[aur-general] AUR mass deletion, why?

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Tue May 4 11:49:33 UTC 2021

On 5/4/21 3:52 AM, Fabian Bornschein via aur-general wrote:
> Am Di, 4. Mai 2021 um 07:01:54 +0000 schrieb George Rawlinson via
> aur-general <aur-general at lists.archlinux.org>:
>> On 21-05-04 08:23, Fabian Bornschein via aur-general wrote:
>>>  For fcgu-keyring I have had filled a removal request, so this one was
>>>  deliberate to be erased. For everything else it would be nice to
>>> know the
>>>  reason for this, in case I do something essential wrong.
>>>  Thank you.
>> Hi Fabian,
>> As per my previous email; while responding to your removal request, I
>> had a look at your other packages and noticed that a lot of them are
>> packages shipping custom configurations.
>> The AUR is not meant to be a repository for personal items and as such,
>> the packages shipping dotfiles were deleted. Please read the AUR
>> submission guidelines, found here:
>> https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/AUR_submission_guidelines
>> -- 
>> George Rawlinson
> Hi George,
> it looks like GMail doesn't like EMails. I've got the deletion
> notification but no other EMail. (Not even in spam). Strange, but back
> to topic.
> Yes, many of them where preconfigurations of some sort, but not in a
> "specific for me system"-way, but kept generic so everyone can use them.
> In fact, I barely use any of them myself, but kept them up because
> someone asked me to keep them around.

The rules of submission which you were pointed at, do not say "can't be
specific to your system", so keeping it "generic" is not sufficient.

The rules say "Will anyone else want to use this package? Is it
extremely specialized?"

> Lets go through them one by one
> * https://aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase/amdgpu-experimental/
> Was one of the packages I was asked to keep up, because it's easy access
> to amdgpu-experimental features, while this can be a struggle to setup
> manually.
> * https://aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase/archlinux-wallpapers-mixbranding/
> Is a set of wallpapers. I honestly don't know why this was removed, as
> it's not even a configuration thing, but (very silly) wallpapers.

George was probably concerned that it was too personal and specific to
one person.

> * https://aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase/blacklist-hw-watchdog/
> * https://aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase/blacklist_pcspkr/
> Are both module blacklist. the later one is essentially the same as
> https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/nobeep/ , but was uploaded in, uhm
> 2017?. Not specific for my systems as I dont have any beeper. The other
> one was used by me, still not specific only for only my system.

I don't know why the nobeep package exists either, feel free to request
its removal. Please don't justify one package that doesn't meet the
submission guidelines, simply because someone else did something similar
and didn't get noticed.

> * https://aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase/fabiscafe-keyring/
> Is a pubkey, that is important to have signed packages active for our
> GNOME-unstable repo: see https://gitlab.com/fabis_cafe/gnome-unstable,
> and in future maybe also gnome-oldstable, see:
> https://gitlab.com/fabis_cafe/gnome-oldstable I dont know for sure if
> this was OK to be in the AUR, but since
> https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/?O=0&SeB=nd&K=keyring&outdated=&SB=n&SO=a&PP=50&do_Search=Go
> archlinuxarm,32, even chaotic-aur and a lot more are there, I never saw
> a problem with that one.

For keyring packages... please consider the point of a pacman keyring is
to manage and distribute a web of trust. Arch Linux, as well as Arch
Linux ARM and Arch Linux 32, have multiple packaging keys to manage, so
adding them is more complicated than simply pacman-key -r <keyid> &&
pacman-key -l <keyid>; particularly, they actually need to make use of
pacman-key's master key list, or revocation list.

I didn't check any others.

I'm not sure whether such packages are needed for one key, but I'm a bit

> * https://aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase/preconf-cups-desktop/
> Is a preconfiguration that enabled and installed printer support for
> desktops. Also not specific for me, just easy access.

We can tell what it is, yes. That's the problem. This PKGBUILD does
nothing other than enable the systemd units from the cups package. It's
explicitly a problem -- do not reupload it under any circumstances.

> *
> https://aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase/preconf-intel-nvidia-prime-render-offloading/
> Where a lot of configuration to set up prime-offloading with working
> powermanagement on newer optimus-ready systems. I actually only bought a
> GT 710 to write this package in order to help people set this up. Not
> specific for me. (because AMD ftw :D)
> * https://aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase/preconf-sudo-wheel/
> This just creates the sudo configuration for wheel users in
> /etc/sudoers.d. I won't lie, this was made because I'm lazy. I dont know
> if this is actually used by anyone else.

It's a package that adds one line to your system, for people who don't
want to uncomment the same line in the default /etc/sudoers


> * https://aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase/systemd-boot-esp-sync/
> This one syncs /boot to /efi/$machine-id either via systemd.path or via
> alpm hook. I've written this in a generic form, so others can use (and I
> know at least 2 people who use it in addition of myself).

Regardless of any other problems...

install=$(/usr/bin/tail -n 1 /usr/lib/os-release | /usr/bin/cut -d=

This is not ok.

> * https://aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase/game-devices-udev/
> This one adds udev rules for a lot of gaming controllers who might
> otherwise not work on your system. It's not really a preconfiguration.
> So also in here I dont understand why this was removed at all.

This one seems like it should be ok, I guess...

> * https://aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase/unlock-pacman/
> This one just removes to pacman-lock at startup, in case it's there.

"this one just X"

You think "it just" is an explanation several times here, but no, you
can't "just" because there are rules and you need to follow them.

A package to remove the pacman database lock on every boot is definitely
not useful to more than one person, in large part because IT IS

Do not recommend people break their systems. Do not recommend people
with critically damaged systems, remove the lockfile that is supposed to
both point this out, and prevent them from breaking it even further.
That lockfile means something -- it means you need to fix your system
and if you don't know why then you need to ask for help.

You cannot normally get this lockfile unless pacman segfaulted halfway
through an update -- or the entire operating system segfaulted, or
abnormally powered off.

> None of them are in my opinion really specialized or specific for me
> alone and almost all of them add something of value to a users system. I
> can't find something that preconfigurations, wallpapers, udev-rules or
> "keyrings" are not allowed on the AUR either in
> https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/AUR_submission_guidelines. So I'm a
> pretty shocked by that move.

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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