A stable Arch branch?

Don’t look now, but it could become a reality. A thread here describes the rationale for a snapshot of Arch at periodic intervals, allowing users to bounce between stable points, rather than use Arch in the rolling fashion it has now. A wiki page is up and running now too.

What would it do? It would make it possible to rely on Arch the same way you would rely on Ubuntu, Debian or other periodic releases — install a release edition, and upgrade to the next after six months or so.

If you’re not familiar with Arch, the system now relies on only one release — the current editions of all the software. Every few days — or every day, or every hour if you like — you synchronize against the freshest package list, and your system is updated to the current versions. Old programs are replaced and gone.

Personally it’s not something I would use. I like the rolling release over the periodic style just because it gives me quicker updates and bug fixes. It does occasionally backfire, since a quirky package that slips through testing can sometimes get installed. But that’s exceedingly rare, and in general, I prefer a rolling style.

But I’d agree that it’s great the Arch community is taking the initiative to improve upon it. I would certainly give it a chance, if it comes to fruition.

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7 Responses to “A stable Arch branch?”


  1. 1 Satchmo 2008/01/05 at 8:13 PM

    Frankly, I don’t see the point. You have to provide bug and security fixes for older software, and you have the hassle of reinstalling or dist-upgrading every six months or so.
    We’ve got Debian for that. Or Ubuntu.
    Arch is about NOT doing this way, IMHO. It’s the main reason why I chose it as my principal distro.

  2. 2 bautz 2008/01/05 at 9:30 PM

    I don’t see the point too. Same reasons as Satchmo.
    Arch is KISS! And I love it for that reason.
    No KISS, no Arch.

  3. 3 K.Mandla 2008/01/05 at 9:35 PM

    And I agree with you both. It’s not something I would use, but if there’s a subsection of the Arch following that wants it, and they’re willing to put it together, I see no harm in that. I’ll even give it a try. But I’m 99 percent sure at this point that it’s not something I’d use regularly.

  4. 4 finferflu 2008/01/06 at 6:26 AM

    I think the point is having the stability of, say, Debian (to be ambitious), and the KISS philosophy of Arch. The best of both worlds, isn’t it?

  5. 5 nDray 2008/01/24 at 6:09 AM

    pacman 4.0 (it’s a long shot, i know), is scheduled to support package downgrade. I guess that will solve the rolling release problems in the best way anyone could imagine.

  6. 6 Jalfrock 2008/02/04 at 8:12 AM

    I like it. The main reason I continue to use Slackware rather than Arch is precisely that I’m too conservative for a rolling-release system. If Arch could give me a stable version that I didn’t have to mess with for a year, I’d switch in a heartbeat.

  7. 7 Anabella 2008/03/06 at 1:03 PM

    I love the idea. The only thing I don’t like about Arch is the rolling release system. Everything else I love.


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