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Since I haven't installed Arch for a while (and never since AIF was dropped), I thought I'd give the new install method a quick try in a VM using archlinux-2012.08.04-dual.iso. For the most part I just followed the Install Guide and only referred to the Beginners' guide and other parts of the Archwiki for a few small things I couldn't remember or wasn't sure about.
In summary, the installation was actually faster and easier than I recall. Perhaps this is just because I have a better understanding of Linux and Arch than I had previously. In any case, the instructions are quite clear and I found that most of the heavy lifting in getting the install up is actually actually still done for you via a handful of scripts like, pacstrap, genfstab, arch-chroot, mkinitcpio, syslinux-install_update, etc. I can't see any major downside to the new install process when comparing to an AIF-based install. All you really lose is an ncurses interface. Personally therefore, I don't see any need to bring back AIF, as the new way works just fine.
P.S. The bigger change I noticed was how much of rc.conf has been deprecated. It used to be a "one-stop shop" to configure almost everything. Now (like most other distros) configuration is done in various files scattered throughout /etc. IMHO this removes one of the nicest features of Arch and hence it was slightly disappointing. I can see how it was necessary as Arch gears up to being a systemd-based distro. It would have been nice however if they could have held off on that (at least for a while longer).
Last edited by ruario; 08-20-2012 at 05:23 AM.
Why not just use the Installation guide and/or Beginners' guide? This covers everything you covered and in many cases the official documentation is easier. You do stuff like "pacman -r /mnt --cachedir /mnt/var/cache/pacman/pkg/ -Sy base", when you could just use pacstrap. You manually chroot (and hence have to do several "mount --bind" commands), when you could just use arch-chroot. You did /etc/fstab entirely by hand, when you could have shortcut the process with genfstab (genfstab can even do an fstab with UUIDs automatically). It seems you duplicated the work of install guide but made it more more difficult.
Last edited by ruario; 08-20-2012 at 08:21 AM.