[arch-general] coping with damaging updates

Dwight Schauer dschauer at gmail.com
Sat Oct 29 10:14:34 EDT 2011

On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 10:36 AM, Mick wrote:
> ...
> made the change but it didn't work, if I can't find what they butchered
> this time before the night freight train to Cairns grinds past in half
> an hour I'll give up and re-install tomorrow.

If you can't fix it in the current install, how is a re-install going
to just "magically" fix things? Did you check .pacnew files?

Have you messed up files that are changing the behavior of your
system? You likely did not.

The default behavior of stuff does often change. This is often due to
upstream changes of packages. Many other distros try hard to shield
you from those changes by over tweaking the defaults and always
finding alternatives to upstream changes. They can become distanced
with where the upstream really is.

Arch is a lot more transparent in that regard, the end user is less
shielded by the continual change within the free software community
that provides the upstream for GNU/Linux and BSD systems.

If you can't deal with being so exposed to upstream changes and are
willing to adapt (like by learning udev rules to automatically let you
use common usb media as a regular use) then Arch is likely not for

If a re-install to fix your system you are doing it wrong. Fix the
problems in your existing install or they will just come right back.
Ok, if you have tweaked all your settings to no avail and have broken
the system yourself, then yes, a re-install would give you a clean

Arch is not like windows was 10 years ago where you had to reinstall
every 6 months just to get a stable system again. There is no
"registry" in arch that one has to continually clean. With Arch you
research problems and get to the bottom of what is causing it, and fix
it, and learn a lot in the process.

In the past year I can only think of only two updated packages that
made me have to intervene BEFORE things broke:
1) changes in network configuration
2) changes in kernel naming

There were other changes, but they were easy enough to just deal with
as they happened.

USB stuff did change, but since I'd already been writing udev rules
for other stuff, it did not really affect me.

Arch Linux should not be promoted as a system that will just work for
you if you are not willing to get your hands dirty and research things
to fix them.

In my opinion Arch Linux is really for those who really would be
better off running Linux From Scratch http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/
if they had the time and energy to do so, but want to use a
distribution that takes care of all the laborious stuff so they can
other stuff with their system(s).

Arch is for experienced Linux users alreeady proficient at a nitty
gritty configuration level, or those who want to become that type of
user, and Arch goes out of it way to cater towards that type of user,
and help you become that type of user.

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