From my interaction with Arch guys, the main reason behind refusing GUI installers is simply to keep Archlinux hard to install/maintain and only accessible to “elites”, most of them are even against their own archinstall tool.
I’m using Pamac on Manjaro, and it handles upgrading/installing/removing official repos’ packages and also AUR packages.
The problem is that the new Pamac totally embraced LibAdwaita for GTK4, while the GTK3 version is still available but lacks attention, and you know how LibAdwaita apps look ugly due to lack of customized theming both from GNOME and Plasma, that’s why I asked if Discover is capable of handling at least official packages on Ach based distros.
According to pkgstats statistics, Plasma is currently the most popular desktop used on Arch, that’s why I thought there are people here who use Arch or Arch based distros and have some useful feedback how was their experience using Discover and if it’s safe or not.
If you want feedback you can have feedback from me but you probably don’t like it.
I tried it once for testing. My recommendation is to not use it. I just use pacman.
I wouldn’t recommend pamac or use it either. But everyone has different opinions.
It’s the same answer given by those “elites” Arch guys.
That’s why I use Manjaro and Pamac without any major problem, truthfully I used pacman (and still use it for fixing and sometimes yay for AUR) for a certain period of time but got exhausted of daily repeating those commands, especially when I recall it’s 2024 and I’m still typing commands to install or remove simple packages.
Discover really has the full potential to be an excellent choice for packages’ management on Arch based distros, because it’s well maintained and looks really good.
Yes. Maybe they don’t want to be “elitist” but just be honest? Please try to think about that…
You are not wrong. It should just work, even from a GUI. But imho it doesn’t. I don’t tell you this because I am some kind of “elitist” but because I don’t want to lie and give my honest opinion to you. it should work but imho it doesn’t. Atleast on Arch based systems, I heard its better on Fedora.
I have to agree with @Duha on this. When I ran Arch, I tended to use Discover to look for packages, add-ons, wallpapers, etc., but then I would use the package manager to install them.
openSUSE is even worse. Each update is an whole new install ISO, so one MUST use Zypper or YAST. At least we have YAST as a GUI interface.
Just remember, the package manager that comes with a distribution is the BEST way. It is designed just for that purpose. That is not an elitist thing. It just is what it is. I understand the allure of Discover, but I don’t see how the KDE devs can make it work properly with every single distro when there are so many and each one seems to have its own idiosyncrasies.
To be clear, that’s not what Discover does. Discover doesn’t know much about your distribution in fact, that’s the job of PackageKit (which is one of the backends Discover can tap into.) Hence why the viability of using Discover wholly depends on how good their AppStream + PackageKit support is. On Fedora, it has excellent support and you can even do full distro upgrades through Discover
There are downsides to how PackageKit works though, but for simple application installation and upgrades it should work fine.
Yes, Discover is dependent on how good packagekit supports the distro’s package manager.
However, also imho, we shouldn’t compare Arch and Fedora’s support for packagekit here. Arch is a full bleeding edge rolling release (with regression, collisions and breakage, so users observing and interacting the upgrade process is a good idea), while fedora has, unless they changed that, a two major releases per annum cycle.
@medin That said. Maybe the use of btrfs/timemachine backups, if you decide to go for the arch/packagekit/discover road, is saving some headaches about breaking on upgrade.
O.K., I accept the correction and I will admit that I am wrong. Feel free to use Discover.
For myself, I won’t. I use it to browse, but that’s it. I even went so far as to uninstall plasma5-pk-updates and lock them as Taboo in YAST/Zypper. I did the same thing when I ran Arch and I would do so again.
In my experience, using Discover for flatpaks is fine. Do not use graphical installers on Arch Linux for normal updates or packages unless you absolutely have to. If an installation fails, Pacman provides more information in a good form than graphical installers, relatively speaking.
I think that in the end, you will save yourself from a lot of headaches if you just learn how to use Pacman.
It’s “safe”, in that ultimately PackageKit still uses pacman in Arch. But I’d still recommend using pacman itself to install packages. And I’d recommend the same for other distributions, e.g. Debian.
PackageKit is a common denominator of package managers from various distros. So when using it, you lost nearly all distro-specific package manager features. E.g. you don’t get to choose among providers for a certain dependency in Arch. And you don’t get to choose how to resolve conflicts in Debian.
And PackageKit doesn’t support interactions during installation. So it probably answers all questions from pacman with ‘y’ (or ‘n’, depending on how distributions implement it). You might not want that.
It’s fine to use a PackageKit-based frontend to browse packages. But IMHO package managers are different to each other for a reason, and it doesn’t really work unifying them all under one interface.
(Flatpak is a different story. It’s designed to be the same across distros. So it’s fine to use a frontend.)
I don’t have time or the intention to remember how to correctly type all my packages names via command line, because I’m lazy and can easily switch to another distro at any time if the current one broke.
So sorry, I prefer to open a graphical package installer and search for them then install my packages.
Another thing that pacman does is display new optional dependencies when a package is updated, and .pacnew files for updated configs that conflict with changes that the user has made in the original location. PackageKit/Discover conveniently swipes this information under the rug, which is against the whole Arch “get to know your system and be in control of it” philosophy.
But I agree that automatic [y] choices are probably the most problematic aspect.
This really isn’t a question of GUI or not GUI, it’s all about the fact that PackageKit was designed for package managers with different assumptions than what pacman offers and expects of its users. A native Arch GUI integration could do better than PackageKit, but iirc Discover isn’t keen on supporting distro package backends other than PackageKit. Which would put us in a bind, sort of.