Twitch Installs Arch Linux
October 30, 2015 11:35 AM   Subscribe

Twitch Installs Arch Linux Remember how chaotic Twitch Plays Pokemon was? Now we have a much harder challenge: install Arch Linux. Every ten seconds, the most popular keystroke in Twitch chat will be entered into an Arch Linux virtual machine.
Bonus Points!

Twitch Installs Arch Linux has no rules.

However, below are some milestones. When these goals are met, we will raffle off some cool swag!

Boot Arch Linux from the hard disk
Write a python 'Hello World!' script
Configure a fully working X server
Pull up the Twitch screen in the virtual machine!
Twitch challenges previously on MetaFilter: Twitch plays Dark Souls, Two fishes play Street Fighter II, and the granddaddy of them all, Twitch plays Pokemon.
posted by tonycpsu (46 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
"A cooperative text-based horror game" indeed.
posted by jedicus at 11:36 AM on October 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


@twitchinstalls
to the people asking for gentoo....if you can wget the image and install it through the stream, you get 8 million imaginary internet points.
posted by figurant at 11:42 AM on October 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


Wake me when the Twitch Linux hivemind achieves sentience and starts issuing demands.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:43 AM on October 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


holy shit
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:49 AM on October 30, 2015


What could go wrong?
posted by slater at 11:51 AM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


You only need to break a sweat once the host name is set to 'cyberdyne'...
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 11:52 AM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is Arch a particularly hard distro to install?

Also, main link seems to be broken, which I'm assuming is just a redirect. This is the actual twitch link.
posted by mayonnaises at 12:01 PM on October 30, 2015


Configure a fully working X server

Unless Twitch plans to hand edit the Xorg config files, this hardly seems like a challenge.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:09 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


RonButNotStupid: "Unless Twitch plans to hand edit the Xorg config files, this hardly seems like a challenge."

That strongly depends on your hardware.
posted by schmod at 12:10 PM on October 30, 2015


Is Arch a particularly hard distro to install?
Yes. You pretty much have to everything by hand from a terminal. No fancy gui here.
posted by Television Name at 12:13 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is arch a particularly hard distro to install?

I'd say yes. There's not a lot of hand-holding by design, and unlike Ubuntu and Debian it doesn't have a graphical automated installer. Instead, you go through the installation process by live-booting off the install drive, which gives you a bash shell, and then use common Linux tools to get a network connection, format your hard drive, and copy over the files and set up a bootloader and basic configuration.

Pretty much every step is something good to know, and you really do understand how your setup is put together, but it's not easy and all but the most experienced users will need to work with a guide.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:18 PM on October 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


rm -fr / --nopreserveroot

I WIN!
posted by Hasteur at 12:30 PM on October 30, 2015


I've installed Arch three times and each time I've somehow felt less competent.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:31 PM on October 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


Is arch a particularly hard distro to install?

Willfully so, I'd say. The first time I installed it was your average "advanced" text installer. A few years back they changed it so, as any #archlinux pedant will tell you, there is no actual installer—just a series of scripts to install Arch tools in a chroot within a manually partitioned, formatted and mounted filesystem. At least that is my novice's understanding of the process Further, registration to the Arch forums uses a verification method [What is the output of "date -u +%j$(uname)|sha256sum|sed 's/\W//g'"?] that, for some users, requires research on another forum to solve, heh. As a mere tinkerer, I was pretty proud the last time I installed Arch with no internet connection (until I set it up on the desktop) and two pages of notes. The community can be toxic in all the bog-standard OSS ways, but the system itself is great to learn on.
posted by Lorin at 12:49 PM on October 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


rm -fr / --nopreserveroot

I predict that this will happen before that python “hello, world” script.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:01 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, certainly before people come to a consensus on whether to do it in Python 2 or Python 3, (correct answer: 2), and whether to use spaces or tabs (correct answer: spaces, four of 'em).
posted by tonycpsu at 1:08 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sorry for my dumb, but can someone explain to me, in small words, what Twitch is for? Is it some sort of LiveStream-like broadcasting platform?
posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 1:12 PM on October 30, 2015


@pointless_incessant_barking

Yes. If you want to understand, take a look at the hive of scum and villainy in the Bob Ross marathon.
posted by Hasteur at 1:13 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Python has been Python3 in Arch Linux since 2010! And people have been arguing about it ever since so, yeah, sounds about right.
posted by Lorin at 1:14 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Huh I was going to say arch is easy to install because the wiki instructions are good and the base system is pretty minimal, but ok.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:26 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


and whether to use spaces or tabs (correct answer: spaces, four of 'em).
--tonycpu

\t or DIE! #smhd
posted by Fezboy! at 1:39 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is arch a particularly hard distro to install?
I'd say yes. There's not a lot of hand-holding by design, and unlike Ubuntu and Debian it doesn't have a graphical automated installer. Instead, you go through the installation process by live-booting off the install drive, which gives you a bash shell, and then use common Linux tools to get a network connection, format your hard drive, and copy over the files and set up a bootloader and basic configuration.

I'm back to thinking about Linux a lot after a long time not thinking about it much at this level, and I just realized how much signal I used to get from Linux people casually name-dropping their preferred distros. In this case, I'm realizing how much I completely misread the signal coming from Arch people. I think it's because a few of them I remember from my last time around were sort of lightweights. I see now that they've perhaps evolved to that stage where you decide to make everything hard on yourself in the name of purity or whatever.

Last time, we just had Gentoo for that. Installing it on a pokey Celeron was extra hair-shirty: You had to set it up, kick it off, then spend the next 28 hours in a special "Gentoo is installing on this slow-ass machine" vigil, like a squire fasting and sitting watch the evening before getting knighted. When it was done, you were sanctified and pure enough to wield your new weapon. Either that or it had kernel panicked around 3 in the morning because reasons.

Now that I think about it, maybe that was part of the process of seeking yet more purity. Like, "KDE and a real browser are going to add a solid eight hours to my build time and possibly trigger some issue. If I just go with Blackbox and Galeon, and maybe splurge for Emacs instead settling for jed, I can sleep knowing I'll be able to use this for work in the morning."
posted by mph at 2:39 PM on October 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


If you don't want the whole kit and kaboodle from a distro like Ubuntu or Fedora and don't want to run a server oriented distro it's often easier to install Arch to spec than to pare down another distro.

I had a friend who was having a miserable time customizing Ubuntu. Every time she removed a component she didn't want she'd end up with a broken system. After learning how she kept getting into trouble, me and my partner suggested she just build what she wanted from a base Arch install and this worked out tremendously well for her (she's also the type of person who really enjoys detailed directions, which helps).

Of course for most folks Arch is not my first recommendation.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 3:12 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm back to thinking about Linux a lot after a long time not thinking about it much at this level, and I just realized how much signal I used to get from Linux people casually name-dropping their preferred distros. In this case, I'm realizing how much I completely misread the signal coming from Arch people.

Arch is on the DIY side but not extreme about it. And it doesn't have the everything from source ethos of Gentoo. That's about all I know about Arch Linux.
posted by atoxyl at 4:33 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's been a long time since I had a *nix anything (except OSX) on a personal computer. Not when there's an infinite supply of Debian virtual servers from Amazon and Google etc. But next time I do I think it's gonna be OpenBSD just to be ornery.
posted by atoxyl at 4:44 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Arch occupies an interesting space among the hardcore/pure/whatever distros in that the devs don't hesitate to embrace major change. Transition to systemd in 2012 probably drove some of the more stalwart purists elsewhere. Which I guess is the downside: if Arch decides something is deprecated they will drop it hard.
posted by Lorin at 4:45 PM on October 30, 2015


Transition to systemd in 2012 probably drove some of the more stalwart purists elsewhere. Which I guess is the downside: if Arch decides something is deprecated they will drop it hard.

So apparently systemd was so upsetting that there was a movement to boycott it? The things you miss not paying attention to the Linux world.
posted by atoxyl at 6:27 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Coming soon:
Twitch Operates Heavy Machinery
Twitch Negotiates Mideast Peace
Twitch Prepares Fugu
posted by ckape at 6:32 PM on October 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Twitch ascends a Tourist.
posted by JHarris at 7:03 PM on October 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


From my experience, installing Arch isn't difficult so much as it is involved. You can mostly get through the Ubuntu desktop installer choosing the default or automatic option at every step and get a working system even if it wasn't exactly what you wanted. But to install Arch you have to run a bunch of commands from the command line, write a few basic config files yourself, etc. There are detailed instructions on the wiki, so you can just follow those*, but there are a ton of potential failure points, which is why this will go so terribly wrong.

But, after a very short time I became delighted with Arch, and I was very disappointed when I had to switch my desktop computer back to Ubuntu (to get Intel MKL to install properly). Part of this is my slightly weird tastes in software and desktop environment, part of it was having to build stuff from source to get it to link to MKL--but it was much more work to get Ubuntu tuned to my liking than it was Arch and I think at least a small part of it was due to Ubuntu being Ubuntu. Most people use only a small amount of software day-to-day and if you have a good handle on what you need you can put together a very lean, efficient Arch system without too much trouble.

*despite trying to follow them carefully, I did muck up my first attempt by writing a bootloader config file in the wrong place, to be honest
posted by egregious theorem at 7:49 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The reason installing Arch is difficult is because if you don't actually know shit about computers (is my machine 64-bit? What the fuck is UEFI? What kind of wireless card do I have?) then the various branching parts of even the Beginner's Guide on the wiki are hopelessly frustrating.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:34 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like how the the chatroom is currently an argument about which WM to install.
posted by destrius at 7:17 AM on October 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


To each their own I suppose, but Arch is by far and away my favorite linux distro. Once installed, running, updating, and maintaining is smooth like butter. Archwiki, maligned up the page here, is actually quite fantastic.

That said, it's not the easiest install, especially because it doesn't really have an installer.

I've run Gentoo in the past. I have nothing good to say about Gentoo.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:19 AM on October 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hope my comments didn't come across as maligning Arch -- it's by far my preferred distro. (Pacman = best.) It's just... tough.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:34 AM on October 31, 2015


Oh but deriding the wiki puts you in fine company, all the elitist users do it! The Beginner's Guide at first glance = alphabet salad. I'm still wrapping my head around UEFI. People act like BIOS is deader than dead, yet my machine continues to boot. And AUR 4.0, another example of the Arch philosophy of change. But, agreed there is a wealth of good information, and I've never actually had to ask a support question over the years. Never suffered breakage that wasn't self-induced either. The information is out there and figuring it out, for me, is the (one) point of Arch. There is #archlinux-newbie on freenode though where friendliness is a watch word and condescending attitudes are more closely checked. You can ask a question without risking a 30-minute lecture on "doin' it right."
I'm back to thinking about Linux a lot after a long time not thinking about it much at this level, and I just realized how much signal I used to get from Linux people casually name-dropping their preferred distros. In this case, I'm realizing how much I completely misread the signal coming from Arch people. I think it's because a few of them I remember from my last time around were sort of lightweights. I see now that they've perhaps evolved to that stage where you decide to make everything hard on yourself in the name of purity or whatever.
The old saying does apply: How can you tell if someone's using Arch Linux? Wait five minutes, they'll tell you. Purity, minimalism, RTFM, DIY ... the refrain of "patches welcome" in response to feature requests—all things that come to mind when I think about the Arch Way. I guess one might call it elitism but I reject the idea (not that you're advancing it!) someone can be a poser when it comes to an operating system. There are only users. And it's easy enough to avoid those attitudes.

So apparently systemd was so upsetting that there was a movement to boycott it?

I felt about the kerfuffle over debian taking up systemd the way some people do about EVE Online stories. I could never participate, but I couldn't stop reading.

I like how the the chatroom is currently an argument about which WM to install.

Hah, of course it is! I laughed like a typically smug OSS user when the split-screen thing for ipads came out ... Oh yeah, but can it open windows in descending size according to the Fibonacci sequence? Didn't think so.
posted by Lorin at 10:14 AM on October 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


: (){ :|:& };:
posted by Fuzzypumper at 12:17 PM on October 31, 2015


They're trying to start right now, of course something went wrong
posted by The Devil Tesla at 1:18 PM on October 31, 2015


This has been going surprisingly well so far
posted by zachlipton at 2:35 PM on October 31, 2015


Actually it's kind of an apt metaphor for discussions and harassment on the internet at large. Right now, as a few hundred mb of packages are downloading, a decent chunk of people are typing ctrl-c (which would cancel the download), while a somewhat larger majority of people are typing nop, seeking to preserve the status quo but not contributing to the trolling. And every one and a while, there's a plaintive plea for civility from someone asking the trolls to knock it off with the ctrl-c'ing.

And just like every discussion online, the whole thing could go to hell in about 15 seconds if enough 'channers show up.
posted by zachlipton at 2:40 PM on October 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, and every once and a while, as in all great discussions online, an RMS-type shows up to complain that you should be calling it GNU/Linux, you heathens.
posted by zachlipton at 2:48 PM on October 31, 2015


Cooperative problem solving. Just think what this could do to other fields. Like health care, for example. Can't afford the services of some fancy-shamancy surgeon to push the buttons on a surgical robot? Let Twitch handle your prostatectomy.
posted by gregor-e at 4:21 PM on October 31, 2015


Well, that didn't take long.
posted by teraflop at 6:49 PM on October 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


… that is an entirely different fail state than the one I'd anticipated.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:31 PM on October 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, we can have nice bot nets.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:41 PM on October 31, 2015 [5 favorites]




They appear to be trying again.
posted by atoxyl at 3:17 PM on November 1, 2015


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