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Old 02-26-2014, 11:07 PM   #1
Ryanms3030
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is arch linux worth the hassle to install?


Background:

Currently on my laptop I'm running Mint 16. Beyond basics I use the laptop as a virtual amplifier for my bass and sometimes recording music. I tested Fedora 20, Crunchbang, Ubuntu 13 and a few music/media specific distros. I don't like the specialized ditros because I really only use 3-4 pieces of software and don't want an OS bloated with dozens of applications I don't use. Of the rest, Mint was the only that works with jack, my usb guitar interface and laptop's audio hardware without giving me a headache dealing with it.

Arch:

I'd like to install it and give it a try because I keep hearing so much good stuff about it but the install process seems daunting and archaic:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/A-Beg...x-352365.shtml

I can follow instructions and don't mind the steps as long as I think it is worth the extra work beyond hitting "next, next, next" on other installers.

Will I find it terribly more difficult to run after it's installed (beyond the laptop distros I am running CentOS,Debian and Ubuntu servers and vm servers right now and getting very comfortable administering those from the command line. Can I assume the same software I use will work fine with Arch on my laptop as it does with Mint? Guitarix, jack audio, lmms, vlc with jack audio plug in?
 
Old 02-27-2014, 12:33 AM   #2
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Will I find it terribly more difficult to run after it's installed
Reading all the information on Arch's web site will give you an idea. The information is detailed enough to give you a good idea of what is required to maintain the system.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-27-2014, 01:02 AM   #3
grail
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At the end of the day it boils down to 'how long is a piece of string?' No one can answer the question on how difficult you will find it other than yourself.

I will say though, that I found the wikis on the site to be extremely well written and informative. If you follow them to the letter I would see no real issue
as instead of hitting next several times, you just need to carefully re-write the instructions from the wiki. Most errors I ran into when installing it were
from either skipping steps (where I thought I knew better (apparently not)) or entering items incorrectly.

As for your software you can check one of the 2 links below to see if they have a native installer or you may have to do it yourself:

http://www.archlinux.org/packages/
https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/


Good luck ... enjoy
 
Old 02-27-2014, 11:54 AM   #4
DavidMcCann
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Bridge is a respin of Arch that will give you a quick installation. Don't forget that Arch is a bleeding edge distro and occasionally things break after updating.

I always thought that a musician needs a low-latency kernel. Was I wrong?
 
Old 02-27-2014, 11:59 AM   #5
szboardstretcher
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Arch is great. It is especially great to learn the low-level linux you need for systems administration. This is not because it is a wonderful teaching distro or anything, it is because Arch is about as basic an install as you can get, and you have to fight it to keep it working properly.

You WILL have issues. You WILL have problems. You WILL have to troubleshoot. And in the beginning, it is completely possible that you WILL NOT get it installed without some friendly help.

And one day, after you've got it all working, an update will come along(ahem: systemd anyone? package signing?) and THRASH your system into a useless doorstop. But that is part of the charm to me.

People ask me all the time 'how do i go about learning linux?'

Arch and research.

You'll never realize how fast you can learn, until you have to CONSTANTLY fix something that keeps breaking in new and exciting ways.

Last edited by szboardstretcher; 02-27-2014 at 12:01 PM.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 12:16 PM   #6
m.a.l.'s pa
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Quote:
is arch linux worth the hassle to install?
In my opinion, yes.

I wasn't too sure that I really wanted to bother with doing an Arch installation, so first I installed Bridge Linux and then ArchBang, and I ran those for some months while I got a feel for things.

I think that Bridge or ArchBang are good ways to go if you want to get an Arch system up and running more quickly. But it sure is nice installing Arch and having only the stuff that you really want.

I haven't had any big problems with Arch, Bridge, or ArchBang (after about a year so far). I just pay attention to what's posted at Arch's main page, and at the Arch forums, and to what's happening when I get ready to update with pacman. The Arch wiki is fantastic.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 12:18 PM   #7
szboardstretcher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.a.l.'s pa View Post
The Arch wiki is fantastic.
I really can't say that I've run into any documentation as comprehensive and quickly updated as the Arch wiki.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 02:55 PM   #8
Ryanms3030
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Thanks all. I've been reading up a lot more on Arch. I like the theory behind it and I agree their documentation is great. On the other hand, I do agree with some other opinions that I have read that it is really an elitist way of thinking to try to keep out "newbs" which I am still one when it comes to linux. But I also do like the idea of learning more about the inner workings of linux just by going through the install. The bottom line is I just ordered a new SSD to replace the 5400 rpm platter in my laptop so I will give Arch a whirl when I install the new hard drive since I will be starting from scratch anyway. I am also a glutten for punishment
 
Old 02-27-2014, 03:04 PM   #9
szboardstretcher
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Arch is not actively or purposely trying to keep out people new to linux. In fact, the mission statement is something like "Keep things simple."

Think of it like autos.

A new Range Rover is easy to drive. It does a lot of the thinking for you: changes the diff lock, switches gears, changes the shock absorbers and so on. Its very comfy and nearly anyone can drive one. In the linux world, this is Ubuntu.

A new nascar racecar is designed in much the same fashion as the Range Rover is. It takes engineers and managers and designers and so on. But the people that build "Nascars" have a special kind of love for the whole process. And they spend more time trying to make things simple, reduce weight, reduce drag, make it more POWERFUL POWAH POWAHH(sorry, channeled jezza there for a second!) but its not easy to drive at first, and takes an expert to win races. But a normal person can certainly take lessons and learn to drive a Nascar.

This is Arch Linux.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 03:09 PM   #10
Ryanms3030
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szboardstretcher View Post
Arch is not actively or purposely trying to keep out people new to linux. In fact, the mission statement is something like "Keep things simple."

Think of it like autos.

A new Range Rover is easy to drive. It does a lot of the thinking for you: changes the diff lock, switches gears, changes the shock absorbers and so on. Its very comfy and nearly anyone can drive one. In the linux world, this is Ubuntu.

A new nascar racecar is designed in much the same fashion as the Range Rover is. It takes engineers and managers and designers and so on. But the people that build "Nascars" have a special kind of love for the whole process. And they spend more time trying to make things simple, reduce weight, reduce drag, make it more POWERFUL POWAH POWAHH(sorry, channeled jezza there for a second!) but its not easy to drive at first, and takes an expert to win races. But a normal person can certainly take lessons and learn to drive a Nascar.

This is Arch Linux.
Great analogy. I get it and I'm on board
 
Old 02-27-2014, 05:55 PM   #11
John VV
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yes it is worth while
and it is NOT a hassle
It is rather EASY once you read and study the install guide

REQUIRED READING !!!!
https://wiki.archlinux.org/
1)
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_Linux
2)
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/The_Arch_Way
3)
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners%27_guide

4)
--- THE INSTALL GUIDE ---
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Installation_guide
 
Old 02-27-2014, 06:33 PM   #12
snowpine
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What you consider a "hassle" is actually fun for the core users, they consider it a "feature not a bug."

I personally use and recommend Mint.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 06:50 PM   #13
tsolorio
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I don't consider it a hassle. It took me a few tries but I read everything I could including the Arch wiki. I have Manjaro on one spare laptop. But I decided I wanted Arch on the small laptop I carry everywhere. It is soooo worth it once you get everything set up. I have everything running that I need for work. I installed Arch and with the exception of my Manjaro laptop as a spare...I have never looked back at any of the other distros I've used (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora).

I say go for it. In the end if you don't like it it's simple to go to another distro.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 08:26 PM   #14
Ryanms3030
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Thanks for all the encouraging words. For me, challenge is probably a better word than hassle the more I think about it. I have worked professionally with Win and Mac computer for a long time and where I work we use things like Altiris to automate OS installs as much as possible so having to hand hold every step in the command line seems counter intuitive to me in a way...but just reading some documentation has already made me better understand a lot about linux. I really don't mind going through the initial set up "hassle" , I am more concerned about updates crippling my computer to the point where I am spending days troubleshooting instead of using.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 08:44 PM   #15
tsolorio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanms3030 View Post
Thanks for all the encouraging words. For me, challenge is probably a better word than hassle the more I think about it. I have worked professionally with Win and Mac computer for a long time and where I work we use things like Altiris to automate OS installs as much as possible so having to hand hold every step in the command line seems counter intuitive to me in a way...but just reading some documentation has already made me better understand a lot about linux. I really don't mind going through the initial set up "hassle" , I am more concerned about updates crippling my computer to the point where I am spending days troubleshooting instead of using.
Well, I'm only a few months into Arch but from what I'm seen/experienced...use pacman -Syu wisely. Check beforehand if the packages you are about to upgrade will botch your install and you should be fine. And it helps to have a spare computer to work off of just in case.
 
  


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