Navel gazing at the Arch Universe - (and other philosophical musings)

Well it really is subjective backups take up space and don't always solve the problem as when you update the problem comes back.
Me I don't do backups of the DE never have i use The Arch rollback machine, simple kiss but its very rare that i need it.

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disable them all and start again


If your time is limited to debug or find a fix, then you use a snapshot and use your limited time to report the bug to Garuda (or Arch, in rare cases), so a fix can be expected sooner or later. If you don't report, maybe it will take longer to get a fix.

Keep local/user data backups, because sometimes you"ll have to delete local .config/something to make your account usable quickly, due to new app settings/configuration.

An Arch system is normally installed only once! That's not a myth! :wink:

Writing from Gnome 40 Wayland session :laughing:


A lot of people have never run straight Arch, or not for long. It's been my personal experience with Arch that, if I don't panic, read the Announcements & Forum (if necessary) for my problem, and then logically go about fixing the brokenness, things work out.

I've learned more from problem troubleshooting than I'd ever learn by re-installing. Mostly what I've learned is how to keep a good installation good, and therefore keep it up and running.



I have no argument about the advantages of fixing - when time allows. I still have the first 2 'bare metal' Arch systems going atm, because the (few) problems I have had have been fixable. Some of the Arch-based systems, however, are easier to make a mess of (after all, they often have additional packages and settings that are unknown (at first) to the user) - and SOMETIMES a re-install makes sense in those cases.

I even have to admit to needing to do a reset on Garuda (:blush: ) because of grub issues and others - but a second build is still going strong (with original features).

So - I agree with the principle of always fixing, but no problem with those who, due to time or resource constraints, find a re-install preferable :grin:


I suspect the discussion grows longer because of the different meaning each one may have about what "My Arch/system is broken" means.

IMHO Arch needs a lot of effort to break :laughing:
A Linux installation breaks when it is unbootable to TTY.
If my DM cannot start, I use another DM, or start X directly.
If DE breaks, I clean/backup config and delete cache and probably can login. Else I use another DE.
If a GUI or CLI app breaks, I use another equivalent app, or report and wait for fix, but the system is not broken.
Etc, etc, etc... :man_shrugging:

If the bootloader and init/kernel is broken (extremely rare cases), then the system is broken and most probably upstream provides a fix in really short time, on which time we may downgrade relevant packages, or boot to a snapshot or other backup method is used.


For me, a system is 'broken' if you can't make it do the job that you have in hand. If fixes can do it in time, that's fine. If there are alternatives available to do the job (and you know of or can discover them) - that's fine too. If, like me, you have multiple available systems a reboot away to get the job done with - then the fixes can wait. You might even be able so solve more quickly with comparisons between functioning and non-functional systems!

When, however you can't get the system to boot correctly, or perhaps not to reboot - or to use the peripherals that it previously knew of....

It all comes down to time and resources I would say. Certainly the need for re-install is extremely rare with Arch in the equation, and it becomes rarer with time in use...

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This is veering off-topic but I think it's worth examining why Linux subcultures sometimes get a bit hung up on the perception of competence. Not celebration of competence itself, per se, as obviously someone that contributes useful things to FOSS is doing a public good, but the need to be seen as competent in contexts where you're not actually making a contribution. Like, it seems a bit silly to think that someone might be sitting here worrying that they have to justify restoring from a snapshot to other people over a web forum, because it might be seen as less competent than claiming you're always able to fix your own issues or are too competent to run into issues in the first place. It's an easy solution, and whether you're competent is utterly irrelevant (beyond the ability to do the restoration without access to a GUI, anyways, and even that isn't strictly necessary if someone is able to politely ask for help).

It can veer into moralizing sometimes, as though it's a comment on someone's character that they might prefer a quick and reliable solution to the one that requires a lot of research, that someone is "lazy."

It's good that people here seem to be more self-aware of this, at least. You can see this reflected in some of the comments surrounding Garuda in Linux circles, where someone who is very proud that they use Arch btw seems almost offended at Garuda's existence because it's entirely possible to make the same setup in vanilla Arch or Endeavor yourself. As though there's some moral wrong in people having things running like a tweaked kernel that offers a bit more performance if they didn't "earn" it, people shouldn't be using their distro if they use things like backups rather than learning the "right" way to fix whatever bug came up. It can seem like it's less about giving people tools to better use their computers and more about the need to prove oneself within this weird meritocracy, to affirm that you are in fact a "real" Linux user or whatever.

Iunno, it feels like such a myopic view, there's so many reasons someone might want to use Arch without going through the process of learning about your options for each individual component, deciding which to use, and assembling it all yourself and hoping you didn't misconfigure anything, and no one really needs to justify that preference. I remember seeing someone complaining about Garuda making snapshots "too easy" before and this conversation reminded me of that frustrating interaction.


Are you certain it is appearance of competence, or competence itself? One can lead to another, but time wounds all heels, and we can figure out for ourselves who the poseurs are and are not. :wink:

I agree. Are you worried? You can tell us the truth... :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Amen! Sing it, Brother! But you're right.

It is, but oh, what a pain (personal experience)! I've spent months learning about the elusive BTRFS and I still wrap it around a tree every time. Easier to let Garuda drive the :bus: If it explodes it's the passenger's fault for tinkering.

Those people aren't who I would call representative of the wider Arch Community. Especially if they're being "seen" by you on Reddit and their ilk. I don't think Garuda's own developers, who come from the wider Arch Communities, would agree, either.


Note: Moderator, pretty please move this valuable discussion to a more appropriate sub-forum. :smiley:


How's that strike your fancy. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


@tbg--love the topic header. Thanks! :rofl:


I think that using them in conjunction will be better, so you don't need to use a usb stick in cases where you can get into grub but can't go into tty

If you can get to grub, you can almost always get to TTY.
The only think that would require a USB chroot is a HW/disk failure.
Maybe complicated FS like btrfs, or LVM or encryption may also need chroot.


I guess part of it is people deliberately posturing, but like I think the appearance of "incompetence" is what people are usually trying to avoid, 'cause a community like this can very easily become overtly hostile to someone they perceive as incompetent.

I think a lot of people are just trying to avoid getting shat on by someone that has strange assumptions about baseline computing skills. Like even here people can get... intense if they assume OP is asking a "stupid question" despite wildly misunderstanding what OP is asking (which may be a perfectly reasonable question). And a natural reaction to that is people acting skittish about perceptions of competence.

That really is the value of Garuda and other similar "configuration distros." That you can make it yourself doesn't change that most people will struggle to make it themselves, and even those who are reasonably proficient can mess something or another up and have trouble figuring out what it was that they messed up.. Having things preconfigured in a way that's known to work is nice. It's much easier to configure the rest to suit your needs when you're working from a decent default configuration.


I can only speak for myself, and I will say I feel hostile is a rather harsh word. I don't care if someone is ignorant of how Linux works. We all started there, the difference is in my day there wasn't anywhere near the resources there are today. All I expect is for a user that doesn't know what they're doing to show some initiative and do some searching on their own. This is not a distro that encourages spoon feeding.

I'll give you an example. I often respond to networking help requests and I often repeat the same sets of instructions over and over. I will tell a user "disable MAC addresss randomization" quite often. A user that asks for instructions on how to do that will get a simple response from me. Use the forums search engine.

That term is very unique and a user should have zero problems finding instructions on how to do that themselves. Ignorant, no problem, lazy, big problem. My days of being an unpaid internet search assistant are over, that's the users responsibility. Anyone who starts giving static to someone because they were asked to search for something on the Arch Wiki will likely get a very immediate response from myself.

I silenced a user for 2 weeks today for that very reason. Never exhibit rude behaviour towards forum users only trying to help or you'll be hearing from me rather quickly. We run a tight ship here. If users want help they are expected to be polite and do their due diligence.

We have high expectations of our users because we want our distro users to learn to stand on their own two feet and not be a drag on the community. A distro overrun by help vampires has no future, as they will exsanguinate anyone foolish enough to let them have their way.

Vamp Free Zone!!!


[added] Argh, ninja-ed by @tbg

This is my post:
I don't post much in this forum since all I have is a Garuda KDE Lite VM, and also because I feel I don't have much right to say too much because I don't provide assistance to others here.

But perhaps it's not so much "competence" but showing the willingness to at least put in some time/effort in searching for the answers in this forum or even the Arch forum (I don't post there myself since I don't install Arch from scratch, but that forum is rich in info just from a simple search). If a search can bring up the issue and solution, then there will be no need to reinstall.


Hey @wongs , nice to hear from you again. We don't see anywhere near enough of you these days.

Don't be a stranger. :vulcan_salute:


Very nice to see you around, @wongs! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

To the point--I believe it is a bit like the case of @Stroke_Finger (Norm!), and is related to his thank_you_thread, and also the put-upon graphic artist's posts.

Norm joined us in an open, honest, and friendly manner. And he also went about trying to be as helpful to others as much as his knowledge and skill levels permitted. And we welcomed him, and thank him for his diligence.

To say he has become a member of our wee group would be very appropriate. And I would wager--and win--that his skills have increased through his endeavors.

Compare that to the interloper--the person who gave our Developers nothing but criticism on matters of a superficial manner.

I like @wongs post--Competence vs. Willingness.

The gift is always in the giving.


Thanks, @tbg and @c00ter . I do visit the forum, but I mainly lurk.

As for an example of "non-willingness", here is a particularly irritating thread (to me at least) from the manjaro forum that I just read a few days ago: Update requests for packages imported from Arch Linux - #90 by ooeagle - Packaging - Manjaro Linux Forum

You can see posters don't even bother to read through the few posts just above their own in that very thread!

Unfortunately there are such posters in almost any distro forum. While helpers want to be civil and helpful, it does grate on you if you have to keep repeating the exact same advice all the time because no one even does a simple search first.


Hi Wongs! Pleased to make your (virtual) acquaintance! :wave:

Personally, I say - not so! :slight_smile:

Particularly sharp for me today - 3 children (Females - 14 and under), a Landlord house-inspection, a BBQ to get through (cook) and trying to stack frogs (wrestling data from the 4xx section here - badly), I came to see a truth:

'Ego is indirectly proportional to age/life-experience/wisdom.' The more of one side, the less of the other :rofl: The result I see is entitlement and laziness reigning supreme, in the young/less life-experienced nowadays.

Maybe I'm just becoming a grumpy of coot (no relation) of a Stroke_Finger (Norm!), but -

I see Arch and Linux as the cure!