because they require more manual intervention.

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#8 2023-07-18 15:38:39

avidseeker
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Registered: 2022-09-06
Posts: 39
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Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

breakages have been minimal

greatly depends on what packages you install

And that's why I'm asking about your experience. What examples of packages that
caused problems with you?

What is "a beginner-friendly Arch distro"?

Arch but with an installer for out-of-the-box experience. E.g: EndeavourOS.

Would you not rather inquire the experience of the users of that derivate?

Yes, but technically my question is more related to the packages and pacman
rather than the distro itself (unless the distro messes up repos like Manjaro).

Trilby wrote:

What are your recommendations for katana blades for people with uncontrollable spasms of their arms leading to flailing in every direction?

The problem is that katana blades are the only way to cut vegetables and get work done.

there such a thing as an "Arch made for newbies...

All distros suck, but some distros suck less. Note that I also needed manual
intervention to deal with the flatpak mess of Ubuntu-based distros.

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#9 2023-07-18 15:53:00

Roken
Member
From: South Wales, UK
Registered: 2012-01-16
Posts: 1,250

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

avidseeker wrote:

breakages have been minimal

And that's why I'm asking about your experience. What examples of packages that
caused problems with you?

For my part, they were either kernel or gfx driver updates (gfx drivers moreso when I had an AMD card. NVidia have been solid) and one breakage that was entirely my own fault when I chowned the whole filesystem rather than the directory I meant to, and even that was fixed without a reinstall (though a reinstall would probably have been much faster).


Ryzen 5900X 12 core/24 thread - RTX 3090 FE 24 Gb, Asus Prime B450 Plus, 32Gb Corsair DDR4, Cooler Master N300 chassis, 5 HD (1 NvME PCI, 4SSD) + 1 x optical.
Linux user #545703

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#10 2023-07-18 16:04:00

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 48,750

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

EndeavourOS is EndeavourOS - not "a beginner-friendly Arch distro" or "a Arch distro" at all.
https://bbs.archlinux.org/misc.php?action=rules

unless the distro messes up repos

https://github.com/endeavouros-team/PKGBUILDS

more related to the packages and pacman

pacman is stable unless Allan breaks it.
The packages are hardly patched, so they break stuff when upstream breaks stuff.
Happens a lot w/ some upstream, practically never w/ other upstream.

katana blades are the only way to cut vegetables and get work done

At this point you're just trolling.

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#11 2023-07-20 11:55:41

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,365
Website

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

I certainly don't see that reply as trolling.  I was the one who opened with a colorful and hyperbolic metaphor; it's only fair that the OP can respond in kind.  In fact I give style points for the reply even if I don't share the view advanced by it.

If I had said it more mundanely that "no arch-based distro would be fit for this purpose" and the reply was just "I couldn't use anything else, so I'll use an arch(-based) distro anyways" then one might question the wisdom of that reply (as I do) but certainly not consider it trolling.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#12 2023-07-20 13:05:18

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 48,750

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

https://www.google.com/search?q=katana%20myths
The specific sword might be frequently misrepresented wrt the uniqueness of its features or the existing thereof.

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#13 2023-07-23 17:22:59

Wayfly
Member
From: Chengdu China
Registered: 2023-07-09
Posts: 23

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

I use arch time is not very long, But I can feel almost user is attempt solve problem.(Although  at least I never hava Pac-Man’s problem.)I try to attempt finish my system too. Although some time I have some instabilities and don’t very happy. I feel a different feeling from arch. And I start prepare timeshift maybe I can have more satisfaction feel ?(Please forgive my English is not so well )

Last edited by Wayfly (2023-07-23 17:25:21)


Compared to a star, we are like mayflies, fleeting ephemeral creatures who live out their whole lives in the course of a single day.

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#14 2023-07-30 23:30:56

Caue
Member
Registered: 2023-07-30
Posts: 2

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

I've been using arch, for like 2 years now, and it's more stable for me than ubuntu-based, if some errors happen, mostly of the time, it's really easy to fix them.

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#15 2023-08-06 16:55:17

Malvineous
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From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2011-02-03
Posts: 189
Website

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

TL;DR: Arch is great, but REALLY annoying at times.

I can't remember how long I've been using Arch for - probably at least 10 years.  I switched to it after getting tired of Gentoo taking so long to install things, since it compiles everything from scratch.

In that time I can say that Arch is very unstable, and it's not really aimed at people who do real work with their computers.  It's like a classic car - you get one because you enjoy tinkering with it, but you are taking a risk by using it for your daily commute to work, and if you do, you will end up being late to the office more often than you'd like.

A lot of these breakdowns is not the fault of Arch itself, but a side effect of the philosophy of keeping everything so up to date.  It means you're usually the guinea pig for new application versions, so you often encounter any new bugs before anyone else.  For example Firefox frequently breaks backwards compatibility with its extensions, so every time a new Firefox version comes out it requires pulling down the latest fixes from git for the extensions you rely on (e.g. multiline tabs).  Of course this doesn't affect everyone - if you only use your browser for light tasks so you aren't using any add-ons then you'll be fine, but if you're using it as any sort of devops or web developer would then you're going to be spending a lot of time making it work again after most upgrades.

Most other programs aren't as bad as Firefox, but there's always one or two that require some tweaking to get working again after each upgrade, so you don't normally do an upgrade unless you have a few hours free to spend just in case the problem ends up being a big one.  You certainly become an expert at recovering from a broken system though - I have a permanent USB stick set aside just for booting the Arch installer, so I can get in and recover my system when it breaks after an upgrade.  Most of the breakages are easily preventable by setting proper version dependencies, but the package maintainers don't bother with this because they assume you can upgrade all packages at the same time.  This means if the latest Linux kernel has a serious bug and you have to revert back to a previous one, good luck because you will have to manually install the correct versions of a dozen or so other packages too and they have to be the exact versions that were available at a magic moment in time, otherwise you'll get weird errors due to e.g. the nvidia module not being compatible with the kernel you're running so refusing to start X11.  It was a huge pain for me when I tried to run ZFS on my desktop machine, because the archzfs repo updates kernels a week or two behind the main distro, so it's almost impossible to update at the magic moment when every package is perfectly compatible with all the others.  It drives me bananas how the nvidia package will gladly install itself alongside a completely incompatible kernel without so much as a warning, when pacman has the ability built in to prevent that from happening with a single line in the PKGBUILD!  Considering users is definitely not Arch's strong point.

There are other usability issues as well.  Every time you apply a kernel upgrade, the modules for the currently running kernel get deleted.  This means you *have* to reboot after most upgrades just like you do with Windows, because otherwise you insert that USB stick and nothing happens...the kernel module for VFAT wasn't loaded yet and now it's too late, the module (driver) has been deleted, no USB stick for you!  Once you reboot it's fine, but again if you've got a dozen applications open then rebooting is a huge chore, often taking 30 minutes or more to get everything opened again (plus potentially an hour or two to fix whatever broke on this upgrade as well), so it's not something you want to be doing very often.  Again you often hear people saying rebooting after and upgrade isn't a problem, but it usually turns out they only run a couple of programs so of course if you're not doing much with your machine it's not going to be a hassle to reboot it.

So because of this many of us (judging by the requests for help in the forums) avoid frequent upgrades because of the hours it takes to deal with the fallout, but that just makes the problem worse.  For example when you wait too long between upgrades, you get a bunch of weird questions about whether you trust security keys or not.  This is because pacman isn't smart enough to know that some packages should be installed before others, so you have to manually figure out that the archlinux-keyring package should be upgraded first before the rest of the system is upgraded.  There's an open bug report about this (since 2019!), but the maintainers just tell you it's your fault for not upgrading frequently enough.  So clearly they don't do any sort of complex work on their machines either, as they consider rebooting as often as you do on Windows to be normal.  Apparently they've never used any other distros where you can safely go months between rebooting, so us users wanting to go a couple of weeks between reboots are definitely the problem.  Perhaps Arch Linux is only supposed to be used to maintain Arch Linux, and everything else anyone might want to do is unimportant.

Anyway this all probably sounds a bit harsh, but here I am 10+ years on still using Arch because honestly it's still one of the best distributions out there.  Yes it sucks that the maintainers look down on anyone trying to use an Arch system for real work, yes it's a hassle spending so much time on the fallout from upgrades, but once your system is working it works really well.  When you log bug reports for applications you don't have to manually compile and install the latest version first, because you're already running it.  When you want help on how to configure a program, the documentation that comes with it actually works as-is, nobody has messed with the program and made it store its files in a different location or use different default values, or even use an entirely custom configuration file format that has nothing to do with the original app (looking at you Debian).  I love the fact that when I get a new machine I don't have to reinstall everything, I can just format the new drive, use rsync to copy the files across, install the bootloader and my old Arch system is now running as it was before on the new hardware.  I love how easy the PKGBUILD system is to make your own packages, and that AUR exists to make installing less common applications simple.  I love the fact that I *can* boot off a USB stick and dig around in my system to repair it when it breaks - I'm not afraid of messing with BIOS settings or running syslinux or fiddling with UEFI variables because I know I can get the system booting again if I break something, because I've done it a hundred times before.

So for all its faults it's still a great Linux distribution, and one of the best out there as far as delivering on its philosophy.

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#16 2023-08-06 19:25:41

Alad
Wiki Admin/IRC Op
From: Bagelstan
Registered: 2014-05-04
Posts: 2,407
Website

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

For example Firefox frequently breaks backwards compatibility

If you're not ready to follow the Firefox release cycle, you can use ESR (like Debian). It's not any different from using Firefox on Windows or macOS...

It was a huge pain for me when I tried to run ZFS on my desktop machine, because the archzfs repo updates kernels a week or two behind the main distro

ArchZFS is a third party repo, so it's no surprise using it leads to breakage. Consider DKMS instead: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/ZFS#General

This means if the latest Linux kernel has a serious bug

The linux kernel (and its corresponding modules) is one of the few packages that you can consider putting in IgnorePkg, if this is a frequent source of problems for your hardware. Otherwise, use DKMS as above or the arch linux archive.

Every time you apply a kernel upgrade, the modules for the currently running kernel get deleted.

https://archlinux.org/packages/extra/an … ules-hook/

For example when you wait too long between upgrades, you get a bunch of weird questions about whether you trust security keys or not.

Not since last year: https://gitlab.archlinux.org/archlinux/ … 2e1075a95d

Really, if you're going to confidently claim how Arch is not suitable for "real work", you should do some research beforehand...


Mods are just community members who have the occasionally necessary option to move threads around and edit posts. -- Trilby

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#17 2023-08-06 21:04:31

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,365
Website

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

Sharing challenges you've faced and your own perspective is more than welcome.  But when you stray into huge generalizations and blatantly false claims ... well, then you'll get called out on bullshit:

Malvineous wrote:

This means you *have* to reboot after most upgrades... if you've got a dozen applications open then rebooting is a huge chore, often taking 30 minutes or more

That is clearly bullshit.  If it takes you 30 minutes to get your system started up it's because you took a 28 minute coffee break.

Malvineous wrote:

... you often hear people saying rebooting after and upgrade isn't a problem, but it usually turns out they only run a couple of programs so of course if you're not doing much with your machine it's not going to be a hassle to reboot it.

... it's not really aimed at people who do real work with their computers.

So you are saying I do not do much with my machine?  I suppose the scientific research published in a world-leading peer reviewed scientific journal doesn't count as doing much.  Or the business I started and run myself doesn't count as much.  And the websites I maintain don't count as much.  I doubt you meant to be that arrogant and condescending, did you?  No, just foolishly ignorant I suspect.

Malvineous wrote:

Perhaps Arch Linux is only supposed to be used to maintain Arch Linux, and everything else anyone might want to do is unimportant.

You don't see the irony of this statement when put side by side the previous one I quoted?  You feel that your unique use is not respected while you pile on disrespect to anyone who does not use their computer just like you do?

Malvineous wrote:

So because of this many of us ... avoid frequent upgrades because of the hours it takes to deal with the fallout

Many of you? How many voices are there in your head? tongue

Malvineous wrote:

Apparently they've never used any other distros where you can safely go months between rebooting, so us users wanting to go a couple of weeks between reboots are definitely the problem.

The arch laptop I'm currently on has an uptime of 24 days.  My desktop running arch I'm not going to go check, but the uptime on that is in the months.  My media-center arch machine typically had an uptime of over a year, but we had a brief power outage two weeks ago (and that system has no battery whatsoever) so it's currently *only* at 14 days.  My arch web server has a current uptime of 228 days.  Feel free to admit that you were totally talking out of your ass - it's apparent to everyone else.

Malvineous wrote:

Considering users is definitely not Arch's strong point.

I'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume you misspelled considerate there, because that would seem to be a true statement.

Malvineous wrote:

Yes it sucks that the maintainers look down on anyone trying to use an Arch system for real work

No, not anyone.  Just trolls.

Note again that this is not a response to highlighting critiques about how arch may not be perfect for you - but rather to the narcissistic delusion that it is all about you, and when arch isn't perfect for you it's because of some nasty developer specifically looking down on you going out of their way to spite you.

I have my critiques.  I would much prefer slimmer packages (with far fewer compile-time options enabled).  It is an objective fact that most arch packages tend to enable a lot of optional compile-time options.  It is subjective whether or not this is to be preferred.  My preference would be to avoid this.  But if I were to think that most people actually shared my preference but we were being snubbed by a cabal of evil developers with nothing better to do than annoy me specifically with their packagaing decisions ... well, if I thought that, I'd hope I'd at least have the capacity to seek help from a mental health professional.

Last edited by Trilby (2023-08-07 12:19:05)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#18 2023-08-07 11:57:32

nichts
Member
Registered: 2020-11-14
Posts: 26

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

Malvineous wrote:

In that time I can say that Arch is very unstable, and it's not really aimed at people who do real work with their computers.  It's like a classic car - you get one because you enjoy tinkering with it, but you are taking a risk by using it for your daily commute to work, and if you do, you will end up being late to the office more often than you'd like.

Maybe you are doing some major thing wrong? My Arch installations are more like classic tractors: very simple (that one S in KISS, you know) and once set up they run without major issues until the hardware breaks beyond any repair …


english is not my first language. If you find a mistake in this post, please mention it in your reply – this way I can learn.  TIA

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#19 2023-08-07 12:13:17

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 48,750

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

Malvineous problems boil down to
- firefox should have a stable extension API (yes "should" …)
- maintaining out-of-tree drivers and especially zfs can be a PITA if you don't sit down for a moment and googleplan how to go about that best
- he didn't know that one can actually reasonably stall kernel updates…
- … or that the ALA allows you to downgrade the entire system to specific timestamps
- and for some reason his system boots incredibly slow (maybe the DM depends on the network-onlline.target and for all we know, Australias telco infrastructure might partially be bullroarer based)

The gist is that he could have probably had an easier life if only there was just some place on the internet where one could ask about these things, specifically tongue

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#20 2023-08-15 18:51:35

Malvineous
Member
From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2011-02-03
Posts: 189
Website

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

Alad wrote:

If you're not ready to follow the Firefox release cycle, you can use ESR (like Debian). It's not any different from using Firefox on Windows or macOS...

I tried that for a while but after a little while a lot of web sites start complaining that you're running an old version of Firefox and don't work correctly.  It seems most web developers only test against very recent browser versions and don't include ESR.

Alad wrote:

ArchZFS is a third party repo, so it's no surprise using it leads to breakage. Consider DKMS instead: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/ZFS#General

I tried DKMS instead but it was even worse.  When you do an upgrade, sometimes the compilation fails because the module code needs to be updated to be compatible with the latest kernel.  Maybe it has improved now but I remember struggling to recover from a broken compile was at the time a huge hassle.  Luckily the ArchZFS repo sets proper dependencies on their modules so rather than breakage I just get an error about incompatible versions and have to try again later.

Alad wrote:

The linux kernel (and its corresponding modules) is one of the few packages that you can consider putting in IgnorePkg, if this is a frequent source of problems for your hardware. Otherwise, use DKMS as above or the arch linux archive.

I did have it in my IgnorePkg.  But I keep getting told that this is the source of all my problems and that "partial upgrades are unsupported".  Besides, eventually you want a kernel upgrade for some reason or another (security/bug fix, new driver, etc.) so sooner or later you have to deal with it.

That's an interesting workaround for the problem, I will have to try it out, thanks for the link!

Alad wrote:

For example when you wait too long between upgrades, you get a bunch of weird questions about whether you trust security keys or not.

Not since last year: https://gitlab.archlinux.org/archlinux/ … 2e1075a95d

Oh nice!  I checked and the timer is active and apparently running on my systems, but my last major upgrade still gave me the same error so perhaps more investigation is needed.  Hopefully someone will reply to that bug and close it now, because when you Google for how to deal with the problem, that open bug report is what comes up, not instructions for checking if the timer is running properly.

Alad wrote:

Really, if you're going to confidently claim how Arch is not suitable for "real work", you should do some research beforehand...

I certainly did, I linked to that bug report that doesn't tell you about the keyring solution and I have Googled all my problems multiple times before, but eventually you just give up looking when you never find any solutions.  Or you just get tired of bug reports getting closed as not a bug despite multiple people having the same problem.  (The last comment on that bug, describing it as "incompetence" on the part of the package maintainers, just goes to show how frustrating it can be to have your problems dismissed out of hand without so much as an explanation of why.)

Trilby wrote:

That is clearly bullshit.  If it takes you 30 minutes to get your system started up it's because you took a 28 minute coffee break.

Nope, here is what a typical reboot looks like for me.

  • Shut down computer.  Despite lowering the systemd timeouts to 15 seconds, it inevitably gets stuck at some task with an "unlimited" timeout and sits there until I notice, so after a minute or so I give up and power cycle the machine.  I have made the mistake of walking away before and I can come back an hour later and systemd is still waiting for the same task.

  • Power on the machine again.  It's a Dell PowerEdge R720 so being a server it takes 14 minutes (I timed it) to go through the BIOS stuff, DRAC init, Dell Lifecycle manager, QLogic SAS device scan, etc.

  • Finally the kernel starts loading, and a few seconds later I'm back in my desktop environment.

  • Then I load my terminals, one for each of the six machines I'm regularly interacting with.  Despite using a tiling window manager, they always come up in the wrong order, and I'm so used to each computer being in a particular part of the screen I have to drag the windows around so each machine's window is in the same place I'm used to, then reconnect to 'screen' in each one.

  • Then I load my IDE.  It has multiple windows so I have to drag them around to get them onto the right monitors, move the terminal window next to the IDE, etc.

  • Then I load Firefox.  Because some of the sites I use have their cookies set to time out when the browser closes, I have to log back in to a few sites.  This means digging out my phone to type in the MFA codes.

  • I'm using Firefox's multi-container tabs extension, so I can have multiple independent sessions (so I can log in to the same sites with different credentials, at the same time).  So I flick through the "production" tabs where I've been logged out, so I log back in to the production services I'm using.  Another round of MFA on the phone.

  • Then I switch to the Staging container, and log in to the same sites again with the staging accounts, and again have to type in more MFA codes from my phone.

  • And once more on the Test container, with another round of MFA codes.

  • Then I open my instant messenger app, and open/move chat windows for the people I regularly talk to so each person's window also appears in the same locations as usual.

  • Then I open my newsreader and e-mail apps.  Liferea always needs the viewing pane resized because it defaults to zero pixels high and it takes a moment to get the mouse exactly on the one row of pixels where you can grab to resize that pane.

  • Then I open QGIS and the recent project I'm working on, as well as LibreOffice and any documents I had open before the restart.

Finally after all this I am back where I was before the restart, and it really does take close to 30 minutes.

I am curious - you say it only takes a couple of minutes to restart your machine.  You said you run your own business - how do you configure the apps you use to reopen all the previous documents at startup so you don't need to manually reopen them one by one like I do?  You said you maintain websites - how do you avoid the need to log in to so many infrastructure sites across multiple Firefox containers as I have to spend so much time doing for the web sites that I maintain?  How do you even get all your terminal windows tiled in the same way automatically for all the servers hosting your sites?

Trilby wrote:

My arch web server has a current uptime of 228 days.  Feel free to admit that you were totally talking out of your ass - it's apparent to everyone else.

No, I wasn't talking out of my ass, I was referring to a number of responses along the lines of the first comment on this bug report.  A user was asking to fix the archlinux-keyring issue, and the first response was that they didn't keep their system up to date.  I have also reported similar issues in the past - I think I ran into a problem where Python upgraded and broke pacman, and I was told it was my fault for going too long between upgrades.  I have also gone 300+ days between Arch upgrades but there is often a lot of pain and weird edge cases when you do that, and should you make the mistake of asking for help, you'll be told quite quickly it's your fault for not keeping your system up to date.

Trilby wrote:

Note again that this is not a response to highlighting critiques about how arch may not be perfect for you - but rather to the narcissistic delusion that it is all about you, and when arch isn't perfect for you it's because of some nasty developer specifically looking down on you going out of their way to spite you.

Of course it's all about me, the OP was asking for personal experiences so I gave mine!

You say it's not about some nasty developer looking down on me, but when I log a bug report and have it closed without even a one word explanation as to why, or I'm told no it's not a problem with Arch I'm just using my computer wrong, well how do you think it comes across?  You say Arch is lacking considerate users, but perhaps that is a result of the attitude that some of the devs seem to have towards us users?  You've just demonstrated it yourself in that post.  Instead of asking why it takes me half an hour to restart my machine because perhaps there is some scenario you aren't aware of, you instead arrogantly say I'm talking out of my ass and I need to see a mental health professional.  How is that setting the considerate tone that you claim you want?  Don't get me wrong, I've had many helpful interactions with people involved in the Arch project, but I've also had quite a few disappointing ones too, and most of them are along those lines - you ask about a problem you're having and the most frequent response you get is "well *I* don't need to do what you're doing, so it's not a problem, go away."

So of course if I'm trying to do actual proper work unrelated to Arch, and I'm being told that I'm doing it wrong but when I ask for what the correct way is I'm told nobody does that, surely you can see how I reached the conclusion that Arch must not used for "real work"?  I'm sure you would feel the same way if you were on the receiving end, perhaps having LaTeX break when you were trying to finalise your scientific paper and when you report the bug being told it's not a bug you shouldn't be using that LaTeX package anyway, and it doesn't matter that there are no alternatives just use LibreOffice like everyone else.

seth wrote:

The gist is that he could have probably had an easier life if only there was just some place on the internet where one could ask about these things, specifically tongue

Absolutely!  Unfortunately:

The problem is, after you have a workaround for your issue, you tend to just keep running with it until it breaks.  I'm sure it would just annoy people if I were to ask repeatedly whether my particular problem had a better solution yet.

Or is there an annual "what do you find most annoying about Arch" thread everyone can post in, and that's we we get told about all the new improvements that fix all these issues?

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#21 2023-08-15 19:03:36

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,365
Website

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

It sounds like you have lingering problems you need to fix rather than ignore in services not properly shutting down or starting up.  That is a user-error, not a problem with the distro.  If your BIOS really takes 15 minutes, that sucks - I'd be surprised if that was normal / expected - but I've never used that particular machine.

For starting up programs you could quite readily use a startup script.  The best way to do this depends on your WM/DE/etc as there are many options.

You seem to conflate (perhaps deliberately) updates with uptime.  I commented on my systems' uptimes being quite long and you replied noting quite rightly that an arch system should be updated regularly.  That is, of course, true - but unrelated to the point on uptime.

As for some bug report being closed without any feedback, that's almost certainly a sign that it was a very poorly prepared bug report.  As a developer you should be able to file quality bug reports - or if you cant, you can always spend some time discussing the potential issue on the forums / irc to get help crafting a quality bug report (or determinining if it really is a bug at all or more user error).

All in all, it sounds like arch linux is not a good fit for your use case.  That's a perfectly reasonable position to hold.  What is *not* reasonable is taking a tool, using completely against all recommendations and guidelines for that tool, and then complaining that the tool isn't working well.

Last edited by Trilby (2023-08-15 19:04:45)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#22 2023-08-15 19:34:55

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 48,750

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

I did have it in my IgnorePkg.  But I keep getting told that this is the source of all my problems and that "partial upgrades are unsupported".

Whoever actually told you that wrt the kernel specifically is wrong.
It's not "safe" to stall the kernel, but also not an inevitable recipe for disaster or "source of all your problems".

it inevitably gets stuck at some task with an "unlimited" timeout and sits there until I notice, so after a minute or so I give up and power cycle the machine

This however will likely get you filesystem corruptions that will delay subsequent boots - or cause a disaster…
You might want to look into that and actually fix it instead of
DOwuJt.gif

the most frequent response you get is "well *I* don't need to do what you're doing, so it's not a problem, go away."

Example?

my fault for using IgnorePkg on the kernel like Alad suggested above.

No, your fault for not ignoring the nvidia packages (which are tied to the kernel they were compiled for, it's an out-of-tree module) as well.

seth over there btw wrote:

2. You're withholding critical information that amount to "I systematically run partial updates" and "installing different versions of the kernel" sounds a lot like this, eg. like if you're using a customized kernel or ignore the kernel for pacman updates.
In that case you should elaborate on your situation.

but you didn't reply at all and abandoned the thread.

Then I load my terminals, one for each of the six machines I'm regularly interacting with.  Despite using a tiling window manager, they always come up in the wrong order, and I'm so used to each computer being in a particular part of the screen I have to drag the windows around so each machine's window is in the same place I'm used to, then reconnect to 'screen' in each one.

script tmux?

Then I load my IDE.  It has multiple windows so I have to drag them around to get them onto the right monitors, move the terminal window next to the IDE, etc.

You could possibly use a wmctrl script if neither WM nor client can store the positions (though this depends very much on your actual WM - which deosn't sound like it's tiling here at all)

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#23 2023-08-15 19:55:26

yochananmarqos
Member
Registered: 2020-02-05
Posts: 194

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

Possible candidate for Topics Going Nowhere?

Last edited by yochananmarqos (2023-08-15 19:55:41)

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#24 2023-09-22 06:28:11

m2afs
Member
From: Iran
Registered: 2023-09-22
Posts: 5

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

Been playing with Arch about a week now, It definitely is not for newbies but if he is able and willing to do the extra work arch is great.
And i think most people wont need more than a internet browser and media player and office so u can create a basic arch for him with those packages from official repositories and build him a fun desktop environment to enjoy for some time.
I've tried arch with plasma, gnome, xfce, and budgie. I like to stick with budgie for now coz it's more customizable. but plasma KDE one was really solid.

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#25 2023-09-23 13:02:39

Roken
Member
From: South Wales, UK
Registered: 2012-01-16
Posts: 1,250

Re: Your experience with "instability of Arch"

Malvineous wrote:

It's like a classic car - you get one because you enjoy tinkering with it, but you are taking a risk by using it for your daily commute to work, and if you do, you will end up being late to the office more often than you'd like.

I drive what is fast becoming a classic car. It starts first time every time I use it, and apart from normal maintenance, has definitely not made me late for work. In fact, because it's powerful and fast, quite the contrary.

A bit like Arch. If you keep on top of maintenance, it will work trouble free for years.


Ryzen 5900X 12 core/24 thread - RTX 3090 FE 24 Gb, Asus Prime B450 Plus, 32Gb Corsair DDR4, Cooler Master N300 chassis, 5 HD (1 NvME PCI, 4SSD) + 1 x optical.
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