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Five reasons I roll with Arch Linux, and why you should too


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#1 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 01:44 AM

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Installing Arch Linux is a bit like building your own house. You have to dig the foundation, erect the walls, build the roofs, run the plumbing and electrical wiring around it ... and all the rest of it. In other words, installing Arch Linux is not at all like renting an apartment, just moving in, and letting the landlord take care of everything else.

Arch is the primary distro that runs on my main system. I do use openSUSE, Ubuntu, and Kubuntu on it and switch between them from time to time. But I spend the majority of my PC time on the Arch system because I find it to be an excellent distribution for advanced, and new, Linux users. In a nutshell, I am hooked on it. And there are reasons for it.

The bigger question is, why did I choose Arch Linux over others and what does it have to offer that others don't.

#1 By the community, for the community

One of the strengths of Arch Linux is that it's a pure community driven project. It doesn't have to worry about the market, customers and ROI, which can affect its development -- and could, in fact, derail it.

I am not even aware of any organizational structure of Arch. The Arch page clearly says "Arch Linux survives because of the tireless efforts of many people in the community and the core development circle. None of us are paid for our work, and we don't have the personal funds to sustain server costs ourselves."

What they do have are release managers and maintainers of core components such as pacman and main repositories, but beyond that it’s all for the people, by the people. And this has been working quite well, as it turns out.

Arch Linux doesn't patch anything....
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#2 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 08:51 AM

Arch is easily the best, most solid and dependable rolling-release distro I've run here. Others I've tried, it was only a matter of time before I needed to reinstall. I can't see myself giving up Debian and going Arch-only here, but with a good backup plan (the author mentioned Clonezilla), I'm sure it would work out fine.

#3 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 10:54 AM

I run a Clonezilla backup every few weeks but I do not remember the last time I had to restore one. That said, it is nice to have a recent backup if you decide to break your system by experimenting....

B)
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#4 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 08:01 PM

5 Reasons I Don't Roll w/ Arch Linux... and why it shouldn't be important to you.

  • Arch is a rolling-release operating system; meaning there are no set times/versions released of this OS. The updates are often daily. That's all fine and dandy if you're a real hardcore geek, but for a lazy ascii like myself; I just want something that works when I turn it on every day. I don't need to have the latest release of apps hot-off-the presses (often a bit buggy).
  • While I'm not going to jump up and down and tell you that systemd will be the last omen before the final times arrive, I will say that I just don't particularly care for it. SysVinits was/is working just fine. It still follows the KISS UNIX mantra of one app for one purpose and no Chthulhu-like tentacles attempting to control every aspect of the OS.
  • Lots or software! Yeah, Arch does have a huge repo of goodies for its adherents; again, though... I just don't need that. If I need something that isn't in my OS repos, I build it myself from source. Geeky? Maybe. Rocket science? Nah.
  • Arch is for young folks who have the time to tweak, break, tweak, adjust, re-install, update... update... update... reload Nvidia drivers, update... crash, re-install, update. Old folks, who are closer to death, just don't have the time for this shozbott. ;)
  • I can't think of a 5th point. Let's just say I wrote this to counter the pro-Archers around these parts.

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And the reason none of the above should be important to you is because Arch really is a fine Linux distribution; and each and everyone of you who chooses to run/test/try a Linux operating system instead of your old favorite MS or Apple options should try many different Linuxes before coming to a final decision. Even if you found your fav years ago, don't be afraid to try something new... even Arch. You might like it in spite of that multi-limbed monstrosity known as systemChthulhu that runs everything under the sun. ;)

I'm off...

#5 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 09:06 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 19 March 2015 - 08:01 PM, said:

Arch is for young folks who have the time to tweak, break, tweak, adjust, re-install, update... update... update... reload Nvidia drivers, update... crash, re-install, update. Old folks, who are closer to death, just don't have the time for this shozbott.

Lol. Young folks? That counts me out!

As for the rest, well, I'm updating about once a week, haven't had to reiinstall anything, haven't done any major tweaking since the intital installation, haven't been seeing any crashing at all. Frankly, I'm surprised, because Arch hasn't been at all like the other rolling-release distros I've used. The only time-consuming part was the initial installation, really, and I'm sure I could do that a lot faster now. YMMV, of course.

#6 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 11:55 PM

1. Archlinux works perfectly every single day. Remember, Archlinux uses the latest STABLE versions of packages. There are no git, syn, test, etc. versions in the repositories. You can install those packages via the AUR but they will never make it to the normal repositories. We just get versions that are up to date, that's it.

2. While Slackware may never get systemd(Good ole Pat runs the show), most every single distro out there is running systemd or has plans to. This will not change and just because people do not like change, does not mean that change will not occur.

3. I understand your point but there is no real performance gain from using flags and such anymore so it just becomes more work than should be required to install a package. You can build packages from source with make flags and such on Archlinux if you like using the ABS https://wiki.archlin...ch_Build_System which is a basically a ports-like system. Plus when you are installing stuff from source, the packages are never updated.

4. In 8 years of running Archlinux, I have never had to reinstall it because of a package breaking something. I reinstalled when I bought an ssd drive but technically I did not have to as I could of easily migrated my installation but since it was over 3 years old, I figured it would be good to start again a bit cleaner. That said, I did use a pacman script to reinstall all of my previous packages so it wasn't really a cleaner install.

People naturally assume that a rolling distro is harder to maintain and will break more often than a release model distro but that really isn't the case at all. Packages are throughly tested before they are moved into the repositories so it isn't just a hit or miss thing at all. Heck I have ran Testing for over a year without a single issue (it is normally only a day or two ahead of the normal repos) Plus there are lts versions of the packages and other ways of improving the already stable distro if you want to use it in a server environment.  https://wiki.archlin...ystem_stability

I find Archlinux to be 10x easier to maintain than the "easier" distros. A simple pacman -Syu will keep your system completely up to date. Once in a while, you
may have to make a change but that is just the nature of software development. The only part that takes actual work is the initial installation. After that, it is smooth sailing...

Then again.... if you do not update often, do not pay attention to the pacman output or the News on Archlinux; you may end up with a broken system but that is really your own fault..
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#7 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 06:22 AM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 19 March 2015 - 10:54 AM, said:

I run a Clonezilla backup every few weeks but I do not remember the last time I had to restore one. That said, it is nice to have a recent backup if you decide to break your system by experimenting....

B)

I never "decide" to bork my system it just seems to happen. Clonezilla is definitely a must learn program and used weekly can save the fearless experimenter and the unlucky many hours of reinstall pain. :worthy: :worthy: :worthy: :worthy:
Install ARCH
You'll never need to install it again
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#8 OFFLINE   BarryB

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 07:38 AM

Good article..I have to agree Arch is fun, stable and easy.  But, then again "to me" so is Mageia, Opensuse and a few others.  In fact, I don't ever think I met a distro I didn't like. I personally don't think there is a" better" distro, just better choices to fit  the individual.  :teehee:
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#9 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 09:18 PM

Relax, Josh. Relax. It was a tongue-in-cheek reply. That blood pressure is not at a healthy level, bud. No one was casting aspersions on your favorite Linux distribution. Chill. Take a pill. Take two. No need to call me in the morning. Have a sip of Jack, too. Oh, and repeat after me....

AHHHHHHHMMMMM...

AHHHHHHHMMMMM...

AHHHHHHHMMMMM...

There. Feeling better already, huh? :yes:

#10 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 09:21 PM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 19 March 2015 - 11:55 PM, said:


Then again.... if you do not update often, do not pay attention to the pacman output or the News on Archlinux; you may end up with a broken system but that is really your own fault..

This right here is probably the main reason Arch is not going to be an optimum choice for the majority of computer users. Most folks do NOT update regularly; nor do they read any accompanying documentations, warnings, bug reports, etc. Only anal-retentive geeks like you and me do that stuff, J. ;)

#11 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 11:19 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 20 March 2015 - 09:18 PM, said:

Relax, Josh. Relax. It was a tongue-in-cheek reply. That blood pressure is not at a healthy level, bud. No one was casting aspersions on your favorite Linux distribution. Chill. Take a pill. Take two. No need to call me in the morning. Have a sip of Jack, too. Oh, and repeat after me....

AHHHHHHHMMMMM...

AHHHHHHHMMMMM...

AHHHHHHHMMMMM...

There. Feeling better already, huh? :yes:

Actually I wasn't being irate at all, I was just responding to your "concerns". So do not take it that way ;)
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#12 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 11:22 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 20 March 2015 - 09:21 PM, said:

View Postsecuritybreach, on 19 March 2015 - 11:55 PM, said:

Then again.... if you do not update often, do not pay attention to the pacman output or the News on Archlinux; you may end up with a broken system but that is really your own fault..

This right here is probably the main reason Arch is not going to be an optimum choice for the majority of computer users. Most folks do NOT update regularly; nor do they read any accompanying documentations, warnings, bug reports, etc. Only anal-retentive geeks like you and me do that stuff, J. ;)

That is why most people do not run a rolling distro. Archlinux has never nor do they want to ever, cater to your "average" computer user. Archlinux is made for the novice computer user:

Quote

Whereas many GNU/Linux distributions attempt to be more user-friendly, Arch Linux has always been, and shall always remain user-centric.

Arch Linux targets and accommodates competent GNU/Linux users by giving them complete control and responsibility over the system.

Arch Linux users fully manage the system on their own. The system itself will offer little assistance, except for a simple set of maintenance tools that are designed to perfectly relay the user's commands to the system. Arch developers do not expend energy re-inventing GUI system tools; Arch is founded upon sensible design and excellent documentation.

This user-centric design necessarily implies a certain "do-it-yourself" approach to using the Arch distribution. Rather than pursuing assistance or requesting a new feature to be implemented by developers, Arch Linux users have a tendency to solve problems themselves and generously share the results with the community and development team – a "do first, then ask" philosophy. This is especially true for user-contributed packages found in the Arch User Repository – the official Arch Linux repository for community-maintained packages.

https://wiki.archlin...hp/The_Arch_Way

(The italic edits are mine)

Archlinux started out as a geek's distro and will continue to be so (and I am happy for it). B)
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#13 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 01:56 AM

Love do it yourself stuff...may be able to install it with the Roadrunner TW cable we have soon in a VirtualBox.
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#14 OFFLINE   Temmu

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 12:11 AM

debian. :)
it runs on an increasingly old dell latitude d610.

but, i know little of the rest of the linux world, except rescue disks. linux was designed to rescue windows user's machines.
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#15 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 12:16 AM

Funny you mention that, Temmu... I was given another Dell 610 by my ex-sister-in-law just last week. I have its mate already that I got from my niece a couple years ago. I set up the one I just got with Ubuntu 14.04.2 for my brother to use. All went fine and dandy. The only hiccup was having to install the b43 Broadcom crap for it to be able to use wi-fi. I had to do the same with my other Dell 610 for Slackware, so no biggie.

:)

Edited by V.T. Eric Layton, 10 April 2015 - 12:18 AM.


#16 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 12:29 AM

View PostTemmu, on 10 April 2015 - 12:11 AM, said:

Linux was designed to rescue windows user's machines.

Actually Linux was designed to be a free alternative to Minix, which was a  UNIX-like OS .

Quote

Hello everybody out there using minix -

I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I'd like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things).

I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work. This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months, and I'd like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions are welcome, but I won't promise I'll implement them :-)

Linus (torvalds@kruuna.helsinki.fi)

PS. Yes – it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT portable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(.

—Linus Torvalds
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#17 OFFLINE   Temmu

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 01:59 PM

ha ha ha - i was kidding, of course. it's just useful that way.
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#18 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 02:10 PM

I love and use Debian every day!
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