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Old 08-12-2009, 07:41 PM   #1
forrest44
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Arch linux, should I try it out?


So a new version of Arch has been released.

Coming from a long-time slackware perspective, I'm just wondering how it compares to slackware?
Does it have better performance? On older hardware (ie without a modern cpu)?

I'm particularly interested in it just to try out the new KDE4 as I hear it does quite a good job in that department.
Does it have KDE 4.3 packages yet?

What do you guys think of it?

Cheers
 
Old 08-12-2009, 08:33 PM   #2
Eternal_Newbie
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Really, you can never try to many Linuxes, and you don't need our permission either. So go ahead and try it.
 
Old 08-12-2009, 08:44 PM   #3
hitest
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I say go for it. You'll be back to Slack in short order. After 7 years of trying a variety of distros I'm happy to be a Slacker.
I love Slackware 12.2 and -current.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 01:03 AM   #4
windtalker10
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I've ran Arch for the past two years or so.
I didn't use kde 4 though so can't answer any questions about it.
I used the kdemod 3.5 offered by the Chakra team.
The problems I ran into was getting policykit configured to be able to use my cd/dvd r/w's and a few other things,, which isn't difficult just time consuming to get it right.
They use pacman as the package manager and Chakra contributes once more with Shaman to make things graphic.
Yaourt is used to install packages from Aur, the user supported repository.
Arch is bleeding edge so expect some gilfritzes when you update every now and then.
As far as fast goes, I was booting in about 15 seconds and kdemod 3.5 is faster than kde was,, at least on my box.
Arch prides itself on allowing the user to do things on their own,, but compared to Slack, Arch can be more of a point and click to build your system after the initial install with the tools available than Slack is.
Pacman itself is CL but to install with pacman is as simple as pacman -S [package_name] enter.
I can have a complete Arch install with all the packages I need in about 4 hours where with Slack I'll end up spending almost a day.
I moved back to Slack because the update Arch had a week or so ago boogered up my install and I couldn't fix it.
I'm in a position of depending on this box so I'll stick with something I have a better chance of being able to fix if something gilfritzes.
As was already stated though, it's your box so who are we to tell you what to put on it.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 05:34 AM   #5
Qury
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Yes, try it!
I 've tried quite a few distros myself, and found Arch the 2nd best after Slackware. (i think it was even better than Zenwalk)
However after a few months of using Arch + kdemod 3.5 i went back to Slack, and the reason was problems with the updates.
Currently I'm using slackware-current as a primary desktop and Arch on my netbook (because of kde 4.3 of course), however i'm fairly sure that as soon as the -current becomes 13.0 I will switch back to my favourite slackware + slackbot combination. (I'll get slackbot to compile kde 4.3 and 3.5 and a the essential gnome libs for Slack.)
 
Old 08-13-2009, 05:48 AM   #6
easuter
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I tried it for about 6 months, but eventually moved back to slackware. I did like their package management program (pacman ), but I'm not really a fan of the continuous upgrade-treadmill to the latest "cutting edge" packages.
YMMV.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 07:26 AM   #7
sahko
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Arch is the only distribution i know of that offers both GO-OO as well as OpenOffice.org. All others package GO-OO as OpenOffice.org.
It is also one of the few distributions that offers OSS as an alternative to ALSA.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 08:05 AM   #8
ringwraith
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I haven't tried it in a few years, but when I did, I felt if Slackware disappeared for some reason, Arch would probably be the one I went to.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 08:56 AM   #9
pixellany
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Arch has always been one of my favorites, but it does have quirks...

Good:
  • Really simple initial installation---starts with the absolute minimum, no X, no GUI, NOTHING!!
  • Excellent package manager
  • Fast
  • Linkage to KDEMod---now part of Chakra
  • Always has the latest of everything

Bad:
  • Because it starts with nothing, you have to overtly install and setup **everything**--sound, power management, network, drivers, etc. etc. In the latest versions, you have to separately install all the input drivers, video drivers, etc. (They do make vesa automatic, but that's it)
  • Strange things happen sometimes
  • Forced to use the latest of everything (maybe there is a way around this, but I have not checked.)
  • Firefox always has a funny name 'cuz they don't follow Mozilla's rules
 
Old 08-13-2009, 09:26 AM   #10
forrest44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
Arch has always been one of my favorites, but it does have quirks...

Good:
  • Really simple initial installation---starts with the absolute minimum, no X, no GUI, NOTHING!!
  • Excellent package manager
  • Fast
  • Linkage to KDEMod---now part of Chakra
  • Always has the latest of everything

Bad:
  • Because it starts with nothing, you have to overtly install and setup **everything**--sound, power management, network, drivers, etc. etc. In the latest versions, you have to separately install all the input drivers, video drivers, etc. (They do make vesa automatic, but that's it)
  • Strange things happen sometimes
  • Forced to use the latest of everything (maybe there is a way around this, but I have not checked.)
  • Firefox always has a funny name 'cuz they don't follow Mozilla's rules
Mmm that sounds good! Sounds like just the thing for some test bed system you're trying out and experimenting with
 
Old 08-13-2009, 01:38 PM   #11
windtalker10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
Arch has always been one of my favorites, but it does have quirks...


Bad:
  • Firefox always has a funny name 'cuz they don't follow Mozilla's rules
If you use online banking like I do, you may also not be able to use it due to the above.
I couldn't use online banking until I came back to Slack.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 05:21 PM   #12
Anonymo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windtalker10 View Post
If you use online banking like I do, you may also not be able to use it due to the above.
I couldn't use online banking until I came back to Slack.
You can use Firefox PGO
http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=22296

Arch now has the latest 4.3 packages, Pierre is in charge of the PKGBUILDS. KDE is modular as well for this release on, so you only install what you need.

http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/KDE_Packages

I would not use Chakra, which is in ALPHA state right now.

I was never able to get KDEmod4 work completely, I think they are working on it. Had problems with the kwallet. With the normal KDE4 v4.3, no problems connecting to kmail or kvpnc. I like the mods KDEmod does to KDE though. Just not usable right now.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 05:54 PM   #13
slash77
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Quote:
If you use online banking like I do, you may also not be able to use it due to the above.
I couldn't use online banking until I came back to Slack.
You can always change the preference "general.useragent.extra.firefox" to "Firefox/version" through the about:config page. "Shiretoko" still shows in the titlebar but my bank doesn't squawk about the browser anymore.

Quote:
Forced to use the latest of everything (maybe there is a way around this, but I have not checked.)
There are two options in /etc/pacman.conf, IgnorePkg and IgnoreGroup, that can control what gets upgraded or not.

Give Arch a try, I think you'll find it's fast and "simple", just like Slackware and you're final decision will probably boil down to personal preference.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 06:23 PM   #14
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymo View Post

I would not use Chakra, which is in ALPHA state right now.
Perhaps but the 3.5.x version of kdemod is fine. I hope they continue to keep it available.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 10:51 PM   #15
amiga32
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I used Arch for a little while. It's BSD-esque like Slackware so I prefer to most other things linux for configuration purposes. Otherwise things are too automated and bleeding edge for my taste. I like that Slackware already has all the basics included and tested and then I pretty much do whatever I want with my system thereafter. Arch relies much more heavily on its own tools for updating and building your system and breaks too easy IMO.
 
  


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