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my linux experience:
i started with suse 2 months ago. after 2 weeks, i've switched to fedora. i started looking more deeply into linux, and i realised that i need a more flexible distro that i can tweak to meet my needs. i've tried some slackware based distros, but still wasn't really satisfied. i saw that i have two options. installing gentoo or building linux from scratch...
then i stumbled across arch linux. i decided to give it a try. i downloaded widget (arch 0.6, with the 2.6 kernel).
main system specs:
AMD 1600, 256mb ddr ram, nvidia geforce 2 with 32mb memory, 48x samsung cd rw, via onboard sound, 60gb matrox hd, broadband cable connection.
since i still didn't have my "perfect penguin", i decided to wipe out my previous distro. the install was really straigh forward, nothing unusual. i like the option to make a base install, however i installed some more packages, since i more-less knew what i needed. i installed widget to a 6gb partition, set up an 512mb swap.
the first thing i had to fix was my internet connection. this is why arch is not recommended for complete noobs: you have to edit your config files. i booted my knoppix live cd and went for some help on irc. after some trying, i had my connection set up. i was eager to try the -probably- strongest point in arch: pacman (similar to debian's apt-get or gentoo's portage). i updated pacman itself, did a system update and had updated the packages on my system. with pacman, i can manage (install, remove, update,...) packages, and it has a lot of useful features (eg. automatic dependency handling)
then i had to fix my sound by inserting the modules. one of the strong points of the 2.6 kernel is that it comes with alsa.
i'm not really a fan of bloated desktop environments, so i chose fluxbox as my window manager. i had it set up quickly. all i have from kde/gnome is the kdelibs, so i can run some of the kde-apps (eg. k3b)
now i'm happy with the new kernel and the latest packages.i got a fast and stable system set up in an afternoon. now i can say that "i've found my perfect penguin".
i would not recommend arch as a first distribution. but with basic/semi-advanced linux knowledge, it can be the perfect distribution for anyone.
good bye distrowatch!