In evolutionary biology, cooperation describes interactions where an individual pays a small cost to yield a larger benefit to one or more others. If this costly contribution is reciprocated, everyone involved can benefit tremendously. This principle also applies to proactive members of the Arch community wanting to get involved and contribute to their favorite Linux distribution. Their participation benefits not only the community member and their fellow Archers, but all users of free and open source software.
This article describes how both new and experienced Arch users can contribute to the community. Note that this is not an exhaustive list. Before contributing, please get accustomed with the Code of conduct.
Post on the forums
One of the easiest ways to get involved is participating in the Arch Linux Forums, which allow getting to know the community and help new users.
Improve this wiki
Join the chatroom
You can help other users solve problems on the IRC channel. It is of vital importance however, that you read the channel rules before participating. Further channels are available for specific topics.
Join the mailing lists
Join the discussion on one or more of the public mailing lists. Make sure to stay on topic as provided in the list description.
Report installed packages
pkgstats provides a systemd timer that sends a list of the packages installed on your system, along with the architecture and the mirrors you use, to the Arch Linux developers in order to help them prioritize their efforts and make the distribution even better. The information is sent anonymously and cannot be used to identify you. You can view the collected data at the Statistics page. More information is available in this forum thread.
Fix and report bugs
Reporting and fixing bugs on the bug tracker is one of the possible ways to help the community.
However, ineffective use can be counter-productive. Please read the Bug reporting guidelines.
Inform about security issues
New vulnerabilites are found all the time. Help the Arch Security Team keep track of new vulnerabilities.
Help test packages
Packages on the testing repositories need to be tried out and signed off before they are promoted to the main repositories. Help the Arch Testing Team test new packages.
Create and adopt AUR packages
The Arch User Repository contains community-made package scripts, allowing users to easily install software not part of the official repositories. Popular packages get included into the official community repository.
aurphan can help you identify orphaned packages you use, so that you can adopt them.
There are regular events open to the community for bugfixing, cleanup, and other activities.
The Arch Linux distribution comprises of many components, such as the package manager pacman, the archlinux.org website (archweb), or the supporting system for the Arch User Repository (aurweb). Each of these projects can be contributed to individually.
You can find out how to help sustaining server costs on the official Arch Linux donate page.
Arch's community maintains many projects. Feel free to include yours!
Arch-specific groups that you can engage in.
- Arch Linux Subreddit
- Place for Reddit users to discuss Arch related issues.
- International communities
- Local communities and meet-up places for users.
Community-developed software that focuses on Arch Linux.
- Xyne's Arch Linux Projects
- A trusted user's arch-related projects.
Becoming an Arch Developer
The main motivation for your work on Arch should be helping the whole community, and not simply trying to become an Arch developer by any means.
Usually, new developers are picked by the existing developers as the workload increases. Sometimes they post a position and you can apply to fill it, but more often, they just invite somebody they know would be good at it and would fit in well with the rest of the team. Having a portfolio of Arch contributions is the best way to make it on the team.
Here is a list of things that you may do in order to gain some "popularity" towards Arch's developers:
- Establish a reputation as being helpful by offering assistance whenever possible.
- Answer questions on the forum, IRC, and mailing lists.
- Join the Trusted Users to gain packaging experience to show your skills.
- Submit packages to the AUR.
- Join one of the offshoot projects that may be incorporated into Arch mainstream someday, or start your own.
- Work on pacman, makepkg or other Arch projects and submit patches to the bug tracker.
- Traverse the bug tracker and fix existing bugs.
- Find and submit new bugs.
- Fix wiki errors, add new pages, clean up existing pages, and make sure the procedures are up-to-date.
- Submit translations.