Or: How to lose loyal users: a beginners guide for soon-to-be extinct Linux distributions
- Promise that the badly needed upgrade will be recognized by the update manager.
- Just in case if not, put a description on the Wiki which can't possibly work. Let the user find out why.
- After the user found out and forced the upgrade, arrange numerous conflicts which increase the users problem-solving ability.
- When the user has sorted out all the challenges, present a kernel panic upon reboot. Give him the real deal!
Farewell, Mandriva! You were my trusted companion for a decade, and I'm sure to miss many of your amenities. But I can't use a system which offers a TeX distribution from 2007, and which breaks upon an online upgrade.
There was no question what I'd install instead: that had been clear since my discovery of Arch Linux more than two years ago. I use Debian Testing on all workstations, but it's not quite up-to-date enough for a desktop if you ask me (I was an avid user of Mandriva Cooker until I decided that this platform, while offering comparatively current packages, is simply too unstable to be of use). In contrast, I have not seen Arch to break in the two years I'm following its progress in two virtual machines. I also became moderately familiar with Arch Linux itself, which I still believe to be the most transparent and, in a sense, most simple distribution I've ever tested and used.
The installation and configuration was, as usual, straightfoward, but two issues remain. First, 'keychain' works, but neither 'openssh-askpass' nor 'ksshaskpass' do. I thus have to manually call 'ssh-add' upon each reboot. Admittingly not a big thing. The second issue is more disturbing: while both 'privoxy' and 'pdnsd' work perfect separately, they don't work together. I just get 404s when trying, and I have no clue as to the reason.
Everything else, however, functions perfectly. There are, of course, many small things to be taken care of when changing from a very old to a very new distribution (just think about python 2.x and 3.x), but most of this tinkering is over and done. I can lean back and enjoy. ;)
The little pacman you see in the tray, by the way, is the icon of yapan, a cute little update manager which keeps the system up-to-date in its own cute little way. :)