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#1 2002-10-20 00:07:28

scottro
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From: NYC
Registered: 2002-10-11
Posts: 452
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Why isn't Arch more popular

I've been playing with Arch now for all of a week, and find that I like it very much. If it had Internationalization, it'd probably be my favorite distro.

I don't know if you want people to come to it who don't have the knowledge or the willingness to find out how to get around the various gotchas in the installation from the 0.3 ISO.  FWIW, as I told several friends about it, urging them to give it a try, I put up a page describing my own problems that weren't covered in the docs at http://home.nyc.rr.com/computertaijutsu/arch.html

It was originally written for some friends, but with the thought that this distribution should be a bit better known, I cleaned it up a bit (took out various personal notes along the lines of Josh, you might want to do, blah blah)

I suspect though, that some folks might download it, try it, and say the heck with it when they find they can't write to any of the config files during installation. or, if running Gentoo, find that they can't boot it.  I don't know if you'd even want to gain such people as converts or not, but I suspect there are people who give it a try and don't go past installation, or if they do, stop because of the problems they have with the included pacman.

Seems if such information was put in the docs that it might help increase Arch's popularity, which is not, of course, always a Good Thing(TM) but...

Scott

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#2 2002-10-20 01:29:11

sarah31
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From: Middle of Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 2,975
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

first i don't know why arch is not more popular.

second your document is good but you also did not mention about adding some key config files to /etc/pacman.conf NoUpgrade.

third what was wrong with the pacman included on the iso? I had no troubles with it?

Not to be too harsh but alot of problems can be solved by reading the install instructions, forum or visiting the forum. The documentation will improve.

it is important to remember that Arch is a very young distro and is rapidly develping at this point. As fr as i am concerned it already is very close to being on par with Gentoo and actually surpasses Gentoo and other distros in many ways.

Gentoo was a very good stable distro up to 1.1 at which point is has taken a nose dive whether the users want to acknowledge it or not. I was not impress with it as I am with arch. The help community and are superior to any of the other distros i have used or tried.

Minor rant over sorry I if a was a little mean to you but it just bothers me when when users say the such and such distro isn't like such and such distro. Arch allows the user to make all the contributions they want to as long it does not go against the ideals of the design or philosophy. Arch is not designed to be a newbie distro it is intended for a more experienced user. Like it or not.


AKA uknowme

I am not your friend

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#3 2002-10-20 02:20:09

scottro
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From: NYC
Registered: 2002-10-11
Posts: 452
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

Hrrm, perhaps I wasn't clear in some things.  Anyway...

second your document is good but you also did not mention about adding some key config files to /etc/pacman.conf NoUpgrade

Not even familiar with that.  If my page were going to become something official, I would research it more thoroughly, however, as I've said, it was primarily so that several friends who I tried to talk into trying Arch could just go there for preliminary gotchas.  I looked at the documentation on the website.  Tried to install and couldn't write to the config files, so went on irc and Jeepster told me about only installing the base packages.  Did that and had a few more problems, went back to irc and apeiro walked me through the immediate upgrade of pacman and using it to do what I needed to do at the time.  (You might even remember that--you were trying to help me but it wasn't a problem you'd experienced--then you said, oh apeiro is here, he can help and his first reaction was
apeiro runs.  smile

He was the one who had said to me that there were some problems with the 2.0 version and walked me through immediately upgrading to 2.1.

You're not being harsh. From what I see on the forums and irc, you're one of the primary
advocates of Arch.  My point was, and hopefully it's clear, that my initial installation problems were things not yet covered in the Faq.

it is important to remember that Arch is a very young distro and is rapidly develping at this point. As fr as i am concerned it already is very close to being on par with Gentoo and actually surpasses Gentoo and other distros in many ways.

Yup.  I'm a bit of a distro slut, and I have to say, Arch has quickly become one of the ones that I like enough to spend some time configuring.  There are several others with similar goals (small base install, some sort of package management) that simply don't come close.

Minor rant over sorry I if a was a little mean to you but it just bothers me when when users say the such and such distro isn't like such and such distro. Arch allows the user to make all the contributions they want to as long it does not go against the ideals of the design or philosophy. Arch is not designed to be a newbie distro it is intended for a more experienced user. Like it or not.

Heh, if that's the meanest anyone is to me, I can survive it.  Especially since you make such an effort to help when I venture on IRC.

I'm simply a bit surprised that Arch hasn't taken off more quickly.  The whole source based distros are nice, but, especially as a sysadmin, do you want to spend 15 minutes installing a binary based distro or the 7-8 hours it takes me to do Gentoo (on a fast computer with a broadband connection).  (Although they're going to be producing a binary distro soon).

The thing is that experienced users are often only trying new distros out of idle curiosity and when they run into something like I ran into--the inability to write to the config files--they might just shrug and say, ok next one. 

I'm not sure if the comment that Arch isn't, at this point, doing Internationalization irritated you.   For me, if a distro is going to be my main workstation, it's a bit of a necessity as I need to be able to read and write Japanese, but for the majority of users, of course, that's not an issue.  Gentoo didn't get Japanese working till August or so, and that was primarily because a user was between jobs and a bit bored. Unfortunately (not for him of course) he's now working full time so I can't nag him into working on this.  I have a Canna/kinput2 tarball that will compile without errors, but I don't know enough about coding to implement the Internationalization. (Actually, the tarball I mention was only done with help from one of the Gentoo developers.)  smile

I certainly didn't mean to make it sound like an Arch vs. Gentoo debate.  Helpful as you have always been to me (everyone on #archlinux is helpful, of course, but you're almost always the first to respond to a question) I don't want to aggravate you.  smile

Anyway, to clarify---the fact that Arch isn't like Gentoo is one reason I try it--if it were exactly like Gentoo, I would simply use Gentoo.  Sorry if something came out wrong. 

As one gets more experienced, it becomes harder and harder to see things through the eyes of a newcomer--I would say, however, that Arch probably demands less of a newcomer than does Gentoo--it also requires less scripting knowledge to create a package for Arch than it does to make a Gentoo ebuild--by my second day using it, I'd made an ncftp one that I was going to upload to incoming--then I saw that Jeepster had already done it. 


So, I hope this clarifies things slightly


Scott

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#4 2002-10-20 02:22:25

apeiro
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From: Victoria, BC, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-12
Posts: 771
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

I'm pleased to see the added docs, scottro.  Thanks!  When I get home, I'll look into adding a link to your documentation from the Support page.

Right now we're (obviously) hurting for docs, so anything is a big help.  smile

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#5 2002-10-20 02:33:51

scottro
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From: NYC
Registered: 2002-10-11
Posts: 452
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

Uh oh--I'll have to make sure then, that they're professional--or if you add the link, mention that it was just to stop a few friends from bothering me or complaining.  smile  I've been sick all week, so it's probably not the night to try to edit it now. 

Scott

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#6 2002-10-23 12:16:32

dunbar
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From: Central New Hampshire USA
Registered: 2002-08-14
Posts: 106
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

Well, as for popularity, I'll mention where my heads at.

I'm trying to get comfortable with Linux in general, having been (in essence) a Mandrake drone this far in my lame 2 year Linux career. As I gain understand of basic Linux cli config stuff, I feel that I can personally help others learn Arch as a specific distro, over say, Mandrake, because I can reiterate to the other people I meet that the GNU/Linux OS is very configurable in the right hands... their own hands.

But that makes for a double strike to many people, people whom I think represent the majority of home PC users today: stuck in the M$ mindset, convinced there is no better way to go. Many are totally freaked at needing to personally keep track of what goes where. An extremely simple structure makes for reduced overhead for the newbie - Arch has it, and they need it.

I know no other Linux people outside forums, save one guy who writes webpages for e-merchants, he wants to be able to set up Apache for his clients. I can't help him, and frankly, until I defeat a mental block regarding networking, I'll never be able to help him personally. He knows about forums, so there is little more I can add to help him.

That leaves the rest of the people I know. I'd need to introduce most of the people to a GUI-less OS and also to an OS which is configured via a different structure, via multiple methods, etc.... you get the point: a structure which is totally whacked in the eyes of a M$ drone.

I feel the existing man structure fails to locate the questions which M$ users ask most frequently: 'what do I use to fix problem x'? A review of man pages is useless until you know the proper command to use. And with the lax man page effort so popular these days, we get the newbie further into 'no answer here'. Info pages came close. All that those structures need is a little effort on the part of people who can create effective docs. I could be that person, if I could learn how Linux works, and I'm now full circle: can't learn it fast enough because I can't fix problem X.

Enough ramble, I'm not asking for help, I'm giving background.

For me, popularity hinges on documentation, Arch has decent docs. Me, I want concise docs like this:

(insert first disk)
# dd if=boot.img of=/dev/fd0
(insert second disk)
# dd if=root.img of=/dev/fd0
(insert third disk)
# dd if=modules.img of=/dev/fd0

Which essentially is a rote excercise (do it exactly the same way as is displayed, all will work) but that performs 2 things: it teaches what dd can be used for: writing floppies from .img files (a foreign concept to M$ users, but familiar to Mac users of diskcopy), and it creates the floppies via the user typing the command at the command prompt. The last part is the very most important for people who are 'GUI-only'.

I guess I'm saying that Arch, being concise regarding documentation and having a lightweight structure, is a possible ideal for ex M$ users.

So why are people not flocking?

The packages are almost all there, the docs and directory structure is about right, the install issues are addressed and fairly searchable. I guess aside from my personal incapabilities to answer peoples problems in a one-on-one situation, I'd say patience would be the answer.

Hmm. What did I just say? I need an installers reference disc!! I need to cobble together a disc (CDR, probably material size related...) where common installation issues are addressed, readable on a PC which cannot X, cannot ppp, cannot w3m, nothing. Readable from an emergency boot perspective, and if possible tiny and searchable.

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#7 2002-10-25 14:49:34

jk
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From: Groningen, The Netherlands
Registered: 2002-10-24
Posts: 66
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

I think to become popular, Arch just needs a bit of polishing...Stuff like a default /etc/modules.conf(to make ide cd burning more easily possible for example), NFS mounting (couldn't find a mount -a -t nfs anywhere).

The installer could use a little polish too. IMHO the Slackware installer is a good example of a more decent one...

The website lacks some information like who's behind AL (team page), a history page.

After that's all done, to get famous and popular, just let people write (biased, of course wink) reviews on sites like OSNews.com and Slashdot.

Hmm...now that i think about it...how about creating an "How Arch will Conquer The World Masterplan?"  :twisted:

All just details...i think Arch isn't that far away of getting higher in the Distrowatch.com page hit ranking stats

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#8 2002-10-25 20:36:48

Arielext
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From: Amersfoort, the Netherlands
Registered: 2002-08-12
Posts: 362
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

jk wrote:

The installer could use a little polish too. IMHO the Slackware installer is a good example of a more decent one...

just wait ... 0.4 will have Jeepsters fancy new installer I've never seen wink


apt-get install arch

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#9 2002-10-26 05:52:39

mordantly
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From: Westside - CenCAL
Registered: 2002-08-16
Posts: 83
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

sounds like it needs praise already... good work guys.


try to be a man and some day, you'll understand   -ccr
oh dont u worry.. ill be eating ur balls fur lunch tomorrow.   -Hugh "HughMan" Stahl
MoRdAnTlY [Mr. Wolf '91 - '11]

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#10 2002-10-26 22:21:03

Jeepster
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From: Hull, UK
Registered: 2002-08-13
Posts: 15

Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

Arielext wrote:
jk wrote:

The installer could use a little polish too. IMHO the Slackware installer is a good example of a more decent one...

just wait ... 0.4 will have Jeepsters fancy new installer I've never seen wink

err no it wont  :shock:

ody is the guy doing the new installer  big_smile

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#11 2002-10-27 11:41:22

Arielext
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From: Amersfoort, the Netherlands
Registered: 2002-08-12
Posts: 362
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

You humans are all the same to me tongue


apt-get install arch

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#12 2002-10-27 18:56:32

mordantly
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From: Westside - CenCAL
Registered: 2002-08-16
Posts: 83
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

lets not abuse the main people behind arch, seein how they can make us shit outta luck if .4 is delayed/cancelled.


try to be a man and some day, you'll understand   -ccr
oh dont u worry.. ill be eating ur balls fur lunch tomorrow.   -Hugh "HughMan" Stahl
MoRdAnTlY [Mr. Wolf '91 - '11]

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#13 2002-10-30 01:13:40

scottro
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From: NYC
Registered: 2002-10-11
Posts: 452
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

BTW, is this a sign of growing fame?  Just got an email from a friend telling me that Arch was mentioned on Gentoo Forums.  smile

Scott

(hey, where's my icon)  :-(

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#14 2002-10-30 02:08:51

apeiro
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From: Victoria, BC, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-12
Posts: 771
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

Well, we'll have to see about getting a release out sometime.   smile

The 0.4 release will be delayed, as a couple arch developers have had to slow down (or stop) due to health issues.  This means more work for myself and the remaining developers, so it'll be another few weeks before we have a tested 0.4 iso ready for download.  Sorry, folks.

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#15 2002-10-30 02:24:56

scottro
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From: NYC
Registered: 2002-10-11
Posts: 452
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

We forgive you because Arch attracts that sort of understanding person. smile

Wasting bandwidth as usual,

Scott

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#16 2002-10-30 13:00:27

dunbar
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From: Central New Hampshire USA
Registered: 2002-08-14
Posts: 106
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

All delays which are based on any person creating robust code are always acceptable, IMO. Sorry to hear that illnesses are wreaking havoc.

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#17 2002-10-31 00:36:08

mordantly
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From: Westside - CenCAL
Registered: 2002-08-16
Posts: 83
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

i aint mind waiting a little bit longer fur .4. just as long as im not the cause of it...


try to be a man and some day, you'll understand   -ccr
oh dont u worry.. ill be eating ur balls fur lunch tomorrow.   -Hugh "HughMan" Stahl
MoRdAnTlY [Mr. Wolf '91 - '11]

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#18 2002-11-05 09:38:33

Moritz
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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: 2002-10-12
Posts: 166

Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

I'm pretty sure, that AL will become more popular in future, but only the time will help... I've my hopes in .4 big_smile

I've tried to convince some friend, that AL is really great, but they're not that happy with the style close to BSD.
Well, I don't like it aither, but I'm not sure, how to change it back... is there any chance to do that?

Maybe that's an enhancement for .4: let the user choose the style, linux(i.e. Posix) or BSD

Regards
Moritz

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#19 2003-01-10 15:42:07

hab1t
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From: here
Registered: 2002-12-31
Posts: 23
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

when i first found arch linux, i found it because i was looking for a distribution compiled for 686.  i have lived in rpm HELL for too long with redhat and mandrake, too many times have i rebuilt my rpm database because stupid rpm command crashes or hangs, too many times reinstalling ten different programs because of package-based dependencies that ignore the actual libraries installed on a system -- and even these big huge complicated distros have just as many bugs in them as anything else, sometimes more.  i started with linux on slackware, and i still to this day think slackware is 'the other linux worth running' smile  other distro i was impressed with was root which is similar, and jblinux which is now dead apparently.  i beleive rpms are useless, and nothing but an inconvenient buggy mess.  i think that the portage-type system and tgz package management is so simple and obvious and elegant as to leave anyone wondering -- why the hell would you need anything else??  what could be better than being able to grab the raw tarballs of your favorite programs and then compile them for your very own processor architechture, tailored to your specific system by the very elegant build system.  archlinux has the most responsive user community i have experienced, and very knowledgeable.  it includes obvious things like alsa that any distro should have, but often they don't.  the contributed packages could make for a second cd of the distro that would leave you with many more useful programs and libraries than most of the other distros.   it's great!

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#20 2003-01-11 21:10:40

ody
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From: Manchester, UK
Registered: 2002-08-12
Posts: 212
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

From what Ive gathered all major ditros thrive if there development team stays at the front end with the end users helping out from the start, of the distros life that is.... but the problem is when it does start attracting thousands it becomes such a job off everyone involved that the the ditro team just end up moving more and more away from the community and more and more to lining there pockets.. I hope this never happens with AL, but distance will eventualy occure the more popular AL becomes, there are only so many free hours a day to do anything.

big shame, but a simple fact of life in this line of work really.

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#21 2003-01-11 21:49:35

scottro
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From: NYC
Registered: 2002-10-11
Posts: 452
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

Yup, quite true.  I remember one of the first days I installed Arch, had trouble, went to IRC and apeiro himself walked me through it.  smile  Now, I can't see that happening with Daniel Robbins anymore as Gentoo is now big time.
That is one of the nice things about Arch right now, that no doubt will change.  So, I guess we should enjoy it while it lasts.  smile


Scott

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#22 2003-01-12 03:46:23

mordantly
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From: Westside - CenCAL
Registered: 2002-08-16
Posts: 83
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

well maybe we (if ur like me anyways) better just get off our lazy asses and start playin whit Arch so that we can figure the shite out instead of havin to pester the bloody hell out of the dev team and tharby not creating the distance between everyone.. just a thought no matter how weird it may be.


try to be a man and some day, you'll understand   -ccr
oh dont u worry.. ill be eating ur balls fur lunch tomorrow.   -Hugh "HughMan" Stahl
MoRdAnTlY [Mr. Wolf '91 - '11]

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#23 2003-01-12 05:50:57

Arielext
Member
From: Amersfoort, the Netherlands
Registered: 2002-08-12
Posts: 362
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Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

and if nothing else helps, we can clone everybody!
yeah!
"Hey guys, I'm talking to Apeiro-5"!!!
"Oh look at me, I'm chatting with JK-7 himself!! I rule"

Arch "Cloning people to stay close"

but then I woke up and forgot about the whole idea smile


apt-get install arch

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#24 2003-01-12 16:55:15

scottro
Member
From: NYC
Registered: 2002-10-11
Posts: 452
Website

Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

LOLOL.  Hrrm, that could work.

Seriously, my point was that at this point in Arch's development, while it might be sort of neat to have Apeiro (Wow--THE Apeiro) help, the more important thing is that if one makes a request one of the main developers sees it. That probably won't happen as it gets more popular.

For instance, if I post on this board, and someone comes back the next day to check posts since they were last there, there might be 3-5 posts. When it becomes better known, there might be 500.  smile

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#25 2003-01-12 22:32:39

mordantly
Member
From: Westside - CenCAL
Registered: 2002-08-16
Posts: 83
Website

Re: Why isn't Arch more popular

ahhh... that sure as hell didnt occur to me. so to remedy that, maybe all well (or ody) will need to do is come up whit some sort of post scanner to flag posts based on topic urgency or maybe to nail down some stringent topic areas.. although the current layout is rather simple based on ur situation. however why in bloody hell would anyone want to clone me fur??  :shock: but i can list some that i wouldnt mind bein cloned..


try to be a man and some day, you'll understand   -ccr
oh dont u worry.. ill be eating ur balls fur lunch tomorrow.   -Hugh "HughMan" Stahl
MoRdAnTlY [Mr. Wolf '91 - '11]

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