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Arch 0.7.1 Noodle
Reviews Views Date of last review
11 52671 07-12-2006
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100% of reviewers None indicated 10.0



Description: 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. Arch Linux does 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 it improved performance over some of our i386-optimized cousins. This means that Arch Linux will only run on a Pentium II processor or higher. It tries to stay fairly bleeding edge, and typically have the latest stable versions of software.
Keywords: arch linux 686 optimized


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Old 02-17-2006, 08:11 AM   #1
desertViking
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: Slackware 13, Arch Linux
Posts: 85

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: Fast, flexible, easily upgradeable. Pacman is a great package manager.
Cons: Broadband access almost required.



I began my Linux user experience last 7 months ago. My background includes a lot of computer usage and programming, and includes several years of Unix development, so it wasn't completely foreign to me.

The first distribution that I discovered which fit my needs from the perspective of stability, control and learning was Slackware. While I still really like Slack, I found that I wanted to add more cutting edge packages and a bit easier to update.

After poking around I found Arch Linux. It is exactly what I was looking for!

Arch Linux uses a rolling release cycle. A particular version, 0.7.1 in this case, represents an intallable snapshot of the current repository. There is also a testing repository that the devs use to add new, bleeding edge packages to the system, and sort of work out the kinks. When it's good, it moves to the current repository, and so it goes.

Installing Arch from the CD ISO image is straight forward. It uses a text based interface that would be familiar to most Slackware and Debian users. I liked the disk configuration utilities provided, and it gave me complete control of the partitions.

There are a lot of packages on the CD. Arch generally recommends that you install the base package, and update your system to current once you are booted to the command prompt. In my case, I need to recompile madwifi or ndiswrapper for the systems I install, so I usually include the development packages, too. There is an option that will allow you to install everything, and I must admit to having done this a couple of times, too.

Once booted, configuring the system is very straightforward. Most of the basics can be addressed in the /etc/rc.conf file. Here you can specify time zones, network profiles, and modules to be loaded. The hardware detection scheme in Arch is very good, and most modules will be detected and loaded automatically. Still, this is where you go to start samba and cups.

The next thing to do is to update the system. Binary packages are distributed to Arch systems via the pacman tool. This tool reads its source information from the /etc/pacman.conf file. Here, you can select whether you want to enable the testing, extra or community repositories. Updating from testing is for those of us who enjoy living on the edge. I found xorg 7 installed from here within days of its availability. KDE 3.5 the same way.

Pacman is simple to use and manages dependencies well. The easiest upgrade command is "pacman -Syu" which will resync the package data base, and update all of your installed packages. Adding packages is also very easy. For example, "pacman -S xorg kdebase amarok-base amarok-engine-arts" will install some of my favorite stuff.

Living with Arch has really been a pleasure. The packages included with the 0.7.1 ISO are great, fresh and fast. The user community on the Arch Linux forums are helpful and considerate. The wiki is one of the best I've run across. This is a good place to start: http://www.archlinux.org/docs/en/guide/install/arch-install-guide.html
 
Old 03-05-2006, 03:06 PM   #2
jackassjim
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Yoper
Posts: 40

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: Simple, clean, simple, fast
Cons: Bleeding-edge means be carefull with updates


I have to agree with everything desertViking says. rc.conf's simplicity is just beautiful. Pacman is amazing. I love how you install the base system and then build your whole system from there.
pacman -S xorg cups icewm mpd openoffice-base mozilla-firefox
and i'm all set, no need to install any crap you don't want/need.

Package management is also dead easy for apps not included in the official repos. Visit the AUR, use one of the PKGBUILDs already available to build your package in just one command. Alternatively, take 2 minutes of your time to contribute your own PKGBUILD. If it gets enough vote/testing it might even end up in the official repos.

Fast, clean, simple, fantastic

Jim
 
Old 03-05-2006, 03:11 PM   #3
jackassjim
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Yoper
Posts: 40

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also, things other reviewers didn't like have been fixed now (device + partition layouts + docs)
 
Old 03-08-2006, 01:16 PM   #4
xpromisex
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Arch Linux 2007.05 "Duke" (Kernel 2.6.21)
Posts: 447

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: Fast, Lightweight distro with little or no excess (not in the base ISO)
Cons: Madwifi drivers are not included in repositories, and the ISO is outdated quite quickly


I've been using Arch for just over a year now, and I have had little to no problem with anything other than my wireless card on my laptop. The wireless problem was also partially my fault as I took too long to actually attack the problem (and I didn't understand how the Arch User Repos functioned or how to use the Arch Build System to install packages) The system is extremely fast, nearly as quick to respond as my gentoo install -- and it didn't take 3 days to install it. Once I managed to get everything to work (mostly my wireless card - as I am now at college and the only internet access is wireless in my hall) I found myself booting into Arch more and more to do routine tasks, which is rare for me. Wonderfully done, Mr. Vinet.
 
Old 04-15-2006, 09:30 AM   #5
baldy1324
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: debian unstable/SID
Posts: 39

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Pros: very fast, pacman gives tons of up-to-date packages, minimal NO extra apps, simple rc.conf file
Cons: none


i have tried a lot of distributions out there (slack, debian, ubuntu, mandrivia, suse, fedora, and gentoo), but none i liked more than arch. i think it is a PERFECT distribution. i used to be a debian sid user, but a couple of things annoyed me.
apt installs way too many dependencies with everything-pacman installs only the bare necessetties (gnome-terminal and gedit dont come with gnome but you can install them with pacman -S gnome-terminal gedit)

here are the pros
-you select WHICH base packages you want-you dont have to install man pages... in the installation
-pacman is so reliable and never breaks and is as fast as lightening
-the packages are updated on average in about 1 DAY
-arch has tons of packages if you enable the very stable community aur repository
-my system boot time (from grub to gdm) was 15 seconds (without compiling custom kernel and without turning off any services)
-there is one configuration file rc.conf-that is VERY simple to edit (you can add modules you don't want udev to load at beginning, load daemons at startup, terminal font...)

if you dont want bloat, want up-to-date packages, and are ok with a distro that isnt as easy as fedora, ubuntu, suse...-arch is for you
 
Old 04-15-2006, 11:55 AM   #6
profoX
 
Registered: Apr 2006
Distribution: Archlinux / Debian / Ubuntu
Posts: 37

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: The fastest! / i686 optimized / Pacman package manager / Pkgbuilds / Simple configuration files / Ease of use
Cons: you can't be afraid of the commandline or config files / tricky installation


Arch Linux is the best Linux distribution for me!

I am a Linux user since about 1 year and I tried alot of (big and small) linux distributions before, but Arch is #1 !

The installation is a bit tricky. The installer tells you wrong stuff too (mounting /dev/hda7 to /mnt/boot ? lol).
Just ignore it. The installation itself is very fast.

I like how the configuration is done in a few simple text files.

Arch also has a very fast init using simple scripts. I get my PC running, including GDM, in 15 seconds (Pentium M 2 Ghz)

Pacman, the package manager, is very good. It resolves your dependancies and installing stuff with Pacman is very easy and fast. Pacman is as good as Apt-get, if not better.

Another great thing for when you want to build something are the pkgbuilds. You get a pkgbuild and tell "makepkg" and all necessary stuff/dependancies get downloaded and compiled. You can then install them using "Pacman -U package-name-and-version.pkg.tar.gz"

For me personally, Arch has no cons at all.

One thing that I dislike a little bit is that I have to patch my kernel to work with my laptop correctly (my ACPI Bios is buggy, never buy an Acer for Linux) -> In distro's like Ubuntu and SuSE a patch is already included in the kernel to fix a buggy Bios.

I still think Arch beats all the other distro's hands-down.

Arch #1 !
 
Old 04-15-2006, 12:50 PM   #7
profoX
 
Registered: Apr 2006
Distribution: Archlinux / Debian / Ubuntu
Posts: 37

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An update on my previous review:

The archck or -beyond kernels that you can download do have alot of patches in them, so Arch just got even better than it already was for me :)
 
Old 04-15-2006, 01:50 PM   #8
 
Registered: Dec 1969
Posts: 0

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Pros: fast, flexible, pacman, Arch Build System, KISS
Cons: none


Arch is a fantastic Linux distro! It has the flexibility of Slackware, with (even more) speed then Gentoo, and a great package management like Debian. Here on my Pentium 4 2.41 ghZ Arch boots in 10 seconds :D
The installer looks like a Slackware for a little and it follows KISS (keep it simple stupid) For starting the install you use loaddisk /dev/hd? and than run /arch/setup (hint: if you want another keymap during the install type 'km' and select your preferred keymap) Then you have to partition (you also do auto-partitioning your HD ..) After the install you can have an X-server and a desktop/window manager by typing pacman -S xorg kde .. Add a user by useradd -m -s /bin/bash username and give him/her a password with passwd username ... :)
Arch Linux used a BSD init, /etc/rc.conf is the biggest configuration file. You have a daemons and a modules array there, this is (ofcourse!) for modules and daemons automatic loaded at boot.The package manager is really great, and you _NEVER_ have dependeny problems with it. If there is a conflict, you can remove the package with pacman -Rd package (-d means dependencies are also removed with it.) You can search for a package with pacman -sS name, you install a package with pacman -S package, you remove one with pacman -R package. You can update your whole system with pacman -Syu. Another advantage of Arch Linux is the Arch Build System. You just type pacman -S wget cvsup and then abs and you have it. Then you have a /var/abs directory. You can cd into something and run 'makepkg' for install the packages from source :) If you have there a dependency problem you can use makepkg -b (that builds missing dependencies from source) or makepkg -s (pacman will fix your dependencies than) With Arch Build System it's also eazy to create your own packages for Arch Linux. You just download a tarball, create a PKGBUILD and place it in /var/abs/local. The only little disadvantage (not for me ..) is that Arch Linux is not a Linux distro for Linux newbies. Arch Linux is really a must have!! Give it a try and you will not move to another Linux disto ;)
 
Old 05-06-2006, 11:13 AM   #9
Ash Gotham
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: ArchLinux
Posts: 6

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: Bleeding edge, FAST, pacman, Simple, Makes you learn real computing
Cons: None, I can see for those willing to learn.


I tried Fedora - Poor updates, Bloated system.
I tried Ubuntu - Boring.
I tried Mandrake - Bloated, Tries to look too pretty, i hate too much of intervention, bad club asking for money for a free product.
I tried Gentoo - Ok, install was good, but everything was confusing, multiple answers for a single problem.
I tried Slack - ZERO dependency checking.
I tried Zen - Was good but repository was insufficient.
I tried Underground - Finally Something OK, but still i prefer fluxbox to kde(full of useless apps)-I prefer stuff from the base(If i want something, ill install it)
So i tried Underground 022's predecessor- ARCH
I LOVED IT!
 
Old 06-05-2006, 10:54 AM   #10
varaahan
 
Registered: Jul 2005
Distribution: Puppy, Arch Linux,Absolute Linux
Posts: 83

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I tried 0.7.2 (Gimmick). The installation was smooth but configuring X was hell of a problem. Even after installing kde,I could not login using kdm because all I type is represented as small squares only. (My question in arch linux forum is still unanswered).

I can straightaway start in XFCE4 but in this terminal is not working. Definitely it is not for newbies but it is more suited for die hard linux researchers.

Boovarahan S
 
Old 07-12-2006, 04:20 AM   #11
SybaseLu
 
Registered: May 2006
Posts: 9

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I just want to test correct word
 




  



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