Within the last week, I set up virtual web server using Arch Linux to satisfy my own curiosity since the DIY nature of Arch means that you can build up exactly what you need without having any real constraints put upon you. What didn’t surprise me about this was that it took me more work than the virtual server that I created using Ubuntu Server but I didn’t expect ProFTPD to be missing from the main repositories. The package can be found in the AUR but I didn’t fancy the prospect of dragging more work on myself so I went with vsftpd (Very Secure FTP Daemon) instead. In contrast to ProFTPD, this is available in the standard repositories and there is a guide to its use in the Arch user documentation.
However, while vsftpd worked well just after installation, connections to the virtual FTP soon failed with FileZilla began issuing uninformative messages. In fact, it was the standard command line FTP client on my Ubuntu machine that was more revealing. It issued the following message that let me to the cause after my engaging the services of Google:
500 OOPS: priv_sock_get_cmd
With version 3.0 of vsftpd, a new feature was introduced and it appears that this has caused problems for a few people. That feature is seccomp sandboxing and it can turned off by adding the following line in /etc/vsftpd.conf:
That solved my problem and version 3.0.2 of vsftpd should address the issue with seccomp sandboxing anyway. In case, this solution isn’t as robust as it should be because seccomp isn’t supported in the Linux kernel that you are using, turning off the new feature still needs to be an option though.
There are packages absent from the Arch Linux repositories that could come in useful. When you are after one of these, then it’s time to search the Arch User Repository (AUR). In here, I have found the likes of Microsoft Core Fonts, Adobe Reader and Dropbox. There may be others but these examples are what comes to mind as I write this. In time, it may be that packages make if from the AUR into the Arch community repository but you have to use the former if you cannot wait.
Just search the AUR for what you want and download the tarball (tar.gz file) from the webpage where you find it. Then, I recommend extracting it to /tmp where clearance at boot time means that you don’t need to do it yourself. Then, going into the appropriate subfolder in /tmp (acroread for Adobe Reader, for instance) and issue the following command:
This will attempt to create a package file where you are working for installation by pacman. If dependencies are absent, you will be told and these may need another AUR search in some cases though most are included in the repositories. Once dependencies, have been sorted, just issue the makepkg command again to create the xz file that pacman needs to perform the installation. To do so, issue the following command from the same directory either as root or by using sudo if your user account has such privileges:
pacman -U *.xz
There usually is but one xz archive in a package folder so I have been taking the easy route of not looking up the name all of the time. Of course, you can do that for safety if you want.
With pacman not looking at the AUR, you have to do more work to get upgrades to happen if you want to avoid without having to repeat the above process all of the time. There is a package in the AUR called yaourt that needs package-query from the same place as well. Before any of these, yajl needs to installed from one of the default repositories. Once yaourt is in place, then the following does the updates for you:
yaourt -Syu --aur
Again, it might be best run this as root or using sudo though that gives messages from makepkg about not running it as a privileged user. However, I reckon that those might need to be ignored. When I tried it, the Citrix update failed though the Dropbox one succeeded. This experience might be worth bearing in mind. Saying that, I have found installing and updating software from the AUR not to be too onerous a process so far. Anything that gives a little more freedom only can be a good thing.