Looking at your example file, and the help file (reflector -h), I am none the wiser : Is there a difference between -c and --country? The help file eludes to them to be one and the same, since there is only one description for each option with a - and --, but then again, I have been caught in the “this is written for people who understand coding” trap before, and had bad consequences due to the lack of documentation, and your use of both in your file could mean you are using both because they are different, or you used both to show that one can use one, or the other, or both. I do understand that the # implies a comment and cancels out any command that follows one.
Thanks, I did get all of the stuff in the Config right, but it still didn’t work!
After passing sudo systemctl start reflector-auto.timer
and entering my password, the terminal advanced to an empty line and NOTHING. It just stayed there, and after waiting more than an hour, I couldn’t do anything but close the terminal which asked if I wanted to terminate the running process “sudo systemctl”.
I checked to see what packages are available for reflector, and found “reflector-timer” which was not installed. This is a fresh install of endeavouros-2019.12.22-x86_64. I installed the package, and passed the start and enable commands again, and checked if it was running: It was up and doing it’s thing!
Seems it is needed, but was not installed by default for whatever reason.
Oh, and I did change to the short form of -c from United States and Canada to US and CA, but read that it was fixed and no longer a problem way before the release of the version of reflector-auto I was using.
I then tried (1), left the terminal open, and did (2) in another terminal window, and (3) gave me the same result again, also “DEAD”
After I installed the service, I edited the .conf file, switched to short country names, and removed all blank lines, so that may have been what fixed it because (3) returned status “ACTIVE”. I did not take out any #comments, nor put it all into a single line though.
Can you show me what was the contents of the config file before and after those changes?
It is important to see exactly how they were (if possible), because that may give a clue of the problem.
Another thing: there’s a somewhat alternative program reflector-simple which is a GUI around the reflector command. The reflector-simple should be easier and more obvious to use. With that you can select mirror countries easily with simple mouse clicks, and then it generates the pacman mirrorlist. But it does not update the mirrorlist periodically like reflector-auto does.
I recommend getting to know reflector-simple too.
What is the difference between the update mirrors on the Welcome screen as opposed to reflector-auto? Is it the reflector-simple? What i do after an install is use the update mirrors on the welcome screen and then then detect package issues. I think that should be the norm for anyone installing. Then i install additional packages and use yay to install software. Some new users don’t understand that the install is up to date being that it is Arch rolling release. Then they think something is wrong because they are looking for updates. When i say some… i mean a few. There are some new users who aren’t familiar with Arch or the rolling release model. This is why i believe that the Wiki has to be informative not just technical like Arch which doesn’t explain how.
Reflector-auto is meant for automatic and weekly update of /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist.
Reflector-auto is best to use with a configuration file at /etc/reflector-auto.conf, mainly to select mirror countries and possibly other reflector options in advance.
Reflector-simple is an easy “one-timer” selector of mirrors into the /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist, with a GUI.
The Update Mirrors button in the welcome app starts reflector-simple.
And why do we need to worry about the mirrors?
Mirrors are the package servers we use when installing or updating packages.
There are lots of mirrors around the world, and to keep packages updates running smoothly, the mirrors should be both
fast (high data rate and responsiveness)
up to date
Usually (but not always) the closest mirrors are the fastest.
Another important factor is that the mirrors we use are up to date, meaning they have been synced with the master Arch package server recently. Better to use a mirror that has the latest Arch packages.
Yet another (temporary) concern may be that a particular mirror is offline, e.g. in maintenance. Sometimes a mirror may be even permanently offline.
That’s why having decent mirrors (i.e. a working mirrorlist on our machines) is important.
EndeavourOS has two “mirror ranking” applications: reflector-auto and reflector-simple. Their purpose was explained above.
You may either one of them, or both of them.
Reflector-simple is informative as it shows right away what it is capable of doing. I recommend starting with this application and get the idea of the selections that are the most sensible in your case.
Reflector-auto has some small learning curve since it (to be the most useful) needs a configuration file with proper settings (i.e. proper reflector options).