Ten Years of Arch Linux

Today marks the 10 year anniversary since the first release of Arch Linux. I have been involved in Arch for only about half that time, but I thought it might be quite interesting to make a time-line of the major things I remember being involved with in my history with Arch Linux.

I actually first used Arch Linux in a virtual machine for quite some time prior to the start of this time-line. I was running a Linux From Scratch install and was looking to add better package management. Then I realized that it was quite a waste of time building my own packages when Arch was actually quite similar to what I was trying to achieve in a Linux install. The toolchain was the part I liked dealing with the most in LFS and now I get to play with it anyway, so things worked out well!

Here is a brief summary of my involvement with Arch Linux:

2007-06-09 – Joined forums
2007-06-20 – First non-VM Arch install
2007-12-04 – First patch to the pacman project (fixed compressing man pages in makepkg)
2008-01-09 – Applied to be a Trusted User (TU)
2008-01-23 – Voted in as a TU (23 yes, 1 abstain!)
2008-06-03 – Joined the forum moderation team.
2008-06-04 – Became a Arch Linux developer!
2008-08-17 – First big rebuild. I made all ncurses applications use the wide-character library for better locale support.
2008-09-01 – Interviewed in the Arch Newsletter – yes, there used to be one of those…
2009-04-04 – Resigned as a TU
2009-04-22 – First complete toolchain build after becoming the toolchain maintainer (gcc-4.4 update)
2009-06-07 – Broke module-init-tools due to missing a file failing to compile in the PKGBUILD. (makepkg would catch such an error these days and the missing file would be noted using the checkpkg utility)
2009-07-17libjpeg-7 rebuilds enter [extra]. I think this was the first major rebuild to severely break KDEmod.
2009-08-02pacman-3.3.0 released with package splitting support in makepkg
2010-03-05 – Fix a bug introduced by my first patch to makepkg… In true Allan style, the commit message contains a typo so does not point at the right bug!
2010-07-02 – Resigned as forum moderator. Mainly because I wanted to be able to be grumpy on the forums when…
2010-10-18python3 transition – Probably the single most controversial thing I have done in Arch…
2011-02-28 – A minor bash update resulted in non-booting systems
2011-03-16pacman-3.5.0 released for which I contributed reading the sync databases directly from the downloaded tarball, disk space checking and storing package information in a hash table.
2011-10-13pacman-4.0.0 release with full PGP signing support for packages and databases.

Of course there have been lots of other things I have contributed to Arch, including 1000s of package updates and about 400 patches to pacman. But these are the ones I found most memorable.

8 thoughts on “Ten Years of Arch Linux

  1. Nice post. I was expecting to see a little more breakage in that timeline, but I guess that is the stuff of legend… 🙂

  2. Lovely post allan 🙂 thanks for all the work and fun times with breakage 🙂
    Keep up the good work!
    I’d love to see a story about the allan broke it t-shirt.
    See ya on irc

  3. Python3 was not the most controversial thing you’ve done. Bringing back info pages, one of the original three pillars of Arch, clearly takes that award 🙂

  4. Thanks for your work Allan! Happy birthday Arch!

    PS I’ve read 3 or 4 posts like this and saw in almost all that authors resigned as TU after some time. What’s the reason for that because you still participate to Arch?

    • The reason for most developers resigning as a Trusted User is lack of time, but also we try to keep the Trusted Users running as a fairly independent group.

      • Oh I see now, “resign” just sounds scary. Cheers and another ten or better a hundred great years! 🙂

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