Arch is failing me!

I’ve been posting less and less here, simply because I’ve been very happy with my system as it was. My distribution of choice is Arch, my DE of choice is KDE, and my applications of choice are Pidgin, Chromium, Amarok (yes, it’s back), and Transmission. I don’t need more, and I was happy.

However.

I’ve mentioned my network woes before. In short: sometimes, when I boot, I have no network. When I don’t log in to KDE immediately, this happens even more. A reboot may solve the issue, but almost never does. When I run “dhcpcd eth0” it just hangs at “Waiting for carrier…” and then times out. I don’t have these problems in other Linux distributions (live-cd or installed), but I then again, I haven’t used them as primary OS either. Whenever I load a livecd though, find the network, then reboot, the problem’s gone in Arch. For a while.
I’m not sure what to blame. Arch? KDE? dhcpcd? Network card failure? Network cable too long? In any case, I’ve been putting off really solving this issue.

However.

Yesterday saw the release of KDE 4.4, and as mentioned on the Archlinux website, Arch users could upgrade almost immediately. I followed the procedure mentioned on the homepage, restarted KDE, and marveled at the beauty that was KDE 4.4. For two seconds, and then the screen went black. I could still hit Ctrl Alt Del, and reboot. Same thing happened.

I must say that at this point I really didn’t want to try and solve the issue, or reinstall Arch (which probably would have solved the issue),  so I now run Mint, my second favourite distribution, with GNOME. While I thing Metacity and Compiz are infinitely inferior to KWin, this works for now.

Unless I have this bug, because right before I left home today I noticed my USB stick didn’t show up. I might be okay…I have problems with pendrives all the time. If not…well, I can always try out OpenSuse I guess…

Sigh. I’m getting too old for this shit😉

San

19 Responses to Arch is failing me!

  1. flammenwurfer says:

    Oh come on, that doesn’t sound like a complex enough problem to make you completely ditch arch. I think you owe Arch another shot. You know you can’t resist the temptation of Arch forever!🙂

  2. celettu says:

    flammenwurfer:

    It’s not😉 Arch is still installed on my system, I just put Mint on a seperate partition.

    The thing is, these days I don’t care much about configuration, optimum speed and having the latest software. I just want things to work😛

  3. bostrt says:

    I’ve had the same problem. Not your specific one but just a lot of small annoying problems( intel video😦 and compiz ). I find myself going back and forth from Ubuntu to Arch. I enjoy Arch for pacman and extremely up to date packages but it breaks too often for a decent work computer. On the other side Ubuntu isn’t quite as up to date as I prefer but is most certainly stable. I wish there was something right in the middle. A perfect mix of cutting edge’ness and stability. Right in between Ubuntu and Arch.

  4. Arch is one of the harder Linux distribution there is. I would have preferred Debian if only I can make these two apps work in my laptop- skype and gyachi both having webcam problems. With Ubuntu most everything works out of the box- of course I wasn’t happy that it took about three months to have the pulseaudio leak fixed- but they share that bug with fedora and perhaps the other bleeding edge distros.

    So my suggestion to you is if you will be distro hopping- try Debian Squeeze. You have some options with Debian- try the really stable (lenny) though outdated packages, or really unstable (sid) with up to date packages or you can go in between with testing (squeeze).

    Or you might wait for the next version of ubuntu with a long term support (coming in April) and supposedly more stable desktop- which might just be my desktop for a long time.

    Also, partition your hard drive into many so that you can test some distros and you can make a backup system in the event your primary system fails.

    Hey thanks for the link back🙂

  5. FreeBooteR says:

    So far Arch has been great for me. I have it working on my desktop as well as my Aspire One. You didn’t list if you had tried downgrading packages etc. Arch is bleeding edge and new packages can break stuff, but if you had downgraded to what was working previously i bet it would have solved your problem.

    Sounds like you were happy previously, will you abandon mint when you hit the 6 month upgrade time issues? Like someone said, you didn’t give it a chance, but your right, Arch isn’t for everyone. It puts you in charge, there is great documentation, and the boards are a great resource if you do your homework before posting.

    I can’t imagine abandoning the rolling release model, i gotta have bleeding edge up to date software.

  6. QUASAR says:

    Mmm i think this:
    “Yesterday saw the release of KDE 4.4, and as mentioned on the Archlinux website, Arch users could upgrade almost immediately. I followed the procedure mentioned on the homepage …”

    isn’t compatible with this:
    “The thing is, these days I don’t care much about configuration, optimum speed and having the latest software. I just want things to work”

    Hehe, i never had the network problem in Arch =/

    Good luck with Mint and try to update Arch in another week to see if the black kde issue has been resolved. (Also I don’t have this problem using VGA Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960)

  7. celettu says:

    Freebooter:

    I’m not sure yet what I’ll do…in any case I’ll use Mint for a couple of weeks, just to see if the network problems return (they do in a fresh install of Arch)

    Quasar:

    I can see what you mean, but Arch means a daily pacman -Syu, no?😉

    Great Web Host (cool name that):

    I will have a look at Squeeze, not a bad idea…I did install sidux but that gave me locales issues…

    All:

    I have been using and loving Arch for over two years. I fully expect to come back to it. But…I can see the benefits of just using your PC, instead of taking it apart over and over again and inevitably breaking things in the process…:)

  8. lefty.crupps says:

    I’d have to agree with GREATWEBHOST.COM.PH, try out Debian Testing. Great KDE, great repos, very stable even with Sid instead of Testing if you so choose…

    from my experience, its best to install Lenny with the netinstaller CD, and then edit /etc/apt/sources.list as root and change from ‘stable’ to ‘testing’:

    deb http://debian.uchicago.edu/debian/ sid main non-free contrib

    deb-src http://debian.uchicago.edu/debian/ sid main non-free contrib

    and also add the Debian Multimedia repos:

    deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org/ sid main
    deb-src http://www.debian-multimedia.org/ sid main

    Then, aptitude update && aptitude sdist-upgrade , and then install the apps that you need from there…

  9. Brad says:

    I had the same problem, installed per directions kde 4.4..
    kopete, kmail, dolphin, didnt work and froze the computer hard, had to use the on/off button to restart it..
    so i went to kubuntu backup dvd, where everything just works…
    then i realized.. if i use a different mirror, and just reinstall arch from scratch(few hours of work, i like alot of stuff) it should be the latest, since I used the FTP install…and it was..
    so back to arch.. i like the idea of bleeding edge, and way arch is laid out.. dont like the fact my printer isnt supported, it says it is, and the package is in the AUR but it always fails to build, so I think its a lie personally or 1 person of 1000 got it working so they call it “working”..
    oh well.. the scanner part works.. cant have everything, this is why it’ll NEVER EVER EVER be the “YEAR” of the linux desktop, maybe the “moment” or “day” or ‘week’ of the linux desktop but NEVER the year.. so many we are the “best” distro, biggest EGOtistical distros, and too many choices.. maybe someday linux will be a real contender and people put their philosophies, egos and rants in check.

  10. jg says:

    There _is_ something inbetween Ubuntu and Arch. It’s called “Debian Testing”. Unlike Debian Stable, or Ubuntu, Debian Testing is a rolling release. It constantly gets the latest Debian packages as soon as the Debian devs test them for stability. With Ubuntu, you get those Debian packages only at 6 month intervals. Plus, Debian Testing is more stable than Ubuntu. Debian Testing “just works” compared to the buggy Ubuntu releases.

  11. Donald Duck says:

    As a suggestion that might be interesting to some of you people here: Sidux http://sidux.org/ is a rolling release distro just like Arch with relatively bleeding edge software (Debian unstable, meaning there’s LOTS of software available in the default repositiries) but with its own tools that make running Debian sid a more stable experience. So if you would like to try something that is a bit like a mix of Arch and Ubuntu, Sidux might be worth trying too. Sidux is definitely not for newbies, however, and reading their documentation regularly is important in order to keep your OS stable and to avoid breakage.

  12. Donald Duck says:

    @jg Debian testing might seem like a good choice, but it has its problems. Especially when testing is frozen, it will not get new packages for a long time. Although nowadays Debian testing has its own security updates, actually Debian sid will probably get those updates sooner, besides of getting new features that may take a long time before they get into testing.

    Debian testing is meant as a testbed for the next Debian stable, and that is its only official function. It is not trying to act as a rolling release Debian-based OS and lacks support if you would like to use it like that. Sidux might be better choice in that respect, although maybe requiring more knowledge and effort from its maintainer.

  13. Janos Guljas says:

    Debian testing is in such a good shape today that I recommend it to every person that needs a truly free and reliable system. I use Debian testing/sid on all of my personal computers and Debian Lenny on servers for more then two years and it has never disappointed me.

  14. sankaran says:

    I am using debian testing and multimedia repos have a testing branch, maybe because, I use the name squeeze instead of testing

    deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org/ squeeze main
    deb-src http://www.debian-multimedia.org/ squeeze main

  15. W says:

    I was using Arch for about a year. However, after one upgrade it xserver did not start and that was it. The problem with arch are rolling updates – sometimes they seriously break compatibility.

  16. Thomas M says:

    I had a similar problem with the black screen. I think I just recreated my kde desktop by renaming the .kde4 folder. I think the error came because of an incompatible plasmoid. No network happened after kde reset the network backend to networkmanager instead of wicd. I guess those two where fighting in the background.

    good luck, the two above solved my problems and KDE 4.4 is a pleasure to use.

  17. igurublog says:

    While I don’t have experience with your specific problem, and I dropped KDE as my desktop when I switched to Arch, almost all the problems I’ve had on Arch (and Ubuntu) are KDE related. IMO KDE4 is bloated, has a poor mixture of servers running (akonadi, n epomuk, sporano, virtuoso…), and is just trouble. It is seriously going the way of Windows.

    My advice is, if you want things to just work get away from KDE. Personally I went with Openbox, but LXDE (which uses Openbox as its WM) is also nice. Anything but KDE4.

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