Release November 2020

Vision 2020-2021

This work year (September 2020 – July 2021) we will focus on our workflow.

We need to become backups for each other.

  • The September release  has been built by Marco.
  • Icewm has been created by Natto.
  • Spectrwm has been created by Natto and Coritani.
  • Dwm has been created by Coritani.

We continue to develop new desktops and make tutorials about them.

Sharing knowledge stays the central theme at ArcoLinux.

You are never alone. The whole community will try to help you.

Use our articles, use our videos, use our forum.

Get the keys in from our coreteam

The ArcoLinux coreteam will be making ISOs and packages and signing them with their own keys.

Update your system now before the packages are released to avoid pacman errors.

How do you get the keys in?

Just update your system now.

How do you check if you have the keys?

sudo pacman-key --list-keys

If you are too late and pacman gives you a key error, then we have a post for you on arcolinuxforum to get the keys in.

These last months we have focused on three major topics

  1. Calamares – our delivery system
  2. Archiso – our build system
  3. DWM – our new desktop

CALAMARES

Calamares 3.2.32.1

Calamares 3.2.32.1 gives you compatibility with the new kpmcore that was released.

More info.

Calamares 3.2.32

Calamares 3.2.32 will add the functionality to select a swap file rather than a swap partition.

A lot of work and testing on the part of Calamares and ArcoLinux went into this release. We were determined to implement this functionality.

We can now use a swap file of a fixed size of 512MB. Since this is technically working now, Calamares can develop a nice gui so the user can choose the size for himself. That is for a future version of Calamares.

More info.

OVERALL FEEL

Calamares is now more descriptive. At the bottom left it will tell you what it is doing.

The slider will show the installation progress more consistently.

We see the packages being installed and have less feeling the system is hanging.
You see the numbers going up.

That hanging feeling depends on:

  • how recent is your hardware
  • your internet speed
  • how much software you selected

Gitahead-bin has been added to the Calamares configuration

Gitahead-bin is crucial in our workflow. We added it to the module of the Calamares installation i.e. ArcoLinux Dev.

ArcoLinuxD adding icewm to Calamares config

We can now install Icewm from the Calamares application.

archiso 48

Archiso 48

We follow the folder and files provided by the package archiso and change our files accordingly.
More info can be found in the Carli 9 videos.

Although this item is the shortest of them all, it took us the most time to figure out how to build isos again on the new version of archiso 48.

Big thanks to Marco who figured out the new procedure Arch Linux is now using to build ISOs.

When we figured out the how, we also rewrote our scripts to build ISOs.

You will notice it when you build them.

For the end user nothing changes.

Run the build script and wait.

DWM

Dwm might be one of the most intriguing desktops we have in our collection.

Dwm stands for dynamic window manager and it comes from suckless.org.

Let me copy/paste the intro of their website.

“Dwm is a dynamic window manager for X. It manages windows in tiled, monocle and floating layouts. All of the layouts can be applied dynamically, optimising the environment for the application in use and the task performed.

In tiled layout windows are managed in a master and stacking area. The master area contains the window which currently needs most attention, whereas the stacking area contains all other windows. In monocle layout all windows are maximised to the screen size. In floating layout windows can be resized and moved freely. Dialog windows are always managed floating, regardless of the layout applied.”

Dwm needs to be BUILT rather than INSTALLED.

So you had better get ready to do your sudo make and sudo make install.

Dwm will work perfectly out of the box and building is taken care of. Only when you start changing the code will you need to rebuild Dwm.

The goal of OUR Dwm is to be minimal, fast and maintainable over the future.

The more patches you put into dwm the more likely it can go ‘wrong’.

These seven patches are included now:

  • dwm-alfhasystray
  • dwm-autostart
  • dwm-center
  • dwm-r1615-selfstart
  • dwm-shiftview
  • dwm-fullgaps

We have to thank Coritani who gave up much of his free time to install ALL PATCHES in this link. Check the menu on the left to see all the names of all the patches.

We are happy with the result.
We will improve Dwm even further but that goes for every desktop we have.

ArcoLinuxB Kodi

Kodi

We had this idea to make an iso that contains Kodi by default. Xfce is there as our default desktop if we need it.

We like to install this iso on a computer that is near the television screen to enjoy music, photos and videos. We have a nuc or something similar in mind.

Even changing the theme to our preferred theme seems like a challenge.

The coming months we will look at it in our spare time.

Can we make a custom KODI the way we see it?

GENERAL CHANGES

Removed packages

We have removed Evolution from the flagship ISO. 5o megabytes less on your ISO, 150 megabytes less on our ssd and several systemd services are gone.

Pamac-aur and the missing icons

We have added an automated fix to ArcoLinux. Whenever a new archlinux-appstream-data is released, ArcoLinux will automatically correct the issue.

NEW ALIAS “big” in your .bashrc

We have added the alias big to the .bashrc.

It provides you a list of the biggest packages.

NEW ALIAS “downgrada” in your .bashrc

You can now downgrade packages that come from our 3rd party repo. Those are packages coming from AUR. Downgrade does not support AUR.

Instead of downgrade with an e you can now also downgrada with an a (a from ArcoLinux) and you can go back a few versions until the package works again for you. See it as extra failsafe.

We are working together with the developers of downgrade to make it possible to use downgrade in the future and include our repo in the future.

NEW ALIAS “probe” in your .bashrc

In order to solve hardware, software and configuration issues we now have a new alias that provides an overview of your system and puts it online with an easy to read structure. We hope it will help us analyze your issue.

If you are getting errors you are missing packages. Run the keep rolling script in .bin/stay-rolling/2020/20.09-to-20.11/stay-rolling-vx.sh.

Example :

Probe URL: https://linux-hardware.org/?probe=465d31dc87

Xfce – ALT + F1 opens the menu

We added a new keyboard shortcut to the Xfce desktop.

ALT + F1 will open the Xfce menu. Just like on Plasma.

ArcoLinux Welcome App has a quit button now

Exploring tiling window managers can be daunting at first. When you install your choice of desktop you should already know you can close windows and apps with Super + Q or Ctrl + Shift + Q.

We have added a button to facilitate the closing of the ArcoLinux Welcome Application with a Quit button.

TWM and Super + Shift +X

Super + Shift + X was present to instantly shutdown the desktop. Any and all windows would be closed and you would logout of the desktop.

That became a bit frustrating as we typed the shortcut by accident.

We have kept the shortcut in the configs but it is no longer active.

Logging out is done via Super + X on all desktops.

ArcoLinux supports Vmware now

The resolution was not ideal when you installed ArcoLinux in a Vmware machine. You can now use the exact dimension of your screen e.g. 1920×1080 pixels.

CTRL + ALT + ENTER switches between full screen and smaller screen or use the full screen button in the menu.

The image is from Windows, Vmware workstation Pro 15.5.5. Also tested on ArcoLinux with Vmware Workstation 16.0.0 Pro.

Betterlockscreen update causes transparency in lockscreen on xfce

We have updated the arcolinux-xfce-git package to ensure that the lockscreen is not transparent.

FUN STUFF

ArcoLinux Tellme

Looking for new fun scripts I came across a github that enhances cowsay with images. We created a new package that you can install. It will not be on our isos.

sudo pacman -S arcolinux-tellme-git

I have used this project to explain how you can create your own package starting from an idea.

Every time you type ‘arcolinux-tellme’ a random image will appear with a random fortune.

If you want to pick a ‘cow’ from the long list in /usr/share/cows then type

cowsay -f leia type-your-text-here

or

cowsay -f dalek $(fortune)

Whatever you create here, you can save it in your .bash-personal as an alias and play with it.

There are lots of cows.

563 cows to be exact (for now)

TO DO LIST

DWM tutorials

ArcoLinuxB Ukui tutorials

ArcoLinuxB Spectrwm tutorials

HOW TO STAY ROLLING VIDEO

We have dedicated an article to this particular topic since it is probably FAQ number 1.

How to update any ArcoLinux or how to stay rolling

WHAT IS NEW VIDEO

DO YOU NEED MORE TECHNICAL INFORMATION

More detailed information can be found in the 
beta links in the arcolinux.info menu
and of course in the commits
On github.