There have been so many started-and-stalled i586 renditions of the Arch Linux project that I’ve lost my way through some of them. To make things worse, I occasionally stumble upon sites that mention one offshoot, but seem to merge into another.
This time it’s a concise and to-the-point page from a while back, that talks about bumping Lowarch up to a more current rendition. If I remember right from the last time I tried that stunt, there were problems with pacman and with building software from scratch.
I haven’t tried this yet so I can’t be sure, but it may be that the script on that page puts Lowarch within striking distance of a version of pacman that can step even further forward.
Why you would want to do that, over installing from something more recent, like the archlinux-i586 ISO?
I don’t know. But repositories are still accessible, even if a lot of the software is already out of date. But one or two packages — like glibc — are stamped as recently as June.
I’m no expert, but it seems to me that you could splice together an almost-up-to-date i586 system between that and the repos at archlinux-i586.org. Even if you don’t install from the Lowarch ISO, there seems to be enough in the way of “current” packages between the two, that you could probably keep your i586 within a month or two of “up-to-date.”
What’s left you’ll probably have to build from scratch. Enter abs, etc.
But waitaminute … Lowarch? Why are we talking about the original Lowarch? Didn’t that die in 2008 or something? Where in the world is the ISO to install that … ?