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#1 2013-03-13 11:19:07

cx12
Member
Registered: 2013-03-13
Posts: 4

Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

First of all, excuse me if this has been asked before.

At the moment, a small team of hobbyists who are running Arch Linux on their PC's. Although we like it a lot, we think a bleeding edge distro, but with pre-configurations and a high degree of usability would be really nice. That would mean: a new GUI installer, out-of-the-box desktop environment, a new GUI for pacman, and so on. We were considering to use pacman and the Arch repositories as the package management system, as pacman is the package manager that has given me the best experience and speed so far and I really like the way it works.

But now my question arises: is it allowed to use pacman in a new distro (with credits to Arch Linux!) and use the Arch repository servers to serve the packages to the distro? I couldn't find a lot of information about using a repository from distro A in distro B, so I was wondering if someone who knows more about the organization of Arch Linux could enlighten this.

Thanks in advance!

Edit: of course, this new distro would be entirely open-source, well-documented  and all the tools and instructions to compile the entire distro manually will all be available on a GIT repository. We want to make a distro which is really user-friendly, as open-source as possible and really listen to the community.

Last edited by cx12 (2013-03-13 11:23:10)

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#2 2013-03-13 11:38:08

mzneverdies
Member
Registered: 2012-02-04
Posts: 147

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

Since pacman is GPL, I don't see why not
https://www.archlinux.org/pacman/#_copyright

pacman is Copyright © 2006-2012 Pacman Development Team <pacman-dev@archlinux.org> and Copyright © 2002-2006 Judd Vinet <jvinet@zeroflux.org> and is licensed through the GNU General Public License, version 2 or later.

from the same page:

Although Arch Linux is the primary user of pacman and libalpm, other distributions and projects also use pacman as a package management tool. In addition, there have been several projects started to provide a frontend GUI to pacman and/or libalpm.

Last edited by mzneverdies (2013-03-13 11:38:21)

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#3 2013-03-13 11:41:01

kaszak696
Member
Registered: 2009-05-26
Posts: 543

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

There are already tons of these rehashes, look at Manjaro, ArchBang, etc.


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#4 2013-03-13 11:54:04

flipper T
Member
Registered: 2012-09-14
Posts: 419

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

kaszak696 wrote:

There are already tons of these rehashes, look at Manjaro, ArchBang, etc.

I find it hard to believe that

a small team of hobbyists who are running Arch Linux on their PC's

would not be aware of this.

...odd.

[edit] suspicions further raised by OP's post count.

Last edited by flipper T (2013-03-13 11:55:31)


If I'm curt with you it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast and I need you guys to act fast if you wanna get out of this. So, pretty please... with sugar on top. Clean the [censored] car. -The Wolf

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#5 2013-03-13 12:32:12

cx12
Member
Registered: 2013-03-13
Posts: 4

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

Why would the post count matter? I am not active on this forum (but I hope to be in the future), but I am active on a well-known Dutch website about computers, and on XDA, being the first person to get Android Open Source Project - Ice Cream Sandwich running on both the HTC Desire and HTC Flyer. So don't worry, I know my way out in Linux wink

And for suspicions: let me clarify something smile I am a 17-year old enthusiast who already did (in my eyes) some very nice stuff for other communities. (Google for 'ICS Yetki' and 'ICS Lisbon Android' and you'll find my work soon enough). Aside from that, I also write some Python code, and I have a small two-person company for webdesign. And now, I would like to do something for the community, and because I hope to make a contribution to the wonderful community of Linux operating systems. And of course, I know that it is unrealistic to get a fancy new operating system up and running within three months. Luckily, that is not my goal. If I could build a distro within 1 year which boots into a terminal, it would already be good enough for me. I think this is a great learning effort, and perhaps, if some people with more experience can support it as well, it could be something decent.

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#6 2013-03-13 12:41:06

flipper T
Member
Registered: 2012-09-14
Posts: 419

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

cx12 wrote:

Why would the post count matter? I am not active on this forum (but I hope to be in the future), but I am active on a well-known Dutch website about computers, and on XDA, being the first person to get Android Open Source Project - Ice Cream Sandwich running on both the HTC Desire and HTC Flyer. So don't worry, I know my way out in Linux wink

And for suspicions: let me clarify something smile I am a 17-year old enthusiast who already did (in my eyes) some very nice stuff for other communities. (Google for 'ICS Yetki' and 'ICS Lisbon Android' and you'll find my work soon enough). Aside from that, I also write some Python code, and I have a small two-person company for webdesign. And now, I would like to do something for the community, and because I hope to make a contribution to the wonderful community of Linux operating systems. And of course, I know that it is unrealistic to get a fancy new operating system up and running within three months. Luckily, that is not my goal. If I could build a distro within 1 year which boots into a terminal, it would already be good enough for me. I think this is a great learning effort, and perhaps, if some people with more experience can support it as well, it could be something decent.

Odd that someone so very well versed in all things linux is unaware that he is trying to reinvent the wheel.

What you are proposing already exists.


If I'm curt with you it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast and I need you guys to act fast if you wanna get out of this. So, pretty please... with sugar on top. Clean the [censored] car. -The Wolf

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#7 2013-03-13 12:44:46

cx12
Member
Registered: 2013-03-13
Posts: 4

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

I am aware of the fact that I might be trying to reinvent the wheel. However, I want to take on a challenge and I think this would be a great learning effort for me smile After all, what's wrong with a 17-year old guy who wants to learn the internals of a Linux distribution? Any success or popularity of the distribution would be a nice addition, but I know that chance is minimal, but that was not my goal anyway.

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#8 2013-03-13 13:05:27

flipper T
Member
Registered: 2012-09-14
Posts: 419

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

End of interest. Still have concerns re: nature of this thread, but have been wrong before.

So, goodbye & thanks for all the fish.

ciao.


If I'm curt with you it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast and I need you guys to act fast if you wanna get out of this. So, pretty please... with sugar on top. Clean the [censored] car. -The Wolf

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#9 2013-03-13 14:41:16

Barrucadu
Member
From: York, England
Registered: 2008-03-30
Posts: 1,158
Website

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

If you're using the Arch repositories, I'm not really sure how this would be a "new distro", surely it'd just be Arch with a bit of configuration already done, and maybe a couple of different tools.

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#10 2013-03-13 16:16:44

mcmillan
Member
Registered: 2006-04-06
Posts: 688

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

If you're doing this just to learn what goes into making distros your effort would much be more effective in working with some of the existing projects. However if you're really set on trying this yourself I'd suggest looking at other spinoffs, so you can at least try to be something different. And looking at that you'll see you wouldn't be the first claiming to be a new distro that's using Arch packages and repositories (though that's probably frowned upon for using our resources rather than creating something yourself and as Barrucadu says isn't really a seperate distro).

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#11 2013-03-13 17:27:38

jasonwryan
Forum & Wiki Admin
From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 18,577
Website

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

mcmillan wrote:

If you're doing this just to learn what goes into making distros your effort would much be more effective in working with some of the existing projects.

This.

cx12 wrote:

We want to make a distro which is really user-friendly, as open-source as possible and really listen to the community.

This is an admirable goal, but please think through the impications that it has for the exisiting Arch community. Making it easier for people to install Arch (or a derivative) does not necessarily contribute anything to Arch. In fact, going on the evidence of the other derivatives it has the opposite effect: more people running Arch (under another name/brand) who don't understand how they got there and still expect support from the Arch community, and development effort that could contribute to Arch, and upstream, being channelled into a vanity project.

If you want to contribute to Arch; contribute to Arch. The whole show, everything, is run by volunteers. Setting up another GUI installer and some preconfiguration doesn't make it easier for the people already contributing.


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#12 2013-03-13 19:11:42

cx12
Member
Registered: 2013-03-13
Posts: 4

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

Don't get me wrong: I want to make a contribution to Arch. It is the best distro/OS I have used so far (I have used Ubuntu/OS X/Windows/Mint), and the way it behaves is perfect for me. And it is because of the fact that I want to contribute to Arch that I started taking this project into consideration. I would love it if Arch became a more popular choice for end-users. But at the moment, the way it is installed and the efforts that have to be taken to get into a DE are, in my humble opinion, the reasons that Arch is still something for geeks and power-users. And if the Arch philosophy doesn't consider to get a bigger share in the distro choice and become more mainstream, I can totally understand that (heck, I wouldn't want Arch to change at all; for power-users it's the perfect distro IMO).

So simply put, I am not necessarily trying to roll out a new distro which reinvents the wheel entirely: I want to make a contribution of which I think that it would be helpful for Arch to become more popular. And if someone like you, jasonwryan, who made great contributions to Arch Linux, thinks it is unnecessary to open up this road, I can understand that and I will try to make contributions to this project on different ways, such as application development. I just thought this could be something which could improve the status of Arch Linux at end-users and non-Linux-users, but if people think it would be better to spend time on improving the possibilities for the power-users, that is what I will attempt to do smile

Oh, and don't get me wrong: I am not saying I am a skilled coder who can take on an enormous project and should be working for a big company a year ago, I am just a humble hobbyist who wants to add something to a community, so I can say within 5 years: "yes, I think I did my best to make a contribution to an open-source effort".

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#13 2013-03-13 19:25:45

bohoomil
Member
Registered: 2010-09-04
Posts: 2,376
Website

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

New distro using another distros' existing repos and its base underlying technology?... Aren't there already +500 similar entities around, more or less fortunate spin-offs to chose from? What makes a new thing really new? The multiplication chain (a distro based on a distro based on a distro...) doesn't really solve existing problems since there is a huge gap between the final product and its foundations which don't really exist... The previously existing piece of work, coherent and operational, is being built upon a fistful of add-ons that claim to be 'improvements', while in reality they are no more than a collection of artificial limbs. It's more a technical da-da, a joyful play with things that eventually distort the identity of the original, than a mark of a real progress or innovation. Everything around the thing is new but the thing itself...

Wanna make something new? Start from scratch. Even if the output isn't perfect, it's going to be more credible in its novelty.

(Sorry: that's only 2 cents from a tired distro-watcher...)


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#14 2013-03-13 19:47:58

jasonwryan
Forum & Wiki Admin
From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 18,577
Website

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

cx12 wrote:

I would love it if Arch became a more popular choice for end-users. But at the moment, the way it is installed and the efforts that have to be taken to get into a DE are, in my humble opinion, the reasons that Arch is still something for geeks and power-users. And if the Arch philosophy doesn't consider to get a bigger share in the distro choice and become more mainstream, I can totally understand that (heck, I wouldn't want Arch to change at all; for power-users it's the perfect distro IMO).

So simply put, I am not necessarily trying to roll out a new distro which reinvents the wheel entirely: I want to make a contribution of which I think that it would be helpful for Arch to become more popular. And if someone like you, jasonwryan, who made great contributions to Arch Linux, thinks it is unnecessary to open up this road, I can understand that and I will try to make contributions to this project on different ways, such as application development. I just thought this could be something which could improve the status of Arch Linux at end-users and non-Linux-users, but if people think it would be better to spend time on improving the possibilities for the power-users, that is what I will attempt to do smile

Oh, and don't get me wrong: I am not saying I am a skilled coder who can take on an enormous project and should be working for a big company a year ago, I am just a humble hobbyist who wants to add something to a community, so I can say within 5 years: "yes, I think I did my best to make a contribution to an open-source effort".


Like I said, your goals are admirable. But Arch isn't intended for "mainstream"
users (ie., people who view computers as appliances that they turn on and just
work™), so IMO you efforts would be better directed to assisting the existing
contributors make Arch itself better; bug fixing, submitting patches, editing
the wiki, helping out here and on IRC etc. There is plenty to do, rest assured
you won't get bored…


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#15 2013-03-13 20:12:26

Inxsible
Forum Fellow
From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,071

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

I for one have no issue with you building a separate distro. But if you use Arch repos fot software delivery, then you have to be very careful about branding issues. This is aside from the fact that you aren't really contributing to Arch.

Also if the Arch devs decide to make some changes to the way packages are built or delivered, there is a potential to break your entire distro. Case in point, when Arch decided to move to systemd, there was an effort by distros based on Arch to keep providing sysvinit based systems. How successful those attempts were, I am not sure. But be assured, it will require a lot of work on your part as a distro developer.


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#17 2013-03-13 22:42:56

Xyne
Moderator/TU
Registered: 2008-08-03
Posts: 5,644
Website

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

Providing a custom installation medium and a few GUI wrappers would make it a distrolet (if even that), not a distro. As for the goals of making Arch "easier", let me paint an analogy...

Imagine that you discover a vast wilderness untouched by the problems of modern society. The people who live there live simply and make their way as one with their ecosystem. They enjoy this way of life and they thrive there. Those who have joined that community have joined because they share common interests and values. They understand what it takes to make it there and they willingly embrace the philosophy and contribute to that way of life.

Upon seeing this, you realize how great it is and you want to open it up to more people, but you know that most people would not be willing to go without the comforts of modern indoor plumbing and massive supermarkets with frozen meals, so you propose to tear down a large chunk of the surrounding wilderness to build a strip mall and some highways to help others integrate into the existing ecosystem, because you love this way of life so much.

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#18 2013-03-14 12:04:44

stryder
Member
Registered: 2009-02-28
Posts: 498

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

Give it a nice name. Don't call it a distro. Let others do it if they want. Be very clear and open as to what you are doing. Don't claim to do or be what you are not. Archbang is doing this. Crunchbang, Aptosid with debian. And have fun. But serve your users well. Don't push them here because you don't have the resources. You'll realize very quickly people here are not out to make Arch popular. They just want to make it good.

Or keep within Arch, contribute the programs you want to write via the excellent community contribution section and the aur as alternatives to what is in the mainstream of Arch. And have fun too. :-)

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#19 2013-03-14 13:54:18

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,180

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

On the other hand… How about working on an installation framework? The old framework went away, because the maintainer didn't want to do the job anymore. While "me and the gang" are quite happy with how things are right now, but when the AIF went away, many wanted it back.

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#20 2013-03-14 15:19:34

blackout23
Member
Registered: 2011-11-16
Posts: 780

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

If you want to help Arch. Use it, report bugs and tell other people about it who have the mindset to be potential Arch users and help them on their journey. It  is completey bogus trying to turn Arch into something your grandma can use. What would our community gain from this? Why would your grandma want to use a preconfigured Arch Linux? The people who are not using Arch at the moment fall into two categories. People who know Arch and don't like it and therefore don't use it and people who don't know Arch but would like it if someone introduced it to them. Why try to bend things just to cater to the first group.

Last edited by blackout23 (2013-03-14 15:21:58)

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#21 2013-03-14 16:32:20

hadrons123
Member
From: chennai
Registered: 2011-10-07
Posts: 1,249

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

@OP
I fully agree with others with the idea that developing a new distro is going to be bit of wasted efforts. If all the Debian based distros worked together and built debian I am pretty sure Debian would be more awesome than it already is. But that was never going to happen.
As allan always says: Your contribution usually comes from things that you don't like about a project and start working on it and try to make it better.

How about creating a custom ISO with the features you would have liked to be in the CD/DVD like archboot(I understand Archboot is still hosted in arch mirrors) and post the links in forums. There is a script that would let you create a archboot CD with latest packages too. You could start like that.


LENOVO Y 580 IVYBRIDGE 660M NVIDIA
Unix is user-friendly. It just isn't promiscuous about which users it's friendly with. - Steven King

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#22 2013-03-14 16:48:42

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,180

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

Eh… ninjaedit :-D

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#23 2013-03-15 03:37:04

andjeng
Member
From: Indonesia
Registered: 2012-08-30
Posts: 146

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

well, i think bring incompetent user to arch linux will make the moderators work much harder. smile
---
edit : inapropriate comment.

Last edited by andjeng (2013-03-15 03:37:34)


just looking around. wink

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#24 2013-03-15 03:43:20

hadrons123
Member
From: chennai
Registered: 2011-10-07
Posts: 1,249

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

I don't understand this Arch Linux is for 'advanced users' bogus claims. I am a physician and I can use Arch Linux  without any problems, still I had to learn few basics and it applies to Debian/Fedora as well.
I find Arch easier to manage than anyother distro.
No one can stick with Linux for a long time without understanding a bit.
Sooner or later you are bound to have some petty issues and if you don't have the willingness to learn, you won't be able to use for a longer time no matter what distro you use.

Last edited by hadrons123 (2013-03-15 03:45:26)


LENOVO Y 580 IVYBRIDGE 660M NVIDIA
Unix is user-friendly. It just isn't promiscuous about which users it's friendly with. - Steven King

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#25 2013-03-15 04:41:08

ngoonee
Forum Fellow
From: Between Thailand and Singapore
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 6,817

Re: Using pacman and the Arch repositories in a new distro?

hadrons123 wrote:

No one can stick with Linux for a long time without understanding a bit.

Yearly repeat offenders (troll the dustbin for examples) says you're wrong smile

@OP - work on an installation framework (like the AIF) as a separate project. Document it well, be very clear on what decisions it makes automatically for the users, have a thread discussing it (maybe another one for user-support).

If its good enough, it will possibly be included with the Arch ISO (that's how AIF started out as well). If its not, its not.


Allan-Volunteer on the (topic being discussed) mailn lists. You never get the people who matters attention on the forums.
jasonwryan-Installing Arch is a measure of your literacy. Maintaining Arch is a measure of your diligence. Contributing to Arch is a measure of your competence.
Griemak-Bleeding edge, not bleeding flat. Edge denotes falls will occur from time to time. Bring your own parachute.

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