Arch Made Easy | LAS | s19e03

Arch Made Easy | LAS | s19e03

Is the Chakra Project a beautifully simple ready to go Arch Linux desktop, or off the tracks onto an island of it’s own? We find out, plus what sets pacman apart from FreeBSD’s Ports system!

Also – Chris blasts Google for leaving Nexus One owns behind, Jolicloud ditches the Netbook, and we celebrate a new geek holiday!


All this week on, The Linux Action Show!

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  • By: Nov 15, 2011

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Chakra Project Review, IE Arch Made Easy:

Pacman vs Ports

  • Pacman is the binary package tool for Arch Linux. The FreeBSD equivalent is pkg_add
  • the Arch Build System (ABS) is designed to mimic some of the capabilities of FreeBSD’s ports system
  • Both Ports and ABS consist of a number of directories named after various packages sorted into categories (ie ABS: extra/daemons/apache Ports: www/apache22). These directories do not contain the files or source code for firefox, but rather just a few script files that provide the infrastructure to allow you to build firefox.
  • Both Ports and ABS automate the process of building software, including the following steps:
  • Download source code from mirrors
  • Checksum the file (for security and integrity)
  • Extract the files
  • Apply any required patches (FreeBSD changes the default paths for a lot of apps to follow the FreeBSD directory structure)
  • Run the configure script (FreeBSD provides a text based menu for selecting options)
  • Compile the application
  • BSD ONLY: Install the application
  • BSD ONLY: checksum all the files that were installed
  • BSD ONLY: Uninstall the application (remove any unmodified files using checksums from earlier)
  • Create a package that can be installed (with pacman or pkg_add respectively)
  • ABS is only a build system used to build packages, that are then installed and managed by pacman
  • Ports is integrated with pkg_add and the package registry, and allows you to install the build application without the additional step of building a package.

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25 Responses to “Arch Made Easy | LAS | s19e03”

  1. JTeK Says:

    The “heavy Ubuntu user to heavy Arch user” EXACTLY describes my distro-hopping path.

  2. Earl Cameron Says:

    hey guys…luv this show but please stay away from techsnappie networking news, I know linux is big on servers but linux ACTION show should be about linux in action…servers are not!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I hear ya. I even made mention I was aware of that in the show, but I’ve never stayed away server news, especially since for Linux, it’s really it’s core strength. 


  4. Jaques Says:

    More Linux and less BSD on the action show plz. I’m fine with people using BSD, but it’s not what I listen to a Linux podcast for.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Chakra looks interesting. The isolated binaries thing is a little weird though. It completely turned me off the distro. 

    I’ll probably never leave Arch. 

  6. Knight Says:

    Arch scares me and I’ve been using Linux off and on for almost 10 years.

  7. Knight Says:

    I was an Ubuntu only user and now with the new release I’m finding myself enjoying Mint much better.

  8. asedsa Says:

    Regarding Google not caring about Android updates: You are looking at this all wrong. Google’s customers are the OEM hardware makers and the carriers, not the end users. When you realise that everything Google does regarding Android makes a lot more sense. 

  9. Louis Tim Larsen Says:

    If you wanna try a rooling release distro based on Arch with Gnome on top I would recommend you to check out KahelOS:

    And as I mentioned on Google+: I think that this the Android is misrepresented in the Android/iOS update chart. Where’s
    all the modern 2010 and 2011 phones likes Desire, Desire Z, Nexus S and
    the Galaxy S?

  10. adiratiu00 Says:

    I miss Bryan’s programmer point of view… You guys seem to make the shows tend more to IT personnel and administrators… I as a programmer do not identify with that… :( In fact I find server administration very very boring (no offence intended, but do the other users find administration & related stuff that interesting? :) 

    How many of the people using Linux are server administrators and how many are programmers, by the way? I think the show really needs a person geared toward programming instead of two that are geared towards administration… It will appeal much more to the majority.

    There was a good balance before because Bryan was the programmer/software creator and Chris was the administrator/pen tester type.

    Bryan even started discussing Haskell programming in the xmonad window manager review. He was definitely geared toward programming. Bring back a guy like that. You guys would never compare purely functional vs. imperative programming in a show right now, never ever :))

    I’m not saying you should make the show about programming, not by far, because it would suck. Just bring in a guy who is into modifying or creating software and not into administrating or penetration testing.


  11. Bring Bryan Back Says:

    Bryan… please come back to the show!!!!!
    (No offense Allan)

  12. adi7519 Says:

    I am using Arch and I am addicted to pacman :)
    I will probably never leave Arch.


  13. kabamaru Says:

    LAS is still very informative but it’s not enjoyable anymore. No fun. I hope Bryan will come back because you two made a great team. Also, BSD sounds great, but this is a “Linux” Action Show.

  14. Chris Says:

    I love Allan’s work on TechSNAP. Very in-depth, and typically very informative.

    Unfortunately, while his FreeBSD knowledge is clearly excellent, his Linux knowledge is somewhat lacking. This results in misinformation, and a constant pro-FreeBSD slant. I love FreeBSD, but I think that Linux deserves a fair shake on the Linux Action Show.

    If Bryan is unable to return to the Linux Action Show, I wonder if it would be worthwhile to put out a call for another host or possibly to have a different guest host join Chris each week. I’d hate to see the Show become simply a rehash of TechSNAP, which is where it seems to be headed now.

    I do enjoy TechSNAP and I hope that you guys keep running that show, but I miss what the Linux Action Show used to be.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Google, if you truly believe the “don’t be evil” mantra, make the mobile space a place where users don’t have to buy a new package of rare earth metals every 21 months. Hopefully these users at least recycle the “old” phone.

  16. Jesper Madsen Says:

    It’s all well and good that you like Android, but couldn’t we tone it down somewhat ?

    Linux Action Show, not Android Action Show – I guess I’m not the only one who don’t have an Android phone and even when I did, I didn’t care for prolonged Android discussions.

    Android is just another mobile OS and in many ways as closed and annoying as iOS (which also is based on open source code).

    If it truly pertains to Linux, as in Android meant power management overhauls in the kernel or the GUI toolkit got ported to Linux or that project which allowed executing android apps then by all means.
    But there’s enough sites/podcasts where people can go get their Android news.

    I really hope other users are feeling the same as I, because I’m frankly sick and tired of Android taking up time in my favourite podcast – it detracts from Linux awesomeness and therefore is EVIL. 😉

  17. Dhul Karnain Says:

    You guys didn’t even dedicate full 10 mins to Charka/Arch. Disappointing.

  18. Enigma Says:


    Lol @ChrisLAS:disqus and his mad pronunciation skillz.

    Have you guys considered having guests from major or interesting FOSS projects to talk about their projects, to perhaps get a different (none sys-admin) view?

  19. Barnabus Says:

    Chris – You need to get one of those word-a-day books or something.  You have a terrible vocabulary, man.  That’s a pretty big handicap for someone in the broadcasting business.  Also, you need a better co-host.  Allan’s nice but he only has two conversation levels – disinterested grunt, and beat-the-dead-horse.  Good for occasional segments, but not the full hour.  Bryan had his own drawbacks, but it was a more balanced show.  Try to find a co-host with a pulse, please.  m’kthanksbye.

  20. rockpig Says:

    After watching a couple of shows, I think what is missing from Allan is the ability to bring “Linux action” to the show – being a bsd fanboy.  So the show is completely run by Chris, with some commentary provided by Allan.  With Brian, he brought actual content to the show…

    I personally like Allan, but I don’t know how engaged he is with linux and therefore able to bring “linux stuff” to the table.

  21. Alexander von Gluck Says:


  22. Burke Says:

    I think that was merely a review of chakra. You showed the desktop, a special kickoff move it can do, and the installer. And then Allan started to talk about rather peripheral details which were not really what I think is a review. I think that was a bit disappointing.

    And where the hack is Bryan?

  23. Robert Kovacs Says:

    One of the main reasons Arch will never be used by businesses or commercially as a workstation OS.  No GUI installer. Hence why FreeBSD had to come out with PC-BSD. Companies doing mass deployment don’t need to spend time  starting from scratch on every install. 

  24. Mr Henry Says:

    Allan your cool and all – def amazing knowledge – but Bryan – dude wassup – you coming back or what?

  25. Anonymous Says:

    You actually think companies doing mass deployment go through the install on every machine manually? They usually do a network boot which automatically writes an image to disk, then run a customization script to individualize what may need individualization.

    The reason Arch is not much used in an enterprise environment, is that they ship packages pretty “clean” from upstream, when upstream say they are stable. Often the standard settings from upstream is no good, and pretty often it isn’t close to stable either. (KDE, I’m looking at you concerning both.)

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