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Old 08-28-2011, 09:40 PM   #1
Yuhan
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Is Archlinux an easily learned distro?


I am still relatively new at using Linux. I am presently using Ubuntu 10.10 and I like it although I'm feeling the need to switch to a distro that forces you to work more exclusively on the command line. A friend of mine suggested that I use Slackware, but I get the impression that installing additional packages and upgrades is kind of a pain in Slackware. Also, some say this is an "old school" Linux distro and one whose user base is dwindling. Someone I was talking to recently suggested Archlinux as a very good distro--one that has much of the simplicity of Slackware, but is easier to use. Does anyone have experience with Archlinux and would it be a logical stepping stone from Ubuntu? Thank you in advance!
 
Old 08-29-2011, 12:03 AM   #2
phil.d.g
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Many people seem move from Ubuntu to Arch.

Unfortunately, you're in a unique position that only you know you're own comfort zone. So my advice is give it a whirl. They have excellent documentation on their website. It would be handy to have a second machine that is fully working to lookup answers to your problems while you are installing/setting up Arch
 
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:07 AM   #3
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I thinks so. I moved from Ubuntu to Arch Linux six or seven months ago for very similar reasons to what you describe, and I love it. And installing additional software is pretty simple, the official repositories have a good deal of binary packages, and if you can't find what you want there, the AUR probably has it as a source package, and Arch has a tool called makepkg which will automatically build the package for you, and resolve dependencies.

But be forewarned that the Arch Installation give you no GUI at all, so you will need to install and configure your system entirely from the command line.
 
Old 08-29-2011, 12:42 AM   #4
Nylex
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You could of course run Arch in a virtual machine inside Ubuntu to see what it's like.
 
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Old 08-29-2011, 02:22 AM   #5
grail
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I think all of the above is already good advice so as an addon I would also suggest checking out distrowatch.com
and have a look at the differing distributions, specifically the Source based ones if you like to get a little dirtier at the command line.
 
Old 08-29-2011, 02:53 AM   #6
Tinkster
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in <ARCH> and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
 
Old 08-29-2011, 06:59 PM   #7
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The Arch documentation is excellent.
 
Old 08-29-2011, 07:21 PM   #8
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Read this:

http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners'_Guide

If you read it and say "Yeah! That sounds fun!!" then Arch is the distro for you.

Slackware has similar excellent documentation (I don't have the link handy but I bet you can find it if you Google "slackbook") to help you decide whether it's "kind of a pain" or something that makes sense for your needs.

Also remember that Ubuntu has a terminal, too. There are thousands of intermediate/advanced projects you can do in Ubuntu; you don't need to switch distros to improve your knowledge of the command line. Perhaps install Ubuntu Server with no GUI on a spare/virtual machine?
 
Old 08-29-2011, 09:44 PM   #9
Yuhan
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Wow! These are helpful replies. It sounds like people generally prefer Arch to Slackware these days. My sense is that "purists" (if indeed there is such a thing) like to stick with Slackware since it's one of the oldest distros and is still managed (I believe) by the original programmer. But I don't have a vested interest since I'm relatively new to the Linux world. Is there a book and/or website that helps you to get comfortable with the command line generally, no matter what distro you use? I like the suggestion to practice on the terminal available within Ubuntu itself. Thanks for these great insights!
 
Old 08-29-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
ReaperX7
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Learning the commandline and learning how to resolve dependencies instead of having the system do everything for you automatically will help you out in the long run more than most things with Linux. As a rule, use this with wisdom...

The more and better a system is documented, the easier it will be for you to use, manage, and administer in the long run, and the more you have to learn, the less you will have to worry about later on.
 
Old 08-29-2011, 10:16 PM   #11
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I have used both Slackware and Arch. I do like Slackware's stability, ease of use etc... However, for a home system and a busy work schedule, I found that I just didn't have time to do all the dependency checking and installation etc. I made the move to Arch and haven't looked back. I love it. Great Distro
 
Old 09-01-2011, 10:32 AM   #12
Yuhan
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I have heard that Arch doesn't have the frequent updates that you have with other distros and so the risk of bugs is greater. Is there any truth to this?
 
Old 09-01-2011, 11:04 AM   #13
MTK358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuhan View Post
I have heard that Arch doesn't have the frequent updates that you have with other distros and so the risk of bugs is greater. Is there any truth to this?
Actually, it's the opposite: the software in Arch's repositories is usually so new and frequently updated that it could be buggy.
 
Old 09-01-2011, 12:14 PM   #14
kasl33
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I have used Arch for three months approximately. I have been distro hopping since I started using Linux when Redhat 9.0 was out (back when Redhat was freely available for download without compiling it - before Fedora Core existed). I've used Redhat, Fedora, Mandrake/Mandriva, SuSE, OpenSuSE, Slackware, Gentoo, CEntOS, and many others. After about ten years, I have landed on Arch and can honestly say that I love it - plus it is one of the most simple distro's to use once you understand the configuration layout.

/etc/rc.conf is the main file for making things work once they are installed. Everything else just depends on installation and customizing.
 
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:44 PM   #15
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No one has mentioned one of the most attractive things about Arch -- it's a rolling release. That means that once you get it set up you can keep it running forever, at least theoretically.

True, Arch can be fussy, even aggravating to set up. You're expected to know how to maintain the system, as well, so you might be left scratching your head when an update breaks something. But the community is very helpful: the forums and the wiki help you solve anything that comes up.

Arch is bleeding edge, so new software hits the repositories very quickly. The user base tend to be power users; it's a strong and active community. My experience is that when I hear of something new or interesting in the free software world, Arch already has it, even if in the AUR.

I've been using Arch for six years or so now, and it's still my favorite distro. Is it easy to learn? Well, it takes some effort, but I think that it's worth it.
 
  


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