@TheFuzzStone I am wandering if there can be same thing about vim, emacs and vs code...

@alexcleac @TheFuzzStone well, with one difference wrt vi (close enough to vim) - you never had to install it, it was always already there

@TheFuzzStone @sheogorath it's ridiculous how accurate this is. Arch has been recommended to me by tons of folks. (They use Arch, BTW). I went to the wiki. Last paragraph in the installation instruction is this. I closed the page. I'm keeping my productive toy linux for noobs. Life is too short for stuff like that.

@claudius @TheFuzzStone @sheogorath sound and touchpad 'post-install'? 😕 what is this, the late 90s? 🤔

@TheFuzzStone But how can you backport a kernel without understanding how the kernel, your distro's package manager, and all your distro's distro-specific scripts work?
And how can learn that without installing Arch?

@wolf480pl Debian established 1993 and since that time people learned those things. Arch established 2002. In fact, they can.


@ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone
there was Slackware before.
And from what I've heard, Debian was the first distro with proper package management, so presumably previous distros required similar level of knowledge and manual fiddling as to what Arch requires now.

What I really meant is that Arch may be harder to use, but it's easier to understand, which makes it a good first step for learning how things work under the hood. Obviously that's not the only way to learn these things.

I guess by "proper package management" you mean things like apt and yum/dnf? Indeed, older distros didn't have them (and I still think of them as meta-package managers).

Getting packaged software installed and updated was indeed a pain, but we learned how to do it. The real lost art that newcomers seem to not do, is to package things you build from source, do you can track those with rpm, too.
@ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone

"Newcomers" Jaysus, what an asshole I sound like, sorry. "People younger than Gen X" @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone

@tfb IMO "newcomers" as in "people who're just starting to learn how their system works" is an ok word.

@wolf480pl That's what I meant, but then realized how I wrote it, it could be read as saying all those Debian/Fedora/Ubuntu users in the last 20 years are newcomers.

@tfb @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone
I mean package managers which:
1. track dependencies
2. track which files come from which package in a way independent of that package's build system (eg. pass DESTDIR=pkg/ to make, then build a list of files pkg/ and attach it to package metadata).

Haven't tried Slackware, I've heard it doesn't do the first, no idea if it does the second.

@tfb @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone

And yeah, making your own packages instead of just `make install` is a useful skill indeed.

But I think Arch still encourages that to an extent, with AUR and makepkg and stuff.

And it's way easier to make your own packages in Arch or Alpine than it is in eg. Debian, due to the design of package building tools.

I keep meaning to try Alpine some time. Will give it a look from that angle when I do.

Have you tried Fedora or OpenSUSE? I do like the SRPM way of building packages, but I'm also used to it, so it's hard to say. (Never liked building deb packages)

@ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone

@tfb @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone

I've never tried Fedora, I've heard it wants you to reinstall with every major release which I find impractical.

Never tried OpenSUSE either, though I've heard good things about it.

Haven't looked too much into building RPMs, but from a quick overview it looked much saner than debs.

As for Alpine, I've never tried it either, but I've seen a few ABUILDs and they look very similar to Arch's PKGBUILDs.

You don't need to reinstall Fedora, the upgrade path works great these days, to the point that they've even added GUI support for upgrading the distro.

You never really *needed* to reinstall, it was just a manual PITA, but that's in the past.
@ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone

I don't think I follow you.

For 1 yes Slackware didn't keep track of dependencies or versions and that made it absolute hell. You can always override rpm or dpkg, and always use Unix tools to find the real answer, but not having a hint in the package metadata made Slackware unusable.

(I haven't used Slackware since 1996)

I don't understand your point 2.
@ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone

@tfb @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone

> Slackware didn't keep track of dependencies

Yeah, that's what I meant.

> I don't understand your point 2.

Without a package manager, it's up to upstream's buildsystem to make sure make uninstall undoes make install.

With package manager, you build a package in such a way that the package manager can keep track of what files belong to each package, and whether a file's content in filesystem differs from the same file's content in the package.

I think I remember old Slackware doing point 2 poorly. It tried to keep track of files, but it leaked global config files ... though it was long ago, that could have been a different distribution.
@ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone

@wolf480pl @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone "Arch ... [is] a good first step for learning how things work under the hood." I believe it could be, if Arch provided a bit more for new users than the wiki. Unfortunately, installing Arch or working with a fresh Arch system can be very frustrating, due to the extremely minimal installer scripts and the lack of a core package set similar to those provided by, say, OpenBSD or Slackware.

@zipheir @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone
>extremely minimal installer scripts

That's a feature. It helps you learn what it takes to make a bootable system, and how to fix it if it breaks (eg. if your grub got deleted, you chroot to your system from livecd, then run grub-mkconfig and install-grub, the same way you did it when installing for the first time).

@zipheir @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone
>lack of a core package set

There's "base" group, which is enough to be able to install more packages.

And figuring out (or learning from the wiki) which packages provide what functionality-that-you-expected-to-always-be-there is part of the learning experience.

@wolf480pl @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone I don't understand how an argument in favor of not having a basic set of install scripts is "a feature" because it "helps you learn". This seems like teaching through intimidation.

Many *nixen provide basic install scripts. They contribute very little optional complexity to a system, and can prevent a wide range of common setup mistakes.

@zipheir @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone
well, maybe you're talking about different kind of install script that I am...

What I thought you meant was like, a single script that you run that asks you questions about how you want your system installed, and then does that for you.

So you boot a livecd, run install script, reboot, and done.

That kind of script I think wouldn't be good because you don't actually learn how to partition disks or how to install a bootloader.

@zipheir @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone
That being said, there's the Installation Guide on Arch Wiki, which IIRC asks you the same questions the script would ask you, and provides you, and gives you commands you should run. But instead of running them for you under the hood, it forces you to type them yourself, which makes you learn about their existence.

Now, if you had a different kind of script in mind, please tell me about it. Maybe there's a good middle ground that I'm not aware of.

@wolf480pl @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone If you're interested in learning how to setup a Linux system sort-of from scratch, yes, I definitely agree that you'll want to understand that.

But then, why not use Linux From Scratch? Why learn to navigate a rolling-release distro which provides bleeding-edge versions of everything? It's hard enough to learn to maintain a modern UNIX system without constantly-changing software.

@zipheir @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone
why not LFS? Because it teaches you how to compile everything from source. That's something you'll need if you want to maintain your own distro, but otherwise you're more likely to just use binary packages from a pre-existing distro's repos.

And I think that if you want to maintain a modern UNIX system without having to reinstall from scratch every time you screw something up, you'd better know how to install a bootloader from chroot.

@zipheir @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone
90% of what you do when installing Arch are the steps you'll also need to do when trying to recover an unbootable system.

The remaining 10% is pacstrap.

@wolf480pl @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone Indeed. I understand that many people love Arch. I just question whether Arch is the best system on which to learn to maintain a *nix system. I also find the "it forces you to learn" argument in favor of Arch unpleasant and combative.

@zipheir @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone
hmm... ok, maybe there's a better way, or maybe there's a way that is better for some people (because different people are different).

What other methods do you propose?

You've already mentioned LFS, but IMO that's more difficult than Arch.

@wolf480pl @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone As a UNIX learning tool, I'd absolutely recommend OpenBSD. The basic installation is small and pretty elegant, and the documentation is unparalled.

For Linux, I'd call Slackware fairly easy to learn from. In particular, the POSIX-sh package scripts are about as simple as you can get.

I'm sure there are many other good learning distros that I'm not aware of.

@zipheir @wolf480pl @ademalsasa @TheFuzzStone gentoo, I have experience with gentoo and it was similar experience to arch as far as I understand. Very useful knowledge. #NoMagic

Pretty ridiculous meme. The first time I did setup Arch it took me an hour. The next time I did it it was 15 minutes top. After that, no major breakage in years. The richness of the AUR. The awesome wiki for everything else. All other distros don't fare too well in comparison.

@TheFuzzStone Arch is great, took me over a day to correctly install arch the first time. Haha, I use Arch btw.

@TheFuzzStone That kind of small talk is more toxic, both for Archlinux users and for the FLOSS community as a whole, than constructive, IMO.

@TheFuzzStone I'm not a developer but rather a self-taught distro hopper. As far as I understand it, Archlinux is aimed at being flexible, to be used by cloud architects. Maybe novice Linux users install Archlinux because someone they trust told them to install it, and they recommend it to other novice Linux users because they want to build the same kind of relationship of trust.


@TheFuzzStone It's less laborious to say that any Unix or Unix-like system with python and pip can be used by power users to automate the processing of whatever their digital resources can be than to draw some other, misguided community meme… but it won't get you as much upvotes and shares on platforms whose very social interaction aggregation form is made to mine and correlate as much personal data as it can 🙃

@TheFuzzStone to be honest, one of reasons I do not use Arch GNU/Linux is exactly everything depicted by this comic. Just like @claudius pointed out above, it is pretty accurate. Perhaps if Arch got worldwide ShipIt just like Ubuntu got it from Canonical, we will see different results, I think.

@TheFuzzStone Even after using some arch based distros, I just don't have that much time to reconfigure everything after an update because something broke...

@TheFuzzStone Cute, although I can't read the very last line at the bottom.

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