Release: 0.4 (Dragon)
Devel:   0.5

An i686-optimized Linux distribution.

Older News

Pacman 2.0 Beta July 5, 2002
posted by judd

Just a little update to let you all know that pacman 2.0 is out in beta and being actively tested by a brave group of volunteers. We have a dependency tree in place for all the base packages, and development has begun on Arch Linux 0.3, codenamed Firefly. Expect a release in 2-3 weeks.

Mozilla Troubles? June 7, 2002
posted by judd

If you've recently upgraded your copy of Mozilla and are experiencing weird segfaults/crashes, this should fix it for you:
  $ su
  # rm /opt/mozilla/component.reg
  # /usr/bin/mozilla (as root for the first time only)
This allows the newly installed version of mozilla to re-register those magical components it uses and not crash on you. I believe this issue has been fixed in 1.0, so we won't have to do this for subsequent upgrades.

Happy surfing.

He's more than just a video game celebrity... May 7, 2002
posted by judd

Work has begun on pacman 2.0, our source/binary package management system. Once complete, we'll have something that has the following:
  • Full dependency support, both binary and source
  • An integrated apt-get like tool to keep your system up to date
  • A very simple ports-like build system that can be configured to follow different version trees and can be updated directly from cvs
  • A database very similar to a *bsd system, which follows a simple multiple- textfile format
  • Scriptlet support for post-install configuration

As you can see, we're trying to take all the good stuff from package management systems while leaving the other stuff behind. Apt-get is handy but a little too forceful, rpm just never seems to work for long: installing a system isn't bad, but upgrading it is a nightmare. Oh yea, and I hate .spec files.   ;)

This new system will give you the best of both worlds. If you prefer binary packages, you can download and install i686-optimized packages with a single command, complete with dependencies. If, however, you prefer to build packages from source, you can do this also, complete with dependencies. This allows you to add build-time customizations, more expensive optimizations, patched versions, and whatever else you could possibly customize. There are some good ideas in line for the next pacman as well, including system profiles and transaction support. Stay tuned.

Also note that you can still sync your ABS build tree with rsync:
# cd /usr/abs && rsync -av .
In the future this duty will be moved to cvsup so users can follow different releases, a la FreeBSD (those guys were thinking). This means that the play-it-safe production server types can follow the STABLE tree while the bleeding-edge workstation types can follow CURRENT.

And once again, we're always open to ideas/thoughts, just email or hop on the IRC channel and bounce ideas off someone.

Oh yea, one more thing: We're two whole months old now!! Wow, talk about being a survivor....

Okay, I'm done.

Arch Linux 0.2 (Vega) Released April 17, 2002
posted by judd

The 0.2 iso is up on the mirrors and ready for download. I've named it Vega, after the 5th brightest star in the sky, and one that's particularly visible from my location in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Here's a summary of additions/improvements:
  • interactive installer cabable of cd- or ftp-based installs
  • pacsync utility for upgrading your system automatically
  • more packages, latest versions of all packages
  • stock kernel package
  • improved package manager
  • root/boot disk images for install and rescue
  • many small bugfixes

The 0.2 iso is actually ~30mb smaller (281mb) than the 0.1 iso, which is a slightly different trend than most distributions take. Other packages can be easily installed with the pacsync utility after your system is standing on its own feet. Check out the pacsync manpage for more info.

Focuses for 0.3 include dependency support in pacman, better documentation and a developed package contributor network. I've had some great package contributions from some Arch Linux users already. Keep it up!

Apr 15 - root/boot disk images are available

  • There is an archboot.img and an archroot.img in the images/ directory on the ftp servers. The root disk is useful for rescue missions and it also contains a new beta installation script that will perform an install over ftp. Note that these images and the setup script are beta, and they likely contain bugs. Feedback is welcome and appreciated.
Mar 18 - pacman 1.2 released
  • I've put a pacman-1.2 package up on the ftp site. This version comes with the pacsync utility, which lets you automatically download and install packages and otherwise keep your system up to date.
Mar 13 - rsync server in place
  • I've set up an rsync server on This will let everybody keep their /usr/abs tree up to date, and it will also let you easily mirror the ftp site. I'm in need of download mirrors, so please, if anybody would like to volunteer, email me and I'll put you on the mirror page.

    If you don't already have it, create the directory /usr/abs. Then to update your /usr/abs tree, you can do the following:
    # cd /usr/abs && rsync -av .
Mar 11 - Arch Linux 0.1 (Homer) released
  • I've finally got a bootable iso image on the ftp site. The bad news is that you don't get a pretty interactive installer. But if you wanted one of those, you would have gone with RedHat, right?   ;)

    Here's a short list of some future plans for 0.2:
    • Document ABS (Arch Build System) and provide a cvs-like update method so people can start building their own packages.
    • Finish the contrib area and start posting third-party packages.
    • Finish pacman 1.2 -- this will allow you to update your entire system with the latest stable version of all packages, all with one command.
    • Add a pretty interactive installer. ;)
    • Add more documentation -- our docs really suck right now. Please! If you have questions, just ask! Also, if you want to help out in any way, please let me know. I'm a student so my free time comes and goes at the will of my evil profs.

    I'll try to get the docs up for ABS (Arch Build System) which, IMHO, is one of the best advantages of Arch. With ABS, you can easily create new packages, and it's trivial to rebuild existing packages with your own customizations.

    And on that note, if you start to use the ABS and build your own packages, I welcome your submissions. My "development team" is working on a contrib area as we speak. ;)
Mar 04 - the beginnings of a website
  • Development of has begun. Expect regular updates!
Mar 02 - pacman 1.1 released
  • New version of pacman is out. This will handle backup files much better. If you upgrade often, it's advisable to check your system for .save files left by pacman. A cron script works nicely.

Copyright ©2002, Judd Vinet <>

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