What is Arch like?
I realize that this is cause for responses like "go try it yourself" but I have to ask. What are the things that are different in Arch Linux in comparison to other distros?
Arch Linux is a general purpose linux distribution that can be molded to do just about anything. It is fast, lightweight, flexible, and most of the parts under the hood are quite simple to understand and tweak, which can make it a good distro to "learn the ropes" on. We do not provide any configuration helper utilities (ie, you won't find linuxconf in here) so you will quickly become very proficient at configuring your system from the shell commandline.
Arch Linux uses i686-optimized packages which gives us improved performance over some of our i386-optimized cousins. This means that Arch Linux will only run on a Pentium II processor or higher. We try to stay fairly bleeding edge, and typically have the latest stable versions of software.
Arch Linux uses the Pacman package manager, which couples a simple binary package format with an easy-to-use build system, allowing the users to easily manage and customize their packages, whether they be official Arch packages or the user's own homegrown ones. The repository system allows users to build and maintain their own custom package repositories, which encourages community growth and contribution.
I think he was going more for 'personal experience'. I'd be interested, myself, in knowing hardware hangups (the live-cd sucked and took like 6 options to boot my box when nothing else has any trouble) or compiling horror stories or great successes with either - speed, feel, how you update it, what the user-community is like, etc., etc. Websites give you the official sales pitch, which may or may not have value. User's day-to-days are a lot more valuable.
I had a shot at arch linux some time ago, was version 0.4 iif I remember correctly.
I've done a dozen other linux distribution installs before.
At the stage it was back then (some months ago) it still looked somewhat halfbaked, definitively geared towards advanced users, lots of startup scripts and lil things to fix until it ran somewhat decently for me. Although once it is setup the package manager pacman isn't so bad, but because the userbase is still limited there are not that many packages available.
I'd rather use gentoo for this kind of install mainly because they have very good documentation and there is a lot bigger userbase out there.
first off, its not fun to get setup. plain and simple.
but first, i think that will get better, and second, its really not that bad, and doens't take nearly as long as gentoo. i reccomend just doing a full blown ftp install
but once you get past the install, whats inside is awesome.
ive been using slack for a long time. the main reason is that it is clean, clear, and simple. its easy to find the configs, and makes you use those configs. slack is nice because it does have the tools like netconfig, but once you get everything setup, you can learn how to really use it. but slack is a pain when it comes to getting other programs. swaret has fixed the update mess, and dropline helps too, but most stuff you have to compile from source, and get the dependencies, and compile them from source, and all this crap.
then you have debian. a lot of people love debian. i tried a real debian install once, and it was very out of date. i was on dial up, and didn't feel like updating. its kinda wierd, but the package mgmnt is nice.
then you get arch. its got the easy clear config scripts that better slack (probably as good as bsd) and has a great package management system. i would be willing to say its as fault free as the bsd ports system, and its nice and isolated, unlike apt-get, which is a little too wide open and iffy for me.
and its i686. thats the gentoo edge. over all arch wins, but nobody knows because they can't get it installed right. everyone that i have talked to that has pushed through it loves it.
in addition, its the fastest OS i have ever used. im sure windows 3 might run faster, but its not modern. im sure i could find redhat 6 and get it to run faster too, but again, thats stupid. ive had lots of stuff on here, redhat 9, fedora, mdk 9.1 and 9.2, slack 9 and 9.1, morphix, winxp, win2k, vector, and probably some others. arch is far and away the quickest.
i certainly reccomend trying it, and don't give up ( i did about 3 times before i finally came back to it and loved it)
Well, I've been using Linux for about 8 months now. My first install was Mandrake 9.0. It was a bunch of fun, and I really loved it, but Mandrake was a HOG. It was huge, cumbersome, and slow. And all I ever did was have multiple Konsoles open in KDE. I just didn't need it anymore.
So, I looked to Arch. I don't understand why people say it was hard to install. For me, it was pretty easy in the end. I haven't gotten my wireless card working yet, but I hardly ever used it anyways.
In the end, it all depends on what you are using Linux for. I use it to monitor and manage servers at work and from home on my laptop. That's about it. So for me, a clean and FAST distro was perfect. Hence my choice in Arch.
Oh, and did I mention that it's FAST AS HELL? :)
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