Calamares(’ maintainer) and Arch-based distros

I just this blog post and it seems Calamares (or rather Adriaan de Groot) has some problems with supporting Arch(-based distros).

Knowing Ade, this is likely not an easy decision on his side. Is there anything we could do on EndeavourOS’ side to make it easier for him, without throwing away our roots?

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Honestly, given how much time I personally have spent contributing to Calamares, I find it a bit unsettling that seems to have been totally ignored.

There are many Arch-based active contributors to Calamares. I would bet a huge percentage of the commits from distros over the last 2 years are from Arch-based distros and kaos.


English is not my natal language but i don’t see any decision in the blog post ?!

Arch regularly releases Boost (the C++ library) updates which are ABI-incompatible, but downstream Calamares doesn’t get recompiled. This leads to problems “it doesn’t work” which all have the same solution “rebuild Calamares”, and has for years – I don’t notice this from other distro families, and I’ve never had so much as a hint of a merge request or code contribution to improve the situation.

Maybe there simply more rookies on arch that want to make a distro for the challenge and/or megalomania :slight_smile: I say that because when you use arch, with a correct understanding of it, you know that always using the latest and greatest can be challenging. That make you learn how to fix your problem, rebuilding is a basic.

Arch recently renamed a ton of packages for KDE Frameworks. This breaks the get-the-dependencies script that Calamares used. There has been no bug report or upstream issue filed – which suggests that the script isn’t being used at all and should be taken down. Calamares doesn’t run continuous integration builds (CI) with any Arch derivative either. There has not been any merge request to implement this.

I don’t really see the problem. I mean, a package can always be remove or renamed. Rolling distro generally need to release iso more frequently (love the remote patching of eos btw). Also the Arch team don’t rename packages just for having something to do.

Lots of Arch derivatives optimistically build Calamares from the development branch (calamares). There is a long and tedious release process going on to get a cleaned-up 3.3.0 out the door, so the development branch is a good deal less stable than it has been. Building things in-between alpha releases is fraught, to say the least. I can’t say any useful bug reports or merge requests have shown up to help that process, though.

Just don’t offers support if its not a released version. You project, your rules.

Now i’m curious about what Arch based distro triggered this blog post :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

consider the Arch family as “whatevs”.

Overall look like someone don’t see the appeal of using a rolling distro :blush:

I am not sure if they are “rookies” or not but a good percentage of the low-information help requests come from Arch-based distros.

Although, to be fair, this is possibly simply because there are both a lot of Arch-based distros and high percentage of them are using Calamares.

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I’m also not really sure. Maybe it’s just in my head, but I get the impression that Arch attracts people who know or want to know. Hence my initial remark.

The problem for me atleast come from two factor:

  • Distros like manjaro that sell Arch like its a good first experience at linux (i know its not really Arch at this point but i see lots of post that sell it like that)

  • Some people oversell to much; Example, my hardware is old at this point, i don’t have any problem with modern kernel but my experience is just my experience. With some recent hardware, my experience could be different.

I would suspect this is the issue, yes.

Especially if all these low-info help requests are based on a development branch of Calamares instead of an actual release, I can see how this could become an disproportional burden. And with limited resources (as one typically is) it can be very frustrating to treat those issues the same as issues against a released version with better information.

There’s an update on Ade’s blog post:

Update: (2023-10-24) Well that’s me putting my foot in it, right? There are Arch derivatives that don’t annoy me through the issues below, and who do participate and contribute. I’d like to point out EndeavourOS in particular as a good citizen.