Pacman.conf stable v testing v unstable [kde-unstable] entries


I thought I had correctly switched to testing (then unstable) via
sudo pacman-mirrors --api --set-branch <stable,testing,unstable>
sudo pacman -Syyu

but then I modified /etc/pacman.conf for closest / up-to-date servers.
I don’t remember if I added [kde-unstable] but it was after [mobile], [core], [extra] and [community]

I now realise [kde-unstable] needs to be at the top i.e. before any of the others.

However, I’ve noticed all mirrors have kde-unstable directories i.e.

xxx/arm-stable/ has community, core, extra, kde-unstable and mobile directories
xxx/arm-testing/ as above
xxx/arm-unstable/ as above

I don’t think their contents are the same but I’d just like to ask, do I need [kde-unstable], [mobile], [core], [extra] and [community] for stable / testing / unstable?

Or is [kde-unstable] only for unstable?
But then what is the difference between stable and testing branches?

I’ve just put [kde-unstable] with servers on the unstable branch and have done
sudo pacman -Syyuu
but I’m not getting the same behaviour as the latest dev or stable images (20210512).

Thanks for your help.

[kde-unstable] is in all branches
[kde-unstable] is for override kde packages in extra
in [kde-unstable] we have git version :
/arm-stable/extra/aarch64/akonadi-21.04.0-1-aarch64.pkg.tar.xz - 23-Apr-2021 18:32

/arm-stable/kde-unstable/aarch64/akonadi-21.04.0.r12495.g1857ebaf0-1-aarch64.pkg.tar.zst - 08-May-2021
/arm-unstable/kde-unstable/aarch64/akonadi-21.04.0.r12498.g39dfe517a-1-aarch64.pkg.tar.zst - 10-May-2021

so is not the same version stable / unstable for [kde-unstable] : for akonadi we have 3 change in code source : 12495 → 12498

So for stable / testing / unstable, pacman.conf has

Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

I can specify favourite server for each one with the correct stable / testing / unstable directory:

Server =$repo/$arch

Server =$repo/$arch

Server =$repo/$arch

Is that correct? Thanks.

[kde-unstable] is only for testing out the git-master packages, which are the same as the ones included in the daily dev images.

It makes most sense to do on unstable, since they get updated all the time, but wouldn’t be in testing and stable.

Package versions.
Testing branch gets updated quicker and more often than stable branch.

What do you mean with same behaviour?
Sometimes upgrading does not give the same result, as the upgraded package will try using the old config file, if the package uses one. So many issues can be because of old config files no longer being used properly by the new packages.

This will not work.

Change branches with sudo pacman -aS <Branch> && sudo pacman -Syyu. Not in the config file. That will not work like you expect.

Thanks for the excellent explanations.
Config file issue caught me out on eg25-manager…

So for testing purposes I should be on testing branch ( no kde-unstable in pacman.conf)?
If I wanted the same packages as the dev images that would be unstable branch ( with kde-unstable in pacman.conf).

It depends on how often you want the new stuff.

If you don’t have [kde-unstable] you will only get release tarballs in all branches, but they will be quickest in unstable, shortly after in testing and lastly in stable.

If you really want to test how far the development is, I recommend flashing the daily Dev images a few times a week, since that will get you the latest development software of everything Plasma related.

How do I get what is announced on Testing Updates - Manjaro Linux Forum ?
Testing branch and no kde-unstable in pacman.conf?

Or on Stable Updates - Manjaro Linux Forum?
Stable branch and no kde-unstable in pacman.conf?

Maybe flashing would work if I backup the content of the home directory and copied it to the new image. It’s just easier to update via pacman. You don’t lose any settings (though most are presumably in the home directory) but you risk the config file issue as I’ve already found out.

I’m using the pinephone as a daily driver with Mobian because telephony basically works so Plasma Mobile doesn’t (yet) work for me during business hours. I’m trying to help by reporting bugs but not sure that helps when it’s a config file change issue…so I guess I should flash new images rather than update via pacman!



Flashing is a good idea, if you want to know the current state of the software offered as a whole.
But it’s obviously not a good idea, if you want/need it as a primary phone. It would be too much work.

Which is fine. But it’s also the reason why we ask people to flash a new Dev image, to see if the issue is present on a fresh new image, or if it’s because of a config file issue or maybe we changed something in the profile to fix it.

Excellent, thanks!

I can backup home, download image and flash via dd, then restore home directory, not really difficult, a few commands, easy to put into a script.

I’m trying now to see what I lose from not backing up some things in /etc (arguably could also be backed up and restored)(but caveat on config file changes!).

I like the KISS principle but now have a clearer understanding of the risks / benefits of updating vs flashing a fresh image.

Thanks again!

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