The last day of summer

Or: How to lose loyal users: a beginners guide for soon-to-be extinct Linux distributions

  1. Promise that the badly needed upgrade will be recognized by the update manager.
  2. Just in case if not, put a description on the Wiki which can't possibly work. Let the user find out why.
  3. After the user found out and forced the upgrade, arrange numerous conflicts which increase the users problem-solving ability.
  4. 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 compute servers, 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. 😉

New desktop

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. 😊