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Play music with DeaDBeeF

DeadBeef (I'll cope with two capital letters, but I absolutely refuse to use all four!) is a music player and manager for Linux, written in C -so it's light on resources and blindingly fast. It also does pretty much everything I need a music organiser/player to do, very flexibly and capably. The icing on the cake is that it uses the sort of formatting and customisation language that Foobar2000 does on Windows.

The short version is, therefore, that DeadBeef is, just about, the nearest thing to Foobar2000 that Linux has… which makes it rather special, highly desirable and a delight to use.

The one problem it has, which it kind of inherits from the Foobar2000 of yesteryear, is that it is pretty hopeless straight out of the box but can soon be knocked into excellent shape by a judicious bit of customisation. I have accordingly put together a short article explaining how you might go about doing that.

As a long-term KDE user, I've been using Clementine as my main music manager and player -though recently switched to Strawberry, a fork of Clementine, on the grounds that Clementine development seems to have stalled recently. But DeadBeef is now my primary classical music player -and one I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone with a large music collection that needs managing and controlling well.

2019/06/03 16:01 · dizwell

What is the ONLY correct way to tag FLAC audio files?

I recently had an email correspondent question my frequent assertions that ID3 tags should not be present in FLAC files and that the only “proper” way to tag FLACs is with Vorbis Comments. It was a good-natured discussion and I thought I should write it up in a bit more detail.

A bit of History

First things first, then: there are two basic 'tagging schemes' available to anyone trying to markup their audio files with metadata: ID3 tags and Vorbis Comments.

ID3 version 1 (ID3v1) was invented around 1996 by Eric Kemp. It was very restrictive: all tags were stored at the end of the music file in just 128 bytes, with title, artist, album and comments having to fit into just 30 bytes each. Note that the tag names were given: you had no flexibility about what they were called, only what data you stored in each one. Accordingly, hardly anyone ever uses ID3v1 tags these days.

ID3v2 really has nothing to do with ID3v1, was invented in 1998 and allows for variable-sized data up to a whopping 256MB (megabytes!), which starts at the beginning of the music. There is a long list of “accepted” ID3 tag names, so you can't just store data in arbitrarily-named fields. If you wanted to store “bar number where key first modulates”, for example, there's no such tag in ID3 land! (But you'd be certifiable if you wanted to store that sort of data in the first place, so the loss is not -usually- a show-stopper!).

Both ID3 formats were thus invented around the time that MP3 was becoming a favourite audio format, thanks to its small size (and the poor modem speeds of the era which made small music files highly desirable). ID3 is therefore highly associated with MP3 files, though not exclusively, as I'll demonstrate shortly.

Vorbis Comments were invented around 2005 or so by the xiph.org development community, who were busy at that time inventing the open source Ogg Vorbis audio format. Hence the use of the name 'vorbis'. It just happens that xiph.org also invented the FLAC audio format; they naturally used the same tagging format that they'd invented for Ogg files when wondering how to tag FLAC files. A Vorbis tag is a list of fields in the field-name/data format; field names are case-insensitive and you can have up to 4 billion fields at a time (though most software won't read or wrote that many!). Any tag name is permitted and there's no specific format for the data stored in the tag; that said, certain 'standard' tags have become established (such as TITLE, TRACKNUMBER and so on, so that software can be written expecting certain bits of data to be found in certain places). But if you were really desperate to create a tag for “Bar number where first modulation occurs”, Vorbis Comments lets you do that.

So that's a bit of history: the story basically boils down to ID3 being associated with MP3s and Vorbis Comments with FLACs, largely because of the timing of their respective developments: ID3 were invented when fast Internet connections were rare and thus music downloads were generally of the smaller MP3 type; Vorbis Comments were invented at around the same time as FLAC, which began to be more useful as faster Internet speeds made sharing multi-Megabyte-sized files more feasible.

But it's not that simple: FLAC files can store ID3 tags!

A Worked Example

To take a simple example. Here I have a single FLAC track:

[[email protected] ~]$ cd Music/Symphony/
[[email protected] Symphony]$ ls
track01.flac

I can check if it has any Vorbis Comments in it:

[email protected] Symphony]$ metaflac --list track01.flac 
METADATA block #0
  type: 0 (STREAMINFO)
  is last: false
  length: 34
  minimum blocksize: 4096 samples
  maximum blocksize: 4096 samples
  minimum framesize: 69 bytes
  maximum framesize: 8801 bytes
  sample_rate: 44100 Hz
  channels: 2
  bits-per-sample: 16
  total samples: 20844600
  MD5 signature: 1f06351acf4bac40cd153e5b4f07f5be
METADATA block #1
  type: 1 (PADDING)
  is last: true
  length: 25603

There are no Artist, Album, Track or similar-looking tags there!

I can also check that the file has no ID3 tags in it at all:

[[email protected] Symphony]$ id3v2 -l track01.flac 
track01.flac: No ID3 tag

(The 'id3v2' application needs to be installed for these examples to work, of course, as does 'metaflac', which is part of the 'flac' package. Both id3v2 and flac are commonly available in most distro's standard respositories).

In other words, this particular track01.flac is a clean slate, something we can also prove by looking at it in Easytag:

Look at the totally blank set of fields over on the right-hand side of the screen: not a jot of metadata in any of them!

Now let me add an ID3 tag to this file, even though it's a FLAC file. I shall achieve this feat by using the id3v2 program once more, this time with the -A switch, which means “set the Album name tag”:

[[email protected] Symphony]$ id3v2 -A "Symphony1" track01.flac

And let's check that:

[[email protected] Symphony]$ id3v2 -l track01.flac 
id3v1 tag info for track01.flac:
Title  :                                 Artist:                               
Album  : Symphony1                       Year:     , Genre: Unknown (255)
Comment:                                 Track: 0
id3v2 tag info for track01.flac:
TALB (Album/Movie/Show title): Symphony1

So the ID3v2 tag is definitely there, but we are still Vorbis Comment-less:

[[email protected] Symphony]$ metaflac --list track01.flac 
METADATA block #0
  type: 0 (STREAMINFO)
  is last: false
  length: 34
  minimum blocksize: 4096 samples
  maximum blocksize: 4096 samples
  minimum framesize: 69 bytes
  maximum framesize: 8801 bytes
  sample_rate: 44100 Hz
  channels: 2
  bits-per-sample: 16
  total samples: 20844600
  MD5 signature: 1f06351acf4bac40cd153e5b4f07f5be
METADATA block #1
  type: 1 (PADDING)
  is last: true
  length: 25603

…with metaflac's output being no different from before. And, as before, we can check what our command-line addition of an ID3 tag to a FLAC file looks like in Easytag:

Note that Easytag is showing “Symphony1” in the Album field over on the right-hand side of its display: though it's a FLAC file, Easytag has no problem displaying an ID3 tag for it, if it's been put there by some other program.

Now let me add a Vorbis Comment to this same file, whilst doing nothing with the ID3 tag:

metaflac --set-tag=Artist=Beethoven track01.flac

Check with ID3:

[[email protected] Symphony]$ id3v2 -l track01.flac
id3v1 tag info for track01.flac:
Title  :                                 Artist:                               
Album  : Symphony1                       Year:     , Genre: Unknown (255)
Comment:                                 Track: 0
id3v2 tag info for track01.flac:
TALB (Album/Movie/Show title): Symphony1

Note that ID3 still knows this is Symphony1 but has no concept of who the Artist is. Back in metaflac, we see:

[[email protected] Symphony]$ metaflac --list track01.flac 
METADATA block #0
  type: 0 (STREAMINFO)
  is last: false
  length: 34
  minimum blocksize: 4096 samples
  maximum blocksize: 4096 samples
  minimum framesize: 69 bytes
  maximum framesize: 8801 bytes
  sample_rate: 44100 Hz
  channels: 2
  bits-per-sample: 16
  total samples: 20844600
  MD5 signature: 1f06351acf4bac40cd153e5b4f07f5be
METADATA block #1
  type: 4 (VORBIS_COMMENT)
  is last: false
  length: 60
  vendor string: reference libFLAC 1.3.2 20170101
  comments: 1
    comment[0]: Artist=Beethoven
METADATA block #2
  type: 1 (PADDING)
  is last: true
  length: 25539

So, Vorbis Comments show the Artist is Beethoven, but has no idea what the piece is. From this, we can tell that whilst ID3 tags can co-exist with Vorbis ones, it's not a good idea to mix them in the one file, because each will only tell you part of the picture, and there's no way to synchronise them -so ID3 might tell you this is a work by Beethoven whilst Vorbis insists it's actually by Mozart.

What does Easytag show of this confusing state? This:

Hmm: this is where it gets interesting. Easytag is now displaying the Artist as Beethoven, in the 'Common' area of its tag display, but it's now stopped showing that the Album is “Symphony1”. Incidentally, if you think I'm not displaying the Vorbis Comments, because there's a heading there saying “FLAC Vorbis Tag” and I'm only showing the contents of the 'Common' area… well, you can click on those 'Flac Vorbis Tag' words all you want and it won't change the display or show you anything different at all. Only the 'Common' area is actually usable.

Putting it bluntly, confronted with a FLAC file containing both ID3 and Vorbis tags, Easytag ignores the ID3 tags completely (even though we can prove they are still contained within the audio file itself) and only displays the Vorbis tag contents.

So, if I were to add a piece of text to the “Copyright” field in Easytag, do you think that will be stored as a Vorbis tag or as an ID3 one, or maybe as both? There's only one way to find out. Here's me saving some text in that field in Easytag:

…the file name has gone bold, because the contents of the file have been changed. If I then click the 'Save' option, the tag will be written into the file… but in what format? Let's see:

[[email protected] Symphony]$ metaflac --list track01.flac 
METADATA block #0
  type: 0 (STREAMINFO)
  is last: false
  length: 34
  minimum blocksize: 4096 samples
  maximum blocksize: 4096 samples
  minimum framesize: 69 bytes
  maximum framesize: 8801 bytes
  sample_rate: 44100 Hz
  channels: 2
  bits-per-sample: 16
  total samples: 20844600
  MD5 signature: 1f06351acf4bac40cd153e5b4f07f5be
METADATA block #1
  type: 4 (VORBIS_COMMENT)
  is last: false
  length: 92
  vendor string: reference libFLAC 1.3.2 20170101
  comments: 2
    comment[0]: ARTIST=Beethoven
    comment[1]: COPYRIGHT=2019 Howard Rogers
METADATA block #2
  type: 1 (PADDING)
  is last: true
  length: 25507

So the new COPYRIGHT tag is there as a Vorbis Comment, along with the previous ARTIST tag added with metaflac as a Vorbis Comment. But has it been saved as an ID3 tag as well, perhaps?

[[email protected] Symphony]$ id3v2 -l track01.flac 
track01.flac: No ID3 tag

Wow! Without any warning, getting Easytag to write tags to a FLAC file has completely erased the ID3v2 tag we previously put there!

What do we conclude from this short trip through tagland? Well:

  1. It is possible to store ID3 tags in FLAC files;
  2. But a lot of GUI software will expect FLAC files to store Vorbis tags;
  3. And will write only Vorbis tags when saving to FLAC files;
  4. And will, moreover, erase any ID3 tags that were somehow previously stored in the FLAC file.

Most tagging software you will meet, therefore, expects FLAC and Vorbis Comments to go hand-in-hand, to the point where if a combination of tag types is found within a FLAC file, most tagging software will ignore (at best) or erase (at worst) the ID3 tags and their associated data… without asking permission or giving any form of warning.

It is for this reason that I strongly assert that you must use Vorbis Comments when tagging FLAC files and using ID3 tags with them is just wrong. It's not that it's impossible to use ID3 with FLACs, but you will be skating on thin ice if you do: one day, your carefully-crafted data stored in the 'wrong' sort of tag will be simply erased by the software you use, no questions asked nor apologies offered!

Another Worked Example

Now, if I'm using a more KDE-based distro, I'll tend to use Puddletag as my GUI tagger rather than Easytag. Does that behave any differently? Well, let's start off with a clean-slate FLAC file once more, add an ID3v2 tag to it and see what Puddletag makes of a FLAC file containing an ID3v2 tag:

Here, the situation is -if anything- even worse than before! When Easytag found an ID3 tag in a FLAC file, it at least displayed it (before eventually erasing it!). But here, though the id3v2 program for sure knows there's an Album tag in the file, Puddletag declares there is no metadata in the file at all!

But if I use Puddletag to set 'Beethoven' as the artist… id3v2 knows nothing about it:

Here you see Puddletag has “Beethoven” showing in the “Artist” field over on the right-hand side of the screen, but a fresh listing of tags in id3v2 in the terminal session displays… only the Album name as before.

Meanwhile, as you might expect by now, metaflac knows the Artist (a Vorbis tag written by Puddletag), but not the Album (an ID3 one, put there earlier by id3v2):

So, once again, although I'm now using a totally different tag editor than before, we have the same situation as before: Puddletag knows, just as Easytag did, that if it's writing to a FLAC file, it must save to Vorbis Comments tags.

Fine… But just to completely mess your head up, now that I've saved the Vorbis comment “Artist”, what's happened to my original ID3 tag “Album”? Let's just see:

Now there's quite a lot going on in that screenshot. The terminal window displays the metaflac output as before: it knows that artist=Beethoven, but nothing else. But then I run id3v2 and prove that Album=Symphony1, as previously set by id3v2 itself. In other words, we see that the file contains both sorts of tags simultaneously… and therefore my previous saving of the file in Puddletag did NOT silently erase the ID3v2 tags, as it did in Easytag.

Meanwhile, Puddletag itself remains convinced that there's an Artist tag, but no Album one.

If anything, this is even more confusing than Easytag (and is the reason I think I'd choose to use Easytag over Puddletag if I had the choice): Easytag at least makes everything consistently Vorbis Comments, albeit by the rather drastic expedient of silently deleting ID3 tags from FLAC files; Puddletag, however, displays only Vorbis Comments, but is quite happy to leave ID3v2 tags sitting there in the background whilst it's at it.

Ugh.

I come back to my original point with my email correspondent: stick to using Vorbis Comments for FLACs, because they are the only tags which both Easytag and Puddletag will display when working with FLAC files. And on the other side of the coin, definitely avoid using ID3v2 tags when working with FLACs, because one program will wipe them without warning and the other will simply ignore them without tell you!

So now you know!

2019/05/30 16:25 · dizwell

Classical CD Tagger

Having written the Classical CD Ripper, a command-line way to rip audio CDs accurately and with appropriate naming and tagging, it seemed appropriate to write a sister application that finishes off the tagging job at the command-line, too. Thus is born the Classical CD Tagger.

It's just a Bash script and it doesn't do much that you couldn't equally well do in Easytag or Puddletag: indeed, it even invokes one or other of those tools (if they're installed on your PC) when it's finished so you can check its work and refine it as necessary.

Truth be told, using a graphical tagger is going to be a lot easier for most people …but I have my own way of working and, once at the command line, I tend to want to stay there! So, for me, ccdt.sh is going to be a better way of working and a time-saver overall.

Software dependencies are minimal: metaflac is about the only one that's a show-stopper.

Since the CD ripper has already tagged up your music with Composer, Artist and Album metadata, the tagger is there to flesh out the missing details: performers, track titles and album art. You get to choose which of these bits of metadata you want to supply, or any combination of them, or all of them at once: it's entirely up to you. Any information supplied is written into proper Vorbis Tags (because in these parts, we don't believe in ripping to MP3, so the use of ID3 tags is inappropriate).

Make of it what use you will… The download is available in the Software Section, as usual :-)

2019/05/30 13:24 · dizwell

Wallpaper #1

To go with my new desktop, how about a new wallpaper (see right, which should open when clicked to a 5504×3096 JPEG file)?

We had a spot of heavy rain yesterday and I happened to look up through the car's sunroof to see this taking place, backed by a typically lovely grey English sky-scape! My phone was handy, so the image quality is maybe not entirely the best, but I think it looks OK!

2019/05/28 09:30 · dizwell

Once more, with feeling...

A quick recap: I spent most of 2018 running Manjaro as my main desktop's operating system quite happily until, around Christmas, one software update too many borked the entire system and lead me to install a brand new distro from scratch. Finding a suitable distro was problematic, however. I dabbled very briefly with Ubuntu MATE, before ditching it as too archaic to be a pleasure to use. I then had a few weeks with OpenSuse, before running into a bug which slowed the system down to a crawl for no obvious reason. After a day with Debian Testing, which kept crashing, I then tried Fedora 29 -until it started crashing repeatedly, too; at which point I discovered that the crashes were the fault of my graphics card not liking Nouveau open source video drivers and instead needing proprietary Nvidia ones. The Fedora installation thus survived (two whole months!): I even managed to do an in-place upgrade to Fedora 30 with hardly any dramas at all.

But Fedora also has a few issues, the most problematic of which is when I try to copy a large file from my desktop to my server, via a gigabit Ethernet link. After one or two such transfers without incident, the file copying will apparently grind to a halt; the Dolphin file manager will become completely unresponsive; and then the entire graphics stack seems to lock up, preventing me from switching to other programs, launching new ones or, basically, doing anything useful with my PC at all. Give it long enough and the file copying completes in the background and everything springs back to life -but it's disconcerting to have to put up with unpredictable 'lock ups' like this.

So I began looking around for yet another desktop O/S to look into.

Recently, I had also upgraded a couple of my servers and doing nicely fresh FreeBSD installs with them. That got me wondering whether FreeBSD+KDE might not be a suitable desktop operating system -and I got so enamoured of the idea that I even wrote up how you might go about doing it in a short article and implemented it on a couple of spare laptops I had lying about the place. However, I noted that after some use, this particular OS+Desktop Environment combo was a bit too unstable to be a daily driver. Things would crash unexpectedly, or the entire OS would become unresponsive without warning, for example. So I figured that FreeBSD was not destined for my main desktop any time soon (though I'd unhesitatingly recommend it for server duties).

But as I got familiar once more with FreeBSD, I was increasingly impressed with the concept of a really small, coherent, operating system on top of which you could layer anything you fancied by way of 'userland'. It got me thinking: what Linux distro was similar compact, tightly-written and left the business of userland to you as a post-installation activity?

The answer, of course, is Arch.

Arch is really very small: the installation ISO is just 609MB small, so fits comfortably on ye olde compact disc. The reason it's so small, of course, is because there's hardly anything to it! You get a Linux kernel, plus a bunch of GNU utilities, and that's about it: you end up, once the installation is complete, at a command prompt with absolutely nothing GUI in the vicinity to help you out at all!

Naturally, there's a lot of advice out there on how you take that base, command-line only, installation and turn it into a completely GUI operating system with fancy desktop environments and a stack of application software. I've done it myself a few times …though the results have always put me in mind of a tower of blancmange, wobbling dangerously and likely to fall over in a bout of rapid, unscheduled destruction if you so much as breath too hard in its general direction! I have not, therefore, been keen to adopt the blancmange tower approach to Linux on my main desktop :-)

Naturally, some distros have stepped into this gap to make your life easier: Manjaro, for example, is an Arch-based distro that gives you a full desktop, GUI experience immediately post-install (and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it in 2018 as a result). Antergos is a similar sort of disro -and one I've enjoyed using in the past, particularly when I used to get Oracle databases running on various obscure and non-mainstream distros.

Unfortunately, earlier this week, Antergos announced its own demise. The developers have no time to spare any longer and will move on to other things. Antergos thus dies and it gets just a little harder to find a distro which gives you a good Arch underpinning with a flexible userland automatically layered on top. However, I noticed in various forum comments about Antergos' discontinuation that several users were rather enamoured of ArcoLinux as a suitable replacement. I'd never heard of it before, but the user recommendations were such that I felt I should check it out.

I discovered a very interesting project, which releases three basic flavours of disto:

  • Arcolinux - Arch with a nice graphical installer, combined with three different Desktop Environments or Window Managers built-in (namely, XFCE, i3 and OpenBox)
  • ArcolinuxD - Arch with a nice graphical installer, but absolutely nothing else
  • ArcolinuxB - Arch with a nice graphical installer, but only a single Desktop Environment of your choosing (there are 13 options to choose from!)

They are all essentially the same distro, just with a different mix of 'userland' applied on top of the fundamental Arch O/S underpinning. The range is from 'none at all' (ArcolinuxD); via choose-your-userland (ArcolinuxB); to 'have our choice of 3 different userlands and switch between them as you like' (Arcolinux). I think the naming of the different 'flavours' of distro is a bit confusing (what happened to Arcolinuxes A and C, for example!), but the idea behind the variety available is a sound one.

I wasn't particularly keen on vanilla Arcolinux: there's little point in me installing a distro that comes with three different windowing environments, only one of which I'll actually use regularly, and two of which I can't stand anyway!

ArcolinuxD was also not really a serious option: I don't need a graphical Arch installer. If I wanted to end up with nothing more than pretty much vanilla Arch, I could cope with Arch's native command-line installer and achieve the same outcome without needing to rely on a third party at all. Which is not to say ArcolinuxD is pointless: I think it's an excellent thing to make the Arch installation look and feel like most other distros' installations. It might help bring Arch itself to a slightly wider audience, which is a net positive.

So that left me wondering which of the 13 separate flavours of ArcoLinuxB I'd be interested in: there is one for Plasma, for example, which means, basically, Arch-plus-KDE5 is a possibility -and that would have been the obvious choice to make, given my recent distro experiences. But my recent experimentation with the minimalism that is FreeBSD, plus my relatively poor and bug-laden recent experience of KDE Plasma-based distros, made me think that now might be a time for a bit of minimalist Linux experimentation. I therefore decided to install ArcoLinuxB - OpenBox.

Actually, what you end up with is an XFCE Desktop Environment which uses OpenBox as its windowing manager, but that's minimalist enough for my current tastes! You get a good-looking environment (which needs a bit of tweaking, but not much), with menus appearing readily to hand whenever you right-click the desktop. You don't get fancy graphical effects (such as desktop cubes and wobbly windows), which is taking me a bit of time to get used to! But I think the loss of those fripperies is probably better for overall stability (and productivity!), if I'm being honest.

The change of environment, plus my recent spell of FreeBSD dabbling, has also made me re-think some of my software choices. For example, I've long been using Clementine as my KDE-based music player and manager of choice, but now I'm trying not to go heavy on the KDE front, what other options are there? Arcolinux comes with Pragha pre-installed: I've never heard of it before and didn't much like it within 3 minutes of trying it out, as it seems incapable of scrobbling tracks played to my Last.fm account, for example. After some rapid experimentation, I settled on DeadBeef, which is perhaps the closest thing Linux has to a native port of Window's excellent Foobar2000. Like Foobar2000 (F2K), DeadBeef comes with a very minimalist layout fresh from the install, but stands a lot of re-configuring and tweaking, with the result that you can end up with a really decent classical music player/manager that makes a good deal of sense and is comfortable to use long-term.

For similar reasons, I've stopped using Kwrite as my text editor of choice and have instead embraced notepaddqq, which feels very much like a Linux port of Windows' Notepad++ (and is accordingly strongly recommended!). Konsole, KDE's terminal emulator, also gets the chop and in comes Termite. It's extremely minimalist -not having tabs out-of-the-box, for example- and I think it may take a while to get entirely comfortable with it, but on the whole it feels fresh, snappy and workable.

Perhaps my biggest single problem with Arcolinux was wondering why all my carefully-constructed crontab entries never got run! The reason is straightfoward and presumably obvious to any long-standing Arch users out there: Arch (and hence Arcolinux) doesn't use Cron by default, but instead uses the Timer functionality built in to the all-new, all-singing-and-dancing systemd, which works in a completely different way. Fortunately, a quick pacman -S cronie, followed by a systemctl enable cronie and systemctl start cronie soon got that sorted; after which pretty much everything else has been plain sailing.

My biggest criticism of Arcolinux (or, at least, the Openbox flavour of it that I installed) is that it ships with an unregistered copy of Sublime as its default text editor. I don't have a problem with its functionality: it seems, on every level, to be a thoroughly decent text editor. But it's not supposed to be used long-term without ponying up for a proper license …and at US$80 a pop, that's not happening in these parts any time soon! It seems odd to me to supply a closed-source, license-required text editor as a default feature when something like opensource, entirely zero-cost, notepadqq is just as readily available. But it's a choice soon remedied by a sudo pacman -R sublime-text-dev followed by a sudo pacman -S notepadqq, so it's not exactly a show-stopper!

Other minor criticisms are just those that come through inexperience: the default application icon scheme, for example, is one I've never come across before and therefore hardly any of the icons make a lot of sense to me or give me a clue as to what they will launch when clicked! Would you, for example, know that this…

…launched Gimp if I hadn't told you?! If you think about it, and know the Wilber icon that is usually associated with the Gimp, then it will make sense… but it doesn't the first day you install the system. Not for this old-timer it didn't, anyway!

Because it's Arch at heart, Arcolinux ships with very up-to-date versions of most programs. Almost all of the applications I need are straightforward 'pacman' installations from the standard respositories; for one or two curly things, I had to resort to installing from the AUR -but that's not really very difficult to do, either.

So, as we approach the half-way point of 2019, I'm freshly on to my fifth distro of the year. I'm hoping this one will last to at least Christmas: I'd like it to, as it feels fresh and fast -and I'm enjoying having to learn new ways of doing things that don't rely on a do-everything-if-you're-lucky Desktop Environment. We shall see… In the meantime, I shall be putting together a set of articles about how to install, tweak and configure Arcolinux into something that's extremely usable. They will be available in the next few weeks in the usual place.

Update May 29th: The basic installation/configuration article is now available.

2019/05/27 15:22 · dizwell

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wiki/blog.txt · Last modified: 2018/12/12 14:06 by dizwell